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Old 08-06-2021, 10:51 AM
RugbyRene (Rene)
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How can I automate my obs clamshell roof

Hi all,

I have been given the go-ahead form the finance and aesthetics committee to build an obs in the front garden. Due to the difficulty building on my land I have decided against a roll-on/roll-off roof and will go with a clamshell design. I've seen pretty much the exact type on this website. http://www.hnsky.org/observatory2.htm

My question relates to how I can automate the roof opening/closing instead of using cables and pulleys and manually opening and closing it. This will be good if the weather turns mid-imaging session and I'm asleep, so that the roof will close. I'm assuming I'll need some actuators but am unsure how the whole thing will come together. So am looking for some advice from the community.

Cheers

Rene
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Old 08-06-2021, 12:47 PM
glend (Glen)
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I suggest you use a light weight roofing material, like Suntuff Polycarbonate panels, which are sold at Bunnings. Much lighter than metal, can be cut with jig saws, and also comes with a 15 year warranty. Suppose to be hail resistant. I have these on my roll off roof, and it is very light to move. You can easily insulate under the panels with thin foam panels, or aluminium bath type insulation. I used foil batts.
In a design like you propose, you will need some sort of counter balance (other than just a rope) to keep the panel structure from slamming down once it reaches tipping point. Maybe a gas strut would work.
Also consider the ridge cap sealing. You can buy corrugated plastic foam pieces that can seal the corrugations against wind and water being pushed in at the ridge. I used these on my roof peak, again Bunnings has them.

Good luck
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:06 PM
RugbyRene (Rene)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
I suggest you use a light weight roofing material, like Suntuff Polycarbonate panels, which are sold at Bunnings. Much lighter than metal, can be cut with jig saws, and also comes with a 15 year warranty. Suppose to be hail resistant. I have these on my roll off roof, and it is very light to move. You can easily insulate under the panels with thin foam panels, or aluminium bath type insulation. I used foil batts.
In a design like you propose, you will need some sort of counter balance (other than just a rope) to keep the panel structure from slamming down once it reaches tipping point. Maybe a gas strut would work.
Also consider the ridge cap sealing. You can buy corrugated plastic foam pieces that can seal the corrugations against wind and water being pushed in at the ridge. I used these on my roof peak, again Bunnings has them.

Good luck
All good advice. Thanks heaps. It will be fairly sheltered but you can't be too careful with expensive equipment.
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:19 PM
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mswhin63 (Malcolm)
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Maybe you could place the roof on rollers and slide it down to the sides instead of opening up. There will be a lot less force applied to the motors in that way, although will require double up or an intricate wire cabling method of tieing up the roof panels to a single motor.

Of course, lighter material could be used to make it even easier.
The only issue will be the amount of space each side.
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Old 09-06-2021, 02:53 PM
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My "cube" is similar.
I looked at motors to open and close but found it un necessary but if you add motors you need counter weights ...however one thing I found most useful was the addition of a curtain at the front and back that is between the doors and they effectively raise the wall height to shield from wind or in my case a street light across the street....actually if you want my cube I would be prepared to gift it to you... It is only 4 x 4 x4 feet and should be easy to dismantle and reassemble.
Alex
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Old 14-06-2021, 11:02 PM
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Sunfish (Ray)
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I would be worried about the roof closing suddenly in a gust from the open position and damaging the ridge or a person. Could be lethal. . So a counterweighted soft close for that purpose and may be essential for safety.

Gas struts? And electronic door closers? At least they come pre engineered.
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Old 15-06-2021, 05:31 AM
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Yes Ray my "roof" doors have small chains so they will not drop....they also allow the roof doors to support thin cable to support the curtains.
Alex
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Old 15-06-2021, 12:54 PM
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You could use a panel lift door track outside each end to do this and a segmented door

Quote:
Originally Posted by mswhin63 View Post
Maybe you could place the roof on rollers and slide it down to the sides instead of opening up. There will be a lot less force applied to the motors in that way, although will require double up or an intricate wire cabling method of tieing up the roof panels to a single motor.

Of course, lighter material could be used to make it even easier.
The only issue will be the amount of space each side.
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  #9  
Old 17-06-2021, 01:05 PM
RugbyRene (Rene)
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I found this which looks interesting and will work in my yard.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/113316...57663274320360
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  #10  
Old 17-06-2021, 02:36 PM
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Rene
You may have missed my offer.
I will give you my 4x4x4 ft observatory if it appeals to you. It is a while since I have seen it but even if it needs some attention it would be a cheap option.
Alex
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  #11  
Old 17-06-2021, 09:07 PM
RugbyRene (Rene)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
Rene
You may have missed my offer.
I will give you my 4x4x4 ft observatory if it appeals to you. It is a while since I have seen it but even if it needs some attention it would be a cheap option.
Alex
Hi Alex,

Thanks for the offer but I'm looking at getting a shed custom built so I get exactly what I want.
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