AN OBSERVATORY I COULD AFFORD
After more than a few hours on the internet, and and reading Chanan Greenberg’s article: (http://www.aanc-astr...lOffRoofObs.pdf),
I decided the Arrow Newport 10 ft. x 8 ft. Steel Shed would be appropriate for my purpose. It’s low profile roof is light, and the cost–from Home Depot–is attractive. The Arrow shed (with the addition of an interior wood frame) could hold both my Meade LX200 Maksutov and my Celestron EdgeHD 1100 on steel piers, and still leave plenty of space for accouterments.
With the exception of having very patient wife, Terry, occasionally lend a hand to hold a measuring tape or an inaccessible fastener, I put the whole thing together with the help of a dozen Irwin clamps and a few hand tools.
Not including my time or sales tax, the observatory building alone cost me $1,299.59 with the electrical installation adding $135.07. I am planning to paint the roof white (Henry 287 Solar-flex) which will add another $30. New Mexico gained $114.24 in the process.
Would I do this again? Probably. The thousand-plus screws and bolts notwithstanding, assembly just took time, a drill and an ice pick. The manufacturer’s instructions are adequate and clear–available on the Home Depot site if you’re interested. No unusual problems to solve.
Here in the desert our average annual rainfall seldom exceeds nine inches (9") and lately it’s been less. On a sunny day the building is an oven (therefore, the white roof), but when it rains, it leaks. The roof isn’t the problem; water leaks through the side panel’s overlaps and at the panels’ base. Between the Henry 208R Rubberized Wet Patch and several tubes of silicone caulk, I think I have the leaks plugged. The ubiquitous dust is another problem, but the cover shells Terry made for each ‘scope minimize the dust on the instruments.
Finally, I mention this to prove that an individual with limited resources (and a bunch of Irwin clamps) can build an adequate observatory enclosure. If questions occur, my email address is email@example.com.