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Old 07-08-2020, 04:01 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Anth's Observatory

Hi all,
Hope everyone is well.

I have all the time in the world of late as this year has presented due to the restrictions imposed to curb this nasty pandemic. Work is slow and most of us particularly here in the state of Vic are confined to home as a base to ride it out. And so my labor of love has begun - building my shed/observatory!

I've hand drafted the plans last June and permits cleared for a start around when Covid hit the news back in the early months. The design is based on a rustic homestead I noticed watching a program on the Warwick homestead rebuild in Queensland which I was inspired and also from a similar homestead in Casterton whilst participating in the annual Kelpie show (my one year old pup did well in the sprint mind you).

I knocked down the old existing rusty shed and began my new attempt at it whilst incorporating a roll off roof design for my obsy.

When finished it will have weatherboard cladding, clay pavers for the floor with sand and scoria subgrade, mudbrick internal walls for insulation and stable temp with old californian bungalow doors/windows I've collected over time for flavour. The roof sheets will utilse my existing shed old corrugated rusted iron for a touch of nostalgia.
The roll off roof design is a mix of elements I have noticed in other similar roofs with brass castors and turnbuckles for lock down and also for added safety some heavy duty steel brackets designed to prevent uplift with a right angle steel angle.

The steel pillar was an old surveying pier we had at work that was sitting around doing nothing from a previous project. It'll be poured/installed after completion of the roof to maximise space for the 10" Newt.

Should be cool when its finished and I can get back to imaging - with a bit more luxury knowing that the scope will be permanently setup and ready to go...

Anyhow with 6 weeks lock-down here working from home I'll get pretty close to having it almost ready.

Stay tuned.

Stay safe,
Anthony
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:04 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Far out! Looks like a house extension. Huge.
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Old 08-08-2020, 06:05 PM
FrancoRodriguez (Franco)
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What an awesome obsy you're building! How tall is it at the wall? Are you making it so you need to move the scope to horizontal position in order to close the roof? And how many square meters is it? I'm making one too, and it's more than 10 square meters which means I should get council approval, but I'm taking the risk and not doing that. It's a massive bother and they'd make me jump through all sorts of hoops
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:02 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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That's looking great Anthony, will be nice when the roof goes on and the frame is protected from the weather. Good to get all the council approvals out of the way so it's all legit and they won't be making you pull it down after all your hard work. It's certainly going to be a feature of your backyard!
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:48 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
Far out! Looks like a house extension. Huge.
Yeh Marc, I guess if youíve got the space use it. Itís multipurpose and the shed is a major part of the build- the obs is off to one half and will work well together. Nice to half shelter on the cold nights and everything in its place.

CheerS.
Anth
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:54 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Originally Posted by Mickoid View Post
That's looking great Anthony, will be nice when the roof goes on and the frame is protected from the weather. Good to get all the council approvals out of the way so it's all legit and they won't be making you pull it down after all your hard work. It's certainly going to be a feature of your backyard!
Thanks Mickoid. Its certainly an upgrade on the old rat infested shed that once filled that space. It was ready to come down anyway - always prone to flooding in heavy rain and the roof clearance never suited my height- it served its purpose but now itíll be replaced by something Iíve dreamed of building with a nostalgic farm style abode.

All good things take time.
And as mentioned plenty of that these days...

Anth
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:09 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoRodriguez View Post
What an awesome obsy you're building! How tall is it at the wall? Are you making it so you need to move the scope to horizontal position in order to close the roof? And how many square meters is it? I'm making one too, and it's more than 10 square meters which means I should get council approval, but I'm taking the risk and not doing that. It's a massive bother and they'd make me jump through all sorts of hoops
Franco
I’m glad that you are embarking on your ROR build. It’s certainly a challenge I’ve found with plenty to consider. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s consumed me but when you’re hell bent on achieving a goal nothing really gets in your way!
My overall work space internally is 6mx3.5m
With the actual observatory being just under half that at 2.8mx3.5m.
To answer your question on the roof height well this was a bit of a compromise having to accommodate telescope height and head clearance. I went for a wall height of 2.1m giving around 35deg min view to the sky. I can see from the east through to the west only a short distance past the meridian. I can see a large portion of the south too.
My Newtonian is 1250mm focal length so quite long and when it’s parked to the South Pole it will sit 100mm clear of the ceiling. This I will have to see when it’s finished as I am still uncertain what roof insulation to put in and this may drop the ceiling a little more depending.

In any case it’ll be practical enough to maintain decent clearance even if I place it on a slight tilt. The sky will be unobstructed for the best part.

Look forward to seeing your progress and feel free to ask any questions as I would equally be keeping an eye out for any last minute tips...

All the best
Anth
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:18 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Bloody hell anth.....that thing is a monster. Looks very well thought out and canít wait to see the finished product.

I may need to come to your place now!

Well done mate - looks great
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:25 AM
dikman (Richard)
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Anth, looks great, should be very nice when finished.


Franco, it's always risky trying to avoid council approval. I don't know about yours but I believe ours uses aerial photos to keep an eye on what's being built! I recently wanted to build a shed for my sewing machines and reloading gear. I was limited to 15 sq.m without council approval so went with that because I knew it was going to be an (expensive) pain building anything bigger. This way I didn't need to involve the council.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:49 PM
FrancoRodriguez (Franco)
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Yes, I know it's a bit risky in some areas, particularly in the city, but I'm in the country, about 1/2 hour away from Toowoomba on the Darling Downs in QLD. Everyone in my neighbourhood builds sheds and stables without approval. If it comes down to the crunch, all that needs to be done is to pay a builder or engineer to draw up the designs that have already been done....I hope!
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:03 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoRodriguez View Post
Yes, I know it's a bit risky in some areas, particularly in the city, but I'm in the country, about 1/2 hour away from Toowoomba on the Darling Downs in QLD. Everyone in my neighbourhood builds sheds and stables without approval. If it comes down to the crunch, all that needs to be done is to pay a builder or engineer to draw up the designs that have already been done....I hope!
I work for a council in central Victoria and can confirm comparisons are done annually of pre/post high res images using intramaps data.
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:20 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Cheers Jon,
Well it’s rather well spaced out, but nothin on your mega shed we’d agree.
Started the weatherboards today- light work very cruisey under the late winter sunshine.
I can see why you’d take the chance Franco and really there shouldn’t be much concern for the council but as both Jon and Richard spelt out you know the regs it’s just a matter of personal choice - and let me tell you I’ve jumped through plenty of those hoops you’re talking about- quite stressful.

Anth
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:40 AM
dikman (Richard)
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Franco, in that situation I'd probably do the same thing. If it's not a huge construction the chances are the council won't worry, being in a rural area.
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Old 23-08-2020, 11:44 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Hi all,
Melbourne is dishing up some Antarctic chill but the observatory build must go on...
Weatherboards nailed, Roof sheets half done...
Can see it finally taking shape.

Next will be the paved floor and wiring then last but not least the pier footing dig and pour..

Stay warm , bring on Spring!
Anth
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Old 31-08-2020, 02:13 PM
FrancoRodriguez (Franco)
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Are you going to motorise and control your obsy? I was thinking about the pros and cons of automation. On the one hand, it would give huge peace of mind knowing that if a big wind picked up or it started drizzling then it would protect my gear. It's not a cheap endeavour though, with a cloud sensor needed too. The Boltwood ones are pretty expensive. Have you put thoughts into that? There are some companies, including Scopedome in Australia offering a turnkey solution. SOunds pretty seductive not to have to do it all one's self!
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Old 31-08-2020, 02:22 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Hi everyone,

Latest update -
Paving has been laid out and elec cables being roughed in as we speak.
If the rainbow is any indication then my dream is starting to come true...

Happy days,
Anth

PS now I have to dig this Pier Footing. Not looking forward to this - I have been avoiding it to say the least...
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Old 31-08-2020, 02:34 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoRodriguez View Post
Are you going to motorise and control your obsy? I was thinking about the pros and cons of automation. On the one hand, it would give huge peace of mind knowing that if a big wind picked up or it started drizzling then it would protect my gear. It's not a cheap endeavour though, with a cloud sensor needed too. The Boltwood ones are pretty expensive. Have you put thoughts into that? There are some companies, including Scopedome in Australia offering a turnkey solution. SOunds pretty seductive not to have to do it all one's self!
Hi Franco,
Mate I am fairly old school for a young bloke ( tongue in cheek),
I am happy to use my long arm reach and drag the roof along myself. Sounds like I'm a gluten for punishment but the less automation the less than can go wrong I recon.
Incidently, the early hours of Saturday morning the wind was gusting pretty darn wildly and I had to get outta bed to use the turnbuckles to lock it down juuust in case... It was a real test and this month of September is always heart in mouth stuff with the trade winds getting up there. I'm on a hill so the wind races straight up the valley and shakes the gum trees around like you wouldn't want to see.
I have a secondary system to prevent the chance of the roof flying off even if I were to forget securing the turnbuckles and that is my engineered brackets with a lip to overlock the angle tracks to prevent uplift wherever the roof may be sitting at any particular position along the rails..
I'm comfortable this will hold it all down in good stead.

Getting closer now and I will need to insulate the roof which is my next decision to make on what is best...
Cheers and hope your design is coming along well too..
Anth
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Old 31-08-2020, 02:41 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Franco,
Here is a close up of the bracket to safeguard the roof from uplift.
Anth
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Old 31-08-2020, 07:17 PM
FrancoRodriguez (Franco)
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Originally Posted by Anth10 View Post
Franco,
Here is a close up of the bracket to safeguard the roof from uplift.
Anth
I kind of agree with the less automation idea. sometimes things are needlessly complex. For example, I got a new induction oven with electronic touch panel in January and it's busted already. Seems like water got in or something. I long for the days that things were made robust with physical knobs and switches. Drives me insane. As for the structure itself, you should probably be pretty careful with winds. The wheels look pretty small and don't appear to have protection against a shear/lateral forces. I don't know anything about construction but after much discussion with my builder we went for some pretty tough wheels and tracks. They were not cheap, costing about 5k including the tracks. I got 4 wheels and 3 tracks (one will be halved and welded to increase length). You can see in the link below that the bearings have protection against lateral forces with an extra wheel at right angles. It also has a cantilever. Each one is almost 1/2m long and is surprisingly heavy. If you feel you will need something stronger than what you've got I'm sure you can upgrade without too much hassle. I went for the larger ones but they come in smaller sizes. Maybe I'm being paranoid but I had to go with the expert advice I was given. Check them out...
https://admerch.com.au/product/gtr02...ate-wheel-set/
https://admerch.com.au/product/canti...-heavy-series/
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:01 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Franco,
You have certainly covered your butt purchasing these wheels! The expense to me seems excessive for what I'm trying to achieve - your design may be different and warrants this decision however. In the attached image you will see what I went with. They are rated to carry 250kg each and with 4 wheels each side spanning the 4m skilion roof (8 in total therefore) I believe it should suffice. The design of my ROR is protected from the prevailing westerly wind by the pitched shed roof and in terms of lateral movement I don't think shear would enter the equation enough to worry about. The 50mm heavy duty steel angle contains the wheels bordered by the hardwood beams and there is little slack sideways for it to buckle over. Basically they are all contained in a straight line and should be right(I'm not an engineer but reason holds up I hope ).

With all four turnbuckles holding the roof down and contained by 6 uplift heavy duty brackets it ain't going to move too much...

Franco - I do support your line of thinking however and peace of mind is paramount, and with your choice of rolling stock you will undoubtably have zero issues to be concerned about. Thanks for your input and sharing your ideas , will be keeping an eye with your progress.
Anth
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