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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5929849 - 06/19/13 06:34 PM

That's good. I think I could rig something up like that with the regular reflectors I bet. That's an excellent idea.

So, I have a new 'technical challenge' I need to figure out. I bought a belt drive that had a 10' track not realizing that it had a 11-13" 'safety zone' that it can't travel into. That places it just a tad too close. I still can see the majority of the sky, but anything to North (it was already bad due to the roof) is eliminated from view.

Any ideas on how I could place something on my peak that would allow it to pull it the remaining 18"? I was thinking something like a 'V" facing away with the required distance. It would have to be rigid of course.. Can you think of any other idea?

Chris


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jaddbd
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5930297 - 06/19/13 11:09 PM

Quote:

That's good. I think I could rig something up like that with the regular reflectors I bet. That's an excellent idea.

So, I have a new 'technical challenge' I need to figure out. I bought a belt drive that had a 10' track not realizing that it had a 11-13" 'safety zone' that it can't travel into. That places it just a tad too close. I still can see the majority of the sky, but anything to North (it was already bad due to the roof) is eliminated from view.

Any ideas on how I could place something on my peak that would allow it to pull it the remaining 18"? I was thinking something like a 'V" facing away with the required distance. It would have to be rigid of course.. Can you think of any other idea?

Chris




Mine needed the full 11.5 feet that I have inside to get the 8 feet of movement that I needed... I would think a little extension cubby hole on the wall that would allow you to mount the arm farther out might give you the ability to move the roof all the way? I believe you can add more than one extension to the rail.

In reference to using the stock electric eyes - they only protect in one direction....(standard garage door closing direction).

JD


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5930913 - 06/20/13 09:37 AM

I think I might just get the screw drive sky shed recommends. Looks like they were onto something when they went that route. I wanted to do this on the cheap and failed it looks like .

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jaddbd
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5931208 - 06/20/13 12:35 PM

On mine, if I want to open the roof 100% which I typically do not need to do, I can pop the safety, disengage the arm and roll it by hand the last 3 ft.

You might want to check out the sliding gate solutions also...

JD


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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5932524 - 06/21/13 05:40 AM

Yup thanks for the pictures. Apparently no one else does this

Yours was pretty unique.


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augie
newbie
*****

Reged: 12/09/08

Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5961047 - 07/08/13 06:46 PM

Hi John, I just saw your roof opener and it looks like a great idea. I have a couple of questions though, I have craftsman openers for a normal size garage door. the problem is my roof is a split roof and each half is 5 ft by 10 ft. They open in the 5ft direction. Can I cut the t rail and shorten the drive chain and cable to make this work? If so how long might the t rail be? Let me know when you can,also you can pm me if you want as I might not be on this site too long. Thanks for any help or ideas. Jeff

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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: augie]
      #5962200 - 07/09/13 01:32 PM

Jeff,

The problem you're going to have is the limits on the drive. I'm not sure if you'll be able to limit it down enough to keep the roof from closing on itself.

Chris


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: augie]
      #5962513 - 07/09/13 04:41 PM

Quote:

Hi John, I just saw your roof opener and it looks like a great idea. I have a couple of questions though, I have craftsman openers for a normal size garage door. the problem is my roof is a split roof and each half is 5 ft by 10 ft. They open in the 5ft direction. Can I cut the t rail and shorten the drive chain and cable to make this work? If so how long might the t rail be? Let me know when you can,also you can pm me if you want as I might not be on this site too long. Thanks for any help or ideas. Jeff




The front drop down wall of my observatory only requires about five feet of movement of the garage door opener. I used a pulley system to reduce the amount of movement of the wall but allow the opener to run its full length. Half the distance and double the power. The opener requires little power to move the wall, but when the wall closes up there is double the opener power to close the wall tightly against the weather stripping.


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LoveChina61
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/09

Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Lorence]
      #5963029 - 07/09/13 09:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I used a pulley system to reduce the amount of movement of the wall but allow the opener to run its full length.




Lorence, I would like to see some pictures and more explanation on how you did that when you get the chance. Although my roof opener is working well, I still have to manually open/close the top part of the south wall. It is on door hinges, and it would be nice to motorize it so that I could operate it remotely.


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jaddbd
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: augie]
      #5963212 - 07/09/13 11:17 PM

Quote:

Hi John, I just saw your roof opener and it looks like a great idea. I have a couple of questions though, I have craftsman openers for a normal size garage door. the problem is my roof is a split roof and each half is 5 ft by 10 ft. They open in the 5ft direction. Can I cut the t rail and shorten the drive chain and cable to make this work? If so how long might the t rail be? Let me know when you can,also you can pm me if you want as I might not be on this site too long. Thanks for any help or ideas. Jeff




Jeff,

I guess you could cut down the length of the rail and splice the chain to match. I would put it together first as is first to make sure your make and model does not have the bounce back limit feature that Chris is referring to. My unit seems to allow you to set the open and close position anywhere on the rail without restriction. Just be aware that the method I am using does not allow you do open the roof all the way flush with the wall without modifying the wall itself (see picture #4 in an earlier post above). I am able to get 8 feet of movement on an 11 foot wide structure.

John D


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: LoveChina61]
      #5964207 - 07/10/13 02:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I used a pulley system to reduce the amount of movement of the wall but allow the opener to run its full length.




Lorence, I would like to see some pictures and more explanation on how you did that when you get the chance. Although my roof opener is working well, I still have to manually open/close the top part of the south wall. It is on door hinges, and it would be nice to motorize it so that I could operate it remotely.





Raising and lowering a section of wall can be a lot trickier than it would appear to be. It all depends on the geometry of the fixed and moving wall sections. I would have to make a movie of the system I use.

Envision a fixed wall with a drop down section sitting directly on top of it. The centre of gravity of the drop down section is directly over the fixed section. The drop down section will just sit there until a force starts moving it. As the drop down section begins to move its centre of gravity will move past the edge of the fixed section. At that point the drop down section will fall open under its own weight.

Two forces are required in my system, one to start the drop down section moving and a second to control its rate of opening. Those forces are in opposite directions.

I did not want any counterweights on the outside of the building to balance the drop down section. That complicated the setup quite a bit.

I can raise and lower the wall with one finger. The counter balance system will not allow the wall to drop down much further than what you can see in the website photos. Even it the ropes broke the wall will stop itself from falling.

It only requires a few pounds to move the wall but when fully closed the full force of the garage door opener is used to seal the weather striping tightly.

As I said it all about geometry. If I had it to do all over again I might change the way the drop down section is attached to the fixed section. That would make things easier but then it would make the drop down section stick out beyond the fixed section when the wall was closed.

There's not much chance my system could work or even be necessary in your observatory. Post a few photos of your wall showing the full wall, open and closed and also from inside and outside.

I should add I have a fairly large sailboat and have sailed for years. Ropes and pulleys are second nature to me. No doubt most people would find my setup to be much more complicated than I would consider it to be.


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Samir Kharusi
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/14/05

Loc: Oman
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5968497 - 07/13/13 03:07 AM

In our part of the world overhead garage door openers are fairly rare, even though I do have some installed on garage doors. Decided it was too "custom"to adapt them to a RoRo. On the other hand, openers for sliding steel gates are very common. The standard ones can move gates up to 450kg with heavy-duty types up to 900kg. These work on a rack and pinion principle, are extremely robust, and very easy to apply to a RoRo. That's what I used, the rack rail running down the middle of the RoRo, inside, and the motor with the pinion hung on the outside wall. The standard motor is already for outdoor use, so no worries about water proofing:

The installers charged me exactly the same as they charge for installing on a gate, about $1000, all inclusive. Works like a charm. I suspect that you can probably purchase a similar motor and rack in the USA for considerably less, but labor will cost more... Overall construction details here.


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Samir Kharusi]
      #5968629 - 07/13/13 08:20 AM

Interesting Samir. I've been looking into gate openers. From what I've seen, $1000 is about right. They do seem perfect for RORs.

I'm still researching whether I can find cheaper ones. No luck yet.


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jaddbd
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5969100 - 07/13/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

Interesting Samir. I've been looking into gate openers. From what I've seen, $1000 is about right. They do seem perfect for RORs.

I'm still researching whether I can find cheaper ones. No luck yet.




I considered this solution also. You should be able to do it for way less than $1000 if you do it yourself. Check out Lockmaster for one.

John D


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5969219 - 07/13/13 03:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Interesting Samir. I've been looking into gate openers. From what I've seen, $1000 is about right. They do seem perfect for RORs.

I'm still researching whether I can find cheaper ones. No luck yet.




I considered this solution also. You should be able to do it for way less than $1000 if you do it yourself. Check out Lockmaster for one.

John D




I saw a few Liftmasters, but they seem large. And I think the cheapest was $1000. I didn't really shop them, but Im not done looking.


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jaddbd
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5969417 - 07/13/13 06:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Interesting Samir. I've been looking into gate openers. From what I've seen, $1000 is about right. They do seem perfect for RORs.

I'm still researching whether I can find cheaper ones. No luck yet.




I considered this solution also. You should be able to do it for way less than $1000 if you do it yourself. Check out Lockmaster for one.

John D




I saw a few Liftmasters, but they seem large. And I think the cheapest was $1000. I didn't really shop them, but Im not done looking.




LOCKMasters are in the 250-450 range... then you have to buy the rack separate. They have chain solutions also.


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5969467 - 07/13/13 07:05 PM

LOCKmaster!

I think I found my new opener. As long as I can control it via a PC.


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5970230 - 07/14/13 11:32 AM

For those operating their garage doors either remotely or via a PC,was the capability built into your openers?

OrR did you use some sort of relay or automation to control it? Right up until I found the Lockmaster brand, I was planning on buying a garage door opener with the built in capability. Now that I found gate openers for $300~, I may just go with that as long as there is a solution for this. And I'm hoping for a store bought one as opposed to a DIY.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5970246 - 07/14/13 11:43 AM

Adam,

I just purchased a ethernet controllable device (basically an arduino) that has 2 relays. It plugs in via ethernet, has 12Vdc as its power source, and comes with an integrated web server for controlling the relays. I bought it on Ebay for about 50 bucks.

Plan is to wire it into my garage door opener's switch. My other plan is to use magnetic reed switches with an arduino to determine the location of my mount at its home position and two more to ensure the shed is 'open' or 'closed'.

Finally, I tested out controlling my rig from abroad on Thursday night over an OpenVPN connection (dd-wrt to my router) and using my laptop/LTE. It worked great.

One more thing, why are you looking at such heavy duty motors. I'm not sure how your roof is built but a normal chain drive or screw drive opener easily moves my roof (250#?). I think the drivemaster/lockmaster gate systems are probably overkill if you're trying to save money. If you want to save even more money, there are 'wholesalers' where you can buy the track, motors, and gears separately. The biggest issue with that was they didn't save you any money over just going to Menards and getting a garage door opener.

Edited by Raginar (07/14/13 11:47 AM)


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5970284 - 07/14/13 12:07 PM

Quote:

Adam,

I just purchased a ethernet controllable device (basically an arduino) that has 2 relays. It plugs in via ethernet, has 12Vdc as its power source, and comes with an integrated web server for controlling the relays. I bought it on Ebay for about 50 bucks.

Plan is to wire it into my garage door opener's switch. My other plan is to use magnetic reed switches with an arduino to determine the location of my mount at its home position and two more to ensure the shed is 'open' or 'closed'.

Finally, I tested out controlling my rig from abroad on Thursday night over an OpenVPN connection (dd-wrt to my router) and using my laptop/LTE. It worked great.

One more thing, why are you looking at such heavy duty motors. I'm not sure how your roof is built but a normal chain drive or screw drive opener easily moves my roof (250#?). I think the drivemaster/lockmaster gate systems are probably overkill if you're trying to save money. If you want to save even more money, there are 'wholesalers' where you can buy the track, motors, and gears separately. The biggest issue with that was they didn't save you any money over just going to Menards and getting a garage door opener.




I will look into those relays. Thanks. My only concern with going Arduino was writing the script. I'm guessing that's already done?

I think my roof is in the 450lb range. There are a few reasons I'm considering a gate opener. First, they are designed to be out tin the weather. That would allow me to install it outside of the observatory and not have it obstruct my views. Also, because I need to slide the roof all of the way off the building, a garage door opener wouldn't work inside the building. It wouldn't give me enough travel on the open and the motor itself would be in the way. I could fabricate a housing and place it outside. That is my second best option at this point, but it is 12' off the ground. If it breaks, I need a scaffold to fix it. I don't like that idea.

For some reason, I keep coming back to the gate openers as the best option. The basic Lockmaster is only about 10"x10"x10". As long as it will fit where I need it, it's a very appealing option.


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