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Rubbermaid Big Max 7'x7' Roll Off Roof

observatory cassegrain Celestron DIY EAA SCT
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#1 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:34 PM

Welcome to Hevans Drive Observatory

This is a Rubbermaid Big Max 7’x7’ shed converted into a Roll off Roof in Bortle Class 5  skies. It houses my Celestron 14” Hyperstar scope and G11mount with a Mallincam Extreme camera and is very, very cosy!! Originally i had planned to make it into a flip top roof to avoid the support posts but the forces required to rotate the roof even with a 7’ lever arm and counter weights was enough to make it into a Trebuchet!! It would have launched me if I kept going. So I decided to go the safer time tested way of a rool off roof. The location in the backyard is on a side hill and would require some labour and effort to make an observatory possible. I had built a dome at my previous house and enjoyed the protection the dome provided in observing. Here is a link to my previous build https://www.cloudyni...ew-observatory/

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#2 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:38 PM

I chose the North West corner of the yard to build as it gave me the best vantage point available

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#3 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:41 PM

With the location decided upon, it was time to strip off all of the top soil where the new observatory was going to go. I had to allow for where the hand excavated fill was going to go to level a pad and remove that top soil. I dug down 3’ into the side hill and levelled and compacted the fill.

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#4 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:45 PM

Then the location of the pier was calculated and dug down 52” and 6” of compacted gravel to added to the bottom of the12inch hole. I used a combination of tools to get through the clay including pry bars, drills and a shop vac

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#5 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:47 PM

close up of side view , hand tools became heavy equipment at the end of the day!

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#6 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:48 PM

After the base was compacted watered and compacted and allowed to sit and settle,  4 inches of gravel was laid on top levelled and patio stones were cut with a circular saw and diamond blade to clear where the pier would be poured

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#7 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:50 PM

Concrete was poured into the hole and rebar was added to help strengthen it. 4 x 7/8-9  L shape thread rods added to attach steel pier, Rubber wrapped around concrete to separate stone from pier

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#8 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:51 PM

A 6”x6” retaining was built with drainage pipe, gravel and filter cloth behind it and pinned together with 1/2 rebar through all the timbers. Steel 4”x4” angle iron was driven down into the ground 3 feet and lag bolted into the timbers

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#9 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:52 PM

Elevated patio? all landscaped and had the neighbors guessing why go to all that trouble

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#10 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:53 PM

Steel Pier painted and ready for instal

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#11 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:54 PM

Big Max assembled and steel pier in place

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#12 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:55 PM

Support stand holes dug and concrete poured

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#13 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:57 PM

roll off supports, interior walls reinforced and rolling away.

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#14 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:58 PM

Interior walls reinforced with  2”x4” at corners and plastic panel seams

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#15 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:00 PM

Showing steel 1” angle iron 17’ long and plastic caster wheel  with 45 deg groove mounted to my roof jacking system and locking mechanism

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#16 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:02 PM

Simple pulley to open and close the roof also a stop to prevent over travel. Actually its very difficult to overtravel with the rope because of the wheel positionis to the left of where the rope is attached. It akes very little force to open or close the roof. Of course the rails were measured to be parallel

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  • opener looking west.jpg

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#17 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:06 PM

Details of my roof jacking system. My laminated 2 2”x4” pivot about the Ø1/2 threaded rod. I simply pull down on the beveled end and it raises or lowers the wheel which in turn raises or lowers the wheel on to the rail. I can use 1 hand to pull down then the other hand simply closes the latch barrel.When the wheel is lowered I then lock it into position with the latch and put a snap hook to keep it locked

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#18 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:08 PM

Detail of latch and locking snap locking barrle under the wooden roof support

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#19 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:09 PM

End view showing 2 of the 4 jacks

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#20 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:11 PM

Caster detail groove added with 45 deg toolbit on my SouthBend 10K lathe

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#21 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:12 PM

Detail of wiring fed through the plastic floor  and wires were eventually tidied up

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#22 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:14 PM

Roof tie downs at each corner. I welded shackles to a Ø1/2” nut and threaded onto my pivot rod that goes through to the outside board on the front and back.

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#23 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:17 PM

Inside the observatory. The one is door is permanently closed and framed in. My rolling toolbox is fastened in place and doubles as my computer desk and storage My mouse is in a drawer and I open and close the drawer as needed. I also had a heating pad in the drawer to keep my hands warm when using the  mouse with no gloves in the cold winter. Did I mention it is very, very cosy in here!!

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#24 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:19 PM

TheSky6 with my landscape

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#25 canadiens

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:21 PM

360° panarama of my view or lack of!!

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