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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Gold Mtn Observatory
      #3748941 - 04/16/10 03:13 PM Attachment (405 downloads)

I'm just setting the ground work for my new thread on the build of my new OB for my new 10"f/15 refractor.

It will be an 18X18 roll off roof design..with tin roof.

Wood floor..8ft walls and most likely a 10/12 roof to accomodate my scope and pier adequately.

I'll be employing the services of my daughters boyfriend who just happens to be a framing contractor.....I'm happy.

I will be using rigid casters on an alternating system that will allow every other caster to ride on the opposite side of a wall cap wood rail. This way I can safe money and still provide a safe and secure rolling system.

One last note: if you need framing help(Locally) Tim is available..he's awesome and very skilled.

Here is a drawing of the alternating caster.

Rob


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3749087 - 04/16/10 04:41 PM

Rob; we'll be looking forward to following the build of your new observatory, thru many photos; we hope!

Congratulations!


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: csa/montana]
      #3749199 - 04/16/10 05:43 PM

Quote:

Rob; we'll be looking forward to following the build of your new observatory, thru many photos; we hope!

Congratulations!




Carol.....I'm the photo king. Just as I have flooded the band waves with images of me 10"f/15 build(Over 1 1/2 years) and its subsequent *first light*..I will fill this forum with ample amounts of visual overload.

My plans are in place...just waiting for the funds to appear. Hired my help. I have to begin digging the 4X5'hole into which the large cement footer will be poured.

3 1/2" lag bolts will secure my 8ft steel pier and optical wares. I will then build the block supported wood floor...walls then tin roof. When I begin building the structure..I hope to be finished in a weekend.

Rob(I'm a picture guru)


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quantumac
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/17/07

Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3749245 - 04/16/10 06:12 PM

It took me and my step-dad about four months to build a 10' x 12' ROR observatory, working on the weekends. He was an architect and I had a dream. He knew what he as doing. He taught me some stuff about building a structure which would last. Fifteen years later, he's gone, but the observatory itself is still standing and still quite functional. It's been through high winds and all kinds of weather.

I'm not saying you couldn't put yours together in a single weekend. I'm sure people have. I know it was a lot of work to do right. Simply put, your mileage may vary.


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Avi
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 12/19/09

Loc: San Tan Valley, Arizona
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: quantumac]
      #3749257 - 04/16/10 06:19 PM

Agreed. My 10x20 is going on 4 months, and probably won't be done until early June.

Of course I'm the only one doing work on it, so there's that to factor in.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: quantumac]
      #3749269 - 04/16/10 06:25 PM

Quote:

It took me and my step-dad about four months to build a 10' x 12' ROR observatory, working on the weekends. He was an architect and I had a dream. He knew what he as doing. He taught me some stuff about building a structure which would last. Fifteen years later, he's gone, but the observatory itself is still standing and still quite functional. It's been through high winds and all kinds of weather.

I'm not saying you couldn't put yours together in a single weekend. I'm sure people have. I know it was a lot of work to do right. Simply put, your mileage may vary.




Thanks..so much for your advice and encouragement.

I will have all the cement work done before we begin the floor and walls. Cuts and waste will be to a minimum..since the walls are 8ft and it is 18ft square.

I talked to my contractor even today and he said we should have it water tight by the end of the second day.

I know Scott Horstman has built OB's in a weekend. I hope to have pleanty of hands on site to help as well.

Setting the window and door...will come later...so will the electrical..and paint.

I'm looking to have it weather tight by weekends end.

Rob (we'll see if my eyes are bigger then my stomoch)


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Chris Schroeder
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/11/04

Loc: N.E. WI Sky Glow
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3750370 - 04/17/10 11:10 AM

I hope everthing goes as planned Rob, please take and post plenty of photos

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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3750595 - 04/17/10 02:23 PM

Congrats on the new build!

Please post photos as and when you can.

Regards,

skybsd


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RobVG
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/09/06

Loc: Seattle Washington
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3752767 - 04/18/10 06:07 PM


Hi Rob

I'm really looking forward to your build. May it go smoothly.

Rob


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Mel M
super member
*****

Reged: 05/04/08

Loc: southern Oregon
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3752811 - 04/18/10 06:36 PM

4' x 5' hole? Consider using longer bolts with a 90 bend at the end. Your stuff is big.

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Mel M]
      #3753371 - 04/18/10 11:27 PM

Quote:

4' x 5' hole? Consider using longer bolts with a 90 bend at the end. Your stuff is big.




Thanks to everyone and their fine comments and encouragemnts.

I will use lots of rebar and I will be using ft long *J* bolts for anchors. I want those bolts deep. Funny thing thought...the scopes been out in the drive for over 2 weeks now and NO PROBLEMS. Keeping it tucked under the scope shop roof eve helps protect it against wind and stuff like that. It is very stable on its pier...but bolted down will mean rock solid........

Rob


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Scott Horstman
Vendor - Backyard Observatories
*****

Reged: 03/11/04

Loc: Here, There and Everywhere
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3753530 - 04/19/10 01:57 AM

Shoot me a PM if I can be of any help Rob. Looking forward to seeing that scope in a nice home!

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Scott Horstman]
      #3754421 - 04/19/10 01:49 PM

Quote:

Shoot me a PM if I can be of any help Rob. Looking forward to seeing that scope in a nice home!




Thanks Scott..I was going to ask if I could bounce ideas off you and seek your advice.

Secondly..I think I've finally decided on steel wheel fixed caster. They are still $10 a pop..but alternating them over a fixed central rail will still be economical but will not bind like compressing rubber wheels. Even though I'm convinced 13 per side would transfer the weight and allow them to roll with ease. A motorized roof doesn't care.....so I'm not quite sure of all the *hoopla* over making the roll off with *L* iron and expensive *v* casters.

I have no criticism for anyone who uses this method...it is very stable and prefered......

But.....

I'm looking to save any were I can. PLus I know several OB owners who use the method I want to use and they have had great success for over 10 years..with no adverse problems.

Clearing the site and digging a *BIG* hole is my first step.

Just had to finish up some alterations to the mount and drive on the scope...so next light will be better.

Thanks so very much Scott.

Rob(starting soon) got to have a good plan first.


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wormstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Central Ct
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3754609 - 04/19/10 03:26 PM

Not sure what "hoopla" you refer too , but my v-wheels were only 20$ each and i only needed 6(only 10x10), They have a high load rating and I can't imagine you would need more than 8 unless you under-design the support structure.
http://www.laornamental.com/Store/Gate-Accessories.html


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3754645 - 04/19/10 03:38 PM

I put my rail on the inside of the observatory walls. The rolling system is like that on a roller coaster. Most of the casters are on top of the track supporting the roof. There are also casters pushing against the side of the walls. This keeps the roof straight as these casters stop the roof from turning and binding against the walls. There are also three casters on either side facing upward, riding on the bottom of the track to prevent the roof from lifting.

This method will allow me to make a very effective weather strip between the roof and walls as there is less than an inch of space between the two. The building will be like a walk in freezer. It will be insulated and sealed as well as I can possibly do so, but that's another subject.

This might give you an idea of what I'm doing. About twelve messages down the thread is a link to a photo of the roof under construction.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3474112/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

I considered many methods for rolling the roof off the building. This was the method I was most comfortable with. I'm confident that the building will withstand just about anything short of a tornado.

Lorence


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: wormstar]
      #3754851 - 04/19/10 04:43 PM

Quote:

Not sure what "hoopla" you refer too , but my v-wheels were only 20$ each and i only needed 6(only 10x10), They have a high load rating and I can't imagine you would need more than 8 unless you under-design the support structure.
http://www.laornamental.com/Store/Gate-Accessories.html




I apologize...The *hoopla* I was refering to was..that nearly everyone who commented to my design....suggested your design instead..because of certain benefits percieved by the owner of your design(*V* grooved casters on inverted angle iron). PLease believe me...that design is an exceptional design...IF snow is one of your problems...and IF you are hand opening...and ...IF the cost difference between your design(for my application) $350+ verses less then $75~$150 is not an issue. Plus I prefer a closer tolerance then the 5"~6" required with these casters.

The steel angle iron is screwed to treated lumber..there for it is weather resistant. My system places a treated rail onto the same treated lumber....therefor STILL weather resistant. It really is a matter of preferences not functionality.

That's just me...I mean no disrespect.

I build scopes using cooking pots remember.

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Lorence]
      #3754859 - 04/19/10 04:47 PM

Quote:

I put my rail on the inside of the observatory walls. The rolling system is like that on a roller coaster. Most of the casters are on top of the track supporting the roof. There are also casters pushing against the side of the walls. This keeps the roof straight as these casters stop the roof from turning and binding against the walls. There are also three casters on either side facing upward, riding on the bottom of the track to prevent the roof from lifting.

This method will allow me to make a very effective weather strip between the roof and walls as there is less than an inch of space between the two. The building will be like a walk in freezer. It will be insulated and sealed as well as I can possibly do so, but that's another subject.

This might give you an idea of what I'm doing. About twelve messages down the thread is a link to a photo of the roof under construction.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3474112/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

I considered many methods for rolling the roof off the building. This was the method I was most comfortable with. I'm confident that the building will withstand just about anything short of a tornado.

Lorence





Very impressive roll off roof design Lorence.

What kind of rail system are you using...steel wheels or some kind of rubber wheeled caster. You sure have pleanty of them......

Rob


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Buhlig
sage
*****

Reged: 12/03/07

Loc: Derby, KS
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3756728 - 04/20/10 01:28 PM

FWIW, I tried to roll rubber casters on wood for a 12x16 and it was too hard. Also the wood dents in very easy and kept getting hung up. If you place a steel plate for the rollers, it helps...I opted for a similar implementation with a aluminum c-channel with rubber casters...I'm going to v-groove and steel this summer. It works, but it still pretty hard to move (500lbs winch). I also have a steel roof.

Sean


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Buhlig]
      #3756889 - 04/20/10 02:34 PM

Quote:

FWIW, I tried to roll rubber casters on wood for a 12x16 and it was too hard. Also the wood dents in very easy and kept getting hung up. If you place a steel plate for the rollers, it helps...I opted for a similar implementation with a aluminum c-channel with rubber casters...I'm going to v-groove and steel this summer. It works, but it still pretty hard to move (500lbs winch). I also have a steel roof.

Sean




Sean..You said you have a steel roof. Is that over OSB?

I figure 20 2x6's weighs about 400lb and the metal roof..about 100lb....total 500lb distributed over 14 rollers.
Each will carry 35lb.

Even if I use steel wheel rollers it will still cost less then *V* grooved rollers and angle iron.

Rob


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3756908 - 04/20/10 02:39 PM

Quote:



Very impressive roll off roof design Lorence.

What kind of rail system are you using...steel wheels or some kind of rubber wheeled caster. You sure have plenty of them.

Rob




The rails are 3 inch C channel steel mounted vertically. The hard rubber casters ride on the narrow side of the channel.

The roof must weigh 5 to 6 hundred lbs. I can push it with one hand. I'm only guessing but I'd say it takes about a 40-50 lb. push to move the roof.

I did use a lot of casters. Temps. here drop below -40 deg. in winter. There is nothing harder on any sort of machinery than extreme cold. That and the possibility of a extra ton of snow on the roof were my reasons for spreading the load out over a lot of casters. The additional cost was negligible and well worth the peace of mind knowing that even under the most extreme conditions the load on each caster is well within it's design capabilities.

Buy the way these casters are very quiet, not that it's important where I am, but where neighbors are close it may be an important consideration.

As for my reasons for doing what I did, I'm on my own out here. I only know of one other amateur astronomer within a hundred miles. The only things around here resembling an observatory would be referred to a chicken coop or granary. Every decision was based on better to be safe than sorry. There is just too much time and material involved to cheap out and have to deal with problems down the line.

Good luck with your project.

Lorence


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