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Observatory in windy area

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10 replies to this topic

#1 houstonderk

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 08:19 PM

Has anyone that went with a roll off roof setup regretted going that route vs a dome in a windy (15+) winds constantly? Being military, I do like to have my stuff with me at my house vs one of the rental areas as well as needing it to not be super permanent and thought about doing a sturdy concrete base with ROR setup that could be changed to a shed when moving on. While I would love nothing more than one of the piertech ROR setups that could be packed up and moved, the funds have already went to the scope and mount and now just wanting to get it setup. A dome sounds good but I feel I would just be pointing away from the wind, but woudl the walls of the ROR be good enough to stop a constant wind?



#2 Victory Pete

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 11:05 PM

Has anyone that went with a roll off roof setup regretted going that route vs a dome in a windy (15+) winds constantly? Being military, I do like to have my stuff with me at my house vs one of the rental areas as well as needing it to not be super permanent and thought about doing a sturdy concrete base with ROR setup that could be changed to a shed when moving on. While I would love nothing more than one of the piertech ROR setups that could be packed up and moved, the funds have already went to the scope and mount and now just wanting to get it setup. A dome sounds good but I feel I would just be pointing away from the wind, but woudl the walls of the ROR be good enough to stop a constant wind?

I am not sure about dome vs ROR, but I am going ROR. It will make a nice shed someday that blends in with the scenery. I also will have a flush concrete base with a concrete floor with my current pier which is removeable. Someone can cut the bolts flush someday and have a unique shed. As far as the wind, it seems to be windy here a lot now, so I do think the walls of a ROR will help

 

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#3 Markinspace

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 11:14 AM

You alluded to moving along at some point (been there as my father was an Army doctor) so based on that factor alone I would opt for the ROR as not everyone wants to move into a house with a dome in the backyard..and as you wrote the ROR is easy morph into a shed.

 

15-mph won’t affect integrity of ROR, mines sees winds like that (not regularly) no problem.  When high winds are forecast, I clamp the roof down just in case and have never had an issue.

 

Good luck!



#4 macdonjh

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 01:10 PM

houstonderk, if you are doing photography, a ROR with tall walls should largely protect your scope from the wind when you're collecting data. If you're a visual observer tall walls might be more problematic because you'd lose the ability to see objects low in the sky. That's most problematic for objects in the southern sky (for those in the north) and can be accommodated with a drop- down section in the south wall.

#5 brroberts

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 01:20 PM

I’ve used hinged walls before.  



#6 EFT

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 07:51 PM

A roll-off can work well in windy areas if you use walls above which the scope will not rise.  That will limit your lowest altitude to 20 to 30 degrees, but for the most part, you will not be imaging lower than that due to the significant refraction and seeing issues down there.  You can lay your mount over to allow it to stick higher up when the roof is open, but that subjects you to the wind, and, unless you will always watch the roof close, risks having the roof crash into your system.  It's best to design so that your system will be safe from the roof regardless of what position it is in.  Otherwise, sooner or later, your roof will hit your system.  

 

While a dome might be more protective when pointing in certain directions opposite the wind, those directions are probably limited to an angle of around 90 to 135 degrees opposite the wind.  Otherwise, the wind will either directly hit the scope or will swirl around inside the dome and cause problems anyway.  It's best to realize that you will generally not be imaging in anything above 10 to 15 mph winds.  After that, the seeing is bad in most places.  A slit dome is generally limited to one mount, which can also be a drawback.  With that in mind, the best, most cost-effective observatory is a roll-off.  Clamshell domes are great, but they are substantially more expensive.  A decent roll-off will be better than any comparibly-priced domes out there.


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#7 speedster

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 04:07 AM

I've had domes from cheap to AstroHaven and my next obs will be a roll-off.  It's not at all difficult to do a roll-off that can easily be moved to a different site in the future (without having to take it all apart).


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#8 palaback

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 08:09 PM

There are plenty of reasons to go with ROR vs dome, but a dome does have advantages in your situation (other than cost). Most of the dome kits are easy to take apart or even to move on a trailer. They are definitely good in wind, mine has dealt with gusts over 70mph without issue and I find it works really well for imaging with moderate winds. The 8’ footprint is quite small but still it can theoretically handle scopes up to 14”. If it wasn’t windy the ROR would have big advantage of being larger, cheaper, and would be able to handle multiple scopes.



#9 desert_sage

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 08:53 AM

Can a dome be used to look upwind in 15-20 mph winds?  Even if just visually?  



#10 gordtulloch

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 11:48 AM

I designed my micro-observatory to be dismantled and relocated once I was finished debugging it in my back yard. You didn't say if you were visual observing or doing unattended astrophotography, but if the latter a micro-obsy should be a consideration.

 

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#11 star acres

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 04:32 PM

I think you could use optical glass panes with frames. You wouldn't be sweeping pans of the sky, but you could move to see different parts of the sky. 




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