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ROR Observatory Plans

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#1 Framis

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:56 PM

Looking for a good resource for ROR observatory plans.   I am coming up empty with a good builder that is not responding to emails and have lost patience trying to give them my money. 

 

Alas I must find plans,  and try to hire some locals that I can hand them plans to build my backyard observatory.

 

 


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#2 eyeoftexas

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:33 PM

This company advertised that they'll sell you plans: https://backyardobservatories.com

 

I have no experience with them, so I have no insights on it.


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#3 Framis

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:44 PM

This company advertised that they'll sell you plans: https://backyardobservatories.com

I have no experience with them, so I have no insights on it.


It appears that they are very limited on what plans they offers, and this is the company that has ghosted me while I'm trying to get information enough to give them my business.

#4 havasman

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:57 PM

It appears that they are very limited on what plans they offers, and this is the company that has ghosted me while I'm trying to get information enough to give them my business.

A friend had them build an observatory a couple of years ago. It is REALLY nice. They are very much in demand and are the top rank of builders of wooden roll-off observatories. It's a very small group of folks and when they're on a build site they aren't responsive. It's not like dealing with Amazoo. You're not even the 3rd or 4th forum member to complain that they're hard to contact. I've not done business with them. But I've seen their work and heard from other owners. IMO they are worth the trouble.


Edited by havasman, 04 March 2021 - 10:30 AM.

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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:53 PM

It appears that they are very limited on what plans they offers, and this is the company that has ghosted me while I'm trying to get information enough to give them my business.

They probably favor customers who are ready to jump in with their standard offerings. Sometimes a lot of questions and conditionals chase vendors away.    Tom



#6 *skyguy*

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:56 PM

SkyShed sells ROR observatory plans to build a number of different size observatories:

 

https://skyshed.com/

 

I would start the building process by taking the materials list, included with the plans, to a local lumber yard (for example 84 Lumber) and have them price it out. Then ask them to recommend a couple of framing crews they think might be interested in your project. Show the plans to the framers and make sure you know exactly what will be included in their square foot price. If you want to do part of the build on your own, like concrete, electrical, roofing ... you can save a bundle of money over a "Backyard Observatories" build.

 

Good Luck with your observatory build ....


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#7 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 07:16 AM

They probably favor customers who are ready to jump in with their standard offerings. Sometimes a lot of questions and conditionals chase vendors away.    Tom

They have no standard offerings.   and its not really the case here.   I simply need a price,  some design docs that I can submit to the town for a permit and conformation of a timeline before I have concrete poured.   



#8 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 07:26 AM

A friend had them build an observatory a couple of years ago. It is REALLY nice. They are very much in demand and are the top rank of builders of wooden roll-off observatories. It's a very small group of folks and when they're on a build site they aren't responsive. It's not like dealing with Amazoo. You're not even the 3rd or 4th forum member to complain that they're hard to contact. I've not done business with them. But I've seen their work and heard from other owners. IMO they are worth the trouble.

I don't care if you are backlogged for two years.  if you run a business emails should not take a month or two or three to get a response. I do not think that you should advertise on your web site call or email if you don't plan on being able to respond.  The thing here is that astronomy is a hobby for me. I do not live and breath it.  I can find another hobby.  it not worth the trouble for me to chase a company like that. 



#9 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 07:33 AM

SkyShed sells ROR observatory plans to build a number of different size observatories:

 

https://skyshed.com/

 

I would start the building process by taking the materials list, included with the plans, to a local lumber yard (for example 84 Lumber) and have them price it out. Then ask them to recommend a couple of framing crews they think might be interested in your project. Show the plans to the framers and make sure you know exactly what will be included in their square foot price. If you want to do part of the build on your own, like concrete, electrical, roofing ... you can save a bundle of money over a "Backyard Observatories" build.

 

Good Luck with your observatory build ....

SkyShed says that they offer plans for Observatory Sizes 6'X6', 6'X8', 8'X10', 10'X10', 10'X12', 10'X14'.  I was looking for a 16'x24' but I can go smaller I guess.  where in WNY are you?  



#10 petercoxphoto

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 09:24 AM

I built an 8x10 SkyShed from their plans and it was a good experience. If you're looking to build bigger than their largest, it shouldn't be tough to just scale things up if you have a bit of construction knowledge, or are working with someone who does.

 

Cheers,
Peter


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#11 havasman

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:32 AM

I don't care if you are backlogged for two years.  if you run a business emails should not take a month or two or three to get a response. I do not think that you should advertise on your web site call or email if you don't plan on being able to respond.  The thing here is that astronomy is a hobby for me. I do not live and breath it.  I can find another hobby.  it not worth the trouble for me to chase a company like that. 

And I suspect a component of their model is passive selection of a certain type of customer. Not everyone makes it through. Yet BYO persists.

 

Likewise it may not be completely accidental that BYO also may be extended to read Build Your Own.

 

One of the last times these sort of complaints surfaced it turned out the group was grieving the unexpected death of one of their number. There was some thought they'd be calling it quits but they resumed. Again, not like a conglomerate that would step over a body to pickup a fiver and then call Janitorial Services to deal with the mess. For BYO it apparently ISN'T always about the customer.

 

Lastly, in these plague days you cannot know the status of those you curse.

 

Good luck with your project.


Edited by havasman, 04 March 2021 - 10:35 AM.

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#12 eyeoftexas

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:42 AM

I don't care if you are backlogged for two years.  if you run a business emails should not take a month or two or three to get a response. I do not think that you should advertise on your web site call or email if you don't plan on being able to respond.  The thing here is that astronomy is a hobby for me. I do not live and breath it.  I can find another hobby.  it not worth the trouble for me to chase a company like that. 

There are other choices.  I know you are thinking ROR, but there are domes too:

https://observatorysolutions.com

http://piertechinc.com

https://www.apheliondomes.com

https://www.nexdome.com

http://astroclosets.com



#13 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:43 AM

And I suspect a component of their model is passive selection of a certain type of customer. Not everyone makes it through. Yet BYO persists.

 

Likewise it may not be completely accidental that BYO also may be extended to read Build Your Own.

 

One of the last times these sort of complaints surfaced it turned out the group was grieving the unexpected death of one of their number. There was some thought they'd be calling it quits but they resumed. Again, not like a conglomerate that would step over a body to pickup a fiver and then call Janitorial Services to deal with the mess. For BYO it apparently ISN'T always about the customer.

 

Lastly, in these plague days you cannot know the status of those you curse.

 

Good luck with your project.

well I did get an email in January from Scott,  which he did say that he has a build in Northern Arizona in April,  and he would like to get me in around then.  I am in Utah just a few miles from the Utah/Arizona state line. That was promising.  But since then I have not been able to secure anything else.  I have a concrete pad to get poured,  and a permit to pull etc.  I cannot start without a solid commitment. 

 

I have just email SkyShed about plans and will probably go that route.  While I did want to go BYO,  I will end up saving in the long run,  and can put that towards additional equipment. 

 

Thank you for the best wishes on my project. 



#14 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:47 AM

There are other choices.  I know you are thinking ROR, but there are domes too:

https://observatorysolutions.com

http://piertechinc.com

https://www.apheliondomes.com

https://www.nexdome.com

http://astroclosets.com

I wanted to get 2-4 piers in the observatory and a dome will not suffice.  I do not believe anyways.

 

Thank you for the input.



#15 Raginar

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:52 AM

Looking for a good resource for ROR observatory plans.   I am coming up empty with a good builder that is not responding to emails and have lost patience trying to give them my money. 

 

Alas I must find plans,  and try to hire some locals that I can hand them plans to build my backyard observatory.

Sky Shed is awesome.  Pretty clear and it has a decent supply list.  I changed mine to use MDF siding sheets and I would build it slightly higher so you don't have to cut a door to make it fit.  


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#16 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 11:40 AM

Sky Shed is awesome.  Pretty clear and it has a decent supply list.  I changed mine to use MDF siding sheets and I would build it slightly higher so you don't have to cut a door to make it fit.  

awesome...  I have already reached out to SkyShed.   did you do a slap, or deck?   

 

Thank you.



#17 petercoxphoto

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 11:55 AM

For myself, I went with a slab. It gave me more security in terms of bolting the structure down (I live in an area with frequent very high winds in the winter), and flexibility of mount placement. I went with no fixed pier and instead use tri-piers. It allowed me to add a second and then a third (unplanned) mount to the building, where a fixed pier would not have permitted that. I went with a 9" slab for extra stability and crack resistance. I have zero vibration problems with it.

 

Cheers,
Peter



#18 *skyguy*

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 03:48 PM

SkyShed says that they offer plans for Observatory Sizes 6'X6', 6'X8', 8'X10', 10'X10', 10'X12', 10'X14'.  I was looking for a 16'x24' but I can go smaller I guess.  where in WNY are you?  

 I'm located about 20 miles south of Buffalo, NY. My home is in a transition area between suburban and rural skies ... Bortle 4.

 

Here's some images of my garage-top ROR observatory I designed and built almost 20 years ago. Where are you located in WNY?

 

OrbitJet Observatory:

https://www.flickr.c...57644177074161/

 

Home_Observatory.jpg


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#19 Framis

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 04:44 PM

 I'm located about 20 miles south of Buffalo, NY. My home is in a transition area between suburban and rural skies ... Bortle 4.

 

Here's some images of my garage-top ROR observatory I designed and built almost 20 years ago. Where are you located in WNY?

 

OrbitJet Observatory:

https://www.flickr.c...57644177074161/

 

attachicon.gifHome_Observatory.jpg

Niagara Falls, and just sold our house in North Tonawanda.  But we bought a house in southern Utah which is where I am right now for a couple months.



#20 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 12:42 AM

I don't care if you are backlogged for two years.  if you run a business emails should not take a month or two or three to get a response. I do not think that you should advertise on your web site call or email if you don't plan on being able to respond.  The thing here is that astronomy is a hobby for me. I do not live and breath it.  I can find another hobby.  it not worth the trouble for me to chase a company like that. 

Then you need to go find another hobby.  They are a family run business.  There's a reason they are always in demand, They are good.


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#21 *skyguy*

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 09:30 AM

Niagara Falls, and just sold our house in North Tonawanda.  But we bought a house in southern Utah which is where I am right now for a couple months.

Utah .... nice! Great skies in Utah.

 

If you ever get back to the Buffalo area, come out and check out my observatory.

 

I was a general contractor for 20 years and ran a number of framing crews. I'm very confident that any competent framer can build a ROR observatory ... given a good set of plans ... just as good as BYO. And, since a local crew doesn't have to figure in traveling expenses, they can probably do one at better price. Nothing against BYO, I hear they build a quality product.



#22 Raginar

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:13 AM

SkyShed says that they offer plans for Observatory Sizes 6'X6', 6'X8', 8'X10', 10'X10', 10'X12', 10'X14'.  I was looking for a 16'x24' but I can go smaller I guess.  where in WNY are you?  

If I remember correctly, they offered ways to modify their plans.  But, the weight of that roof on garage door rollers seems squishy.  Probably wanna go with v-casters and motorize it.

 

Either way, the plans will get you started and you can modify their plans.  A large structure like that is going to require plans/inspections anyways.  Is this for personal use or are you building a commercial/club structure?



#23 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:33 AM

If I remember correctly, they offered ways to modify their plans.  But, the weight of that roof on garage door rollers seems squishy.  Probably wanna go with v-casters and motorize it.

 

Either way, the plans will get you started and you can modify their plans.  A large structure like that is going to require plans/inspections anyways.  Is this for personal use or are you building a commercial/club structure?

Agreed, their plans would require significant modifications for a building that big. Or, buy the biggest set of BYO plans and find a local contractor and explain you want to "use these basic plans, only bigger" and have that contractor run with it.


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#24 Raginar

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 10:15 AM

Doesn't Deep Sky West describe how they built their large ROB structures?  They basically roll the whole structure off.



#25 Framis

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 08:54 AM

If I remember correctly, they offered ways to modify their plans.  But, the weight of that roof on garage door rollers seems squishy.  Probably wanna go with v-casters and motorize it.

 

Either way, the plans will get you started and you can modify their plans.  A large structure like that is going to require plans/inspections anyways.  Is this for personal use or are you building a commercial/club structure?

Raiginar,

 

I had a great conversation with Wayne of SkyShed.  The he has literally100's of people that have built with garage door rollers with great success.  I do know that a buddy of mine used v-rollers and while rigid provides little room for dirt, dust, and settling.  His roof is often difficult to open.  It's for personal use,  and I believe that I am going to scale back from my original plans for a larger one and will probably end up building a 12x16. Hoping to be able to get 2 mounts in the 12x12 area with a 4x12 warm room.


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