Clear Starry Nights Observatory

This observatory was built on the "fly" with only the size, pier and door locations, and type of roof and roof rollers in mind. No plans were drawn up at all. Two mistakes were made and corrected: (1) the size of the fold-down section, and (2) it was decided that there would be no window on the west side. Once the pier and foundation were in place. the rest flowed just like clockwork. The tools needed were: hand, skill and table saws, hammer, shovel, hole digger, cement mixer, level, socket set, cordless variable speed drill, caulk gun, welder (sufficient for C-Perlin), small cresent wrench, and screw drivers. The total cost (building only in 2008) was about $1500 with the wood and metal taking up the bulk of this. The roof is 95% c-perlin and sheet metal which makes it rather easy to roll by hand. A wooden roof would be much heavier.

V-Wheels from Caster City and large Southco Draw latches to hold roof down when closed.

Observatory will be 10'X10' with the pier off center toward the southern wall about one foot. This was necessary to give a clear view of Polaris over the edge of the open roof.

Front facia overlaps north wall and serves as a roof stop for closing. Notice that a standard door is allowed with this construction.

 

The above photograph shows how two feet of the south wall folds down leaving the roof facia exposed so that the roof can be rolled open (see second and third photographs above). The fold section when raised overlaps the facia and serves as a rain seal. This section must be down for both opening and closing the roof. When the roof is open, the section can be left up or down and it works well for a wind or stray light break when needed. The facia shown here also serves as a roof stop when opening the roof as it will come in contact with the inside of the north wall. Just a note in passing; I use an old parachute to cover the telescopes for dust protection. This works remarkedly well even in our occasional dust storms.

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