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Astrogizmos AstroGazer Observatory

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 07:22 AM

Astrogizmos AstroGazer Observatory

By Glen Ward

#2 JimP

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:13 AM

Nice review. Cost?

best,

JimP

#3 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:19 PM

I would give it a go, but it isn't much more to go to a skyshed pod. Lots more room there though

#4 Glen A W

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:54 PM

I had about $1600 in the observatory and several hundred more in the carpet and wiring and etc. I believe it is more expensive now, due to the increasing cost of aluminum. GW

#5 Glen A W

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:56 PM

I know what you mean, Andrew, but I actually felt more secure in the AstroGazer. It seems nice and cozy in there, with only the slit opened up. Anyone who is looking for an observatory ought to try an AG in person before making up his or her mind. It's much more solid than you'd imagine. GW

#6 rmollise

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:05 AM

I would give it a go, but it isn't much more to go to a skyshed pod. Lots more room there though


I agree. While this is a NICE observatory, with lots of room, it just doesn't suit itself to a permanent installation IMHO. And if you want "temporary" at a star party? Man, all those pieces and parts. A buddy of mine had one and loved it, but eventually just couldn't convince himself to assemble one even for four-five day plus outings. I think something like a Kendrick Observer's Tent is probably more practical, if not as nice to use. And yet...it is a very well made thing, and I like everything about it except all them pieces and parts. And even so I still think about this one from time to time; once it is up it is great.

#7 Peter D.

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:59 AM

I'm seriously thinking about one of these as a permanent observatory. A roll-off made out of a metal yard shed is less than half the price, but a lot more trouble to build and modify. I watched the Astrogizmos guy tear it down at a star party, and it didn't take more than 20 minutes (of course, he's done it a few times). I get a lot of snow (I live near Syracuse NY), but I'm relatively well protected from the wind by a line of trees on my West side.

#8 rmollise

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

You get a lot of snow? I'd think that would be a downcheck for this. I think the best choices are Pod for permanent, Kendrick tent for star parties. I grumble a lot about just putting up my EZ-up on the CAV field. :gramps:

#9 Glen A W

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:31 PM

Don't sweat that snow. It will collect only right on top, in a patch about four feet in diameter. The rest falls down the sides. It is no big deal. I know it looks like it might be, but I never had any trouble, and it went through a couple of blizzards. You can use a pool brush on a long pole to keep it clear, if need be. Also, I should point out that I never had one drop of water leakage. That actually surprised me! Glen

#10 Peter D.

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:19 PM

Thanks; the Astrogizmos guy said the same thing about the snow. I tend to agree, as long as I don't let it build up on top too long. Being flexible it will be much easier to knock the snow loose from inside. I'm more worried about leaving it up full-time all year round, snow blowing in through gaps (then melting inside), and the possiblity of water getting in around the bottom due to snow build-up along the base. Do you seal yours at the bottom somehow?

#11 Peter D.

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

Thanks; the Astrogizmos guy said the same thing about the snow. I tend to agree, as long as I don't let it build up on top too long. Being flexible material it will be much easier to knock the snow loose from inside with a few pokes from a broom. I'm more worried about leaving it up full-time all year round, snow blowing in through gaps (then melting inside), and the possiblity of water getting in around the bottom due to snow build-up along the base. Do you seal yours at the bottom somehow?

#12 Glen A W

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:02 PM

I never had any worry about snow or water blowing in. The skirt around the bottom of the dome hangs down very far and prevents that. Mine was pretty well sealed around the bottom because I cut the tarps I put on the ground about ten inches oversize all the way around and then wrapped them up onto the walls.

As for the permanent installation, you really have to gauge your winds. I would put one most anywhere so long as it is surrounded by 6 foot privacy fence and tied down well. If you put the fence in a shape like a hexagon it becomes naturally very strong, like a tube, especially if you make the joints strong with straps of steel or brackets.

You can buy the necessary fence and posts for about $300. That is what I am about to to. I live in a high wind area. In the first location, it was well shielded and there was no trouble.

I have also considered that you might install QuikCreted 2x2 treated posts at each of the uprights where the rollers are. This might be sufficient if you already have fair wind shielding.

It is perhaps not totally ideal, but to get a dome so nice and big in a conventional building costs huge money. If installed right, you won't have any worries with the AstroGazer. It had survived many thunderstorms and it took an F1 tornado to pop it. Even then, only a couple of small plastic parts were really broken. Glen

#13 john smith

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

This is something I will look into, it looks roomy enough to set up a cot and sleep in it in the morning.
John S.

#14 Glen A W

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 01:03 PM

I was able to set up a cot even with two telescopes in there. Glen






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