Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Has anyone had an observatory/dome put on the top of their house? (perhaps access from attic etc?)

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 fieldsweeper

fieldsweeper

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2013

Posted 17 April 2024 - 01:40 PM

My property is not really ideal for a small dome from say, sky shed etc, mostly because the land is too small, while it would fit horizontally, the trees around me don't leave a whole lot of sky visible. Enough ISH, for walking onto my porch, but I thought how cool would it be to essentially have a small section of my roof removed in an extra upstairs room I have, or in the attack and a little "light" construction to make it into a rooftop observatory of something... I was wondering if anyone else has or thought of doing this? If they have, any pics? costs? thoughts? Probably a pipe dream, but if say it could be done for 20k (wishful thinking) I would probably dive right in. Although I suspect cutting a hole in a roof and doing that would be a much bigger endeavor than I, a non builder who has never done any remodeling, am thinking lol. (and I already think it would be quite the endeavor) 

 

The top of my house is right around the top of the evergreens that are around me, and would give me darn near the entire horizon of the sky. 


  • lee14, Matt78 and PerfectlyFrank like this

#2 lee14

lee14

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,184
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2009
  • Loc: CNY

Posted 17 April 2024 - 01:58 PM

You can't beat the convenience. You also can't do much about heat currents affecting the quality of your views. For low powers it's not much of an issue. For subjects that require good seeing to use higher magnifications, like planets, you'll likely not get optimal results. Still, if it's your best and only option, it's certainly workable.

 

I fabricated this flip-open roof onto a third story dormer years ago, the views from the backyard at ground level were simply far too restrictive.

 

Lee

 

Exterior.jpg

 

 


  • fieldsweeper, ziggeman, DanMiller and 2 others like this

#3 robbieg147

robbieg147

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,157
  • Joined: 23 Mar 2020
  • Loc: Kent, England

Posted 17 April 2024 - 02:01 PM

The main problem is your house will radiate heat at night giving you currents of warm air which will ruin your seeing.

 

It's why setting up over say grass is better than on say a concrete driveway.


  • PerfectlyFrank likes this

#4 fieldsweeper

fieldsweeper

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2013

Posted 17 April 2024 - 03:29 PM

The main problem is your house will radiate heat at night giving you currents of warm air which will ruin your seeing.

 

It's why setting up over say grass is better than on say a concrete driveway.

Yeah, I get that, but it's not like I can't move the scope here and there occasionally, I think having a wider view is much better. And, I can see how the rooftop would be radiating back the heat. 

 

You can't beat the convenience. You also can't do much about heat currents affecting the quality of your views. For low powers it's not much of an issue. For subjects that require good seeing to use higher magnifications, like planets, you'll likely not get optimal results. Still, if it's your best and only option, it's certainly workable.

 

I fabricated this flip-open roof onto a third story dormer years ago, the views from the backyard at ground level were simply far too restrictive.

 

Lee

 

attachicon.gif Exterior.jpg

That's really cool. how did you build that? What was there before? did you just cut out a section? hahaI was thinking more elevated, because like in your pic, it seems that you get half the sky, since the left and right are blocked by the rest of the peak.  I was thinking of basically cutting out a square area, and then putting a dome over it, and having a wall built around the area needed since the roof isn't flat, so more like one of those extruded window style, but instead, a dome over it. 

I def should look into it seeing yours, it seems farily simple... how is the rain and moisture ingress though?  Snow etc? I live in Ohio, so we get ALL the seasons ****. AND frankly rest belt too.


  • lee14 likes this

#5 lee14

lee14

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,184
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2009
  • Loc: CNY

Posted 17 April 2024 - 04:00 PM

The dormer was pre-existing . I cut the appropriate sized hole, secured a properly flashed frame for that hinged lexan cover to mate to, and that was it. Cost was essentially zero, I had all the materials on hand. Rain and snow in Central New York were no problem, it drained just like any roof does.

 

I've seen domes adapted as you've mentioned, that's the more common approach. The size of the dormer was the limiting factor here, and the relatively small hinged cover was rather heavy, a larger cover would be a challenge to open and close. I've also see a roll-off assembly mounted on a peaked roof instead of a dome. 

 

Cutting into an existing roof and fabricating a proper enclosure can be a complex job, and you're not likely to find a contractor with this kind of experience. It won't be cheap. They'd also need to address any possible code issues.

 

Almost anything is possible, if you have the budget...

 

Lee



#6 lambermo

lambermo

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,305
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2007
  • Loc: .nl

Posted 18 April 2024 - 03:34 AM

Here's a picture of my prefab built dormer with a 2x2m motorized roll-off roof being placed.

You can see the sliding panel slightly moved open in the photo.

 

20141121-sliding-hatch-rooftop-observatory-placement2.jpg


  • lee14, fieldsweeper and Victory Pete like this

#7 fieldsweeper

fieldsweeper

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2013

Posted 18 April 2024 - 07:23 AM

Here's a picture of my prefab built dormer with a 2x2m motorized roll-off roof being placed.

You can see the sliding panel slightly moved open in the photo.

 

attachicon.gif 20141121-sliding-hatch-rooftop-observatory-placement2.jpg

Do you mount on a motorized pier? that can raise up at all?  How much did the pre build cost? what about installation costs?


Edited by fieldsweeper, 18 April 2024 - 07:23 AM.


#8 jurdea

jurdea

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 57
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Centennial, CO

Posted 18 April 2024 - 08:15 AM

Do you have much of problem isolating the pier from vibrations in the rest of the house?



#9 fieldsweeper

fieldsweeper

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2013

Posted 18 April 2024 - 08:34 AM

Do you have much of problem isolating the pier from vibrations in the rest of the house?

Yeah, I can only imagine how much actually reverberates, I mean, I have a 2 story house, plus an attic and basement, but I never thought about that tbh. I bet it's probably fairly noticeable if someone is walking around in the kitchen.  although probably not enough to make a massive visual dif, but prob enough to make AP difficult. Or hopefully we are both surprised that it's non existent haha. .. I suppose you could still mount it on a solid block of cement or something to help minimize it or even a cable mount. We had some equipment mounted on cable spring mounts on the Ship when I was in the Navy, helps with vibrations, some motors are mounted that way too. People do similar things for high end Vinyl record players. I just used spikes, but even that may also be decent to use for this purpose. 



#10 lambermo

lambermo

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,305
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2007
  • Loc: .nl

Posted 19 April 2024 - 04:40 AM

Do you mount on a motorized pier? that can raise up at all?  How much did the pre build cost? what about installation costs?

Yes. Very convenient. I repurposed one from a desk. It's huge.

 

20170115-pier.jpg



#11 lambermo

lambermo

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,305
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2007
  • Loc: .nl

Posted 19 April 2024 - 04:48 AM

Do you have much of problem isolating the pier from vibrations in the rest of the house?

I was afraid of vibrations but have not seen issues with it. Might be the stone walls and concrete flooring, idk. When I use a PST on ground floor and someone walks around I definitely see that though. I expect to see the effects of a washing machine run, should try that out someday ;-)

 

I was also afraid of heat plumes from the house which for planetary work would probably be valid concerns but have not noticed issues in my images (I do not do planetary, only deep-sky). The room under the roll-off roof is insulated from the rest of the house to minimize this concern. I measure and draw temperature graphs of the observatory room and the outside and there remains a few degrees Celsius difference after about 1h. The room is always ventilated with outside air as there's about a 1cm spacing between the roof and the house.


Edited by lambermo, 19 April 2024 - 05:11 AM.


#12 fieldsweeper

fieldsweeper

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2013

Posted 19 April 2024 - 05:43 AM

Yes. Very convenient. I repurposed one from a desk. It's huge.

 

attachicon.gif 20170115-pier.jpg

What kind of desk uses those? hahaha




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics