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ROR Tracks Stuck by Frost on First Night

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#1 dawziecat

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:49 PM

Spent all night imaging in my new observatory. There was no liguid water about to freeze up my tracks . . . but lots of heavy frost that did!

I was unable to close up at 6AM until I whacked the end beams that carry the roof with a sledge hammer. :(

Not an auspicious beginning!

I have used WD-40 on the rollers but I see a pair of hand-cranked trailer winches in my immediate future.

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#2 mikey cee

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:03 PM

Here's the solution against future snow or ice ups.. All you need are two ripped halfs of 4" PVC pipe the lighter version. Then one 4" PVC toilet flange cut in half. ;) Mike

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#3 dawziecat

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 03:01 PM

Mike:
Two questions:
1/ How long are those guards? I see a torque moment problem with 12 feet or or more of PVC hanging beyond the roof support outrigger beams. I don't see how I can support 'em. :(

2/ Any hints on how to rip long sections of PVC safely on a table/radial arm saw? I think I can manage it although I am not looking forward to the operation.

#4 JJK

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 03:51 PM

Mike:
Two questions:
1/ How long are those guards? I see a torque moment problem with 12 feet or or of PVC hanging beyond the roof support outrigger beams. I don't see how I can support 'em. :(

To eliminate the support problem, why not use multiple smaller sections and use flashing to cover the seams?

2/ Any hints on how to rip long sections of PVC safely on a table/radial arm saw? I think I can manage it although I am not looking forward to the operation.



#5 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 04:25 PM

Mike:
Two questions:
1/ How long are those guards? I see a torque moment problem with 12 feet or or more of PVC hanging beyond the roof support outrigger beams. I don't see how I can support 'em. :(

2/ Any hints on how to rip long sections of PVC safely on a table/radial arm saw? I think I can manage it although I am not looking forward to the operation.



When I cut mine, I used a large table was at work. It could cut through both sides at ones. I don't think a regular table has enough height to do it, so you would need to cut in two passes. I had a helper to catch the other end. Put a Sharpie line on the side. Set the fence for 1/2 the O.D., then place a block 1/2 the O.D. next the pipe to use a guide (rotational). It is not a bad job, just don't rush it.

Look on your other post ( "ROR tacks in icy climate" ), I placed a link where as I made my covers on a hinge. I didn't need the support off the end of the roof rails. I used this system a few years until I automated my Observatory.

#6 *skyguy*

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 04:42 PM

How do you keep the wind getting under the PVC 1/2 pipe and tearing them off the track ... or is this not a problem?

#7 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 04:57 PM

How do you keep the wind getting under the PVC 1/2 pipe and tearing them off the track ... or is this not a problem?


I have never had a problem with that.

#8 JJK

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:11 PM

Mike:
Two questions:
1/ How long are those guards? I see a torque moment problem with 12 feet or or more of PVC hanging beyond the roof support outrigger beams. I don't see how I can support 'em. :(

2/ Any hints on how to rip long sections of PVC safely on a table/radial arm saw? I think I can manage it although I am not looking forward to the operation.



When I cut mine, I used a large table was at work. It could cut through both sides at ones. I don't think a regular table has enough height to do it, so you would need to cut in two passes. I had a helper to catch the other end. Put a Sharpie line on the side. Set the fence for 1/2 the O.D., then place a block 1/2 the O.D. next the pipe to use a guide (rotational). It is not a bad job, just don't rush it.

Look on your other post ( "ROR tacks in icy climate" ), I placed a link where as I made my covers on a hinge. I didn't need the support off the end of the roof rails. I used this system a few years until I automated my Observatory.


With a proper jig, you could cut the pipe in two passes with a circular saw.

#9 JJK

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:12 PM

How do you keep the wind getting under the PVC 1/2 pipe and tearing them off the track ... or is this not a problem?


A few tie downs would eliminate that problem, if it arises.

BTW, that's a smart-looking observatory.

#10 Midnight Dan

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Someone posted a photo in a recent thread of a 1/2 pipe PVC cover like above - except that it was mounted with hinges on one side. You could just flip it off to the side before rolling your roof off, then flip it back on when the roof was back in place.

-Dan

#11 Ian Robinson

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:53 PM

Obvious solution is to attach some low wattage heat tracing to the tracks (wouldn't need much current to keep frost from forming on the tracks).

#12 Raginar

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 07:17 PM

Ian, got any product ideas to make this happen? :)

#13 tim57064

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

Chris,Use roof ice melt tape you can get from menards.Maybe can be placed under the angle iron if using the v style rollers?

#14 Raginar

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:44 PM

That is a good idea. My garage door opener is slipping recently.. I'm trying to figure out what causes it. I can't tell if it's the 'snow' on the track or what.

Any idea how a 'screw drive' garage door opener works or what would cause it to slip?

#15 tim57064

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

Chris Hello,I am not familiar with screw drive openers. A slipping problem? Are you saying it seems to be skipping.Does it sound like it is grinding at all or a loud noise like chatter?Both my openers on my garage are chain drive and that is all I have ever had. I do not know of anyone here that has one,otherwise I could check one out and let you know.Troubleshooting and repair of mechanical items is a fun past time any more.

#16 Raginar

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 10:07 PM

I'd love to know :) I got a call in to Genie too, just to see if there is anything I can do about it.

#17 mikey cee

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:35 AM

Mike:
Two questions:
1/ How long are those guards? I see a torque moment problem with 12 feet or or more of PVC hanging beyond the roof support outrigger beams. I don't see how I can support 'em. :(

2/ Any hints on how to rip long sections of PVC safely on a table/radial arm saw? I think I can manage it although I am not looking forward to the operation.

They were cut from standard 8' lengths. You can snap two chalk lines 180° apart. Then cut them with a jigsaw or circular saw. I used a table saw with a clamped wood jig at the rip fence. As far as wind lifting goes you can make some metal hoops out of heavy aluminum wire and hang them at the end around your track and support beam. My roof only goes out about 3' shy of the end of the track supports. Because they are light hanging over about 5' is no problem.

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#18 dawziecat

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:40 AM

I am mulling over the suggestions on this thread.
I anticipate that stuff like freezing rain and wet,slushy snow that freezes after falling, could be a problem. I did not anticipate at all that mere hoarfrost could cause me grief! :( I am not really sure just what froze up on me. It was not likely the tracks at all. More likely frost seized the wheels.
This was not a problem that I could not open the roof because ice had blocked the tracks. The tracks were completely clear, and dry when I opened the roof. Then hoarfrost formed over everything exposed and the roof seized.
When you're cold, its dark and you've been up all night, you don't want to spend a lot of time out there trouble shooting an entirely unanticipated problem. So I did not see precisely what was sticking and where.

I can't see the long lengths of pvc cut in half working for me. In the first place, my tracks are mounted on the sides of the supporting beams, not on top. Secondly, unlike Mike, my roof is full-length, not a two piecer. I would be dealing with 14 foot lengths that could not support their own weight hanging out in thin air. Furthermore, I had not planned for this. There is no room on top of the support beams to mount covers with a hinge. They would obstruct the roof when they were rotated up. The gap between the roof and outrigger beams is only about 5/8".

It seems I need something light and removable, for use when I anticipate snow will occur.

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#19 Raginar

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:22 AM

Dawsie,

Make sure you drill some drain holes in the bottom of your track near the building. Prevents water from coming in.

#20 csa/montana

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

I would think with the weight of the roof, that even if the wheels did stick, because of frost, that they would roll under the weight. If the wheels did indeed freeze; even heattape along the bottom of the trough (for rollers) probably would be of little value. Possibly lubricate the wheels with something that is good for cold weather. :shrug:

#21 dawziecat

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:03 PM

Hi Guys:
Thanks for the suggestions. Holes in track are drilled. Won't help with frost though.

I will get some spray machine oil and give the wheels a good shot.

Contractor left today but will get me steel flashing to cover the rails against snow. Same stuff as the roofing end pieces . . . seems almost "made to order," it fits the 4X4 and rail assembly so well. They will have to be removed before and replaced after each session though. Fortunately, only an issue in winter . . . and when precipitation is forecast.

#22 Mary B

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:52 PM

WD40 is horrible stuff, attracts dust and dirt and evaporates away fast. They make a windshield defrost spray that could be used if they freeze, and a good low temp lube like SuperLube on the wheels and maybe in the track?

#23 dawziecat

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:05 PM

WD40 is horrible stuff . . .


WHAT? :bigshock: :bigshock: :bigshock:

Sacrilege! :ohgeeze: :ohgeeze: :ohgeeze:

What's next? A slur against duct tape?? :foreheadslap:

Seriously. Thanks for the hint. I will be looking for this stuff at the local hardware store.

#24 dawziecat

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:20 PM

Roof was seized shut this morning. I am pretty sure it is the bearings in the steel roller wheels. I squirted liquid grease into them, rolled the roof back and forth a few times to distribute the gunk and closed back up. Checked back a few hours later and all was well. Temperature is currently minus 8C (17F). Won't be sure until tomorrow morning I suppose.

#25 Norm Meyer

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:36 PM

WD40 displaces water I would think it would help eliminate
moisture to prevent freeze up. :coldday: But then again what do I know! :shrug:

Norm






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