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Portable observatories

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#1 Zeta_Reticuli

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:21 AM

I am thinking about constructing a portable observatory using PVC pipes and tarps. Does anyone have pictures or links to portable observatories so I can get ideas on how to construct one? There is a review of Cover Your Astro portable observatory on this site. However, it seems the plans are no longer available for sale. I think I can contrcut that observatory just by looking at pictures.

Cover your astro:

http://esmithonline....observatory.JPG

I like the design. The crossbar across the opening will probably annoy me. Maybe I can contruct it without the crossbar???

I could always just construct panels. It may be simpler. Here is an example:

http://www.boulderas...tory_panels.jpg

Any links, suggestions, or more pictures will be very helpful. I just want something transportable that I can take to my dark sky site to block wind, dew, and ground light.

#2 nikao

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:40 AM

Why not buy something like this? It's so cheap you can hardly save any money building it yourself I guess..
http://www.ebay.co.u...cafaeb88&_uhb=1

#3 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:13 AM

I have a set of PVC & canvas panels similar to your picture and they do a great job of blocking light and gentle breezes. They are roughly 4 feet across, and I have 12 of them, which gives me enough room to maneuver around the scope.
The crossbar to maintain an opening is a pain due to its height, but you have to somehow link the two ends of the panel chain together for stability. Those panels are equally adept at blocking light and catching the wind, although if you could somehow guy them to the ground that would eliminate the need for attachment.

#4 csa/montana

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:24 AM

For light block panels, see this sticky; and scroll down:

Light Block panels

An observing tent is also available:

Link

#5 MisterBill

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:36 PM

Cover your astro has moved to:

http://www.oocities....a01/buildit.htm

EDIT: Sorry, I think this might be dead.

Bill

#6 Retsub

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:58 PM

Zeta: Look around for Joe Gafford in Denver,Co. He built something like the first pic and has used it for years. I can't get to my stuff right now or I would help more. *BW*

#7 mrlovt

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:37 AM

You can move the "header" across the opening upwards, into the "ceiling", and move the observing window to the opposite side. Removing that pipe completely will leave the structure wobbly, especially if you use lower-diameter PVC. I wouldn't do this with anything less than 1.25" high-pressure (lighter and stiffer) PVC.

#8 Mike E.

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:50 PM

Have a look on Yahoo Groups for the "Questar Users Group".
See "Folding Observatory by Ron Ravneberg", its on the last page of "photo albums"; 10 detailed photos, a nice panel setup. :cool:

Sorry, I can't seem to post a link.

#9 Snaproll

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:20 PM

My first one was a modified deer hunting blind, one of those popup things.

#10 Zeta_Reticuli

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:52 PM

Thank you everyone for the help. I will digest all of this information!

#11 Glen A W

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:04 PM

Main thing is to keep it very simple. I once bought plans fora tarp and tubing observatory. It looked like it would take hours to assemble in the field. Enthusiasm goes fast for construction projects every time you take a scope out! good luck ! GW

#12 Phil Sherman

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:52 PM

Why not buy something like this? It's so cheap you can hardly save any money building it yourself I guess..
http://www.ebay.co.u...cafaeb88&_uhb=1


I've been looking for something like this for use when I have my scope set up for a week or two at a dark site. I was looking for a place to buy one in the US and discovered that I had a brand new one, from our camping days, sitting in the hall closet!

Thanks for a great idea.

Phil

#13 EricRemy

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

Here's mine.
Posted Image
Pannels are made of wood with black plastic 6 mil poly available at the home depot. Sections consist of two pannels connected with hinges with the pins removed. I replaced the pins with bent 4 inch nails. Price for the 6 pannels is less than 100 bucks.They are very lightweight and do the job blocking unwanted light pollution. Dimensions are 3 x 6 for the small pannels and 3 x 7 for the center one.Pannels are lightweigt and can be folded for storage.

#14 donnie3

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

eric, very nice job on the panels. im thinking about making some myself. just a few questions, what type of wood did you use and how did you secure the corners, nails, glue or other. has the panels warped, i know screen doors made of wood keeps its shape fairly well. thanks, donnie

#15 EricRemy

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

I use ordinary pine wood 2 inches by 3/4 inch strips glued together(1 1/4 inch sandwich) to make a frame that is 3 feet large by 6 feet high. I then cut out 3/4 inch wood strips that i place inside the frame to hold the poly in. I use staples to hold it in place and this also allows me to apply tension to the plastic to get rid of wrinkles.I store them in a shed so I did not apply any kind of finish. This is a temporary solution until I buid a rolloff observatory. Hope this helps.

#16 donnie3

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:47 PM

eric, thanks very much. i would like to observe on my driveway but all the boogieman lights and street lights makes it almost impossible. with the light panels it might be possible. thanks again, donnie

#17 norton67

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

Yep thats mine now but works great.

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#18 Bill Cowles

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Mine is a portable "Outhouse". :smirk:

Bill

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