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Pier Shed - Sealed or Ventilated?


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As title, I'm currently building a removable shed around my pier. The plan is this will hold all of my gear, with the OTA & imaging train permanently mounted. The PC and other electrical kit will be inside a wooden unit I created with a lid to keep it warm in winter / cold in summer (closed for the former, open for the latter). I've been trying to figure out what I should do regarding ventilation.

Option 1: Seal it up
I can make everything fairly well sealed using brush strips and p-seal.
Pro: The shed should stay very dry, protecting my electronics.
Con: The shed will heat up during the day, especially in spring/summer. I can mitigate this somewhat by adding an internal skin to form a cavity for insulation.

Option 2: Ventilate
I can add 100x100mm insect meshed vents, probably around the top of the sides.
Pro: The internal temperature in the shed should be very similar to outside, this will reduce cool down time required.
Con: The humidity inside the shed will match outside conditions, I'm concerned if this will affect my CCD / USB Filter Wheel.

I'm leaning towards option 1 as it is probably safest for my CCD. I'd really appreciate some other opinions.

Pete.

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Well vented for sure.  You will have no end of issues with damp and mould if you seal it as when it's open it will trap moisture.

Mine is vented, albeit insulated, and I have no issues at all with either of my CCD's or filters etc.

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Thanks Ray. Can you elaborate on vented but insulated?

Vents from inside to outside, double skinned wall, vents just into wall cavity, etc.

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I have largish gaps all around the areas where the roof meets the walls Pete so there is an air flow through which replaces the air.  I also have insulation in the walls and roof so that the heat inside is as constant as it can be cheaply throughout the year.  As I have a EPDM roof this was important for me as it can get roasting inside without the insulation.

Insulation isn't essential by any means but like you I wanted my kit in a reasonably controlled environment so opted for it.

Ventilation is the ideal solution, with a decent cross flow allowing the air to be replaced and the moisture to escape.

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Thanks.

Insulating the walls should be easy enough, polystyrene sheets inside the cavity. The same for the roof, I'm going to do a felt style roof.

I'll have a think about how to ventilate, the shed won't be fully sealed as it will have double doors but I accept your point about damp. My main shed doesn't get damp because it has about 500w of electronics running 24-7 so this generates some nice warm dry air

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I have a very similar set up 

a 6x6 ft double doored shed on a caster subframe  

there is plenty of gap around the pier which I put a foam floor tile which acts as a collar, then a draft excluder dog around the pier base plenty of air coming through the door as well. I also  run a de-humidifier at only 3rd power very economical  and absolutely no sign of damp and dries out a dew sodden rig in a matter of a couple hours and absolutely no mould.

if a wooden shed needs to breath so insulation is not needed  unless you intend to have a warm room in there, then a porous  waterproof vaper barrier like TYVEK will need to be used. I just lined the inside with close fitting ply shuttering board and with foam interlocking tiles on the floor it is actually quite snug in there with the door shut.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 14/05/2018 at 22:03, RayD said:

I have largish g...

Thanks for all the advice, I managed to knock the shed up over the last couple of weeks... in seriously hot weather!

I went for ventilated and stole the idea from Ray which was to have gaps around the roof and floor to let air move in and out. I've had the roof on since last weekend and the shed is holding virtually no heat over ambient, even in direct sunlight.

Full step by step on my website:

http://petelawrence.co.uk/view.php?page=125

Pier Shed 1 (30).jpg

Pier Shed 1 (29).jpg

Pier Shed 1 (11).jpg

Edited by Peje
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Peje , really good looking build it will serve you well. As for ventilation, my advice is you cannot have enough - keep air moving inside and you will kill any problem with moisture/dampness/mould.  Maximum ventilation is the key - you are correct to go with ventilation at high level and low level.  Cracking build, hope you get good use out of it. :) 

Jim 

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3 minutes ago, saac said:

Peje , really good looking build it will serve you well. As for ventilation, my advice is you cannot have enough - keep air moving inside and you will kill any problem with moisture/dampness/mould.  Maximum ventilation is the key - you are correct to go with ventilation at high level and low level.  Cracking build, hope you get good use out of it. :) 

Jim 

Thanks Jim. I'm really hopeful it's going to make life much easier this winter. Hoping to do some drift alignment tonight... if I can drag myself out of bed at 2am!

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pete, having the permanent set-up is the best improvement you can make , way better than any upgrade in equipment imho. When I built mine it was all i could do to stop myself from coming home and just rolling the roof back - even when it was cloudy. :)  I was like a big kid .  Seriously with our observing opportunity limited because of our weather having a permanent setup makes such an improvement on the the amount of time you will now get to use the kit.  Just looking at your setup, have you made arrangements to protect the shed from blowing away in high winds etc - have you put in some anchor points?  Definitely spend some time getting it properly aligned - that's another bonus of having the permanent setup.  You have a really neat solution there - I see a lot more folk going for these type of roll of obsys.

 

Jim 

 

 

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1 minute ago, saac said:

pete, having the permanent set-up is the best improvement you can make , way better than any upgrade in equipment imho. When I built mine it was all i could do to stop myself from coming home and just rolling the roof back - even when it was cloudy. :)  I was like a big kid .  Seriously with our observing opportunity limited because of our weather having a permanent setup makes such an improvement on the the amount of time you will now get to use the kit.  Just looking at your setup, have you made arrangements to protect the shed from blowing away in high winds etc - have you put in some anchor points?  Definitely spend some time getting it properly aligned - that's another bonus of having the permanent setup.  You have a really neat solution there - I see a lot more folk going for these type of roll of obsys.

 

Jim 

 

 

My setup time previously was sub 5mins, the main frustration was that when removing / refitting the OTA my focuser would always bump out of position so I needed to refocus manually to a point where SG Pro could take over. Cabling was fairly straight-forward but even that could give issues from time to time.

Currently the base is bolted down with 8x 100mm concrete bolts, the shed is held to this via two hasp & staples but for severe weather I am going to add a couple of small chains to go from the central frame to the pier since it has some hole pre-drilled in it I can hook onto.

 

Pier Shed 1 (27).jpg

Pier Shed 1 (28).jpg

Pier Shed 1 (23).jpg

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1 minute ago, tooth_dr said:

@Peje I use ring/lynch pins on my hasp and staples, might be an alternative to the bungee ropes.  The timber, is it tanalised?

 

I was considering swapping the bungee cords for the small chain above with carrabiner clips on the end but will rethink on lynch pins.

I think the weatherboard and 2x2 are treated by default but ive treated the outside with Ronseal stuff.

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