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Christmas present to myself

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#1 Midnight Dan

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

Well, I did it. I placed the order for a Skyshed POD, model XL5 (5 bays around the outside). When I get it installed on a raised deck, it will look something like this: http://www.skyshedpod.com

I'm finding that I just don't have enough time to enjoy the rare clear nights that come along here, especially with setup time involved. I want to do more AP and it takes me an hour to haul everything out, set it up and polar align. Then, of course it takes time for tear down too. That essentially leaves out any possibility of AP on weeknights when I have to get up the next day for work.

So I decided that if I want to be able to use my equipment with any regularity, it needs to be set up and ready to go in an observatory. And this looks like the least expensive way to go. Lots of happy customers too, so it comes with a good pedigree.

I would have waited, but they announced on their website that the prices are going up by about $500 on the first of the year. So I took the plunge! Won't be able to get it installed till later on in the summer, but the process has started!

I will, of course, post pictures when any progress occurs.

-Dan

#2 SilentKnights

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:35 PM

Now that's a Christmas present !! :jump: I hope you have clear skies and enjoy that present !!

#3 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

Wow! That will be impressive. Like to see pictures when its ready to go! Congratulations Dan .... Tony

#4 hopskipson

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:58 PM

You lucky dog :bow:! I guess you were on the really nice list. Enjoy Dan and hope you get lots of use from it.

James

#5 herrointment

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

Sounds like a winning plan Dan!

#6 dgerow

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

Congrats Dan, I am so happy for you. If anyone deserves such a nice toy it would be you. The advice and help you have given on this forum has been kind and helpful to so many including myself. You make everything so easy to understand and continue to be extremely patient with all of us. I can't wait for your " first night" report. Thanks for all you do for us!

#7 Tel

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:24 AM

Congratulations, Dan ! A decision you certainly won't regret ! Now if we could just arrange a little better weather for the coming year ......... :4

Best regards,
Tel

#8 Maverick199

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:31 AM

Congratulations! That's a necessity well served in the long run.

#9 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

LOL....
Dan what can I say besides congratulations !!
especially since the prices will continue to escalate ...

I purchased MY ED in early 2006.. and today I could not even replace the dome itself for what I paid for my entire, complete and fully functional observatory

Bottom line... I feel like I stole it...and I bet in 6 or 7 years you will look back and say the same thing..

Bob G.

#10 Skip

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

Big congrats, Dan. Keep us posted with pitures!

All the best for the new year!!! :grin:

#11 Peter9

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

Pleased as punch for you Dan

If you enjoy your P.O.D half as much as I enjoy mine, then your in for a treat.

Looking forward to the pics.

Regards. Peter.

#12 haytor

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

My congrats too Dan, like everyone else i`m looking forward to seeing some pics of your obbsey, of course now, someone will have to come up with a name for it as tradition seems to dictate, something like "Midnight skies observatory", well ok, i`m sure others will do better :rofl5:

best regards,

Tom.

#13 ghataa

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

Thanks great Dan. Very cool!

Best,

George

#14 NorskeBob

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:34 PM

Envy you - Nice Present!

#15 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

Looks like you're stocking up for retirement. Good plan, worked for me.

#16 Midnight Dan

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

Looks like you're stocking up for retirement. Good plan, worked for me.


That's the plan! Won't be able to get these kinds of expenditures approved by the CFO once the revenue stream is gone! :lol:

-Dan

#17 azure1961p

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

Dan,

you re livin the dream.

Pete

#18 jhirsch

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

Good for you Dan. I can only imagine how excited you must be. :hamsterdance:

#19 mclewis1

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

Very nice Dan.

I'll bet you'll be humming "Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me ... " (to the tune of Happy Birthday) for the next few months.

Welcome to the "dark side" ... you're going to love it.

#20 Alex Post

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:40 PM

And a Haappy New Year! When does it arrive?

Why wait till summer? Just clear out the place where you want it, rent a couple of construction heaters and a fan. Pick a day when it's not raining or snowing and the wind is not too strong. You can dry a place up in 12 hours.

It's hard to stop a train (and a dedicated astronomer ;) )

#21 Midnight Dan

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:59 PM

They said 4 to 6 weeks. But I told them that since I would not be installing till summer, they could feel free to fill other peoples' orders first if they so desired.

-Dan

#22 Alex Post

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:24 AM

You are a patient man!

#23 Midnight Dan

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:58 AM

Well, I have "issues". :grin:

These issues revolve around our local evil building inspector ... one I've had run-ins (and legal battles) with in the past. First, I want to put this thing on a raised deck. I'll have to dig footer holes that go below the front line, which is 4 feet here. That ain't gonna happen till late spring when the ground dries up and I can get my tractor and post hole digger out there.

I've had a brief discussion with the inspector regarding this installation and I can smell trouble already. He said if the structure is more than 25 square feet (it is), then it has to meet code for snow and wind load. The folks at Skyshed have not had these certified for snow and wind load and don't intend to because of the exorbitant cost. They also said they have dozens of these installed in NY state and this is the first time anyone has asked for this information. I backed off and decided to take a different tack.

In the spring, I plan to get a permit for the deck, install it, and get all the proper inspections. That's straightforward and should cause no problems. Then I'll wait 4-6 weeks, at which point the POD will appear on the deck after a weekend. At that point, the ball will be in his court. If he notices it, it will be up to him as to whether he wants to waste the town's time and money to do something about it.

And if he does, I'm pretty sure I'm covered anyway. I looked up the NY state building codes which state that a temporary structure of less than 120 square feet (which this is) does not need a permit. And it defines a temporary structure as one which is in place for less than 180 days. For this installation of the POD I'll be installing a wooden frame off to the side which allows me to push the dome off to the side for better zenith access when I need it. That means that I am completely removing the roof each time I use it. When the roof is removed, there is no longer a "building" in place. What remains is a 4' plastic fence. So that means that every time I use it, I am disassembling the building. I think that qualifies as a temporary structure.

Worst case, if he decides to push it, I'll have to go to the town board and plead my case. I don't think I'll have a problem. You know the old saying - easier to ask forgiveness than permission. :grin: BUT ... it does mean I have to be patient. :p

-Dan

#24 Alex Post

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

Dan, if he questions what this is on the deck, tell him "it's my plastic telescope cover", which it is. You can demonstrate it to him how you move it and it uncovers your gear. He will need to present you with a requirement for telescope cover permits.

You are completely correct, it's a temporary structure.

#25 hopskipson

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

Wow, I was just thinking what would happen in NYC. First I get an architect to draw up plans and get approval from the D. O. B. Pull a work permit. Install it. Get inspections and get a sign-off. Then when I need to take the roof off start all over again :tonofbricks:! Seems like a lot of effort.

James






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