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Astrofriend

Building an Observatory DIY

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Astrofriend    81

Maybe you have read earlier how I built a pier to have my mount on:

http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-pier-mount/project-pier-mount.html

Now it continues with building an observatory:

http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory.html

If I get this to work I will have a very interesting future in astro photography.

/Lars

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kendg    203

Looks interesting so far.

Can't wait to see the roof.

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Neil27    84

Looks great Lars, be interested how it looks when finished.

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Astrofriend    81

The roof will be a challenge, not too heavy, tight and not too expensive. I will figure it out when I find some usefull material to built it of.

/Lars

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Astrofriend    81

Thanks for the comments!

 

This weekend I got some time to spend on my observatory building project. I'm now started with the complicated roof. Lot of requirements that has too be fullfilled to get it to work properly.

We got heavy rain as usual so I didn't come very long with the building. You can read more about the roof construction here on my homepage:
http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory.html#part08

It's built with my own design, I hope I get it more practical according to my requirements, small and light. If it doesn't work there isn't very much work to rebuild the roof with a more normal design.

/Lars

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Astrofriend    81

Observatory still in progress. This weekend I started to build the important hatch that will be connected to the south part of the roof. Last week I made a door to the observatory.

You can read here and see the photos of the last progress:

http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory.html#part09

I still looking for roofpanels, I know what I want but they are very expensive so I look for leftoverpanels from someoneelse who are building something for his/her house.

/Lars

Edited by Astrofriend

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Astrofriend    81

Today we had almost a summerlike weather. I spent the day to mount the roof on my observatory. The whole winter my project has been shut down.

 

What I did today:

http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part2.html#part03

 

It felt very good to have done this part of the roof, now the building is much more protected and easier to work with.

 

/Lars

Edited by Astrofriend
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Alan White    1,348

Looking like good progress Lars.
Is the rear roof going to slide or hinge open?

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Astrofriend    81

Hi Alan,

I havn't decided it in detail, but it's very flexibel construction so I can make both or change it in future. A sliding construction will be easier to make for the big roof but a hinge construction is easier to seal. What I'm thinking of is a hinge looking construction with two long arm lifting the roof in one end and sliding in the other end. But not sure it will be stable enough, start doing test during summer.

Lars

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Astrofriend    81

Today we had a sunshine day and I went to the building market and bought two panels to cover the joint between the two roofs on my observatory project.

I took some photos of this day work:

http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part2.html#part04


Now I have come to the more complicated part, the mechanism that hold the roofs.

/Lars

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Rusted    95

Hi Lars

Did I miss the picture of where you anchored the observatory down to stop it blowing away?

You could drill the rock and embed studs [threaded rods] in the special adhesive designed for this purpose.

BTW: Don't trust the lightweight tarpaulins [presenning] if you want real waterproofing.

The heavy PVC tarpaulins are much safer.

Or, you could place an inverted PVC water butt or barrel over the mounting and pier to protect when not in use.

Regards/ Med venlig hilsen

Chris

 

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Astrofriend    81

Hi Chris,

From Denmark, or?

My friend also commented that it could blow away. I have a little hard to believe that, it's a very heavy building, I can't lift it by hand. And if the wind moves the building it can't go very far because of the pier inside. But maybe you are right and I have too anchor it down. Maybe I will do it anyway when I have decided how high above the ground it shall stand.

Thanks for the comment!

Lars

Edited by Astrofriend
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Rusted    95

Hi Lars

The wind drag on a structure increases as the cube of velocity.

Your building might seem safe in a breeze but a gale will quickly move it to Norway, Denmark, Finland or even Russia.

Anchors and steel cable guy lines might help if the structure stays together in the first storm to hit it.

During the Great '99 storm in Denmark the wind speeds reached only 35m/s.

It ripped solid brick and block buildings to shreds, removed whole roofs and damaged thousands of others.

It snapped off vast swathes of conifer forest half way up the trunks of the trees and felled lots more.

Our neighbour's corrugated steel, double garage roof had been there for years.

It was rolled up by the wind and thrown 200  yards over the intervening houses and 50' trees.

It ended up half buried in a field behind a farm which looked as if it was hit by a very large bomb.

Adding weights wont help. It needs fixing down! 

Yes, I live in Denmark but I'm British and hoping to remain in exile.  :thumbsup:

 

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Merlin66    924

A mini tornado can spoil your whole day!!

The 6 x 3 mtr ROR during construction!!!

Obs_wind02.jpg

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Astrofriend    81

Ok, heavy wind is dangerous :-) , I will follow your and others advice and anchor the building safely in the rock, thank you for the tips!

 

At last I got some time to start with the complicated roof mechanism of my observatory.

I have choosen a construction with arms that hold the roof to get a low profile observatory. With a sliding roof you normally need higher walls and then have to fold down the upper wall, or a door that opens in the roof when open the roof to get clear of the telescope. And you have to move the roof far away to get a free view above it.

But most importent, it's fun to do an unusual construction, if it will work at the end? I don't know yet :-)

Here you can read and see photos of the observatory project:
http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part3.html

/Lars

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Astrofriend    81

Hi,

The last days I have done greate succes in DIY observatory. Now I can open both the roof and the hatch on the other side. If you find it interesting you can read more here and see photos:
http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part3.html

I will take a brake now for a week or two, there are so lot of other things that must be done.

When I start working with it next time I must find a solution that work to counter balance the roof, with weights and springs.

/Lars

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Astrofriend    81

This weekend I started to building the floor in the observatory. With a floor I don't drop important parts of my telescope on the ground and then never find them again. And the floor looks pretty good too.

 

Here you can follow this weekends work at the observatory:
http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part4.html

 

I also did some work on the steelbeam that should act as a counterweight to the roof's lift arm. You can see it at the end of part three. Now I have a clearer view how to make the motorpart to the mainroof.

 

/Lars

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Astrofriend    81

Now the observatory have come that long that I can start use it. The last big thing was to get the mechanism to the roof in balance to make it easier to operate. That's what I have been working with the last days.

 

Here you can see the last details:
http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part3.html#part07

 

At the end you find a video when I open the roof, I didn't use very much force to do that. Just need a complement spring that make it even easier when I close the roof.

 

/Lars

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