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Scope shed dry run

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#1 Cfreerksen

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 11:06 PM

My own little scope shed. I am getting tired of the setup, alignment and tear down. I think might get me to a semi permanent setup. It should get me more sky time. What do you think?

PSX 20181107 205832
PSX 20181107 205926

 

 

Chris


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#2 ghostboo

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 11:20 PM

This looks like a great idea. I've been kicking around building a roll off next to my house in a good, treeless part of my yard but I don't like the idea of a big permanent structure right out my dining room windows. This might be a better move for me! Is there plenty of room for the scope when you close it up?  


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#3 Cfreerksen

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 11:36 PM

This looks like a great idea. I've been kicking around building a roll off next to my house in a good, treeless part of my yard but I don't like the idea of a big permanent structure right out my dining room windows. This might be a better move for me! Is there plenty of room for the scope when you close it up?  

If plenty means about an inch or 2, then yeah. I still have to cut holes in the floor. I am going to set pavers in the ground so it stays stable over time. The floor is a bit mushy for the tripod legs. But it fits! Not a personal observatory but $450 it will do. Besides when I do upgrade I can always put garden tools in it.

 

PSX 20181107 212916

 

Chris


Edited by Cfreerksen, 07 November 2018 - 11:39 PM.

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#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 12:57 AM

If plenty means about an inch or 2, then yeah. I still have to cut holes in the floor. I am going to set pavers in the ground so it stays stable over time. The floor is a bit mushy for the tripod legs. But it fits! Not a personal observatory but $450 it will do. Besides when I do upgrade I can always put garden tools in it.

 

 

 

Chris

With my somewhat larger shed (8X7) I addressed the stability problem by placing it on a gravel bed, elevating it a few inches with a steel stud wall laid on the gravel.   I cut holes in the shed floor for the base of an iOptron portable pier, putting cement blocks down to give those legs more stability.  It works fairly well, although I do tweak polar alignment (PoleMaster) before each session.

 

As in:

 

pier base.JPG


Edited by bobzeq25, 08 November 2018 - 01:55 AM.

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#5 AstroKerr

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 01:36 AM

...but I don't like the idea of a big permanent structure right out my dining room windows.  

Disguise it as a shrubbery or large mammal - a bear, perhaps. Or hide it behind, say, 5 potted pomegranates on rails radiating outward - poms and scopes -  match made in heaven!

 

Extra bit of gardening around the rails, I suppose, but everything comes at a cost.


Edited by AstroKerr, 08 November 2018 - 01:39 AM.

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#6 jcj380

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 09:23 AM

That looks like it would easily fit on my deck.  Unfortunately, the CEO would probably veto the idea.  Some nonsense about having patio furniture and an umbrella and such out there.

 

And there's a Suncast plant just a few miles from me...


Edited by jcj380, 08 November 2018 - 09:24 AM.

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#7 ghostboo

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 11:27 PM

If plenty means about an inch or 2, then yeah. I still have to cut holes in the floor. I am going to set pavers in the ground so it stays stable over time. The floor is a bit mushy for the tripod legs. But it fits! Not a personal observatory but $450 it will do. Besides when I do upgrade I can always put garden tools in it.

 

 

 

Chris

The extra picture showing clearance really helps me. It looks like this might work. This problem has been my dilemma for months. I would love to keep everything set up without going through that every clear night. In a perfect world, I'd have a scope shed that's big enough for the scope and for me to go inside an enclosed part of it...with heat...but I'm not ready to commit to that just yet so this seems like a great idea in the interim.

 

Thanks Chris.


Edited by ghostboo, 08 November 2018 - 11:29 PM.

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#8 Cfreerksen

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 12:14 AM

The extra picture showing clearance really helps me. It looks like this might work. This problem has been my dilemma for months. I would love to keep everything set up without going through that every clear night. In a perfect world, I'd have a scope shed that's big enough for the scope and for me to go inside an enclosed part of it...with heat...but I'm not ready to commit to that just yet so this seems like a great idea in the interim.

 

Thanks Chris.

I did some testing tonight still in the garage. Did a quick align and slewed to different targets. I found 1 issue. The roof only slides so far back. There can be instances where the OTA and or my dew shield could contact the front portion of the sliding roof. This was a concern as there is no dimensions given for this in the PDF I found online. To alleviate this possibility (however remote) I have determined that I will make the front sliding portion of the roof detachable, it doesn't weigh much and no serious modification is needed. I am going to secure it when the scope is stored with some flexible rubber latches. With the front sliding portion of the roof removed there will be plenty of room for just about any target 20 degrees above the horizon.  I would never try imaging anything below 30 degrees anyway. 

 

Here is the a link https://www.suncast.com/bms4900.html the PDF is available at the bottom of the page.

 

The latches I am going to try. https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Where I bought it.

 

 https://www.homedepo...u:{glidetop}:qu

 

No shipping charge for store pickup.

 

I will post updates. Hope to have it set in place this weekend. 

 

Chris


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#9 jcj380

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:33 AM

The HoPo assortment makes me wonder if I could get a smaller one, keep the floor detached from the walls and then flip the walls and roof over and off the scope, like a hinged upside down box.



#10 MalVeauX

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 09:06 AM

Those work great! They're inexpensive and great against the weather.

 

And it absolutely gives you more sky time with the scope. Lots of times you'd want to risk taking it all out and take a look or image is put off due to it being a chore, especially in iffy weather. When it's literally a 5 minute affair to open her up, turn her own, and she's already aligned and ready to go, you will use it all the time even for short sessions that normally you would not bother with. One of the best things you can do for astronomy is making is super convenient!

 

Very best,


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#11 Cfreerksen

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 11:13 AM

Update on the scope shed. I was out last night refining my setup, guiding and the sort. Then the clouds started to roll in. Shut down and packed up in just a few minutes. Woke up this morning to see this.

PSX 20181111 090309

 

A fresh dusting of snow. Yes the scope is still inside. Well protected and ready to go if is clear tonight. My setup time was only a few minutes. Touch up polar alignment in Sharpcap and do manual alignment and ready to go. This is really going to work!

 

Chris


Edited by Cfreerksen, 11 November 2018 - 11:14 AM.

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#12 Cfreerksen

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 09:58 PM

It got a bit cloudy this evening so no imaging. I did have time today for some upgrades. Installed some led lighting. This should be helpful during setup and shutdown.

PSX 20181111 194422
PSX 20181111 194351
 
Thank you all for the likes and comments. I really can't believe how well this has turned out. I am so not going to miss lugging that mount up and down the stairs.
 
Chris

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#13 ghostboo

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 12:38 AM

Update on the scope shed. I was out last night refining my setup, guiding and the sort. Then the clouds started to roll in. Shut down and packed up in just a few minutes. Woke up this morning to see this.

 

 

A fresh dusting of snow. Yes the scope is still inside. Well protected and ready to go if is clear tonight. My setup time was only a few minutes. Touch up polar alignment in Sharpcap and do manual alignment and ready to go. This is really going to work!

 

Chris

You could use the other shed as a nice place to sit inside with your laptop and a portable heater!  Maybe add some insulation and power. Looks like the perfect set-up without spending loads of money on a roll off shed. Well done!


Edited by ghostboo, 12 November 2018 - 12:43 AM.

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#14 Cfreerksen

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 09:13 PM

You could use the other shed as a nice place to sit inside with your laptop and a portable heater!  Maybe add some insulation and power. Looks like the perfect set-up without spending loads of money on a roll off shed. Well done!

Yeah, that would be nice but the other shed actually has garden equipment in it. Maybe I should zero-scape and claim it. waytogo.gif

 

Chris


Edited by Cfreerksen, 12 November 2018 - 09:15 PM.

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#15 StarmanDan

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:17 AM

That looks awesome!  I've been considering the same thing but was hesitant as I didn't know if everything would fit.  Now I know it will.  I've also been considering building a raised wall a couple feet high for the base of the shed to raise it up so that I can walk into it if needed.  A pier instead of using a tripod would free up some space.  Be sure to share this on the Observatory forum if you haven't yet.


Edited by StarmanDan, 13 November 2018 - 11:18 AM.

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#16 Alex McConahay

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 06:54 PM

With an imaging rig, why are you sitting outside at all? Just go inside and run the rig with Tight VNC or something. 

 

Here is something you could easily emulate with that Rubbermaid thing.

 

 http://www.alexastro...houseindex.html

 

Alex 



#17 Cfreerksen

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 08:45 PM

With an imaging rig, why are you sitting outside at all? Just go inside and run the rig with Tight VNC or something. 

 

Here is something you could easily emulate with that Rubbermaid thing.

 

 http://www.alexastro...houseindex.html

 

Alex 

Using team viewer right now. I hear good things about TVNC going to give it a try. Baby steps, well giant steps. I just started in mid August.

 

Thanks,

 

Chris


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#18 Cfreerksen

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:54 AM

That looks awesome!  I've been considering the same thing but was hesitant as I didn't know if everything would fit.  Now I know it will.  I've also been considering building a raised wall a couple feet high for the base of the shed to raise it up so that I can walk into it if needed.  A pier instead of using a tripod would free up some space.  Be sure to share this on the Observatory forum if you haven't yet.

A pier would be great. After I ordered the shed I was looking for more ideas on-line and found some who had used the same shed as I and had erected a pier. I plan on moving in the next year or two and a pier would probably not boost my resale value. The new place will definitely bet getting a more expansive observatory.

 

Chris


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#19 Cfreerksen

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:59 AM

With an imaging rig, why are you sitting outside at all? Just go inside and run the rig with Tight VNC or something. 

 

Here is something you could easily emulate with that Rubbermaid thing.

 

 http://www.alexastro...houseindex.html

 

Alex 

Alex,

 

Very nice rig. I would love to have your climate too. I used to be in Moreno Valley area 2 decades ago. I hope the light pollution isn't getting to bad for ya.

 

Chris



#20 ksouers

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 08:41 AM

A pier would be great. After I ordered the shed I was looking for more ideas on-line and found some who had used the same shed as I and had erected a pier. I plan on moving in the next year or two and a pier would probably not boost my resale value. The new place will definitely bet getting a more expansive observatory.

 

Chris

Chris,

Perhaps something DIY will fit the bill. This is made from common cement blocks from Home Depot, glued together with Liquid Nails Heavy Duty construction adhesive. There is a pressure treated 4x4 down the center embedded in concrete filling the void between post and block. You can make it as short or as tall as you want. Total cost was $35 USD.

 

It just sits on the ground, nothing below grade. There was a bit of movement until everything got settled, about 4-6 weeks. Now PA just needs a tweak every week or so.

 

It's a funny coincidence,  I've been considering using the very same shed but without being able to see and measure the roof opening I've been hesitant.

 

scope1.JPG

 

Ignore the lousy cable management. It no longer exists.

 

 

Kevin


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#21 Cfreerksen

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 09:51 AM

Chris,

Perhaps something DIY will fit the bill. This is made from common cement blocks from Home Depot, glued together with Liquid Nails Heavy Duty construction adhesive. There is a pressure treated 4x4 down the center embedded in concrete filling the void between post and block. You can make it as short or as tall as you want. Total cost was $35 USD.

 

It just sits on the ground, nothing below grade. There was a bit of movement until everything got settled, about 4-6 weeks. Now PA just needs a tweak every week or so.

 

It's a funny coincidence,  I've been considering using the very same shed but without being able to see and measure the roof opening I've been hesitant.

 

attachicon.gif scope1.JPG

 

Ignore the lousy cable management. It no longer exists.

 

 

Kevin

If you would like I can get you the exact opening size of the roof. I did post a link for the PDF in a previous post but the opening can only be estimated from that document.

 

I just got my tie downs from Amazon. I am going to make the slide portion of the roof removable. This will increase the N-S opening by quite a bit. Right now I am limited a bit on RA when pointed at the NCP. This becomes an issue doing polar alignment in Sharpcap, only being able to rotate RA about 70 degrees when 90 is suggested.

 

Chris



#22 ksouers

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 11:45 AM

If you would like I can get you the exact opening size of the roof. I did post a link for the PDF in a previous post but the opening can only be estimated from that document.

 

I just got my tie downs from Amazon. I am going to make the slide portion of the roof removable. This will increase the N-S opening by quite a bit. Right now I am limited a bit on RA when pointed at the NCP. This becomes an issue doing polar alignment in Sharpcap, only being able to rotate RA about 70 degrees when 90 is suggested.

 

Chris

Yes, please. If you don't mind.

I followed the link, but yes, it doesn't show anything about the roof opening. The best I've been able to guess is 46 inches by 36 inches with the sliding panel on. Perhaps 39 inches with the panel off.

 

 

Kevin



#23 sbradley07

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 01:23 PM

This is a great thread...thanks for sharing all the ideas.  The string of lights is pretty bad-****! 

 

I was looking at that same slide-off-roof shed, but felt the fit would be a little too tight, or not work at all for my rig.  I ended up going in a bit of a different direction and it's been working great. 

 

shed.jpg

 

Unclip the front legs from the ground augers, tip the whole thing back, power up, start imaging.  I'll have to see how it holds up to the rigors of New England winters, but I'm encouraged by how it's held up in very high winds so far.

 

Even a semi-permanent set up is an enormous plus when it comes to maximizing imaging time!

 


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#24 Cfreerksen

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 09:40 PM

This is a great thread...thanks for sharing all the ideas.  The string of lights is pretty bad-****! 

 

I was looking at that same slide-off-roof shed, but felt the fit would be a little too tight, or not work at all for my rig.  I ended up going in a bit of a different direction and it's been working great. 

 

attachicon.gif shed.jpg

 

Unclip the front legs from the ground augers, tip the whole thing back, power up, start imaging.  I'll have to see how it holds up to the rigors of New England winters, but I'm encouraged by how it's held up in very high winds so far.

 

Even a semi-permanent set up is an enormous plus when it comes to maximizing imaging time!

I like the setup. The led lights are about $5 at Wal-Mart in the tv accessory section. They have a USB plug and a remote.

 

Chris



#25 Cfreerksen

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 09:57 PM

Yes, please. If you don't mind.

I followed the link, but yes, it doesn't show anything about the roof opening. The best I've been able to guess is 46 inches by 36 inches with the sliding panel on. Perhaps 39 inches with the panel off.

 

 

Kevin

Side to side the opening is 50" The opening with lid retracted (front to rear) is 24.5" With the front part of the roof removed the opening is 36.25" That is why I will be making the front portion of the sliding roof removable. My scope can come in contact with it if I am pointed at NCP and move RA more than about 65-70 degrees while keeping DEC north. So far the only time this happens is when I am polar aligning in Sharpcap. Since I never want the scope to be able to hit the roof, the roof is coming off. I will post my mods when completed this weekend.

 

Chris




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