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8x13 ROR Observatory Build.

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#1 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 04:49 PM

I have started work on my single pier ROR observatory. Attached are some of my plans.  I wanted to stay under 10 square metres so I would not require a building permit.  The plan includes a 5x8 warm room that will stay enclosed with a small A/C in the summer and heated in the winter.  My location in the back of my lot has a good view of the sky except for trees toward the NNE which should not be an issue.  Although not really necessary, I will be able to view Polaris to the North.  I did a lot of planning around pier height, wall height to get a minimum 18 degree view (limit with some other buildings around me) except to the North where the roof will roll off towards.  

 

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#2 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 04:54 PM

The first big job was digging the hole for the base of the pier.  I used 3ft wide sonotube and 5ft long (deep).  I have a small Kubota tractor - no backhoe, but was able to dig the hole with the front end loader!  I should have got a picture of me going down that hole! Roll-over bar was up and seat belt on. It actually worked very well.

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#3 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:03 PM

I mixed my own concrete and did the pier in two separate pours.  Sorry I did not get a picture of all the rebar in the base.  The base alone was about 1.3 yards of concrete.

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#4 DLuders

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:05 PM

What is the Frost Depth in your area?  What is the Allowable Uniform Snow Load?  What is the Design Wind Speed?  How are you going to connect the above-ground pier with the below-ground foundation?   thinking1.gif  



#5 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:08 PM

Second pour done.  I was paranoid about the pier sonotube bursting so I vertically sliced some leftover tube, slid it over base and used lots of duct tape :)   I bought a cheap laser level (Huepar) on Amazon and it worked really well to level my post saddles. 

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#6 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:23 PM

What is the Frost Depth in your area?  What is the Allowable Uniform Snow Load?  What is the Design Wind Speed?  How are you going to connect the above-ground pier with the below-ground foundation?   thinking1.gif

The recommended depth is 4ft. The pier is 5ft deep - just because that was how long the sonotube was that I was able to buy from someone's leftover. My posts are 4.5ft deep.  I don't know the data on snow load and wind speed.  The roof will be metal and based on my location and observation from my other buildings, I didn't expect a lot of snow load on the roof.  My only concern was that it did not push out the walls in the 8ft section.  I had a contractor friend review and he thought it would be fine. It can get windy, so I will use some "safety chains" inside the observatory to keep the roof in place.  I did the second pour soon after the below ground was set. 



#7 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:31 PM

Some landscape gravel and pea stone to prevent weeds as the building is fairly high off grade.  In the spring it can flood sometimes in this area of my yard which is why I went this height.   I ran two conduits up through the middle of my pier - one for communications and one for power.  The 6x6s are overkill for my beams but they were on sale and it just seemed easy :).  A few 2x6s would actually be stronger. 

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#8 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:35 PM

The floor joists done, nothing touching the pier of course. I'm having the trusses made at a local truss company, so a break now in construction until I know when I will have them. 

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#9 DLuders

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:13 PM

What kind (and size) of telescope will eventually be mounted on the pier?   crazy.gif 



#10 bosh60

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:17 PM

What kind (and size) of telescope will eventually be mounted on the pier?   crazy.gif

I have an iOptron CEM60 mount on which I use a Stellarvue SVX80 refractor and a Celestron 8" EdgeHD 



#11 bosh60

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 06:28 PM

Walls are going up.  A better idea of the space inside now, and I'm happy with it.  

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#12 bosh60

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 06:33 PM

I am using LP Smartside panels, which is a resin coated engineered wood.  I used them before for a backyard barn and pleased with its durability. 

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#13 bosh60

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 07:07 PM

The roll-off section beams are up and rails in place.  Next is to get some of the roof structure up so I can build the interior and end wall.  There will not be a lot of clearance between the warm room ceiling and the trusses, so I want to get some trusses up first to be sure on the wall height.  Those are garage door rails.  I think I will mount a 2x4 underneath the rails to help support the weight. 

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#14 Don Walters

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 06:52 PM

You have a good source for the garage door rails?  Everywhere I look they seem to be quite expensive.  I found a good source for the rollers and brackets. Just the rails seem pricey since they want to sell them as a garage door replacement part and crazy expensive like $50 for a set of 2 that are only 5-7’ long.  



#15 bosh60

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 05:54 AM

You have a good source for the garage door rails?  Everywhere I look they seem to be quite expensive.  I found a good source for the rollers and brackets. Just the rails seem pricey since they want to sell them as a garage door replacement part and crazy expensive like $50 for a set of 2 that are only 5-7’ long.  

I had been watching local "buy and sell" sites for some time and managed to find some relatively inexpensive. I used both the vertical and horizontal sections by cutting off the curved part.  



#16 bosh60

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 06:02 AM

The trusses are up.  Not all the rollers are on yet as a few are backordered.  Of course the real weight is yet to come with the metal roof, but at this point its a one-finger push - in fact the wind will blow it over. There is no binding which I was concerned about. The 2x4s at the bottom of the trusses are temporary bracing.  Next step is to build the end wall and warm room wall which the roof rolls over top. Once I finish the ceiling of the warm room, I can install the metal roofing.  

 

https://youtu.be/XmJVlCI-DAQ


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#17 bosh60

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 05:20 PM

Some more detail pictures of the roof and rollers. 

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#18 bosh60

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 02:02 PM

The roof is ready for metal.  It will be interesting as I have never done a metal roof before.  The inside ceiling/roof of the warm room underneath is finished. More pictures to come later.

 

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#19 bosh60

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:42 AM

Metal roof is installed.  Had some trouble because on some sheets, the ribs did not run square with the sheet!  The roof is fairly heavy now, but I can still roll it with one arm grabbing a truss underneath.  Next is some fascia and soffit, and a flip down end gable section. 

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#20 bosh60

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:37 PM

A few more pictures of work in progress.  Tried out the pier last night.  L-bolts were positioned well in the pier, as I could catch Polaris about in the middle of my adjustability. I am a little disappointed with my southern view.  I thought I had calculated 20 deg before the walls start to vignette my view, but obviously I was still thinking about my old LX200 fork mount and not GEM.  I forgot how much lower the OTA rolls down. I'd like another 8-10" of height on the pier so maybe will consider putting on iOptron's mini-pier.  I don't want to mess with concrete any more and risk messing up what I had.   Its ok now, but it could be better.  Just happened to want to view Saturn and Jupiter last night and I only saw them with less than half of my aperture.

The warm room size  is small but actually is quite functional for one person.  I will be able to have two large monitors side by side on my desk.  Just enough room to roll back in the chair and get out from behind the desk.  The view of scope from the chair is perfect.

I installed rubber horse matts in the telescope room, they are very heavy and lay down quite well - no need for adhesive. They did prove that my building is square :)

Lots of work to do yet.  Next will be running electrical and then insulate and drywall the warm room.  I have a full length glass door to install between the scope and warm room.

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#21 bosh60

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:52 PM

Electrical is done.  12v power system is installed and two circuits run though the conduit into the pier, one for the mount and another for the accessories.  I have an ammeter display for each circuit. Just my preference- I like to know that everything is drawing its normal current and not more.  Two USB lines are run on a separate conduit.  Starting to insulate and drywall the warm room.  I will be running burial grade ethernet cable from my house (no conduit). I will hard wire my main computer, but also install a wireless router eventually.  

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#22 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:00 AM

Glass door? Will light spill from your desk into the scope?

#23 bosh60

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 06:04 PM

Glass door? Will light spill from your desk into the scope?

Actually that's a good point.  I will have to see how that works out.  I will have the room light off, and monitors fairly dim.  I thought having good visibility from the warm room of the scope was a good thing but trying things out the other night - I cannot even see the scope through the window.  The bit of light from the monitors makes everything too dark and black to see anything in the scope room. 

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Edited by bosh60, 18 August 2019 - 06:07 PM.


#24 dmdouglass

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 06:50 PM

Glass door? Will light spill from your desk into the scope?

Well, actually, probably more light through the glass window. 

BUT... if he is turned on to "red" or "soft light"... should not be an issue.


Edited by dmdouglass, 18 August 2019 - 06:51 PM.


#25 Poconut

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 08:59 PM

The first big job was digging the hole for the base of the pier.  I used 3ft wide sonotube and 5ft long (deep).  I have a small Kubota tractor - no backhoe, but was able to dig the hole with the front end loader!  I should have got a picture of me going down that hole! Roll-over bar was up and seat belt on. It actually worked very well.

You're a gutsy person digging that size hole with that tractor.  I'm seeing your front tire tracks in that hole a couple feet down in the slope!  Must have been a bit squirrelly getting that deep in that small of an area?




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