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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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mitaccio
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/17/09

Loc: Oahu, Hawaii
Portable Observatory options?
      #5635862 - 01/21/13 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?

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: mitaccio]
      #5635959 - 01/21/13 11:30 PM

There is also a tent/observatory, Here.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5636308 - 01/22/13 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


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: mitaccio]
      #5636338 - 01/22/13 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.

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mitaccio
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/17/09

Loc: Oahu, Hawaii
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: JJK]
      #5636654 - 01/22/13 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.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: mitaccio]
      #5636675 - 01/22/13 11:20 AM

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

-Dan


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mitaccio
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/17/09

Loc: Oahu, Hawaii
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5636854 - 01/22/13 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.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: mitaccio]
      #5636903 - 01/22/13 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


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stkoepke
sage
*****

Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Abilene, Texas
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5638015 - 01/22/13 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...


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Bob Riggs
sage
*****

Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: stkoepke]
      #5670304 - 02/09/13 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.austinkayak.com/products/10041/Eureka-Solar-Shade-Large.html
It has limited use for more than a wind (breeze) break and gear storage, but I'm finding it useful.


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: Bob Riggs]
      #5676066 - 02/12/13 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


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palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: JMW]
      #5685280 - 02/17/13 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.

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DNTash
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/02/07

Loc: GMT+2
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: palmer570]
      #5709979 - 03/03/13 06:06 AM

Quote:

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.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Portable Observatory options? new [Re: DNTash]
      #5710450 - 03/03/13 11:27 AM

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

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