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Post a pic. of your observatory!

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#1426 Sketcher


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Posted 31 March 2019 - 05:22 PM

Here's a picture of my (old) roll-off-roof observatory.  This is a recent photo, taken in March 2019; but this observatory hasn't been used in a while.  My wife says I haven't used it in 10 years.  She could be right!  Before making it a two-story structure, Halley's Comet was observed from within the same (though lower) walls.


Before building (or more precisely, remodeling) it, my wife wanted a storage shed.  I wanted an observatory.  A compromise was reached.  The lower floor is a storage shed (my snow plow, among other things, live there).  The upper level is an observatory -- built with low-magnification comet-hunting in mind, so there was no need for a firmly-rooted pier.


The name, "Rattlesnake Observatory", was earned one night when I disturbed a rattlesnake as I ran from the observatory to the house to grab a few items -- a small price to pay for a dark sky. smile.gif


Sketchers Roll Off Roof Observatory 2
This next picture is the structure I refer to as "The Colosseum".  It's a versatile, open-air observatory.  I keep it clear of snow and ice, so it's open for use on any clear night  -- with any telescope I care to make use of.
Sketchers Colosseum Open Air Observatory 2


Both photos were taken on the same date; but I don't recall just how old either structure is.  We've lived here a while! smile.gif

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#1427 Ettu


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Posted 02 April 2019 - 11:36 AM

I recently posted the following elsewhere in a different topic, but it seems more appropriate here with everyone else's, So, Posted here with better explanations and eliminated unnecessary pictures


I built this for visual, for under $2,000. Including the PV. But I had to provide all the labor.
It was originally intended for a 16" dob with the possibility of a  20", but as you'll notice I ended up with a 14" SCT. Which it also works well for.


I specifically wanted to address several problems that I saw with my friends ROR


1: It got too hot inside - especially the big Dob mirror. So this is more open to natural air flow than usual, The two main features being a gap slated floor and an unusually overhung roof to protect a full length under eve's gap, well recessed and screened, that is resistant to even driven rain and snow.
2:Seemed like wasted space where the ROR went. So I added the "extra" structure. Much appreciated storage, and a dew protected area..
3: With a traditional 4' wall to the south, I couldn't see many important objects, such as the Trifid or Lagoon, or anything else below Dec -15. That had to change, or it wasn't worth it, hence the doors instead of a wall to the south, Strategically placed to afford minimum visual interference when in use.
4: I couldn't afford to get power to it at a reasonable cost, PV was cheaper, so had to be figured in. Later, I did bring electric to it, but it was added convenience not necessity
5: Ground thermals are often a problem with Dobs, causing self inflicted poor seeing, so I wanted above avg height from the ground. The open doors and slated floor drain and eliminate all thermals.
6: Many traditional ROR's have part or all of the south end triangle as a necessary structural component, which means it shears off anything inside that sticks up much beyond wall height. that had to change. Latter needed for the SCT anyway. Also with clear span head room, I could lower the side walls on which the ROR rode, making more sky available for a floor mounted dob.
7: I also put part of the side wall as part of the roll off roof, again helping lower the side walls for more available sky E & W
8: I wanted tracks that would be impervious to ice or snow, so shielded, underslung, "barn door" tracks, which I'm familiar with, were a necessity.


Visual Observatory 4 rz2.jpg

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#1428 Ettu


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Posted 02 April 2019 - 12:11 PM

This is my photographic observatory,
It cost me less than $1000 for the wood, siding, anchorage, and hardware. I built it myself. Quite simple, pretty self explanatory, easy to do.
It cost a little more than another $1000 for trenching in 250' of electric supply,  internal wiring, breakers, outlets, grounding, and lights. It's open enough that I did much of my Astronomy League Binocular and other open sky programs from here while photo's accumulated.
It's an 8'x8' "observatory" area. If I had it to do over again I Might go 9x9. In either case, for best utilization, offset the pier toward the front as far as reasonable.
The storage room is 8x4. It's okay but If I did it again, I'd make it 8x6, maybe more. I originally intended to use that area as a warm room, but it is just easier and more practical to set up a table directly in the 8x8 area, (there's room) and if I want to be warm, remote operate from the house, with a web cam to keep an eye on things.
Keeps the wind off amazingly well, accept from the south, no problem cooling, plenty of open sky... more than the vertical wall config picture might appear to give. If it's calm out, then I can open the sides beyond vertical and have all the sky that's practical to photograph. When the walls are upright it helps surprisingly well against dew too (a problem here).
I keep my whole rig out here year round. I do put a small tarp over the rig and another over the  pc table when not in use, because hard wind driven rain or snow can get in.
I recently added some linear actuators for the 2 walls and end piece. So now I can remotely open and close it too.
It has and continues to serve me well. If anyone wants more detail feel free to msg me.


obsrv closed rz2.jpg  Obsrv Open rz2.jpg

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#1429 PABresler


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Posted 07 April 2019 - 01:56 AM

I have a roll off shed in progress. It will be on a concrete slab with C channel tracks. I ordered a 7' x 7' Suncast plastic shed for about $700.00. The rest of the construction costs could hit $2000.00. I am getting too old to do the heavy work myself, just the design. Although not really essential, I am devising an electric cabling system to move the shed. I already modified a Harborfreight winch which cost me $50.00. I had to add a center wheel to separate the two cables. The concrete pier is done. I will use a Starizona adapter for a CGEM mount. I probably will use this mostly with a Bresser 152 mm. No cold or snow on central coast CA. although it can get foggy in summer. I was thinking of getting an electric blanket for the scope?




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#1430 kellyvictoria


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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:21 PM

That is quite a beautiful vista you have there. Breathtaking, enjoy ...

Edited by kellyvictoria, 07 April 2019 - 02:22 PM.

#1431 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 05:31 PM

Hi Kelly,


Like your user pic.  I actually picked up a framed copy of that print about a month ago.  Still haven't gotten around to hanging it, but it's a great piece!  Also matches your comment!  =)



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#1432 kellyvictoria


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Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:39 PM

Well, you have good taste.


Peter Taylor Quidley, born 1945, on Boston's Beacon Hill 

American Portraitist, he is largely self taught. 



#1433 glencoe91


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Posted 15 April 2019 - 12:42 PM

Meade LX200 ACF 14"
Not my personal observatory or scope, but I am responsible for it now.  I have become very protective and attached to it this year.  Built in 1987 and ignored for a long time, the scope was replaced 6 years ago and sat unused till this past Sept.  Rebirth is a beautiful thing!

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#1434 Stevegeo


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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:24 PM

Added a couple of signs I picked up in Roswell NM  UFO museum for the door of my observatory named 

Area 3751. ( The address of the observatory).

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