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Sandancer10

My new observatory

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 Well I haven't been on SGL for quite awhile as I have been a little preoccupied - to say the least  :rolleyes:

I finally, today, have my new observatory with electronic sliding hatch and recently purchased  SW 200PDS with HEQ5 mount head working.  It's been a bit of a nightmare to get everything together, but I can't wait for clear skies to be able to start photographing again  :grin:.

We went to Normandy last week on holiday and stayed in a Gite in the countryside and the dark skies were amazing. I managed to photograph the Ring Nebula, but haven't worked on it yet so I'll be adding it to my Gallery with some new material from the 200. I've added some photo's of the obsy and realise they show a limited view from the hatch, but as I'm on the North East coast the rotation of the sky means I will be able to see everything up to and including the meridan.

One smiley happy person signing off.  :smile:

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cool observatory and setup mate,i look forwards to seeing some of the images you take with it.thanks for sharing..charl..

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Very Nice! I'm just now getting started on my obsy and progress has been slow - due to life's little inconveniences like bad weather and a full-time job :)

Just curious - how did you attach your pier and what is it made of  :icon_question:

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Very Nice! I'm just now getting started on my obsy and progress has been slow - due to life's little inconveniences like bad weather and a full-time job :)

Just curious - how did you attach your pier and what is it made of  :icon_question:

The pier is a steel hollow box metal construction - an off cut from a friend. The base is welded on and bolted into the cement floor with a raised wooden floor covering so there's no danger of tripping over it. The mount head is attached to the pier by welding.

I've spent most of the day getting the computer setup to allow remote control, using Eqmod, phd guiding, carte ciel (sky map), and auto focusser. Finally all tested and working - just need clear skies now :)

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Go go gadget telescope! Fab looking setup

Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk

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Really nice set-up!

How did you construct the opening?  Is it a ready made sliding shutter?

I am asking because I have a flat garage roof and your design got me thinking...  I might be able to use a similar hatch system but I am concerned about leaks.

Edited by nightvision
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I'm curious too.  If I can sell my house, I'll be buying a new one with two south facing velux  windows in one of the top floor bedrooms.  It would be terrific if I could find a way have the window open such that it leaves an unobscured view.

Mike

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Really nice set-up!

How did you construct the opening?  Is it a ready made sliding shutter?

I am asking because I have a flat garage roof and your design got me thinking...  I might be able to use a similar hatch system but I am concerned about leaks.

The opening is constructed by a company called Surespan in the Midlands. I had to do a lot of research before I ordered it as I couldn't find anyone to make it for me - fortunately, this company specialize in opening hatches. The reason I decided not to go for the normal wooden sliding roof was incase of leaks, maybe not straight away but over a period of time - I think for the extra cost I have peace of mind and that is priceless. The electric motor is really useful as it's a simple open/close switch on the wall and can be disabled incase of power failure. The hatch opens easily without the motor, so that's always an option if you wanted to keep costs down.

If you have any more questions let me know by message as I'm not sure if the moderators might restrict this posting. Good luck with your project  :smiley:

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I'm curious too.  If I can sell my house, I'll be buying a new one with two south facing velux  windows in one of the top floor bedrooms.  It would be terrific if I could find a way have the window open such that it leaves an unobscured view.

Mike

The Surespan web site doesn't seem to mention sloping roof installations only flat.

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They aren't too far from where my parents live so I'll pop in when I'm next up there.

Looks like good quality kit.

Mike

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They aren't too far from where my parents live so I'll pop in when I'm next up there.

Looks like good quality kit.

Mike

It is good quality kit Mike. Mine is 1300 x 1300 - that's 4ft square and the biggest my garage could take, but you can get them to make you any size you want.  :smiley:

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Brenda, can you reveal the cost and which rail system you decided to use?

Tony.

I think it depends on the size of the aperture as to how they build it, but for me they used a fixed rail system onto the garage roof.

The total cost of the hatch, including electrics was £4,400. If you just want a manual opening then I think that is about £2,000. To be honest I went for the electric motor because I have problems with arthritis and I thought I might have a problem with the weight of the sliding hatch and it being difficult to move - far from it, it is so finely balanced it moves very easily by hand. I think if I had of known that I would have just gone for the manual opening.

I also looked at a conventional observatory dome, but that worked out at £3,600 for the motorised version - and again the problem with that was because of my location on the coast road the World and his wife passes by so security was an issue. I opted for the flat hatch as it doesn't announce to the World "come take my kit"  :rolleyes:  - also some bright spark might have thought I'd opened Mosque  :eek:

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Thanks for the update Brenda, food for thought, one day I may manage to actually move from design to build....   :rolleyes:  :smiley:

Edited by nightvision

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