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Post a pic. of your observatory!

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#1376 Randal Healey

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 04:33 PM

My Utahopia Observatory, Kaysville, Utah

 

The observatory was self designed and built. I really wanted a design that allowed for a climate controlled computer control room to be located under the roll of roof. It just made sense to me to take advantage of this, normally unused, space in most ROR observatory designs.It is fully remote automated (very nice given the amount of time I have to spend in hotel rooms traveling for my career). It houses a 9.25 inch GEM SCT, 8 inch Alt/Az SCT, and 102mm ES Apochromatic Triplet refractor telescopes.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it are interested in visiting the observatory. Thanks

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#1377 MHamburg

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 05:13 PM

Very nice build. Is snow load a problem?

 

Michael



#1378 Randal Healey

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 06:50 PM

Thanks very much. Snow load is not a problem at all.

#1379 Blhorrocks

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 11:54 PM

IMG_6578 (2).JPG

 This was my last years project.  10' diameter dome, that is 23' up above the trees.  Works great.


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#1380 roscoe

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:48 AM

is that a steel frame?



#1381 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:11 AM

attachicon.gif IMG_6578 (2).JPG

 This was my last years project.  10' diameter dome, that is 23' up above the trees.  Works great.

Looks nice.  How's your stability?  I note there's no independent pier, so I'd expect every bit of wind vibration, etc. to be felt at the scope.

 

Beo



#1382 Blhorrocks

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:53 AM

is that a steel frame?

Yes,  I am a structural engineer, and it is a steel composite beam design with 4" of concrete on the floor.  It is very solid and i do a lot of imaging in it and see no movement in my images at all.


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#1383 Blhorrocks

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:57 AM

Looks nice.  How's your stability?  I note there's no independent pier, so I'd expect every bit of wind vibration, etc. to be felt at the scope.

 

Beo

I was kind of worried that i may have a problem with vibration, but it is a steel composite frame with 12" beams and a 4" concrete deck slab.  The steel bracing prevents any movement in the wind, as long as it is not supper strong.  It is design to withstand 110 mph winds and the deck is designed to support 250 psf of load.  I do a lot of imaging and don't see any issues.  Of course i don;t jump up and down while this is going on also.  But it works great.

 


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#1384 mike17

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:48 PM

This has been my project for the summer.  Currently working on the dome and shutter automation for the 8' exploradome. 

 

Mike

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#1385 Blhorrocks

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:53 PM

This has been my project for the summer.  Currently working on the dome and shutter automation for the 8' exploradome. 

 

Mike

So,  Just out of curiosity what did your dome cost?  On my dome I rolled some 1" square steel tubing and then covered it with plywood and fiberglass.  It was a ton of work, and still costed me around $2,500 or so just for the dome.  I posted a video on Youtube on the steel construction you can see it at:  https://www.youtube....h?v=xreyPljQHHA


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#1386 mike17

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:19 PM

The dome cost me $5000 from exploradome .  That included all the motors and sensors for the shutter and rotation.  I plan on using levesdome for the dome automation so I am building that at present.  I was able to pick the dome up from exploradome since I only live about 150.00 miles away, so there was no shipping.  I think the price of the dome without the motors etc is about 3200. 

 

Mike



#1387 jesswright656

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:48 PM

Here's a shot of my 8x10 ROR and rig. I utilized Skyshed plans for the overall design but added several modifications. Some other add-ons include 10" variable speed shutter exhaust fan, programmable thermostat, dehumidifier, solar reflective paint and dimable red LED rope lighting. It houses my 8" RC, ES 80mm APO, Atlas and QSI pier mounted on a modified brake rotor. Overall the project ran around 3K, and took about a month to build. 

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#1388 aussietx

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:59 PM

My Utahopia Observatory, Kaysville, Utah

 

The observatory was self designed and built. I really wanted a design that allowed for a climate controlled computer control room to be located under the roll of roof. It just made sense to me to take advantage of this, normally unused, space in most ROR observatory designs.It is fully remote automated (very nice given the amount of time I have to spend in hotel rooms traveling for my career). It houses a 9.25 inch GEM SCT, 8 inch Alt/Az SCT, and 102mm ES Apochromatic Triplet refractor telescopes.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it are interested in visiting the observatory. Thanks

Very nice! Is that white panel for taking flats?



#1389 WyattDavis

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 04:15 PM

As inspired by John Love's Sky Box of Okie-Tex fame, my new 10'x10' "Star Tent":

 

 Star Tent.jpg

 

This is a tarps.com special. Far short of a permanent roll-off, It is for blocking ambient light and wind and will be put up and taken down periodically. I just set this up this week for the first time and still need to cut the upright poles to size. I live .5 miles from the Atlantic in New Hampshire, and the second night it was up we had gale warnings on the coast. It stayed up throughout a very windy night here on the Seacoast with no problem. It does a great job of cutting the wind, which really helps in the winter here in NH.


Edited by WyattDavis, 25 December 2018 - 05:00 AM.

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#1390 Cotts

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 11:43 AM

As inspired by John Love's Sky Box of Okie-Tex fame, my new 10'x10' "Star Tent":

 

 attachicon.gif Star Tent.jpg

 

This is a tarps.com special. Far short of a permanent roll-off, It is for blocking ambient light and wind and will be put up and taken down periodically. I just set this up this week for the first time and still need to cut the upright poles to size. I live .5 miles from the Atlantic in New Hampshire, and the second night it was up we had gale warnings on the coast. It stayed up throughout a very windy night here on the Seacoast with no problem. It does a great job of cutting the wind, which really helps in the winter here in NH.

Wyatt, you can run those guy ropes right along the sides of the structure and have the same wind stability.  The way you have them is a trip hazard in the dark...   See pic.

 

IMG_6271.jpg

 

Dave


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#1391 WyattDavis

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 12:43 PM

Wyatt, you can run those guy ropes right along the sides of the structure and have the same wind stability.  The way you have them is a trip hazard in the dark...   See pic.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_6271.jpg

 

Dave

Good idea. Looks like the way you have these rigged also pulls the ends of the walls toward the center, which is probably even more stable. Will give that a try.


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#1392 jtsenghas

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 05:06 PM

Good idea. Looks like the way you have these rigged also pulls the ends of the walls toward the center, which is probably even more stable. Will give that a try.

Note that the proposed method also puts the corner joints in compression both vertically and horizontally, reducing the chance of corners getting pulled apart. As long at the top horizontal members are robust enough not to be at risk of buckling from the combined loads of the guy lines and the wind, that indeed is a preferable setup.


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#1393 CCD-Freak

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 11:10 PM

I have put my tie downs right next to the wall (as discussed above) for many years now.  Be sure and drive the stakes in perpendicular to the tie down ropes. 

 

My SkyBox took a direct hit by a dust devil at TSP last year with no ill effects.  I was hanging on to the awning of my trailer at the time....the box shook some but nothing else happened.  

 

CCD-Freak at TSP-4.JPG

 

John Love

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Edited by CCD-Freak, 25 December 2018 - 11:17 PM.

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#1394 Cotts

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 04:42 PM

You can even put the guys on the INSIDE for a neater look..  

 

Dave


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#1395 CCD-Freak

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 05:41 PM

You can even put the guys on the INSIDE for a neater look..  

 

Dave

Craig Smith does just that......

 

SB_3684-sm.JPG

 

I would do that if it wasn't for the patio mats I use for a floor. smile.gif

 

SkyBox_12X8-OTSP-xsm.jpg

 

 

John Love

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#1396 WyattDavis

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 09:03 PM

You have your Best Western space tents and then you have the Ritz Carlton versions... cool!


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#1397 WyattDavis

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 03:52 PM

Thanks to all for the basic engineering suggestions. Here is Star Tent version 2.0, now with uprights cut to size, the sealed-top corners and T's mounted on the top of the uprights, the "pass-through" corners and T's at the bottom of the uprights, and the wind ropes flushed up on 45's against the walls - much sturdier and cleaner:

 

IMG_0385.jpg

IMG_0387.jpg

IMG_0389.jpg

 

And, it even looks like there is a decent chance of clear skies this evening up here in New Hampshire!


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#1398 eMaX

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:34 AM

Thought I would post a few pics of the latest version of my Dobhut observatory. I've always been a rather low tech guy and my scopes through the years have been mostly dobs. I did aquire a Nextstar 8" a while back but ended up putting the ota on a dob style mount. I'm just not into electronics. My observatory reflects this. Although quite functional it is very low tech. It can be opened and closed from inside in a couple of minutes. The lower part of the extended arms are filled with concrete and serve as counterweights to the roof sections. When open it affords me a nice wide view of the sky which I prefer. Some years ago I had built a dome and even though it had a rather wide opening it felt too confining and needed to be rotated constantly. With the present structure when opened up most of the sky above twenty degrees is accessable.

The structure measures about 9' 6" per side and nicely accomodates my 12 1/2" f 6 scope. The scope itself sits on a heavy wooden pedestal which is isolated from the floor of the observatory. Also having the floor elevated off the ground does a lot to help control moisture inside which in turn helps keep the optics dry.

 

Since it became operational the observatory has enabled me to increase my observing time considerably since the scope is always set up, ready to go. That is until lately when the clouds took over, not much one can do about  that. Nice to know how ever that when it does clear I can be observing in a minute or two.

 

Nick Reed

How do you keep the rain out with a roof like that?



#1399 eMaX

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 11:05 AM

Another image...

So am I right that essentially, with this sort of observatories, you don‘t keep your scope polar aligned and have to re-align it every time? Sorry for the beginner‘s question



#1400 gfstallin

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:06 AM

Here's a shot of my 8x10 ROR and rig. I utilized Skyshed plans for the overall design but added several modifications. Some other add-ons include 10" variable speed shutter exhaust fan, programmable thermostat, dehumidifier, solar reflective paint and dimable red LED rope lighting. It houses my 8" RC, ES 80mm APO, Atlas and QSI pier mounted on a modified brake rotor. Overall the project ran around 3K, and took about a month to build. 

I could have done this for under $3k and in two weeks if you exclude the 6 months and $35k of physical therapy I would have required to relearn how to use the fingers I accidentally chopped off attempting to use (any) power tools stronger than Dremel and the $6k I paid somebody to finish the project while I was in the hospital. lol.gif

 

All joking aside, beautiful build. I seriously wished I had the skills to do something like this, but I'm glad at least some of my fellow astronomy folks have them. 

 

George


Edited by gfstallin, 07 January 2019 - 12:09 AM.

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