View Full Version here: : 8 x 6 Tin Shed Observatory
21-08-2008, 06:19 PM
The weather here in the UK is VERY changeable, so I'm building a small ( for the 12" LX200) run off roof observatory from a 8' x 6' tin shed kit.
Because we are renting I'm not allowed to put down concrete slabs or screw around with the garden; everything must be "temporary"
Luckily there's a paved patio out the back and the shed fits nicely. I've "sealed" under the shed frame with some foam strip and loxen'd it down.
The rails will be 50x50 on one vertical 50x50 support in the shed and two 75x75 supports at the outer end.
The "sub-frame" for the roof is also 50x50 with side section of 100x30 ( to position the castors over the internal 50x50) and the edge seals are 150 wide strips of 5mm water proof ply.
The walls are up and the roof structure bolted together; the timber arrived today ( Jeez it's expensive over here!!) so weather permitting should get it together this weekend.
So far it's cost $300 for the shed, $200 for the timber(!!) and four hours of work......
It maybe cheap but i think it will do the job nicely, well done indeed.
A very neat and tidy setup.
Do keep us posted with it's progress.
22-08-2008, 12:21 AM
nice and cheap, and looks like it will be quite functional too... And being semi-permanent, it will be a great plan for a lot of people...
Cant wait to see more.
22-08-2008, 01:53 AM
Looks good. Be sure to post some pics when its done and you have the 12" LX200 in the there.
22-08-2008, 04:33 AM
Insulate the roof to stop condensation drips and your away
22-08-2008, 08:14 AM
Not having a permanent pier, I take it that you're not planning to store your LX in there... or are you? How safe is it?
Yes agreed, insulate the roof to stop condensation.
You don't want to find water in the OTA.
It's happened before.
22-08-2008, 03:19 PM
Initially the LX200 will be stored with its tarp cover inside the shed. If I can find some insulation ( nothing like Bunnings over here!!) I'll put it in.
I'm using a cut down HD field tripod, no permanent pier this time.
The Shed is pretty secure, well as far as sheds go and looking like a shed from the front it shouldn't attract any attention... just another garden shed.
Additional hasp and padlock on the doors, and four turnbuckles to hold the roof down will be as good as it gets. At least this will allow me to have the scope ready and set up to use as and when the weather allows.
It's very frustrating to drag all the gear outside, set it up and before you can do anything along comes the rain! Totally different from Heathcote! There we had, if we were lucky 155mm a YEAR; here in "sunny" Surrey, we've had 35mm in the last few weeks.
Just finished the rails and supports; the roof frame is on top to check the measurements for the castors etc, so I'm still hoping to have it together this weekend.
22-08-2008, 04:37 PM
Looks like a very capable little observatory. For the price you have done a great job.
Looking forward to more. :)
22-08-2008, 04:46 PM
Not sure I'll get anything done today... It's p***** down again today!!
23-08-2008, 02:25 PM
Between the showers I managed to finish the roof support frame, fit the 50mm castors and mount the roof gables/ purlins. The castors actually track on the rails!!
" Measure twice, then check again before cutting"
Just need the edge flashing and finish the roof sheeting, then we're in business. Total labour 5.5hr ( an apprentice would have helped, handling the 8 x6 frame 6' of the ground on your own is a bit of fun!).
If it stays clear I'll also paint the flashing etc.
Post a couple of photos over the weekend.
24-08-2008, 02:20 AM
A couple of shots to show the castors mounted on the 100 x30 side frames.
Note these are "offset" to the 50 x50 cross beams - to allow the edge of the 100mm to be 10mm outside the shed ( this is where the side seals will be set) A bit of trial and error to find a height which would give this clearance and still just "touch" the roof sheeting ( 6mm in my case)
Weather permitting should finish the roof etc tomorrow.
26-08-2008, 01:43 AM
In between the showers, managed to get the roof and the seal strips finished!! She's now watertight (I hope!) and the roof still moves back and forth with no effort.
If the weather holds up, I'll paint tomorrow and fit the locking/ safety turnbuckles.
All up $550 odd dollars and 8hrs of labour ( I'd guess with two people you could knock that down to 5-6hrs)
26-08-2008, 04:16 PM
Nice work, i just cant wait till i have the land and the money to put a little hideaway in the back yard. I have the skill but not the land.... just like i have the time but no money! :D oh the lord is so crewl!
26-08-2008, 09:48 PM
I'm stuck between London and the M25 "carpark"; naked eye is about +3 mag and I can almost read the star maps without a torch due to the extensive sky glow.
The house is rented for the duration and compared with the std 3 bedroom brick veneer of Oz, is VERY small on maybe just under a 1/4 acre. There are houses all around us. It seems either to be cloudy or raining most ( read: ALL) of the time.
Notwithstanding, I know from experience that even the simplest of observatories will dramatically increase any available observing time I have.
Filters can at least subdue the sky glow and working with spectroscopes I can "dark field" most of the background.
What I'm trying to say is investing a few hundred $$$ will more than double your enjoyment of the hobby no matter where you are.
The added benefit of this TSO ( Tin Shed Observatory) is that it can very quickly be built with basic hand tools and can be re-used when you find the "ideal location".
I applied the KISS principle, and where like Bert I usually would have previously built it like the brick outhouse, with a factor of safety of x5 using twice the size of beams/ supports/ concrete actually required; this time it's realistic. How many of us have the luxury of staying put in the same house for more than a few years?? Families grow up, jobs change etc etc.
This observatory is cost effective and works! What if it only lasts 5 years - so what!
I'd recommend it to anyone.
01-09-2008, 12:58 AM
Well, managed to get the 12" LX200 in and roughly aligned. With the 150mm guide rings on top, the roof seal clears by about 75mm!! Just enough.
Before I could get "first light" the clouds came over and this morning thunder and lighting, heavy rain squalls definately tested my roof seals. Good news, no leaks from the roof!!!, bad news the water seeps in under the frame. Don't know how to fix that one yet. Not a flood but 3-4" of dampness around the floor/ slabs at the edges.
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