Cloudbait Observatory Construction

Click for enlarged viewI first built an 8' x 10' platform over the original 6' x 6' platform around the pier. It is isolated from the pier, which is a deeply buried piece of 6" iron pipe filled with sand and oil.

Click for enlarged viewThe walls are framed, and half the siding is in place. The 6' high walls allow me to see down to an altitude of 20°. While there might be occasions to look lower, this instrument is primarily for imaging, and I prefer the wind shielding to the ability to take bad images at low altitudes.
Click for enlarged viewThe roof rails are in place for the roll-off roof.
Click for enlarged viewThe roof framing is in place. The wheels have been installed, but at this point the roof is sitting up on blocks to make it easier to work on. This is when the giant winds came and shut down construction for a few days.
Click for enlarged viewThe winds have passed. The galvanized steel roof panels have been installed and the gable siding is in place. There is a little hinged section at one end to allow the roof to clear the telescope when it is opened.
Click for enlarged viewThe roof is in its open position. All that's left is to put some paneling and carpet inside, and some stain and trim on the outside. I guess a door would be a good idea, too.
Click for enlarged viewAll done. The door is open and the roof back. That's why you can see all those clouds coming...
Click for enlarged viewAll buttoned up. That little doohickey at the end of the roof rail is my all-sky camera.
Click for enlarged viewView through the doorway of the 12" LX200 on its pier. Wires from the scope are passed under the floor through a conduit to a computer desk along the back wall. The observatory has power and a network connection back to my lab in a separate building. The scope and imaging equipment can either be operated from the observatory, or remotely from my lab (very nice in the winter).
Click for enlarged viewDetail showing the Meade Superwedge on top of the pier.
Click for enlarged viewMy workstation inside the observatory.

© Copyright 2002, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.