Chico, California, USA ... First Light, Spring 2008

Celestron- SCT 11" for visual       +     DSI- RC 10" for imaging
Celestron- SCT 11" for visual       +     DSI- RC 10" for imaging
Observatory Plan (8' x 13' room with roll-off roof)

My design was developed from the many ideas that I found on the Amateur Observatories web-site.  I also, used the basic roof roller system design from Sky Shed.  Everything else about the design and layout is from 2 years of personal planning prior to my retirement.

When I retired, we moved (Summer 2007) to Chico, California.  The new home had a backyard that faced to the North and open land with no lights.  The area is a wildlife/green belt and hopefully will remain that way for some years to come!

The observatory was not a kit.  The entire structure was scratch-built from the ground up.  Thanks to my son Mark, a carpenter, we were able to complete (Spring-2008) the entire project within 7 days.

The observatory is designed for two telescopes; one for visual use and the other for imaging.
Roll-off-roof detail   with rollers and track- 12 roller assemblies per side (24 total)-
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS............Breaking ground
2- holes 30" x 30" X 33" deep, bases for 2 scope piers      +       Six 8" dia. sona-tubes for floor piers
In the hole
My grandson "Dillon" checking out the hole depth.
Concrete pour
J-Bolts leveled and spacing set for mounting scope piers.
Plastic piping installation
Separate cable runs for both telescopes.
Floor Construction
4 X 6 PT outside frame   /  2 X 6 PT joists   and  3/4" particle board floor
Finished Floor
Openings for telescope piers cut through.
Framing- Roof & Rails
It all went up fairly fast!
Finishing up Roof
Siding Used
Engineered composite chips:  4' x 8' x 7/16" sheets.  Exterior surface has simulated wood finish/ pre-primed.
Siding Completed + Skylights on Roof
Adding 2-skylights is nice to have during the day.
Finished Exterior

Final trim and garden swing completed in Summer 2008.........pic taken Feb. 2009...Lots of leaks!
Finishing-up Interior

Desk area for computer + other stuff.
Rollers and track installed for roll-of roof

Standard grarage rollers and track used.  Cutsom machined aluminum bearing blocks for much better roof support.
First Scope Installed

Celestron 11gps with
Piertech electric adjustable height pier.  Custom tray for holding eyepieces, wireless joystick controller, etc.  Indoor/outdoor carpeting also installed.
AP900 goto Mount

Mount installed on an 8" diameter fixed steel pier...........from
Stellar Piers, LLC
Floor Access

Doors hinge on glued carpeting........allow easy routing of wires to pier.
C 9.25 Mounted

This setup will be primarily used for Imaging.
Control Panel

This panel controls the 13.8 VDC power to both telescopes. Monitors both voltage and current.
Hidden Electricals + Cabling

All computer cables, hubs,, etc. are hidden behind a removable curved carpeted panel.  All power is controlled from the laptop with X10 wireless remote control  software.
Removable curved panel

All panels are fabricated from 1/8" masonite hard board.  The indoor/outdoor capeting is glued-down with contact-cement and the back side is painted white to seal for any moisture.

The panel covering the wiring is easily removable for quick access and held in place by wooden stops glued-on at each end.  Originally the panel was flat, but when held in place by the stops, it forms a natural curve and stays place.
X10 "Active Home" Software (Allows wireless control of separate power modules.)

Presently, I can remotely control power to the Telescopes, Mount, Camera, Garden Lights, and the EL Flat Field Screen.  More modules may be added to control future devices.
So what's behind the panel...............

A lot of ugly wiring.................
Added insulation to the roof

2" thick poly-clad foam insulation. Can be picked up at any Home Improvement Center.
Finished installation

It helps drop the heat only a few degrees in the hot summer time, but definitely adds a nice finished look to the observatory.
Meadow View Observatory

Skype: jimstar11gps