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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Observatory progress update
      #5482933 - 10/22/12 12:20 AM Attachment (138 downloads)

Got the stud walls up this Saturday, then today we got all the "Solarbord" panels attached. The steel arrives next weekend. More pictures to come.
Mike


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5482935 - 10/22/12 12:21 AM Attachment (85 downloads)

Wide angle view of the Solarbord panels ready to be cut to length and attached.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5482938 - 10/22/12 12:23 AM Attachment (70 downloads)

Shane, Rachel, Kennan and Chris were BIG help today! We did all 17 Solarbord panels in one afternoon and evening. Kennan did an amazing job of squaring up the building walls to align to the Solarbord. Everything is very level and ready to have the steel tracks attached next weekend.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5482941 - 10/22/12 12:26 AM Attachment (61 downloads)

Here's the helper gang today: Chris, Kennan, Rachel and Shane. Rachel helped me unload Solarbord panels and cut them to length and width, while Chris, Kennan and Shane did the bullwork of putting up the panels and getting the building straight.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5482946 - 10/22/12 12:32 AM Attachment (77 downloads)

Just a few panels left to attach as we reached sunset. We were able to finish all the panels by about 7:30PM, by flashlight! I'll post daylight pictures tomorrow.
Mike


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Mirzam
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Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5483205 - 10/22/12 08:05 AM

Looks great Mike! What are you going to put on that very nice pier? (A telescope, I figured that much out ).

JimC


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

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5483363 - 10/22/12 10:25 AM

Hi Mike! Your observatory is really looking great! Nice pier, also! I may have missed it, but what is the purpose of using the solar panels on the walls?

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5483468 - 10/22/12 11:33 AM

Hi Carol!
"Solarbord" is just regular OSB panels with a shiny semi-waterproof thick metal foil on one side. They can reflect more than 90% of the heat away from the wall. They're available at any Lowe's or Home Depot. Solarbord reflects heat away from the inner walls and keeps them a LOT cooler. I'll put up horizontal 1x4 pine boards at top, middle and bottom, all around the building, which act as thermal spacers. Then the R-panel attaches to the 1x4's, leaving a 3/4" air gap between the R-panels and Solarbord. This allows hot air to convect up the hot walls and out the top, rather than cooking the walls. The west wall is shown in the last post, 5482946, and it will get the hottest of all. Using Solarbord and thermal standoffs will keep the wall 30 degrees cooler (or more) than it would be with the R-panels alone. By using Solarbord panels, I'm not sure I'll even need insulation on the interior walls.

Mike


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

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5483557 - 10/22/12 12:21 PM

Wow Mike; that's fantastic! First I've heard of this system; it surely will be an asset to keep your observatory much cooler!

Thanks for the information!


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edosaurusrex
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Reged: 01/30/07

Loc: Ft Worth, TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5483639 - 10/22/12 01:17 PM

Looking good Mike! I didn't notice where you put the secret removeable floor board panel for your munchie and drink stash.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: edosaurusrex]
      #5484373 - 10/22/12 09:49 PM Attachment (70 downloads)

Nuh UH Ed! Don't need any more places where snakes can crawl up into the obz!

All Solarbord panels up - I added wall bracing today to keep the walls from bending and being damaged in thundershowers we had today and coming again Friday.

The Solarbord makes the building extremely strong in shear (trying to flex into a parallelogram), but does nothing to strengthen individual walls against high winds. When the tracks are attached above, they will stiffen the walls against bending.


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5484379 - 10/22/12 09:53 PM Attachment (59 downloads)

Better view of the wall bracing I put up today. I also took the pier back in storage and out of the rain that would rust it. Notice we had already had a small shower, with water standing on the floors. Not to worry, I spent nearly $80/sheet for marine-grade 3/4" plywood on the floors, plus sealed it with Olympia fence sealer, so rainwater just evaporates after a while.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5484385 - 10/22/12 09:58 PM Attachment (66 downloads)

This is for Carol's benefit, and anyone else here that hasn't bought their OSB panels for their walls. The Solarbord only costs a few more dollars a panel then regular OSB, and it can make a world of difference in the inside temperature of your observatory during hot summer months. Lowe's and Home Depot have big stacks of the stuff.

That's all for now - will possibly have supports and ROR tracks up next weekend. My neighbor Kennan is an amazing welder and construction dude and he's having a lot of fun working on it.
Mike


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Gastrol
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Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5484405 - 10/22/12 10:16 PM

Wow, that's a nice, spacious build!
Please correct me if I'm wrong but I always thought that the shiny side of these solar panels had to face the interior.


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5484450 - 10/22/12 10:43 PM

I think you're half right - if the roofing material directly contacts the Solarbord, it should contact the non-metallized side, and the shiny side goes on the opposite side (interior). High reflectivity = low emissivity, therefore poorer radiative heat transfer from the inside into the attic, etc. But when you attach R-panel over the outside of the Solarbord with 1x4 airspacers between, having the shiny side out reflects heat radiating from the inner surface of the R-panel back to the panel and away from the building. As I understand it, shiny side out with the airspace between is the better way to use it - much lower heat transfer to the interior.

Yes on the spacious room! Decades ago a club I was with thought they could save some money by only building a 12'x16' building. Bad idea. You end up bumping into the scope, walls, or worktable almost all night. My 16'x18' should be a lot more roomier and more enjoyable.
Mike


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Retsub
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Reged: 12/08/06

Loc: Houston,Tx.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5484655 - 10/23/12 01:10 AM

Mike you are on the right track . . nearly. It used to be called Tech Shield with a high content aluminum on plywood in some brands. Like on a house roof it is best installed with the shiny side down so nothing touches it and it gives off the radiation heat which is about 95%. It only needs to have at least a 3/4" air space to work. Radiation only travels in a straight line and the barrier only works where the sun can shine at it, not on the north side example. There is a good place up your way to buy it by the roll 4 ft wide and tack it on also. Not that bubble wrap stuff that can cause moisture problems with high humidity unless it has a Air Cond. Think of a Igloo ice chest closed and damp inside and the mold growing. Don't understand why more radiant barrier isn't used to help keep the heat build up lower on equipment for a quicker cool down. Was out in Nevada a year ago and didn't see radiant barrier in houses or at Home Depot either. Too bad. Good work. *BW*

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Mike I. Jones
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Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5485801 - 10/23/12 06:10 PM

Hey Jim,
Mr. Paramount ME will be riding atop the pier. So far, I have two separate OTA's, but more are coming:
1. Takahashi TOA-130
2. 5" Tinsley Maksutov and Coronado PST on same baseplate

Next scopes to come:

My 16" f/6 in a new all-composite super-stiff lightweight tube to be built by Optical Mechanics (I made primary)

10" f/26.5 Maksutov (design done, glass bought, Jerry Logan curve-generated and ready to grind)

8" Herrig (just GOTTA see that one work!)

6" f/10 refractor (I designed and worked the lens on that one)

6" Retro-triplet (my own invention, y'all are gonna like this one)

After that I'm not sure. Depends how soon I retire and can get going on them. Still want to do a big Schupmann and apochromat lens.

Mike


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Mirzam
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Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5485988 - 10/23/12 08:20 PM

In case you missed these shots of Jupiter with a 10" AP maksutov they may help motivate some work in that direction:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5481678/page/1/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

JimC


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5486175 - 10/23/12 10:26 PM

ah say
Yeah that pretty much makes me want to do the 10" f/26.5 Mak first. That's only a tiny bit shorter EFL than the AP 10" f/14.6 with 2X Barlow (f/29.2), but I'll have a slightly smaller secondary spot and CO. And, no extra optics in the path. I'll have to work it good to match AP optical performance, though. I like the Flea cameras - so small but so good!
Mike


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5493123 - 10/28/12 01:22 PM Attachment (62 downloads)

Here's my neighbor Kennan, taking a rest while pouring the last of the 3" x 3" x 11-gauge track support poles. He's been amazing help building my observatory. All the poles are too high, then using a theodolite, we'll mark horizontal marks on the poles, then Kennan will plasma-cut them to all the same height to get the track level.
Mike


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mikey cee
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5493137 - 10/28/12 01:39 PM

Hey Mike I see you've given yourself a little elbow room in there. Nothing like planning for the future! I didn't see anything mentioned but you probably already know about staggard vent gaps between your 1x4's. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (10/28/12 01:47 PM)


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5493328 - 10/28/12 04:26 PM

Ah - excellent point Mikey. In other words, don't run the 1x4's continuously around the periphery, but instead leave a gap to improve circulation?

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johne
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Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5494183 - 10/29/12 07:50 AM

What a great neighbor!

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mikey cee
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Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5494382 - 10/29/12 10:24 AM

Quote:

Ah - excellent point Mikey. In other words, don't run the 1x4's continuously around the periphery, but instead leave a gap to improve circulation?


You got 'er Sherlock! Mike

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mikey cee
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5494389 - 10/29/12 10:27 AM

Mike by the way don't forget the critters and pests! Where you vent at the bottom and tops cover those areas with screening. If you don't you'll have walls full of you know what!! Mike

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nytecam
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Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5494514 - 10/29/12 11:53 AM

Nice obsy build Mike - I can tell by the SIZE it's in Tx - no room for a barndance in mine

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5494947 - 10/29/12 04:35 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Got the electrical trenched, laid and installed. Ran #6/3 down to the observatory, about 70 feet total run length. Shouldn't be any perceptible voltage drop, even with the warm/cool room AC/heater cycling.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5494951 - 10/29/12 04:37 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

East track supports cut off level at top.

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Starman27
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Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5495006 - 10/29/12 05:14 PM

Excellent build. the bracing is needed to prevent wind damage until the roof is on, correct?

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Starman27]
      #5495070 - 10/29/12 05:53 PM

Right, Herman. The Solarbord makes the building super-stiff to in-plane shear loads, but adds no strength at all to prevent the walls from flexing in winds. The 4"x4"x1/4" angle iron frame on top (going up now) will stiffen the walls against bending.

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Raginar
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5495098 - 10/29/12 06:15 PM

Beatiful. I always wondered if it would be worth the cost to put electrical in my ROR. Looks awesome!

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5495278 - 10/29/12 08:32 PM Attachment (34 downloads)

West 4x4 rail angle-iron support drilled and attached to west wall. Boy, did that stiffen it up! Sundown here now, back to it tomorrow.

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hm insulators
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Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5496186 - 10/30/12 01:24 PM

Beautiful job!

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5496887 - 10/30/12 09:07 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Got the welder, plasma cutter, etc. goin' now!

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5496890 - 10/30/12 09:08 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Chris and Kennan welding the 4x4 top frame around the building walls.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5496895 - 10/30/12 09:09 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Southeast corner, welded together.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5496898 - 10/30/12 09:11 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Northwest corner, welded. Yep, it scorched the wood a little, but a little spritz of water made sure it wouldn't flame up. All the corners are welded now.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5496902 - 10/30/12 09:12 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Last shot of the day, showing all six track supports cut to height. Tomorrow: finish tracks, start on ROR frame and wheels.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5497847 - 10/31/12 02:22 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

All rails up and C-clamped. The rails are level to within 1/8" along each 40' length, and parallel to within 1/16". Though they are level and parallel, the west rail is about 1/8" higher than the east rail, which is not enough to be of concern.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5497856 - 10/31/12 02:28 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Another view of the track supports and rails. The guys have clamped everything very square, parallel and level, so it's time to tack-weld it all together. Then there will be a few days' wait to get the wheel boxes in from Bobco Metals in LA. I can get the 4-inch 1NWF9 V-groove casters shown here from the Grainger store here in Fort Worth.

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Mirzam
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Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498067 - 10/31/12 04:41 PM

Hi Mike,

It's only 1/8" difference in height between the sides but very easy to shim the wheels on the short side if you want perfection. In my case the height difference was about 1/2" and that gave a bit of unwanted tilt to the roof that was evident to my eye.

JimC


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5498114 - 10/31/12 05:15 PM

Yeah, I thought about having the guys shim it, but an eighth of an inch over 16 feet won't be noticeable. They've already got it all welded together and ground smooth now. They can raise the east side of the roof back to level with the west side when they build the frame for it.
Mike


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Mirzam
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498153 - 10/31/12 05:43 PM

That's what I did--shimmed the wheel mounts not the rails.

Your observatory is looking really good!

JimC


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5498226 - 10/31/12 06:29 PM

Thanks Jim - how did you fare after Sandy? I was in Newport News Oct. 23-24. Man, am I glad we got out of there ahead of it!

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Mirzam
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498377 - 10/31/12 08:05 PM

No problems here other than power out for about 24 hours. We had a peak gust of 63 mph, which is in line with occasional winter peaks. I use turnbuckles, plus large C-clamps to anchor the roof when wind is expected. So far so good.

JimC


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BKBrown
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5498461 - 10/31/12 09:02 PM

I was more worried about you having to build an ark to dodge the river rising. Glad to hear ya'll are safe...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498464 - 10/31/12 09:05 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

Here's Kennan, welding the northeast corner track support. They'll finish the tracks tomorrow, then work the roof frame next. The wheel boxes should arrive Friday or Monday, and he can get them welded to the roof frame early next week.

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BKBrown
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498538 - 10/31/12 09:58 PM

Looking good Mike! That steel work ought to be rock steady and nearly indestructible. What do you estimate the roof will weigh once completed?

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5498730 - 10/31/12 11:50 PM

Dunno, Kennan's going to frame up the roof out of 2x2 12 gauge square steel pipe, then top it off with 24 gauge R-panel. Could be 400-500 lbs? I'll insulate it with TekFoil, but that won't weigh much.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501501 - 11/02/12 08:08 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

Here's the awesome trio of weldin' dudes, Chris, Kennan (my neighbor) and Randy. They finished all the track supports and trusses this week. A really nice touch: they filled and smoothed any holes or gaps, ground them smooth, and put a coat of primer paint on so this weekend's rains won't rust. Next week we'll start on the roof base frame and V-groove wheels, stick down the 2x2 angle track, and start on the roof trusses.
Mike


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501505 - 11/02/12 08:10 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

West side view, showing the finished track supports.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501508 - 11/02/12 08:13 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Sunset picture of the west side.

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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501510 - 11/02/12 08:14 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

And finally for this week, a view south showing the tracks and building.

Imagine what it's gonna look like this time NEXT week!
Mike


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johne
sage
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Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5502015 - 11/03/12 07:27 AM

Wow! Now that is some heavy duty workmanship. You could practically build a roll-off 2nd story addition on that.

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Starman27
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: johne]
      #5502247 - 11/03/12 11:31 AM

Impressive.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5502383 - 11/03/12 12:59 PM

Mike, that is awesome! Wow; what a nice observatory you will have! No wood to warp on the railing system!

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5502639 - 11/03/12 04:40 PM

Thanks Carol! If only our soils here were that stable! We go down maybe a foot of prairie topsoil here, then hit untold feet of this sticky red clay that shrinks and swells with drought and rain that can crack house slabs and warp rails. It's going to be interesting to see how steady the roof rides the rails with/without rocking over the years to come. I'll have four wheels on each side, and an open/close cable system, so I'm not too concerned about it rocking a bit here and there.
Mike


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5502714 - 11/03/12 05:46 PM

You should have some of my ground, shale rock.

Your observatory is certainly very well thought out; it will be exciting when you "move" in!


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Starhawk
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5503979 - 11/04/12 02:00 PM

Wow is that an impressive build. It's clearly built to last with that nice steel rail set.

How are the skies overhead?

-Rich


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5504017 - 11/04/12 02:30 PM

Meh, so so - green on really clear nights, yellow on hazy nights. Seeing can be great here, but transparency is not always great. Milky Way visible almost any night if straight overhead in Cygnus. Still workable with filters.

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Mary B
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5504363 - 11/04/12 06:40 PM

Ground here is 3 feet of great farm land then I ran into clay. We were digging the pier hole during a wet period so I had 2 feet of wet clay to deal with. Next time I rent the power auger and dig 4 holes then connect them!

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mary B]
      #5504414 - 11/04/12 07:22 PM

I learned something dealing with this nasty sticky red Texas clay when digging my pier - spray WD-40 on your auger, post-hole diggers or sharpshooter. It's good for about 2 digs, but man does that mess come off easy! Then you have to spray it again. I haven't tried Pam yet

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Mark Harry
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5505004 - 11/05/12 07:13 AM

Nice build, Mikey! What's the beertab so far??!!
M.
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Seriously, nice well made project!


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kfrederick
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mark Harry]
      #5507312 - 11/06/12 05:59 PM

Nice building looks nice enough to live in .To move the roof will it be powered ? Guess you do not have to worry about snow in the rails.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: kfrederick]
      #5507367 - 11/06/12 06:37 PM

I'll use a manual crank and cable system - should be plenty. I don't trust motors - they're strong and don't know when to quit! We get maybe a few inches of snow here each winter, so right, snow is not a concern.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5509697 - 11/08/12 10:44 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

The guys got the rolling roof frame built. I used six 1NWC3 steel V-groove fixed casters from Grainger, which have plenty of strength.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5509700 - 11/08/12 10:46 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

Details on roof baseframe and NW caster. The roof baseframe is made from 12 gauge 2x6 steel. I'll have roughly 12" eaves all around, and the roof walls will come down 18" on the sides to help trap blowing rain.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5509704 - 11/08/12 10:47 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

View down the west side roof baseframe, looking north.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5509709 - 11/08/12 10:49 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Details on roof baseframe and SW caster.

We'll get primer on all the steel today and white enamel on tomorrow. The R-panel for the walls was ordered today.

Mike


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Mark Harry
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5510185 - 11/08/12 04:09 PM

Pitched roof, or flat?
M.


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mark Harry]
      #5510308 - 11/08/12 05:32 PM

It is pitched with a 2' center height. The building is a little over 16' wide, so that's about a 1:8 pitch. I'll have 12-15" eaves all around the outside.
Mike


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5510443 - 11/08/12 07:46 PM

Really nice Mike!

Quote:

I don't trust motors - they're strong and don't know when to quit!




Don't quite follow your concern about the roof motors.


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5510464 - 11/08/12 08:04 PM

I guess it's just safeguarding against human error, and possibly faulty limit switches. A buddy of mine out in the country south of San Angelo TX, with a 20' x 20' observatory and a much bigger roof, crushed the top of his 22" Dobbie in with his roof while opening up! His roof is very heavy and pretty much has to be motorized. He was rolling it off and forgot to check if his scope was in stow position. GARRRUNCH tinkle tinkle, followed by GROANNN and maybe some naughty words! Purely human error for sure, but still, OUCH!

My roof isn't as large as his, and it should work fine with a hand crank.

Mike


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kfrederick
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5510842 - 11/08/12 11:34 PM

Are you using the back part ? if you put second roof so The moving roof goes over it . you could maybe have your polisher in there

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johne
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5511088 - 11/09/12 07:07 AM

Quote:

I guess it's just safeguarding against human error, and possibly faulty limit switches. A buddy of mine out in the country south of San Angelo TX, with a 20' x 20' observatory and a much bigger roof, crushed the top of his 22" Dobbie in with his roof while opening up! His roof is very heavy and pretty much has to be motorized. He was rolling it off and forgot to check if his scope was in stow position. GARRRUNCH tinkle tinkle, followed by GROANNN and maybe some naughty words! Purely human error for sure, but still, OUCH!
Mike




I wonder if you could jury-rig an optical sensor from an old garage door system to stop the motors if something was in the path of the closing roof? Might not be too hard to do and give you some peace of mind.

[Edit] Sorry, I noticed you're going to use a hand crank, after I posted this.

Edited by johne (11/09/12 07:09 AM)


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: johne]
      #5511168 - 11/09/12 08:11 AM

Thanks John. That's a nice toy list you have there! If my roof was bigger and heavier I'd probably motorize it with mechanical and optical sensors. As it is, I "think" the hand crank should be plenty. And, it will work when the power's out (and the skies are darkest!)

Prescott ehh? Bet you're in really dark skies. Not so dark here, but thanks to Don Goldman I can still do some nice photography.

Mike


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johne
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5511206 - 11/09/12 08:35 AM

Quote:

Thanks John. That's a nice toy list you have there! If my roof was bigger and heavier I'd probably motorize it with mechanical and optical sensors. As it is, I "think" the hand crank should be plenty. And, it will work when the power's out (and the skies are darkest!)

Prescott ehh? Bet you're in really dark skies. Not so dark here, but thanks to Don Goldman I can still do some nice photography.
Mike




Thanks Mike. I've been very fortunate over the years and have picked up many of my toys on the used market, including the Paramount ME. I initially started off with a new CGE14 system... what a big mistake. I set that asside and found the Tak FSQ-106ED and the Paramount ME and life was good after that. Yes, the skies are wonderfully dark here. I'm on the side of a small mountain, facing away from downtown Prescott & Prescott Valley (away from the lights.) The average SQM is around 21.2 or so w/o the moon.

Your observatory is coming along so great. You're blessed to have such good neighbors and acquaintances. How great will it be when its done and you get to use it. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

John


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5512534 - 11/10/12 12:24 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Time to get primer paint on all that fresh steel. Rachel is still fairly paint-free at this point, but she took a while to clean up with paint thinner after the job was done .

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5512540 - 11/10/12 12:28 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Here's our grandson Grey, playing with Lightning McQueen under the freshly primed ROR track structure.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5512548 - 11/10/12 12:32 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

Detail on the NE corner of the freshly primed track assembly. Notice that we did not prime the roof baseframe, as there will be significant welding on it that would just mess up the primer at this point. I'll prime the entire roof structure after the welding is done but before attaching the R-panels and Tekfoil insulation.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5512553 - 11/10/12 12:37 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

And here's a wide-angle shot of the entire observatory. All tracks and supports are fully primed and ready for this weekend's thundershowers. We also got all three sets of 1x4's around the building in readiness for attaching the R-paneling on the outer walls. It was ordered from Mueller Steel Buildings and will arrive this coming Wednesday.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5512924 - 11/10/12 10:20 AM



I'll sure look forward to seeing how you finish the inside, also Mike!


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John Jarosz
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5513079 - 11/10/12 11:51 AM

Wow Mike, is that an observatory or a dance hall?

I realize you've made a lot of scopes over the years but are you really going to use them all at the same time?

Looks good though!

j2


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thesungazer
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: John Jarosz]
      #5513087 - 11/10/12 11:58 AM

Very impressive, Mike. Thanks for all the photos!

Keep'em coming.

Greg


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Raginar
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: thesungazer]
      #5513124 - 11/10/12 12:25 PM

Everything is bigger in Texas. Beautiful!

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mikey cee
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Raginar]
      #5513197 - 11/10/12 01:22 PM

Mike....How are you going to vent that dead air space behind the siding? I take it you are using some sort of vertical 4x8 sheets? I would have run my 1x4's vertically every 2' because you'll need backing behind your lap joints where you nail or screw. Then screen off the top and bottom edges to l keep critters out. Just offering sudggestions don't yell at me! Mike

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5513361 - 11/10/12 03:51 PM

Awwr fellow Mikey, I would never yell at a brudder Mikey!

I'm using R-panel all around, from Mueller Steel Buildings, with the channels oriented vertically. Plenty of convection flow up the R-panels.

Mike


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5513367 - 11/10/12 03:54 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Ya know, there's just nothing that makes something look good like a fresh coat of paint! Here's Andy (my younger son) finishing up painting the Rust-Oleum Gloss White oil-based enamel over the Rust-Oleum primer.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5513373 - 11/10/12 03:57 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Like that white!

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5513389 - 11/10/12 04:05 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

East side view, with all tracks and supports painted white.

Next steps:
R-panel for the walls and 14 gauge 2x2 roof truss steel arrives Wednesday. Put up R-panels on walls, attach all trim. Cut, weld roof center spine, trusses, purlins, end supports. Order R-panels for roof, attach. Waterproof.

At that point I'll have a nice safe dry interior to start working on. That should go fast. Hope to be moved in before 2013.

I think I want to paint the interior walls dark blue or black to reduce scattered light. Anyone else have experience with that?

Mike


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Mirzam
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5513434 - 11/10/12 04:45 PM

Especially if you will have a computer screen turned on it will be helpful to darken the walls. ALthough in your observatory the inverse square law also comes into play!

JimC


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Goodchild
scholastic sledgehammer
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5513478 - 11/10/12 05:35 PM

Looks like Andy left a drip under the one support. I hope he got that before it dried.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Goodchild]
      #5513519 - 11/10/12 06:27 PM

Oh! I see what you're talking about. That's not a drip - it's one of the 1/4-20 adjustment bolts holding down the track inside the 4x4 1/4" angle iron support. They allow slight sideways adjustment of the angle track on the supports to keep the track aligned to the V-groove wheels.

Sharp eyes!
Mike


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EddWen
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5514360 - 11/11/12 12:02 PM

"....I think I want to paint the interior walls dark blue or black to reduce scattered light. Anyone else have experience with that?...."

I painted the interior of both my observatories the darkest flat green I could get from Home Depot, in one case, and Ace Hardware in the other.

Flat black during the day seemed a bit morbid to me and green is more pleasing to me than blue.

Regardless, the interiors do not show color at night unless I have a white light on.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/2778209/page...

Cheers!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5514392 - 11/11/12 12:25 PM

Quote:

I think I want to paint the interior walls dark blue or black to reduce scattered light. Anyone else have experience with that?




I'd vote for the dark blue. I have medium blue on my walls, and frankly have not noticed any scattered light from them.


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Mary B
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5514824 - 11/11/12 05:25 PM

I went a pretty dark blue



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Digital Don
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5514885 - 11/11/12 06:32 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

"I think I want to paint the interior walls dark blue or black to reduce scattered light. Anyone else have experience with that?"

If there is any local lighting your observatory like there is around mine, you want the darkest color you can get. Black or dark blue won't matter because both would probably be equally effective.

As you can see, I went with flat black for the walls of my observatory and have been happy with the results.

Don


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mary B]
      #5515015 - 11/11/12 08:11 PM

Dark blue it is! Thank you MaryB, that looks really nice, and blue's my wife's favorite color.

Suggestion request #2: My floor is 3/4" marine-grade plywood with Olympia water sealer liberally applied. It's screwed down to 2x8's on 16" centers, so it's almost like walking on concrete.

What flooring material do you recommend? SoftTiles in dark blue or wood look interesting, in that they are easy to take up and vacuum/sweep under. Plushlock also looks comfortable. Standard padding and close-pile carpet look interesting, but might present long-term and dust accumulation cleaning issues.

Any suggestions on floor materials?

Thanks,
Mike


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hm insulators
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5515774 - 11/12/12 11:01 AM

Looking good!

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Mary B
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5516390 - 11/12/12 05:38 PM

I put down indoor outdoor carpet but I may switch to tiles next year. The carpet is to hard to keep clean.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mary B]
      #5516400 - 11/12/12 05:47 PM

I installed indoor/outdoor carpet that is very smooth, so exceptionally easy to vac with my wet/dry small vacuum I keep in there.

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mikey cee
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5516517 - 11/12/12 06:52 PM

I concur with Carol. I've had indoor/outdoor in my observatory on a concrete floor since 1986. Looks as good today as it did then. It just doesn't outgas anymore thats all. Mike

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5516655 - 11/12/12 08:12 PM

No padding underneath? My dogs would be screamin' after a few hours. Maybe foam floor tiles with indoor/outdoor carpet on top hmmm

The R-panels for walls and 14 gauge 2x2's for the roof frame are coming Wednesday. I may have a roof by the weekend


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mikey cee
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5516712 - 11/12/12 08:44 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Nope don't need no foam pad and don't want any. The observing throne would never roll around especially when I'm in it. I sometimes can "scootch" myself around to follow the scope movement without getting out of the chair. Three inch diameter wheels do come in handy too. I replaced the 2" ones in the pic. Mike

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5516732 - 11/12/12 08:57 PM

Quote:

No padding underneath?




Nope, no padding! I agree with Mikey; with padding, moving my observing chair would be difficult.

If your dogs complain, fold up a blanket for them.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5516908 - 11/12/12 10:18 PM

Plywood floor, indoor/outdoor carpeting for me as well. Just gave it a good sweep the other day.

David


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Retsub
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5516986 - 11/12/12 10:52 PM

Sure looks well built Mike. >you said: but before attaching the R-panels and Tekfoil insulation< wish you could look at a supply place in Duncanville (near you) at the radiant barrier that isn't the bubble material. Less chance of the moisture build up sometimes. It too gives the same 95% IR rejection from the steel roofing that is needed to help prevent the heat soak for the equipment inside and as soon as the sun goes down with good air movement to get down to ambient quickly. *BW*

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Retsub]
      #5517088 - 11/13/12 12:00 AM

Thanks BW - got a company or product name? Are you talking about Energy Attic?

Prodex also looks interesting. Is this like what you were talking about?

Mike


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Retsub
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Loc: Houston,Tx.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5520218 - 11/14/12 09:51 PM

Mike, et al, look at energyefficientsolutions dot com. Lots to read and good info. Some is a vapor barrier if needed. For observatory paint many have forgotten about the ATM Book #3 with the test between white and aluminum paint. Interesting ! I have donated two types of radiant barrier for the side walls under two Ash domes with good results. Many types of material are on the market one being with a thin sheet of fiberglass inside it. Would you want some of those loose strands floating around inside your obs. ? I think not. Deeper reading can be found at the Florida Solar Energy Center with testing of different materials in buildings. Hope this all helps your fine construction project. *BW*

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5524784 - 11/17/12 05:51 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

We got all the 26-gauge R-panel up on the walls this afternoon. Amazing how square the building is - the panels fit perfectly and uniformly all the way around. We squirted expanding polyurethane foam into all the corners, then attached the trim. Tomorrow - roof trusses begin.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5524788 - 11/17/12 05:52 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Another view with of the wall paneling.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5524794 - 11/17/12 05:57 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

The door will be a custom build from 1"x1" 14 gauge steel tube. We'll work that after the roof is done.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5525274 - 11/17/12 11:17 PM

Mike, that's absolutely beautiful.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Retsub]
      #5525298 - 11/17/12 11:42 PM

Thanks BW for the tip. Energy Efficient Solutions is in Duncanville, as you said. I'll call them Monday and discuss what I'm doing with them, and let them recommend the best product. The Foil Bubble material looks good for my application, but I'll let them say so.

Carol - YES! I love the look of that bright white R-panel. Tomorrow's the big day, when the welders build my roof framework. That's when it'll really start looking like a building. Once the roof frame is done, we can make final measurements on the R-panel. Then they'll order the matching white 26 gauge R-panel from Mueller Steel Buildings, cut to the right length.

Also, the "my dogs" I was talking previously about are my FEET! Our Corgis are at home absolutely anywhere. I may just cut some of that foam flooring and cement it onto my shoes!

Mike


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snommisbor
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5527151 - 11/19/12 12:30 AM

That is a big observatory, cant wait to see the inside with all the stuff mounted and ready to go.

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bloodhound31
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/01/07

Loc: Canberra, Australia
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: snommisbor]
      #5527412 - 11/19/12 07:33 AM

Great work mate. I can tell you from moving from a three metre round building to a five metre round building, that you are going to LOVE the extra room! There's nothing worse than being cramped around the telescope, forever bumping, tripping and getting caught on cables in the dark.

Awesome sauce.

Baz.


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thesungazer
Sungazer
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: bloodhound31]
      #5527542 - 11/19/12 09:31 AM

That is going to be one fabulous observatory, Mike! I love all the room.

Thanks for the photos.

Greg


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: thesungazer]
      #5527786 - 11/19/12 11:49 AM

Thanks guys! It's 16'x18' to the outside of the floor deck, and measures 185" x 209" to the inside of the 2x4 stud walls. It's probably gonna be like any room in your house - it looks huge and empty until I start putting stuff in there, then pretty soon I'm wishing I'd made it two or three feet bigger all around!

Got the roof supports and center ridge spine welded up yesterday, cut all the rafter ends to the 13 degree roof slope, and got about half of them welded up yesterday. It was dark when we quit so I only got a few pictures. The welder's there today finishing all the rafters, then he'll order the C-channel purlins and R-paneling for the roof from Mueller. I'll put up progress pix tonight.

Mike


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5528772 - 11/19/12 08:45 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

This is the ridge spine welded up in place, ready to have the rafters attached.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5528777 - 11/19/12 08:46 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Here's Ken welding up the last of the rafters. It's starting to look like a roof now!

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5528781 - 11/19/12 08:48 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Finishing up welding the rafters at sundown.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5528810 - 11/19/12 09:05 PM Attachment (57 downloads)

So, after welding up all the rafters, we decided to try giving the roof a roll up and down the track. It moved about six feet then seized up on the track. One look down the sides of the V-groove casters told the reason: the new added weight of the rafters was bending the ridge down and the roof baseframe outwards at the middle. The ends are fully trussed and can't change their dimensions, but out in the middle, there are no trusses to hold their shape. We never figured 11 gauge 2x6 gauge steel beams could bend much in 6" plane direction, but they do! The outward bending was about 3-4 mm, enough to cause drag on the sides of the track, anyway. The attached diagram shows what is happening.

The fix is easy - use a Come-Along to winch the sides back together and parallel so that the roof rolls smoothly, then weld one ceiling joist across the central span to keep it in shape. I had originally not wanted anything across the middle to keep it nice and open, but this central joist is about 6'5" above the floor, so it won't be running into any telescopes as long as I stow them properly.

I'm glad we discovered this and will have this fixed before attaching the roof R-paneling, which will add nearly 500 pounds!

LESSON 1: 11 gauge 2x6 steel beams will bend a lot more than you think!


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mikey cee
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Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5529178 - 11/20/12 12:05 AM

You can temporarily jack the ridge up in several places until the flat plane of the roof panels are fully installed. The rafters can then no longer spread thereby keeping the ridge up. When raising the ridge you want to over compensate slightly so when things "settle" it will be nice and tight. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (11/20/12 12:08 AM)


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Mark Harry
Vendor
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Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Northeast USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5533493 - 11/22/12 07:58 AM

I was thinking this might happen.


M.


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kfrederick
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Observatory progress update *DELETED* new [Re: Mark Harry]
      #5533547 - 11/22/12 08:53 AM

Post deleted by kfrederick

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: kfrederick]
      #5533567 - 11/22/12 09:11 AM

This is probably too late but you really don't need V-Groove wheels on both tracks. If you put flat wheels and just flat stock as a header on one of the two sides then any small inconsistencies in your distance between both sides of your track become irrelevant and your roof will not bind.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5533679 - 11/22/12 10:20 AM

Now THERE's a good idea! If I ever build another ROR I will do that.

Mike

PS: Hey Mr. Markus - any more thoughts you have that you could like maybe share with me BEFOREHAND?


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HunterofPhotons
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Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5533894 - 11/22/12 12:40 PM

Put in more than one center joist, it's needed.
You can't depend on roof panels to maintain the structural integrity of your roof framing.
If you wanted a cathedral ceiling, you should have put in a properly-sized ridge beam. The roof would not have sagged then.
I would recommend putting in some diagonals to prevent racking in your roof structure, too.

dan k.


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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #5534100 - 11/22/12 03:34 PM

Good point on the heavier ridge beam. Oh well, too late now. 'Tis what it is.

By racking do you mean bending in the horizontal plane into a parallogram?


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5534982 - 11/23/12 08:10 AM

Something else Mike. I was planning on making a ROR for my observatory and I was going to use the motor and control system from BYO. They have a fine motor and gear system but in looking at the design, many people put the motor and gear to one side. This causes and automatic torque around the center-line of your roof which will add to your bind issues. While I ultimately changed to a dome, we were planning on running the gear right down the centerline of the roof. This placement will essentially remove any torque on the mechanical system, which should also reduce the load and any wear & tear on the motor. We had planned for this with the design of the roof joists but if you have enough clearance and if you were planning on using a motor/gear system to move the roof you may want to consider this kind of placement.

Nice work though. You have a stunning building and it should be a real class setup when you are all done.


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Mark Harry
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5535014 - 11/23/12 08:38 AM

Sorry, Mikey, I didn't see the recent posts until yesterday.
But it immediately came to mind; 1 track with -V- grooved wheels, and the other side a flat-track. Can be quite accomodating with any variance in width or flex.
******
Welding ain't as precise as most dudes think. I used to straighten car axles by placing welds in strategic spots after preheating, etc with 180k psi tensile welding rods---
bla,bla.... Runouts in the .00x", etc.
Maybe next time?
M.

PS one question- did you chaulk-line the tracks to see if the welds pulled the tracks 'concave' a bit??? I find it a bit hard to fathom a triangle 'truss' flexing that badly to bind if everything is straight.....? Just an idea.


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HunterofPhotons
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Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5535359 - 11/23/12 12:09 PM

Quote:

...By racking do you mean bending in the horizontal plane into a parallogram? [sic]




Mike,
Each roof slope is a rectangle now. There is nothing to prevent that from distorting into a parallelogram in the future. Corner braces or large diagonals will stop that distortion.
Large diagonals would be the strongest solution at this point.
Run two on a side, each from an outside corner to the midpoint of the opposing line of the roof.
Since one diagonal will always be in tension, they don't have to be that beefy.

dan k.


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Mike I. Jones
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Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5545216 - 11/29/12 10:10 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Here's Orion, rising above the finished roof frame.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5545220 - 11/29/12 10:12 AM Attachment (23 downloads)

Cygnus and finished roof frame.

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Mike I. Jones
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Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5545227 - 11/29/12 10:16 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

We got the insulation and roof on today. It was dark by the time we finished, so the full Moon made for nice illumination. Fomalhaut is peeking just over the rail.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5545246 - 11/29/12 10:23 AM Attachment (34 downloads)

Finished roof, with Cygnus setting, Delphinus above the roof, and Vega low on the horizon.

You can see one of the remaining details I need to take care of, my neighbor two houses over with a yard light shining on the building. She seems agreeable to my paying for a light shield.

Next to do: side panels on roof, install cable system to roll the roof, finish the door and apply weatherstripping. Once I know this thing is weather-resistant (but aiming for weather-proof), I'll hook up the juice, run the wiring, and build the warm room, then I'll be ready to move in.

Mike


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5545350 - 11/29/12 11:19 AM

Nice pictures and she's coming along nicely! Maybe I missed it, but have you given it a name?

David


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Starman27
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Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5546971 - 11/30/12 10:57 AM

Impressive build. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

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Mike I. Jones
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Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Starman27]
      #5551081 - 12/02/12 09:19 PM

The final delivery of steel R-panels has arrived. Gonna get that up, then start squirting the building from above with the garden hose and nozzle to find and caulk water leaks. Already started painting the inside walls "Celestial Blue", similar to "Mary B"'s color. I'll start building the warm room next, then get the wiring started. Still aiming for moving in over the Christmas break. I'll post more progress pictures Thursday or Friday.
Mike


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Mirzam
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5551628 - 12/03/12 08:14 AM

Sounds like you are building a Faraday cage. Hope you have your internet service hard wired!

JimC


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Mike I. Jones
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5551707 - 12/03/12 09:18 AM

So worth it, if Mr. Faraday's roll-off cage will keep lightning from smokin' my Paramount and pooter!

It's about 70 feet down the hill from my house. Gonna try a 4G hot spot first. If that doesn't work, then I can mount a pair of wireless antennas. Hate to dig another trench for CAT-5.
Mike


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
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Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5552634 - 12/03/12 07:15 PM

I have an inch of foil faced foam on my house under the siding. Wireless internet to the observatory? Nope no way no how without an external antenna.

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kfrederick
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mary B]
      #5850741 - 05/09/13 07:26 PM

Mike how the sky shed coming ??

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Raginar
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Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: kfrederick]
      #5855114 - 05/12/13 09:44 AM

Digging a 70' trench is pretty easy. You can rent a ditch witch (portable) walk behind model and be done with it in a day. Throw a line in another trench. You can do a couple of lines in case one fails too.

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tim57064
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Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Raginar]
      #5882493 - 05/24/13 02:57 PM

Been quite a while since we have seen any posts from Mike.Wondering how it is going?

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