Would Like to know if anyone knows of a company that builds ROR in the Dewey, Arizona area. I have been trying to get a hold of Backyard Observatories for 6 mos. through emails and phone calls. I assume they are out of business as I have not heard back from them. Would like the observatory to be big enough for three scopes. Would like to have the work done by April of 2021. Any help is GREATLY APPRECIATED. ED
Posted 21 October 2020 - 07:22 PM
Buy a set of ROR observatory plans from Skyshed:
Any local framing crew will have no trouble building your observatory from the plans. If your lucky, find a small company that specializes in building sheds. Also, take the materials list ... included in the plans ... to a local lumberyard and have it priced out and then ask them for the names and numbers of a couple of framing crews they would recommend. I think you'll be surprised about how much money you will save by doing some of the legwork yourself.
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Posted 21 October 2020 - 07:42 PM
I also worry about BYO. I tried for 3 months to buy some stuff from them. Eventually gave up.
I hope everything is OK. They are an important asset to our community. Has anyone had contact with them in the past month or so?
Posted 22 October 2020 - 12:46 AM
BYO built my observatory in Anza, CA, in 2012. Scott builds an excellent, professional product. It's a small house, really, with solid residential-type construction. It's much nicer than anything I would have built for myself. Last year I was able to communicate with him to buy the motor kit for the roof, which I installed myself.
Unfortunately, BYO is -- shall we say -- irregular about answering emails. You might try a phone call. It's a mom-and-pop business, and he's on the road a lot. I get that. Also his longtime construction partner passed away a couple of years ago. But Scott needs a system that at least issues a "we'll get back to you" reply. In retrospect, I consider it to be a miracle that I was actually able to communicate with him and -- even more amazingly -- put my concrete guy on the phone with Scott just by calling him. I fully understand that some people will simply give up and go in another direction.
Edited by Calypte, 22 October 2020 - 12:51 AM.
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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:37 AM
They're notoriously hard to get hold of but BYO built Larry's rolloff up at the club dark site and it's extremely nice.
Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:41 AM
BYO has built, I think, three observatories for members of the club I belong to. Everyone involved is satisfied with their buildings. It might be worthwhile pursuing BYO even if you also investigate other options like local builders.
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Posted 22 October 2020 - 11:31 AM
Calypte: I have tried to call just rings. I'll keep trying.
I did get one email (automated response type) from the company saying that they had been out on jobs. I can understand that and not having any communication at sites. but the email also stated that they are taking orders for the 2021 season. I want to get on that. I was looking at the club size so it is a pretty big ROR.
Skyguy: Guess I'll look into skyshed also. Thanks
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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:32 PM
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Posted 22 October 2020 - 10:17 PM
I've had some recent (within the last week) communication with Scott, and we discussed BYO's current situation. First, they are most definitely still in business. They have a significant backlog of builds on their books, and the Covid situation has put a strain on them just like most every other small business. They are right now out on builds in the southwest in places with VERY limited communication capability. Scott told me that anyone trying to get in touch with them who lives in moderate climate zones should try to call or email them after November 30th, and anyone living in the northern (cold!!) zones try to get in touch after January 10th to discuss scheduling.
From my own personal history with BYO, don't give up trying to get on their schedule if you're serious about a build. Scott has built two ROR's for me, and I have to admit I got a bit frustrated at some points waiting for responses. But in the end, once I got on the schedule, it was most definitely worth the wait - Scott does a quality build, and aside from my equipment, the ROR is the best investment I have made in this very expensive hobby. I'm no carpenter, and I could not have given any instruction to any random builder on how to put up an ROR. BYO specializes in ROR's and they've evolved their builds over time to make improvements continuously.
Full disclosure, I have no ties with BYO other than being friends with Scott and his wife. I'm offering this as a very satisfied customer.
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Posted 22 October 2020 - 11:53 PM
It's worth pointing out that this topic comes up several times a year. Giving Scott Horstman his due, he's probably frustrated that he can't communicate as well as potential customers would like, and I'm sure he's dismayed at the frequent beat-downs he gets on CN. If you can muster the required patience, be assured that your eventual BYO observatory will meet your highest expectations.
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Posted 23 October 2020 - 10:39 AM
Techmgr Good to know. The email I received I thought said before 11/30. I'll wait. Just good to know that he is not out of business.
Calypte: Gee I hope it didn't sound like I was beating him down. Just heard so much good thing about his ror's that I was concerned that I had missed out
I'll keep trying.....
Posted 05 November 2020 - 10:21 PM
Scott and Diane just built a two-scope ROR for me in August. Scott used to have a team of three guys (including himself), but one died and the second one had to bow out for personal reasons. So it's now just Scott and his wife, Diane. Plus, they sheltered in place for several months when the first wave of COVID hit, so that hammered them as well.
This was the second ROR that BYO built for me. I'll be posting a couple of photos over the next week or two, as I'm finally getting the second scope setup operational. Scott and Diane do quality work, and they are amazingly fast putting them up. Plus, they're great people. But he is definitely slow to respond on email. I put my initial request in back in June 2019, so about 14 months from initial request to having it built. And he told me that he currently has a large backlog (as of August), so my guess is that April of 2021 would be very difficult unless there was another one scheduled by you within that timeframe. (He tends to schedule several builds per trip.)
Personally for me, he was worth the wait. But you can also buy plans off of him and hire a local contractor to build it, and it will probably get done much quicker.
Edited by DaveB, 05 November 2020 - 10:27 PM.
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