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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Escher
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/30/07

Loc: Fenton, MI
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5896410 - 06/01/13 04:47 PM

I wonder if you could just use a course of concrete blocks to raise it up enough to fit the big Cave in there?

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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: Escher]
      #5896488 - 06/01/13 05:41 PM

Trouble is that the cave tube is about 8 feet long, which is bigger than the ID of the pod.

Tim


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neotesla
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Canada
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5896634 - 06/01/13 07:28 PM

Skyshed has a 12.5' Pod Max that is in preproduction right now... It's listed on their website menu.

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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: neotesla]
      #5896892 - 06/01/13 10:29 PM

Tim,
The one bad thing about a dome is that it 'looks' like a telescope lives there.....and in a remote place, I'd be concerned about that....
A roll-off just looks like a shed, and everybody in rural places has them, so they don't draw attention to themselves.
Russ


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: roscoe]
      #5897024 - 06/01/13 11:33 PM

Yep. I'm still leaning toward some sort of rolloff roof building. 10x12 (or 11x11, I suppose, though that's a square foot too big!).

So, in So Cal, particularly on the Inland Empire Craigslist (that covers part of San Berdoo County, which contains Joshua Tree), there are a number of guys advertising sheds and "portable buildings" on skids. They look well built - like a Tuff Shed or something similar - and they're reasonably priced (about half a Tuff Shed or less at Home Despot). How hard would it be to modify something to a rolloff roof? Or is something like a BYO or Skyshed really worth about double the price due to the mods required?

-Tim.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5897142 - 06/02/13 01:03 AM

The folks around here who build those 'portable-shed' type buildings often build-to-order..... so if you could order one with a double top plate (the horizontal 2x4 that frames the top of the wall and provides a place to nail the roof rafters to) instead of the single that is often used in shed construction (houses use doubles around here) and ask them to screw them together from the bottom, you could unscrew the roof after the shed is set up and leveled, jack it up and add your rails and rollers, and there you'd be......

There's a guy down in the valley who specializes in 6x8 garden sheds and playhouses, delivers them on a trailer like landscapers use to move mowers, etc, and sells them for about 10% over what the materials would cost me.
I think he gets his stock from a sawmill, and planes it himself, and saves enough there to make a profit. I bet he sells 6 for every one Home Desperate sells.... So a guy like that might well be worth talking to, for your obs and your garage, too.
R


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5897167 - 06/02/13 01:17 AM

Quote:

Yep. I'm still leaning toward some sort of rolloff roof building. 10x12 (or 11x11, I suppose, though that's a square foot too big!).

So, in So Cal, particularly on the Inland Empire Craigslist (that covers part of San Berdoo County, which contains Joshua Tree), there are a number of guys advertising sheds and "portable buildings" on skids. They look well built - like a Tuff Shed or something similar - and they're reasonably priced (about half a Tuff Shed or less at Home Despot). How hard would it be to modify something to a rolloff roof? Or is something like a BYO or Skyshed really worth about double the price due to the mods required?

-Tim.



I know nothing about Tuff Sheds beyond what I see walking past them at Home Depot or whomever carries them. However, a neighbor's steel storage shed was lifted by a dust devil and dumped on our property, narrowly missing my observatory. Worse, it could've hit the house. Who knows what it would have done to a scope, if one had been inside. I'm betting you get some excellent dust devils in Joshua Tree. I'd be reluctant to choose something too light or flimsy, and "cheaper" implies both of these negative attributes to me. You're welcome to come and see my BYO and see if it's something you want to do. I could also probably get you a visit to see a genuine ExploraDome. Contact me privately if interested.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: Calypte]
      #5897639 - 06/02/13 11:12 AM

I share your trepidation with the light-duty steel sheds. My dad had one at his home in orange county. IT didn't get blown around, but corrosion and dents made it hard to get the doors open after a few years.

The ones I've been curious about are like this guy's ad in Hesperia: http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/grq/3810808695.html

Like Russ suggested, I'd want to ask the guy about doubling up the top plates so the roof could be removed and put on tracks. I'd also want to affix the foundation to concrete piers so it could be leveled and stay that way.

-Tim.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5897715 - 06/02/13 12:19 PM

I'm thinking that if you have the time available to put one together, that you can get the supplies to build one way cheaper than $2200.....and you could, as you mentioned above, pre-fab - or at least pre-cut, much of it at home....
maybe get the ply and roofing delivered, and work up the tricky frame parts, like the roof components, in the comfort of your driveway....
Also, if you're thinking of a garage, you could perhaps have the concrete for the floor pad, the scope pier, and the building piers, all delivered at the same time, saving both the hassle of hand-mixing, and the small-delivery surcharge of doing just the obs.....
R


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: roscoe]
      #5897762 - 06/02/13 12:43 PM

One of the advantages I'll have with Joshua Tree is that there is a Home Despot in Yucca Valley about 15 minutes away. I could use them as a source for heavy stuff like concrete. My truck has a huge bed (5.5x8.5 ft), so bulky panels aren't a big problem. Weight is, since it's only powered by a 1.6 litre stock VW engine:


-Tim.

Edited by tim53 (06/03/13 09:24 AM)


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5897787 - 06/02/13 12:58 PM

Quote:


Side note: With Southern California's huge population base and lots of relatively dark Mojave Desert, with so many clear, relatively warm nights per year, I always wonder why no-one has yet attempted to start a formal astronomy community in California? Perhaps someday...




For retired folks moving TO California is a no go. So it would have to be cheap enough for people to maintain a residence outside of California. An RV park design coupled with homes might work, but can you get the price low enough given all of California's permitting requirements.

I would look in the coast range west of Redding. Some real dark skies there and pretty empty country,

AND just north of San Luis Obispo. Weather is better in winter and I suspect so would have some buffers from development with the Forest Service and military lands in the area.

Plus either location would probably get lots of use from California residents.

Having been back to the southwest deserts for the first time in 30 years....the skies are heading south at a rapid pace.

California might be better in the long run.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: vsteblina]
      #5898128 - 06/02/13 04:16 PM

Either that's a really burly mount, or that's a very well-detailed vintage VW truck model.......

Do keep in mind, though, that if there's a Desperate nearby, there's also a 'local' lumber yard....who not only sells building materials at prices sometimes lower than HD, they're often higher quality, and they'll deliver, for a nominal fee or usually free if you're getting a larger order..... save that vintage vee-wee for nobler purposes than hauling sakrete......
R


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: roscoe]
      #5898171 - 06/02/13 04:45 PM

It's a burly mount! Cave 12.5" f/7 on the 2 1/2" shaft "Observatory" mount. Thankfully, with big casters! At least at home where I can roll it in and out of my garage.

There's a great lumber yard with all kinds of interesting stock in Pasadena - Ganahl. I could make a really nice 2x8 T&G floor if I wanted to. Of course, I'd have to haul everything the 2.25 hour drive to Josh. Well, probably 3 1/2 hours in the VW. I used to drive my 67 bus out there, and that's about how long it took, especially climbing the grades toward Morongo and Yucca Valleys (3rd gear at 35mph).

-Tim.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5898428 - 06/02/13 08:13 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

So I went out and had to measure the Cave. If I put the pier right in the middle of a 10x12 foot rolloff, it'll have about 5 or 6 inches of clearance IF that 10 feet is the inside dimension, not the footprint!

While I was at it, I got some turtle wax out and cleaned up the tube. It might not look different from when I got it, but it's cleaner. There are still a number of scratches in the gel coat in several places, but not enough to make me want to refinish it. Next time I work on this thing, I'll have to take that focuser off and repaint it (priming it this time!), and a bunch of other minor things. Overall, it's in pretty good shape considering it spent some time outdoors at the previous owner's house.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5898429 - 06/02/13 08:14 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Too

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5898481 - 06/02/13 08:57 PM

Hi Tim!

For now, why not go with a basic storage shed, which will be useful now and in the future when you have a residence at your dark site--just store the scope in the shed and roll it outside when you want to observe.

The permanent observatory should not be regarded as a low-buck, quick and simple build. You will end up doing it all over again.

JimC


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5898506 - 06/02/13 09:08 PM

Hi Jim:

Good idea, actually. I started out thinking of doing that, but then I would say "but if I make the roof roll off, I won't have to build another shed for the telescope after the cabin/garage/whatever is done! "

For the near term, I could just haul my scope out with me and store it in the shed while we run around at the Park or the store or something.

Hm...

-Tim


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: tim53]
      #5898687 - 06/02/13 11:11 PM

You could just do a roll off shed to store the Cave in the parked position on the pier.

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5898736 - 06/02/13 11:34 PM

I have a Cave 12.5-inch f/5 that stays disassembled in the garage most of the time. There's no room for it in the observatory.

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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Cosmic Acres! new [Re: Calypte]
      #5898775 - 06/02/13 11:56 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

Rodney wants a ROR!

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