Re: M16 from my new observatory

Kent Kirkley

Hello Robert
Remember me from the Ft. Griffin days?
Sounds like a nice set up.....although the drive from Dallas (Metroplex) is probably
4 1/2 hours?? So you acquired and had a 'container' built out internally to your specs and delivered
to your site?
You said
 "I now have a temporary Losmandy adjustable portable mount". Do you mean a Losmandy
adjustable tripod/pier, and not a Losmandy equatorial mount?

Kent Kirkley

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Chozick via <rchozick@...>
Sent: Sat, Jun 19, 2021 12:09 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] M16 from my new observatory

Thanks for all of the comments.  I should explain what I mean by “observatory”

My goal was to have a dark sky site that has all of my equipment, a permanent mount, wind and light protection and a comfortable country house with some land.  At this point I want to keep all my equipment cool inside and not expose it to summer heat and winter cold.  i also do not want to go to the trouble of having a roof or enclosed structure at this time. 

What I have is a container cabin and a 9x12 fence attached to the cabin’s separate room for my equipment.  I also have a shed for tools and lawn mower, etc.  The cabin is kept at 85 degrees in the summer.  I now have a temporary Losmandy adjustable portable mount but, after I figure out the height I want, I am going to take my steel pier from home and mount it in concrete at the observatory.   The walls are 6 feet tall.   I will now not have to bring any equipment out and put out my AP 900 every time I come but the pier will be all set up at very close to the correct alignment.  It will only take a few minutes to use the Polemaster and get good alignment each time.  I think setup each time will not take more than 30 minutes.  I do not have any desire at this time to do remote as I still like to be hands on for every step of the process.  The desktop computer is in the room right inside from the fence.  I just have to walk out the door right into the fenced area.  I have a USB cable that goes through the wall in a pass through conduit.  The USB end is covered and ready to connect to my USB hub in a box I bring out that has all the electronics for the scope, cameras and mount.  During imaging I just have to walk 6 feet outside into an enclosed fence to perform any work on the setup.  I also monitor the desktop with my iPad so I can go into the living room and keep an eye on my desktop to keep track on guiding.   The cabin has a full bathroom and kitchen and is basically a studio apartment with the 8x11 observatory room at the other end. I will create a gallery on my Pbase for the observatory to show the setup.

Is this a true observatory?  Maybe not but I can get in my car with some food and clothes and spend days at my cabin imaging and enjoying my land.  I did not like the process of days of preparation with my trailer and equipment to go imaging.  I can now, on 30 minutes notice, get in the car and go.


On Jun 19, 2021, at 9:09 AM, M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> wrote:

Very nice image Robert.

Which equipment do you leave set up at your observatory ? I presume that you have a roll-off roof or something similar and that the mount is permanently set up and has been or will be precisely polar aligned. Do you leave anything else (scope, camera) set up ? I ask because NW Texas gets really hot in the summer as well as really cold in the winter. Do you have any kind of climate control for your observatory ? In addition to the drive, how long does it take you to get set up for a night of observing / imaging once you get there ?

I would love to set up some kind of permanent or semi-permanent observatory in my back yard, but I worry that the mount will not do well in the heat. Summertime temperatures here in Southeast Texas routinely get into the upper 90's, and inside an enclosure such as a roll-off roof observatory the temperature will easily reach 120 - 130 Deg F.


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