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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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swalker
Imaging Editor - Sky & Telescope
*****

Reged: 01/22/07

Loc: 42.9225°N, 71.2242°W
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Bob Griffiths]
      #1528404 - 04/06/07 03:42 PM

Hi Bob-
no, I got it from John Menke near Damascus in Summer 05.
It's Pro-Dome prototype #002.


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Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: swalker]
      #1528517 - 04/06/07 04:44 PM

Ok..

I just was curious...I looked around for almost 2 years for a used OBS ...and I actually am in Damascus quite a lot.. Maybe I should have told Gary at Hands On Optics to keep an ear open...

Enjoy
Bob G


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Bachus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Nashville,TN.
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Bob Griffiths]
      #1528883 - 04/06/07 08:29 PM

Quote:

Yere is My Smiling Irish Eyes Observatpry... Not quite finished, going to wait a full years to finish the inside (sept 07), as I want to see if I have any moisture or heat problems to deal with before paneling the walls etc.

Bob G.

Its an Exploardome on a 7 foot tall 10x12 elevated platform..
Total cost (electric,paint,materials platform etc = $2200 BEST accesory I ever "invested in)







Well I was going to ask if anyone has seen a elevated dome either on a roof or raised above the ground but here it is. I take it you had to get a crane to pop it up there? With the 10x12 you have, what about six or eight posts in the ground? Pretty impressive

Kenny J


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Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Bachus]
      #1528938 - 04/06/07 08:53 PM

Kenny only have 4 6x6 posts..( I do not count the 2 4x4's that form the ladder so I can climb up and in the Obs..

2x12 spaced every 12 inches & the 10x10 floor is 3/4 ply ..the last 2 feet is just regular decking and serves as a place for my wife to put Flowers on...

Dome was placed on the building by a local sign company .. They charged $120 an hour...took 20-30 minutes to do & the guy was really really enjoying it... 1st time he ever did a dome ..charged me for 30 minutes then spent 30 minutes inside just grinning...& honestly so was I.

Bob G.


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ttolla
member


Reged: 01/31/06

Loc: Guilford, CT
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: John_Gillies]
      #1529458 - 04/07/07 07:17 AM Attachment (898 downloads)

Here's mine :

8' x 14' Roll-over roof design. No track system hanging out over the building. Warm room under the lower section. It includes a 7'4" x 7'4" scope area and a 7'4"x 6' warm room.

The rest is here:

http://www.pbase.com/amateurtom/_my_astrophotography


Tom T.

Edited by ttolla (04/07/07 07:18 AM)


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Rock_Hunter
journeyman


Reged: 04/26/06

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: ttolla]
      #1529689 - 04/07/07 11:09 AM Attachment (622 downloads)

Jornada Observatory, NM

http://internet.cybermesa.com/~ddixon/

Note very few trees :-)

Edited by Rock_Hunter (04/07/07 11:14 AM)


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SleepIsWrong
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 12/07/05

Loc: Baltimore, MD
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Rock_Hunter]
      #1533738 - 04/09/07 04:32 PM



Here's a picture of the observatory I built in my back yard last summer. I live about 3.5 miles from the center of downtown Baltimore. The building is octagonal in shape with a "diameter" of eight feet, and is all wood construction, including the dome. The base of the observatory is built like a standard deck and suspended about 6" above the ground on 8 4x4 posts. I kept the floor open to allow circulation through the building, which has worked out very well. The walls are about 42" high, The dome rolls on 8 3" plastic castors, and is kept "centered" by 4 horizontally-mounted garage door pullies that ride on a thin aluminum strip which is attached to the inside wall of the building. The dome was modeled to some degree after the one housing the WYIN (sp?) Telescope at Kitt Peak. Its basically five squares and four triangles. I posted something about it last summer if you're interested in slightly more detail.

The image below shows a view through the entry door. The building houses a C14 on CGE mount. I have a small TV table that holds my laptop, which connects to the CGE as well as to main (DSI-II) and guide (DSI-I) cameras. I had planned to add a warm room to my garage which is only a few feet behind the observatory. In the end I decided to use a VNC program to control everything from the desktop computer in my study. I still have to rotate the dome myself, and must focus & change filters at the telescope. For me that's fine because I like to be in the obs next to the scope for any large slews anyway. In the second image you can see, just left of the pier, one of the 8 wheels the dome rolls on. Just left of that, near the picture's edge, you can see one of the four horizontally-mounted retaining wheels and the track it rides on.

According to my notes I used the telescope 77 nights last year. I previously had an observatory some distance NW of Baltimore in much darker skies, but the 90-minute drive each way limited my usage. I find that having something just outside the back door far outweighs the improved background that the darker site affords. The skies here are about 4.0 mag on a good night; my darker sky site was between 5.5 and 6.0.

Its definitely the very best "accessory" I've ever added! Total cost was about $2500 (including $400 to have some concrete hauled away) and took about 7 weeks to build.



Mike


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BradH
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/19/04

Loc: Spencer, Indiana
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: SleepIsWrong]
      #1534056 - 04/09/07 07:21 PM

Very nice Mike. It looks like you have gotten a lot of good use out of it already with 77 nights last year. I logged a little over 50 with my roll-off. I agree with you an observatory is the best accessory to have.

Again very nice Mike

Brad


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Jeff Young
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/04/05

Loc: Ireland
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: BradH]
      #1535361 - 04/10/07 01:10 PM

Interesting numbers. I checked, and I'm right in there with Brad: 56 nights last year.

I think I'd easily get to the 77 mark if it got dark here (54N) during the summer -- I recorded 1 night in June, none in July, and 2 in August. The rest of the year I averaged 6 nights a month -- and that's when it's cold!

-- Jeff.


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BradH
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/19/04

Loc: Spencer, Indiana
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Jeff Young]
      #1535410 - 04/10/07 01:44 PM

I can remember when I didnt have my roll-off I was luck to get out more than one time a month.

Jeff I bet you would hit close to 100 if you were a little more south. At 54N how many hours do you get of darkness in June July and August?

Brad


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Jeff Young
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/04/05

Loc: Ireland
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: BradH]
      #1535714 - 04/10/07 04:47 PM

Quote:

...

Jeff I bet you would hit close to 100 if you were a little more south. At 54N how many hours do you get of darkness in June July and August?

Brad



Brad --

A big fat zero in June or July -- you have to be happy with astronomical twilight. But it rises quite rapidly after that -- by the middle of August we're back up to 3 hours/night.

-- Jeff.


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BradH
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/19/04

Loc: Spencer, Indiana
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Jeff Young]
      #1535942 - 04/10/07 06:35 PM

I feel for you. We get around 5 hrs or so June/July and I thought that was bad.

Brad


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dbeckstrom
super member
*****

Reged: 10/29/06

Loc: Andover, MN
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: BradH]
      #1536069 - 04/10/07 07:43 PM

Here is a photo of my observatory in the construction phase.

http://www.observatorycentral.com/index.php?showtopic=435&st=40&start=40



That was last fall. I have the warming room built and everything enclosed now. I'll try and take a more current photo for y'all.


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Mick Hyde
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/22/06

Loc: Swindon, UK
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Rick Needham]
      #1537049 - 04/11/07 10:10 AM Attachment (774 downloads)

Here's my setup. This summerhouse/shed is a really good fit for the corner of the garden and my scope.
I've arranged the roof so that it splits into two halves, which can be placed either side on the remaining part of the roof. Depending on what I'm observing at the time, I can just have one half open.
When I dug the hole for the pier, the shed and flooring were already installed. I had to cut out a square in the floor and then dig the hole. It was just like 'The Great Escape'


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Richard B. Drumm
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Albemarle Co. Virginia
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Mick Hyde]
      #1538579 - 04/11/07 10:26 PM Attachment (636 downloads)

I'm still in the thinking stage, but here is where I'm at now. It's an ExploraDome on a bale feeder. I'm wrestling with how to deal with the fact that the bale feeder standard size is a tad too big for the dome. I'll have to make some sort of rainwater sheding cap or cone or something to fit in there...
Much to think about.
Register at www.observatorycentral.com and look for KISS observatory to see the whole sordid tale!
Rich


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later
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/16/05

Loc: Posen, Michigan
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Richard B. Drumm]
      #1538650 - 04/11/07 11:02 PM

Richard,

Do you happen to know what the ID of that bale feeder is?

Is that bale feeder made out of conduit?

Thanks,

Gary

ps.
I registered on that site.....awaiting approval......looks like a very good site! However I cannot find your KISS observatory.


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Richard B. Drumm
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Albemarle Co. Virginia
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: later]
      #1539229 - 04/12/07 08:47 AM Attachment (550 downloads)

The bale feeder has an 8' diameter when measured from the centerline of the pipes. I wouldn't call it conduit, exactly, it's 1 3/4" diameter galvanized. It's made by American Farmland . I got it at a local ag (agricultural) supply store here in Virginia for $125.92 with tax.

I didn't think you needed approval to register at OC... Wait a moment, I'll log in and get the URL to the KISS pages...
OK, I'm back! Here it is: KISS on OC.
Like I said in the first post on the thread: "I still don't have everything quite together in my mind just yet and hashing it out here with you guys will help me think more cogently." So I guess I'm still hashing things out and thinking, thinking, thinking!

Right now the dome is just sitting on some 2x4 blocks clamped in place temporarily. I need to see the dome in the approximate location it'll eventually occupy in order to think about the rainwater shedding issues. If the bale feeder was just a little smaller, like 6" or so, it'd be perfect.

Here's a closeup of the temporary 2x4 rig that's holding it up in the air. I'll cut off 4-6" or so of the top of this rig to make room for the wheels when I get that far along. Thank goodness I have an interior space to use!
Rich


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NeoDinian
Experienced Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/05

Loc: Rockford Illinois
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Richard B. Drumm]
      #1539565 - 04/12/07 11:33 AM

Richard is trying to build a "COMPLETE" observatory for LESS than 1 grand... For those who don't know the whole story.

Doing a great job so far BTW...


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Richard Scott
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Tampa FL
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: NeoDinian]
      #1539873 - 04/12/07 01:57 PM

"build a "COMPLETE" observatory for LESS than 1 grand"
A fine target indeed. I missed by going about 36 bucks over myself.

I will follow Rich's progress as well. Good luck big guy.

Richard


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rodney
Vendor - Explora Dome
*****

Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Asbury, NJ
Re: Post a pic. of your observatory! new [Re: Richard Scott]
      #1561155 - 04/23/07 08:05 AM Attachment (765 downloads)

Good morning gang.
Well after getting my wood delivered last Thursday morning and having that Friday off. I took advantage of the fantastic weather and put together the RVO Observatory in a day. (an 8 foot Explora Dome) Yep a day. 13 hours of cutting, hammering, sweating and grunting. Tough to get that dome up there by myself. It is an Explora Dome a top a 10 by 10 building.

Here are some pics, it is not fully complete. I am waiting until after NEAF in case there is something I pick up there that will go inside. New mount, OTA who knows.



Rodney Owens
The Explora Dome forum

Edited by rodney (04/23/07 08:44 AM)


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