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After several years of carrying a tripod / mount / OTA in and out of the house on observing nights I got fed up so we moved to a house in the country a few years ago and I've finally got round to building a permanent observatory.  Once the boss and I agreed where it was going, I invested in an Altair Astro pier and sunk a huge concrete block into the ground (more on this later) then stuck my 8 inch Celestron Advance GT on top. (pic attached).  Once that was done I built a 4 x 5 metre deck around it so I could play while I planned the shed itself.

I ended up buying an 8x4 pent roof shed for the warm room and as luck would have it my next door neighbour was dismantling his shed so I've used the walls from that to build an 8*12 telescope room.  Surprisingly, the only company that would deliver 6 metre lengths of timber to scotland during lockdown was a company in Wigan!

The roof is corrugated clear fibreglass but it took quite a while to get that delivered so the inside of the shed got soaked in heavy rains several times. First frost, the underside of the roof was dripping so I need to think about insulation.  I still have the electrics to sort out and I've found that the pier doesn't sit high enough so I will be adding another foot of concrete sometime soon. 

Once I'm up and running I'll be upgrading the mount to a skywatcher eq6-r pro and eventually I hope to add an 11 inch OTA. 

 

Graeme

 

pier.jpg

obs (4).jpg

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What... no build thread.... we normally string these DIY observatory posts out over at least 10 pages :)

Looks good... Having a permanent set up in an observatory makes imaging so much easier

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1 hour ago, malc-c said:

What... no build thread.... we normally string these DIY observatory posts out over at least 10 pages :)

 

Sorry Malcolm. I only joined last week :)

 

Graeme

 

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Managed my first evening observing since well before Christmas today. Also the first since I got the roof on - it's had 6 inches of snow sitting on top for a week but it thawed sunday night. This was primarily a session to check polar alignment and make sure the mount was slewing properly - had an issue where the right ascension controls would stick while the scope was slewing meaning I had to keep switching it off. This was due to the mount getting damp under the waterproof cover before the observatory roof went on. Stripping the circuit boards out and drying them on a radiator seems to have solved the problem for now.  Anyway, after a rough polar align and even rougher 2 star align the scope was slewing reasonably close to the chosen targets.  Mars, Uranus, the Plaeides, Aldeberan, Capella and M31 all ended up within the eyepiece although not dead centre. Some more fine tuning needed but  I'm reasonably happy that everything is working as it should.  I had to cut the session short due to a combination of clouding over and frost forming on the corrector plate.  I have a dew strap on order :)  Next job will be to strip it all down and add a foot of concrete to the pillar to raise it up enough to see over the side of the shed then I'll be insulating and panelling inside. 

Graeme

 

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Its great to hear about this project. I think are are several people on this forum with observatories up here in Scotland...  I am still at the planning stage, for when I get back permanently from the Middle East. 

Over there in the desert its mainly shielding from the never-ending Sun and clear skies in the daytime, and dealing with occasional sand and dust storms. Oh, and one of our group knealt on a scorpion last year when packing up his tent. Luckily one of the big black ones which are less venomous than the wee brown b*ggers, still had to rush him to hospital for antivenom!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent an hour yesterday clearing snow and ice off the roof and runners as the sky looked like it might stay clear. WRONG!  I managed about an hour viewing before it clouded over completely. Woke this morning to another three inches of snow.  I did manage to get a couple of shots of the moon using my canon DSLR. No laptop yet so they're just snaps.

 

moon 2.jpg

moon1.jpg

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Spent the weekend panelling the Scope room with OSB boards so hopefully it'll provide a bit of insulation.  6 hours to fit 7 boards though!!  Still have the warm room to panel out but that involves even more cutting so I think I'll get the power into the shed sorted out first.  As is typical with life just now, Saturday night was beautifullly clear but I had to work :(

Graeme

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