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New DIY Observatory


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In an effort to shield myself and kit from all the neighbours lights and street lamps I decided to make my own makeshift observatory that I can take down in summer, if I want to.  Initially I was going to make it from 25mm pvc tubing, but ultimately decided on 36mm...much better.  It's roughly 3m x 2m and 2m high, and blocks out everything.  I had to make some tweaks to the top and ended up putting some corrugated plastic on the tarp at the top, and then another tarp over it. The seating area is now watertight and nothing sags.  I've since put a larger folding table in and put a black shower curtain across.  There's a small red bike light over the table, but it's not very good so I've ordered some red light tubing...to be installed soon.

Earlier in the year I built a pier made from concrete blocks and that's been a rock steady platform, with a good view of Polaris and the sky above.

Included are my very first astro images - The Wizard Nebula NGC7380 and Andromeda M31

 

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Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 14.40.41.png

M31.jpg

Edited by dtastro
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Did similar to our unused summer house. Bit more permanent.

Fibreglass dome from fibre sports basildon sizes and colours to order. Was about 380.

The brick pier is about 5 feet tall and was hollow. I filled with strong concrete about a foot from the top. 

I then sank u shaped 10mm anchor bolts down suspended on a bit of wood and poured 2 gallons of fibreglass resin and left to set.

This then gave a platform to fix a 10mm thick steel plate to and be able to level with the lock nuts and pre drilled holes to fit the scope finally attach to that. Very solid.

Screenshot_20190809-113321_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20190809-113327_Gallery.jpg

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On 02/10/2019 at 11:29, spikkyboy said:

Did similar to our unused summer house. Bit more permanent.

Fibreglass dome from fibre sports basildon sizes and colours to order. Was about 380.

The brick pier is about 5 feet tall and was hollow. I filled with strong concrete about a foot from the top. 

I then sank u shaped 10mm anchor bolts down suspended on a bit of wood and poured 2 gallons of fibreglass resin and left to set.

This then gave a platform to fix a 10mm thick steel plate to and be able to level with the lock nuts and pre drilled holes to fit the scope finally attach to that. Very solid.

Screenshot_20190809-113321_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20190809-113327_Gallery.jpg

Great setup...Love the camo on the dome

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On 02/10/2019 at 11:29, spikkyboy said:

Did similar to our unused summer house. Bit more permanent.

Fibreglass dome from fibre sports basildon sizes and colours to order. Was about 380.

The brick pier is about 5 feet tall and was hollow. I filled with strong concrete about a foot from the top. 

I then sank u shaped 10mm anchor bolts down suspended on a bit of wood and poured 2 gallons of fibreglass resin and left to set.

This then gave a platform to fix a 10mm thick steel plate to and be able to level with the lock nuts and pre drilled holes to fit the scope finally attach to that. Very solid.

Screenshot_20190809-113321_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20190809-113327_Gallery.jpg

If you're not careful, some poor, innocent jet jockey is going to see that when he/ she is bimbiling around and let loose an air to surface missile THEN ask questions about what it is.....

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I ordered the dome in light grey. This proved to be a mistake as it really did look like a suspect missile dome.

I painted it with green Hammerite before applying the camp net obtained on good old Amazon.

At least during summer it blends in with the trees.

Will go for a proper fibreglass observatory when funds allow but its ok for now and the wife is very pleased that all of my gear is housed and out of the house.

Just too delivery of the Skywatcher guide scope and ZWO camera  (FLO of course) so hopefully there will some imaging as soon as this rain does one.

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  • 6 months later...
On 04/10/2019 at 23:47, dtastro said:

Nah...it's pegged down with heavy duty pegs and now has guy ropes on.

Hi, how did this hold up this winter? im just about to purchase the same gear myself but worried about wind? one thing i did think of was filling it with water?!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Great build. 

I use something similar for a portable observatory when I go out to my favorite dark sites.  I call it my SkyBox.  Out in the west we have to make sure to securely anchor our SkyBoxes to keep the wind from blowing us away.  At Okie-Tex my SkyBox has allowed me to image with wind blowing as high as 35 MpH while everyone else went to bed. (^8

 

6x10x6H SkyBox.JPG

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And here is the scope inside the scope area which is 6x6 and the enclosed computer area is 4x6.  The image of NGC7023 was made during a fairly windy night.

WO-80ED on AP900 at Okie-Tex.JPG

 

NGC7023-Cal-Sigma60Stk-crop.fit-DN-Sat-Curves-3x3-6-LBL.jpg

Edited by CCD-Freak
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