My observatory is a roll off roof type, 12 feet by 16 feet in size with two piers. The roof rolls on 1/8 inch thick stainless steel inverted angle welded to stainless steel 1/8 by 4 inch long cross pieces which bolt it to the top plate of the observatory walls and roof support structure. The roof is supported on 6 "V" grooved aluminum rollers. I had to make the aluminum rollers as they are not a commercially available item. Despite the large roof size and weigh, it is easily opened and closed by one person. The floor floats and has about 3/8 clearance around the pier anchor plates. This gap is filled with a foam insulating material to keep the little critters out.

The South pier is a 10 inch diameter steel tube welded to a 18 inch diameter by one inch thick steel plate, that is in turn bolted to a corresponding plate that is attached and anchored into the concrete foundation block. The foundation block is poured reinforced concrete anchored to bed rock. This pier supports my "Big Mount". This is a mount I designed and built to carry over 250 pounds of short length telescopes. As shown it carries about 140 pounds of my telescopes and their associated accessories. The 3 scopes on that mount are a 130 mm Astro Physics F8, a 180 mm Astro Physics F9 and a 90 mm F10 John Mellish refractor that I use as my guide scope. Both the Astro Physics scopes are solidly mounted in relation to each other and can not be adjusted, but due to my machining accuracy, they both have coincident optical axies and look at the center of the same object. The 90 mm scope is of course totally adjustable to find the appropriate guide star. The adjustable mounting system is also of my own design and fabrication. It is a design that allows no flexure or distortion of the scope tube as do ordinary mounting rings and their pressure screws, and still provides absolute rigidity. The combination of the design of the foundation, pier, and mount provide massive rigidity. An example: Using my ST 7 and guiding with it, a solid kick was given to the lower section of the pier---the image was finished---and the tracking showed a ONE pixel movement which was corrected on the next iteration one second later. Design vindicated, not mention me being one happy camper. . . .

The North pier is constructed and anchored exactly like the South pier, with the exception that it is only 8 inches in diameter. On top of it sits my Astro Physics 800 mount that carries my C-11 in a "cradle" type mount I designed and built. This Cradle in turn attaches to my DBTS (Bayonet Dove Tail System). This is a quick connect/disconnect mounting system of my design and fabrication that replaces and obsoletes the conventional narrow commercial dove tail systems on the market. Instead of having to try to slide one dove tail into another and then take the chance of regenerative bind, and/or sliding out the other end, my system allows you to over lap the scope dove tail plate with the mounting plate, and then slide the two together. It is designed that the scope plate can NOT slide out of either end of the mounting plate. This combination of Cradle mount and DBTS makes the scope virtually a part of the mount with NO FLEXURE.

The observatory is wired with numerous 120 AC outlets around the walls. In addition I have a 16 amp 12VDC power supply that feeds outlets around the observatory, as well as to each pier. There is a 6 outlet box just below each mount to meet the various power requirements of each scope. Also there is the requisite computer facilities, telephone, and a video monitor for video camera use. Also a WWV receiver is installed for timing operations.

The observatory "breathes". The walls are paneled on the inside from floor to top plate header. At the top of the walls there are cut outs for the over center hold downs that are used to secure the roof when closed. On the out side walls, directly below the hold down cut outs, there are screened air intakes. This allows outside air to enter the walls at the bottom and exit at the cutouts at the top of the walls. From there the air flows into the top of the roof section where it exits at each end thru one way flapper vents. This system maintains a temperature delta of between 5 to 15 degrees depending on the season. By doing this thermal flow I can maintain my telescope temperature quite close to ambient so my evening cool down time is relatively short. With all the glass in the Astro Physics 180 mm F9 scope the cool down time factor becomes important.

If you are interested in any more info on the observatory feel free to contact me.


Observatory both scopes west side

Observatory My Big Mount west side

Observatory C-11 west side
 

Scope Cradle & Bayonet
Dove Tail System on C-11

Observatory both scopes

Observatory (south)

 

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Phone: (575) 437-4233
E-mail: andy@tularosa.net