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Old 30-03-2022, 04:40 PM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Convert a plastic shed into a ROR

A short while ago, I said I would document the process of converting one of these plastic sheds into a compact ROR for use at my suburban location.

Here goes:

The shed is a Keter ďDarwinĒ 4 x 6 (made in Israel and sold by Bunnings for $829 plus $90 shipping. It took only about 3 hours all up to put together and I was able to do it myself except for getting the last roof panel in place which required a second set of hands.

The external width is just 1250 and the available internal (after the mods I will be making) will be just a smidgen under 1100 after I install framing for the rails and runners so it will be a tight fit for a lot of scopes. I hope it will take my 8 inch newt which has an OTA of 900mm length. Overall height to the apex of the roof is 2050mm so I will probably need to define a horizontal home position for the longer scope.

I wonít progress to the next phase until the rollers I have on order from Amazon turn up which could be up to 3 weeks.

Iíll post some more when they turn up.

Iíll attach some before-and-after pics so you can see the space constraints I am working with.
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Last edited by pmrid; 30-03-2022 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 30-03-2022, 05:55 PM
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Following this thread with great interest!
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  #3  
Old 30-03-2022, 06:19 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
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This is very interesting, Im looking now to do something similar. I notice you have it on a concrete path. I found in my situation, with the same concrete pathway, that what appears like separate slabs is just a continuous pour path with 10mm slots cut in it which Im thinking is enough stable mass just to bolt a pier to the path instead of a tedious 1 m or so cubic separate concrete block for the pier. What are you going to do?.
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Old 30-03-2022, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassnut View Post
This is very interesting, Im looking now to do something similar. I notice you have it on a concrete path. I found in my situation, with the same concrete pathway, that what appears like separate slabs is just a continuous pour path with 10mm slots cut in it which Im thinking is enough stable mass just to bolt a pier to the path instead of a tedious 1 m or so cubic separate concrete block for the pier. What are you going to do?.
Yes Fred. A bolt-down pier with a 300x300 base into a 100mm path and concrete apron should be quite adequate for scopes of my size. I hope.
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Old 31-03-2022, 11:48 AM
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Looking good Peter, looks like a great solution for your space there In regard to what Fred is saying, I think many of us who won't actually spend much time near our scopes, over engineer our support piers If on the other hand you plan to walk around while your scope is imaging or indeed look through it, while standing on the same bit of concrete, well, that's a little different and while a monolithic monstrosity may not be required, I think good isolation from your feet and body weight is indeed a good idea, I've seen the effects of not doing this

Mike
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Old 31-03-2022, 01:05 PM
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Gíday Mike. I have a sure-fire solution to those ďwalking around bluesĒ. Itís called ASiair Plus. Iím a convert - brought about mainly because I have become a comfort-seeking armchair imager. 😁😁
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Old 31-03-2022, 01:34 PM
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Gíday Mike. I have a sure-fire solution to those ďwalking around bluesĒ. Itís called ASiair Plus. Iím a convert - brought about mainly because I have become a comfort-seeking armchair imager. 😁😁
Cool... I look forward to choosing a new armchair

Mike
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Old 31-03-2022, 02:35 PM
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Looks like a good, affordable compromise given the limited space. If worst comes to worst, you could hire a concrete cutter to make a hole and allow for isolation of your pier from the slab around it (hopefully, the shed will cover the unsightly bits).

Are you planning on rolling off just the roof, or, since it's plastic, rolling the whole thing away on tracks? It looks a bit too small for a ROR.
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Old 31-03-2022, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkArts View Post
Looks like a good, affordable compromise given the limited space. If worst comes to worst, you could hire a concrete cutter to make a hole and allow for isolation of your pier from the slab around it (hopefully, the shed will cover the unsightly bits).

Are you planning on rolling off just the roof, or, since it's plastic, rolling the whole thing away on tracks? It looks a bit too small for a ROR.
Interesting idea but it hadn’t occured to me. Being a bit wise after the event, I don’t think the plastic structure would have enough structural integrity without 4 walls holding it together.
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Old 31-03-2022, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
Looking good Peter, looks like a great solution for your space there In regard to what Fred is saying, I think many of us who won't actually spend much time near our scopes, over engineer our support piers If on the other hand you plan to walk around while your scope is imaging or indeed look through it, while standing on the same bit of concrete, well, that's a little different and while a monolithic monstrosity may not be required, I think good isolation from your feet and body weight is indeed a good idea, I've seen the effects of not doing this

Mike
well yes, correct. ive had both isolated and non-isolated piers. At long FL anyway, you wouldnt want to walk on any non-isloated concrete near a pier, its bad. Im not intending to because of this. Interestingly, itelescope has just one gigantic god knows how thick concrete slab at its siding spring Obs and its fine. no one stomps around on it though (while imaging).

Last edited by Bassnut; 31-03-2022 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 02-04-2022, 01:36 PM
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Well, baby steps perhaps but Iím not going to rush it either. The base plates on both sides are in and bolted down to the concrete. Also, the top plates (which will hold the track for the rollers) on both sides are also in. Iíll install base and top plates at the end this afternoon. When I recover Iíll think about somer vertical supports also but Sunday tomorrow and Iíd better focus on domestic harmony.

EDIT: Domestic harmony on hold! More framing instead. See added pics.
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Last edited by pmrid; 03-04-2022 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 06-04-2022, 10:28 AM
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OK! Next steps:

The pier arrived yesterday so the pressure is on.

Today, I have started the frame of the external rails. The support posts are 100x100 treated pine sitting in a plastic stirrup. At this stage, I am undecided about how to fix that into the concrete. By the time I have finished, it should weigh about 80 Kgs and be anchored to the shed frame itself,. So it may not be necessary.

I have made saddles into which the rails are fastened and those in turn are bolted into the shed frame. Pretty solid. The rails are a bit under 2000 long and are 70x45. To stiffen them up a bit, I will fasten a 1800 length of 25mm angle iron underneath. That should prevent any warping, I hope.

Iíll fit some cross-bracing between the end posts and that should prevent any tendency to wobble about.



.
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Old 06-04-2022, 12:07 PM
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Cross-braced and screwed into position.

In the middle of this, my EQ6 fell over with a mighty crash. I don’t know whether it suffered any internal damage but with my luck ….. the ‘ crash’ happened the day after my pier arrived. How about that for luck!
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Old 07-04-2022, 11:45 AM
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OK! Thatís as far as I can go for the moment. The angle iron rail bracing is in and the T-track is ready. Just waiting for the rollers to arrive now and the Amazon delivery estimate is any time in the next 20 days. No idea where theyíre coming from.
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Old 07-04-2022, 04:55 PM
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This is all looking good Peter, excellent work!
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Old 07-04-2022, 05:06 PM
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Looking like a real observatory there Peter

Sorry to hear about the mount, hope it isn't damaged, have you inspected it yet?

Mike
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Old 07-04-2022, 07:22 PM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Ö, have you inspected it yet?

Mike
Not yet. TBH, Iím a bit afraid to.
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Old 07-04-2022, 07:53 PM
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Not yet. TBH, Iím a bit afraid to.
I understand, I'd feel the same
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:23 PM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Well Mike, it seems the mount has suffered some internal damage - probably a mixture of mechanical and electrical. I donít know whether to laugh or cry. After all the planning, effort and expense of building the ROR, to have the mount fall over onto concrete seems just too bloody cruel.

Iíll just have to do a full strip and rebuild and hope the problem reveals itself along the way.
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:37 PM
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Well Mike, it seems the mount has suffered some internal damage - probably a mixture of mechanical and electrical. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. After all the planning, effort and expense of building the ROR, to have the mount fall over onto concrete seems just too bloody cruel.

I’ll just have to do a full strip and rebuild and hope the problem reveals itself along the way.
Ah, sorry to hear that Peter, that's bad news do you have accidental damage cover in your insurance? I have always had this because of my astro gear, in case of a dropped mount, telescope or CCD camera etc or any other potential way of accidentally damaging expensive gear.

Mike
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