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Old 21-04-2021, 08:09 PM
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iborg (Philip)
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Observatory tent?

Hi All


I am thinking of buying myself an observatory tent, probably the one in the link below.


Does anyone have experience with these? Any suggestions of what to buy, or, just as important, what not to buy?


Thank you


Philip
https://proastroz.com/products/teles...eb98eec&_ss=r#
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Old 21-04-2021, 08:22 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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It depends on how sturdy you need it to be and specs for your setup. There has been various OEM and variants of this for years and for my kind of telescope setup, this isnít really tall enough to block winds for astrophotography.

https://youtu.be/10Cs6DIvd4s

Instead, Iíve been able to demo this Astronomy Academy Perthís Octans Observatory tent which is much more sturdy, and (IMHO) the Rolls Royce of portable observatory tent and a price to match (around $800). This tent has been able to withstand 25mph winds and probably could hold out a little more. You'll have to PM the maker here for further info: https://www.facebook.com/AAPERTH

https://youtu.be/G_9JwIR1Ffo

As much as I like the Octans Observatory tent, it was a little more than I would have liked to spend so I settled with a DIY Wanderer gazebo. But if you have a liberal budget, AAP's Octans Observatory Tent is a great tent.

Last edited by AnakChan; 21-04-2021 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 21-04-2021, 08:48 PM
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iborg (Philip)
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Hi Anak


Thanks for the suggestion. I had seen the Octans one, and have asked when they may have more available.


The price I can afford, but, can I justify it? That may be another matter.


I would be very interested in hearing from those who actually have one.


I am after something reasonably weather proof, so the gazebo idea is out.


Philip
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Old 21-04-2021, 09:08 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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So whilst I didn’t buy the Octans, a few members of the folks I hang around with have one (although I’m not certain how active they are on forums). As such I see the Octans often enough to make some high level comments on it.

The one I demo-ed (which is the one in my YouTube) was pre-prod (pretty much final) of which I set up my Tak Ķ250CRS/Vixen AXD and threw my swag and slept in it for the night. It’s got a top cover which can be used during the day to completely block out the sunlight. And the material is naturally durable.

It can be set up by 1 person but 2 ppl would be quicker naturally. I made a quick timelapse of the setup :-

https://youtu.be/dKYrXTxXzc4

My gazebo setup definitely wouldn’t (and didn’t, in a Dec trip late last year) in strong winds the way the other Octans did.
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Old 21-04-2021, 10:07 PM
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Tandum (Robin)
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Most of us camera people up here used shower tents. Leave the scope outside and cover the electronics with the tent. 400+ for any tent seems a bit rich.

Here's a cheapy.
https://www.mydeal.com.au/ozoffer-pr...iABEgI42PD_BwE
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Old 22-04-2021, 12:35 AM
glend (Glen)
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I have used a pop up toilet tent to shelter my laptop while dark site imaging, which worked well. If you buy a larger one there is room enough for a small Coleman pop up kitchen cupboard and chair, which can be used as a workstation and storage (Has shelves). I still use the Coleman cupboard in my observatory today.

https://images.app.goo.gl/G8VD7LVXzUqPSvBc9
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Old 22-04-2021, 05:25 AM
AstroExplorer (Carlos)
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I bought one of the Octans Portable Observatory tents from Astronomy Academy Perth and I can thoroughly recommend it. It is made from a thick waterproof material and can withstand winds strong enough to blow a normal tent over. There is heaps of room inside. I can comfortably fit an 8" Newt, 2 small tables (one for a small kitchen), 2 chairs, a portable fridge, and a single inflatable bed/mattress and with room to spare for equipment. It also comes with an extra height of wind protection canvas held up by tethered poles as seen in the video posted by AnakChan. It also comes with a removable canvas roof and when held up internally by 2 supplied poles can offer waterproof protection with great water runoff. All of this (tent, poles, guys ropes, extra wind protection) folds down into a small neat bag about the size of a cricket gear bag. I also used it as a temporary backyard observatory till my permanent one was built. I've attached a few images to illustrate. Hope this helps.
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Old 22-04-2021, 10:24 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iborg View Post
Hi All


I am thinking of buying myself an observatory tent, probably the one in the link below.


Does anyone have experience with these? Any suggestions of what to buy, or, just as important, what not to buy?


Thank you


Philip
https://proastroz.com/products/teles...eb98eec&_ss=r#
I bought one of these in 2007 for $300.00. It lasted well over 10 years. Then started wearing out so got a new one that was slightly different fabric which fell apart within 3 months at the seams. Definitely different manufacturing processes and quality. So I got a second hand original and made one out of the two. The old ones were good. $400,00 is very rich though for what it is now.
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Old 22-04-2021, 11:17 AM
Wilsil (Wilco)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandum View Post
Most of us camera people up here used shower tents. Leave the scope outside and cover the electronics with the tent.
That's very hard to do as the electronics are on the mount and scope.
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Old 22-04-2021, 12:07 PM
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iborg (Philip)
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Hi All


Anak - thanks for the extra link.


Marc - thanks for your reply. Your experience is enlightening. If I choose one of these, I'll to check about the material first!


As for the shower/change tents, sorry, but, no. I want to be able to leave the whole setup outside, for several consecutive days.


The Octans is huge, setup, and large when packed. Along with the cost, this is an issue. I may still end up with it to go for the quality, if it is available.



Sometimes paying extra the first time, saves money in the long run. Of course, sometimes it don't!


Philip
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Old 22-04-2021, 12:58 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
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I have seen it in action.
You can sleep in it while the mount is located inside.
It can withstand wind, as long as you peg it down properly. But that is valid for every tent you are using.
The great thing is that it has a roof "curtain" what goes up and protect the mount piece what is sticking out.
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Old 22-04-2021, 11:45 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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If it helps, this is a top view of a few Octans. Top one holds a 10" Newt, bottom left, I think that's a 12" Newt, and bottom right is my Tak Ķ250CRS (10" mDK).

In my case that loaner Octans I had is probably bigger than I need since my OTA's shorter but as you can see from the others the Newt uses the space there well. Whilst the current Octans are 3.8m in diameter, it looks like there will be a 2.8m version coming out soon.

A couple of sedans around to give an idea of scale.
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Old 23-04-2021, 06:45 PM
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iborg (Philip)
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Hi All

I found a couple of videos of the cheaper one on line, I think I will be buying the Octans!

I know a about little tents, and what I saw made me think they were a bit flimsy. Fine for a few days of reasonable weather, but, Melbourne can be very changeable.

Philip
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Old 24-04-2021, 08:13 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Just one consideration if you do use a polar scope for your PA on the field. My tent is small and flexible enough to pull down the wall edge facing south to get a clear line of sight. Other than that you'll have to resort to drift aligning which is a little more time consuming. Not a show stopper but just thought I'd mention it.
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Old 26-04-2021, 02:37 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Just one consideration if you do use a polar scope for your PA on the field. My tent is small and flexible enough to pull down the wall edge facing south to get a clear line of sight. Other than that you'll have to resort to drift aligning which is a little more time consuming. Not a show stopper but just thought I'd mention it.
That's a good point. I had the same concern when I borrowed the Octans. It is flexible enough to pull down for PA.

For my DIY gazebo for now, I collapse the poles and there's been 1 or 2 nights I forget to prop them back up again. Luckily those weren't windy nights.
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Old 29-04-2021, 12:30 AM
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mswhin63 (Malcolm)
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I had a tent that I started to convert. I became very bus halfway through packed it up and never opened it again.

Moved to SA, and now I think my wife got rid of it before coming over 3 months later. Below is a link to the progress I made. It worked well and was enough room for me to sleep in as well. Just never go to complete the fly cover section.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VT4FCRc3FRkFomFw9
https://photos.app.goo.gl/5jcaDeSaWhLKqr7P8
https://photos.app.goo.gl/f87jY6aYamNqsi4aA
https://photos.app.goo.gl/JfunCAqSHTsb1G8f6

Good little experience. didn't cost too much.
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Old 29-04-2021, 03:53 PM
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I tried many ways to cover my gear found heat was always the problem remaining after ever method. Finally made a bag like thing that I threw over scope and mount.
I used that insulation stuff from Bunnings about quarter inch foam with aluminium foil on one side..I layered it so both sides were aluminium sided and it was held together with duct tape...weather proof and heat was no longer a problem.
I still put them over my gear in the observatory but as I cant move around and get there I cant give you photos..
A roll cost about $40 plus duct tape.
Alex
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