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New 8x10 Skyshed ROR with solar power

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#1 Taylor

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:51 PM

Just finished building my solar powered Skyshed 8'x10' roll off roof observatory this week.

Well, 99% done, need to do a few finishing touches.

 

Power is supplied by two 100w Renogy solar panels that tie into a Rover 40a MPPT controller that charges a 100ah SLA battery. 

My power distribution panel is still a little messy, but the system works perfectly. 

 

Due to HOA requirements, the roof is shingles. Rolls well, a little heavy but nothing I cant handle. 

 

 

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#2 Taylor

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:52 PM

More photos

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#3 Taylor

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:53 PM

More photos

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Edited by Taylor, 16 August 2019 - 08:02 AM.

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#4 jerahian

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:19 PM

Well heck, that's the loveliest observatory shell I've ever seen.  Nicely done!

 

Did you follow the building plans exactly, or did you embellish?  Just wondering as I'm designing my own mini-observatory, and possibly tempted to just buy one of the SkyShed plans instead.

 

Lastly, what are you gonna name it?!


Edited by jerahian, 15 August 2019 - 10:22 PM.

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#5 astro_1

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:28 PM

Nicely done! Full of envy here for sure.

My dam HOA wont even allow a 2'x4'x6' vinyl shed on my back patio. frown.gif 



#6 Astroscrub

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:41 PM

That's really nice!



#7 Barlowbill

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 02:32 AM

Name it "Stairway To Heaven".

Nicely done



#8 GrandadCast

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 06:25 AM

Picture perfect.

Jess



#9 tjay

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 07:22 AM

Looks very nice!

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#10 Taylor

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 08:15 AM

Well heck, that's the loveliest observatory shell I've ever seen.  Nicely done!

 

Did you follow the building plans exactly, or did you embellish?  Just wondering as I'm designing my own mini-observatory, and possibly tempted to just buy one of the SkyShed plans instead.

 

Lastly, what are you gonna name it?!

I followed SkyShed's plans pretty closely. In my opinion it helped speed up the construction process. Buy this, cut here, nail here. Done. The only changes I made were to the rolling structures, I didn't use steel garage door track due to the weight of the shingled roof. I used heavy duty casters and 2x6 cedar beams that they roll on. 

 

I added a 12v fan designed for RVs to ventilate it during the summer heat. Its on a 85 F 12v thermometer designed for solar systems, so the fan kicks on anytime the temps go over 85. Its an efficient fan that moves over 1000cfm but only draws 2.5a at max speed. It has a Broan automatic shutter with bug mesh on the outside.

 

Haven't thought of a name yet, not sure I'm going to. 



#11 stargazer60

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 04:09 PM

Very nice, I just ordered the plans on CD from SkyShed ROR.  Can't wait to receive for the CD to arrive.  Nice observatory hope you have many clear and productive nights to come.  Is that a home made pier or one from SkyShed? waytogo.gif 



#12 Taylor

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 05:31 PM

The pier is home made from four 4x4s glued and bolted together. So far the performance is very satisfactory for visual. Haven't tried imaging, should be fine as the views are perfectly steady at the eyepiece. 

If it isn't, I'll have a metal pier built. 

 

I like the wood pier as we have a quarry nearby that occasionally has bigger than normal blasts, it seems that the wood would absorb that energy and prevent it from being transmitted to the optics. more so than solid steel. 


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#13 stargazer60

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:28 AM

Thanks for the information on the pier, hopefully soon I will start my SkyShed ROR project.  I live in Texas on the coast so it has to be built to withstand hurricane force winds.  Your ROR looks great hope you have many clear nights.  



#14 tjay

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:52 PM

I do like the way you've mounted the solar panels, although I wonder how it would work up here were we get snow piling up in the winter.

Do you run the laptop off the battery as well?

One thing Wayne Parker pointed out to me when he build my first observatory (long gone, hoping to build my second in the next year or so) was that they starting using vapor barrier before putting the siding on. It was to prevent snow from getting in through the gaps in the siding, so I suspect it's not very important where you are.

Any chance you'd like to come up to Canada and build another? wink.gif

#15 Taylor

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:49 AM

Tom, we don't get enough snow here to worry about it. More thunderstorms than anything, and its already survived several of those without a leak. 

 

The wood pier is working well so far. I was walking around messing with things within the observatory and it was slightly windy when this image was taken. 300sec x 10 images. 

 

 

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#16 Greg F

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:48 PM

I have been thinking about where and how to put up solar panels, i never thought of the support beams for the roof, duh! When i get closer to adding panels i may well pm you for some pointers,

 

Greg



#17 Taylor

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:40 AM

First real imaging attempt after working out some of the kinks. 

 

I have a lot to learn in the image processing department, but it appears all the equipment is working as it should. 

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  • Andromeda processed.jpg

Edited by Taylor, 29 August 2019 - 08:50 AM.

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#18 Taylor

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:52 AM

For those wondering about power draw in a solar powered observatory:

 

At the pier, the telescope, ASI071MC-Pro, ASI290mm mini and the EQ6-R Pro are all drawing roughly 3 amps. 

Add in the red LED observatory light, Dell low voltage i5 laptop (w/ screen at minimum brightness) and a small 9v fan, the entire observatory draws roughly 6 amps during an imaging run. 



#19 OldManSky

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 01:04 PM

Beautiful work, Taylor.  Gorgeous outside and in.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how is the wood pier attached to the ground/footing?

I'm considering one after 3 aborted attempts to borrow a neighbor's mixer to pour an 8" concrete one...:)



#20 Taylor

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 03:18 PM

I have some insane rock/boulders in my yard. I used a hammer drill to drill holes into the boulder and epoxied rebar into it and made a cage. I attached J bolts to the cage and poured high strength concrete around the cage and boulder. 

 

I made my own plate using 1/2" aluminum from eBay and bolted the 8x8 wood pier to that. Pretty solid. 


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#21 thesungazer

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:08 PM

Really fantastic work, Taylor! Here's to many years under the stars.applause.gif


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#22 Taylor

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Greg!

I used your build as part of my inspiration. 


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