Our Observatory

One of the turret frames, upside down. 50x50mm timber all round except for the base which was 150 x 25mm.

Clad as before with
shiplap and a polythene lining. 12mm ply for the roof edged with 25 x 25mm to form a drip edge..

The top shutter was made from off cuts of the main roof, This was a mistake as the joins leaked. These were replaced by new single piece panels. The roof was sealed with Thompsons Roof Seal. This now needs replacing , after less than two years, and it is my intention to use self adhesive roofing felt.

The aluminium strips are shaped to allow the front lip of the shutter to clear the upstand when it is rolled back. The wheels are 50mm diameter from those nice people at Screwfix.

The turrets were constructed on the patio, all wheels were fitted before moving to the observatory.

Ready to lift.

Almost there. The support wheels can just be seen. Great care had to be taken at this stage to ensure that the upstand was not damaged.

Externally complete.

The floor was laid. 38mm waste pipes were used to carry cables to the pillar. The original idea was to provide 12v supply to each pillar. In practice this did not work, so mains power was installed.

Although very neat the pipe is tight round the corners when pulling some cables round, especially serial cables with fittings. A single larger diameter may have been better

Inside walls were clad with laminate flooring. It was on special offer at the time, needed no finishing and there was little waste .

The 10" reflector had been replaced with a 10" LX200 GPS. Here we see it being lifted onto the newly aquired Mega Wedge.

This shot also shows the gallows that had to be put in place to support the roof and base ring.

Power sockets and a red light can also be seen. The red light is on a dimmer switch.

Finally the inside of the turrets were clad with hardboard. This now needs painting matt black to prevent reflections.

Finally complete, including landscaping.

Shutters open ready for action.

The LX200 installed.

On the left you can see the wheel sets. Originally I used 50mm rubber tyred wheels. These were no good for supporting the turret in that they compressed under the weight which made it very difficult to start rotating the turret.

These were replaced where possible with nylon wheels. In a couple of places I had to leave the old ones and add an additional nylon wheel as to the left of the scope. These are much better although a little noisier.

My imaging rig. 150mm f5 Skywatcher refractor with Moonlite focuser. The guide scope is a 120mm f5 Helios refractor with a modified webcam ( now replaced with Meade DSI). The mount is the HEQ5 Pro on a custom adaptor.

Cabling runs from the scope to the box by the seat. This includes mains, active USB and two serial cables for the webcam and the Eqmod adapter which I use to control the mount from the laptop.