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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5971438 - 07/14/13 11:25 PM

Adam,

Kindof. I got it this Friday and installed it today. It has a web server that basically turns on and off the relay. So you click once, click twice, and the garage door opens just like you hit the button on the wall. What I had to do to make that work was to wire it directly to the 'spst' on the circuit board in the wired controller. It wasn't hard; just took some time to figure out what exactly I needed to do. I think I'm going to use the other channel to turn on and off my flat panel too... so there is some added bonuses .

As for length... how big is your shed? I used one extension kit and the guys at Sky Shed said you could probably go no more than 3 kits. Each one is worth 12"... As for the length with one kit, it'll open my shed to the edge... not quite as far as I could; but I was tired of messing with it . I have another 18" I could have it if I needed it.

My dimensions are roughly 18"x12"x18".

The web relay device was on ebay. Just do a search for ethernet web relay... the commercial products are about 1-150 bucks. The simple version I found was about 50 bucks shipped. You'll need to figure out a DC power supply; I bought one to power everything a few months ago so it works for me.

Now I need safety in the form of sensors so I know what's going on without being there.

Chris


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StarWrangler
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Three Rivers, MI U.S.A>
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5971958 - 07/15/13 10:21 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Do to lack of space (9'X6"ID OBS) I mounted my 1/2 HP Chamberland garage door motor outside and upside down,

Made a cover and worked fine.


Alan O.


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: StarWrangler]
      #5972228 - 07/15/13 01:18 PM

That's really cool Alan. is that thing weather tight?!

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StarWrangler
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Three Rivers, MI U.S.A>
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5977731 - 07/18/13 11:33 AM

Hey Chris,

Yes it is, all you do is put something like WD40 on the chain
every now and then to keep it from rusting

Send me a PM and I can send you more photos of the set up.

Alan otterson
StarWrangler


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: StarWrangler]
      #5977957 - 07/18/13 01:41 PM

It's OK, I've already got the Genie setup. I'm sure Adam would love to see it though since he's going that way.

Web relay is working very well. I also ordered a web-server power strip so I can turn things on/off remotely.


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5981330 - 07/20/13 12:13 PM

Well, the other night we had a pop-up thunderstorm that wasn't even remotely in the weather forecast. I heard a bang and started hearing the rain hit the side of the house. Thank God I woke up .

As far as I can tell, nothing was wrecked. I put the big things like the CCD and laptop in a bag of desiccant and let it dry out the next day with the roof off.

Anyways, I ordered a Foster Systems controller and weather station. I won't get caught like that again.

I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Chris


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5981424 - 07/20/13 01:14 PM

Quote:

Well, the other night we had a pop-up thunderstorm that wasn't even remotely in the weather forecast. I heard a bang and started hearing the rain hit the side of the house. Thank God I woke up .

As far as I can tell, nothing was wrecked. I put the big things like the CCD and laptop in a bag of desiccant and let it dry out the next day with the roof off.

Anyways, I ordered a Foster Systems controller and weather station. I won't get caught like that again.

I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Chris




I'd love to hear how it works. I'm thinking it's going to be a necessity.


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5982792 - 07/21/13 11:13 AM

Well, everything except my laptop power supply made it. Tested everything last night.

I'll post when it arrives. The 750 bucks really isn't that much when you think about what you've spent on your shed. The only limitation I see is that it requires the computer running to determine unsafe behavior and then transmit the proper commands to park the mount. I wish it had a web server.

It can be set to close if the rain detector goes off without the laptop being in play. But, this requires you to not have issues with the mount being hit.

I'm excited to have a full weather station though. It'll be nice to have my own data to work with versus just guessing off CSC and WxUnderground.


Edited by Raginar (07/21/13 11:20 AM)


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tim57064
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5982803 - 07/21/13 11:18 AM

Do not think I would take a chance on leaving scope unattended/unprotected and go to sleep. Sorry to hear you lost some equipment.

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: tim57064]
      #5982823 - 07/21/13 11:31 AM

Tim,

I lost an AC adapter . I think that's a worthy sacrifice. The truth is, I wouldn't image very much if I didn't have my shed and allowed it to image on its own. Between clouds and work, I just don't have that type of free time.

I was looking for an open source solution to be 'cheap' but realized that just isn't going to work and spent the money I should've. I guess my recommendation for people building these sheds with the requirements I have (unattended imaging) would be to just swallow the costs and get it done from the beginning. In the grand scheme of things, it amounts to a 40% increase in the cost of the shed but gives you a significant insurance policy.

You ever come over to Rapid City? You should stop by.


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Footbag
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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5983014 - 07/21/13 01:27 PM

How do you determine what sized opener you would need? Also, I had screw drive in my mind, but there aren't many options. I keep applying the KISS principal and it's leading me back to a garage door opener.

For a roof that's roughly 400 LBS, which way should I go? Do I need to put a pull weight on it to see how much force it takes to move it?


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tim57064
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5983040 - 07/21/13 01:41 PM

Oh, I misread your post. Thought you said you lost your computer also. Great to hear that.

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tim57064
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5983054 - 07/21/13 01:57 PM

Quote:

Tim,

I lost an AC adapter . I think that's a worthy sacrifice. The truth is, I wouldn't image very much if I didn't have my shed and allowed it to image on its own. Between clouds and work, I just don't have that type of free time.

I was looking for an open source solution to be 'cheap' but realized that just isn't going to work and spent the money I should've. I guess my recommendation for people building these sheds with the requirements I have (unattended imaging) would be to just swallow the costs and get it done from the beginning. In the grand scheme of things, it amounts to a 40% increase in the cost of the shed but gives you a significant insurance policy.

You ever come over to Rapid City? You should stop by.



I would love to make the trip and check out what you have. The problem is,my wife is not an enthusiast of astronomy and would not be enjoyable for her to sit around waiting for me.We had a trip planned last month and the sunday before leaving she for some reason changed her mind and thought it would be better if we just went for a drive to her childhood home in Scotland,SD.
Well after a 6 hours of driving around we were back home no more than an hour and she had a minor stroke,ended in the hospital and getting a stint placed in her left Carotid Artery. She is fine now,yet very leery of long trips. We were very glad we had not gone to the Hills as planned as we would have been stuck out there in the hospital for a week instead of back here at home. I don't like leaving her for anything longer than a day any more. If I cannot be home within an hour, I don't go. Who knows,maybe next year. Or maybe she will change her mind on the Hills trip this year.


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5983502 - 07/21/13 07:19 PM

Adam,

Dude, I just guessed. You have to take into account that your shed is already fairly free rollin' right? I don't remember how big you said it was. 12'? Mine is 10' and it took the Genie 900 mounted at the wall (inside) plus 1 extension kit to get my roof exactly 10' from said wall. So, based on that... I'd say you need another 2 extension kits. What I would do is get 3 kits... and then try 2 and see if that's enough. If not, you have the third ready to go. Don't forget to get things like angle iron with holes (I bought the really beefy gauge so it wouldn't flex). I ended up attaching the 'sled' that slides in the track to the shed via square tubes with pre drilled holes (again beefy) on each side of the 'sled'. Then, I lag bolted them to the bottom of the roof and used bolts screwed to more angle iron (beefy, pre-drilled) on the inside. It doesn't flex anywhere.

The track was actually easy. I rolled the roof out and figured out where the end of the track needed to be. Then, I added a 4x4x10' as the mounting point. It added some rigidity to the roll-off frame and it's solid as a rock.

Beyond that, my roof isn't perfect and it definitely isn't 'really easy' to roll and the Genie 900 series (1/2hp) has no issues moving it. I'd say it weighs at least 300#.

If you'd like, PM me your email address or cell and I'll send you a picture or three of how mine ended up rigged up. I should probably take a a few pictures and add it to my obs thread too... I'd gladly talk you through what I had to do too. I basically followed the instructions on the skyshed website... the only issue is their pictures were pretty bad since they couldn't show us the inside of the shed due to it being a NASA shed.

Best money I've spent beyond the shed in the first place. You have no idea how slick it is to hit a button and watch your shed open.


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: tim57064]
      #5983508 - 07/21/13 07:23 PM

Quote:


I would love to make the trip and check out what you have. The problem is,my wife is not an enthusiast of astronomy and would not be enjoyable for her to sit around waiting for me.We had a trip planned last month and the sunday before leaving she for some reason changed her mind and thought it would be better if we just went for a drive to her childhood home in Scotland,SD.
Well after a 6 hours of driving around we were back home no more than an hour and she had a minor stroke,ended in the hospital and getting a stint placed in her left Carotid Artery. She is fine now,yet very leery of long trips. We were very glad we had not gone to the Hills as planned as we would have been stuck out there in the hospital for a week instead of back here at home. I don't like leaving her for anything longer than a day any more. If I cannot be home within an hour, I don't go. Who knows,maybe next year. Or maybe she will change her mind on the Hills trip this year.




Hey Tim,

Yikes, I totally understand. I hope she feels better! I agree completely that I should've designed this shed a little better. Unfortunately, it's morphed quite a bit from when I decided to do it and where I'm at today. If I ever end up redoing the pier, it'll be on my list to shorten it and make sure it 'fits' without having to park the mount.

I saw your post over on the SGP group too. What were the issues you experienced with the Foster system? I went with it primarily out of price and the fact that the other guys who build sheds install them with their gear. Some people on here have vouched for them as well. I haven't experienced a Boltwood or their associated hardware... it would cost about as much as my shed did + some!

I figure I'll give the Foster a try and if it fails... well, I can get my money back and try something else. There is a company in Europe that makes another controller device that seems pretty legit too. And, if it all fails, I might just have to figure something out with an arduino or 3.

Chris


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5983536 - 07/21/13 07:39 PM

Yes. Its 8x10 and weighs roughly 450lbs. But I can slide it relatively easily so its not 450lbs of force required. Garage doors have the springs to compensate for their weight. Hard to figure how that translates to a roof. I'm thinking a 1/2hp screw drive would work. The other side of me says go overkill just in case.

I did give you a pm with my e-mail. Thanks.


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Raginar
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Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5983603 - 07/21/13 08:29 PM

Adam,

Emailed you back and posted a writeup in my thread for my obs in my signature. That's the thing, my roof rolls much better than my garage door does with it's springs. So, I'd say a 1/2 hp garage door opener is worth a shot. Mine is probably 100# lighter than yours and the Genie has no issues. They make a 3/4 hp one... it's about 250 bucks and it's 'special order' at Menards. But, if you're really worked about it, that might be an option.

I'm surprised your roof weighs so much. Do you have asphalt shingles? You need to add your obs to your signature... I can't find it.


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5983662 - 07/21/13 09:16 PM

Quote:

Adam,

Emailed you back and posted a writeup in my thread for my obs in my signature. That's the thing, my roof rolls much better than my garage door does with it's springs. So, I'd say a 1/2 hp garage door opener is worth a shot. Mine is probably 100# lighter than yours and the Genie has no issues. They make a 3/4 hp one... it's about 250 bucks and it's 'special order' at Menards. But, if you're really worked about it, that might be an option.

I'm surprised your roof weighs so much. Do you have asphalt shingles? You need to add your obs to your signature... I can't find it.




Until I get the website up, the build thread will have to do...
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5828174/page...


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5983670 - 07/21/13 09:24 PM

I did not do an undersheathing of plywood. Mine is just steel roofing to the joists. So, that probably accounts for your 150# more than mine .

I hope the pictures make it easier for you! You'll like it.

Chris


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5983692 - 07/21/13 09:40 PM

Quote:

I did not do an undersheathing of plywood. Mine is just steel roofing to the joists. So, that probably accounts for your 150# more than mine .

I hope the pictures make it easier for you! You'll like it.

Chris




Yes. They will be refered to repeatedly. Likely when I'm standing in the aisle at Lowes. We don't have Mernards here, but it sounds like a place Id like.


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