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Old 18-02-2024, 04:34 PM
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rat156
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An observatory is born

Hi All,

Finally finished the roll off roof mechanism.

Even though there's no scope or mount in the obs, with the roof functional I'm happy to say it has been born and needs to be named.

I think I'm going with Eaglehawk Observatory, I know it's close to Mike's Eagleview, but my street is Eaglehawk. Who knows,maybe Mike will get lost one day and visit!

Details of the build to follow, but to start with it's a standard Stilla wooden shed, 3 x 2 m. The roof doesn't completely roll off to the South, but there's only a narrow window between my house and the double story next doors place, and it's South, so with the exception of transient phenomena if it's that low, I should be imaging at another time of the year.

Now for the fun part,getting the scopes and mount in and running!

Cheers
Stu
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  #2  
Old 18-02-2024, 07:15 PM
Leo.G (Leo)
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That looks impressive Stu!
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Old 19-02-2024, 08:30 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Lovely Stu, looks like it will do the job. Re the name, my observatory gets called Eaglehawk quite regularly by others and even Eagles Lair too occasionally Love to visit too, and you up here too mate

Mike
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Old 20-02-2024, 03:21 PM
LonelySpoon (Neville)
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Great job Stu.

Blends in well with the garden, too.

The fitting out is a heap of fun.

Looking forward to more build details

Cheers,

Neville,
LSO
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Old 12-03-2024, 06:32 AM
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alan meehan (Alan)
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looks great stu well done
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Old 13-03-2024, 08:14 AM
LonelySpoon (Neville)
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Hey, Stu,


Can I use your pictures in my NACAA presentation on alternatives to the dome?

Cheers,

Neville
LSO
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Old 14-03-2024, 09:10 AM
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Looks very neat and tidy and functional.

Greg.
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Old 20-03-2024, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelySpoon View Post
Hey, Stu,


Can I use your pictures in my NACAA presentation on alternatives to the dome?

Cheers,

Neville
LSO
Of course.
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Old 20-03-2024, 12:30 PM
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Hi All,

Finally got around to taking some pictures of the roof mechanism and observatory in general.

The rails for the roof are sliding gate rails and the rollers are the matching ones. They are from Bunnings. They are attached to the long axis of the roof and the rails are mounted to beams which are mounted to the internal frame of the walls, they extend through the walls and stabilise the top of the structure. This is required as the roof would normally be screwed into the top of the walls and do the stabilisation. The wheels are attached by two furniture screws and knobs. With this arrangement I can lower the roof back down onto the walls when not in use as I can pivot the rollers out of the rails and out of the way.

The whole roof is lifted using Viking Hands, placed under a support in the centre of the roof frame at either end. Once it is high enough for the rollers to clear the rails, I can swing them into position and lower the roof onto the rollers and roll it off. The roof is then clamped into this position. The roof can also be clamped in a partially open position (when I'm doing solar stuff), or fully closed but not lowered. Otherwise it is only held on by gravity!

A Bunnings set of shelves converted into a bench provides most of the storage. I tried a stainless steel bollard for a pier, but it is not stable enough, or high enough, so I'll have to get one built.

The whole shebang is powered by two Bluetti power packs, should be enough to run an overnight imaging run with two cameras. I bought a 200 W solar panel from Supercheap Auto (not the portable one in the picture below) and have that bolted to the roof to charge these during the day. As a backup I can run a power lead there if they don't charge from the sun.

I have a wireless mesh node in the observatory which connects well into the house wifi and then this is used to run the Eagle 4 on scope computer.

If anyone has better ideas for the lift mechanism, I'm all ears. I was going to use a lever mechanism, but this was beyond my engineering skills.

Cheers
Stu
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Old 21-03-2024, 01:56 PM
Leo.G (Leo)
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I have no idea what "Viking Hands" are and searching only gave me tattoo hand images. I'm guessing they are the spring loaded clamp looking things that lift the roof?


My idea may be stupider than most but could you use a concentric cam type system to lift the roof?
Either attached to a long lever you manually pull around to provide the leverage or even some sort of motorised system to rotate them. A motor would likely require gearing to provide enough torque.

A simple scale system to weigh the required lifting effort, 1 Newton is the same as 101.97162129779 grams.

EDIT: Sorry, I thought it was approximately 100 grams based on a 5 Newton scale I purchased recently but some STUPID conversion site this morning gave me 1KG per Newton.
I feel so stupid, at least I look the same so it's probably a great match....

Last edited by Leo.G; 21-03-2024 at 08:03 PM.
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