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do you worry about a roll off roof blowing off?

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#26 csa/montana

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:04 PM

My ROR has turnbuckles. It's withstood 70 mph gusts with no problem.



Same here, and if the ROR goes, I won't worry, because the roof on my house would probably also be gone. :p

#27 Alex McConahay

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:18 AM

We have a set of fifteen observatories at our club. Most of us have some kind of tie downs. Mine are simple gate latches. When the roof is closed, I simply slide the latch into the hole drilled in the side beam. Never had a problem.

There seem to be two kinds of answers in this thread. One is about the roof blowing off. The other is about it blowing open. As for blowing off, most of our observatories have nylon wheels running in some kind of C channel.(The wheel is captured both top and bottom. )So we have no blow off issues.

However, if we do not properly secure our roofs, we have had them blow open in a strong desert wind.

Alex

#28 groz

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:21 PM

This is all very interesting stuff. We are still planning our build, and I am madly saving pictures from this thread. Strong winds are not the norm here, but, 100 knots does happen at least once each winter. I've been pondering how to do things so that a roof that moves, cant blow off easily, and ideally doesn't require human intervention to set locks in place, which kind of defeats the concept of automated observatory.

I really like the rails with keepers concepts.

#29 rlandsboro

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:45 PM

On my small roll-off (which I open by hand) I cut 3/4" x 3/4" slots in the outsides of the horizontal beams that support the roof when it rolls off. The moving roof portion then has L-shape metal lagged into it that fits into these slots with just enough clearance that it will not impede easy movement. Thus there is nothing I need to do to prevent the roof from blowing off - since the metal cannot escape the slot. Then when the roof is closed I use a padlock for security that prevents the roof from opening - either by people or strong wind. (I probably got the ideas here.)

#30 Orion58

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:38 PM

Hi Lee

My solution was to install these near the four corners. Each of these consists of two ½ inch eyebolts, 12 inches in length with a ½ inch turnbuckle securing them. The top eyebolt goes completely through the beam and with washers/double nuts on the exterior side.

One thing to remember is that the system is only as strong as its weakest link. In this case it is the lag screws that secure the bottom framework into the studs. In my situation the system only needs to be strong enough to hold the roof in place until the first metal roof panel is torn off – in which case the uplift decreases.

This is likely a bit of overkill but I always sleep soundly even when the wind is howling. ..

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#31 Orion58

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:42 PM

Another view

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#32 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:43 PM

We have a set of fifteen observatories at our club. Most of us have some kind of tie downs. Mine are simple gate latches. When the roof is closed, I simply slide the latch into the hole drilled in the side beam. Never had a problem.

There seem to be two kinds of answers in this thread. One is about the roof blowing off. The other is about it blowing open. As for blowing off, most of our observatories have nylon wheels running in some kind of C channel.(The wheel is captured both top and bottom. )So we have no blow off issues.

However, if we do not properly secure our roofs, we have had them blow open in a strong desert wind.

Alex



Here is how I deal with the "Blow Open" problem. It is a simple gravity activated latch, something like a door latch. I use a DC motor to "Unlock" the roof, This pulls the latch rod out from under the latch. Then the roof can be opened. When I'm closing the roof, I reverse the DC motor to raise the latch rod. When the roof comes to the closed position, The latch plate pushes the rod down until it finds the hole in the latch plate. Then the rod raised into the hole to lock the roof closed.
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#33 LoveChina61

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:49 AM

I was concerned that my roof might blow off while trying to roll it shut. Call me paranoid, but the desert winds can pick up suddenly. I envisioned my roof flying off like a kite. My observatory is 12ft long so I went ahead and purchased two more 14-15ft V-rails just like the rails that my roof rollers ride upon.

I mounted them up near the top of the wall with one lip of the V-rails protruding straight out. This formed a lip that enabled me to then hang a pair of some very strong "L" shaped brackets (3/8" steel) to ride along under the lip of the rail.

This is similar to the idea mentioned above in BYoesle's post. I was able to remotely operate the observatory's webcam to snap the picture below. Sorry I can't come up with a better picture right now. The blue arrow points to the V-rail which begins here and runs along the top of the wall towards the left another 14ft or so. The red arrow is pointing to the strong "L" brackets that ride under the lip of the protruding V-rail.

I did the same thing on the opposite wall of the observatory so that both sides of the roof will be held secure as the roof rolls open and shut. I am not as concerned about the roof flying off in the left-to-right direction cause my garage door motor set up grips it tightly and prevents it from flying off in that direction. But I don't want the roof flying straight up like a kite. All along the route, the roof is now held securely in place. These "L" brackets have gone a long way in helping me feel secure. It only cost about $50 for both of the extra rails so it was a relatively cheap and easy fix.

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#34 tuo

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

Here is my solution. Got the locks cheap in the bay, normally used for car hangers. One on each corner, and two on the outside (pictured) to secure the roof when open.

regards

Ulrik

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#35 tuo

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:27 PM

And inside

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#36 Alex McConahay

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:39 PM

>>>>>normally used for car hangers.

What is a car hanger? Sorry, I just cannot figure it out.

Alex

#37 tuo

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:11 PM

Sorry, english is not my native tongue.

Is car trailer correct? The thing you hang on your car to carry stuff ;)

Edit:
this

#38 rlandsboro

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:20 PM

It almost looks like what I would call a hitch lock. You raise a lever to seat your hitch on the ball, then lower the lever to lock the hitch to the ball. Then you pass this lock pin through the hole under the lever. Then the lever cannot raise and release the ball. It's a common item - some are made with keyed locks.

But with the small mounting plates, this particular item looks like a small but complete 2-piece trailer hitch - but not for over the road use. More likely for a small garden trailer and atv?

#39 vsteblina

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:21 PM

I used screw in turnbuckles. Then the eight by eight metal roof went for a "walk" one windy night. It missed my wife's brand new Honda Accord by a foot, the neighbors car by two feet and ended up a half block away.

Thankfully, it was outside of town so mostly rural.

I replace all the turnbuckels with large C-Clamps.

#40 Raginar

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:29 PM

Wow, did you take pictures?

#41 Alex McConahay

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:12 AM

Okay, That thing you hitch to a car is called a trailer.....a "Utility trailer" in the picture. I just don't see how those latches are used on a trailer.

Not that it matters. Seriously, anybody who cannot figure out a simple latching system to hold their roof down using gate hardware, trailer hardware, turnbuckles, or whatever, just does not have an imagination.

Alex

#42 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

I use two tie downs in each corner secured between 5/8 inch forged eye bolts through the framing of the wall corner and the roof base framing, plus two 5/8 inch pins through the roof base framing into the wall on the south corners, which is the direction the strongest winds blow from. I think the stamped turnbuckles (the commoner kind) are too weak to secure a roof the size of mine (approx 18 x 18 ft).

#43 Aircrftr

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:00 PM

It's been an icy, rainy day and I've been home all day so I thought I'd go out to the observatory and show what I done to insure the roof doesn't blow off. The roof assembly has pins bolted to the roof frame which is 1/4" X 4" angle iron for this particular part and the receiver for these pins are bolted to the structure of the observatory walls. There are only two of these and they are located in the middle. The pins engage the receivers while it is closed and the garage door opener chain/cable rigging insure the roof won't move forward or backward to allow the pin/receivers to disengage without intentionally opening the roof with the opener.

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#44 Aircrftr

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:01 PM

the other side...

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#45 Aircrftr

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:02 PM

And the garage door opener that keeps the roof where it is, not allowing the roof to open without actually operating.

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#46 tim57064

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:54 AM

Aircrftr,Your ceiling is intriguing.Do you have images of your OBS?

#47 Aircrftr

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:03 AM

Sure, This is the outside. Anything in particular you were interested in?

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#48 Midnight Dan

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:23 PM

:jawdrop:

Wow! Gorgeous observatory! First time I've seen one with a gambrel roof.

-Dan

#49 Aircrftr

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:27 PM

Thanks! The whole thing was mainly napkin design and off the top of my head. Every bit of it built by myself. It's worked out really well for me. :)

#50 vsteblina

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:35 PM

Wow, did you take pictures?


No, the roof actually survived in good shape. It even stayed "square" after its trip down the street.

However, it weighed close to a hundred pounds so the damage to the vehicles would have been significant.

The observatory was on the street. Right next to the county road without a fence. So when I looked out that morning and saw the roof missing I thought someone had broken into the observatory. I walked out there and the telescope, eyepieces, and computer were all still there.

Then I had to start looking for the roof!

I am impressed with all the solutions for the blown roof problem. We generally did not get much wind in that location, but that one gust was enough to get me to pay attention.

I think I will keep this thread on file for the next observatory.






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