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MBJ

New observatory build.

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I decided after some time to build my own observatory. After getting fed up of setting everything up only for the clouds to roll in then put it all away. 

Persueding the wife wasn't as easy as I thought but in the end I got there. 

I designed it myself which took a few weeks and some ideas from a Joiner friend of mine who actually built it for me. 

He is thinking of doing it as a sideline to his business so if anyone is interested in a quality well made observatory built, delivered and erected then drop me a pm. 

We started off with 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" timber for the framework. IMG_20190929_101246.thumb.jpg.f0b4c8a90be771fa55967b3644592392.jpgIMG_20190929_101246.thumb.jpg.f0b4c8a90be771fa55967b3644592392.jpg

The cladding we decided on was 22mm loglap tanalised. The dimensions of the frame are 2200mm x 2400mm.

The height to the top where the roof rolls off is 1600mm.IMG_20190930_165417.thumb.jpg.d8072eb1656b49da4d0879cce91fc11c.jpgIMG_20190930_165424.thumb.jpg.9f1337bbd878802935c07f0b48033681.jpg

The roller system I chose was 80mm v groove gate rollers. I didn't use the v track that these rollers were designed for. Instead I chose 41mm x 21mm unistrut channel. IMG_20190929_101500.thumb.jpg.fd3dadc63c39c39478919bbb4e48d1ba.jpgIMG_20190918_193330.thumb.jpg.d20c2553bf9a746437f6af6628e434b9.jpgIMG_20190918_164750.thumb.jpg.1e02fd25bf7a607f1661b2ac1e8baf00.jpg

After building it at his house and trying the roof it was time to transport it up to my house and get it in place. It is sat on decking tiles to keep it raised from water that are sat on a level concrete pad

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The roof covering was firestone rubber system. 20 year guarantee and 1 single piece. Once in place and erected it was time to start on the pier and floor. The pier was designed by me and made. Then powder coated black. 

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The round section on the top of the pier that takes the mount head is a section 80mm long cut off a skywatcher extension pier and welded on the top of the pier, I used 16mm threaded bar 12" long to give me scope for height adjustment if needed. 

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After getting the floor in I then used b&q rubber interlocking mats that resemble chequer plate for the floor covering, also on top of the black shelves. IMG_20191015_182637.thumb.jpg.350388feb193c1b617461a2a0586d6b9.jpg

And finally the electrics and a security camera where put in as well as networking from the main house. 

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Overall the build took 2 weeks, I am extremely pleased with it. I didn't go down the warm room route as its next to my outbuilding which is heated and networked up. 

The only thing left to do is put all my gear in and get some clear skies. 

Mick. 

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Looks superb....very good job indeed.. 😀👍

Can I ask, in the early pictures you show the shed propped up on blocks of wood, and then after it was built you say you did the floor and pier, this seems backwards to how everyone else does them, so how did you concrete the floor and pier..after the shed was built... ?

 

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The whole thing looks fantastic except for that piece of wood sticking out propping the whole Obsy up level.  Can't see in the later photos whether this has been better supported now.  As it was - one kick and the whole obsy would droop one side.  

I am sure you have done a better "fix".

Carole 

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I like the use of the round roller guide on the one side and just a channel on the other.  Nice

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1 hour ago, WanderingEye said:

Looks superb....very good job indeed.. 😀👍

Can I ask, in the early pictures you show the shed propped up on blocks of wood, and then after it was built you say you did the floor and pier, this seems backwards to how everyone else does them, so how did you concrete the floor and pier..after the shed was built... ?

 

The reason the frame was sat on blocks of wood was purely to level it while it was fixed together, also it was built at the joiners house then transported to mine to be put in place, the concrete base was already under the decking tiles so after it was placed where it was going, I could then decide the best position for the pier and bolt it down before the floor was built round it. 

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1 hour ago, carastro said:

The whole thing looks fantastic except for that piece of wood sticking out propping the whole Obsy up level.  Can't see in the later photos whether this has been better supported now.  As it was - one kick and the whole obsy would droop one side.  

I am sure you have done a better "fix".

Carole 

The blocks of wood holding it up we're at the joiners house carole just to level it and keep it off the wet floor while it was being built, it was transported to my house after it was built in sections. 

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Yes, a good job indeed.  I wondered though why you used channel rather than the usual FH Brundell rails that most of the rest of us use.  There will be friction and wear when the wheels rub on the sides of the channel.  The other reason I rejected the idea of channel was that debris can collect in it and impede the running.  I tried all sorts of wheels and rails etc. as my observatory developed, eventually going for FH Brundell 120mm wheels and semicircular section rails.  Others have used V section, don't know if there's much difference.

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2 hours ago, MBJ said:

The reason the frame was sat on blocks of wood was purely to level it while it was fixed together, also it was built at the joiners house then transported to mine to be put in place, the concrete base was already under the decking tiles so after it was placed where it was going, I could then decide the best position for the pier and bolt it down before the floor was built round it. 

Ah, ok could not see that it was concrete under the decking tiles...makes sense now.. 👍

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1 hour ago, Gina said:

Yes, a good job indeed.  I wondered though why you used channel rather than the usual FH Brundell rails that most of the rest of us use.  There will be friction and wear when the wheels rub on the sides of the channel.  The other reason I rejected the idea of channel was that debris can collect in it and impede the running.  I tried all sorts of wheels and rails etc. as my observatory developed, eventually going for FH Brundell 120mm wheels and semicircular section rails.  Others have used V section, don't know if there's much difference.

The ease of sliding it under the rollers was the deciding factor for me. 

It took seconds and was a quarter of the price of v rail. 

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A very neat little build :)

James

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On 19/10/2019 at 15:01, Gina said:

Yes, a good job indeed.  I wondered though why you used channel rather than the usual FH Brundell rails that most of the rest of us use.  There will be friction and wear when the wheels rub on the sides of the channel.  The other reason I rejected the idea of channel was that debris can collect in it and impede the running.  I tried all sorts of wheels and rails etc. as my observatory developed, eventually going for FH Brundell 120mm wheels and semicircular section rails.  Others have used V section, don't know if there's much difference.

It would not be difficult to fit a shaped scraper or stiff brush to sweep the channel clean with every movement.
Using two different profiles is clever. Such a system has been used for ages on lathe beds to avoid friction.
One way guides mercilessly while the other supports the loads. There is no sideways movement for the channel wheel to cause wear.
Lathe beds are subject to constant and highly abrasive debris and use scrapers and felt pads for cleaning and lubrication of the ways.
The wear from [typically] infrequent uses of an ROR, even over decades, is unlikely to cause any visible damage.

On your other point: A V-profile would have higher point loading than closely matching radii.
In practice the materials are usually hard and inflexible enough to ignore the difference.
I would imagine twin, V-profiles would require much tighter building tolerances if subject to typical twisting forces. Since both rails are desperately trying to steer.
Matching radii wheels and tracks would mean that the wheels ride up the curvature of the walls if there is the vertical freedom to do so.
Though both are still trying to steer. Causing increase friction unless one set of wheels are allowed some sideways float on their rail.
Or words to that effect. :biggrin:

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My ROR has sufficient flexibility to allow the wheels to run easily on both rails.  Each side has two wheels so no problem with alignment that you can get with three wheels (or more).

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nice build, just realised mine is 12 years old now, where does the time go.

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Mine is 8 years old now.

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Mine is still a baby and I'm it's great, great grandad. 👴

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