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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: Raginar]
      #6171662 - 11/02/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

The ice melt system is unique. I haven't seen that before.



Neither have I,This would be a great alternative to the cable you can put up on your roof before winter hits every year.
Hope that it works without any hiccups. Would not be fun to repair if needed.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: tim57064]
      #6171937 - 11/02/13 01:06 PM

Quote:


Hope that it works without any hiccups. Would not be fun to repair if needed.




I hope so, too:). It is supposed to be pretty foolproof. The conductive heat element is called z-mesh and you can nail and staple through it without harm. To me the potential issue is the conductors from the end of the mesh to the transformers - can't nail through those. The transformers are in a space between roof trusses that is accessible from inside the obs.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6209166 - 11/22/13 10:56 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

The dome is now crated and ready to ship. I'm told the big crate is about 2,000 lbs and the smaller crate is about 1,500 lbs. They will arrive on a flatbed. A bobcat with forks on site should handle the unloading. I plan to do the (re)assembly myself with some helpers. And I plan to wait for a few sunny days to do the work

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6210148 - 11/22/13 08:07 PM

James, looks as though you will be well on your way soon.
It's a good thing you live where you do.
Suppose to be 15 degrees F here tomorrow for the high temp and I would not like to have to be putting together a dome in this weather.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: tim57064]
      #6211314 - 11/23/13 12:39 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

Yes, it will be cold

Here is a pic taken this morning of the summit of the mountain I am on - the summit about 1,000 vertical feet above my site.

Back in the day I worked construction through an Alaska winter (one of the reasons I moved to AZ so I know what to expect. Chemical warming packs in the toes of my boots and in the palms of my gloves will extend the time I can work outside.

The good news is that I have heat in the house and should always be just a few steps away from warmth!


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BYoesle
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Goldendale, Washington USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6211561 - 11/23/13 02:38 PM

The clear sky and sun looks good though; great looking dome BTW.

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6211700 - 11/23/13 04:27 PM

James ,So you are in the higher elevations then.I forgot that the weather there is not always like it is directly around Phoenix.I was there many years ago when driving thru a blizzard that was going on in and near Flagstaff and Phoenix was in the 60's.
I have a couple of sisters that live around there,one in Payson and the other is in Surprise. I always wish,for the weather anyway,I lived down there in the winter.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: tim57064]
      #6211794 - 11/23/13 05:20 PM

Hi Tim,

This site is in Idaho - the home and obs is at 5200+ feet of elevation. But I live in AZ - which shows in my profile - and that creates some confusion.

James


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6212187 - 11/23/13 09:07 PM

James,Sorry I remember that now.Guess I've been reading too much lately and forgot all about that.

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: tim57064]
      #6239634 - 12/07/13 06:29 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

So just how bad an idea would it be to clad the round supporting structure beneath the dome with stone? Stone cladding is now in the approved design. My other option is to request a change and use cedar in one of the colors (brown or green) matching the house.

Everybody else involved (the wife, the builder, the architect, the design review committee) wants stone. It will be the same stone that is now on the rest of the house (about 1" thick) and of course the stone cladding will also have thinset mortar and a thick grout between the stones - which seems like a significant thermal mass.

I'm concerned that I may degrade the seeing after sunset with the stone radiating daytime heat out and up right under the dome slot - and for a longer time than the surrounding roof shingles. Even though the roof is a much bigger area that will need some time to cool - I think the thinner roof shingles should equalize temps with the atmosphere much faster than the thicker stone cladding. True?

And will using stone cladding be that much worse than wood cladding given the large shingled roof? I've seen pics where some people have built or retrofitted stone or concrete walled buildings for observatories. And those obs have an even bigger thermal mass beneath their domes.

If this stone cladding won't cause a significant problem I can go with it and please the herd. (And I won't have to submit a change request to the design review committee.) But if it will create a problem I would be quite silly to use stone.

I played around with Photoscape (free) and put together the pics showing renderings of the obs with stone (top) then brown cedar, then green cedar, and the bottom pic shows the actual stone (on the columns) under consideratiomn.

Does anybody here have any experience with a similar situation? My thanks in advance!


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6239647 - 12/07/13 06:34 PM

From just a color perspective of your mock ups I like the green the best but that's JMHO

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6239686 - 12/07/13 06:53 PM

Just my 2 cents , but it seems like between the roof, the stone cladding on the rest of the house, the stone patio, and the driveway (not sure what material?) you'll have heat radiating out all around you. A little extra stone around the observatory itself won't make much difference. On the other hand, keeping the wife happy will make a BIG difference!

-Dan


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seafury
super member


Reged: 01/18/12

Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6240195 - 12/08/13 02:50 AM

Hi the green makes it blend in better the stone really makes it stick out, what a place though wow

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TeleTex
member


Reged: 01/27/08

Loc: Texas
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: seafury]
      #6240330 - 12/08/13 07:13 AM

The green is the way to go.

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: TeleTex]
      #6241049 - 12/08/13 03:45 PM

I like the green also .

My concern is that stone cladding so close to the end of the OTA will cause worse issues (convection currents) than the other stone/brick/asphalt shingle and driveway that is part of the project - but farther away from the equipment.

I have researched this but can't come up with anything definitive. What I find are discussions about elevating an obs to overcome the "ground effect" of warm earth surrounding an obs. I have elevated this obs above the asphalt driveway and above the stone cladding near the ground and hope this will be helpful. So I worry that I might now "elevate the ground" up to the obs by installing the stone cladding at the obs level.

And I remind myself that I'm not just building an obs where I can give priority to astronomy in every decision. The project is a family vacation home that needs to make everybody happy. I just don't want to do something (else?) crazy dumb at the final stage of the project. This is literally the last exterior decision.


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6241052 - 12/08/13 03:49 PM

Quote:

I like the green also .

My concern is that stone cladding so close to the end of the OTA will cause worse issues (convection currents) than the other stone/brick/asphalt shingle and driveway that is part of the project - but farther away from the equipment.

I have researched this but can't come up with anything definitive. What I find are discussions about elevating an obs to overcome the "ground effect" of warm earth surrounding an obs. I have elevated this obs above the asphalt driveway and above the stone cladding near the ground and hope this will be helpful. So I worry that I might now "elevate the ground" up to the obs by installing the stone cladding at the obs level.

And I remind myself that I'm not just building an obs where I can give priority to astronomy in every decision. The project is a family vacation home that needs to make everybody happy. I just don't want to do something (else?) crazy dumb at the final stage of the project. This is literally the last exterior decision.




You can look up the specific heats of all the materials near the observatory, and roughly calculate how long it'd take for the daytime heat to be shed from the roof and nearby stone facing. My guess is that the small additional thermal mass of the small amount of stone would be a drop in the bucket compared to the massive roof.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: JJK]
      #6241107 - 12/08/13 04:29 PM

Thanks for the tip on Specific Heat. Its helping me wrap my head around this, and hopefully its helpful for others. Asphalt and stone have pretty similar values - and asphalt has the higher value. (O.22 btu's per pound for asphalt and 0.20 btu's per pound for stone.) And there are a great deal more pounds of asphalt on the roof than there will be from a little more stone cladding. I think I get the idea that the materials will radiate their stored heat at a rate based on their mass, and not on their thickness.

My concern has been for the air space immediately in front of the OTA. But I'm starting to understand that the issue is not so locally contained.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6248194 - 12/12/13 12:37 AM

As a builder I was wondering what size foundation your engineer specified. A concrete pier that tall would need a massive foundation to be stable enough for a telescope.

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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: TCW]
      #6248360 - 12/12/13 05:52 AM

I'd be concerned that the stone roof would act like a massive heat sink, they make high end wood stoves out of soapstone for a reason.
An aluminum shingle type roof might be a good compromise, it looks a bit like a slate roof and although the metal will heat up it will radiate that heat off very rapidly as the night cools down .
Norm


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: TCW]
      #6248394 - 12/12/13 07:05 AM

Quote:

As a builder I was wondering what size foundation your engineer specified. A concrete pier that tall would need a massive foundation to be stable enough for a telescope.




The pier foundation directly under the pier is a thickened part of the basement wall. So it its unusual in its shape ( not a traditional cylinder or cube) - but also really big, and serves a dual purpose. The rebar was huge, too. And it did take some extra work during framing to prevent sway at the top of the pier. The pier would not move on its own, but could be made to deflect by pushing horizontally at the top. Happily it appears to be rock-solid now. (Non-scientifically tested by having two 250+ lb workers jump up and down on the floor next to the pier - with no detectable vibration on the pier).

It's hard to answer your question with a specific number since in essence the entire basement wall concrete is the foundation for the pier. I thought the structural engineer did a great job with my unusual site and needs - and she is now reviewing the proposed plan for the final framed transition and anchoring of the dome to the structure.


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