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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Garage Door Openers?
      #5924453 - 06/16/13 09:27 PM

Can you guys post how ya'll have your garage door openers arranged? I'm sure there are more people that do it, but it seems like no one wants to share . I'm not interested in the custom setups that some people have done; they're cool, but well beyond my technical capabilities.

So, pictures?!


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LoveChina61
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 06/20/09

Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5924722 - 06/17/13 12:41 AM

I did mine exactly like the example shown on SkyShed's Yahoo group site. You can sign up to become a member of the site quite easily right HERE and then click on Files in the left hand column to download the 4mg file "MotorizationofaSkyShedRollOff.pdf".

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: LoveChina61]
      #5925121 - 06/17/13 09:56 AM

I've seen theirs. I built a sky shed too . I was assuming this was where I had to go with it but wasn't quite sure if there were other ways I was missing.

Based on the response, I'm guessing people either don't do this or prefer the 'custom' option.


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5925476 - 06/17/13 12:52 PM

I mounted a 1/2 HP mounted in the roof itself. The motor pulls itself as it opens the roof. Advantage: keeps the entire assembly out of the elements when open. Disadvantage: You need to leave a path for the power cable to move as the roof opens and closes (I mounted mine about 8" away from the side and has not been a problem).

I got a Foster Systems controller and their at park monitor to control it and to make sure the scope is parked and out of the way before the roof opens or closes - works great. I can now image thru the night unattended when I go to sleep and have the mount parked and roof closed when it is done.

John D


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5925478 - 06/17/13 12:53 PM Attachment (60 downloads)

Photo 1:

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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5925487 - 06/17/13 12:58 PM Attachment (51 downloads)

photo 2:

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Nemesis79
journeyman


Reged: 02/01/13

Loc: USA, New Mexico, Las Cruces
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5925511 - 06/17/13 01:10 PM

I use a SEARS/Chamberlin garage door opener in a push-pull arrangment. Pictures of it can be seen in himesa Obs photo album at the Roll_Off_Roof site at Yahoo.com (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roll_Off_Roof/?yguid=511699642).

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5925650 - 06/17/13 02:16 PM

John,

OK, you're is very unique. I haven't seen one that was mounted on the inside before. How do you handle the torque that is applied to one side as you open it? What I can get from your picture is that the garage door opener actually moves and the 'bar' attachment is what stays in place? Is that correct? I actually like it 'inside'. I live in the great white north and I'm dreading the maintenance associated with a track being 24/7 outdoors.

Can you take a picture of it with the roof off? It's interesting!

Nemesis,

I tried joining this group last year and could never get approved. I think your admins are dead or something . I will PM you my email address if you'd email me the photos.

Chris

Edited by Raginar (06/17/13 02:22 PM)


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5925685 - 06/17/13 02:42 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

Quote:

John,

OK, you're is very unique. I haven't seen one that was mounted on the inside before. How do you handle the torque that is applied to one side as you open it? What I can get from your picture is that the garage door opener actually moves and the 'bar' attachment is what stays in place? Is that correct? I actually like it 'inside'. I live in the great white north and I'm dreading the maintenance associated with a track being 24/7 outdoors.

Can you take a picture of it with the roof off? It's interesting!

Chris




Chris,

I too was originally worried about the torque issue when I put it in, but the roof structure proved sufficiently stiff that it is not an issue. I pulls closed and pushes open square on both ends of the roof. There is a tension adjustment on the unit which allows you to adjust the tension on the chain independently on both sides of the rail. I had to tighten the chain on the side closest to the wall slightly to get it to go smoothly.

The whole unit (rail and all) moves with the roof - pushes and pulls against the wall. Credit Stan from Foster Systems for the idea.

JD

Photo 3 open from the outside:


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5925686 - 06/17/13 02:43 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Photo 4 open inside:

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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5926378 - 06/17/13 09:24 PM

OK, that is.. awesome . Do you have like a sketch of how this is mounted? I'm still not seeing it... The motor and the rail are attached to the roof right? And the chain looks like it's attached to the outside?

Where did you come up with the idea? One request, can you do a shot straight down the rail from the genie to the mounting point?


Thanks John,

Chris

Edited by Raginar (06/17/13 09:26 PM)


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5926509 - 06/17/13 10:44 PM

Quote:

OK, that is.. awesome . Do you have like a sketch of how this is mounted? I'm still not seeing it... The motor and the rail are attached to the roof right? And the chain looks like it's attached to the outside?

Where did you come up with the idea? One request, can you do a shot straight down the rail from the genie to the mounting point?


Thanks John,

Chris




Hey Chris,

It's counter intuitive but it is actually pretty simple... The whole garage door assembly is mounted in the roof. You attach the part that normally pulls the garage door up to the stationary wall. Since the roof moves (in a roll-off) and the wall is fixed, it moves the roof instead of the would be door (the stationary wall). So all you have to do (after you get the rail extensions necessary) is build a scaffolding support into the roof to support the motor, put the garage door assembly rail and all together, attach the rail end first to the roof, then swing the motor end up and attach it to the scaffolding support just like you would in your garage. Then attach the arm to the wall making sure the chain catch is in the right place and engaged, and you are in business.

Check out the pictures in the manual for the door opener to get a clearer picture on how it goes together.

http://www.manualowl.com/m/Genie/ChainLift-800/Manual/324942

I was told you want a chain drive model (not belt or screw). They are quiet and can handle the torque. I think any good brand would do. Measure how far you need your roof to move. Most door openers do 7ft by default and offer 1ft rail extensions. I needed 8ft - with the extension the entire rail assembly with motor ended up about 11.5ft long. The hardest part is figuring out how to mount the scaffolding type rails into the angled roof for the motor support.

I can do a youtube video to show how it works when the sun comes up.

JD


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5927381 - 06/18/13 11:57 AM

Yea, I'm just not following it in my head. I think the skyshed plans have me stuck in thinking how this has to move.

I'll wait for the video!

Thanks again,


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5927429 - 06/18/13 12:27 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

Chris,

Sorry, it's raining pretty good here today so no video yet...

Here is the view the motor end under the rail:


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5927430 - 06/18/13 12:28 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

And above the rail from the same end:

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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5927698 - 06/18/13 02:56 PM

Chris,

We had a break in the weather so I was able to get a video of the roof... does not close until 1:17 (delay is CCDcommander executing a park command) so skip ahead if you want to see the closing action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzFA0wXar1s

John D


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5927800 - 06/18/13 03:48 PM

John,

Wow! That is the craziest thing I've seen yet. It makes perfect sense, I just had to see it to believe it.

Is your pier offset?

Very cool.

Edited by Raginar (06/18/13 03:50 PM)


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5927839 - 06/18/13 04:03 PM

Quote:

John,

Wow! That is the craziest thing I've seen yet. It makes perfect sense, I just had to see it to believe it.

Is your pier offset?

Very cool.




I am surprised that more people don't take this approach... maybe they do.

What do you mean by offset? :

It's a raised pressure treated wood floor and it's an independent 12" reinforced concrete pier which makes no contact with the structure.

JD


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5928992 - 06/19/13 11:01 AM

Offset in regards to its position in the 'square' of your observatory. Your roof doesn't roll completely off so I'm assuming that you offset your pier to allow greater access.

The only issue for your setup is that the roof doesn't roll completely off the shed. For instance, on my shed, if I did what you did, I'd end up with my view of the north being severely curtailed.

I did contemplate it though . It is the only one I've seen like this. Most people put the rail outside and either put the motor outside or 'just' inside the wall. It requires a longer track though.

I have a belt drive setup that I purchased on Craigslist. I managed to get the track hung and the motor mounted. My biggest problem is the closing. The garage door opener 'thinks' it hit an object when it closes and opens the roof back up . Not quite what i was looking for.

I also figured out I need an extension to fully retract the roof... still. the belt drive is pretty effective. The amount of force it puts out as a 1/2 hp motor is amazing. I think this will be a great deal once I get it finished.

Thanks again for the ideas. Apparently no one else does this .


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5929339 - 06/19/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

Offset in regards to its position in the 'square' of your observatory. Your roof doesn't roll completely off so I'm assuming that you offset your pier to allow greater access.

The only issue for your setup is that the roof doesn't roll completely off the shed. For instance, on my shed, if I did what you did, I'd end up with my view of the north being severely curtailed.

I did contemplate it though . It is the only one I've seen like this. Most people put the rail outside and either put the motor outside or 'just' inside the wall. It requires a longer track though.

I have a belt drive setup that I purchased on Craigslist. I managed to get the track hung and the motor mounted. My biggest problem is the closing. The garage door opener 'thinks' it hit an object when it closes and opens the roof back up . Not quite what i was looking for.

I also figured out I need an extension to fully retract the roof... still. the belt drive is pretty effective. The amount of force it puts out as a 1/2 hp motor is amazing. I think this will be a great deal once I get it finished.

Thanks again for the ideas. Apparently no one else does this .




Hi Chris,

Yes I am offset. 4 feet from the SE and NE wall, 10 feet from the SW wall and 4 feet from where the roof ends up when it is open to the NW (mostly North). The view towards the roof side NW is not really impeded since the roof opens with the sloped side towards scope. This was by design so I could keep the computer and other stuff under cover. The down side to this is the dew has a tendency to drip onto the floor (not a big problem, on heavy dew nights I throw a couple of beach towels up).



Belt Drive should be fine. I was advised that they have a tendency to wear out over quicker over time but I doubt it is that much of an issue. You can replace the belts anyway.

I was skeptical also that 1/2 horses was going to move my large fully built roof. It handles it no problem.

An other advantage to the under the roof mounting is that the safety stop (auto backup when it hits something) on the garage door only happens when the door is moving in the traditional closed direction. The traditional closed position is actually open in this arrangement so it never physically hits anything when it opens the roof and ends up at its virtual stop position.

I am using an "ATPARK" sensor from Foster that shines a beam from the wall mounted sensor to a reflector velcroed on the back of the scope. If the scope is not in it's park position, their is no reflection back to the sensor and the circuit is left open and the roof will not move in either direction.

JD

Edited by jaddbd (06/19/13 02:07 PM)


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Raginar
Postmaster
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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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
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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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
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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
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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
Postmaster
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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
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
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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
Postmaster
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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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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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Raginar
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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Raginar
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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5983700 - 07/21/13 09:43 PM

Adam,

Imagine a store twice as big as your average Lowes and you have Menards. They're pretty fantastic.

The thing I always ran short of was bolts. Buy 20-30 1/4" longer ones and 20-30 1/4" shorter ones. Buy 10-15 1/4 lag screws. And have enough fender washers for every bolt/screw you buy.

Beyond that, some scrap lumber to frame in the Genie is all you really need. Oh, and maybe an extra 4x4x10' if you end up having to 'rig' up the stopping point.

Good luck!


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Lorence
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Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5984618 - 07/22/13 03:10 PM

Quote:

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've got a fairly heavy roof, probably over four hundred pounds but that's guessing. It's on an eight by twelve foot roof. Take a look at the photos on my website and make a comparison. I'm using a three quarter HP opener. It's more than adequate in summer but in winter I think it a half HP would not be enough.

You might want to think about the long term. Wear and tear will probably be a lot greater on the half HP compared to the three quarter HP.

I have springs absorbing the sudden shock when the opener motor starts. They allow the opener to run at a lower force level than if the roof was directly connected to the opener.


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Raginar
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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Lorence]
      #5985158 - 07/22/13 09:28 PM

Lorence, how do you have your springs rigged?

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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5987977 - 07/24/13 03:19 PM

Quote:

Lorence, how do you have your springs rigged?




The springs are fairly heavy, over 1" in diameter. I don't know how much force can be applied to them before they deform but sure they will take 75 to 100 lbs of pull without over stretching.

They are both attached to the roof opener trolly and then to the roof. They oppose each other. One spring takes the load when the roof opens the other when the roof closes.

The springs were installed with enough pre-tension so that as the pulling spring is being stretched to its max the opposing spring is able to take up the movement without collapsing completely.

This is an image of similar springs

http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/vipdesignusa/vipdesignusa1006/vipdesignusa1...

You can see that they can be pulled apart but not squeezed together. If the opposing spring is allowed to collapse completely it becomes a solid bar. The trolly would push on it instead of pulling on the other spring.

There are a few photos of the spring setup on my website. The first one is looking directly at the opener which is mounted sideways on the outside wall. You can see the black opener track. The silver trolly is behind the track, you can just see one edge of it. The springs are behind the trolly. One stretched out to the left of the trolly the other to the right. They are attached to the roof by the two metal brackets above the springs.

The second photo is looking up at the springs and trolly from the floor. The roof is closed against hard stops in this photo. The spring on the right is stretched out further than it would be while the roof is moving. At this point the opposing spring is completely collapsed. The roof cannot be moved by pushing on it from the outside. The collapsed spring is like a solid bag attached to the trolly. You would have break something in that setup to move the roof from the outside. Unless you release the trolly mechanism by pulling on the red rope going through the right hand spring. You can see the size of the springs in this photo. They are about the same diameter as the opener track.


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Re: Garage Door Openers? new [Re: Lorence]
      #5988548 - 07/24/13 09:43 PM

That's really interesting Lorence. How did you determine the correct springs to purchase?

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