BYO observatory with 11.6" X 11.6" dimensions. I added a foot to wall height bringing it to 7 feet. Didn't see any need to bump heads all of the time. The top 18" of the center portion of the south wall folds down. Pier is 42" holding a AP 1100GTO with a 14" SCT on top. I almost never look through the telescope and instead have a camera hooked up to my computer. When I do look through I often have to use a small stepladder, especially to reach the finderscope.
Considerations in designing pier height: I wanted to be able to:
1. See enough of the sky but not so much that you pick up distant ground lighting
2. Open/close the roof with the telescope in a stored position
3. See a distant terrestial object so as to permit calibration efforts in daytime
4. Move the telescope freely in all directions while the roof is closed, without hitting the roof.
The setup was originally designed for my CGE Pro, which sits about 6-7" higher than the AP 1100GTO. I haven't bothered to put a pier extension on the pier but I did raise the pier about 2" on the j-bolts. The setup is now a few inches below where the CGE Pro was but it seems to be fine.
One of my best decisions was to displace the pier about 1 foot south from the center of the room. Gives me more space to put a desk against the north wall and also gives more clearance over the opened roof, which opens to the north. I also hired a surveyor to help align the structure and pier so that it is within 1-2 degrees of true north. This just makes setup and polar alignment that much easier. When I set up my 1100GTO I found that I was within 1 degree of polar alignment even before starting the initial PA process.
If I were doing it again I'd built a wider observatory that could hold two piers.
Edited by MJB87, 07 January 2016 - 06:47 AM.