My Observatory Tent Modifications

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My Observatory Tent Modifications

#1

Post by carastro »

As discussed on another thread, https://theskysearchers.com/viewtopic.p ... 55#p253655
I thought I would post the many modifications I made to my Camping Observatory to make it "up to the task" together with some photos!!

I think it has the name SkyTech or Astro-Tech on the side, (It's all folded away in it's bag now so can't check).

I love it, but I can't say the original design was up to the job, I have had to do a lot of modifications. But now it is great.

Modifications:
1. It arrived with a silly roof cover that hardly fitted over the edge of the roof, kept on with Velcro. I decided right at the start to add a 10" pelmet and also added clips to attach it to the sides when the roof is in place. (that helps enormously with getting the roof back on in the dark.

This is the original Roof provided, as you can see it fits where it touches. :
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New Obsy Tent 2017.jpg
Last edited by carastro on Thu Sep 21, 2023 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#2

Post by carastro »

So I looked on Ebay and managed to buy some matching shower proof fabric and made a 10" pelmit. I also decided to attach some plastic clips to aid putting the roof on and off and making sure it stayed in place (also bought off Ebay).
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Adding the pelmit.png
Last edited by carastro on Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#3

Post by carastro »

So we now have a camping observatory looking like this:
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Round door.png
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#4

Post by carastro »

2. The roof poles went into small triangular pockets giving only the side fabric of the tent as the part that took all the pressure and on first use one of the poles went straight through the side of the tent!!!

So I had a think about it and constructed some strong double pockets that would take the pressure (made from an old rucksack that I cut up). I also added channels for the actual rods - not only giving a second layer but were more likely to hold the rods upright.
Attachments
Dome poles pockets.png
Last edited by carastro on Thu Sep 21, 2023 1:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mount: HEQ5 + Polemaster
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#5

Post by carastro »

3. There are supposed to be 4 doorways, all are arched with nylon zips (also under tension). One camp the zips all failed/broke and I was left with 4 open doorways!!! So after scratching my head, I decided to stitch up 3 doorways, and constructed a Square door NOT UNDER TENSION) for one doorway and bought some heavy duty zips. (I love Ebay lol).
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Door Mod on camping obsy.jpg
Last edited by carastro on Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#6

Post by carastro »

So now we have this. I left a small slot open in one of the doorways to pass my electric hook up cable through.
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Camping obs with new zips 2.jpg
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#7

Post by carastro »

4. The pieces that the wall rods and the tent pegs go into, several have split and had to get some more 3D printed.
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3D peg holder.jpg
3D peg holder.jpg (68.9 KiB) Viewed 1943 times
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#8

Post by carastro »

5. The rods at the top form a circumference to keep the top round and steady, these are also under tension, and were starting to shatter into long strips. Unable to find any replacement rods the right size or length, I have had to strap them round and round along the length with tape. That seems to be working OK.

I don't currently have a photo of this, Here's me sitting in it at the last camp. I have taken a screen shot of the horizontal rods and zoomed in, you can possibly just make out the rod is grey and in some places white (depending on which tape I was using) instead o being black where I have wound tape around the rods in places to stop them splitting.

So all in all, a lot of work to make it "up to the task".

I do wonder how long the rods will last and I have had difficulty getting rods of the right width and length to replace them.
May have to improvise with something else, (any ideas?). Was wondering about some sort of metal cable.
Attachments
Wrapping the rods.png
Sitting inside the camping Pbsy.png
Mount: HEQ5 + Polemaster
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#9

Post by messier 111 »

very good these modifications, there seems to be a lot of room inside, thx.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

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Post by yobbo89 »

i like it, looks like plenty of room for camping
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#11

Post by carastro »

Thanks, it does a good job as a wind barrier and keeps a lot of the damp out. Not 100 % water tight but keeps 95% out. So i still loosely put a cover over the rig.

It also keeps things more comfortable for me when l am sitting at the laptop. Once l was there and had no idea it was frosty outside until l came out of the obsy tent.

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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#12

Post by Juno16 »

That is really nice Carole. Great work on the modifications.

Looks very roomy. Do you sleep inside? Or, is it just for your gear/imaging?
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#13

Post by Graeme1858 »

Excellent engineering skills there Carole! Looks like you modified just about every part of the tent! It will last you years now.

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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#14

Post by StarHugger »

Nice tenting indeed, cool you are getting it all durable and cosy...

Makes as difference blocking a bit of wind too I bet.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#15

Post by pakarinen »

Wow. Looks like it's a nice thing to have, but that is a lot of mods to get it up to snuff. :think:
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#16

Post by AstroBee »

Very nice. Impressive and very handy modifications you've made to it too!
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#17

Post by carastro »

pakarinen wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 4:38 pm Wow. Looks like it's a nice thing to have, but that is a lot of mods to get it up to snuff. :think:
It is but l didn’t do them all at once, so soread over a frw years it wasn’t so bad.

When l was at Kelling Heath Star party last year another female with the same tent came to look at all my mods as she had some problems too. I ended up doing a PDF for her if the roof rod pockets as too difficult to explain. I must contact her to see how she got on.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#18

Post by Lady Fraktor »

Excellent modifications Carole, hopefully it will last for many years.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#19

Post by carastro »

Juno16 wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 3:12 pm That is really nice Carole. Great work on the modifications.

Looks very roomy. Do you sleep inside? Or, is it just for your gear/imaging?
I thought l had replied to this but must have mucked it up.
No l don’t sleep in it as l like to retreat to my cosy cabin and watch DVDs while the imaging is chugging away.

I did see another guy with the same tent once who was an observer who slept in his - he didn’t have the roof extension so l am glad it didn’t rain. With a table, chair and laptop in there, there is not much space for sleeping and l would be worried about knocking the tripod legs and messing up the PA.

I guess you could if you were desperate though.
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Re: My Observatory Tent Modifications

#20

Post by Juno16 »

carastro wrote: Sat Sep 23, 2023 9:22 pm
Juno16 wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 3:12 pm That is really nice Carole. Great work on the modifications.

Looks very roomy. Do you sleep inside? Or, is it just for your gear/imaging?
I thought l had replied to this but must have mucked it up.
No l don’t sleep in it as l like to retreat to my cosy cabin and watch DVDs while the imaging is chugging away.

I did see another guy with the same tent once who was an observer who slept in his - he didn’t have the roof extension so l am glad it didn’t rain. With a table, chair and laptop in there, there is not much space for sleeping and l would be worried about knocking the tripod legs and messing up the PA.

I guess you could if you were desperate though.

I hear you there. I would be afraid that I would kick something during the night!

That really sounds great! I need to do this someday.

Thanks Carole!
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 APO, Sharpstar 61 EDPH II APO, Samyang 135 F2 (still on the Nikon).
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro with Rowan Belt Mod
Stuff: ASI EAF Focus Motor (x2), ZWO OAG, ZWO 30 mm Guide Scope, ASI 220mm min, ASI 120mm mini, Stellarview 0.8 FR/FF, Sharpstar 0.8 FR/FF, Mele Overloock 3C.
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