I have read a lot about those of us who are lucky to have an observatory in their backyards..being able to view whenever they wish to...I have been planning to do the same for quite some time..the biggest hurdle is finding a suitable spot in a cramped backyard..the only solution was to clear up the horror corner which was home to a very mangy tree stump complete with creepy occupants!!
After months of planning I decieded to make this into an observing area of some sort. I did several designs..the first thing I discovered is that a roll-off roof type was impossible..not enough room!!. The next one was a roll-away observatory..it looked promising!
After 2 months cleaning up the corner, leveling and paving...the next step was to build a pier to support the scope's mount. Three 100mm x 1000mm concrete pins were sunk into the hole, (700mm below ground, 300mm above). A square mould 800mm x 800mm set 100mm below ground level was filled with concrete. A time casule has been placed under the pier.
Once the base had set, I made the mould for the second section, triangular in shape, made from particleboard lined with pvc film, each side 450mmm high x 720mm long. This was secured to the base's mould.
The concretre was poured in with steel framing. A polystyrene disc 70mm x 30mm was set into each corner for the mount's legs.
The moulds were remove after one week and allowed to dry fully before sealing and painting.
The next step was to make the "V" shaped framework to accomodate the shape of the pier. This would then be built into the base of the observatory.
25mm x 150mm timber was used for the framework, door, walls and roof trusses and all joints were glued and screwed before sealing inside and out.
In order to make the observatory pivot in a small space, castors were fitted for the back section while fixed wheels were fitted to the front. A large chromed handle fitted to the back corner made manouvering easy.
Corrigated tin finished the roof and a dial thermometer was fited above the doorway to give an indication for cool-down times.
An observing chair and step-stool was built as the EP height was now at 1800mm!
thanks to the pier.
A fold-out table and a screen to block out stray lights completed the job.
The first night-time test showed up a few niggles and were fixed there and then..
It works a treat and it's a lot more comfortable..well worth the effort!
I hope get some photo's in soon..