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Two telescopes. One observatory

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#1 Madratter

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:38 PM

As mentioned in another thread of mine, I am reviving my observatory. However, a related problem is this. I own a couple of different scopes and only one observatory. In particular I would like to use it with both my 20" f/5 Dobsonian, and 6" f/8 achromat refractor. I love both scopes but for very different things. The Dobsonian takes up a huge amount of the space when assembled, and the refractor isn't exactly small either. I could disassemble them but then that eliminates much of the appeal of an observatory in the first place. I could build a second observatory, but that is both an expense and time commitment. I could setup one some of the time and the other some of the time, and that is the most likely situation in the short run. Currently my 6" refractor is out there. Any ideas?

#2 mikey cee

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

Piggy back the 6" on the dobsonian. I piggybacked mine on my bigger scope. Makes one damn good low power wide field finder I know that!! :grin: Mike

#3 1965healy

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:26 PM

I have 2 scopes in my 8x10 Obs 8" CPC on a pier and a CG-5GT that carries newts or refractors. No Dob. Great scopes but floor space in my little Obs is limited.

#4 Loren Toole

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

I've tried to deal with this by designing a multi-purpose pier. See photo below... this is the view before my dome was mounted on the wooden platform which surrounds the pier.

The "box" is attached to cement blocks forming the pier, it serves as a platform to mount my 12.5" dob (still under construction). I will add a plywood sheet which fits over the four vertical mounting blocks in the frame. Currently I am using a refractor with this pier, which is mounted to the rectangular "plug" shown in the center. Basically the pier consists of a 5x7 box, 39 inches long, which mates to my CG5 GEM. It slips over the plug and bolts directly to the floor of the pier box. So, if this works as planned, I'll be able to switch between a center-mounted pier and a support frame for the dob... still to be tested, but my way of providing more mounting flexibility.

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#5 Loren Toole

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

Here's a view of the 5x7 wooden refractor pier extension which fits over the "plug" shown in my previous post...

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#6 Madratter

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

I've tried to deal with this by designing a multi-purpose pier. See photo below... this is the view before my dome was mounted on the wooden platform which surrounds the pier.

Bear with me, the explanation is complicated. The "box" is attached to cement blocks forming the pier, it serves as a platform to mount my 12.5" dob (still under construction). I will add a plywood sheet which fits over the four vertical mounting blocks in the frame. Currently I am using a refractor with this pier, which is mounted to the rectangular "plug" shown in the center. Basically the pier consists of a 5x7 box, 39 inches long, which mates to my CG5 GEM. It slips over the plug and bolts directly to the floor of the pier box. So, if this works as planned, I'll be able to switch between a center-mounted pier and a support frame for the dob... still to be tested, but my way of providing more mounting flexibility.


Very interesting and quite ingenious.

#7 DeanS

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:47 PM

Would be difficult unless you could build something big, like 18' x 24' or something. Backyard Observatories does some Club models that might be large enough.

I have 2 piers in a 11.5' x 11.5' area but mostly used for imaging and it is tight.

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#8 JJK

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

Dean, what size RoR observatory would you consider comfortable for a two pier setup? I'm thinking of having an imaging equipment pier and a visual/imaging pier. The largest scope on either pier would be a 175 f/8 apo refractor.

#9 Tom and Beth

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:26 AM

I have a 10 by 14 foot Obs with two piers. I swear, it seems as if the Observatory shrinks every year.

Forgive the lowres. This is the security cam

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#10 JJK

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:34 AM

I have a 10 by 14 foot Obs with two piers. I swear, it seems as if the Observatory shrinks every year.

Forgive the lowres. This is the security cam


In your 10'x14' observatory, can both scope/mounts be pointed to any part of the sky without interfering with each other?

#11 DeanS

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:50 AM

I would like to have that extra 2' in width, east to west. I use a short counter weight shaft on both my mounts which helps me walk around and not bump them. I also get a bit nervous if the scopes are pointing up and near each other.

My largest scope is the AGO on the east side, which is about 4' long. The west side is either a E160 or C9.25. With your larger refractor I would recommend at least the 14' wide, and 16' if you can do it.

BYO built a large one for a friend in Florida that super nice. http://www.stardustranch.org/ site appears down at the moment but look at Steve's observatory.

If you have a hip roof then seeing polaris is easier. I have both piers slightly north of center so I can see lower in the south. My walls are about 84" tall.

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#12 Madratter

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

I have been thinking about this further. Obviously in what I have, I can't leave them both setup. I would not be able to use the 20" scope. However, I might be able to use the 6" f/8 when the Dobsonian is setup if I point that straight up. So what I need is a way to quickly setup setup the refractor. I can squirrel the tripod into a corner, and I can probably build in a hanger for the 6" OTA. Now I just need a quick way to return the tripod to a standard position for alignment. At least I would be observing much faster than if I had to bring the stuff out from the house. And I don't have cool down issues.

#13 Alex McConahay

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

You know, it seems to me that with a big dob, you don't want an observatory. By the very essential needs of a Dob, you will want walls so low that they aren't much of walls any more when the observatory is "Open." And you won't want a "dome" over it. With a big dob, you want free, unobstructed space to crank that sucker around anytime and anyplace you want.

You will also need a larger unobstructed floor space to move the ladder around, etc......SO, you don't want to clutter the area with another pier, or whatever.

So, leave the Dob outside on a large flat area. Large enough so that you don't have to worry about where the ladder goes.

Ahhh--you say--How do I leave the dob outside unprotected? Simple, build a roll off Dobhouse. All you need is a big box on wheels. Finished observing for the evening? Lay the Dob down to the horizon, point it the right way, and roll the house over it. Close the front door, and----poof it is put away. Next time you go out, open the door, roll off the big box, and raise the scope.

We have such a dobhouse out at our club observing site in Landers, CA. It cost a couple of hundred dollars to build, counting the welding, steel, wheels, and sheeting. (Although much of the sheeting was salvaged from other construction projects in the club. ) I cannot find any convenient pictures right now, but it may be what you are looking for.

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#14 csa/montana

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

You know, it seems to me that with a big dob, you don't want an observatory. By the very essential needs of a Dob, you will want walls so low that they aren't much of walls any more when the observatory is "Open." And you won't want a "dome" over it. With a big dob, you want free, unobstructed space to crank that sucker around anytime and anyplace you want.



Sorry, I disagree. My dobservatory has 3' high walls, with one fold-down wall, and gives me excellent views; not to mention a clean, dry place in which to observe. No setting up time required, except hitting the button to open the roof. I would never have been able to have a 16" dob, without an observatory.

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#15 Tom and Beth

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

I have a 10 by 14 foot Obs with two piers. I swear, it seems as if the Observatory shrinks every year.

Forgive the lowres. This is the security cam


In your 10'x14' observatory, can both scope/mounts be pointed to any part of the sky without interfering with each other?


Absolutely. And neither scope hits a wall either ;-)

An afternoon spent with a Quad Pad (paper with 1/4 inch squares) and paper models of your scopes showing swing in Alt AND AZ, as well as your proposed wall height is one of the best bits of advice I was given.

#16 Madratter

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

I also like using the Dob from an Observatory. I have thought about going Dob House at times, but I wouldn't gain much. I don't have unobstructed horizons anyway. As long as I can see down to Polaris in the North, and as far South as the trees allow in the South (maybe 10 degrees up from horizon), I'm good.

On the other hand, If I do end up building a 2nd "Observatory" then the Dob House would certainly be the easier project.

#17 1965healy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

Don't have a Dob but I think Carols Dobservatory works well for her. IIRC she also has a refractor that she uses as well as her bino on a p-mount. Great use of a well planned space.
My 8x10 ROR has a CPC 8 on a pier/wedge that if offset to the south and west of the space and a CG5-GT that holds newts or refractors offset to the south and east of the space. I don't always use both scopes at the same time but a short counterweight shaft on the CG5 keeps things fairly compact. It gets a bit tight with a 6" newt mounted but since I do mostly visual and time things to view with the fewest contortions needed I'm pretty happy with my little space. I'll grant you that bigger would be better in a perfect world but considering my budget and available space I'm very happy with the results.

#18 kenrenard

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

Carol,
Your Observatory is pretty neat. Do you have any more pictures of it? I like the hinged wall. Just curious how it all is put together. Thanks


Ken

#19 Madratter

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:13 PM

You know, it seems to me that with a big dob, you don't want an observatory. By the very essential needs of a Dob, you will want walls so low that they aren't much of walls any more when the observatory is "Open." And you won't want a "dome" over it. With a big dob, you want free, unobstructed space to crank that sucker around anytime and anyplace you want.



Sorry, I disagree. My dobservatory has 3' high walls, with one fold-down wall, and gives me excellent views; not to mention a clean, dry place in which to observe. No setting up time required, except hitting the button to open the roof. I would never have been able to have a 16" dob, without an observatory.


Hmm. Your fold down wall folds in rather than out. I need to think about that! The people who built your observatory are Pros and I can already think of a few good reasons to do it that way. I have to admit I was thinking about folding out.

#20 StarWrangler

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

My Observatory is 9'X 6" inside dem.

I have two piers and a Vintage C8 (1970's)
and a Mead ETX PE 125 5 "

Alan O.

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#21 csa/montana

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:15 AM

Carol,
Your Observatory is pretty neat. Do you have any more pictures of it? I like the hinged wall. Just curious how it all is put together. Thanks


Ken


Yes I do; however, I'll post some soon.

#22 csa/montana

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:17 AM

You know, it seems to me that with a big dob, you don't want an observatory. By the very essential needs of a Dob, you will want walls so low that they aren't much of walls any more when the observatory is "Open." And you won't want a "dome" over it. With a big dob, you want free, unobstructed space to crank that sucker around anytime and anyplace you want.



Sorry, I disagree. My dobservatory has 3' high walls, with one fold-down wall, and gives me excellent views; not to mention a clean, dry place in which to observe. No setting up time required, except hitting the button to open the roof. I would never have been able to have a 16" dob, without an observatory.


Hmm. Your fold down wall folds in rather than out. I need to think about that! The people who built your observatory are Pros and I can already think of a few good reasons to do it that way. I have to admit I was thinking about folding out.


Folding in, is much easier for me to lower/raise it. It takes up very little room when folded down. Folding out, I would think you'd need a pully, chains attached, etc., in order to lower & raise it.

#23 Starman27

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

My observatory is a 10X15 foot split roof ROR with two piers. One holding a Meade 14inch LX200GPS and the second holding a Tax 128FS NSV. The split roof design allows me to use each side alone or open the roof as much as I need to manage wind conditions.

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#24 csa/montana

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

Carol,
Your Observatory is pretty neat. Do you have any more pictures of it? I like the hinged wall. Just curious how it all is put together. Thanks


Ken


Yes I do; however, I'll post some soon.


Here's another, as BYO is building it. No, the building is not tilting, rather the operator behind the camera :o It is however, residing on a slope.

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#25 DGB

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

You know, it seems to me that with a big dob, you don't want an observatory. By the very essential needs of a Dob, you will want walls so low that they aren't much of walls any more when the observatory is "Open." And you won't want a "dome" over it. With a big dob, you want free, unobstructed space to crank that sucker around anytime and anyplace you want.



Sorry, I disagree. My dobservatory has 3' high walls, with one fold-down wall, and gives me excellent views; not to mention a clean, dry place in which to observe. No setting up time required, except hitting the button to open the roof. I would never have been able to have a 16" dob, without an observatory.


Hmm. Your fold down wall folds in rather than out. I need to think about that! The people who built your observatory are Pros and I can already think of a few good reasons to do it that way. I have to admit I was thinking about folding out.


Folding in, is much easier for me to lower/raise it. It takes up very little room when folded down. Folding out, I would think you'd need a pully, chains attached, etc., in order to lower & raise it.

I designed my southern windows (on farm gate hardware) to swing in rather than out for all of the above reasons, plus everyone I know of (unfortunately) is only getting older... If NOT given a choice as I age enjoying my observatory, I would rather fall inside trying to push the windows closed than possibly fall outside by leaning out of the observatory pulling heavy windows/walls to their closed position. I'm a dozen feet off the ground at the southern window sill height. Simple matter of K.I.S.S. design with some heavy consequences!






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