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Shibby

Build: My Roll-Over Roof Observatory

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October

Despite being away for a fair portion of October, I still managed to make a bit of progress.

I wonder if I'm starting to go a little loopy - last night I had a nightmare that I finally mounted the 'scope in the completed observatory to find that I could only see a tiny patch of sky! I think my emotion at the time was "BURN IT DOWN" ;-)

I added insulation and P5 boards across the whole floor. The insulation is mainly for the warm room, but I put it right across because I read somewhere that this helps with condensation. I have lost a little headroom, however.

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Stud work started for the warm room:

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As a safety precaution, I inserted these metal couplers into the studs where the electrical cables go through.

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The studwork for the internal wall

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I made a door! I made sure it was insulated and had the vapour barrier (probably not neccessary since I was using OSB?) The door was fitted but I don't seem to have a picture of that.

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I've also made some further progress this month, but will wait until the end of the month to post an update.

 

On 15/11/2017 at 12:30, sloz1664 said:

How long before you will be using the Observatory in earnest.

I'd love to get it finished before Christmas and the really cold weather, but I don't have long left now!

(I keep deleting this final image but it keeps re-appearing!)

 

Edited by Shibby

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November

I managed to make some more progress this month! Feels like I might get done in December if I have a few good days on it... :shocked:

Here you can see the door fitted, the window frame and some of the electrics in "temporary testing" mode.

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Then, I fitted the window (a made to measure double-glazed unit - not expensive), stuck on all the insulation and started adding the vapour barrier.

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Finally, I fitted the ceiling plasterboard and connected the downlights. There are 3 white downloads and one red spot, on separate switches of course :)

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Great progress.  Looks like you'll be comfortably done in December.  Looking really good.

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December

The observatory is virtually complete! Just a few bits of trim needed here and there, but otherwise it's all up and running.

I finished fitting all the plasterboard, then plastered the joints. I've not done any plastering before and I was not very good at it. Luckily, I'm OK at sanding ;)

I also completed the electrics, using cavity boxes for the switches and sockets. The transformer you can see powers the LED lighting in the 'scope room - two LED strips, one red and one white.

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I painted the warm room, built a desk from MDF and carpeted. As the whole observatory runs on 13A, the heater is 800W - you can just see it mounted under the desk. It's more than enough and is very cosy in there, even on a very cold night. You can also see the bench supply that runs to the mount.

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And at long last, I fitted the mount and telescope. A Mach1GTO and MN190, both of which I sourced second-hand earlier in the year. They've been waiting patiently!

The grey box houses my USB hub, dew controller and DC power distribution.

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With hindsight, would I do anything differently? I would use decent OSB for the roof (the static part of the roof, that is) as it would have meant less worrying about those early leaks and less sag, which I had to counter with extra purlins. Also, some of my studs were a bit narrow, which made it tricky fitting some of the plasterboard.

So far, I've only had the chance to use the observatory properly once, which mostly involved getting everything set up and drift aligning. I'm very happy with it, though. The roof slides back easily and everything seems to be working nicely. I can see myself getting a lot of joy from it and hopefully it's been worth all the effort (not that I haven't enjoyed the build and learned a lot along the way).

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