View Full Version here: : New observatory for southern Brisbane
29-06-2009, 09:44 PM
Well finally I am about to start building my custom roll off roof observatory. I wanted to do this last year but had to get about 7 full sized iron barks and gums dropped from the back of my property.
I will be building a design similar to a 3 X 4.2mtr one that the " Sky shed" plans have but will be modifying it a little to include a warm room.I am lucky as one of my closest friends is a chippy and is keen to get this done for me, as well as Peter M who will be assisting me with setting all the computer goodies up, I will now be better set so when Peter phones me at 2am with another S/nova discovery I can pull myself out of bed:lol: and roll the roof off to get confirmation images, thanks guys for all your help in setting my dream up.
This observatory will house for the moment my 12 inch LX200R and will be used for visual and imaging using my Mallincam hyperplus astro video system.
I want to hold sky nights for friends and family as well and my daughters science teacher has already started pestering me to get his classes over here to have viewing nights , which will be no problem as I like to share this stuff with others:).
The main scope area will be approx 3 X 2.5mtrs with an attached warm room of 3 X 2 mtrs to house the computer. CRT hi-res colour monitor and a couple of chairs for me and friends.
I ended up getting a pier thats custom made from Bintel for the LX scope and will be using the scope in Alt/Az mode for now as I only use the Mallincam video so do not need to polar align.
One day down the track I might get into more conventional long exposure/guided imaging so will need to put the scope on a wedge.
One question I have is so I get the size of the main scope area right,
Will a 12 inch Lx200 scope on a wedge fit in the 3 X 2.5mtr main scope area?
In Alt/AZ there is plenty of room I am just making sure so I can future proof it as construction starts in a week or two.
Anyone with LX200 12 inch on a wedge able to give me a few width and height measurements?
I will post some pictures as it gets built over the next couple of months.
29-06-2009, 10:03 PM
I have a 12inch LX200 classic on a super wedge and tripod in a 10 foot x 9 foot roll off roof garden shed. The scope fits comfortably in it.
It holds 2-3 people comfortable, 4 will get squashy especially if you add a desk and storage.
Make sure to realise the difference between roof height and wall height.
If any part of the scope goes above wall height the sliding roof will hit the scope.
Are you having two seperate buildings one combine building?
I think there are council regulations if you build over 9 square meters.
29-06-2009, 10:20 PM
I am going to have two smaller buildings with a small gap, one for the main scope and one for a warm room, this way they stay under 10 sq meters each and no approval is required and I only need to make the roll off roof for the main scope area which will keep the roll off roof weight down and make the warm room section for secure with a solid roof.
Can you measure the height from the ground to the top of your parked scope on the wedge, and the height that you have your tripod top at with the wedge on it, this will give me a few measurements to play with. Also if you don't mind but the radius that the scope on the wedge swings around on.
I was going to make my side walls about 2mtrs with a gable roof but can adjust this if we need to.
I can also make the main scope area a little wider if need be but was hoping that 3 X 2.5mtrs with a 2mtr high walls would be adequate as I need to fit it next to a water tank but could push it out a little.
Thanks again if you can do this mate, when ever you get a chance.
30-06-2009, 12:21 PM
The 12 is off its mount for the moment while it is getting fixed, so i can't get the measurements for another week or two.
Remember to allow for a dew shield on your swing measurements. Also take into account are you going mount other scopes onto off the 12, or have acessories hanging of the back, these all can affect the highest point of the scope depending on how you park it.
30-06-2009, 02:06 PM
I am going to borrow a wedge of someone this weekend and mount my scope onto it so I can get some measurements before construction begins. Want to make sure we get it right with these big scopes.
Only want to build the thing once.
30-06-2009, 03:21 PM
I have the LX200 GPS 12"
set on a 3ft pier + steel adjustment plate + mity wedge
wall height is 2mt. (plenty of height) + gabled roof
ROR Obs is 10ft x 11ft
Good luck with the project :thumbsup:
30-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Here it is :-
Wst. Nth. Est. Walls also drop down to 1.5mt
30-06-2009, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the reply Robert and the photo. Gee that scope looks nice on a wedge:thumbsup:.
Making me excited now.
My pier is 930mm high then with the top leveling plate makes a total height of 1020mm. So with a 2 mtr high wall like yours is and I will be going with a gable roof I should have the height when I buy a wedge to mount this on.
Do you have to drop the walls down to 1.5 mtrs when the scope is on the wedge or will it still get enough sky with the 2 mtr walls?
In Alt/Az I can get down to 20 degrees which is way low enough with my 12 scope at the height of my pier with top plate (1020mm) and still look over a 2mtr wall.
Can you also measure the height if you get a chance of the scope in the parked position on the wedge when you get a chance?
17-08-2009, 09:08 PM
Well my observatory is nearly finished.
Its been a very big project alot bigger than first thought but I was determined to see it through and it will be worth it in the long run as I only want to build it once so wanted to make sure the size and design were right.
We ended up going with one building 4.8mtrs X 3.6 mtrs with 2.1mtr high walls and the whole gable roof rolls off width ways instead of the traditional long way method.
The inside will have a 1.8mtr X 3.6mtr warm room with a 3mtr X 3.6mtr main scope area.
This was a feat of engineering of the roof to make it strong enough to not sag in the middle because of the 4.8mtr span to roll off width ways and it works a treat, we used 9 trusses in total and you can walk on the roof with no sagging at all.
Just got to finish painting and stainng the weather boards this weekend, put a waterproof carpet inside and finish the warm room area.
So hopefully we will have it all done in the next two Saturdays so I can start setting all my gear up.
This is why I am mssing Astrofest this year:( as I am determined to get it finshed.
A big thanks goes out to my builder mate Matt and my good friend Rob who have helped out over the many Saturdays over the last two months to get this master piece done.
I will post some pictures in the next couple of weeks of the whole contruction process.
ps. don't blame me if it gets cloudy now.:D
20-08-2009, 09:37 PM
These are some pictures of my roll-off roof observatory thats nearly finished.
Hopefully only a few more Saturdays to go to get it done.
First picture is the pier footing that goes down 1mtr and is formed up 450mm above ground, I went this way as because of the slope of the ground we get alot of water run off in storms so I wanted to build the observatory off the ground with a raised floor and pier footing above ground so I can attach my steel pier on top and the storm water can run under the building.
Second photo shows the finished formed pier footing and post footings for the building.
Third photo shows the floor framing in place.
Fourth photo shows more framing.
Fifth photo shows 1st weather board wall in place.
Sixth photo shows walls done and the last photo shows me,my brother and some mates lifting the truss roof frame that we built on the ground up onto the observatory ready for sheeting and castors to be attached.
I have just finished staining the weather boards and painting the interior. Got to fit the door,locks, finish the warm room and lay some waterproof carpet this weekend. I will post some more photos after the weekend of the near finished observatory and hopefully in the next couple of weekends get it finished so I can set my gear up and start using.
Comments are most welcome.
21-08-2009, 11:11 AM
nice building and a nice sky too. Are you in a dark sky area?
I couldn't see your scope in the threads, its a 12 inch?
21-08-2009, 04:18 PM
I wish I was in a dark sky , sounds like you are out in the Blue Mountains.
I am on the south side of Brisbane half way to the Gold coast.
We are on acreage so the local light pollution is not too bad.
Yes, its a 12 inch Meade LX200R and I will be getting a Stellarvue carbon fibre Apo to piggyback on top of the scope for wide field.
I finished the final staining and clear coat over the weatherboards today, and tommorow I will be fitting the door and locks, then I can mount my steel pier ontop of the pier footing and finish my warm room off.
Here are a couple of photos from today showing the stain finish, inside view of the Fallshaw commercial grade castors I used mounted into C channel. I used these castors as they are rated to 100Kgs each and are sealed bearings with 8 sets so they should last, and the roof in action.
I rolled the roof off width ways so it rolls out over a large water tank so not to waste space.
25-08-2009, 08:38 PM
You are just about there Matt! What a great observatory, an absolute credit to you and your builder mates. I will be over this week to help get the scope set up inside.
I can see this getting used just about every night. You are one of the keenest amateur astronomers I have met in a long, long time.
Now what are you going to call it?
:thumbsup::thumbsup: wow Matt that looks very very cool thanks for the pics :)
25-08-2009, 09:14 PM
Tks Peter, its your turn to help take over now.
Its going to have two names,
The first one is"Big boys toy shed" that you gave me and to reward you with all your advise over the years it will be mounted.
My builder mate who has made this all possible has been wanting to call it"Mojo Matts fun house" so I will get another one made up and it will have to go on the wall as well.
25-08-2009, 09:20 PM
Tks Jen, its been a dream for a few years to get this done and I can't believe I will be setting the telescope up this weekend.
Its been a labour of love, my builder mate would come on Saturday's to do a bit and show me what he wanted to have done by next Saturday then I would slave it out all weekend and after work during the week sometimes to get it done, nearly got divorced over it :lol: but lucky I have an understanding wife, so she will get a weekend away with no kids to bother her soon :thumbsup:.
I will post some more pictures next week when the scope goes in.
26-08-2009, 09:52 PM
Matt, That is one fine looking Observatory. and good progress. I might take your advice and clad my garden shed after seeing how great yours looks. Good use of space too with the roof rolling over a water tank.
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