Shelter Construction

I never thought I would get it done, and if it weren't for the help of some friends, i'd still be thinking about when to do it.

Thanks goes to grolleg on IRC for the ingenious rail system! It made the engineering hassles of a rolling roof easy and the roof rolls open and close with ease as it glides smoothly across the tracks.

Panther, another friend, helped me construct the roof for which I knew nothing about and would have never completed it if not for him.

You can see the support system underneath.  Yes, it's not your imagination, the roof is crooked and that was a result of the foundation being crooked which is too long of a story to explain.

The roof weighs about 200 lbs and is made of all wood, and asphalt shingles.

I never knew construction could be so detailed and time consuming. I spent many an evenings after work getting this all done and a few 12 plus hour days.  That's for the roof, the rest was easy in comparison.

Lesson learned, a well planned and laid foundation will save you a ton of headaches.

The completion of the roof means EverStar can open and close within mere minutes.

This is critical to a hard core observing program and will ultimately allow me to accomplish a greater amount of imaging.

This is a side view. There are a few little paint details that remain to be completed. The front hatch was an interesting challenge as security considerations and inward facing hinges were essential.

The shelter has 5 different locks and an alarm system.

The patio allows convenient access to the locks and eases opening and closing the shelter.

Here you can see that the hatch actually folds inward on a double hinge system. 

This allows it to completely fold out of the scopes way.

I will probably do a little more work on this as my construction was rather poor for it.

Once the shelter is unlocked the roof simply slides back on the tracks.

An elaborate series of boards and flashing keeps the shelter storm proof.

I also plan on designing a lighting shield in the inner hollow of the roof to shunt stray electrical current to ground.

I have seen many scopes and computers fried by lightening.

These pictures show some of the construction fun.

The one above shows the pre installation for the rail system.

Grolleg designs and sells these systems for a modest cost.  You can visit his site at

www.frogpondobservatory.c om/products.html

Grolleg's rail system and detailed instruction manual covers the roof building process in detail.

It saved me many headaches and as you can see above, the roof came out pretty nice.