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Observatory Concept

Instead of a roll off roof, I use roll out wheels!

Roll-Off Roof? I don't think so!

Sounds a little unconventional I know, however it is a very practical concept, given the weight of large aperture telescopes. The weight is dramatically reduced by the machined metal plates that hold the lock down castors in place allowing the 3 inch wheel assembly to move freely. In addition the lock downs provide a rock solid firm foundation for the scope, reducing vibration and are ideal for astro imaging offering great stability. I'm just 5 feet from my temporary platform (where eventually I plan to pour a concrete pier for astro imaging). Once in place it's a snap to align the scope for a serious night of observing, and deep sky imaging. When I'm done I simply roll it back into the observatory and close the doors, and I'm done!

The Observatory
The Observatory itself, where I do my astro imaging serves as the control center for all the computer equipment and the telescope, camera gear, etc. It is oddly enough made of Rubbermaid and makes for a practical solution to telescope storage and security, anchored by four 3ft. steel rods and bolted in all 4 corners for extra stability. Considering the laborious task of designing and building a roll-off, this idea was much more appealing to me. Plus, I have no worries about wood deterioration or material costs!

The Mount
It was not necessary for the Meade factory mount to be altered, in fact outside of lifting the stops off the ends of the legs, the mount was never compromised or altered in any way. The stops can be re-attached with ease if necessary, but I'm thinking why would you ever want to? My thanks to Pat Robinson for his care in maintaining the integrity of the mount, and his quality custom machined metal work.

Unconventional Set-Up

Thanks to Merimac Studio for photography.

All of the photographs and text on these pages are Copyright 2002 - 2003 by Mark McClure, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or World Wide Web, without written permission of the author.


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