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SkyShed POD

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#26 David Liles

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 08:34 PM

Hi Gordon: This just in
Since there's been a link on their site for a while it's not big news to
some who've seen it but for those who haven't we'd like to officially
announced Altair Astro in the U.K. as our E.U. distributor.

Nick and Ian at Altair already have a great relationship with our friend
Jim Kendrick and we've working with our Authorized SkyShed Roll Off
Dealer /Installers in the U.K., Stewart Waters and Karl Bourke, to get
things set up with Altair for shipments to the E.U. asap.

We believe the combination of Altair Astro and Stewart's UK
Observatories are going to a great job of promoting and distributing
PODs in Europe.

A posting has been added to the POD website "Latest News". There's a
link to the Altair website for those who wish to join the E.U. Pre-Order
List. E.U. retailers please contact Altair to get set up as a POD retailer.

It Is Getting Much closer :jump:

#27 David Liles

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 10:58 PM

Exploradome is shipping but it is not portable requires a building to attach it to and you only have a little bitty slit to look through so you must motorize the dome or constantly turn it.. I'm not knocking exploradome but it would be better compaired with SkyShed rolloff or other non-portable or say less portable observatories. I have seen a couple of exploradomes obs mounted on trailers. They are quite large. Unless you want to haul something the size of a travel trailer behind your vehicle to a dark site i'd wait a few monthes for a pod.. Good things come to those who wait.
CS
David

#28 NeoDinian

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 12:14 AM

Exploradome is shipping but it is not portable requires a building to attach it to and you only have a little bitty slit to look through...


Little-Bitty??? For an 8 foot dome, the slot is 29 inches wide, with Zenith access (Something the POD does NOT have)! Thats only 1 inch less than the Sirius Home model (which is a smaller dome). And the Explora-Dome (as the Sirius Dome) was NEVER intended to be a portable dome...

so you must motorize the dome or constantly turn it..


No... The dome rotates VERY easily. In most cases, people are saying they can rotate the dome with 1 finger.

And for the record, MOST domes don't come with motors. They're usually purchased as an add-on. And last I remember, even the POD was not motorized! So this argument is moot...

I'm not knocking exploradome but it would be better compaired with SkyShed rolloff or other non-portable or say less portable observatories.


The ONLY comparison with the ED and POD is that they are BOTH aimed at the LOW-COST market. Many people who've always wanted a real Dome can now afford one.

I have seen a couple of exploradomes obs mounted on trailers. They are quite large. Unless you want to haul something the size of a travel trailer behind your vehicle to a dark site i'd wait a few monthes for a pod..


You're forgetting one thing.. To transport the POD, one would need a LARGE pickup (Or 2 looking at the pic's I've seen so far!)... This leaves not much room for those who wish to bring other things with while observing.. Like for instance, Their TELESCOPE and other accessories! And I'm sorry, I don't own a pick-up truck. How "Portable" would this be for me??? Wait for the POD??? If I want portable, I would buy one of the Kendrick Astro-Tents.

Good things come to those who wait.


Yeah they do.. But in my opinion, they'll still be waiting.

#29 Richard B. Drumm

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 01:40 AM

Dave:
"Exploradome is shipping but it is not portable..."
POD won't be very portable, either, and let's face it, it'll be a pain to move it. True its base does come apart into 4 parts, but it still is a bit bulky. Moving it to a star party is not for the faint of heart.

The whole idea with having an observatory is to NOT have to move your gear. Only a truly obsessed astro-nut will take one on the road. Sure it would be cool to be at Texas Star Party with one, but would it be practical? Nope. Cool as all get out, though!

"... requires a building to attach it to..."
Here you're referring to the fact that POD has a base, and ExploraDome doesn't come with one. Since the buyers of EDs aren't even remotely (except for Magic Man! Talk about cool as all get out! Yowza!) thinking of going mobile, this is a non-issue.

"... you only have a little bitty slit to look through..."
Like Jeff said, it's not little bitty, it's rather well scaled! Not significantly different in scale than the slits on Home Dome or Ash Dome. Of course, if you're a roll-off kinda guy, any dome's gonna seem to be claustrophobic.

"... so you must motorize the dome or constantly turn it..."
I for one won't be doing either with my ExploraDome. Motorizing them is quite do-able, but it's only for serious remote imagers. Turning is easy, but constant? Not hardly. More like occasionally than constantly.

Sounds like you just don't like domes in general. That's OK, of course, we all have our preferences here, and observatory preferences are no different. Roll roofs have their advantages, so do PODs and so too do ExploraDomes. Here are some:

Those who want to see ALL of the sky at once for the sheer joy of the night sky will want a roll-off. They'll be quick to tell you that they don't want to miss any meteors and want to see the constellations to help them think about where they're headed next or to help with planning a star hop. Roll-offs also look less inviting to burglars and are capable of sneaking under the radar of HOAs and snoopy neighbors. They can easily have a warm room under the rolled-off roof, which is just super for imagers and/or frostbitten Northerners.

Those with bright lights in the neighborhood will want an ED to block the offending lights. Paint the inside flat black and it'll be like that floodlight is gone! PODsters will be able to do this by putting the half-dome's back to the light, but it'll be tough if there are other lights as well.

Those in the cold Northlands will like the windbreak that an ED gives, and a POD could do some of that. There will be turbulence that'll come in the POD that'd be more effectively blocked by a full dome, but at least the direct blast of cold air will be blunted.

A POD will allow more of the sky to be seen at any one time, so fewer meteors will be missed and star hops can be planned and executed from behind the scope. With the ED, I expect I'll have to step up to the slit from time to time to help me think about my next target. The bottom of the slit will be at neck height or less, so I can see out the slit easily. Since I have a Newt, I'll be up at the upper end of the scope as well, so the slit will be intrinsically closer for me than it would be for SCTs or refractors. Any Newt user will be closer to the slit and have a better view, but be closer to offending light trespass and cold winds (and maybe to mosquitoes in summer) but that just makes it more PODlike for me.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: DEW! A full dome will give you more protection from that annoyance as well, ED will give you that. POD might have a little protection, this remains to be seen. Roll-offs will have no protection from dew, so it's necessary to do heaters. This ain't a big deal to most folks as the heaters seem to work well and don't cost an arm and a leg.

All we're left with is looks. Clamshells (including the POD) & full domes just LOOK like an observatory in the daytime. They look good just sitting there! But like I said, roll-roofers don't want to look cool in the daytime, they like looking inconspicuous!

You see, there are plusses and minuses in the calculation for all of us. One person's preference "topography" will be different from the next guy's. Different strokes and all that.

Whatever you do, please don't take this as an ad hominem attack, where one is attacking the arguer and not the argument. I'm not flaming you, really I'm not. If I was I'd probably have come up with some wise crack like "Sometimes those who wait get left behind." But that wouldn't be true, of course... Funny, but not true.
Rich :grin:

#30 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 09:20 AM

I now have a fully operational Exploradome in my backyard...

And I'm a very happy Fella...

The POD in my opinion does offer one major advantage ..
1. It can be moved

Now just how easy that can be done I do not know.. BUT it can be done..

Personally I find that observating thru that little itzy bitsy slit David mentioned is definately very easy and I sure do not feel any claustrophobia..and 2 steps and a look upward gives me a view of as much of the sky as I need..

As for the need of a motor...LOL

The dome honestly can be rotated with one finger..not
extremely easy to do BUT not hard or painful to do with one finger however I normally use the palm of my hand nad have no problem rotating the dome even when seated at my scope..

To be honest I looked at the astro dome clam shell OBs, the TI Home Dome and the Sirus plus various Roll off's And I
personally looked at all but the Astro Dome..

Cost was NOT an issue.. BUT
like most of us I sure did not want to drop more then 5 grand
to get out of the weather AND have my scope ready to use 24/7

The Exploradome was built and is entirly functional, and I have about $2,100 "invested"
including the building, the dome, the electric the carpet, the pier everything..Hey that is less then the base cost of my scope and about what I have "invested" in the contents of my EP case...

Heck of a CHEAP Observing ACCESSORY in my opinion..

MY eye to the eyepiece time has tripled in the 3 months I have had my ED up and running.. well worth the money...

I do like the Pod..and hope Wayne sells the devil out of them but I just did not need portability and its a hair too small PLUS if I added a pier, electric etc the cost of the Pod would be equal to or more then the ED...

Size: I love my EP but I would love if it were a little bigger ..even 6 inches bigger and the Pod is even smaller

The ED works with just me observing BUT I enjoy observing with my Grand Daughter allot.. and while not crowded it is tight... LOL

Bob G.

#31 David Liles

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:31 AM

Neo.. Appologies on the term little bitty.. Don't get me wrong I think Exploradome is a nice product and very functional. And if you want totally portable or don't have access to a pick-up or an suv and trailer. The observing tent is what you need.

In many areas building codes will not allow The perminant structures required for The larger observatories :(but you can put a (poly) utility shed type building in your yard IE POD ;)

The point is Rather than Bash what is new and different. Let it come out: and it will: and see how it fits into the "hobby of astronomy". It may not fit your needs your scope or even Your back yard. But like exploradome it will fit the needs of a market.

Realisticaly we should not be comparing Exploradome and Sirius domes with POD as this is like comparing Watermellons and Cucumbers yes they both grow on vines and grow best in spring and summer but I don't want a slice of pickled watermellon with my Pastrami sandwich! :p

Lets compare SkyShed POD with other Ridgid walled "portable" Defined:can be disassembled or assembled by 1 or 2 average people in 2hrs or less and transported by a vehicle that does not require a CDL or DOT premits. IE Pick up truck, passenger van, SUV with or without trailer. Is under $1600.00, has a horizon to horizon view -5min of zenith, Is strong,durable but relatively light weight........ AAH Thats right POD is a new animal and is not like anything else available today.. so lets not kill it
let it live and observe it. When one of them dies lets then disect it. If we out live it that is.

Zenith: for most visual observers venith is not important. For them to se it (over there) or (over there) Is just as good or better than seeing it strait up there.
For serious astrophotographers who spend $10k+ on a scope and $5-10K on imagers and computers the computer does the finding guiding and maybe even the seeing the big Metal dome with a slit will work just fine or an Exploradome. POD was not designed for Big Equipment.

Rotation: will not be necessary as often with pod because you have a horizon to horizon view and for those off-axis views you may need to move the dome some so there will be little or no need to move or motorize the dome. Although me being the gearhead that i am I likely will. but like explora dome It's a on finger deal.

MOOT! Lets say you want to image something south at say 20-30 deg up.. you want to do a 30-40min exposure with a slit you may want or need to move your dome or have it track with your scope. With POD in this application you don't need to move the dome, zenith is moot. Get a cup o java and relax.

SkyShed POD is aiming at a target market consisting of a wide range of possible users. It is designed for the Amatuer to advanced Astronomer with smaller to medium equipment. The big equipment highly advanced (professional) Resarch Type Astronomer like your self would be better served by a big dome or a rolloff roof design. But we little guys deserve our toys too.

Opinions: Opinions are like Body parts. Those that are negative or offensive are best not exposed to the general public.
That being said "IN MY OPINION" As (semi) Portable (relative to your ability to move it) ridgid wall, Temporary to Permanant low cost observatory Pod has a great deal to offer the observing community.

Cheers
CS
David

#32 Spoonsize

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 11:09 AM

Are you going to be selling these in the Florida area??

#33 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 12:31 PM

The Pod does have a Market AND I can see more then a few Back Yard Pods being set up for winter use right next to the diving boards of plenty of swimming pools that are only used during the summer...

I just think for those of us who do not need portability
and do not have to erect a semi permanent OBS the Pod is
not the answer...

I for one would drop one next to my pool in the winter IF that was my only choice..

I do not care if David sells these things or not..More power to him if he does.. But I wish Wayne and the Pod good luck..

Bob G.

#34 MotorPsycho

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 12:50 PM

Are you going to be selling these in the Florida area??


They are shipping them directly to your door. One of the beta testers selected is in Florida.

Enjoy.

#35 NeoDinian

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 01:03 PM

Neo.. Appologies on the term little bitty.. Don't get me wrong I think Exploradome is a nice product and very functional...

...The point is Rather than Bash what is new and different...

...Realisticaly we should not be comparing Exploradome and Sirius domes with POD...


My point exactly. Let's NOT compare. I have no (Major) problems with the POD... I'm all for there being more affordable options for us astronomers. (Yeah to us!)...


And for the record, I can't really be considered Biased towards the ED... I've already purchased the plans from Wayne for the Skyshed Roll-Off, and will be constructing next spring! :)

Anyway.. That was my piece... Now back to the regularly scheduled programming... :)

#36 SometimesKen

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 02:13 PM

I'm sure there's a market for both products and we all will benefit from them. As Bob G. said ... his time at the eyepiece has tripled.

That's what it's really all about and what I'm looking forward to!!

Best regards,
Ken

#37 Spoonsize

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 04:15 PM

Are you going to be selling these in the Florida area??


They are shipping them directly to your door. One of the beta testers selected is in Florida.

Enjoy.


That's too bad....Shipping one at a time will put the shipping fee a lot higher than most will want to pay, unless pod is willing to take a big "hit" for shipping.


SAY..any mods on duty??..shouldn't this thread be in the "Vendors Forum"???

#38 Tom L

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 05:22 PM

Hello gents...please let me remind you to play nice and treat each other with respect. This is not an opportunity for the explora-dome crowd to start picking apart the POD and vice versa. Each product has it's strengths and weaknesses - let's try to respect their strengths and understand their weaknesses without getting into a brawl.

#39 MichaelW

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 05:31 PM

I think it's time to put away any insecurites, irrational fears and unprovable allegations (until we can actually see one) over PODs and everyone just enjoy our choices and relish in the knowledge that everyone will have different tastes and wants because in the end it all means the same thing, more eyepiece time.

:grouphug:

#40 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 05:45 PM

Well said Michael...

Bob G.

#41 NeoDinian

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 06:01 PM

Let people make their own decisions on what they want.



#42 oldsalt

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 06:56 PM

I have edited this thread to bring it back in line with the TOS. I did not however notify everyone of the edits. If you have any issues with what has been done feel free to contact me and I will be more then happy to answer your questions. Some posts were edited heavily as the material presented no longer had relevance in relation to other edits.

#43 David Liles

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 08:18 PM

Hello Richard
Thank You and no offense taken.

I like ED as amatter of fact when i build my Rolloff It will be based on SkyShed Plans with A flat roof and an ED in the middle. When dew,wind or extreme cold is a problem i'll leave the roof closed and use the ED. When conditions are fair or I want to star hop or just have an open sky I'll slide the roof off.. And yes I'm one of those Astronuts that will use a trailer and haul my POD to star parties and most likely camp in it as well.
CS
David

#44 SometimesKen

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 08:23 PM

Hello Richard
Thank You and no offense taken.

I like ED as amatter of fact when i build my Rolloff It will be based on SkyShed Plans with A flat roof and an ED in the middle. When dew,wind or extreme cold is a problem i'll leave the roof closed and use the ED. When conditions are fair or I want to star hop or just have an open sky I'll slide the roof off.. And yes I'm one of those Astronuts that will use a trailer and haul my POD to star parties and most likely camp in it as well.
CS
David


Now that's a project I want to see pictures of! Please post your progress once you get rolling!

Ken :cool:

#45 David Liles

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 08:28 PM

No I will not.I have only been chosen as a beta tester and that is my only association with SkyShed POD. I'm retired due to partial Disability and can't work at this time. in fact all i have is time. that is one reason I was chosen as a beta tester. Someone on Georgia is a SkyShed Dealer and will likely have Florida in his area. Also the majority POD sales Will Be Direct internet sales.
Thanks for asking
David

#46 David Liles

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 08:53 PM

Just so everyone understands. My status(title) has just been changed To SkySked POD (vendor) because i will be Beta testing a pod here in Florida.. I can't get you a POD sell you a pod. Deliver a pod to you. My association with POD is limited to Beta Testing. Who knows what the future brings but none has been offered to me by Wayne Parker or SkyShed POD. The only difference Between you and I as future POD owners is that MY first Pod will be given to me for the act of beta testing. I hope this clears things up a bit :o
CS to all
David

#47 David Liles

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 09:16 PM

OK My status is in limbo. I still can't get anyone a POD :o

#48 Richard B. Drumm

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:20 PM

David:
So you'll have all 3 options available to you, roll-roof, full dome and POD clamshell! Man oh Manachevitz! That's rather cool, dude! I do know that it can get cold in Fla, frost on the oranges and all that, so having the ED will come in handy when it gets wintery. The roll-roof has its appeal with full sky access at a glance, and the POD for the road! I can imagine you towing a trailer (like the ones you see hauling around big lawn mowers) with the POD on it. Look out Cedar Key! :drool:

Won't it be a bit cramped in the POD for camping? Now that I think of it, I suppose the tripod could be a little South of center, leaving you enough room on the North side... Stretch out a camp cot... It might work, and man if it did, you'd be "in tall cotton" as is sometimes said in the South! :o :grin:

By the way, I think of the term "Astro-nut" as a badge of honor, myself, not a pejorative. We sometimes get obsessive about Naglers, Ritchey-Chretriens and "stuff" to the point where (the wife especially) thinks we're nuts! It's just the price of doin' business, comes with the territory.
Rich

#49 Pedestal

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:23 PM

and most likely camp in it as well.
CS
David


Well! Thats something I hadn't thought about.

#50 David Liles

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:25 PM

I'd be happy to. it is in the Dream and design stage. oh yeah and the fund raising stage :tonofbricks:


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