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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Toml08
member
*****

Reged: 01/08/11

Loc: Evergeen, CO
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: hm insulators]
      #6233421 - 12/04/13 01:45 PM

Awesome Tim, it's get better every time I check in. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

CS,
Tom.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6234008 - 12/04/13 06:44 PM

Hi Tim:

I am still not operational . . . but very close now. Just looking for ideas. I was planning to box my pier in as a utility measure. It will be easier to affix electrical to it that way, for one thing.
Your octagonal cladding looks excellent. I will try that!


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6234085 - 12/04/13 07:44 PM

Steve,Thanks for your reply.Thinking more and more that's the name to keep."Grandpa's House Observatory" it is.
Everyone here is calling it that so guess I'll have to stick with it.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: hm insulators]
      #6234108 - 12/04/13 08:01 PM

Thank You Jim for your reply.
Of Course,Marine varnish,As there will be times where dew may be a problem and that exterior finish will be appreciated then.
I have used it on other outdoor projects and should have thought about that myself. Thanks.

As far as the bass goes,thanks.
I built that one myself or at least I purchased everything separately and put it together.I am building a base out of Walnut.
Both Bass guitars you see in that pic are Fenders.I started playing in a High School stage band many,many moons ago.
I enjoy playing pretty much anything with a good beat.Be it Country,Classic Rock,Huey Lewis and the News,Barry White,Boston, among others,even got into disco, during the late 70's, while serving in Germany.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Toml08]
      #6234120 - 12/04/13 08:05 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Thank You so much Tom. As you can tell now,it is pretty much done. Very few things need to be addressed not to be totally complete.
Next Spring,I will be adding a covered porch to it that will be the full length of the front.
I added a storm door to it yesterday,since when it snows,it builds up on the door and freezes the door shut.

As you can see,I got the storm door installed just in time as we have had over 6 inches of snow since around 3 AM this morning.
The highs for the next week are only going to be in the single digits F and down in the teens below zero for a while at night.

Edited by tim57064 (12/04/13 08:09 PM)


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6234146 - 12/04/13 08:21 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

Terry Glad to see that you are going for the cladding of plywood around your pier as I did. An Octagon shape looks so much better than the concrete.If you pay close attention to getting a tight fit,you will not have to use Tapcon screws to attach it to the pier. Otherwise they work great and you can just cover the screws with wood putty.
After cutting all the pieces on my table saw,I glued and pin nailed them together around the pier and used band clamps to hold them while they dried.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6234244 - 12/04/13 09:19 PM

It looks like the little birdies are waiting to look thru your scope.

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6238361 - 12/07/13 12:08 AM

Appreciate your reply Carol,Yet way too many Sparrows around when we first put out the bird seed.
I haven't been doing much with the OBS lately since it has gotten so cold. Just hangin' out in there.
I have started building a Truss Tube Scope for a friend,ninosr, who is on here also.
I am showing/doing a write up,on the build of the scope in the "ATM,Optics and DIY" forum under "constructing a dob for a friend." If you get a chance,check it out.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6240723 - 12/08/13 12:30 PM

Tim, while a bit off topic (in a way), what kind of scope (size) and what floor plan space is required to house it in an observatory?

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6241541 - 12/08/13 08:42 PM

Steve,Thanks for your reply.
As far as a Truss tube Dob scope the size that I am constructing right now?,I am unsure of the size of the OBS. The original scope tube was slightly longer/ than 9 feet so I would think that the OBS would have to be much larger than what I have in order to house and use it,if I still wanted to have everything that is in there now.

If you wanted to keep the scope in the center of the Obs so you would not have to move the entire scope around when closing the roof,then I would think that the minimum size would probably be in the range of 18' long and 12 or 14 feet wide on the Obs.
Then I would think you would still have to point the scope into a corner when closing the roof.
Now,If the obs is for a normal size dob,say a 12 or 14" f/5 or faster, then an Obs the size I have would work nicely.The vaulted ceiling I have would allow the scope to stand straight up to zenith after the roof is closed.
The walls height of course has to be taken into consideration then also.
I have 82" tall walls,if I remember correctly. I built a 12 1/2" f/5.6 truss tube Dob many years ago. If you wanted to view near M81 or M82 with that particular scope in my Obs now,it would not be possible.Walls too tall.

To tell you the truth,I could not imagine having to build an Obs for a Dob the size I am currently building.This is a crazy big scope in my opinion for a 16".


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6241709 - 12/08/13 10:12 PM

Thanks Tim. The reason I was asking is that I may wish to have a dob later on (12-15 inch) but I am not sure I have enough room.

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6241804 - 12/08/13 11:15 PM

Steve,Is your AP mount attached to a concrete pier or steel that comes up from the floor?If steel pier is being used,Just remove it when you want to use the dob.I don't recall yet do you have any pic's of the interior of your 15 foot Tech innovations OBS. If I remember right,You had said something to the effect that "if you want to see images of my OBS ,check out the manufacturers site."
It would help in this instance,to see what you have personally,the way you set it up.
I realize that moving your AP mount would be a pain,yet a 15 inch dob would be fun to view with inside the dome.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6243050 - 12/09/13 04:20 PM

The AP mount is on an ATS pier (10 inches) which is afixed on concrete. I would not have to have the dob in the center of the dome, but I am not keen about undoing the AP mount and ATS pier. It may not really be feasible.

I have not taken pictures of the outside or inside of the observatory. My wife took the camera to Europe and by the time she returned it was completed. Some day I will get around to pictures. (he says)


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6246004 - 12/10/13 11:02 PM

Steve if you could make both work in Your domed OBS,go for it. I could actually use 2 in mine,yet would not have the entire sky with the second scope.
I like to compare views thru 2 or more scopes at the same time.Or if 1 is set up for imaging,view thru the other. Much more fun that way.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6253358 - 12/14/13 08:17 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

For the past week or so,maybe 2 weeks,I have been dealing with frost inside the OBS.
Yes,frost and some ice build up on the vinyl floor near the door.
I actually had frost on my scope cases and also on my desktop computer that is underneath the desk.
The heater has been running the whole time and am finding that propane ,as I already knew yet did not think would be that bad,puts quite a bit of humidity in the air.

Well, I knew what the problem was since I had not taken care of it before it actually got cold outside.

There has been no insulation in the floor!
Way to go right?
Well,my reason for not insulating before installing the plywood was all the rain we were suppose to have before I would have gotten the roof on.
Then I just kept putting it off and putting it off in hopes it would have to be done til' next year.
Duh! Cold outside air and and warm air inside means frost build up on the surface.

Well now I took care of it.
Thursday,it was warm enough outside that I got busy and insulated the floor.
There was plenty of room so that I could crawl underneath to install the insulation.

The frost is all gone now,Everything is thawed out and computer and everything else is fine.
I can even be inside in my sock feet and not be cold.

You know,A person might think that with all the experience I have had over the years,I would have averted this possible disaster and taken care of this way before now.
Guess I am what you might call a procrastonist.
Well no more,when something needs to be done,it will be.
Guess this will be my New Years Resolution.
No more putting off for tomorrow which should be done today.
Almost a hard lesson learned.


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6254764 - 12/15/13 04:24 PM

Mice are going to love you! I hope you cover that insulation with something

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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Mary B]
      #6254817 - 12/15/13 04:49 PM

Or get some cats

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: Mary B]
      #6255017 - 12/15/13 06:41 PM

Mary ,Thank you for your reply.Yes I am covering the insulation to protect it from the elements and from vermin.Just waiting for slightly warmer temps as it will be for the next 4 days to get it done.

Chris,we do have 2 cats around here.One that just hangs around and is outside all the time,stays under my woodworking shop. I do see that one go under OBS once in a while.
They both just showed up last year and decided to stay after feeding them.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6312715 - 01/14/14 04:33 PM

Okay ya all.It's been a while since posting anything.

This spring I plan to add a garage door opener to the Observatory.
Now I know there have been others that have added an opener to their Roll Off Roof OBS so I would appreciate any and all help here.
I have seen some images of what people have here yet not in detail how it was installed.
I plan to get a 3/4 horse model yet not sure which one to get so that I can operate it remotely. Thanks.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: In the process of Building my Observatory. new [Re: tim57064]
      #6312804 - 01/14/14 05:15 PM

Go check out my build thread and you can see all the pictures and trials and tribulations. My work isn't anywhere near your level of detail but I think you'll get the idea.

Two options are garage door opener and a tracked system like you'd see on a gate. The gate opener is more expensive but usually significantly more powerful. The only problem I've had is the 'truck' on my Genie went bad and I had to replace it ($25 bucks). I think it was from when I first installed it and things weren't working smoothly.

As for controllers, there are a few options. Do you want to automate your imaging or do you just want to click a button to open the shed? You can just use the 'clicker' if that's all you need. Otherwise, I have my Foster Systems roof controller plugged into the 'wall controller' for my Genie.

I like the screw drive; it's powerful enough that I don't have any problems with the roof wanting to move in the wind. Are you on angle iron? You're going to need some way to automate locking it down each night or figure out some type of track to keep the roof on. A benefit of using garage door track I guess.



If you need any amplifying pictures, just let me know with a PM.


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