I'm wrapping up my observatory build, but the last major hurdle (getting the roof working) is proving quite problematic.
Observatory is a 11' square ror built from the CJE1 plans, but not built by them.
I do not have 110v AC available - I'm using an off-grid solar system.
The roof rolls well by hand (I guess? I have never rolled any other observatory's roof) - it's heavy, but it rolls freely and doesn't seem to be binding anywhere.
My plan was to use an Aleko gate opener to move the roof - they make a model specifically for use with solar applications, the AR950.
I mounted the motor sideways - with the gear sticking straight up - as I have seen others do, and I mounted the gear rack on a 2x6 that runs the length of the observatory and is braced in a few places. This seemed to work well at first, and I was able to open and close the roof a couple times, but then the motor started slowing way down and seemed like it was struggling. eventually the motor stopped moving the roof at all.
I thought the motor was simply under-powered (it's rated for something like 900 lbs) so I bought a similar, larger motor - a Topens DK1000, rated for 1900 lbs.
Much like the first motor, this one worked great for one or two openings & closing, then started slowing down like the first one. Eventually this motor stopped running in one direction at all, even with the clutch disengaged. I replaced the circuit board and the motor worked again, but after a couple more attempts, it started slowing down again and I'm sure I'll burn out another control board if I keep trying. I'll attach a video of what's happening. Weirdly it seems like the motor is slowing down even with the clutch disengaged - it definitely runs faster in one direction, and it didn't do that when it was new or after I replaced the control board.
Maybe I'm just overloading these motors? It seems like a motor rated to move a 1900lb gate should have no trouble with this roof (if I had to guess - it weighs maybe 800-1000 lbs?).
For those that are using gate openers - what is the rating of your motor & what size is your roof?
Anyone running a motor off 24v DC?
How easily does your roof roll? Do you have to plant your feet and use both hands? I do. Can you roll it with two fingers like a skateboard?
Pulling my hair out and running out of ideas...
I welcome your assistance.
Here is a video of the roof in motion - as you can see it starts out moving just great then slows down for no apparent reason. There's nothing binding the roof in that spot and that behavior - slowing and stalling - can happen anywhere in the roof's travel, not at any particular spot, so I think it's the motor, not the roof. I stopped the motor with the remote in the video - it didn't click off on its own, so it isn't detecting a stuck condition or anything.