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Portable Observatory options?

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#1 mitaccio

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:33 PM

I am looking to get an observatory but am active duty military and travel too much for a permanent design :sigh: So I am looking at portables. I have my eye on the AstroGizmos but worry that I am not checking out other options. Any help from those that are in the know?

#2 csa/montana

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:30 PM

There is also a tent/observatory, Here.

#3 Midnight Dan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:04 AM

Depends on how portable you mean. If you want to take it to a star party and set it up for a couple of days at a time, then an observatory/tent might be a good idea. Carol has linked one, and Kendrick sells another. The AstroGizmos is obviously much larger and more like a real observatory but also a lot more expensive.

If you want something more substantial, but can still be easily disassembled for transport when you're stationed at a new location, you might consider the Skyshed POD. It takes an afternoon to assemble or disassemble, and can be transported in a pickup truck. Check the Gallery section on their website:
www.skyshedpod.com

-Dan

#4 JJK

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:37 AM

I've used the Kendrick observing tent. It works well for SCT, Mak-Cass, and refractor (155 mm f/7 and shorter) OTAs. It was a tight fit with a 175 f/8 apo.

#5 mitaccio

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

I have been looking at getting a SkyShed POD but can't afford it, especially the shipping to my location. Eventually, once I retire from the military and own a home with space for it, I plan to get a SkyShed. But for now I need something that is much more temporary, takes up less space when torn down and hopefully costs less. I really like the idea of a dome that rotates.

#6 Midnight Dan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Yikes! I didn't realize you were in Hawaii. Yes, shipping a POD out there would cost a lot!

-Dan

#7 mitaccio

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

Yeah, shipping to Hawaii is really expensive. Ironically, where I am located is a horrible place for astronomy. Most think of Hawaii as an astronomical paradise. NOPE! Cloudy and horrible seeing most days.

#8 Midnight Dan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

I've heard that about Hawaii ... if you're not on a mountain top, above the clouds, it's not that great.

-Dan

#9 stkoepke

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

How about light blocking panels?
Easy to build, transport and store.
Inexpensive too.

Here's a link to "Links of Interest!" in the equipment section here on CN. There are a couple of posts/threads to check out.

Mine cost less than $8 per panel.
I used wood instead of PVC and bought tarps at Harbor Freight. They even have silver tarps on sale quite often.
I've also seen people use black or other dark color bed sheets to cover the frames instead of tarps.

Just a thought...

#10 Bob Riggs

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:48 AM

This might do it for you: http://www.astroshanty.com/index.html

This is an Eureka tent I'm using this winter: http://www.austinkay...hade-Large.html
It has limited use for more than a wind (breeze) break and gear storage, but I'm finding it useful.

#11 JMW

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

My roll away plastic shed is an affordable option. This allows you to secure your mount and scope and keep it out of weather. About $600 for the shed in the adjacent 48 states. Can't say about Hawaii. Here's a Cloudy Nights forum thread about my roll away shed:

http://tinyurl.com/bjyq387

#12 palmer570

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

I found this site that makes light weight domes Here . Have to search that site alittle but they make different transparancy cover and one is a light blocker. Their domes can also be set up in a open arch form.

#13 DNTash

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:06 AM

I found this site that makes light weight domes Here . Have to search that site alittle but they make different transparancy cover and one is a light blocker. Their domes can also be set up in a open arch form.


The StarBubble looks like an ideal portable setup. Thanks for the link.

#14 Raginar

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

The other imager in town built dark panels to keep the wind/light off his rig.






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