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catman161

Securing Obs roof from inside

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Hi All, 

Am looking for recommendations for latches/bolts for securing fold off roof of observatory when in it’s closed position. 

Would be interested to see pictures/links of what has worked well to others. 

TIA 

 

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Hi ...

I use these on my roof ... easy to fit ... quick to operate ..... had no problems in high winds at all 🙂

Mike

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Thanks guys. Some good suggestions. Anyone else have any good suggestions? 

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1176537288_RoofToggleLatchNorth.jpg.b4d986c368a35ecdf0001df54ec870e4.jpg

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  My decidedly low-tech yet effective approach. I should note that the building incorporated pneumatic lifts so that when closed the perimeter of the roof rested on a foam seal. The C-clamps, one on each side, were only needed to keep the roof from lifting as it could not roll when lowered. We saw winds one night in excess of 110 kph and everything stayed where it belonged.

  It was my intention to find something similar to the latches Gina suggested but the C-clamps worked so well that I never pursued the notion. And now that the observatory has been decommissioned, I have a nice set of clamps for my workshop. If I still had a workshop. :-(

 

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I've had BIG winds inside and over the top of my observatory and haven't secured the roof to the base - it weighs a lot with that torch-felt over 12mm ply on it 🙂

David

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18 hours ago, David_L said:

I've had BIG winds inside and over the top of my observatory and haven't secured the roof to the base - it weighs a lot with that torch-felt over 12mm ply on it 🙂

David

You could be taking a risk if you don't lock it down. I appreciate you say you've experience big winds, but I would feel nervous. A sloping roof can act as an aero foil, as some SGL members have experienced!

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19 hours ago, MCinAZ said:

  My decidedly low-tech yet effective approach. I should note that the building incorporated pneumatic lifts so that when closed the perimeter of the roof rested on a foam seal. The C-clamps, one on each side, were only needed to keep the roof from lifting as it could not roll when lowered. We saw winds one night in excess of 110 kph and everything stayed where it belonged.

  It was my intention to find something similar to the latches Gina suggested but the C-clamps worked so well that I never pursued the notion. And now that the observatory has been decommissioned, I have a nice set of clamps for my workshop. If I still had a workshop. 😞

 

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Your C clamps may be low tech but, WOW, I love the pneumatic lifts! What a fantastic way of sealing the roof. Not seen that done before. Hats off to you sir 🙌

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+1 for simple turnbuckles - they have the advantage of being less fussy about precise positioning (very useful when working with materials that change dimensions in different temperatures!).

Helen

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28 minutes ago, Astrokev said:

You could be taking a risk if you don't lock it down. I appreciate you say you've experience big winds, but I would feel nervous. A sloping roof can act as an aero foil, as some SGL members have experienced!

Precisely!!  I thought mine was alright until a huge gust lifted it off and deposited it upside down on the boundary fence some 20 yards away!

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1 hour ago, Helen said:

+1 for simple turnbuckles - they have the advantage of being less fussy about precise positioning (very useful when working with materials that change dimensions in different temperatures!).

  Though somewhat manual, I agree that turnbuckles are a good solution. I've used these on the two conventional roll-off observatories I've built. I recommend installing them at a about a 30 degree angle to horizontal. If you add stop nuts to the pair at one end of the roof, you can adjust then fix the close position, then use the other pair to pull the roof securely into place at the end of the night.

  Avoid light duty alumin(i)um parts you might find at a mass merchandiser. Though not on an observatory roof, a friend of mine had one of these fail when the threads pulled out of the Al block. The turnbuckle was used to set polar axis elevation on his German equatorial mount and the failure nearly resulted in his custom 0.35 m astrograph going all the way to the ground.

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3 hours ago, Astrokev said:

You could be taking a risk if you don't lock it down. I appreciate you say you've experience big winds, but I would feel nervous. A sloping roof can act as an aero foil, as some SGL members have experienced!

+1

Working for a roofing company, I can only say never underestimate the power of wind-lift!

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Hi,

Belonging to the "Keep It Simple School", I've got 5 of these hasp and staple fittings with a carabiner clip fitted for quick release inside the ROR obsy.  Have survived 7+ years of all that the Welsh weather has thrown at it to date!

Regards,

Les

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On ‎05‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 21:22, MCinAZ said:

  My decidedly low-tech yet effective approach. I should note that the building incorporated pneumatic lifts so that when closed the perimeter of the roof rested on a foam seal. The C-clamps, one on each side, were only needed to keep the roof from lifting as it could not roll when lowered. We saw winds one night in excess of 110 kph and everything stayed where it belonged.

  It was my intention to find something similar to the latches Gina suggested but the C-clamps worked so well that I never pursued the notion. And now that the observatory has been decommissioned, I have a nice set of clamps for my workshop. If I still had a workshop. 😞

 

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A1400a_20150526_185905.jpg

A1400a_20150526_185831.jpg

Nice looking mount, which make and model is it, looks like 2" diameter stainless steel dec axis bar

John

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I used G clamps before I got proper jobbies!

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Turnbuckles at an angle too. In use for 4 years and no problems yet

Adrian

 

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+1 for the turnbuckles.

I used them successfully on all the incarnations of the TSO - TSO, TSOII, TSOIII and the last TSOIV.

 

TSO2_05.jpg

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I feel better with something stronger.

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I use 4 Turnbuckles, one for each corner of a 10ft x 8ft roof. No worries yet. And yes, we have had a few storms here.

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The TSO roof was very light (based on the Argos 8' x 6' tin shed) never had any concerns in the UK, Belgium or back here in Oz.

Even with some (very) extreme winds and storms.

TSO2_02.jpg

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MCinAZ,

Your pneumatic solution to the "air gap" issue looks very nice.

Do you have this arrangement on all the wheels or just one per side???

 

Edited by Merlin66

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37 minutes ago, Merlin66 said:

Your pneumatic solution to the "air gap" issue looks very nice.

Do you have this arrangement on all the wheels or just one per side???

 

  That building had a small roof, so I needed only four wheels to support it. Each had its own lift mechanism. I chose that approach because the observatory was in the Sonoran Desert where we get a lot of dust storms in the summer. It all worked quite well in the end -- the lift mechanism proved to be entirely reliable and I had no worries about rain or dust intrusion regardless of weather conditions. I bought a small (15 l) compressor to operate the pneumatic cylinders. Provided that I remembered to close the valve on the tank immediately after opening or closing the week, it stored sufficient air for three to five nights of use before needed to be repressurized.

  I helped a friend build a similar observatory, also in the desert, but we took the more conventional approach and used fixed tracks, relatively small gaps and baffles built into the trim to minimize dust intrusion. While that building doesn't stay as clean through the summer as mine did, the owner finds the level of protection to be adequate. If I eventually build on my present property, I won't go with the lifts. There is much less airborne dust here in northern Arizona and I'm convinced that careful design and construction are sufficient.

  Apologies for straying from the thread topic.

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MCinAZ,

Thanks for the additional info, appreciated.

 

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