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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
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Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Pulley system for roll off roof? new
      #5943130 - 06/27/13 01:36 PM

Well the observatory is up and the roof rolls off via 2 1/2 inch casters rolling on a 1 1/2 inch C-channel mounted to 8 foot long 2x6 tracks, so far so good. Now kind members of Cloudy Night forums I need help designing a pulley system that will facilitate rolling the roof off and back on to the main structure. This will be a hand operated system utilizing rope and pulleys and I would like to keep it as simple as possible. Simple diagrams would be extremely helpful. Photos to follow...
Clear skies to all and of course,"Keep looking up."
Bill


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MRBILL0
sage


Reged: 01/17/13

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #5945183 - 06/28/13 04:54 PM Attachment (55 downloads)

Bill,

You could consider a boomvang used on a sailboat which controls the shape of the mainsail by tightening or paying out line on the boom.

Put an eyebolt in the middle of the front horizontal member, another in the middle of the roof eave, pay out the line so you can snap each end of the boomvang to the eye bolts. Then pull on the rope which will open the roof. You will have 3:1 purchase so it should be easy. To close, remove the boomvang and attach it to a pair of eyebolts on the rear of the roof.

These are available at any marine supply like West Marine for about $90.

Bill Pickard

"The difference between Stupidity and Genius, Genius has its limits." Albert Einstein


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: MRBILL0]
      #5947176 - 06/29/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

Bill,

You could consider a boomvang used on a sailboat which controls the shape of the mainsail by tightening or paying out line on the boom.

Put an eyebolt in the middle of the front horizontal member, another in the middle of the roof eave, pay out the line so you can snap each end of the boomvang to the eye bolts. Then pull on the rope which will open the roof. You will have 3:1 purchase so it should be easy. To close, remove the boomvang and attach it to a pair of eyebolts on the rear of the roof.

These are available at any marine supply like West Marine for about $90.

Bill Pickard

"The difference between Stupidity and Genius, Genius has its limits." Albert Einstein




Thank you Bill you have given me food for thought, I'll let you know how things turn out after I do a bit of exterminating.
Clear skies to all and of course, "Keep looking up."
Bill


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JoseBorrero
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Reged: 09/04/09

Loc: Puerto Rico Island
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #5947365 - 06/30/13 12:01 AM

It is good a garage door motor opener? controlled by fostersystems? http://fostersystems.com/viewitem.php?productid=7

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Andre Cruz
member
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Reged: 09/12/10

Loc: FL, US
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: JoseBorrero]
      #5948316 - 06/30/13 04:31 PM Attachment (60 downloads)

My observatory is only 8'x8' with 2x4 construction, so the roof is pretty light. It's was an aluminum shed that I converted and then vinyl sided the exterior. I have two small hand winches installed; one to open the roof and the other to close it. This picture shows one side with a close up of the winch and how it's connected to the roof. The other side is identical except the orientation is reversed. It opens and closes very easily and keeps me out off the sometimes wet grass.

Edited by Andre Cruz (06/30/13 04:33 PM)


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Andre Cruz]
      #5948874 - 06/30/13 11:19 PM

Quote:

My observatory is only 8'x8' with 2x4 construction, so the roof is pretty light. It's was an aluminum shed that I converted and then vinyl sided the exterior. I have two small hand winches installed; one to open the roof and the other to close it. This picture shows one side with a close up of the winch and how it's connected to the roof. The other side is identical except the orientation is reversed. It opens and closes very easily and keeps me out off the sometimes wet grass.




Thank you Andre for the post and pictures. I like the simplicity of your system. Could you tell me the brand name and or model of your winches, I would like to try to utilize them.
Thanks again for the photographs, clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: JoseBorrero]
      #5948881 - 06/30/13 11:24 PM

Quote:

It is good a garage door motor opener? controlled by fostersystems? http://fostersystems.com/viewitem.php?productid=7




Thank you Jose, for the post, however I believe the garage door motor opener you mentioned is a bit more eleborate than I can afford at this time. It might be an option a bit later. Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up."
Bill


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MRBILL0
sage


Reged: 01/17/13

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #5948904 - 06/30/13 11:42 PM

Quote:

This picture shows one side with a close up of the winch and how it's connected to the roof. The other side is identical except the orientation is reversed.




Bill,

If you get a pair of winches, they both should be blonde!

Bill Pickard

"The difference between Stupidity and Genius, Genius has its limits." Albert Einstein


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: MRBILL0]
      #5948981 - 07/01/13 01:38 AM

Hey Bill,

I dunno what your budget is and you didn't tell us. I motorized my shed recently with a garage door opener. My 10' x 10' shed and a Genie series 900 with 1 extension kit cost me 250 bucks. It works great; I can open and close the shed from inside my house if I really want to with the remote. I'm hoping to have a more sound method of doing it with protection from hitting the mount. But, for the time being, a webcam works pretty good.


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Andre Cruz
member
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Reged: 09/12/10

Loc: FL, US
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5949124 - 07/01/13 05:30 AM Attachment (30 downloads)

Bill, the winches I used were $20 each at Harbor Freight and are made by HM.

Edited by Andre Cruz (07/01/13 07:10 AM)


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Andre Cruz]
      #5949330 - 07/01/13 09:32 AM

Quote:

Bill, the winches I used were $20 each at Harbor Freight and are made by HM.




Thank you Andre for the followup and the photograph.
Clear skies,
Bill


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Andre Cruz]
      #5949560 - 07/01/13 12:21 PM

I need to get a pair of these for an observatory I built at a friends house for him.Right now can only be opened manually and he cannot open it because of pinched nerves in his back.

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Andre Cruz
member
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Reged: 09/12/10

Loc: FL, US
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: tim57064]
      #5951955 - 07/02/13 07:33 PM

As long as the roof rolls straight these should work fine. Of course, when you want to open the roof, you unlock both winches. As one line reels in, the other line is reeling out. When I close up for the night, I tighten up both lines and lock them. Simple and much nicer than the violent pushing and pulling I was doing previously. I disliked having to walk around the back side of the building to close it at 3 or 4AM when the grass was wet with dew and who knows what critters were up early. Some day when I build my dream observatory at a dark site, I'll have a motorized dome. Florida humidity and mosquitos really suck.

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Andre Cruz]
      #5952141 - 07/02/13 09:50 PM

I use a pair of 12 volt winches. One pulls it open while the other unwinds. Then do the opposite to bring it back. My roof is fairly heavy but at first I had no problem using rope and pulleys. Then after the first night of 20* temps the grease in the wheels got thick, and the rope felt like fishing line. Next day I did the winches.

Dean


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: DeanS]
      #5952734 - 07/03/13 09:09 AM

Quote:

I use a pair of 12 volt winches. One pulls it open while the other unwinds. Then do the opposite to bring it back. My roof is fairly heavy but at first I had no problem using rope and pulleys. Then after the first night of 20* temps the grease in the wheels got thick, and the rope felt like fishing line. Next day I did the winches.

Dean




Dean,
You have quite an impressive observatory and I can see why a pair of winches is needed. Presently I am using a boom vang (suggested by MRBILLO) pulley system but I can see where upgrading to winches might be in my future.
Clear skies to all and of course, “Keep looking up.”
Bill


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Andre Cruz]
      #5952769 - 07/03/13 09:29 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

Quote:

As long as the roof rolls straight these should work fine. Of course, when you want to open the roof, you unlock both winches. As one line reels in, the other line is reeling out. When I close up for the night, I tighten up both lines and lock them. Simple and much nicer than the violent pushing and pulling I was doing previously. I disliked having to walk around the back side of the building to close it at 3 or 4AM when the grass was wet with dew and who knows what critters were up early. Some day when I build my dream observatory at a dark site, I'll have a motorized dome. Florida humidity and mosquitos really suck.




Andre,
Presently I am using a boom vang (suggested by MRBILLO) pulley system but I can see where upgrading to winches might be in my future. If I convert to the double winch system I will need to run the cable through a pulley to obtain a 90-degree turn. Do you think that would cause the metal cable to fray?
Clear skies to all and of course, “Keep looking up.”
Bill


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scopefreak
scholastic sledgehammer
****

Reged: 04/14/04

Loc: Mayslick KY
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #5952864 - 07/03/13 10:39 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Bill,

I've been using the double pulley system for over 3 years now and my cables have yet to fray. The only mistake I made was to purchase nylon encased cable instead of just regular cable. The casing is starting to come off and I have been helping it along every time I see a new piece coming off. Here is a pick of my cable system followed by a pic of the 2 winches. the winches are centrally located in my 10'X16' obs which means that I have 2 cables that cross over the middle of the obs. These have never created any sort of visual problem or photographic issue. They are high enough that you don't cloths line your self with them.


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scopefreak
scholastic sledgehammer
****

Reged: 04/14/04

Loc: Mayslick KY
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: scopefreak]
      #5952871 - 07/03/13 10:43 AM Attachment (33 downloads)

Here is the shot of the winches. BTW, my roof rolls with the short side having the casters (the 10' side ) so I am rolling the entire width of 16' off. With the number of pulleys I have it is very easy to move. I estimate that my roof is close to 1500 pounds of 2X4 and Steel roofing material.

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Andre Cruz
member
*****

Reged: 09/12/10

Loc: FL, US
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #5952935 - 07/03/13 11:31 AM

Honestly, I don't know. I can't imagine the cable would fray. I didn't realize you already had a system for opening the roof. I'm not sure if the winches would be an improvement over what you have or not. I personally did not want to use pulleys at all and I didn't want cables or ropes going through the middle of my observatory so I mounted one on each side. There's no need for pulleys with my design

Quote:

Quote:

As long as the roof rolls straight these should work fine. Of course, when you want to open the roof, you unlock both winches. As one line reels in, the other line is reeling out. When I close up for the night, I tighten up both lines and lock them. Simple and much nicer than the violent pushing and pulling I was doing previously. I disliked having to walk around the back side of the building to close it at 3 or 4AM when the grass was wet with dew and who knows what critters were up early. Some day when I build my dream observatory at a dark site, I'll have a motorized dome. Florida humidity and mosquitos really suck.




Andre,
Presently I am using a boom vang (suggested by MRBILLO) pulley system but I can see where upgrading to winches might be in my future. If I convert to the double winch system I will need to run the cable through a pulley to obtain a 90-degree turn. Do you think that would cause the metal cable to fray?
Clear skies to all and of course, “Keep looking up.”
Bill




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MRBILL0
sage


Reged: 01/17/13

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Pulley system for roll off roof? new [Re: Andre Cruz]
      #5964937 - 07/10/13 11:05 PM

Quote:

If I convert to the double winch system I will need to run the cable through a pulley to obtain a 90-degree turn. Do you think that would cause the metal cable to fray?




Bill,

Nice job using the boomvang. Either cable or rope will eventually fray. But it might be ~5 years or more (?). Change-out would not be too time-consuming. The main difference is that marine hardware uses synthetic sheaves, not steel. It is possible they are less abrasive on rope than steel sheaves on wire-rope. I don't see a problem with a 90° pulley. However, if you use multiple pulleys with a winch, you will need less effort on the cranking due to the 2:1, 3:1, etc., increased purchase of the pulley system. Winches are also available with 2-speed cranking. If you use electric winches, you can use a smaller horsepower motor due to the increased purchase. That equates to less amperage.

Nice job.

Bill Pickard

"The difference between Stupidity and Genius, Genius has its limits." Albert Einstein:1,


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