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Old 31-10-2020, 09:54 PM
Rod1448 (Rod)
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New Observatory Build Help

Hi,

Only a beginner in astronomy with an 8" Dob.

I'm enjoying it so much that I have decided to look at building an observatory at my place so I can house an astrophotography scope.

Also hoping to get some help with ideas, etc. for the observatory. Have googled lots and so many different types but most are in northern hemisphere so don't know exactly what I should be looking for here at Singleton NSW including build location/orientation, etc. It might be very similar to other countries but would like to know for sure before I start. I'm assuming uninterrupted views of SCP would be a good start. I have looked at the Skyshed plans and don't mind this design but any help from years of experience would be greatly appreciated. Even the telescope pier, concrete or steel? pros and cons? There are so many options and questions for everything. Head spinning.Thanks in advance.

Cheers
Rod
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:52 AM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Decision 1: dome or roll-off roof?
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:35 AM
Rod1448 (Rod)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroApprentice View Post
Decision 1: dome or roll-off roof?
Hi,
Yes, Roll-off as per the Skyshed plans they sell. I chose this for a number of reasons including;
  • Style - Better matches our property
  • Cost - Cheaper than a dome and/or easier to build
  • Size - Can get a larger sized room
  • Views - Unobstructed views of the sky.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:45 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Plan carefully, experiment with the best setup location sheltered from neighbouring lights etc and the north east sky as a priority.
The ROR option is the most achievable approach in my opinion and cost effective. Although everthing has its drawbacks...
The pier gives you a permanent solution to setting up your mount with polar alignment done once and you can forget about it for a while which makes it much easier for getting out there and getting straight into observing or photographing.
Just read the posts on this forum, there is plenty of ideas out there but set yourself on what you think works for your backyard.
Good luck
Anth
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:38 AM
Rod1448 (Rod)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anth10 View Post
Plan carefully, experiment with the best setup location sheltered from neighbouring lights etc and the north east sky as a priority.
The ROR option is the most achievable approach in my opinion and cost effective. Although everthing has its drawbacks...
The pier gives you a permanent solution to setting up your mount with polar alignment done once and you can forget about it for a while which makes it much easier for getting out there and getting straight into observing or photographing.
Just read the posts on this forum, there is plenty of ideas out there but set yourself on what you think works for your backyard.
Good luck
Anth

Thanks Anthony, I have been reading lots lately. I have decided on a pier as well. i'll keep that in mind the NE sky.
Cheers
Rod
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:37 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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If you a serious about moving into AP then think in terms of a remote or semi remote operation.
You donít want to be sitting with the mozzies all night.
My observatory is a run off roof about 20mtr from the home office.
I go out fire up the local laptop and mount etc open the roof, then head back to the comfort of the office. Everything can be done from there.
At the end of the session, go out, power down and close the lid.
Works for me.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:58 PM
Rod1448 (Rod)
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Hi Ken,
That sounds like a great idea. What's involved in making this work? My obs. will be about 35m from my home office but I still get wifi reception out there, about 30%-35%. I may have to see about boosting this up a little.
Cheers
Rod
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:49 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Iím sure youíll get many suggestions....
I have a olí laptop in the observatory controlling the mount, NEQ6PRO and the various cameras/ spectroscope that I use, using a CAT6 cable this connects to the office WiFi and I use a laptop to control the observatory laptop via TeamViewer.
Works 100% for me.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:02 PM
Rod1448 (Rod)
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I was hoping to get out of running a cable 35m to the observatory. Do you know if it can still be controlled via WiFi? Also how well does your NEQ6Pro work for photos as I've heard to go for the EQ6Pro instead as it is belt driven so smoother operation but about $600 more. Is it worth it??
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:53 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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I didnít find the WiFi too good to give reliable performance.
My NEQ6PRO is a few years old and it still does a great job for me in spectroscopy. I have to hold a target star image on a 20 micron slit gap for at least a 10 min sub and usually an hour or so exposure. Thatís with a C11 at f10.
IMHO itís the capability of the guiding rather than a belt drive which would make the difference.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:15 PM
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AstroJunk (Jonathan)
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Dome Sweet Dome.

The down side is quite simple, $$$. Upfront costs are steep, but resale values are great and they can be removed and reassembled when you move house or sell up.

These Sirius domes are both over 15 years old and in superb condition, a joy to use and much better than a roll off - you can image in conditions that would be quite a challenge normally and the thermal properties are superb - The big dome contains Solar scopes and stays reasonably cool on the hottest of days. At night time, they reach equilibrium with the outside world in seconds as the warm air inside escapes, but they still fend off dew for quite some time.

It's hard to make that sort of investment as a beginner though, but if you are a lifer...

BTW any observatory is a bazillion times better than no observatory!
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