I thought I would follow-up on my build after a year of use. Generally, everything has turned out great and it's getting lots of use. The roof continues to roll back and forth easily. We had one major storm this summer that took down a lot of trees in the area, as well as a barn. No damage to the observatory, but I'm glad I had safety chains attached the roof, the wind had pulled the chains tight! Using brushes to seal between the roof eave and sidewalls has worked well. It has kept blowing snow out and dust from the adjacent farmers field (harvesting of the beans is very dusty!). The height of the walls and pier, and the position of the rolled back roof, has worked out great for views of the sky - it has not hampered what I want to do in anyway.
Things I would change:
1) I used thick rubber horse stall mats for the floor in the scope area. They have shrunk slightly and now I have small gaps. The floor is hard to keep clean. I wonder too if its a bit of heat sink? Doing it again, I would use something different that is easier to keep clean. My thinking was that the rubber mats were be good in case I dropped something - still true but not even close to dropping anything so far.
2) I have two 1" PVC conduits going up the middle of the pier over to the control room. They filled quickly - no more room. Next time I would make a large channel under the floor for wiring. If I stomp on the floor, I can see some vibration through the scope. The pier is not touching the floor so I thing its through the conduits. I need to correct this.
3) In my tracking and wheels setup, I left some lateral tolerance in case the walls were not quite straight. Next time, I would tighten that up some.
4) Having a climate controlled control room is nice. However, since I ran ethernet cable back to my house, I don't use the control room much any more and do remote control from my house which works very well. An option might have been to eliminate the control room and have a second pier/mount within the same overall footprint of the building. Doing it over again, not sure if I would do that or not. The control room is still nice even though I don't use it as much.
5) I didn't design any easy accommodation for powering the roof open or close. Since my build, I have discovered and routinely use NINA software. I now use automated sequences and let them run all night while I sleep. It would be nice to automatically close the roof after the sequence is finished. I don't mind going out to open the roof and firing things up, but automatically shutting down in the early morning hours would be nice.
Overall I am very pleased with my setup. Of course having an observatory has dramatically increased the use of my equipment and accelerated my learning of astrophotography.