View Full Version here: : Observatory security
As I inch ever closer to getting my Observatory started (there's always something else that has to be done first)
My thoughts have been turning to the issue of security and I was wondering what ideas other owners have to keep out the undesirables.
My first thought has been for a solid core door and a deadlock while the ROR assembly would have some type of clamp and padlock setup.
I don't want to sound paranoid but while living rurally offers great dark skies it also offer the criminals plenty of peace and quiet to go about their evil trade, and while things can be replaced under insurance it is that inconvenience of lost time as well of waiting for months or years for replacement items.
30-01-2011, 12:32 PM
I'm pretty sure locks only keep honest people out.
Building a kennel next to the obs for adolf the rotty might deter most thieves :)
30-01-2011, 03:57 PM
Ric ..... Put a sign on your door " Warning .. ALIENS INSIDE " :lol:
Other than that .... an endless " loop" tape recording of a " growling dog " .. . :lol:
Cheer up Mate .. ;)
30-01-2011, 04:08 PM
Ric, is your Obs far from your house?
Some good alarms are fairly cheap, but are really only any good if someone is near enough to hear it.
Other than that, I'd suggest a solid core or steel door with deadlock.
30-01-2011, 04:11 PM
You'll probably have an internet connection to the obs... setup a CCTV and warning stickers in addition to the IR activate lights, alarm, live connection to an outside speaker so you can talk to the burglars, plus an IR tracking 5mW red laser that follows their movement via heat sensing (they will think someone has a rifle trained on them) ... :lol:
30-01-2011, 04:49 PM
You could get a wireless alarm with a GSM dialler, external screamer, internal screamer, and float the dialler across a 12V gel cell for power redundancy. At least you'd be called in real time if your alarm was tripped and it wouldn't be reliant on a hard phone line.
Additionally, you could set up IR video surveillance and hook it up to your web connection (dumping your recorded events to a server hidden somewhere for safety). It all helps, but won't stop someone who is determined to break in.
Hook your surveillance up to the web so that you can dial in whenever you want to check the cameras. ZomeMinder is a great, free unix software solution for video surveillance that is as robust as they come.
30-01-2011, 05:02 PM
Did I mention the electric fence? :D
Some interesting ideas to ponder over, ta lads.
I dont have a guard dog so the killer chickens will have to suffice.
31-01-2011, 12:14 AM
Swap the chooks for Geese and you have a very successful Medieval Burglar Alarm. :thumbsup:
It actually works too. Try sneaking passed Geese! :D
I know all about geese Ken.
My uncle in Italy used to breed them on his farm. The rotten so & so's used to nip me behind the kneecap all the time.
31-01-2011, 12:27 AM
Anyone goes near your Obs and the whole town will hear the geese honking, and the burglar screaming as they chase him and nip him :rofl:
If they were good enough to keep enemy hordes out of Castles they'll keep a thief out of an obs :thumbsup:
Another thought, I could always put my beehive right next to the Obs, Bee's always seems to freak people out. Don't know why though :shrug: ;)
They are friendly little critters.
31-01-2011, 12:57 AM
Would activity at your obs affect the bees?
Just your presence there may make them want to set up a hive elsewhere :shrug:
Not really as they aren't active at night or in the colder months and they are quite tolerant of activity within a couple of metres of the hive.
Wear light colours and you are not a threat to them.
Come swarming time you just split the hive into another hive with a new Queen and life continues on.
31-01-2011, 04:22 AM
On a serious note.....can this be done?????
31-01-2011, 04:28 AM
Apart from all the suggestions, If somebody does break in ( or even a natural disaster) you might want to consider a back up of all your data that is stored on any puters in the Obs. If they take the laptop or puter from the Obs, and you have all your pics on there, you will have lost a lot of valuable imaging time!
Just a thought.......
31-01-2011, 06:30 AM
I had an old house alarm in my old dome, which when set off had a 120db squeeler in the obs, I can tell you, you can only spend a couple of seconds in there when that goes off, unless you are wearing double the amount of hearing protection. You can hook up an outside warning. But a couple of good dead locks, latches and padlocks should be enough to warn any intruder away, and if you go away, pack your gear up and put it into self storage, it's insured and under surveillance.
31-01-2011, 12:59 PM
You'll need one of these -> http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/systems/an-aaq-24.htm
And modify it, as I don't think you want to heat up your "victim"
31-01-2011, 01:45 PM
I have 2 guard dogs that go absolutely nuts if someone they dont know you and you come on the property. One of them is a"jumper" and wants to get to know you but it seems to have a bad habit of dragging one of its paws when it jumps up which has the unfortunate side effect of whacking the target in the "nuts". This then leads to the target bending over in pain/astonishment which enables the other to grab the targets throat.
An effective duo.
I also have locks and padlocks on mine, as well as nosey neighbours in case they know the intruder.
31-01-2011, 02:43 PM
Ric if they are so friendly why are you wearing all that gear:question: :P ;):lol::lol::lol:
Generally they are Ron, but when you open the hive for inspection they tend to get upset.
I suppose that's fair, I'd be upset if someone took my roof off.
01-02-2011, 01:22 AM
How about an official-looking sign on the gate saying "Tropical Diseases Sample Centre - Hazardous waste exposure - enter at own risk." With a logo showing someone in a full enviro suit. Or perhaps a "Police Line - Do Not Cross" sign. Guaranteed to freeze the missus and guarantee the teenage son's mates go elsewhere.
03-02-2011, 06:34 PM
You could always adapt this idea. Not many would be game to approach too close! See http://tesladownunder.com/ for more details (and other attonishing feats).
Anti personnel mines??? :lol::lol:
Just make sure the shed can handle it ;)
03-02-2011, 10:06 PM
Here's a few idea's...
Put up a sign "You have been photographed, alarm has been activated, owner notifed"
Put up a tube steel doorway, (75mm x 4mm), make up a tube steel door,(30mm x 4mm), like a gate, and cover each side with 7 ply secured with coach bolts, (the more the better). Weld 4 hinges to the door/doorway.
Use heavy slidebolts with padlock covers top and bottom of the door.
A sensorlight with 2 par38 lamps aim at the door from the inside which can only be turned off by a hidden switch.
A dummy dressed up like Freddy K inside.
:lol: Including me Chris.
Thanks for all the great idea's guys. :D :thumbsup:
05-02-2011, 08:55 AM
I would probably consider that the more visible security features that you have on the outside, the more you're sending the message that there's lots of expensive stuff to grab on the inside. Perhaps low key visibility would be the way to go, whilst maintaining good security (decent lock, perhaps a small IR surveillance camera just above the door to get footage of anyone approaching the door, a light with a movement sensor that you can turn on and off from the inside, wireless alarm with door reed switch, PIR, screamer on the inside with GSM dialler).
I agree with your ideas which is why I've gone with the ROR design, the more it looks like a garden shed hopefully the less attention it will attract.
Actually there have been a lot of good ideas which has given me a lot to work with, thanks to everyone for their ideas so far.
08-02-2011, 05:55 PM
I originally spoke to my insurance company about whether they'd insure everything inside a garden shed, regardless of what it was / how expensive it was (including telescopes) and they said it was no problem. It actually took me by surprise. Armed with that knowledge, I went about building my beautiful observatory and surrounds, and securing it as best I could. I have photos of everything that lives inside it just in case, and only leave the items in there that have to be in there (ie. no precious naglers, CCD cameras etc). It's fully alarmed, locked and monitored - so there's nothing much more I can do. I must admit to feeling uneasy for the first few weeks after it was built and my telescopes were moved inside.
26-02-2011, 06:07 PM
Our local bee keeper does wear any of that gear, when he gives classes it's looks funny with everyone else dressed up and him touching bees moving them out the way, doing whatever he wants.:screwy:
26-02-2011, 06:22 PM
Disguise is the best defence I think. Works for sheds, not for domes.
Quality door locks, and strong door. A door that happens to be quite sticky/jammed helps too (confuses legitimate people who try to open the obs, so why not crooks :) ).
Off-site data backup is a must, easily done to the house and vice-versa, with the network cable hidden of course.
In addition to data, if you house is nearby (say < 100m) you can have a 2-4 camera security set recording the area and having the data stored "offsite" in the house, with UPS backup. Fairly reasonable price these days. Most of those recorders will easily fit in a tucked away place in the house, hidden from being stolen themselves, and only needing a network cable to be able to maintain & monitor them from a PC.
Good locks on the roof is an obvious one I guess, so the roof can't be opened easier than the door.
27-02-2011, 05:59 PM
Big fence and large, savage dog :)
Then the rest of the above mentioned measures :)
01-03-2011, 04:12 PM
Solid core door, two dead locks with different keys and good insurance is all that is needed. Anything else becomes a man trap and that is gonna land you in hot water.
In reality it is hard to sell astro gear on the used market. Places like Cash converters alert police straight away when they see equipment that looks expensive. Even thieves are not stupid about fencing gear off. If you have the basics it will deter most. I would not lose any sleep over whether someone is going to steal your gear or not. Get the insurance and prevent the problem in the first place.:)
Fit an alarm system to it that calls your mobile if the alarm goes off.
Doing this may also bring down the insurance costs as well.
04-03-2011, 06:11 PM
Try this for surveilence
That's pretty cool software Adrian.
06-03-2011, 01:22 PM
Put a few of these around your observatory
then make up some pressure plates that click loudly when someone treads on them
Come home one day to find someone standing dead still ****ting himself in your paddock
Twisted I know but :rofl::rofl:
06-03-2011, 04:14 PM
I use some of this software when I go away for the weekend. Just login to the pc at home via my iPhone no matter where I am.
Good one Trevor. :rofl:
Might get the local council a bit worried though.
30-06-2011, 12:26 PM
Good insurance is really the only viable answer. While there are lots of ideas for "deterrents", most of them require the threat of violence which is generally illegal, plus only serves to up the "challenge" for them.
The beauty of insurance is, technology gets cheaper, so if you insure for agreed value or replacement value, then when your stuff gets stolen or vandalised, you get to claim for all brand-new stuff.
30-06-2011, 12:26 PM
Perhaps a dummy camera with a "Live Feed" sign under it.
I have to agree Baz, the only safeguard is to be fully insured. All the locks in the world only really keep the honest people out.
02-07-2011, 06:46 PM
If you are unlucky to have a break in chances are they will do more damage to the telescope trying to figure out how to get it off the pier/mount. Remembering also that these type of robberies are usually over in minutes so its grab and run stuff that will easily sell at the pawn shop or pub. We had this happen at Sirius a few years ago and they mostly took small easy to carry stuff and it was all over in minutes (video caught it all but not them). Those with domes are asking for trouble in my opinion - hmmmm something valuable in there and roll offs are mostly just what they look like - sheds.
Insurance is the word BUT specify the items and put a value on them, send copies of receipts to the insurance company by email and get a response that you are indeed covered.
Have to agree as well Peter.
As much as I would love to have a domed Obs the roll of roof is definitely more of an advantage as it tends to blend in with other sheds.
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