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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:

shed1.jpg

A slot is cut into the skateboard to allow it to fit around the base of the Dob:

shed2.jpg

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

Shed3.jpg

After

Shed4.jpg

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):

Shed5.jpg

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/):

Shed6.jpg

 

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Looks like a nice big Dob :)  Nice matching sheds :)  Proper job!!  And a lovely doggie who looks very proud :)

Edited by Gina
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That's a really nice setup. No need to collimate if the scope hasn't moved (but I'd check, anyway.  :D ) I wish I had the same setup although it would require a fair bit of earth works in my garden! (involving a JCB and retaining walls....)

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16 minutes ago, Gina said:

Looks like a nice big Dob :)  Nice matching sheds :)  Proper job!!  And a lovely doggie who looks very proud :)

@ollypenrice is responsible for us buying the Dob (as well as advising on the design of the shed) - we were going to buy a Skywatcher 250PX until he talked us into checking this one out while we were at Les Granges in March.  It didn't have a light shroud when we bought it so I made this one from black lycra material that I bought off ebay - it took a bit of trial and error but I'm quite pleased with the end result.

At the suggestion of our youngest son who thinks that the shed looks like an over-sized dog kennel I had a sign made to put on the door:-

Beware.jpg

I now have to persuade @gnomus that it is a good idea to put it up!

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This is excellent. While the design is quite similar to mine the realization is several orders of magnitude up the scale of respectability! (As you know...) The use of the giant plywood skateboard as a rolling base was not mine. I did it the hard way by welding up a steel chassis. It was an article in Sky at Night that came up with the rolling plywood floor on wheels. With this excellent idea in place you can dispense with the welder and, in some cases, just use a proprietory shed. The circular patio is both effective and classy.

I'm in favour of the sign! (Well, quietly, 'cos Mr Gnomus is bigger than me!)

Super project.

Olly

Afterthought: do you have any anti-lift built into to this? On mine, part of the chassis floor rolls under a flange attached to the concrete block on which the scope stands. When shut the shed cannot lift in the wind because of this. 

Edited by ollypenrice
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That's a nice obs. I like the sign board?. That's is a big dob. Won't water enter the obs from beneath during rains? 

Varad 

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16 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Afterthought: do you have any anti-lift built into to this? On mine, part of the chassis floor rolls under a flange attached to the concrete block on which the scope stands. When shut the shed cannot lift in the wind because of this. 

We considered the flange suggestion but decided to go with three long gate bolts - one on each of the back corners and one on the door.  They go several inches into the ground.  The two on the back are locking bolts that have a staple and hasp arrangement that we can put padlocks through - hopefully this will be anti-lift as well as a measure of security.  There is a metal tube set into the ground just off the patio - you can see it in the second photo above - the bolt on the front door drops into that when the Dob is in use so that there is no prospect of the shed rolling back into its "home position" unnoticed. 

 

14 minutes ago, Astroboy239 said:

That's a nice obs. I like the sign board?. That's is a big dob. Won't water enter the obs from beneath during rains? 

Varad 

We have had lots of rain since we finished the build - it has been dry inside - as you can imagine we checked that out before installing the Dob.  The patio has been laid with a very slight slope away from the central slab so that rain water drains onto the surrounding grass rather than tracking under the shed.  Yesterday morning the bit of the patio under the shed was bone dry despite heavy rain during the night and the early morning. 

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I think it's lovely to see wife and husband both doing astronomy :)  My OH wasn't interested but had no objection to me doing it.

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15 minutes ago, Gina said:

I think it's lovely to see wife and husband both doing astronomy :)  My OH wasn't interested but had no objection to me doing it.

You wouldn't have thought it all that lovely one 2am when a 'debate' broke out about whose job it was to check that the dew heater was plugged in!!!!! 

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Ah yes, I can see that friction may arise at times :D

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Hello. And well done. That is really a smart set up(I bet your neighbours are more friendly now wanting to know if they can have a little look through your scope?). I have seen these roll off sheds done before, some with more success than others). But that looks a really solid shed structure and the roll off solution looks really smooth . A lot of time and thought and effort has been placed into your dob house. It does not look out of place in your garden sitting very neatly into the circle slab area. As for the scope that is a big boy, so I can see why you have gone to so much trouble and time to give it a lovely home.

The dog I think in the picture is probably a bit jealous, I bet he wished his dog house was as nice as the scopes dob house ? 

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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

.....

Afterthought: do you have any anti-lift built into to this? On mine, part of the chassis floor rolls under a flange attached to the concrete block on which the scope stands. When shut the shed cannot lift in the wind because of this. 

The builder and I went back and forth on this several times.  At one stage we were going to have hasps set into the patio.  However, even though it rolls easily, the shed is quite heavy - it is a plywood box externally clad in pine.  We figured that a wind that could lift this would rip hasps (or any of our other anti-lift ideas) out of the ground, and would likely tear the roof off before it lifted the box anyway.  As Lis said, we have three drop down bolts which will be anti-tilt and the shed would have to come up 4-5 inches before it could move sideways.  

I guess time will tell.  

Edited by gnomus

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