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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Reviving an old observatory or start over?
      #5623574 - 01/14/13 10:34 PM

I have a roll off roof observatory that has a number of problems and I'm trying to figure out whether I'm better off fixing what I have or tearing it down and starting over. Obviously I would prefer not to do that. The observatory is 12x10. I will be using it with my 20" Dob or my other telescopes. It was built originally with the Dob in mind.

Problem 1: Dirt floor. For this app, do you think I need to poor a floor, or can I just use patio stones? I could either do the entire floor or leave where the rocker box sits bare dirt.

Problem 2: The roof rolls off to the North. The door into the shed is to the South. Because I wanted a low south view, I built one half of the wall up only half way. I can then open up the wall on that side. Between that and the door, if I time things right I can get a view pretty far South. The problem is that because of that, the two side walls are not tied together at all on the South end. The result is predictable, the outside walls want to shift out. One possible solution is a wire cable with a turnbuckle between the two sides.

Problem 3 - My door was just double layer plywood with some hinges. a) the hinges are not heavy duty enough. b) the door is totally falling apart. c) The wall it hinges to shifts somewhat, again because there is no cap plate, etc. The door is quite wide and needs to be to get the 20" in and out (4 feet wide). I'm thinking about again building one out of plywood, but this time using 1x1s inside and then skinning it with the plywood.

4) I get water in the observatory because of gaps between the roof and the walls on all sides. I think I can fix the gaps on the side by going up with 1x8's or something from the top of the outside bottom section. On the North side, I can probably go down with a 1x8 secured to the 2x4s that make up the bottom frame of the roof. But I'm at a loss what to do with the South side with the door.

5) I used wavy steel roof sheeting (whatever they call that stuff) for the roof. Unfortunately although I capped it with the piece they sold, and I used the waffle boards for it to lay on, on the side, those waffle boards did not hold up to exterior weather well and have fallen apart. This leads to gaps between the cap and the roofing, again which leak.

I'm thinking of pulling the roof on that side and putting down strips of 1x4 or 1x3 which I used on the other side and which have held up much better. While doing that, I have the obvious option to replace the roof material entirely. Any suggestions one way or the other.

Obviously I would rather not start over if I can avoid it. The roof DOES work and I remember what a pain making it in the first place was.

Thanks for any suggestions.


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5623596 - 01/14/13 10:51 PM

Please add a few images of the structure.

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5623615 - 01/14/13 11:04 PM

Sounds like you know what the problems are, what needs to be done and how to do it. I almost always opt for fixing rather than replacing, well for equipment anyways. Wifes not so much, don't know much about fixin them. I'd want to pour a floor I think. Dirt (even with pavers) and moisture just go together. My vote is go for observatory version 2.0, the modification of version 1.0.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5624557 - 01/15/13 02:38 PM

I'll have to get some pictures. If I pour a pad, how thick do I need to make it? And do I need to leave where I setup the telescopes isolated from it? That is an issue because where I place the Dob is different from where I place the other scopes. (The Dob needs to be closer to the Northern end to get the best southern views and to give it space to be down for working on it, collimating, etc., but that does limit the view to the North. The other scopes are more centered. The paving stones are less work and less permanent. On the other hand, depending how thick the pad needs to be, that might be cheaper.

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

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5624937 - 01/15/13 06:32 PM

Move the door to the north end, patio stone on packed sand works. Pour just a pad for the dob. then rebuild your south wall for full drop down. Carol solved the side leaks with garage door weather strip.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Mary B]
      #5624992 - 01/15/13 07:12 PM

Quote:

Move the door to the north end, patio stone on packed sand works. Pour just a pad for the dob. then rebuild your south wall for full drop down. Carol solved the side leaks with garage door weather strip.




The idea about moving the door to the North is just the kind of thing I would never have thought of myself and that would solve so many problems. What a great suggestion!


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5625146 - 01/15/13 08:35 PM

Most of the concrete pads (i.e., not structural elements) I've seen and worked with tend to be about 4" thick. They have a crushed gravel base, and reinforcing material (e.g., a rectangular metal mesh) within the pour. I would not want a dirt or paver floor in my observatory.

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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: JJK]
      #5625762 - 01/16/13 08:37 AM

Not sure how tall your walls are but if they are tall enough an option might be, pour a pad for Dob, use 2x8 pressure treated floor joists and plywood floor isolated from pad

Norm


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: stmguy]
      #5625898 - 01/16/13 10:06 AM

Quote:

Not sure how tall your walls are but if they are tall enough an option might be, pour a pad for Dob, use 2x8 pressure treated floor joists and plywood floor isolated from pad

Norm




Unfortunately, the walls are only about 6' tall to keep sight lines better, so there really isn't room for doing that. Also I have some refractors, and that would put the eyepiece at very low levels.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5625934 - 01/16/13 10:25 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

Quote:

where the rocker box sits bare dirt.




I would never leave my dob on bare dirt. Moisture, plus mice, etc., finding their way in.

Quote:

Unfortunately, the walls are only about 6' tall




That seems very high for a dob. My dobservatory has 3' high walls for my 16", to get as low to the horizon as possible.

Here is how I sealed the spacing between the roof & the walls, as Mary mentioned. I've never had any moisture whatsoever, even with my usual storms of "sideways" snow & rain storms. This is just garage door bottom stripping that I think comes in 9' lengths. I just stapled it on the top of the walls.


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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5626073 - 01/16/13 12:01 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

where the rocker box sits bare dirt.




I would never leave my dob on bare dirt. Moisture, plus mice, etc., finding their way in.

Quote:

Unfortunately, the walls are only about 6' tall




That seems very high for a dob. My dobservatory has 3' high walls for my 16", to get as low to the horizon as possible.

Here is how I sealed the spacing between the roof & the walls, as Mary mentioned. I've never had any moisture whatsoever, even with my usual storms of "sideways" snow & rain storms. This is just garage door bottom stripping that I think comes in 9' lengths. I just stapled it on the top of the walls.




"Great minds think alike." I also used garage door bottom molding between the walls and the roll off roof in my 11 year old observatory. Snow or rain has never made it past this flashing system.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #5626093 - 01/16/13 12:12 PM



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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5626964 - 01/16/13 08:33 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Here are some pictures of the observatory in its current state. My apologies for the poor quality but it was drizzling and a good camera didn't seem like a good idea.

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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627008 - 01/16/13 08:56 PM

I did the same,but even had to have mine transported. In the end, not much was left of the original, and I wasted a lot of time stripping old stuff off. It was probably a bad idea.
Here's the thread......
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5027475/page...

Edited by Wmacky (01/16/13 08:57 PM)


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Wmacky]
      #5627110 - 01/16/13 10:04 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Quote:

I did the same,but even had to have mine transported. In the end, not much was left of the original, and I wasted a lot of time stripping old stuff off. It was probably a bad idea.
Here's the thread......
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5027475/page...




Thanks. I'll need to read that thread.

Some more pics.


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627114 - 01/16/13 10:05 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

The North side where I would put move the door. The roof is open.

Edited by Madratter (01/16/13 10:06 PM)


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627118 - 01/16/13 10:08 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Part of the South side that I would need to modify for drop wall.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627119 - 01/16/13 10:08 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

And the other half of the South side.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627123 - 01/16/13 10:10 PM

As can be seen from all of this, my carpentry skills are "modest". So whatever I do either starting over or modifying this one has to take that into account.

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Dan G
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/27/06

Loc: Minisink, NY, USA
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627183 - 01/16/13 10:44 PM

I would open the roof, jack up the walls 6" (a few ways you could accomplish this), pour a concrete floor, place pressure treated sills under the walls and reset the building. The other issues can be addressed but you need a sound foundation for the structure AND a good, clean, dry platform for the scope.

Dan in NY


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Dan G]
      #5627200 - 01/16/13 10:53 PM

I'll need to recheck, but I'm pretty sure I used pressure treated wood on the concrete foundation.

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627251 - 01/16/13 11:58 PM

I don't know how long it's been since you built it but for an on grade unpainted structure it's still standing which says something for the initial build skills! If the roof rolls smoothly and the walls aren't racked I'd consider refurbishing it rather than starting over.
The roof is the priority, I wouldn't do just the half that's failed but the whole thing. The corrugated metal is lighter than plywood and shingles and easier for one person to handle. You know now how to do it correctly so I'd just redo the whole roof. If any of the rafters seem a bit ratty you can sister new ones along side and screw the new roof into the sistered rafters. Replace the plywood gable ends with T-11 sheathing and prime and paint them. If you're going to move the door to the other end consider redoing the framing and use a pre hung door. It will make for a stronger wall. Since you say your carpentry skills are a bit iffy this is something I'd hire a finish carpenter for. He can cut and size the door to fit and make sure it's square. Replace the sheathing at that end with T-11 and prime and paint it and the door.
Before you reframe the other end, that is now without the door, do what ever "floor" work you're going to do. If you dont want to pour a slab for the Dob consider one of those pre cast units they use to set A/C units on. You can do the rest in pavers, just leave a gap so they don't touch the base for the Dob. Reframe and resheath the end wall with T-11, prime
and paint.
As money and time permit you can resheath the side walls with T-11 and prime and paint them as well. Correct the grade around the Obs so that water from the roof and surrounding area is directed away from the walls. If you know what a French Drain is this would be a good idea for around the perimeter. An 18 inch gravel border around the Obs will keep mud and water from splashing up on the walls. Apply a waterproof coating to the bottom 18" of the walls as well as 18" metal flashing.
If you feel your skills are up to ir make and install some corner shelving out of MDF. You can make a desk, some storage, eye piece racks etc. These will help keep the corners square as well as providing you with useful areas. Use hefty angle brackets to tie the top and bottom corners of the walls to each other. Sister any weak or iffy wall studs. Use Carols garage door weather stripping trick to keep out wind, rain and tiny UFO's.
Hope this helps.


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mikey cee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5627270 - 01/17/13 12:14 AM

Aahh I was never much of one for throwing good money after bad. Start over and do it right. Mike

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5627310 - 01/17/13 12:48 AM

Quote:

Aahh I was never much of one for throwing good money after bad. Start over and do it right. Mike



I've seen pix of your Obs, no bad money there!

Whatever his decision, all the best to him.


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5627646 - 01/17/13 08:56 AM

Quote:

I don't know how long it's been since you built it but for an on grade unpainted structure it's still standing which says something for the initial build skills! If the roof rolls smoothly and the walls aren't racked I'd consider refurbishing it rather than starting over.
The roof is the priority, I wouldn't do just the half that's failed but the whole thing. The corrugated metal is lighter than plywood and shingles and easier for one person to handle. You know now how to do it correctly so I'd just redo the whole roof. If any of the rafters seem a bit ratty you can sister new ones along side and screw the new roof into the sistered rafters. Replace the plywood gable ends with T-11 sheathing and prime and paint them. If you're going to move the door to the other end consider redoing the framing and use a pre hung door. It will make for a stronger wall. Since you say your carpentry skills are a bit iffy this is something I'd hire a finish carpenter for. He can cut and size the door to fit and make sure it's square. Replace the sheathing at that end with T-11 and prime and paint it and the door.
Before you reframe the other end, that is now without the door, do what ever "floor" work you're going to do. If you dont want to pour a slab for the Dob consider one of those pre cast units they use to set A/C units on. You can do the rest in pavers, just leave a gap so they don't touch the base for the Dob. Reframe and resheath the end wall with T-11, prime
and paint.
As money and time permit you can resheath the side walls with T-11 and prime and paint them as well. Correct the grade around the Obs so that water from the roof and surrounding area is directed away from the walls. If you know what a French Drain is this would be a good idea for around the perimeter. An 18 inch gravel border around the Obs will keep mud and water from splashing up on the walls. Apply a waterproof coating to the bottom 18" of the walls as well as 18" metal flashing.
If you feel your skills are up to ir make and install some corner shelving out of MDF. You can make a desk, some storage, eye piece racks etc. These will help keep the corners square as well as providing you with useful areas. Use hefty angle brackets to tie the top and bottom corners of the walls to each other. Sister any weak or iffy wall studs. Use Carols garage door weather stripping trick to keep out wind, rain and tiny UFO's.
Hope this helps.




Thanks for the very detailed advice. The original build was done back in 1992. The original roof was not secured properly and blew off in a huge storm associated, if I recall correctly, with a Hurricane. I think it was maybe Emily in 1993. I then redid the roof with rubber rollers, plywood, and shingles. That was a very bad idea. It was too heavy and the rubber rollers cracked under the weight. Finally I redid it with the steel roof and metal rollers, so this has been my third (and by far the longest lasting) roof.

I haven't used the structure much lately because the mirror in my Dob needed recoating. I got that done back in December (Majestic) and so I need to get this back in useable, and preferably much better condition than before.

I probably can use a pre-hung exterior door since my Dob needs about 33-34 inches of clearance, and exterior doors are about 36. The height of the door is a problem, I'll need to think about how to deal with that.

Edited by Madratter (01/17/13 08:59 AM)


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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5627868 - 01/17/13 11:20 AM

Madratter
I built an 8'X10' ROR 2 years ago this summer for just over $1300. I built it with 6' walls because of local lighting issues. I used garage door hardware to mount the roof and did not include a pier in the construction, I'm pretty much a lone observer and can manage visual and AP given the quality of the equipment I own. I guess if your rehab cost are anywhere near those figures and I'll bet they will be very near to that to get your equipment off the ground I vote for new construction.
Be Well
Grey


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5628032 - 01/17/13 12:44 PM

Quote:

Aahh I was never much of one for throwing good money after bad. Start over and do it right. Mike




Well, at least you didn't suggest possible termites this time.....


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Wmacky]
      #5628091 - 01/17/13 01:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Aahh I was never much of one for throwing good money after bad. Start over and do it right. Mike




Well, at least you didn't suggest possible termites this time.....




Ouch!


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5634512 - 01/21/13 08:55 AM

I have decided to revive it. So far I have moved the door to the North end as suggested. I have also used the garage door weather stripping to seal along the tracks. The idea to move the door to the North end was a great one.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5634606 - 01/21/13 09:56 AM

Keep us posted with your progress; pictures are required!

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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5645305 - 01/26/13 11:54 PM

I think your cheapest floor upgrade would be to dig a couple inches of topsoil out of the interior, spread and rake flat an inch or two of sand, and put paving blocks down. If you wanted a more waterproof system, you could put plastic sheeting or a tarp under the sand.
A poured concrete floor would be the next option, but guessing your obs is 12x12, you'd need nearly 2 yards of concrete, about 50 1-cubic-foot bags of sakrete, if you have a portable mixer and a helper available.
Having a truck come in with premix is possible, but you'd have 6" deep ruts from the road to your obs, and many companies charge a premium for less than a full truckload (often 7 yards)
Russ


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5645587 - 01/27/13 08:10 AM

I was looking into the concrete option the other day. It turns out for a 4" pad I would need roughly 56 bags of sakrete. At 5$+ a bag that is only about 250$ but a whole lot of work.

I can get pavers for 1.50$ a block. The observatory is 12x10 so I would need about 11x9 of them. So I am close to 150$ for pavers, + the sand. So money wise, there isn't a great deal of difference.

Time and effort, there is.

Another option would be 8x16 concrete blocks that are 4" thick. Those are about 1.25$ a block. I like the fact those are more durable than the pavers. I'm a little concerned they might be more tippy.

I kind of hate to pour a pad because if I ever want to rip it out of there, it is going to be a WHOLE lot more work at that time. And I'm not sure how I would want to configure it. I have multiple telescopes I like to use etc. With the pavers, it is easy to move things around.

I may end up using sakrete for a small pad for my Obsession, and use pavers or the blocks for everything else.


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5646051 - 01/27/13 01:18 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Some more pictures. First a picture of the door relocated to the North and some flashing added to help keep water out. I would prefer to use a regular door, but I don't know how to get rid of the one beam on the roof without wrecking the structural integrity. At any rate, this is far superior to how things were with the door on the South side.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5646060 - 01/27/13 01:21 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

This is a picture showing the use of the garage door weatherstripping to help keep water coming in from the sides. I think this is going to help a whole lot. There is a gap here I need to cover with flashing or something.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5646068 - 01/27/13 01:24 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

This is a picture of a gap that is between the sides and the roof. I'm looking for ideas on the best way to seal this. Perhaps more garage door weather stripping. You can also seen some of the broken waffle boards, and a new board I inserted to help hold the roof up like it is supposed to be. The roof was much better in our recent snow. I still need to see how it does in the rain.

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5646078 - 01/27/13 01:29 PM

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.

Edited by Madratter (01/27/13 01:30 PM)


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roscoe
curmudgeon
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Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5646430 - 01/27/13 04:49 PM

To seal the edges of your roof, you can get at real lumber yards (or they can order for you) metal roofing parts called gable trim. They are more for the newer roofing with a ridge every 9", but will work on corrugated. They are made to cover about 4" of the roof, and hang down about 4". If you look at photos of observatories that BYO build, they normally use this edge trim.
R


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5646538 - 01/27/13 05:51 PM

Quote:

To seal the edges of your roof, you can get at real lumber yards (or they can order for you) metal roofing parts called gable trim. They are more for the newer roofing with a ridge every 9", but will work on corrugated. They are made to cover about 4" of the roof, and hang down about 4". If you look at photos of observatories that BYO build, they normally use this edge trim.
R




Perfect. That was just what I needed to know. I looked it up. Thanks!


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stmguy
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Reged: 10/11/12

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Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5647441 - 01/28/13 06:00 AM

a little more overhang on the gable ends might help also
Norm


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DGB
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Loc: Reva, Virginia USA
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5648602 - 01/28/13 04:14 PM

Quote:

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.



To cover the secondary... Why of course: a Crown Royal bag! (I actually go around to the ABC stores here in Virginia and gather them up to hand out to DOB owners at different astronomy gatherings. Yes, I show them pictures of my efforts!) I agree you will want to put down a solid concrete base for the 20". Additionally for the rest of the observatory, I would consider a pressure treated decking of sorts independent of the concrete base for the 20". Get's you sightly up off the ground and easier when you drop something on wood vs concrete. Have you priced decking materiel? (Of course, a 20" box fan and two hours head start blowing on the mirror is always good advice too.)


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Madratter
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Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: DGB]
      #5649925 - 01/29/13 09:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.



To cover the secondary... Why of course: a Crown Royal bag! (I actually go around to the ABC stores here in Virginia and gather them up to hand out to DOB owners at different astronomy gatherings. Yes, I show them pictures of my efforts!) I agree you will want to put down a solid concrete base for the 20". Additionally for the rest of the observatory, I would consider a pressure treated decking of sorts independent of the concrete base for the 20". Get's you sightly up off the ground and easier when you drop something on wood vs concrete. Have you priced decking materiel? (Of course, a 20" box fan and two hours head start blowing on the mirror is always good advice too.)




Thanks for the idea! How about covering the primary. Do you think just the cover for the rocker box is sufficient or do you take additional measures?


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

Loc: montana
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5649966 - 01/29/13 10:11 AM

I never use the primary cover. Instead I have breathable end covers & then use a TeleGizmos cover, even though my dobservatory is very tight, & has never had moisture in it.

I would highly recommend a TeleGizmos cover for your dob, if you leave it in your shed, until you get it to where there's no leakage.

Telegizmos


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Madratter
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Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5651225 - 01/29/13 09:41 PM

Quote:

I never use the primary cover. Instead I have breathable end covers & then use a TeleGizmos cover, even though my dobservatory is very tight, & has never had moisture in it.

I would highly recommend a TeleGizmos cover for your dob, if you leave it in your shed, until you get it to where there's no leakage.

Telegizmos




I'd been to their site before, but somehow missed the fact they actually had covers big enough for my Dob. Thanks for making me check again.

Edited by Madratter (01/29/13 09:42 PM)


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

Loc: montana
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5651365 - 01/29/13 11:20 PM

You're welcome; you simply cannot go wrong with one of their covers. They have them in the verticle position, or the park position, also. Very good covers!

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DGB
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Loc: Reva, Virginia USA
Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5651767 - 01/30/13 08:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.



To cover the secondary... Why of course: a Crown Royal bag! (I actually go around to the ABC stores here in Virginia and gather them up to hand out to DOB owners at different astronomy gatherings. Yes, I show them pictures of my efforts!) I agree you will want to put down a solid concrete base for the 20". Additionally for the rest of the observatory, I would consider a pressure treated decking of sorts independent of the concrete base for the 20". Get's you sightly up off the ground and easier when you drop something on wood vs concrete. Have you priced decking materiel? (Of course, a 20" box fan and two hours head start blowing on the mirror is always good advice too.)




Thanks for the idea! How about covering the primary. Do you think just the cover for the rocker box is sufficient or do you take additional measures?




Within my observatory, I use an 11 watt light hooked to a timer (4am till 10am) inside of the mirror box, with the mirror box lid in place. No cover over the entire scope other than the Obsession shroud, however my Wife did make a nice 'dust cover' which I occasionally use between observing sessions. Commercial products are always nice, however I prefer a more 'personalized' approach.


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: DGB]
      #5657255 - 02/01/13 10:19 PM

So here I am, sitting in my warm office, wishing I was out observing tonight. It is killing me because a) it is clear and b) I did about 4 hours work on the observatory today.

I got 20 8x16x4 blocks that weigh about 30 pounds a piece to make a temporary platform for my Dob to get it off the ground. Those had to be carried 1 by 1 from the car to the observatory. Each trip is probably about 100+ yards there and back. So I put in about well over 1 mile just walking the block to the observatory. Then I put up some plywood screens I can raise when the roof is rolled off so I can block two lights I find particularly egregious (a street light at a guys barn a couple hundred yards away, and a neighbors porch light).

Anyway, I can stand the cold; it is about 22 degrees outside. But the wind is more than I want to mess with.

Edited by Madratter (02/01/13 10:20 PM)


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Madratter
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Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5661472 - 02/04/13 10:39 AM

Latest work is I added a 20"x36" shelf with some plywood and 3 brackets attached to studs. I made it primarily to hold a laptop computer. I built it high enough that I can use the computer standing up. I also built a small lip on the shelf so that it will help retain the computer and make it less likely to hit the floor.

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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Reviving an old observatory or start over? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5710587 - 03/03/13 12:47 PM

Yesterday, I finally got the last two of eight wheels rolling properly again for the roof. It is so nice having it roll easily again. Where before it was a strain with two hands, now it is much easier with just one. I just wish I had used much higher quality wheels the first time around. Retrofitting in new wheels would have been quite difficult so I'm really glad I don't have to, at least for now. It wasn't keeping me from using it, but it was doing a number on my shoulder.

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