Observatory

Shortly after buying my 10" LX-200 I realised the importance of building an observatory to avoid time wasted in carrying equipment out of the house and aligning the telescope for each observing session. After studying various designs on the web I selected a rolling roof lean-to shed design to locate on the rear wall of my garage. Eventually this page will contain the  detailed design but for the present here is a summary of progress...

Click on image for full size picture

  January 2003
Now getting some proper use out of the facility, record so far for setup, imaging and packup is 20 minutes! Working on software for parking the telescope at the end of a session to speed up alignment.
roof_frame.jpg (47962 bytes)  roller_detail.jpg (38437 bytes) December 2002
Rolling roof frame installed together with winch mechanism.
Photos show frame in closed position and a close up of one of the rollers constructed from a deck pulley from a sailing boat. 
Christmas eve the roof sheets went on and the whole structure was finally watertight. After a period to dry out the floor this was sealed with an enamel floor paint.
  October/November 2002
Completed partition to separate computer room from the rest of the garage. Heaters installed to keep equipment dry.
Materials for roof purchased.
dew_heater.jpg (40786 bytes) September 2002
Not much progress this month! 
Did manage to complete construction of the dew heater though.
Full details here
024_22.jpg (87393 bytes)   August 2002
Rails for roll-off roof fitted
  026_24.jpg (76320 bytes) June 2002
Completed new fixed worktop for dual computer monitors. General shots of LX-200 and camera equipment in-situ.
jup_obs_fisrt_light.jpg (2777 bytes)  019_17.jpg (59482 bytes) April 2002
Walls now in position providing shelter from wind and street lights while observing
20/4/02 "First light" with the new computer & network up and running. Nothing remarkable about the image due to cloud!
017_15.jpg (57767 bytes)  018_16.jpg (45251 bytes) March 2002
Steel frame erected on site and topcoat painted.
Completed weather-proofing of altered window frame
029_26A.jpg (80013 bytes) Jan 2002
Floor slab cast and pier installed.
New access door from garage completed.
Steel for frame cut and painted in primer
"First light" using the pier was a grazing occultation of Jupiter!
022_19A.jpg (84778 bytes) Oct 2001
Retaining blockwork complete for floor slab
015_12a.jpg (44467 bytes)  016_13A.jpg (40826 bytes)  018_15A.jpg (116133 bytes) Sept 2001
Pouring concrete for pier support block and wall footings
004_1.jpg (47059 bytes)  006_3.jpg (62507 bytes) Aug 2001
Initial layout of site and digging hole for the pier support block
 


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Page content 2001-2007 Mike Tyrrell