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Author Topic: New Observatory  (Read 9554 times)

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Offline tegfan

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New Observatory
« on: 12:11:21, 28 August, 2006 »
Hi Everybody,

I am new to this forum so hello. I have dabbled with imaging for many years using DSLRs and film through a LX10 recently and in the past using a TAL1. Anyway we have just recently bought a small cottage in the  hills on the edge of the Snowdonia Park (an excellent dark sky site).

I think the time is now right for me to build my first observatory, so I am at the research stage - I have had planning permisssion from my wife which was the first hurdle!

After initial research I think I am going to opt for a roll off roof design, for ease of construction and the fact that a modified shed would not attract as much attention as a dome.

I have attached a pic of the site, as you can see the garden is not big but has fantastic views, I was wondering what would be the smallest sized shed (from peoples experience) to modify to house a 20cm SCT on a pier. I cant see me buying a bigger scope (though I might upgrade the LX10 to a 90 or 200) as I have other equally expensive hobbies.

Many thanks for any advice.

Jonathan


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Jonathan
We looked up at the stars and wondered whether they was made or just happened - Mark Twain
http://jondemery.blogspot.com/
http://uk.geocities.com/tegfanastro
Meade LX10 & ETX70, observatory (on paper!)

Offline Toad of Toad Hall

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #1 on: 12:17:02, 28 August, 2006 »
Hi Jonathan,

Welcome to the forum  :D

Looks like you have a fantastic observing location -  Is Tegfan a place or house name?

Not very knowledgeable on the observatory front but loads of members undergoing or undergone obs building lately - you are sure to get an answer 8-)

Regards

Justin
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Canon 20Da

Offline GordonCopestake

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #2 on: 12:45:40, 28 August, 2006 »
Im jealous!

Offline DaveS

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #3 on: 13:05:34, 28 August, 2006 »
Hi Jonathan, and welcome aboard.

A superb vista you have there, just 'crying out' for an observatory.

BTW, did you receive my reply to your e-mail regarding my obsy?

Dave
Dave

Offline synner

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #4 on: 17:36:12, 28 August, 2006 »
Welcome to the forum Jonathan... I'm very jealous of that location :mrgreen:
Nick
synner.co.uk

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Offline Pete

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #5 on: 17:52:42, 28 August, 2006 »
Very nice site for an observatory indeed! No street and insecurity lights :) If you'll be out in it you might want to consider a warm room like the guys here are doing. Nice to keep an area out of the weather.

Offline tegfan

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #6 on: 18:50:53, 28 August, 2006 »
Tegfan is actually the name of the cottage - i think it means something like 'nice place'
and Dave yes I got your email thanks for the tips, not sure as yet if I am going to build a warm room!
Jonathan
We looked up at the stars and wondered whether they was made or just happened - Mark Twain
http://jondemery.blogspot.com/
http://uk.geocities.com/tegfanastro
Meade LX10 & ETX70, observatory (on paper!)

Offline GJBC

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #7 on: 00:28:41, 01 September, 2006 »
Hi Johnathon welcome to the forum i know you will enjoy the banter and info

as for the obs you are considering if it is a roll off roof you are going for do factor in a warm room facility as it will enhance the experience when doing astro photography.. Don't scrimp on the size to much, take into account the future acquisitions that you might consider and build to the dimensions required for that scope. If possible build the warm room to the rear so any extention can be made to the observing area, this make cabling much easier in the future.

Take you time look around at the websites of this forums members and get all the ideas right before you start this will keep the cost down in the long run.

Pull in plenty of power even if like me it means putting in an extra circuit breaker in the main house to accommodate this it is worth it. you will need internet access from the word go if possible this makes for easy updates to systems and obtaining starcharts etc with out going indoors.   Storage facility is a must don't make the mistale many of us make by not factoring in any.

there are many observatory's to be found at the following site but there are some dead links there also this will take some time to go through if you look at all of them     http://obs.nineplanets.org/obs/obslist.html

Don't rush into it Take you time and get it Right first time .   As Justin has said there are many of us who have moved into an observatory over the last few years so most of the question have already been answered so don't be scared to ask them again

As for the smallest size of shed it does seem that 7 foot square and above is flavour at the moment then add the warm room to that this should be plenty big enough for now and later.  I have a 8 foot diameter dome  and when the intes micro is being used there is only just enough room to move around so a square or oblong construction gives space in the corners.

Anyway how ever you decide to do it it will as long as it is planned carefully you will not regret the move

Good luck


Grahame
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Meade LXD 55 10", MX5c, LPI, and a Perm well alarmed dome as their home.

michaelmorris

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #8 on: 14:11:29, 16 October, 2006 »
I echo Grahame's comments about making it as big as you can afford/spare the room.  My roll-off roof (see link below) is 8ft x 7ft nominal (roof) shed size.  However, note that manufacturer's shed sizes are often quoted on roof size, not ground size (smaller) or internal size (even smaller).

After adding internal wall insulation and wall linings, my floor area is actually about 6ft 4in x 7ft 3in.  Inside I have a pier mounted 8in LX200 on a Meade standard wedge with a solid dew shield.  I also have a 43cm deep desk along one wall with a computer setup on it.  With this set up, and some careful planning, I have enough room to move around without bumping into things.  I can observe from a seated position from any angle or direction.

Whilst, in an ideal world, an extra couple of feet all round would be nice, it's not really needed.

The construction pages of my observatory website detail how I worked out what size and height I needed.  Because you have a different scope, you will need to look at your own set up and needs to determine the minimum size you want.  Try setting up your scope in a room or outside and work out the size you will need.  I did this on the back lawn with garden canes and a tape measure and some rather bemused neighbours! 

Remember that with any equatorially mounted scope, the distance needed from the scope in one direction may be different to the distance needed in another direction.  I offset my pier to the north to take account of this.

Offline synner

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #9 on: 13:33:00, 17 October, 2006 »
I know this started off as a 'project' thread, but there's so much good stuff in such a short thread (so far) that it should really be in the equipment section... I'll move it over later and make it sticky unless someone objects 8)
Nick
synner.co.uk

My ethical unpredictability is by default proof of its hard won vitalty

Offline dciobota

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #10 on: 18:59:26, 17 October, 2006 »
 I don't mind at all Nick, I was wondering the same thing actually.  Good info here, if I ever get mine totally finished I'll add my bits, right now all I can give advice on is what not to do!  :lol:

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Offline synner

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #11 on: 19:52:46, 18 October, 2006 »
Eh what!?! This post started off life in the PEC thread! What's it doing in here then?

Nick
synner.co.uk

My ethical unpredictability is by default proof of its hard won vitalty

Offline NickH

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #12 on: 20:03:38, 18 October, 2006 »
Nice thread and GREAT site...I used to live in North Wales and I love SNP (Snowdonia National Park) for the views..

Good luck with the obsy!

Celestron C11: DSI-C/Toucam Pro 2 ICX mod and SC1.5 mod/ Meade LPI/EOS300D/ED80/WO80ZS/Shoestring guider. PST/PST CaK/ART285

No time....always bloomin cloudy...need to build the Obsy..

Offline dciobota

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #13 on: 03:59:16, 19 October, 2006 »
  Oh, and btw, even though only a few short months too late, welcome Jonathan, and beautiful place!

 
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Offline alanjs

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Re: New Observatory
« Reply #14 on: 21:46:33, 19 October, 2006 »
Hi. I have just finished making my 3rd observatory. The last 2 have had a low side wall(so as not to limit the area of sky on view, unlike a converted garden shed can), with the roof splitting in 2 and sliding off onto protruding joists either side. my mount is a german equatorial so I made my walls about 3ft high, and about 10 ft wide each way. If you have an ALT AZ it will have be higher. I can send you a pic if it will help. Its dark now so can't oblige at the mo!!! My observatory cost maybe £300 total from scratch.
250mm Beacon Hill Newtonian,  William Optic 110mm Flourite, Skywatcher 80 ED ,William optic 66mm Apo, Starlight Xpress SXV H9, Starlight Xpress Adaptive Optics, True Tech Filter Wheel, JMI SmartFocus, Canon 350D, boxes full of bits and a birds nest of cables!!

 

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