Another small step toward an observatory

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jrkirkham
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Another small step toward an observatory

#1

Post by jrkirkham »

After deciding where to place the observatory (which by the way wasn't any of the three locations I listed earlier), I finally broke ground and began the deck. This is an area between 3 & 4 on the Bortle scale. It has fairly flat horizons, not too many obstructions, and no nearby lights. There is a dome of light pollution toward the northeast. It is about five minutes from my home. It is easy to get to. Phase one of the project is the observatory. Here are some shots of the four horizons. The deck is 12'x12'.
Attachments
West View.jpg
East View.jpg
South View.jpg
North View.jpg
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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depratnt
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#2

Post by depratnt »

nice! and five minutes away? sounds like a perfect location. Is the area up and coming or do you expect the light pollution levels to stay around bortle 3-4 ?
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jrkirkham
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#3

Post by jrkirkham »

It is outside a small town with a population of 3,000. The entire county has a population of less than 7,000. The population hasn't changed in several decades. The main source of light pollution is the town and a prison a few miles away. About a half mile down the road is a state park hunting area. You never know for sure, but I don't expect the light pollution to change much in the near future.

With the exception of the deck, everything will be portable. The only financial risk to me, should I need to relocate is the deck. If I can get 10 years out of the site the cost of the deck would have been well worth it.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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jrkirkham
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#4

Post by jrkirkham »

I should add that the state owns land to the south and to the west.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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#5

Post by helicon »

Sounds like a very interesting project. Wishing you the best of luck on the obsy Rob.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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#6

Post by Makuser »

Hi Rob. A very nice location, crarftsmanship, and excellent method of easy usage for your new obsy. Thanks for sharing these great photos with us on here Rob, and keep us posted on your work.
- Marshall
Orion Astroview 120ST f/5 Refractor on EQ3 mount
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yobbo89
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#7

Post by yobbo89 »

Hello, i do remember a post awhile ago of someone wanting to build an observatory,i think the options was , a: the back yard , b: 5 mins from home , and c : 2-3 hr drive. was this your post ?

btw it looks like a nice site!.
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jrkirkham
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#8

Post by jrkirkham »

Yep, that was me. I was leaning toward building it at home. Then I realized that my friend's offer of a location was given as a gift to me from our years of friendship. The location at my home had a lot more problems. Especially it didn't have these horizons or darker sky. I was grateful for the gesture. I didn't want to look a gift horse (plot) in the mouth.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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jrkirkham
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#9

Post by jrkirkham »

I received word from Wayne that my new Skyshed POD should arrive sometime around February 21. I am looking forward to it. I am scheduled to be in Arizona the first couple of weeks in March. By the time I get home it should be warm enough to start putting it together. I ordered an XL3 model.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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jrkirkham
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#10

Post by jrkirkham »

A quick follow up. Today is February 21. I received notice that my Skyshed POD XL3 is done and leaving the factory today. It is now in the hands f the shipper. I have also been in contact with the shipping company. It comes from Canada. I have no idea how long it should take from this point. I am hoping less than two weeks, but have no experience with this.

I'll also give another quick update on choosing a location other than my back yard. The location I chose is exactly 3 1/2 miles fro my door. Three houses down from my house a grocery store recently remodeled it's parking lot with bright lights that are on 24/7. I can now read a book at midnight in my back yard. In addition, my house is not as safe as it once was. Our community has been having problems with youth breaking into cars at night. The location for my observatory is on a private lane, far enough from my friend's house to be private, yet close enough for his dogs to scare away intruders. It was kind of him to offer a lot for my use.

I am cutting corners everywhere I can, with the idea of making some possible upgrades later. Phase I is the observatory. Phase II is a warm room with bunks so my grandchildren can join us. Phase III might be the possible upgrade of my telescopes, depending on how many corners I cut in the process.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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pakarinen
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#11

Post by pakarinen »

Good luck and keep us posted! My HOA won't allow one, but I live vicariously by reading people's posts about theirs.
Olen Suomalainen!


Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80, Skywatcher 90mm Mak
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jrkirkham
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#12

Post by jrkirkham »

I received my phone call yesterday. My new Skyshed POD XL3 is scheduled for delivery this afternoon.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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Star Dad
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#13

Post by Star Dad »

Please let us know how it goes in setting up and what you think of it. I am contemplating recommending SkyShed for a non-profit I volunteer with.

Are you going to have power out at your site?
"To be good is not enough when you dream of being great"

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#14

Post by helicon »

Great news Rob!
-Michael
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#15

Post by pakarinen »

jrkirkham wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:48 pm
I received my phone call yesterday. My new Skyshed POD XL3 is scheduled for delivery this afternoon.
Boo-yah! :observatory:
Olen Suomalainen!


Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80, Skywatcher 90mm Mak
Twilight 1 / Astro Devices encoders / Nexus II / Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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jrkirkham
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#16

Post by jrkirkham »

It arrived today, so I am excited. I am now on Spring Break and leave for Arizona in the morning, so I won't get to assemble it until later in the month. I'll keep everyone updated.

I'm taking it a step at a time right now, but I don't plan on running power to it at this time. Instead I am considering going off grid and using solar power. That could change.

This is my retirement project. I am cutting every corner I can to put the shell up. Then I hope to do some tweaking after retirement. This is phase one.

Phase One: Skyshed POD XL3
Phase Two: putting up a warm room with sleeping space for grandkids
Phase Three: updating my scopes

I imagine it will take me most of the year. I started planning and saving for this a few years ago. I ordered the POD in September.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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pakarinen
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#17

Post by pakarinen »

jrkirkham wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:10 am
This is my retirement project. [...]

Phase One: Skyshed POD XL3
Phase Two: putting up a warm room with sleeping space for grandkids
Phase Three: updating my scopes

Oh boy! Projects!

I will build my wanna-have obsy vicariously through your adventures, so keep posting!
Olen Suomalainen!


Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80, Skywatcher 90mm Mak
Twilight 1 / Astro Devices encoders / Nexus II / Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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Mac
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#18

Post by Mac »

Hey Rob, I've been following along and can feel your excitement. I broke ground on mine last week, in between snow storms.

Keep us updated with the details and share them please.
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
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aka Steve
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jrkirkham
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#19

Post by jrkirkham »

I'll be looking forward to watching yours go up also.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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jrkirkham
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#20

Post by jrkirkham »

I got the shell of my new observatory up. There are still plenty of tweaks that need finished, but this ends phase one of my observatory project.
Attachments
Clubhouse Observatory Day One Mar20  lr.jpg
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 4.5" reflector, 10" dob, 8"SCT
Mounts: Orion Sirius + several camera tripods
Cameras: Canon 6D, Canon 80D, ZWO-ASII20
Binoculars: 10x50, 15x63
Current Project: setting up an observatory (preparing for retirement)
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