Twin Pines Observatory


  Because of space constrictions, I decided on an alternative to the standard roll-off roof type of observatory. After researching different alternatives, I decided to convert a garden shed to an observatory. Although there are many different brands of sheds available, I decided on the Keter brand shed as it lended itself to be the most adaptable for my purposes.

Belmont, California

Constructing the shed was a cinch, but I needed to devise a method to easily remove the roof.

The roof of the shed consists of four panels that interlock with a tongue and groove system. Here the outer panels have been folded on top of the inner panels.

To make the panels more manageable, we installed straps to the outside of them. This allows the panels to fold up against each other.

As designed, the roof panels are held to the top of the shed with clips, making removal a no tools operation.

Next, we modified the apex portion of the roof to make it easy to remove and added a couple of handles to make it easier to manage.

A little work with a hacksaw made the apex portion removable yet still quite sturdy.

With the panels and apex removed, the view of the sky is limited somewhat by the walls of the shed. In my case, it doesn't matter as my location is surrounded by trees anyway. It only takes a minute to remove both roof panel assemblies and the apex support.

The shed observatory worked out better than expected. To construct a sturdy method of mounting the scope, we built a concrete pier. Click here to see the details of the pier construction.

To facilitate operation on colder nights, the scope and camera can be controlled remotely via wireless LAN using Microsoft Remote Desktop from inside the house.

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