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Found 11 results

  1. JemC

    The Obsey

    In the famous words of Bilbao Baggins, I'm going on an adventure! Almost 2 years ago i got rid of my old shed with the intention of replacing it with a R O R shed, Well a lot has happened since then, but no R O R shed ? No way i could build one, my DIY skills are rubbish. My mount and scope plus other bits have sat in the garage ever since, mainly because it's such a pain to drag everything out and set up only to be thwarted by cloud/rain, so i decided that they would stay in the garage until the arrival of R O R shed, so fast forward 2 years..... Well! while browsing some astro sites i happened across an advertisement which said something like wooden observatory for sale, 7ft x 7.5ft, buyer to dismantle and remove, so me being in need of one had a look at the pictures he posted, that will do nicely i thought, so i contacted the seller and asked for more info and pictures, It's not a roof that rolls off onto supports, it turns out 1/2 of the roof rolls over the other 1/2 with a front section of the shed that drops down, I was happy with what i received from the seller, he couldn't have been more helpful and seems a really nice bloke, Right then, where are you located mate i asked, Bovey Tracey he replied, to be honest, i had never heard of it, so time to consult google maps.. Well it turns out it's only about 270 miles one way from my house in Lancashire ? (so round trip of approx 540 miles) Time to make a decision, do the positives outweigh the negatives, is it going to be a cost effective solution in getting my R O R shed ? after doing some calculations and a little more contact with the seller, the answer to the 2 questions above is YES ? I have hired a box van for this coming Saturday,shangied my brother in law to accompany me and.. I'm going on an adventure to Bovey Tracy to dismantle it and give it a new home in sunny Lancashire, even though my DIY skills are rubbish i feel i have to give this a go, All in with the cost of The Obsey (as it is now known until i can think of something better) and with the hire van/fuel and brother in laws dinner it's going to set me back approximately £570 and a day out, I'm well chuffed with that, the cheapest quote i had to have one built was £1000 I have a couple of pictures of the obsey in it's current location if anyone would like to see them, Sorry to waffle on so long, Thanks for reading JemC
  2. Hi guys and girls, I would like your thoughts on my grand design for my observatory as Kevin McCloud is busy and I am looking for that little gem of advice which may help me navigate around or avoid a common or not so common problem already addressed by the informed users of SL. I have a (second) shed measuring 2.5m x 3.0m and this is to be my observatory with great views 340° of the night sky (tree hiding NNW so not an issue). I live in the country 10 miles away from the nearest town so light pollution isn't an issue although I'm not in a dark skies site I have looked at the website below and found my area is in a reasonably good area for darkness. So to not ruin the aesthetics of part of our garden I have been looking for alternatives to the rolling roof option. I have a flat roof at a slight angle to accommodate rain and have decided the best option is to cut the roof in half and open it up like a book with both halves folding on hinges to 170° being supported on chain with a rope pulls to pull them back in and dampeners to stop them slamming down. There will be a fixed pier and suitable wiring for plug sockets, red wall light and a consumer box. A desk along one wall and storage space. What are your thoughts? I will post pictures when i begin! http://www.avex-asso.org/dossiers/wordpress/?page_id=127&lang=en_GB#
  3. Hi all, It's taken several weekends of graft but I'm finally there, bar a bit of cable tidying. I'd decided to go with the roll-away sentry box style arrangement after seeing a pic in S@N magazine; also andyo was an inspiration with his post - http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/156319-roll-off-shed-not-roof/. The first thing to do was dig a trench to level the ground, with a deeper hole for the pier plinth. In the end I built the plinth with big concrete blocks rather than pouring a single lump - it was much (much) cheaper this way and seems to be pretty solid. I then drilled holes and bolted the EQ6 pillar to this plinth using some M16 (I think?) bolts and Rawlplug's R-Kem concoction. Next was the decking, which went on a frame built over and around the plinth hole so it'd be secure all around the pier. I made sure my extension cable was poking up between pier and decking before screwing it down I then added buffers at either end and some rails to keep the shed rolling in the right place. The shed itself is 4 foot square; I wanted the whole build to be as small as possible so it wouldn't dominate the garden! To start with I sliced a hole just wide enough for the pier in the base, added a bunch of reinforcing blocks of wood, and used 12 wheels to support the shed. I then came up with a way of bolting the shed base to the ground in both positions - this would keep the thing held down during the endless Dartmoor storms, and make it a tad easier to build the shed in the first place. For this I used the original EQ6 feet as the big heads would make it easy to screw and unscrew by hand. Once the shed was built it was easy to roll the whole thing smoothly into and out of position, keeping within the rails and stoppng at the buffers so it doesn't touch the pier. A bit of tidying up and it's all done! Next steps will be to paint all the sticking-up bits white so I avoid auto-kebabbage in the dark. Here's a close up of one of the foot bolts holding it all down: ...and here are a couple of photos of the completed shed in 'closed' and 'observe' mode: Anyway I hope this might help some of you if you have similar plans. Of course I'm yet to actually use the observatory....yes, Storm Desmond is my fault...sorry. Jim
  4. My project during my summer holidays was to build a an outdoor pillar that would securly hold my mount (less vibration issues than a tripod) and give me permanent reference points to make alignment easier and more accurate (better tracking and hence longer exposures). The project grew (as projects do) to include a 'roll-away' shed so I can cover the sope if I want to leave it out over night or over a along weekend say. And then to include a deck so the shed will roll more easily and I'm not walking and turning the grass into mud when the ground is wet. The initial design ... The small platform on the deck at the base of the pier is the rolling platform I intended to mount the shed on. The pier is shown quite short here although the actual pier is taller so I can better see over the house's roof. The only feasable location in the back yard was by the boundary fence... Ground marked out and hole dug... The intention was for a hole about 450mm square by about 1000mm deep but I hit sandstone at around 650mm. I used a small jack hammer to so go down maybe another 100mm or so and to key in some features to lock the concrete. The shed I planned to use is the 4x6 Factor by Keter (http://www.keter.com/products/factor-46) Here is an image of the base of the shed showing the plan for the cut out. Here is the deck partly completed with the pier poured and pier top plate being cemeted in place... The deck is around 1.5 x 5.5 meters. Four 140mm x 45 mm bearers in pairs running the length of the deck with 90mm x 45 joists every 1.5m or so. Bearers are supported by galvanised steel sirrups (10 in total) fixed in high strengh concrete. The pier is a 12in diameter galvanised steel 'duct tube' filled with high strength concrete with reinforcing bars in the hole and in the tube. The plate is a 12in pier top plate by http://www.pierplates.com Here is the almost completed project. Deck done except the sides. Pier ready to take some weight (8 days after concrete pour). Shed mounted on the rolling platform. Out door power point mounted on deck with underground conduit to take the lead back to a power point. I mounted the cut-out in the shed floor on sections of wood so I could fit it back in the hole to keep out small animals. This is the project all but completed (some finishing off required to the base of the shed and I need to fill the cracks, sand and paint the filler paste I used to top off the concrete in the pillar - it is taking ages to dry). And finally, here is the mandatory 'first light' image from the new observatory... I am pleased with how it has turned out and it is fitting home for my Skywatcher 10in f4 scope and AZ EQ 6 mount. Thank you to everyone on this site who unknowingly have contributed with ideas and lessoned learnt though numerous posts you have made in the past. Cheers Mike
  5. Just starting my build and found advice of others really helpful. Appreciate views of others on my build before I get too far. I am building the Observatory for My HEQ5 with a short fast refractor for imaging and my LX90 SCT mainly for viewing, so my pier must allow me to easily swap scopes if necessary. Design principles and interesting features: Basic design: Concrete Plinth + Altair Steel Pier + Off-the Peg Shed Pier: I chose the Altos pier because it looked sturdy and allowed some final leveling and North orientation after installation. It has a variety of fixing options and adapters, plus I might move and could take it with me. https://www.altairastro.com/altair-skyshed-8-observatory-pier.html Shed: Went for a 10 x 6 shed. Intend to build just a 6x6 roof, which will slide over the other 4 foot bit + 2 foot more. The four foot section will be the warm room with a flat roof. I can build the internal partition after the shed is erected. Wanted a Shed that could be easily adapted and found the "Rowlinson Premier Shiplap Apex Shed 6X10" Price: £514.99 inc delivery This is good quality, but the real bonus is that the apex sections are separate. You build the four walls at level height and then the two apexes go on the ends. This will allow me to then easily adapt the design by attaching rails to the bottom box section and then wheels to the roof bit. The shed sides are also slightly taller than a standard shed at 172cms giving me some welcome headroom. The roof comes in sections, so building just the 6 foot bit looks straight forward (In theory). It is worth shopping around for sheds as the same model can be different prices on different sites. Wheels and Rail: I think this bit is neat, I am using a wooden slotted fence posts as the rails. Wheels: B&Q TENTE FIXED CASTOR 45MM product code 3700001799978 price £2.14 each rated as 40kg each and I am using 8 of them for a 6 foot roof Rails: B&Q NEVA HALF WOODEN FENCE POST 70X35X1800MM product 3663602942825 £7 each and I am using two on each side for a total length of just under 12 foot. I looked at Aluminium rails but during a wander round B@Q I found these wood posts with grooves in them. I tried the wheels in store and it looks fine. Added advantage that they can also form part of my Obs structure. Pier base: As per Altair instructions a very large hole in the ground filled with concrete. However my base is a plinth that protrudes 35cm above the base level. I calculated the height needed to elevate the pier so that my tallest mount (The LX90) would just fit under the closing roof. If I had mounted the pier at ground level I would have reduced my min elevation angle to 60 degrees for my shortest scope/mount combination. With the extra height I get down to 25 degrees, less if I raise the pier head. The pier also has a narrow central hole, so I have run a cable in a 12mm pipe through the concrete block and up through the middle of the pier. Shed Base: Paving stones laid after the pier is installed. I will run a 40mm pipe under the slabs to carry all the other cables to the pier. Today I completed the first stage and poured the concrete for the pier base and plinth as per the instructions on the altair web site. The concrete goes 80cm below the ground and 45cm above, with a 10cm base that leaves a 35cm plinth. I used a wooden former to contain the concrete above ground. I made it of 9mm ply with screws every few inches. On top I attached a template holding the fixing bolts which were pressed into the soft concrete. Even so the weight of the concrete nearly burst the mold and I had to reinforce with paving slabs. See picture, but it looks fine now. See pictures) I should add that I employed a local garden handyman to dig the hole and pour the concrete. The next stage is to lay the slabs for the base. Any comments most welcome, especially as they could save me from an imminent disaster, but so far so good. Max
  6. Still in the planning stage for my new mount. At the moment my NEQ6 Pro spends most of its time in the garden with a tarp over it. I have decided that my new mount, when it arrives, will live in a ROR shed. The location of said shed will be where the NEQ6 is now ( see avatar ) at the bottom of the garden. I have managed to get the go ahead for a 10' x 8' shed with a gazebo type posts to aid the roll off roof. My thoughts are, how small could I make this shed as the scope will be mainly used for AP? It will be on a 10" diameter self made Peir. Any positive advice welcome.
  7. There is this obsy shed on eB** at the moment for a reasonable amount: http://ebay.eu/1vILqNM Anyone here has any experience with the supplier. I've tried to contact them over email over the eB** as well as using the official Co. email but no reply. I would like to know how the roof sliders look.
  8. We decided to build a shed to house our Dob, which was taking up way too much house space. As to design, @ollypenrice suggested that we build a large 'skateboard' upon which we should sit our shed. The board is made from a sheet of plywood onto which the wheels are mounted. The wheels we chose were the ones used for sliding gates (we have something similar on our roll-off-roof shed. Here is the shed on the rails. The rails themselves were mounted onto concrete, steel reinforced lintels which were concreted into the ground: A slot is cut into the skateboard to allow it to fit around the base of the Dob: It seemed sensible to put down some sort of circular patio, and we discovered that you can buy kits. It was a little awkward cutting the slabs around the tracks, but I am happy with the final result: Before After And finally, the completed project with Dob in situ. We used a green strap - the thing you use to keep your suitcase closed - to stop the Dob from rising up in the shed (without an eyepiece it is a bit rear heavy): We chose materials for the shed that would match those of our existing ROR observatory (from Home Observatory UK - https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/245177-home-observatory-uk/):
  9. Ok, I hold my hands up, slightly off topic but I discovered a great daytime use for my EQ3 mount and just had to share. Very suited to the job...If your in to solar power I made this vid this week. Explains it better than me typing (about quarter way through). Excuse my waffling about all things 12v http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U92h-2HAyw Thanks for watching
  10. I thought I’d share my observatory build here. The build is complete much sooner than I had anticipated really – for reasons which I’ll explain. Feel free to comment and criticize, but if you spot a fatal design flaw it’s too late! I should point out, also, that I’m a relative newbie. I had a 6” Newtonian on an AZ mount in 1986 (aged 14) which I used for two or three years until I put it to one side. Over the past three decades I’ve been a ‘non-practicing / armchair’ astronomer. But now I have an 8-year-old son who’s keen and has been pestering me to buy him a scope. I was initially reluctant as I was concerned he would expect me to show him Hubble quality brightly coloured images of galaxies, nebulae and planets – I know the limitations of an amateur telescope! But he was keen and I was beginning to feel the bug biting again. My wife & I bought him a SW 200P on an EQ5 mount for his eighth birthday and we haven’t looked back. But it became obvious fairly quickly that if we were going to get the best out of we’d need some sort of permanent set up so that a quick 20 min session can be fitted in after dinner and before bed. I was worried the scope would get put away and forgotten about if it was a 30-minute ordeal to get it set up every time we wanted to use it. We have a fairly large garden with good views almost all around (except to the NW) above 20o and although we have Torquay just five miles to the South there’s no street lighting or neighbours bothering us in our back garden. Initially the project was going to be limited to installing a home-made soil pipe pier on a 0.75m3 block of reinforced concrete with a view to installing a Pulsar Dome at some stage in the future. I made an adapter plate out of birch ply for the EQ5 head to on which was fixed to the pier by 3 x 1m M12 threaded bars which were concreted into the 110mm soil pipe and protruding 200mm above. Electrics and Cat5 were supplied to the pier through 40mm wastepipe underground (mousing lines left in place). So this setup worked OK, the position was good and it was a relief to have my mount set up and ready for action. But the pier wasn’t as stable as I’d hoped it would be and the plywood mounting plate left a little to be desired – too much flex introduced by the 200mm protrusions of M12 rod. I felt the urge to go a little further and decided to crack on and get on with the whole project done and dusted. Having more or less decided on a Pulsar dome I was having second thoughts, I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to be ‘indoors’ while enjoying the ‘great outdoors’. When Thomas and I are out with the scope we spend as much of our time looking around the night sky ‘au naturel’ as we do looking through the scope. Also, we have no neighbours immediately next door to us and no street lights shining into the garden so there was no need to consider light screening. So we decided that a roll-away shed on a dedicated deck would be the way to go. The shed would double as a warm room in the winter and perhaps as a computer room if we decide we’d like to try our hand at imaging sometime in the future. The “astro-deck” and “astro-shed” were constructed over the course of 2 weekend and a few evenings. · The shed rolls on 6 x 75mm fixed casters (screwfix item 50880) rated at 70kg each. The casters run in recessed tracks in the deck. (I estimate the shed weighs 200kg) · The concrete pier base is entirely independent of the deck – no amount of leaping about on the deck causes vibration in the pier. · I replaced the home made pier with a Rigel pier from Pulsar – a big improvement! · The shed ‘locates’ snuggly onto a plywood plinth that I made to conceal the top of the concrete pier base – this means the shed can’t be tipped over (by wind or miscreants). · There are electrics and data connections in the shed, at the pier and on the deck. · A handrail and picket fence surround the viewing area – safety feature to prevent numpties from falling off the deck in the dark! · Cost approx. £1500 (including the pier) Further work / mods to be done · The red lighting is too bright · Install burglar alarm · The shed is heavy to move, once it’s built up a head of steam it’s Ok but getting it moving is hard work. Some sort of simple winch mechanism would make life easier. · The scope needs to come off the mount for the shed to be opened or closed – a bit of a miscalculation if I’m honest but not a problem so long as I’m a visual observer. If I want to have a permanent imaging setup I might need to make some adjustments to the shed.
  11. Hi, We will be moving house soon (hopefully) and I have been given permission to put up an obsy at the new address. I was thinking of buying one but thought that building one might be better for my needs. Not having built a shed before; does anyone know of a design program or app for building sheds. It's silly things like not knowing what size timber to use for the supporting framework or how far apart the uprights need to be etc. Any information would be most helpful; and then roll on winter!
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