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Wall height verses pier height

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#1 Richard Whalen

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:34 PM

Would like to hear from those with ROR housing RC's, SCT's MCT's or apo's. trying to get a feel for what others are doing. Please list observing space (not warm rooms) inside length and width, wall height and pier height. Also visual or imaging. If visual do you mostly stand or sit? Anything you would change?

 

 



#2 Raginar

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:40 PM

I had a large SCT and quite a few refractors.  Wall height doesn't really matter.  You don't really want to image at low altitudes... so unless you're a big visual guy, it isn't a problem.

 

I ended up with a 'lifting column' (generic Pier tech 2, you can find them on Alibaba for 150-200 bucks) and it really improved how I use my telescopes visually.  You can sit and get it 'right' where you want it.

 

I would plan so that your roof closes with a little bit of margin with your scopes parked side-ways.  


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#3 Richard Whalen

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:34 PM

I had a large SCT and quite a few refractors.  Wall height doesn't really matter.  You don't really want to image at low altitudes... so unless you're a big visual guy, it isn't a problem.

 

I ended up with a 'lifting column' (generic Pier tech 2, you can find them on Alibaba for 150-200 bucks) and it really improved how I use my telescopes visually.  You can sit and get it 'right' where you want it.

 

I would plan so that your roof closes with a little bit of margin with your scopes parked side-ways.  

I looked, seems they want a minimum order of 10?



#4 Alex McConahay

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 01:15 AM

>>>>>>>I would plan so that your roof closes with a little bit of margin with your scopes parked side-ways.

 

That is what I did five years ago, before I thought of going remote. Now, I have a number of friends who are designing their piers/scopes such that no matter what configuration/position their scope is in, the roof can still roll closed. Makes sense. I actually can do it. One loses horizon, of course, and one must confine imaging/viewing to above 45 degrees (instead of 30). But, one never has to worry about the scope being hit by a closing roof.

 

Alex


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#5 Rick J

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 02:54 AM

For my remote observatory I went with a wall height of just over 5.5' feet as the smallest door I could get was 5.5'.  Visitors forget to duck as I did at first.  Scope is a 14" LX200R that the roof clears by 2".  Obviously if I forget to park the scope it gets hit unless more is done.  So I put a second surface mirror on the back of the scope.  IR beam is reflected back to a receiver only if the scope is parked.  If it doesn't see the IR beam the roof won't move.  Has saved my bacon twice now.  Electronics is a hobby of mine so this was not a big deal for me.  Otherwise a switch could be rigged to do the same, just adds wires I wanted to avoid.

 

Rick


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#6 MJB87

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:42 AM

BYO observatory with 11.6" X 11.6" dimensions.  I added a foot to wall height bringing it to 7 feet.  Didn't see any need to bump heads all of the time.  The top 18" of the center portion of the south wall folds down.  Pier is 42" holding a AP 1100GTO with a 14" SCT on top.  I almost never look through the telescope and instead have a camera hooked up to my computer.  When I do look through I often have to use a small stepladder, especially to reach the finderscope.

 

Considerations in designing pier height: I wanted to be able to:

1. See enough of the sky but not so much that you pick up distant ground lighting

2. Open/close the roof with the telescope in a stored position

3. See a distant terrestial object so as to permit calibration efforts in daytime

4. Move the telescope freely in all directions while the roof is closed, without hitting the roof.

 

The setup was originally designed for my CGE Pro, which sits about 6-7" higher than the AP 1100GTO.  I haven't bothered to put a pier extension on the pier but I did raise the pier about 2" on the j-bolts.  The setup is now a few inches below where the CGE Pro was but it seems to be fine.

 

One of my best decisions was to displace the pier about 1 foot south from the center of the room.  Gives me more space to put a desk against the north wall and also gives more clearance over the opened roof, which opens to the north. I also hired a surveyor to help align the structure and pier so that it is within 1-2 degrees of true north.  This just makes setup and polar alignment that much easier.  When I set up my 1100GTO I found that I was within 1 degree of polar alignment even before starting the initial PA process.

 

If I were doing it again I'd built a wider observatory that could hold two piers.

 

MJB


Edited by MJB87, 07 January 2016 - 06:47 AM.

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#7 Raginar

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 07:46 AM

Dude, the door thing is huge.  I totally forgot that, thanks RickS for bringing it up!  Figure out a good standard door size so you can get a pre-made door.

 

That was quite a hassle.



#8 Astronomer'sApprentice

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:27 AM

>>I would plan so that your roof closes with a little bit of margin with your scopes parked side-ways.

 

That is what I did. I set my horizon in SkySafari at 15 degrees (trees and a house in a few directions) and the walls never get in the way. They are 4 feet away at the shortest.

 

I raised my Observatory 4 feet of the ground so that the walls would block any light from my house, which fortunately is the only source of local light pollution. You may want to trade some horizon for light protection.

 

My builder threw together a door because it was not a 'standard' size. He didn't seem to like the idea until it was finished. :)

 

To me, it keeps out the rain, snow and mosquitoes, so what more do I need? (I think it looks nice too with the clear lacquer)

 

I am sure you are going to love your new astronomy tool.

 

I was told an observatory is the best accessory you can buy for your telescope. Considering how much I have used the scope since I got the observatory, I would have to agree.

 

AA

Obs-Open.jpg

 



#9 JJK

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 01:16 PM

>>I would plan so that your roof closes with a little bit of margin with your scopes parked side-ways.

 

That is what I did. I set my horizon in SkySafari at 15 degrees (trees and a house in a few directions) and the walls never get in the way. They are 4 feet away at the shortest.

 

I raised my Observatory 4 feet of the ground so that the walls would block any light from my house, which fortunately is the only source of local light pollution. You may want to trade some horizon for light protection.

 

My builder threw together a door because it was not a 'standard' size. He didn't seem to like the idea until it was finished. :)

 

To me, it keeps out the rain, snow and mosquitoes, so what more do I need? (I think it looks nice too with the clear lacquer)

 

I am sure you are going to love your new astronomy tool.

 

I was told an observatory is the best accessory you can buy for your telescope. Considering how much I have used the scope since I got the observatory, I would have to agree.

 

AA

Here's a door & hinges I had a local sawmill & blacksmith fabricate.

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  • MM_Door.jpeg

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#10 TCW

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:48 PM

For me the design requirements would be that I can stand up inside with the roof closed and also have a door that is at least 6' 4" tall so most people can walk in without hitting their heads. I am OK with a ladder or step stool for observation. I also would want to be able to observe near the horizon, especially in the south. A fold down wall for southern views can help keep wall heights down to a minimum.


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#11 JHGIII

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 08:33 AM

http://Stonedimensions.com

I got my lifting column (piertech clone) from these guys. Contact was Steve Raymonds. Not sure if they have any left. About $200-250 as I recall. It is great!


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#12 kolsen

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:53 AM

My interior is 13.5' x 8.7' and my walls are 6.5'  I do both visual and AP using APO's   The height of my pier is 44" and then 4"  more for the mount bracket on which a G11 sits.  For visual I sometimes need a small stool but normally I do not.


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#13 DuncanM

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 05:53 PM

Here's my some photos of my RoR including my AVX mount centred, 4ft from the long axis walls, and 3ft from the end wall (inside dimensions are 8ft x 16ft x 6ft 4.5in high. With Polaris centred the polarscope is unobstructed with the mount raised about 6in from minimum, so even from the polarscope I can see down to ~25degs. I can walk comfortably between the end wall and the mount.

https://goo.gl/photo...drTutwbHWS3JCL7


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#14 Raginar

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:24 PM

http://Stonedimensions.com

I got my lifting column (piertech clone) from these guys. Contact was Steve Raymonds. Not sure if they have any left. About $200-250 as I recall. It is great!

 

Last I heard they didn't.  Someone asked me where you could get one if not from them.  Linak doesn't sell directly to the public... you can buy 'similar' devices on Alibaba for slightly less than you could through Steve.

 

Worth a call though.

 

As for height, My roof as a pitch to it so it's not a problem standing up inside.  My walls are standard Skyshed dimensions (I wish I'd made them about 3 inches taller) but that heigh is literally 2-3 inches too short for a pre-made steel door.  I'd bump it up appropriately if I was building again.



#15 Alex McConahay

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 11:21 PM

Hate to jump into a conversation again long after the last post----but I was busy. New moon and all.

 

Here is a picture of my arrangement:

 

Alex

 

 

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#16 Alex McConahay

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 11:27 PM

To continue, my pier is in a 10 x 12 roll off. It is five feet (actually a little less considering 4 inch walls on both sides) from the south, east, and west walls. And seven feet from the north wall. My desk and computer are along the northwest corner. 

 

The spreadsheet (available at Astro Physics website) I used to calculate the whole thing looks like this:

 

 

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#17 *skyguy*

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 09:56 AM

I designed my ROR observatory so I could image/observe right down to the the horizon. Why? Because I enjoy imaging/observing comets and they are often found very close to the horizon. My favorite "catch" was Comet McNaught  C/2009 R1 transiting galaxy NGC 891 (see my Avatar) just minutes before dawn and only a few degrees above the horizon! The transit was only visible within a few hundred mile radius of my location. It was a once in a lifetime event that I would have missed had the walls in my observatory been higher.

 

My YouTube video (monochrome) of the comet transit event:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=9DY3nfJgys4

 

BTW, I use "flip-up" plywood windscreens in the observatory to block out high winds that would adversely effect imaging/observing. You can check-out my observatory at:

 

https://www.flickr.c...57644177074161/

 

Jim



#18 dr.who

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 12:37 PM

Alex-

I must have missed it as I just looked at the AP site and couldn't find that. Would you mind providing a link? Thanks!

#19 hottr6

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 01:18 PM

 

http://Stonedimensions.com

I got my lifting column (piertech clone) from these guys. Contact was Steve Raymonds. Not sure if they have any left. About $200-250 as I recall. It is great!

 

Last I heard they didn't.  Someone asked me where you could get one if not from them.  Linak doesn't sell directly to the public... you can buy 'similar' devices on Alibaba for slightly less than you could through Steve.

Got a link to Alibaba that sells "single" units?



#20 Alex McConahay

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 03:18 PM

>>>>>>>>I must have missed it as I just looked at the AP site and couldn't find that. Would you mind providing a link? Thanks!

 

http://www.astro-phy...ension-calc.xls

 

On the Astro Physics support page, it is called the Latitude Dimension Calculator

 

as in

 

Latitude Dimension Calculator for Current Mach1GTO, 900GTO, 1100GTO, 1200GTO, 1600GTO and 3600GTO Mounts (10-22-2012) - Excel Spreadsheet for determining certain critical dimensions and choosing an appropriate pier height for your system. Now includes metric dimensions and centimeter/inches calculator.

 

Note that the page I showed above is adapted from this worksheet.

 

If you are using an astrophysics mount, you have immediate access because they supplied the measurements. If you have a different mount, you will have to substitute some measurements for your own mount. However, there are pictures on the spreadsheet that tell you just what they are measuring. 

 

Alex




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