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Any turnkey observatory builders?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 shakafell

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 10:14 PM

I'm looking for a firm that will build a modest private observatory from design, equipment, construction thru installation and setup. Including everything: telescopes, dome, cameras, etc.

 

I found these two companies on Google:

 

https://observatorysolutions.com/

https://seawestobservatories.com/

 

They have a lot of million dollar projects but they've also done smaller stuff like a C14 with a 7ft dome for a community college. I'm thinking somewhere in the low 6 figure ballpark. I've sent both an email.

 

I know most of you here are DIY but does anyone know of more companies that do this?



#2 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 11:31 PM

https://tolgaastro.com/



#3 shakafell

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 10:16 PM

From their website it looks like they sell and service equipment. Are you saying they will design and construct a full observatory for you?



#4 Shed9

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 03:14 AM

Would also be useful to advise what 'rough' location in the world you anticipate your build being.



#5 shakafell

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 09:03 AM

Would also be useful to advise what 'rough' location in the world you anticipate your build being.


Texas
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#6 archer1960

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 03:41 PM

I believe PlaneWave will do the whole enchilada as well.


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#7 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 28 April 2024 - 05:02 PM

They offer full turnkey installations. 

Give Tolga a call, they will discuss capabilities openly

 

From their website it looks like they sell and service equipment. Are you saying they will design and construct a full observatory for you?



#8 shakafell

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Posted 28 April 2024 - 10:04 PM

I believe PlaneWave will do the whole enchilada as well.

 

Yes I sent them a message and they replied right away. I'm supposed to talk to them tomorrow.

 

I still have not heard from the the first 2 firms although Observatory Solutions is listed on the Planewave site so I'm sure that's who PW will use anyway.

 

They offer full turnkey installations. 

Give Tolga a call, they will discuss capabilities openly

Will do. Thanks.


Edited by shakafell, 28 April 2024 - 10:08 PM.

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#9 speedster

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Posted 30 April 2024 - 12:03 AM

I'll send you a PM.



#10 shakafell

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Posted 02 May 2024 - 07:15 PM

Just wanted to give an update in case anyone is following this.

 

I talked to Planewave. They referred me to Sea West Observatories and we had a 3-way conference call.

 

I received email replies from Observatory Solutions and Tolga and will talk to them soon too.

 

The one thing they all said is that I have to find a local contractor for the actual construction.

 

I'll report back with details when I've talked to all 3.


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#11 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 02 May 2024 - 10:38 PM

Wishing you success on the project.

Observatories are definitely a niche market.



#12 dnrmilspec

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Posted 03 May 2024 - 12:06 AM

Stellarvision in Tucson.  Speak to Frank.


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#13 3 i Guy

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Posted 10 May 2024 - 11:50 PM

PM sent



#14 shakafell

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Posted 11 May 2024 - 06:46 PM

I've signed on with Sea West. They are going to provide a full turnkey build from design and construction all the way thru first light and training. They have already scouted some local tradesmen and there will be a Sea West rep supervising the entire construction.

 

They have given me a ROM estimate for a 14' dome and a CDK400 system. A site visit is planned for next month. The Sea West project manager served the same role at Planewave until recently and they work very closely.

 

Regarding the other firms: I only had an email exchange with Observatory Solutions but they made it clear that I would have to handle construction myself. They only do design and then installation.

 

I talked to Tolga and it is basically the same. He was able to put me in touch with a local design firm who had just built an observatory. And then he would come in at the end to install and integrate the equipment. Probably a lot more economical as a partial-turnkey solution.

 

I'll start a new build thread when there is something to report.


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#15 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 12 May 2024 - 06:32 PM

That's awesome. 

 

I've signed on with Sea West. They are going to provide a full turnkey build from design and construction all the way thru first light and training. They have already scouted some local tradesmen and there will be a Sea West rep supervising the entire construction.

 

They have given me a ROM estimate for a 14' dome and a CDK400 system. A site visit is planned for next month. The Sea West project manager served the same role at Planewave until recently and they work very closely.

 

Regarding the other firms: I only had an email exchange with Observatory Solutions but they made it clear that I would have to handle construction myself. They only do design and then installation.

 

I talked to Tolga and it is basically the same. He was able to put me in touch with a local design firm who had just built an observatory. And then he would come in at the end to install and integrate the equipment. Probably a lot more economical as a partial-turnkey solution.

 

I'll start a new build thread when there is something to report.



#16 drprovi57

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Posted 13 May 2024 - 06:26 PM

I am also connecting with Sea West for installing 14,5ft Ash Dome at a remote site at SRO (Sierra Remote Observatories, CA) - hope to place a Planewave 17” or 20” and L500 mount… 

 

Jason


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#17 shakafell

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Posted 13 May 2024 - 06:37 PM

I am also connecting with Sea West for installing 14,5ft Ash Dome at a remote site at SRO (Sierra Remote Observatories, CA) - hope to place a Planewave 17” or 20” and L500 mount… 

 

Jason

Cool that's exactly what I'm getting. I wanted to go with the 20" but I figure 17" is enough. And it leaves more capacity to mount other scopes on the L500.



#18 drprovi57

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Posted 13 May 2024 - 07:30 PM

I owned a 17” iDK (sold it several years ago), but my skies were not very good for it.  I hope a remote observatory under better skies will be better.  I am leaning towards a 17” as well, given I may mount a 150/180 refractor or my RASA 11 on the other side of the L500… should be a fun adventure for both of us.




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