After many sessions of lugging around the heavy Meade LX200GPS 10 inch telescope, and burning hours getting proper polar alignment, I decided it was time to put in a permanent pier. I looked around at a number of options before settling on the custom steel pier from Astrosky. The reason: well constructed, low cost, and I can take it with me if I move from my present location (something that you can't do with a poured concrete pier!)
Although the steel pier and wedge were great for stability and keeping the polar position intact, I still had to lug the heavy scope. Granted, the tripod was not necessary any longer, but it would have been fantastic to keep the scope on the wedge at all times. Not one to keep such an expensive precession piece of equipment exposed to the elements, I decided to build an observatory around the pier. My only requirements were that the observatory was a secure environment, that it did not look like an observatory (i.e. the dome building), and was something that a non-skilled carpenter could put together with minor injuries. I purchased plans for a roll-off roof building from Skyshed. The 8'x10' building was plenty for what I needed. For the most part, I followed the plans, although I did make some modifications. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can!
Here are some photos of the observatory under construction:
Floor built according to Skyshed plans around the permanent pier which was earlier installed.
Frame going up (no, the scope was not there during construction!)
Window opening for air conditioner
Plywood holds the frame together strongly. A slight deviation from the original plans from Skyshed.
Notice no window...another modification of the plans
Roof under construction and rolled off from the rest of the observatory
Use of heavy plastic wrap for better insulation. Note the air conditioner is installed.
Outside siding from Lowe's, then painted to suit.
Click here to see the completed observatory
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