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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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BCB
Undercover Saboteur
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Look over your shoulder
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4743732 - 08/12/11 08:00 AM

Have you considered using u shaped track, or 2x2x 1/8 L extruded aluminum for your wheels? You could mount it to the tops of your rails and eliminate those outer edge wood guides. Would clean it up visually, and definitely keep the roof from sliding/rolling off the edge.

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shawnhar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: BCB]
      #4743826 - 08/12/11 09:39 AM

I agree 100% with what Rich said about the boards on the extension drooping in that orientation. It will happen very fast! You should be able to reinforce them with vertically oriented boards underneath.
Good Luck!


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Al8236
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/18/10

Loc: 48.9173N 122.1390W
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: shawnhar]
      #4743949 - 08/12/11 10:46 AM

I agree with some form of track. Even something as simple as a 1x4 along side your rail just held up a bit.
I think you will find that pushing the roof perfectly straight to not catch the corners on the uprights will not be something you want to be fighting in the middle of the nite!
Al


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: Al8236]
      #4746554 - 08/13/11 07:56 PM Attachment (207 downloads)

Today I set a goal of getting the shed "done". It started off with assembling the roof. The roof gables were screwed to the 2x4 frame with deck screws run through large washer to prevent tearing the metal.

Edited by tulit (08/13/11 07:58 PM)


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4746559 - 08/13/11 08:00 PM Attachment (175 downloads)

In retrospect, I should have assembled the roof on the ground rather than the top of the shed. I just didn't have anyone else handy at the moment to get the roof frame back down off the shed. A couple of the screws were a pain to get at, but I was able to get it all eventually.

As another note, don't do this step in full sun! The panels themselves got scorching hot. I don't understand why they painted them brown. I may repaint them white to keep the heat down.

Edited by tulit (08/13/11 08:01 PM)


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4746570 - 08/13/11 08:05 PM Attachment (190 downloads)

A flaw also developed with the little 2x4 uprights. I didn't account for the fact that the roof overhangs the gables so they interfere. No worries, I didn't like them (and no one else seemed to either).

Since I had a lot of 2x4's left, I decided to attach them to the perimeter of the rails to act as guides. This also acts as a solution to the drooping wood some people brought up concerns with.

However, this isn't ideal as it doesn't seal the joint as completely as it could. I should really be attaching something like 1x6's along the roof section itself. I may go back and change this later as I still need to come up with a weather sealing strategy for all sides of the roof.


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4746572 - 08/13/11 08:07 PM Attachment (189 downloads)

The whole assembly rolls incredibly smoothly and doesn't bind at all.
I can easily open and close the roof with a single hand.


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4746575 - 08/13/11 08:08 PM Attachment (148 downloads)

The telescope still needs the 8" pier extension to get to the proper height. The whole setup is pretty usable as it is already though.

Edited by tulit (08/13/11 08:08 PM)


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4746577 - 08/13/11 08:10 PM Attachment (184 downloads)

Getting ready to try it out tonight. Hopefully the sky clears up a bit more.

I need to pick up some turnbuckles as well tomorrow to allow the roof to be firmly attached to the frame when it is closed. I plan on just putting one in each corner.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4746673 - 08/13/11 09:28 PM

That is really cool. It seems to be just the right size. The rail supports will definitely help. You still need one across the end since the uprights aren't straight under the track.

The brown roof is a definite non-starter. You have the right idea with painting it white.

-Rich


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4746682 - 08/13/11 09:32 PM

Quote:

You still need one across the end since the uprights aren't straight under the track.





Hi Rich. Not sure I follow?


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4747027 - 08/14/11 02:05 AM

The side rails are supported by a sideways board between them and the uprights when you look at it end-on. The outside ends will droop and turn out over time. A reinforcement similar to what you did along the sides will stiffen it up.

-Rich


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4747317 - 08/14/11 10:03 AM

Your observatory has turned out really nice! This should encourage others to build their observatory based on yours. Many feel because of the pricing of observatories, that they are out of their reach; you just proved them wrong!

I would also guess that now, most places will discount their sheds, so as not to have to hold them over till next year; so even better pricing.


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GraySkies
member


Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4747628 - 08/14/11 01:14 PM

That is an impressive and informative method for building an observatory. I hope to build a similar unit in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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RobVG
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/09/06

Loc: Seattle Washington
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: GraySkies]
      #4747643 - 08/14/11 01:24 PM

Good Idea and a very nice job.

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wormstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Central Ct
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: RobVG]
      #4750061 - 08/15/11 08:06 PM

Definitely give the sealing some thought, the flat track boards combined with the 2x4 on edge sticking up will tend to funnel water into the obs.
I had water that tended to run down my wood supports into the obs, but because I had the typical angle iron track I was able to cut a groove sideways across the rail supports to stop the water( little gutters basically in the wood under the angle.

Enjoy the obs, you will get out lots more in conditions that you could never be bothered with before!


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Chris Boar
sage
*****

Reged: 02/23/09

Loc: Vancouver Island, Canada
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: wormstar]
      #4830805 - 09/27/11 04:55 PM

An excellent option for a low cost observatory. After showing the 'CFO' this thead, I've now got business case sign off to build my own (shamelessly copying yours)

Do you have any issue with water getting in between the roof and the wooden frames?

Thanks,

Chris


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: Chris Boar]
      #4832412 - 09/28/11 02:56 PM

Quote:

An excellent option for a low cost observatory. After showing the 'CFO' this thead, I've now got business case sign off to build my own (shamelessly copying yours)

Do you have any issue with water getting in between the roof and the wooden frames?

Thanks,

Chris




I've put up some strategic flashing around the perimeter of the roof to prevent water from getting in-between. Ill try to post a photo, but it is pretty simple.

We've had some pretty big storms and its remained dry throughout. I haven't seemed to have any problems with water seeping in through the floor either, so haven't had to do anything to tackle that.


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: tulit]
      #4832652 - 09/28/11 05:15 PM

You could put some 3/4" quarter round on top of the rails to serve as a continuous guide for the wheels. When you push the roof it will be easier for the wheels to maintain alignment instead of "climbing up" the quarter round. This works well for a lightweight roof. Heavier roofs need steel wheels on steel angle.

Some steel angle (mounted underneath)would be a way to reinforce the rails to avoid sag.

JimC


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tulit
member


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: ON
Re: My $500 Roll off Roof Observatory Build new [Re: Mirzam]
      #4832739 - 09/28/11 06:08 PM

Quote:

You could put some 3/4" quarter round on top of the rails to serve as a continuous guide for the wheels. When you push the roof it will be easier for the wheels to maintain alignment instead of "climbing up" the quarter round. This works well for a lightweight roof. Heavier roofs need steel wheels on steel angle.

Some steel angle (mounted underneath)would be a way to reinforce the rails to avoid sag.

JimC




Could, but it already easily rolls already with one hand.


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