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Charlie HeinAdministrator

Reged: 11/02/03

Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
A Tale of Two Observatories new
      #5533562 - 11/22/12 09:07 AM

A Tale of Two Observatories

By Tom Bryant

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super member

Reged: 03/26/07

Loc: Perth Western Australia
Re: A Tale of Two Observatories new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5534942 - 11/23/12 07:22 AM

Good review, great to hear what in practice worked for you and what did not.


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Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: A Tale of Two Observatories new [Re: Wol]
      #5535796 - 11/23/12 04:03 PM

Thank you for a good opinion of each observatory. That is very helpful. I am planning on a POD within the next year. The POD seems more up my alley. I want the feeling of being more out in the open but still having protection.

Linda B.

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: A Tale of Two Observatories new [Re: Agatha]
      #5539128 - 11/25/12 05:26 PM

Thanks for the objective review, nothing like having someone who had both to do a review. A friend was considering a Pod but I will direct him to your review before he makes his final decision....thanks

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Reged: 09/02/09

Loc: Central CT
Re: A Tale of Two Observatories [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5540648 - 11/26/12 04:48 PM

I purchased Tom's Pod and can attest to the ease of assembly/disassembly & transport. I can also attest to the amount of water that would find its way into the Pod during rainstorms . But this was remedied with two tubes of Lexel sealant - this same pod rode out Superstorm Sandy without a drop of moisture finding its way inside.
My yard is ringed with trees and other obstructions, so zenith is a big part of my available sky. I had hoped that by offsetting the pier from center that my GEM-mounted C11 would be able to look "around" the overhanging dome, but it did not work out that way. My solution was to home-brew a platform out of dimensional lumber that mimics the PZT, complete with Quick Release brackets from Skyshed. Even with the few extra minutes to reposition the dome my setup and teardown time is a tiny fraction of the time I was spending carting gear up and down my basement stairs. This dome is the single best accessory I own for getting me time at the eyepiece.
I cannot argue that the POD provides the same level of protection from light and weather as the Explora-dome. But I like the open air feel of the Pod - it's everything I enjoyed about observing without an obs, minus the drudgery of setup and teardown. Color me happy!

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