Wow - looks fantastic. I am thinking of doing something very similar in my back yard here in CO, and would also want to be able to heat things also as it gets very cold some evenings in the winter, particularly on the clear nights when imaging might actually be possible.
I am absolutely not someone who would be able to build something like this myself though. I am an electrical engineer, and feel very confident when it comes to hooking it all up, computerizing it, and the like - but building anything mechanical is another story. I don't suppose you have any plans you would share, such that I could perhaps pass them on to someone else to build this for me? I completely understand if that is not something you want to make available, just thought I would ask.
In any case, looks like a great build, very well thought out and executed!
Let's see some images taken with your new setup soon!
Sorry - just noticed your response when I got an e-mail announcing Russ's post. I had no plans for this - it was built entirely "seat of the pants" If I did have plans I would be happy to share. Russ's statement is entirely accurate there is nothing really special here from a build point of view. A few thoughts:
I use a "V" track and V-groove casters to guide the shed as it travels. After reading a few comments on the tracks being hard to line up perfectly parallel I decided to run track down one side only. Only one side of the building needs to be "guided" the other can just follow along. If you look at the pictures you can spot the track on one side and a board on the other side under the casters. The only purpose of the board is to equalize height.
Regarding wind - I have the building set up with large screw eye hooks in each corner. There are corresponding hooks wound into the deck by each corner of the building. The building is held in place with ratchet straps. I typically use one strap but will use the other three if they are calling for high winds. Some form of fastening the building is definitely necessary - it is amazing how easily it rolls.
The pier - make sure there is a gap between the deck and the pier - they need to move independently of one another. If frost causes the deck to move you don't want it to affect the pier.
Above all - don't think about building one, DO IT!!!! The change this has had on my astrophotography is amazing
Hope this helps at least some.
Edited by NorthwoodsBill, 16 February 2018 - 03:18 PM.