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Observatory 2.0 - Robotic Clamshell

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Hi everyone,

Thought I'd share another observatory build thread; my last one is lurking in the depths of this forum somewhere.

I originally built a RoR shed back in 2012 in my parents garden which kind of served its purpose. Not long after completing it, I moved out and got a place in London so only occasionally got to use it. After a couple of years however it was taken over by my dad for his expanding business and it became a stock storage shed 😐

It was never meant to be permanant, and I knew I would likely build a better one at a later date. I learnt a few lessons, the key one being the size; It was huge at 2.4m x 3.6m which meant the roof was too big and heavy for the wooden structure and I would never have automated it without a redesign, however the vast size did serve nicely as a mini warehouse.

The other main lesson was the massively over engineered pier, which took a lot of time and effort to remove thanks to using half a ton of concrete.

Fast forward several years and the business has moved out and stock duties are now handled by Amazon, meaning there is space once again for obsy 2.0 with thanks to my understanding mother (it's an extra reason for me to visit :))


This time it's vastly scaled down, the concept has a footprint only of 1.1m x 0.5m and a height of 1.75m. The exact dimensions will be determined by the final location in the garden so I haven't done a detailed model. I toyed with the idea of parking the scope in different orientations, but the normal home position doesn't add much to the height and is much narrower.

The structure will be steel framed to give it rigidity, with composite cladding and a plywood roof. the base will be concrete (the pier base will be isolated from the rest of the structure)

The clamshell will be opened by linear actuators. It's next to a fence to the north that will shield it from the wind, I may add some sort of concertina fabric arrangement to span the gap between the two halves if wind is an issue.

It will be controlled remotely for imaging so no need for a warm room or space to observe.

Any comments of feedback welcome. Hope to get the ball rolling soon.



Obsy 2.0.png

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Started the build today - modified the design and moved the hinge point up to about 50cm above the ground which will significantly reduce the amount of weight and leaverage for the actuators to deal with.

Pictures show the main side open slightly using 1 actuator (need to bolt it down otherwise it will topple over). Plan is to have 2 actuators on each side; I hope these cheap ebay ones will open at the same rate otherwise that might pose a bit of a headache.

Built a pier as well and tested the remote power up and connection to the mini PC I'll be using.

Think I need another half day to finish off the frame, brace all the corners and then tighten it all up. Half a day for the ground works and another half day for cladding.

Got one day booked off next week to work on it and then will use the Christmas hols to complete :)




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Interesting use of Dexion type material.
Watching with interest.
I take it this is for imaging.

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