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My New Observatory (page 2)

Now the wooden structure of the obsy was designed and built by a professional shed builder. Some aspects of the design were developed even as the structure was being built. The main specifications was that it had to be tall enough to fit the telescope in place and allow me to walk inside without having to stoop. I did not want it to be too large, so it ended up a footprint of 1.8 x 1.8 meters. But it is also definitely tall enough to walk in even with the roof closed.

As a wooden roof would prove to be too heavy, a compromise was made to have polycarbonate roofing, which would still be very strong. The plan was to insulate the entire shed anyway, so the shed should not become a greenhouse, particularly during the summer months.

Outside of obsy - now mounted in its right place
Outside of obsy – now mounted in its right place
Inside of obsy
Inside of obsy

Next came the task of painting the shed both inside and out. My youngest daughter did help with painting the inside of the obsy. It already looks so much nicer.

Obsy now painted
Obsy now painted
Both inside and out
Painted inside as well. One side of the roof is shown opened here
Inside of obsy painted
Inside of obsy painted

Now one of the problems encountered was that the roof opening mechanism protrudes into the obsy when the roof is open, so we had to think of how to change the design so it would still open and close the roof properly but not protrude into the obsy at all.

The handle which aids opening and closing the roof protrudes into the obsy, so the design had to change
The handle which aids opening and closing the roof protrudes into the obsy, so the design had to change

In the meantime I proceeded with insulating the entire obsy – roof, walls and even the door, using AirTec double reflective bubble foil and a staple gun. I also used foil tape to secure the edges to the wooden frame.

Walls fully insulated
Walls fully insulated
Insulated roof and sides
Insulated roof and sides

Next came the task of using black waterproof and windproof roofing underlay (Protect A1) to line the roof and walls. I used upholstery pins to secure these  reinforced plastic felt sheets in place. It was also around this time that the roof opening and closing mechanism was sorted out.

Black reinforced plastic felt sheets secured on all the walls and roof
Black reinforced plastic felt sheets secured on all the walls and roof
Right side of roof with opening mechanism
Right side of roof with opening mechanism, now with hinges to allow it to fold flat on the open roof
Left side of roof opened up
Left side of roof opened up
The right side of roof opened up
The right side of roof opened up
Obsy roof opened up
Obsy roof opened up – there are chains on the outside of the roof to secure the open roof to the shed wall in case of strong wind

Now the 3 outstanding things left to do are:

  1. Extend the chains securing the roof on the right side to allow it to open even further out, so as to give more access to the sky. You can see from the picture above that it does not open out as much as the left side.
  2. Secure some garden shading netting to the outside of the polycarbonate roof to protect the obsy from heating up too much during summer.
  3. Mount the telescope in there and start imaging.

Clear skies.

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