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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5725325 - 03/11/13 07:46 AM Attachment (80 downloads)

One of the locations I'm considering... Sagittarius hangs just over those trees, which, in a few more years those trees will obscure more of my southern sky, and the reason for putting the dome atop a garage - which the garage will go in this location as well. It would be though that the observatory would sit a good 18 feet higher than this trial (10 ft garage height plus 8 feet of overhead storage within trusses).

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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5725440 - 03/11/13 09:29 AM

Turned out really nice. Excellent craftsmanship and design to repurpose the storage tank.

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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5725812 - 03/11/13 01:02 PM

Chain saw time....yeah...lol

Looks super, thank god for power equipment.

Here in Conneaut, the sky was actually clear both nights , the atmosphere was nasty saturday but phenominal sunday night.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5726165 - 03/11/13 03:47 PM

You've done such an amazing job turning the tank into a very workable, great observatory! Pretty slick how you got the dome on top also!

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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5726739 - 03/11/13 08:04 PM

That is AWESOME .

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torsinadoc
sage


Reged: 02/04/13

Loc: Fayetteville AR
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: Raginar]
      #5727476 - 03/12/13 05:23 AM

You are awesome. Just amazing!

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: torsinadoc]
      #5727512 - 03/12/13 06:19 AM

WOW!!! Thanks for all the great compliments!

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5728573 - 03/12/13 04:51 PM

I've noticed on several of the Observatory threads that the ply rotation ring will warp over time from the weight of the dome sitting static on the wheels. It has also been brought to my attention that the wheels will flat spot where they contact the ply.

I doubt I'll have a problem - I've secured the ply ring to the dome with 3" deck screws at intervals of 6" around the circumference of the dome. I DID have two screws that I did not have centered on the ply ring, and they broke out of the sheeting. I'll have to re-drill these with offset holes. Surprisingly enough, when I tested the rotation out, there are apparently enough wheels in the rotation that the bump from the screw break-out isn't even noticed.

Back to the original point of my post... For safe-guarding my ply ring from warping, and wheels flat spotting, I'm simply going to insert a wood shim between the body and dome when the observatory is not in use. The dome isn't heavy and I will need a method to park rotation anyway so 4 blocks would be very simple, lifting the ply ring off the wheels, then neither could become defective.


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5729046 - 03/12/13 09:22 PM

You did a very nice job with this. Enjoy!

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5749439 - 03/22/13 10:48 AM

Just to update you guys on the progress... I took the dome back into the garage for final fit of the shutters and to start glassing everything. I've got the mechanics of the shutters working very well, and have started fairing out the wood/fiberglass, prepping for one layer of glass over the wood.

I also have to clean up the base - it's been so cold here in the east that I haven't done a thing with it over the past week! Hopefully this weekend will be fruitful!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5749486 - 03/22/13 11:22 AM

Looking forward to seeing the results!

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Carl N
sage
*****

Reged: 03/18/12

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5749597 - 03/22/13 12:33 PM

Now, where can I get me one of those tanks!

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TeleTex
member


Reged: 01/27/08

Loc: Texas
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5755290 - 03/25/13 12:24 AM

Keep up the good work. It is coming out well.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: TeleTex]
      #5755827 - 03/25/13 10:29 AM

From the last picture I posted, the base looks pretty dirty. Again the weather here over the weekend proved nasty to say the least. In the 20's to 30's but none the less, I braved the elements and dragged the base in for a good scrubbing. Much to my surprise the base cleaned up just as good as the dome did (came out a yellow/white as in the dome pics).

Still have more fairing to do on the dome/shutter frame, but it's getting there. I only want to have to do this ONE time, so better to spend more time than not, plus, resin doesn't do so well in cold temps anyway!

Provided the weather holds out and I'm able to get the base dry - it's about ready for a coat of primer / paint on outside (Industrial gloss white - rustoleum). I figure one coat of primer and two top coats should do it.

Also trying to decide on whether to stick a small window in (12x16 inches) or so, for ventilation.

I was going to paint the interior of the base with flat black rustoleum as well, but now I'm thinking of afixing cotton or burlap fabric to the walls with some construction adhesive for eliminating sound echos. I went into the base over Friday night to see how well the OB blocked out stray light from the neighbors (works great, and dome is not on at the moment), and, realized just how echoey it is in there with the fiberglass walls (something I don't want to have to deal with - sounding like I'm in a pipe). Anyway, that's for later...


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TeleTex
member


Reged: 01/27/08

Loc: Texas
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5755892 - 03/25/13 10:58 AM

You could use black roll on bed liner(durabark, herculiner etc...). It will sound deaden and also provide the color you want.

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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5763857 - 03/29/13 08:41 AM

Hopefully the weather will hold out this weekend and be warm enough for you to so some work on it.
As for the window...I dunno, got any neighbors with lighting they leave on all night?
Living in Conneaut, Ive actually passed through your town a time or two. Only an hour north of you.
Did you finally decide where to put the observatory?


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5764473 - 03/29/13 12:01 PM

Be sure that whatever you use for the interior, that it doesn't "outgas".

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5764701 - 03/29/13 01:30 PM

It's been less than desirable weather - even for observing. When it was clear, the moon was out. I'd say the past 30 days, there were only 2 that were clear (major bummer).

I'm not positive on a location yet. I may wait till we get some leaves on the trees to really hone in on a specific site. For mobility in adjusting the location and in moving in and out of the garage for paint, trim, etc - I'm going to build the subfloor and mount the whole base on a set of skids. That way I can move the base around without having to bump it with the tractor front-end loader and scratch it all up once painted.

On the out-gassing... LOL! Yeah shouldn't have many issues there.

I'd like a window for the ventilation more than anything. Also - think I'd hang curtains (maybe the same material I might use for interior - black fabric), to cover the window while the OB is in use, and or prying eyes during the day.

Ya-all have a great Easter!!!

Mike


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Carl N
sage
*****

Reged: 03/18/12

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5765429 - 03/29/13 06:02 PM

You might consider a "bump out" a la the pods. A rectangular cut as you did for the door, and then build a box with shelves that frames into it on the lower half . use the upper box framing as the lower framing for a window installed inthe top half of the cutout.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: Carl N]
      #5766278 - 03/30/13 08:08 AM

Since the base will be up off the ground by 18" or do, I figured I'd incorporate a storage box into the floor. Since the base is also 6 feet in height, I hope to incorporate shelving up high so it's out of the way and yet accessible.

For a window, a 2x6 cut to fit the radius of the base should work in providing a frame for the window, although since the window wouldn't be very big, even 2x4 stock should work.

Long run today - 18 miles. More than likely licking my wounds all day after that one!


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