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Observatory Security; need to some advice

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#1 SimonIRE

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 07:00 AM

Hi Friends...

Simple question; do you ever feel nervous having your observatory open all night with thousands of dollars/pounds worth of kit out in the open?

I had my first clear night last night with my new Observatory and I imaged until 1am and then went to bed. I was desperate to keep it going while asleep but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I have a number of security cameras, but I can't set the alarm if the telescope is going to be moving and I don't want security lights coming on. Combined with this, I have all kinds of night critters in my paddock that the observatory is in that a) will trigger sensors and b) I do not wish to harm.

Does this problem ring a bell with anyone and has anyone got any thoughts on measures one can take to at least reduce risk.

All I want is to be able be woken if some idiot decides to enter my observatory....

Thoughts please,

Simon

Edited by SimonIRE, 28 February 2020 - 08:22 AM.

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#2 John Rogers

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 08:58 AM

The only thing I ever worried about was the weather suddenly changing and getting rained on.  If I was worried about physical security from intruders, I might set up a light sensor that would alert me if light were suddenly detected.  I don't think a human would be working in total darkness.


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#3 ldcarson

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:17 AM

I think I might be inclined to put a ring doorbell or nest doorbell/ camera that sends your phone alarms when it detects movements.  It works great on our house and will even alert when it detects a person.



#4 kathyastro

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:32 AM

I set the alarm in my observatory any time it is unoccupied, including for unattended AP sessions, which are my normal activity these days.  There is a microswitch on the door, and a motion sensor internally.  Slewing, either of the scope or the dome,  does not trigger the motion sensor, since it is infrared and relies on body heat.

 

If the alarm were to be triggered, the interior and exterior white lights would come on, even if I have selected the illumination to red for normal use.  Yes, that means that the current frame and possibly the entire session are toast.  But it allows my interior webcams to capture his image for prosecution.  And it also means that the intruder knows he is busted. 

 

As for rain, I have two wet-leaf sensors on the observatory roof.  A single drop of water on either of them will immediately close the dome.  The session will abort when the closing dome blocks the guide star.


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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:36 AM

Depends mostly on the neighborhood. We're remote country surrounded by friendly neighbors and we all look out for each other. Average property is ten acres on up. That, and it's rural roaming dogs and guns country. Been here over forty years with never an issue, cept' for the occasional poacher... who just wants to hunt off season of off hours. And the neighbors and sheriff chase after them. Makes for a nice, cozy neighborhood!


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#6 hallelujah

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 10:00 AM

All I want is to be able be woken if some idiot decides to enter my observatory....

Thoughts please,

Simon

Get a good watch dog.

 

Stan
 


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#7 skybsd

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 11:34 AM

Hello Simon, 

 

Hi Friends...

Simple question; do you ever feel nervous having your observatory open all night with thousands of dollars/pounds worth of kit out in the open?

I had my first clear night last night with my new Observatory and I imaged until 1am and then went to bed. I was desperate to keep it going while asleep but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I have a number of security cameras, but I can't set the alarm if the telescope is going to be moving and I don't want security lights coming on. Combined with this, I have all kinds of night critters in my paddock that the observatory is in that a) will trigger sensors and b) I do not wish to harm.

Does this problem ring a bell with anyone and has anyone got any thoughts on measures one can take to at least reduce risk.

All I want is to be able be woken if some idiot decides to enter my observatory....

Thoughts please,

Simon

 

Not sure of your location - but although my place in Surrey suburbia is blessed with a relatively large garden, its bordered on all sides by actual neighbours. So in terms of risk of burglar activity, its not something I worry about. 

 

I'm visual-only, but what I can say is that in all the times I've been out there (at times through to 5:00 AM)  - the only intrusions I've had to deal with were never humans, but foxes or neighbourhood cats!

 

Its certainly prudent for your to consider the safety of your property, hope you find a solution soon! 

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd 



#8 rimcrazy

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 12:21 PM

Bats thinking my open observatory would be a nice new home is more of a concern than a robber.  The observatory has double steel doors that are locked and while the dome slit could allow someone in it would be a significant effort to do so.



#9 macdonjh

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:28 PM

I worry more about vandalism than burglary.  I can imagine some thief breaking into my observatory looking for power tools and smashing my glass in frustration thinking, "What the #@%&* am I gonna do with this junk?"



#10 iwannabswiss

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 07:54 PM

Is it a normal size door?  Can you not put a lock on the door?

 

That's what we've got.  You could always get a Hikvision camera.  They allow you to control the IR and have motion detection, which can email you if something is detected.



#11 RaulTheRat

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:16 PM

Movement sensors should generally not be set off by a scope slewing as they are basically IR cameras detecting moving heat sources like bodies. A large enough animal may set then off but a scope shouldn't.

#12 MHamburg

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:54 AM

I set the alarm in my observatory any time it is unoccupied, including for unattended AP sessions, which are my normal activity these days.  There is a microswitch on the door, and a motion sensor internally.  Slewing, either of the scope or the dome,  does not trigger the motion sensor, since it is infrared and relies on body heat.

 

If the alarm were to be triggered, the interior and exterior white lights would come on, even if I have selected the illumination to red for normal use.  Yes, that means that the current frame and possibly the entire session are toast.  But it allows my interior webcams to capture his image for prosecution.  And it also means that the intruder knows he is busted. 

 

As for rain, I have two wet-leaf sensors on the observatory roof.  A single drop of water on either of them will immediately close the dome.  The session will abort when the closing dome blocks the guide star.

That's a really nice website you have, Kathy!

Michael


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#13 kathyastro

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 11:49 AM

That's a really nice website you have, Kathy!

Michael

Thanks!



#14 OldManSky

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

I live in the boondocks, 1.5 miles off the closest paved road via a dirt/gravel road, with a security gate about 1/2 down from my place.  People who want to find me can't...nobody "wayward" can get up here.  And the biggest crimes in my area are when somebody gets arrested for drunk driving (on the paved roads far from me!).  So it's hard for me to relate.

My observatory is almost done, prior to this I've had a "naked" pier, on which I often left my mount/scopes covered with a TG365 cover for many days when the weather was good.  Nobody ever bothered anything.  My nearly-done observatory has a door with a latch, but I likely won't put a lock on it...



#15 jcj380

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 07:59 PM

How about a simple pressure sensor under a mat in front of the door?  Connect it to an alarm, lights, whatever.

 

Not sure if you can adjust the sensitivity to not trigger for small animals.

 

Trip wire?


Edited by jcj380, 01 March 2020 - 08:02 PM.


#16 scadvice

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 12:00 AM

I used and use two of these. I put both on the mount. They are sensitivity adjustable.

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

A good short term solution until you decide the long term one. I bought these for when we are out camping with the kayaks.




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