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Shed observatory on lava rock?

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#51 erik

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:47 PM

Thanks Steve,

I did consider that. But I don't think I'll feel comfortable with it for security reasons. We've never had any problems, but we're on an acre with no nearby neighbors, so I'd feel better if I knew the roof couldn't be penetrated with a sledgehammer, for example.

The fiberglass stuff is also far more expensive- at our local Lowe's, it's $25 per sheet.

#52 hm insulators

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:35 PM

Thanks Carol!

Anything I'm missing? I want to keep it simple, but still be able to be viewing in 10 or 15 minutes.

Since the walls are only 32" high, I have no plans for a door. I'll open the roof up and climb in. :)


You must be a lot more agile than I am. I would certainly find not having a door a nuisance, but then I've never been any kind of climber of fences and walls. I just don't have the sense of balance.

#53 PJ Anway

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 07:27 AM

The weight will really add up. I'm thinking that using some sort of long lever mechanism might be better than a pulley. I want to keep it simple and easy. I'm hoping I can just install a handle and pull the roof sections open, but that might be wishful thinking.


Erik,

Here is my observatory, which is a similar design. Maybe it will give you some ideas:

http://www.munisingw...um/observa.html

At the bottom of the page is a link to some construction details.

#54 RobVG

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 03:06 PM


Hi PJ

I love your counterweight system! I might use it myself.

The problem with Erik's situation is, there are no vertical walls tall enough to attach the pulleys and hang the weights- there's no drop.

Interesting challenge.

#55 erik

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:58 PM

The weight will really add up. I'm thinking that using some sort of long lever mechanism might be better than a pulley. I want to keep it simple and easy. I'm hoping I can just install a handle and pull the roof sections open, but that might be wishful thinking.


Erik,

Here is my observatory, which is a similar design. Maybe it will give you some ideas:

http://www.munisingw...um/observa.html

At the bottom of the page is a link to some construction details.

Wow thanks for posting that, what a nice design- beautifully done! I thought about staggering the roofline as well for easier access to the zenith with one panel closed, but I think I may instead just use a longer overlap on the southern roof. That way I can keep the design and pitch of the roof essentially the same, while still being able to view the zenith with the northern panel shut. The weight is also an issue.

I really like the counterweight system, though as mentioned, it might not work with my setup unless I buried them! I'm just going to try and make the roof as lightweight as possible. If the weight is too much, I was thinking of installing heavy duty posts in concrete that I could attach pulleys to. Though I'm playing with the idea of a huge sort of "lever" attached to each panel and the ground. As there would be fewer moving parts and no cables to bind up or break, I'm leaning towards that solution.

#56 erik

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:04 PM

Thanks Carol!

Anything I'm missing? I want to keep it simple, but still be able to be viewing in 10 or 15 minutes.

Since the walls are only 32" high, I have no plans for a door. I'll open the roof up and climb in. :)


You must be a lot more agile than I am. I would certainly find not having a door a nuisance, but then I've never been any kind of climber of fences and walls. I just don't have the sense of balance.

I thought about a door, but with 32" walls, I'll just be able to step over them once the roof is open. Installing a full size door would obscure part of the sky, and installing a 32" high door in the walls wouldn't help much- I'd still have to open the roof to get inside, unless I wanted to crawl in. :)

#57 Doug76

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:16 PM

It's really coming along nicely, and after my standard rolloff roof observatory is built I may borrow aspects of your design for my 12" Dob's house.
The clay in my yard is hard enough. I couldn't imagine having to break holes into lava! Nice going, you ol' Lefty! :lol:

#58 erik

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:03 PM

Hey Doug, Long time no see. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with. :)

BTW, I'm not exclusively left-handed, so I have no idea what you're talkin' about! :grin:

#59 Doug76

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 10:27 PM

Hey Doug, Long time no see.

BTW, I'm not exclusively left-handed, so I have no idea what you're talkin' about! :grin:


Good one. I did :lol: And I believe you do know! :)

Got my pier poured, and start vacation in two weeks, when I will then complete the building itself.
As I said, I'm looking to also build one for my 12" Lightbridge, and so your design is giving me ideas. Nice job so far, and I pray for your continued success in this project. :usa:

#60 erik

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 02:48 AM

Hey Doug, Long time no see.

BTW, I'm not exclusively left-handed, so I have no idea what you're talkin' about! :grin:


Good one. I did :lol: And I believe you do know! :)

Touch'e! :lol:

#61 SkyArcher

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:24 AM

Thanks Carol!

Anything I'm missing? I want to keep it simple, but still be able to be viewing in 10 or 15 minutes.

Since the walls are only 32" high, I have no plans for a door. I'll open the roof up and climb in. :)


You must be a lot more agile than I am. I would certainly find not having a door a nuisance, but then I've never been any kind of climber of fences and walls. I just don't have the sense of balance.

I thought about a door, but with 32" walls, I'll just be able to step over them once the roof is open. Installing a full size door would obscure part of the sky, and installing a 32" high door in the walls wouldn't help much- I'd still have to open the roof to get inside, unless I wanted to crawl in. :)


Erik, I can think of two reasons to put a door in, even if the door is 32" high.

1. Someday, you're going to have to carry something into your observatory on a dolly and it would be nice not to have to lift that 50# mount over the wall.

2. What about the women? Are you really going to make your Mom climb over the wall in a skirt?

Think of it as more of a gate. Once you open your roof, then you and your Mom can walk in and out the gate.

#62 Doug76

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:15 AM

A gate would seem to be a good idea. I will put one in my Dob obs. when I build it.

#63 erik

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:39 PM

True- those are good points. Maybe I will install some sort of a hinged wooden gate. Thanks guys. :)

#64 Spoonsize

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:09 PM

You might be able to add a couple 2X4 or 6 to the sides, and then hang a couple 25 lb weights from them to help counterbalance. 25 may or may not be enough or too much. Adjust according to need.

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#65 RobVG

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:07 PM


Heck of an idea Steve! :waytogo:

#66 erik

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 10:32 PM

Indeed- thanks for that, Steve! :cool:

Got a couple of hours on my project today, and here's where I'm at now:
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#67 Doug76

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 10:34 PM

Shaping up nicely. I need a bit of clarifying here. Just how is your roof going to operate? I saw where you said it would be hinged. Are you leaving it as one piece?

#68 erik

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 04:58 AM

No, it will be two pieces. At this point, in hoping I can just manually pull it open. But I am making plans for alternatives, should it prove to be too heavy or difficult. I'll be making the south facing roof with slightly more overhang so I can view the zenith with the north section closed. I'll be spending much more observing time in the south.

#69 Doug76

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:57 AM

OK. That is just what I was originally going to do with my present "under construction" observatory. In the end I decided to stay with the roll off roof. But I will hinge the Dobservatory's (good word) :lol: roof. Easier to deploy when it is that low to the ground.

#70 hm insulators

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:35 AM

Looking good!

#71 hm insulators

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:02 PM

Bump

#72 Dain

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:17 PM

Yo Eric! I was digging following the progress of your observatory. Hows it going so far? Haven't seen any posts from you in awhile. Keep 'em coming! I'm interested!

Clear Skies To All!

#73 hm insulators

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 02:39 PM

Anything new with your observatory?

#74 erik

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:28 PM

Sorry, I've been so busy as of late that I haven't checked this thread. Unfortunately, I also haven't gotten much more done with the observatory (been hiking Mauna Kea, snorkeling, boogieboarding, etc.- not to mention working on other home projects ;)).

I guess the biggest update as of late is that we trimmed several trees to increase the amount of sky visible, and cut one tree down after we determined it was dead and might fall down. This has all made a big difference in my views towards the south. I've basically kept my dob base sitting on the concrete platform (with a tarp over it to protect it from the weather), so I can quickly bring the OTA outside to view. It will be nice, however, to have a closed roof.

I am planning on having some time in the next couple of weeks, and I'll certainly post updates. :)

#75 csa/montana

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:20 AM

Darn Erik, sorry you have to do all those boring things; but somebody's got to! :lol:

So glad you are enjoying your new surroundings, you are indeed in a magical place :bow:


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