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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Materials for ROR design
      #5271624 - 06/14/12 05:08 PM

So, I've designed on the ROR design. It will be a 12x20 foot shed with a 12x14 foot roll off, the remaining 6 feet will probably be a warm/cold room; I'm a weather wimp :-)

Can someone recommend a supplier of the rollers and track for a ROR design? Fr a 12x14 foot roof Rhere would be 2x28ft continuous track and associated rollers.

Also, would like motor driven, so a motor supplier.

And suggest metal columner Pier suppliers.

I have my contractor looking at preliminary box designs and I have to supply "my parts" for the puzzle; roller design, pier, etc... For his wood box and footings. I'm on an incline at one corner of the warm/cold room is up hill. The portion with the Pier is on a flat area, and will be raised about 2-3 feet.

I'll post some pictures of the area...

Edited by MRNUTTY (06/14/12 05:24 PM)


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5271662 - 06/14/12 05:35 PM

A will be the ROR part with Pier. B is the Warm/Cold room. I need a concrete slab for my Dob adjacent to the shed, or change the size of the ROR section to get my eyeballs out.

Here is the site:



Here are two views of the view:

Polar:



Panorama:



So, as you can see, luckily I have a view of Polaris and a lowest extent toward the South. Sadly, there is a city there with a not so subtle light dome, but it's better than trees. Just SW there are two very high pine trees on my property that I can cut the tops off of eventually. But to the NNE the even taller pine trees there are on my neighbors property. I don't' need to remove those as it doesn't improve the view, only the timing of the view. The house blocks the Western sky to about 45º. It's a very workable situation once you get past the lack of Western alignment stars.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5271720 - 06/14/12 06:23 PM

Start calling garage door companies in your area. I called a couple and found them. Some people have reported really good deals (aka Free) others (like me) paid quite a bit for them (~300 bucks for 48 ft + rollers). Just depends on the company.

Good luck!


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Raginar]
      #5271729 - 06/14/12 06:31 PM

Great idea Chris! I'll call the guys that did my garage :-)

Someone posted a pier company on the pier thread about putting material between the pier and the anchor block in the last month or so, but I can't find it.

What books do you folks recommend?


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dobsoscope
sage
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Reged: 05/24/06

Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5272316 - 06/15/12 06:15 AM

Totally out of topic.. but how did you shoot that aerial photo?

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: dobsoscope]
      #5272411 - 06/15/12 08:17 AM

Still a fun topic! Thanks!

It's isn't really an aerial, it's a panorama mapped into a flattened polar coordinate system. I used an app called 360 Panorama by Occipital Although there are quite a few apps that do this for iPad and iPhone. The coolest examples are done with a real camera and a program like Hugin. Check out the Gallery here. Defiantly fun to use at places like Disney World for instance. This time is presented an concise why of describing the visibility of my site. Of yeah, the app produced both the polar flat map, and the flat panorama without any special settings. You can even load them back in to the app and use an 'augmented visualization' to see the 360 space on your iPad the way it looked when you took it. Great for 'just being there again'. It's such a cool age for for technology; ludicrous development rate with little limits on expansion. So many incredible advances in commoditizing my favorite tech made my dreams come true; recording studio, observatory, iPad & iPhone!

Thanks for going off topic with me :-)


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Orion58
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/11

Loc: Southern Wisconsin
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5272488 - 06/15/12 09:29 AM

First of all, good luck on your project!

I am in the final phase of my observatory construction and got a LOT of my materials from McMaster-Carr

http://www.mcmaster.com/#

and the drive motor (for my 12' x 20' roll off) was from Harbor Freight

http://www.harborfreight.com/1300-lb-capacity-electric-hoist-2954.html

I don't know exactly what your design is, but these suppliers would have pretty much anything you needed.

Again, good luck with your project!


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Orion58]
      #5272552 - 06/15/12 10:17 AM

For piers, try looking at a few local metal salvage yards. A pier shape with a welded base, a stout column, and top plate is a form needed in lots of industrial roles, but is just scrap afterwards. I was able to buy a 43" column with beautifully welded top and bottom for $46. If you find one you like, you can have it modified if needed, then have it sandblasted and powder coated to finish the job.

-Rich


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5273041 - 06/15/12 03:11 PM

Bruce - oh yes. McMasters, it's been so long since I've looked at one of those catalogs. We used to have them at work when we did a ton of hardware engineering. Now that it's mostly software and architecture, catalogs are a thing of the past. Time to warm up the time machine!

Rich - I've seen people go that way successfully. I have very little in the way of experience with metal work and scraps. Looks like you made out terrifically! I was able to find those urls for prefab "engineered piers" :-) I don't mind spending a couple hundred on it. This isn't a DYI budget project.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
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Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5273130 - 06/15/12 03:46 PM

Quote:

Bruce - oh yes. McMasters, it's been so long since I've looked at one of those catalogs. We used to have them at work when we did a ton of hardware engineering. Now that it's mostly software and architecture, catalogs are a thing of the past. Time to warm up the time machine!

Rich - I've seen people go that way successfully. I have very little in the way of experience with metal work and scraps. Looks like you made out terrifically! I was able to find those urls for prefab "engineered piers" :-) I don't mind spending a couple hundred on it. This isn't a DYI budget project.




It's good to know your economy can offord the best. Try checking into pipe companies that carry steal underground pipe that have prefabbed end flanges. I have such a place right down the road and they even have surplus stuff that came out of the ground for cheep. Clean it up have it painted/powder coated anf you have a great steal pier ready made. I'm one of those DIYers and I saved so much money building my 18x18 ROR OB by myself I was able to buy much supplies for making the scope and pier too. The engineered trusses alone would have cost me $1000.. I build the same for $300 myself, using the same engineered drawings. Save that kind of money again and again..and you can buy more astro gear....

Well anyway...looks like you're onto a good start.

Good luck.

Rob


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #5273318 - 06/15/12 05:37 PM

Thanks Rob, I just don't have the mileage left on my back to do any of this stuff myself. I certainly don't have the best, and while it's not the worst either, I have to use off the shelf parts as much as possible.

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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5273517 - 06/15/12 08:17 PM

Sky shed is my recommendation. The plans are easy enough for any carpenter to build .

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MCinAZ
journeyman
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Reged: 07/23/11

Loc: Central Arizona
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5284717 - 06/23/12 01:22 AM

If you haven't purchased rollers yet, I recommend V-groove wheels. Tom Polakis and I used 4" wheels from Grainger for his 8' x 10' building earlier this year. They're rated at 900 pounds each, so four of them are more than adequate for his roof. There are several advantages to this type of wheel. First, the roof tracks very precisely, so you can minimize the gaps at the edges. Second, the inverted angle iron used for tracks is readily available, relatively inexpensive and self-cleaning. 1" x 1" x 1/4" angle works well.

I cut 3" lengths of 1/4 x 1 hot-rolled steel, drilled 3/16" holes on each end of them, then we had them welded to the angle iron every foot or so. We set the tracks up on the sills, lowered the roof onto them, rolled the roof a couple of times to get everything aligned, then ran #10 x 1-1/2" S.S. pan head screws with washers into the sills to hold everything in place. A few shims here and there to accommodate slight irregularities in the walls, and we were good to go.

Tom's roof is small enough that it can be rolled manually without too much effort, so we didn't motorize it. If I were to do so, I'd probably start with a chain drive garage opener. Lots of adjustment range, and some built-in safety features. You need to consider the need to keep the roof from lifting off in the wind if you go this route.

Grainger doesn't sell to individuals, but it's easy to set up an account with them. Mine is in the name of my backyard observatory. The one I don't even have.

-- Mike --


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MCinAZ]
      #5287055 - 06/24/12 04:46 PM

Thanks Mike! I have a a guy with an Grainger account to used in my last project. Great source :-) what you describe ,ay be a little too much fab for the folks I generally use - I don't know a good welder.

Chris - i'll check out skyshed!


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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5287254 - 06/24/12 07:08 PM

John,

I like my skyshed's ROR design. The tracks and roof were simple enough to do on my own and the track helps anchor the roof permanently to the structure. The tracks are easily found @ a local garage door supplier and can be cut with a regular saw-z-all (metal blade of course).

Good luck


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Raginar]
      #5312057 - 07/10/12 09:36 PM

I bought a set of Backyard Observatory's plans to help guide my contractor over the holes in my plans :-) the plans are well done, worth the money. I've also picked out their Omega II pier, it's got some nice features. When I inquired into mating it with a CGEM-DX and an iEQ45, they said they hadn't heard of them. I was looking into Dan's pier plates. Since they have adapters for both these mounts, should I get the pier plate and adapters, or just the adapters and have BYO mate with those common bolts patterns (based on Dan's pier plate).

Edited by MRNUTTY (07/10/12 09:39 PM)


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5332167 - 07/23/12 09:44 PM

BYO sending j-bolts and template for Omega II to concrete pier. Hope to pour all piers for OBS and Pier this week :-)

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5345915 - 07/31/12 07:48 PM

Today we broke ground on the Observatory site. A few changes from previous concept:

1) region marked A and B in the photos at the beginning of the thread are now reversed. The roof construction is easier, and more weather proof if it is a single 20 foot roll off roof instead of a 16 foot roll of roof, and a 4 foot stationary roof.

2) The hot/cold roof is positioned at the other end of the shed to facilitate the change in rolling off the roof. The hot/cold room will probably be 4 feet deep, just enough for a desk, some storage and a comfortable chair. The other option is to scotch the room and use it for free form storage. This would help stowage of the Discovery and setup since I would only have to move it a couple of feet. If I do forgo the room it is only because access to the finished basement in my house is only 2-30 feet away.

Several Utility PVC pipes would connect the Observatory and the house. Where it enters the house is conveniently right in the area of my workbench for Astro-projects. Inhospitable weather conditions would find me safely ensconced in the comfort and safety.

Here's the condition of the site after about 1/2 of the footing were dug.



Here's my contractor aligning the Sonotube footing. Our footing go down 40" to avoid frost heaves.



Naturally, it' supposed to rain a bit tonight.




Once the footings and Pier is poured and set we'll begin the framing.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5345963 - 07/31/12 08:19 PM

Grainger needs an account, McMaster-Carr doesn't.....comparable amounts and types of stuff.....
Russ


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5354615 - 08/06/12 11:03 AM

Thanks Russ!

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5362244 - 08/10/12 07:07 PM

picture updates. footings are poured. six footings for a 12x20 shed. we carved out a piece of the hill.

the concrete pier is 12 inches in diameter. i'm using a backyard observatory Omega II pier.



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HunterofPhotons
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5363401 - 08/11/12 02:08 PM

Why did you pour the footings level with the ground rather than having them stand proud of the ground?

dan k.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
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Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #5363439 - 08/11/12 02:40 PM

Mine are also at ground level (actually, about an inch below), with long threaded rods sticking up, and 6x6 PT blocks on them to get up to deck height, so if the obs ever goes away, I will only have to jackhammer one lump of concrete, not 5...... also, it looks a bit nicer with wood posts than with concrete.
Russ
R


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5364121 - 08/12/12 12:04 AM

A matter of taste I guess, Dan. My thinking is along Russ's. The overall building would be too imposing if I hoisted it on tall footings. The shed will sit on a gravel covered plastic sheet. The cut in to the slope will be faced with those retaining wall bricks. Had a lot of progress this week, the picture is a bit dated. I'll post more ASAP.

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5372979 - 08/17/12 11:16 AM

Next, gravel bed and retaining wall; the cement Pier base will extend up into the shed now. I'll redetermine the length of the Omega II Pier once all the walls are up. Not going to try to estimate this one again!

I've re-scoped the size of the roll off; out of the total 20 ft length, 15 ft will roll off over the top of the 5x12 ft warm/cold room. This allows me have a complete weather proof roof, and seal up the warm/cold room as much as possible.

I'm still debating where to stow the Dob. I considered building out the base of the shed to accommodate a deck level with the floor of the shed to place the dob outside the shed, but there isn't enough room to swing it about to make it worth it. Using it inside the shed also has it's share of complications.

This weeks picture.



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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5374697 - 08/18/12 01:17 PM

Looks awesome John

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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Raginar]
      #5375957 - 08/19/12 01:26 PM

Nice work Picture gives good impression of the size of the project.

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5392730 - 08/29/12 07:13 AM

Thanks for the encouragement folks! :-)

The BYO roof rollers came this week. What is a good source for the angle stock? I have homedepot, and a lot of plumbing and HVAC supply houses around, but no experience with this material.

Framing should start next week I hope. I'll post a rough picture of my design ASAP.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5392748 - 08/29/12 07:35 AM

The local metals supply house in my city is where I purchase stuff like that at the best price. They have mostly steel, but also other metals.

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HunterofPhotons
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5393195 - 08/29/12 01:12 PM

Quote:

..... What is a good source for the angle stock?.....




Yes, go to a metalworking shop. If they don't have it in stock, they can order it.
Get something suitable for exterior conditions like galvanized.
When I got mine I had them weld two sections together to make it a one piece track. They also welded cross pieces to make fastening easier.
They didn't even charge for delivery.

dan k.


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #5424170 - 09/16/12 06:06 PM

two more photos from last weeks progress. decking one; start the framing the walls. hopefully the Angle Iron will keep the walls from sagging.

Here's from the four season porch vantage point. You can start to see that I will be using the existing shed as the support for the roof off :-)



decking detail.



BTW, I was on Cape Cod last night at, the Seeing was awesome! I was up until 4am; half my time was split between Orion Nebula with the wide angle XW's, and Jupiter with my latest Siebert Mono's + Barlows; Beautiful sights and instruments *sigh*


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5425748 - 09/17/12 04:02 PM

more progress below. I called and got a quote on Angle Iron today. 31 ft x 2 sides of 2x2 inch angle Iron @ 1/4 inch think $170.00 plus $30 delivery.







Edited by MRNUTTY (09/17/12 04:54 PM)


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5426093 - 09/17/12 07:43 PM

John,

Looking real nice, there! a question: I believe I saw that you are planning to use your existing shed as support for your roof......is it on footings, or just blocks on the ground? my concern is that if it's just on blocks, if the ground freezes very deep, the shed will move up and down an inch or more each winter/spring, which will somewhat affect your roof travel. If you're using a power winch,. probably you'll be OK, but something to consider.......
Russ


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5426252 - 09/17/12 09:04 PM

Russ, that's exactly what my contractor and I were talking about today :-) The shed is indeed on blocks. It was built there ten years ago, so its settled as much as it's going to. But, we know that's not the same thing! We figured if it does become a problem we can always wait until spring and put footings in. I'm plannig to put I the winch motor that Byo sells. I'll give them a call and see if it can handle the extra load if the shed moves.

Thanks for the brain cycles!

It looks a little weird withou any windows... Does anyone out them in or at least fake ones for the neighbors? :-)

Edited by MRNUTTY (09/17/12 09:06 PM)


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roscoe
curmudgeon
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Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5426395 - 09/17/12 10:27 PM

You might consider a window or two - particularly one in the warm room - because you will likely be in there sometimes during the day, and it'll be really dark in there with no window..... If security is an issue, you could make plywood inner panels that are held in with turn-buttons or slide bolts, but easily removable when you want the light or fresh air.
If you're not too choosy about size, lumber yards and the big-boxes usually have a bargain bin, where you often find windows returned for some reason, at bargain prices.
R


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5426551 - 09/18/12 12:20 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

John, your observatory is really coming along nicely! Yes, I would recommend a window(s). I love mine; as sometimes I do go in during the day, & it's nice to be able to have light, without opening the roof, or turning the lights on. I put a self-cling sheet on my window; it allows the light to come thru, but one cannot see in. The window film goes on the wet glass & adheres, but can be removed easily.

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5426814 - 09/18/12 07:16 AM

You two convinced me! Russ with unassailable logic, and Carol with an excellent aesthetic. I was planning on horizontal casement window between the warm room and the 'hanger deck'; that only suffices when the roof is open. I could put one in both rooms on the south side. Hmm, more thinking to do!

Thanks folks!


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wormstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Central Ct
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5426990 - 09/18/12 09:46 AM

Is it possible to move the shed? I have moved small sheds on 4" PVC rollers, works pretty easy.

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: wormstar]
      #5427497 - 09/18/12 01:58 PM

Now, that is an interesting piece of info! I would love to push it back four feet. I just mace been whacked when I planned it out; I woke up at 3:30 this morning and came to the realization I had made a mistake; Instead of 15 ft. roll off, I've only got 11 ft.

Tell me more about how you did it! Did you jack the shed up? What was the process?


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roscoe
curmudgeon
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Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5427540 - 09/18/12 02:27 PM

John,
Your shed's on a hill, which will complicate things a bit, but..... if you can jack it up a little in place, and temporarily block it up a little in from the corners, you can get some 2x12's under the ends, and use some foot-long sections of plastic sewer pipe (the thick-wall stuff) - 3 on each side, with another one to stick under as it moves forward, (and it'll squirt one out the back in a minute), between the planks and the frame of the shed, and use a come-along to pull it forward. Because of your slant situation, you'll probably want another sturdy come-along or chain-fall aimed up at your obs, to keep it from rolling down the hill......
Then, when it's in place, jack it up level, and put new foundation blocks under it - or dig some small footings with a posthole digger if you're feeling ambitious. Ask your contractor, he has likely moved stuff before, and would likely think the project an enjoyable one....

I've moved/helped to move several sheds and buildings this way, it's pretty easy. We once moved an entire house 40 feet back from the road, onto a new foundation, using two sets of I-beams, one under the rollers, one over, (holding the house up), and steel pipe rollers, and we didn't even crack the drywall! It took three or four days to set it up, and 15 minutes to tow it with a small bulldozer.....The I-beams ended up in cleverly placed basement window openings, we only had to lower the house about an inch to set it in place.
Good luck!
Russ


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MRNUTTY
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5427753 - 09/18/12 04:24 PM

Russ, thanks a bunch for the detail. I'm almost sorry to say that when I got home the two sheds were already connected! They'd done such a nice job, i didn't have to heart to even ask about moving he shed :-) After I 'scoped' it out these dimensions work out fine. It turns out I was a tad cramped on the warm room anyway.

Here are new pictures. Some detail on the warm room at the end.











Here's the other project going on. A 4 season porch/room conversion; used to be the deck
we never used; always too hot and the deck was wobbly. The original contractor didn't put
and cross bracing to strengthen it.



This picture (below) was taken a little later after they finished up the interior room showing
the framing for the 'warm room'. There are two doors along the left hand side interior room
and rear wall. The wall will also have a 'awning' type casement window ( opens 'up' ) for
viewing the 'hanger deck' from a seated position in the 'warm room'.

The roof rolls off 11 feet. The interior wall is recessed an additional foot past the 11 feet.
to accommodate a one foot deep storage space in the 'hanger deck'. The storage space
will still being covered by the roof in the fully rolled off position.

The depth of the 'warm room' is then 8 feet. both doors open 'into the warm room' There
are windows placed on both the north and south wall; one in each of the 'warm room', and
'hanger deck'.



Here's a close up of he concrete pier. The BYO Omega II pier will have a home here. I need
to get the roof on, and the elevations of the mount and telescope to device on a final length
for the Omega II.



Edited by MRNUTTY (09/21/12 06:54 AM)


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roscoe
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5428084 - 09/18/12 07:17 PM

"Here's the other project going on. A 4 season porch/room conversion; used to be the deck
we never used; always too hot and the deck was wobbly. The original contractor didn't put
and cross bracing to strengthen it."

Aha!! So THAT's how you got to build an observatory!!!!

Yes, Dear, a nice room for you, and a room for me!!

And, I think the roof will be just fine attached to the shed like that............

Looking real nice!
Russ


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MRNUTTY
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5428188 - 09/18/12 08:26 PM

LOL! It's so obvious isn't it. :-) I learned my lesson last time when my project held her project up; this time my marching orders for the contractor are no matter the cost, finish hers first'.

I've been thinking of 'hiding' those beams with some tressel work, and commissioning carol for some of her faux-stained glass work for all my new windows!

Edited by MRNUTTY (09/19/12 02:25 PM)


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roscoe
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5428395 - 09/18/12 10:22 PM

John,
The clearance between the subfloor and your pier looks kind of minimal, at least 1/4" all around would be better., 1/2" wouldn't be excessive. That advantek sheet stock is not supposed to swell up any, but better to be safe now while the contractor and his sawzall are nearby......
R

Yep, I'd suggest that the windows and door go in on the sunroom a day or two before the obs...... they are fast to put in, and produce real big visual effects, thus keeping Mama happy....

Are you putting shingles or metal on the obs roof?


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5429339 - 09/19/12 02:29 PM

We had a huge soaker last night. I'll check it when I get home. Most contractors are not familiar with the differnce between "must not touch" and "mostly not touching" :-) fortunately I beat this into my guy good when he built my mixing studio; similar needs there - nothing much touchdown to conducted sound. I realize didn't tell him that concerning the pier.

Windows were 3-4 week lead time item. "Hers" are well on their way along relative to "mine". Safe again! I'm actually looking forward to both projects. We call hers "the Tiki room" :-) with all the windows though, I think the cats are going to monopolize it!


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roscoe
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5429379 - 09/19/12 02:54 PM

Quote:

We had a huge soaker last night.




Yep, 2.35" up here in the northwest corner of Mass, most rain in one storm we've had since early spring. The gardens and fields really needed it!
R


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5430529 - 09/20/12 09:04 AM

Russ, yeah the clearance is tight around the pier. Good catch :-)

I ordered up the Angle Iron today. I got 2"x2" @ 1/4" thick. I had screw holes drilled every 2ft with an offset so the screws won't be in the same area of the wood. Also, I selected a galvanized steel so it won't rust. The last part doubled the cost of the material. I hadn't seen anyone else spec galvanized*, but I didn't want to take any chances on rust plus you can't reliably paint it without the roller wearing it down. Not something I want to keep up maintenance on. The costs:
four 20ft pieces of 1/4" thick galvanized 2"x2" angle iron: $424
7/16th holes drilled down both sides every 2ft with offset: $144
Delivery: $35
Weight: 65lb each

* my mistake Dan "hunterofphotons" did in fact say exactly this in this thread :-) sorry Dan! Good catch!

Edited by MRNUTTY (09/20/12 09:07 AM)


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5434603 - 09/22/12 02:48 PM

Today's update! holes for windows!

There are two sets of windows on the North and South facing walls. Two for the warm room and two for the hanger deck. Additionally, there is a horizontal observation window between the rooms used to monitor the equipment during AP or VP sessions.



Two views of the casement observation window. It's positioned in such a way as to permit
a good view of the equipment on the pier from a sitting position inside the warm room.
Seeing it from this perspective, It looks like it needs to move away from the wall by another
set of studs. *shrug* maybe not :-)





In the photo above, the Pier should be directly in the center of the bottom of the image.

Going to slow down for a while waiting for the windows to come in.

Meanwhile, thinking about electricity... I figure three circuits:
1) Motor drive for roof.
2) HVAC
3) Everything else; 12 VDC and line supply. Computers, controllers, monitors, Video, wireless, etc...

Actually, I should run ethernet out to the shed, there is a leaf switch* within reach of 50ft of cat6 cable.

* my core switch is a 24 port 1Gb switch where the leaf switches, NAS, File Servers, and utilities servers tie in; 8 port 1Gb leaf switches at various places within the house serve to tie everything else into the core network. I can put a Apple Airport Extreme out in the shed to serve the poolside better :-)

Edited by MRNUTTY (09/22/12 08:41 PM)


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Mary B
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5436703 - 09/23/12 06:27 PM

For 12 volt distribution look into anderson powerpoles and West Mountain Radio RigRunners.

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Wmacky
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Mary B]
      #5436859 - 09/23/12 07:53 PM

Looking good. My Warm room window opening is about that wide, but double that height.What are you putting in that hole?

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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Mary B]
      #5436914 - 09/23/12 08:21 PM

Great lead! Thx Mary!

@wmacky, I'm planning on a 16x36 inch casement window. The glass will crank up when it's open. I put a chair behind behind the window in the warm room, and views around the pier look fine through the hole as it is. I didn't really want to have all that pulled out and done again.

Russ, we cut about 1/2 to 3/4 inch around the concrete and it looks much better now. I'm waiting on trusses for the roof, and windows for the windows holes :-) the warm room will have insulation on the walls and the ceiling... Didn't think about it early enough to do under the floor. Oh, well it's not like the house is 1/2 mile away and I'll freeze. I guess it will end up being regular wallboard, unless there are strong feelings for something different. Not sure about the flooring yet either. It'll be rain proof when closed... Any ideas folks?


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roscoe
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5437616 - 09/24/12 08:22 AM

John,
For your warm room floor, you could perhaps put some foam insulation under a top layer of flooring - They make that rigid pink stuff 3/4" thick, and you could put 1/2" ply on top...... For the main floor, a decent grade of ply with a painted finish would be fast and easy......or you could put in one of those clip-together floors for a fancier look - same in the warm room, too, but if insulating, you might want to put 3/8 ply under the flooring for more stiffness if you do so.....
Russ


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5437932 - 09/24/12 11:48 AM

May I suggest you add a cut out for a small AC unit, perhaps on the warm room wall by the door? This will keep you cool on hot nights, and can be used to help control the humidity during the summer.

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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: DeanS]
      #5437989 - 09/24/12 12:15 PM

Another thought since your roof does not roll off as far as you had planned, if you do a hip roof design it will not block off as much of the sky. That was the main reason I did mine that way.

Dean


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: DeanS]
      #5440174 - 09/25/12 04:13 PM

Russ, good thinking. A little insulation is better than none :-) I positioned the doors of the warm room opposite each other such that if I need to raise the floor somewhat clearance for the doors are within the same rectangular area between them. I also have lots of head room to go up!

Dean, I was thinking of just putting the AC in the south facing window in the warm room. I was leery of cutting special purpose holes in case I sized the AC wrong and it wouldn't fit. The window can take a variety of machine sizes. I was thinking hip roof too, but I have enough clearance as it is, and a normal gable end simplifies the truss design down to one-size-fits-all :-)


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MRNUTTY
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5440487 - 09/25/12 07:32 PM

Todays update: Angle Iron arrived! If anyone in the area is building an RoR, I sourced it from Sullivan Steel in Worcester MA. They delivered a distance of 30 miles for $35. There were 2 pieces were 20 FT 2"x2" of 1/4" Angle Iron and 2 pieces of 11 FT 9.5 inches. I also had them drill screw holes. They also delivered the 8FT some odd inches of remainder



Here's two closeups of the Angle Iron and to corresponding Roller from BYO... and my foot. Two things to pay attention to with the screw holes are:
1) Distance from the crest of the Angle Iron to the location of the drill holes. You need to have the screw head clear the area that the roller will occupy. Seems obvious, but I ended up closer than I wanted to.
2) Offset the holes so they aren't facing each other across the crest. The screws will conflict with each other, obviously. Unless you forget to make allowances for it.





Also, have someone to help you carry them; at 65 lbs each, they aren't too bad to hoist off the truck onto someplace easily accessible. But, to carry them any distance or place them on the top plate of the wall is a two-person job!


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5462701 - 10/09/12 07:10 PM

back in business again, and a week of good weather to continue work.

here's are the trusses; 12 foot span.



1/2 the Angle Iron installed too :-) I had the bold holes drilled to 7/16's, the wood bolts are 3/8's. I should have had them drilled closer to the outer edge since the wheels hit the bolts heads by a very narrow margin. For a while there will be some clicks, but the large hole will push the bolt head out of the way as well as the wear over time will eliminate it. The bolts are 2 feet apart per side, each side alternates so the there is a bolt every foot.



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roscoe
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5463017 - 10/09/12 10:52 PM

Quote:

the wheels hit the bolts heads by a very narrow margin.




If the noise or the roughness of operation was troubling, you could flatten the bolt tops a bit with an angle grinder, or a small grindstone in an electric drill, or even a file. (I think you need to buy an angle grinder.....tell your wife I said it's ok!)
Russ


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MRNUTTY
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: roscoe]
      #5473543 - 10/16/12 04:27 PM

Thanks a great idea Russ, but it's very minor conflict. Besides, I'm trying to go the other way with tools; I've had so many I never really used much. Just the basics for me; screw driver, hammer and sawzall :-)

Back in business this week! Roof is on with rollers! View down the hill from the NW.



Trusses



Rollers. Six each side, every four feet. It's still nailed down... no rolling yet!



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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5477256 - 10/18/12 03:36 PM

roof was shingled today with fascia's etc...



Only have one problem...



the is the end that the roof slides AWAY from. The gap between the roof and the wall needs
some type of weather proofing to keep the rain out. Other than extending the wall all the
way up the gable end under the fascia boards, I'm not sure what I could do here. The plans
from BYO didn't have any detail on this part. The other gable end is easy since the roof rolls
over the wall I can just put a skirt board on the gable end over the gap. But on this side a
skirt board doesn't seal the top where the rain comes in...

Any ideas?



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Wmacky
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5477283 - 10/18/12 03:52 PM

Here's what I did. Install a wide trim board to cover that gap, and mount it to the top of the walls only. Put a long rubber or foam strip near the top of the trim board facing the gable.

Next install a long piece of metal eave drip to the gable so it's just above the trim board. Bend the eave drip down little so the part sticking out angles down a little. Now you have both an air seal, and rain diverter!

When the roof is now pushed shut it will butt against the wall mounted wood trim, and the eave drip will overhang the trim, diverting rain around it!



Edited by Wmacky (10/18/12 04:00 PM)


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David81
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Wmacky]
      #5477329 - 10/18/12 04:16 PM

Quote:

Here's what I did. Install a wide trim board to cover that gap, and mount it to the top of the walls only. Put a long rubber or foam strip near the top of the trim board facing the gable.

Next install a long piece of metal eave drip to the gable so it's just above the trim board. Bend the eave drip down little so the part sticking out angles down a little. Now you have both an air seal, and rain diverter!

When the roof is now pushed shut it will butt against the wall mounted wood trim, and the eave drip will overhang the trim, diverting rain around it!






I did something very similar on mine.

1x6 treated trim board fastened to the lower walls. 2x4 treated board fastened to the gable end with about 1/8" - 1/4" gap. Aluminum drip apron above the 2x4 and under the siding on the gable end.

Rubber weather seal will eventually be added on the inner side of the 1x6 and the lower edge of the 2x4.


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: David81]
      #5477356 - 10/18/12 04:38 PM

Got it! Great idea wmacky! Thank you!

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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5480732 - 10/20/12 05:32 PM

A question about roof weight.

The plans I used called for a metal roof. My builder went ahead and built a shingled roof. I didn't realize how heavy these things were until I tried, and failed to lift a bundle of them. Before the roof was sheathed, with just the trusses the roof moved easily. After it was plywood'd it we couldn't move it by hand. With the shingle on the weight is monstrous.

I've email Scott and BYO to see if the roller and their motor can move a roof like this. I'm afraid to have to rip it all off and change it. Better now than later though while I still have a dumpster!

Any similar experiences put there?


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Vendor - Backyard Observatories
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5480909 - 10/20/12 07:59 PM

Hey John. Sorry, I'm a little behind on e-mails. Di just had rotator cuff surgery so that's been a full time job this week. Hoping to get back on task somewhat come Monday.
To answer the motor question though, the motor doesn't care that the shingles are there. We use the HD motor on roofs up to 16x24 but recommend the SHD for bigger roofs.


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: Scott Horstman]
      #5481093 - 10/20/12 09:51 PM

Thanks Scott! Worries are over then :-) Hope Diane is doing ok. When you get caught up, let's get that track and motor going. Once I get the roof moving I can decide on the Pier height of the Omage II. This is exciting stuff!

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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5485955 - 10/23/12 08:00 PM

Quote:

I've email Scott and BYO to see if the roller and their motor can move a roof like this. I'm afraid to have to rip it all off and change it. Better now than later though while I still have a dumpster! Any similar experiences put there?



mcnutty i am sorry i happened into this thread late. i read up top where you planned on a single huge (12'x14') roof but assumed your motors would take care of it.

i visited a few local observatories, one guy had a 9'x12' single roof and i could not comfortably move it on my own. so when i built my 10'x12' observatory i split the roof, one have rolls off on each side, and it works great. (see "observatory construction" at the site linked in my sig.)

a split roof also solves the weather stripping all around, since both ends can be closed with an overhang.

i'm not suggesting a major design change out of the hat. but if solving your roof mass any other way seems like a major obstacle, then you might consider putting up a second pair of rails, and sawing the roof in half, as a dire backup. you do have four rollers on each side -- so do i. and cover the roof in sheet metal -- much much better than tile.


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: drollere]
      #5489160 - 10/25/12 07:40 PM

Hi Bruce! As a matter of fact, your split roof design was one of the ones I looked very carefully at before deciding what to do. In retrospect, I should have spun my floor plan 180 degrees and provided a split roof to slide the 11 feet off. But I was beset by indecision around issues of draining water, and avoiding snow problems on the roof. At that time I just figured I would make it easy and just slide the whole roof. This mitigated the concerns surrounding all those perceived problems. After looking over the BYO motor, I'm less concerned about the roof weight; there appears to be at least one set of gearing to improve low speed torque. Once Scott sends me more spec'd I expect my concerns to be met.

Once particular aspect of your design I really liked is your 'scope bunk' idea. :-) I'm planning a 1FT roof overhang, when the roof is fully retracted, above the inner wall on the hanger deck side for a space to fashion my own scope bunk in the protective shade of the roof. :-) I like the idea of having them right there near the pier instead of in the house, or the warm room. I'll keep my EP's and optics in the warm room, in a humidity controlled cabinet.

Another thought is to have an electric winch in the trusses so I can mount the heavier scopes without hurting my back. Holding up one of these 40 lb beasts up at shoulder height while trying to gently slide it into the mounts saddle is getting tiring. It would even be useful mounting the lower end of the tube truss, and 17.5 inch mirror, Discovery scope on its base box. Do much weight, so launch back pain.

Edited by MRNUTTY (10/25/12 08:48 PM)


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5493600 - 10/28/12 07:46 PM

A few quick additions before hurricane Sandy hits us: Started the vinyl siding, windows and doors :0)





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CMacD
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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5493810 - 10/28/12 10:18 PM

The siding really makes it look polished John. Very nice.

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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: CMacD]
      #5493879 - 10/28/12 11:23 PM

Thanks Clark! It wouldn't look half as good if I didn't have a great source of amateur built observatories to draw on!

My next concern is floor treatments, both for the aswarm room and the pier room. A colleague at work used an outdoor carpet product and treated it for ESD; which is a big concern during those dry winter months. I dead having equipment go reset itself, or fail after a good high voltage spark from my finger tips :-(

What have you folks used as a floor treatment?

Edited by MRNUTTY (10/31/12 07:16 AM)


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5501538 - 11/02/12 08:35 PM

Last anticipated updates for a while. I am waiting on the BYO Pier II,
and RoR Motor+Track. It may a take while. In the meantime, please
enjoy the shots of my trench :-)

The supply side will enter in a closeted utility area where my water
machinations live; Filter, Conditioner, expansion tank, etc...



Here's the OBS end. nothing special here. Once inside it will route
to the far side where the warm room is. There will be many other
examples that illustrate the advantage of reversing the layout of
the OBS; too late!



I believe the requirement is 18 inches. I'll verify ASAP. I am
running two 1 and 1/2 inch conduits. One for 120VAC the
other for Ethernet, etc... They will each have a draw string
to allow pulling additional wires at a later date.


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Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5558939 - 12/07/12 09:57 AM

Short hiatus while I'm waiting for my BYO Omega II pier, and Motor+track for the RoR thanks to Scott and Diane!

The exterior is completely finished.

What are folks using for mechanical hard stops for the roof?


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Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5692767 - 02/21/13 01:29 PM

Long time between updates!

Just got the motor and track installed today and hit a few snags. I got Scott on the phone ( Thanks a bunch Scott! ), and went through the specifics of the gearing and pinch roller. He also sent me out an extra micro switch to replace the one we crushed. And I am relieved to report the roof actually can move!!!! I was so worried it was too heavy to move since we couldn't do it by hand. But now I know, and can reset easy as we work out clearance issues do to the way we mounted it.

Very exciting times!!!!

Ps: I stopped posting pictures because I ran out of room. I'll post more next week when we can get the roof open all the way, after the snow storm this weekend...

Edited by MRNUTTY (02/21/13 01:31 PM)


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5695298 - 02/22/13 06:01 PM

Was finally able to roll the roof completely open today!

I had clearance problems with the L-bracket which holds the upper pinch roller and limit micro switches. We ended up lowering the motor and track a couple of inches to clear the trusses. Beautiful work!!! Love it!!

I'll take some pix tomorrow before the next snow storm this weekend, Blah bad weather!

Edited by MRNUTTY (02/22/13 06:02 PM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5695336 - 02/22/13 06:22 PM

Hey John, Congratulations! We'll be looking forward to those photos!

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Materials for ROR design new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5695725 - 02/22/13 09:57 PM

I'm so psyched Carol! I still have some more work to do on the pier before before its ready, so I'll get the CGEM-DX with tripod out before the snow piles up :-) woohoo!!!!

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