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Re: Is a backyard observatory worth it?

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  • mandellgl
    Friends: Even though my suburban skys are at best mag 4.5, I m glad that I have a backyard (its really 10 off the ground on an extension of my back deck)
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 31, 2006
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      Friends:

      Even though my suburban skys are at best mag 4.5, I'm glad that I
      have a "backyard" (its really 10' off the ground on an extension of
      my back deck) observatory.

      I also had to deal with my neighborhood community association. My
      solution was to put a wooden lattice enclosure around the Tele-
      Station that matches the deck. Most people in the neighborhood think
      there's a hot tub behind the enclosure.

      He is a picture of my observatory during the Winter.

      http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/gallery/858342/1/38685978

      Gordon Mandell
      Pittsburgh, USA

      --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Wodaski - Yahoo <yahoo@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Speaking as someone who set up a C14 on a Paramount mount out in my
      > front yard for three years (!!!), and now has an observatory, I can
      say
      > that I vastly prefer the observatory. <G>
      >
      > I would go so far as to say if you image at all, it's worth
      considering
      > an observatory just to avoid the hassles of setting up and tearing
      down
      > - even if your setup isn't as heavy as mine was.
      >
      > In your case, a roll-off observatory would probably work well with
      the
      > HOA rules. It can be made to look quite ordinary and need not be
      very large.
      >
      > Ten years is a lot of setting up and taking down.
      >
      > Ron Wodaski
      >
      > eja24601 wrote:
      > > Greetings all,
      > >
      > > We had an unusual spell of five clear nights a row where we live.
      > > Over those five nights, I only managed to go out imaging over one
      of
      > > those nights. Since it was a weeknight, I was not out very late.
      > >
      > > I set up and tear down each session, which is one of the various
      > > reasons why I'm not out shooting every clear night.
      > >
      > > My wife has given the green light for us to at least explore the
      > > possibility of building us a backyard observatory. The biggest
      > > advantage this would give would be that on nights like last week
      I
      > > can pretty much just open the roof and start shooting.
      > >
      > > There are a lot of challenges in the way of this becoming a
      reality
      > > for us (HOA rules, though I believe they have been amended to
      allow
      > > an external building within certain guidelines, etc.). One that
      I'm
      > > somewhat concerned about is light pollution.
      > >
      > > We don't exactly live in a dark area (typical suburban skies).
      I've
      > > seen a trend towards most imagers giving up on shooting from
      their
      > > backyards and either driving to or setting up observatories in
      dark
      > > sites. While I see us eventually doing this ourselves, neither my
      > > wife nor I see this happening for at least ten years (unexpected
      > > major life events allowing).
      > >
      > > So my question is, would this be worth doing anyway? I'm doing a
      lot
      > > of narrow-band work this time of year, so for the most part it's
      > > less affected by LP. I want to do hi-res work during galaxy
      season
      > > as well, and the narrower FOV's offered by that should address at
      > > least some of the LP issues. My wife and I would also eventually
      > > want to do some "real science" with our setup, e.g., photometry
      > > and "visitor-hunting" (comets, asteroids, supernovas, etc.).
      > >
      > > Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Any and all would be appreciated.
      > > Thanks,
      > > Eric
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • carl_creamer_2000
      Hi Gordon: You have a very interesting and ingenious set-up. Can you supply any details on the observatory building itself(not the latice work)? Like plans,
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 1, 2006
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        Hi Gordon:
        You have a very interesting and ingenious set-up.
        Can you supply any details on the observatory building itself(not the
        latice work)?
        Like plans, did you make or buy or anything else that describes the
        details of the building.
        Thanks

        Carl

        --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "mandellgl" <gmandell@...> wrote:
        >
        > Friends:
        >
        > Even though my suburban skys are at best mag 4.5, I'm glad that I
        > have a "backyard" (its really 10' off the ground on an extension of
        > my back deck) observatory.
        >
        > I also had to deal with my neighborhood community association. My
        > solution was to put a wooden lattice enclosure around the Tele-
        > Station that matches the deck. Most people in the neighborhood
        think
        > there's a hot tub behind the enclosure.
        >
        > He is a picture of my observatory during the Winter.
        >
        > http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/gallery/858342/1/38685978
        >
        > Gordon Mandell
        > Pittsburgh, USA
        >
        > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Wodaski - Yahoo <yahoo@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Speaking as someone who set up a C14 on a Paramount mount out in
        my
        > > front yard for three years (!!!), and now has an observatory, I
        can
        > say
        > > that I vastly prefer the observatory. <G>
        > >
        > > I would go so far as to say if you image at all, it's worth
        > considering
        > > an observatory just to avoid the hassles of setting up and
        tearing
        > down
        > > - even if your setup isn't as heavy as mine was.
        > >
        > > In your case, a roll-off observatory would probably work well
        with
        > the
        > > HOA rules. It can be made to look quite ordinary and need not be
        > very large.
        > >
        > > Ten years is a lot of setting up and taking down.
        > >
        > > Ron Wodaski
        > >
        > > eja24601 wrote:
        > > > Greetings all,
        > > >
        > > > We had an unusual spell of five clear nights a row where we
        live.
        > > > Over those five nights, I only managed to go out imaging over
        one
        > of
        > > > those nights. Since it was a weeknight, I was not out very late.
        > > >
        > > > I set up and tear down each session, which is one of the
        various
        > > > reasons why I'm not out shooting every clear night.
        > > >
        > > > My wife has given the green light for us to at least explore
        the
        > > > possibility of building us a backyard observatory. The biggest
        > > > advantage this would give would be that on nights like last
        week
        > I
        > > > can pretty much just open the roof and start shooting.
        > > >
        > > > There are a lot of challenges in the way of this becoming a
        > reality
        > > > for us (HOA rules, though I believe they have been amended to
        > allow
        > > > an external building within certain guidelines, etc.). One that
        > I'm
        > > > somewhat concerned about is light pollution.
        > > >
        > > > We don't exactly live in a dark area (typical suburban skies).
        > I've
        > > > seen a trend towards most imagers giving up on shooting from
        > their
        > > > backyards and either driving to or setting up observatories in
        > dark
        > > > sites. While I see us eventually doing this ourselves, neither
        my
        > > > wife nor I see this happening for at least ten years
        (unexpected
        > > > major life events allowing).
        > > >
        > > > So my question is, would this be worth doing anyway? I'm doing
        a
        > lot
        > > > of narrow-band work this time of year, so for the most part
        it's
        > > > less affected by LP. I want to do hi-res work during galaxy
        > season
        > > > as well, and the narrower FOV's offered by that should address
        at
        > > > least some of the LP issues. My wife and I would also
        eventually
        > > > want to do some "real science" with our setup, e.g., photometry
        > > > and "visitor-hunting" (comets, asteroids, supernovas, etc.).
        > > >
        > > > Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Any and all would be
        appreciated.
        > > > Thanks,
        > > > Eric
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • Randy Nulman
        Gordon, That s a very impressive setup! I can t see any way that a HOA would have a problem with something done as nicely as this... Randy Nulman
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 1, 2006
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          Gordon,
          That's a very impressive setup! I can't see any way that a HOA
          would have a problem with something done as nicely as this...

          Randy Nulman
          http://www.nulman.darkhorizons.org


          --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "mandellgl" <gmandell@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Friends:
          >
          > Even though my suburban skys are at best mag 4.5, I'm glad that I
          > have a "backyard" (its really 10' off the ground on an extension
          of
          > my back deck) observatory.
          >
          > I also had to deal with my neighborhood community association. My
          > solution was to put a wooden lattice enclosure around the Tele-
          > Station that matches the deck. Most people in the neighborhood
          think
          > there's a hot tub behind the enclosure.
          >
          > He is a picture of my observatory during the Winter.
          >
          > http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/gallery/858342/1/38685978
          >
          > Gordon Mandell
          > Pittsburgh, USA
          >
          > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Wodaski - Yahoo <yahoo@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > Speaking as someone who set up a C14 on a Paramount mount out in
          my
          > > front yard for three years (!!!), and now has an observatory, I
          can
          > say
          > > that I vastly prefer the observatory. <G>
          > >
          > > I would go so far as to say if you image at all, it's worth
          > considering
          > > an observatory just to avoid the hassles of setting up and
          tearing
          > down
          > > - even if your setup isn't as heavy as mine was.
          > >
          > > In your case, a roll-off observatory would probably work well
          with
          > the
          > > HOA rules. It can be made to look quite ordinary and need not be
          > very large.
          > >
          > > Ten years is a lot of setting up and taking down.
          > >
          > > Ron Wodaski
          > >
          > > eja24601 wrote:
          > > > Greetings all,
          > > >
          > > > We had an unusual spell of five clear nights a row where we
          live.
          > > > Over those five nights, I only managed to go out imaging over
          one
          > of
          > > > those nights. Since it was a weeknight, I was not out very
          late.
          > > >
          > > > I set up and tear down each session, which is one of the
          various
          > > > reasons why I'm not out shooting every clear night.
          > > >
          > > > My wife has given the green light for us to at least explore
          the
          > > > possibility of building us a backyard observatory. The biggest
          > > > advantage this would give would be that on nights like last
          week
          > I
          > > > can pretty much just open the roof and start shooting.
          > > >
          > > > There are a lot of challenges in the way of this becoming a
          > reality
          > > > for us (HOA rules, though I believe they have been amended to
          > allow
          > > > an external building within certain guidelines, etc.). One
          that
          > I'm
          > > > somewhat concerned about is light pollution.
          > > >
          > > > We don't exactly live in a dark area (typical suburban skies).
          > I've
          > > > seen a trend towards most imagers giving up on shooting from
          > their
          > > > backyards and either driving to or setting up observatories in
          > dark
          > > > sites. While I see us eventually doing this ourselves, neither
          my
          > > > wife nor I see this happening for at least ten years
          (unexpected
          > > > major life events allowing).
          > > >
          > > > So my question is, would this be worth doing anyway? I'm doing
          a
          > lot
          > > > of narrow-band work this time of year, so for the most part
          it's
          > > > less affected by LP. I want to do hi-res work during galaxy
          > season
          > > > as well, and the narrower FOV's offered by that should address
          at
          > > > least some of the LP issues. My wife and I would also
          eventually
          > > > want to do some "real science" with our setup, e.g.,
          photometry
          > > > and "visitor-hunting" (comets, asteroids, supernovas, etc.).
          > > >
          > > > Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Any and all would be
          appreciated.
          > > > Thanks,
          > > > Eric
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • mandellgl
          Hi Carl: The roll-off roof observatory is called a Tele-Station and is available from Pier-Tech. Check out the following web page. It shows my observatory
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 1, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Carl:

            The roll-off roof observatory is called a Tele-Station and is
            available from Pier-Tech. Check out the following web page. It
            shows my observatory before the lattice wall was constructed.

            http://www.pier-tech.com/tele-station_2_roll_off_roof_observatory.htm

            Other than a few minor modifications, its the same as in the
            pictures on the web site. It is 2 years old and has worked great
            for me. In addition to the Tele-Station, I have a Pier-Tech
            adjustable pier that allows me to view the horizon easily.

            Gordon

            --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "carl_creamer_2000"
            <carl_creamer_2000@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Gordon:
            > You have a very interesting and ingenious set-up.
            > Can you supply any details on the observatory building itself(not
            the
            > latice work)?
            > Like plans, did you make or buy or anything else that describes
            the
            > details of the building.
            > Thanks
            >
            > Carl
            >
            > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "mandellgl" <gmandell@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Friends:
            > >
            > > Even though my suburban skys are at best mag 4.5, I'm glad that
            I
            > > have a "backyard" (its really 10' off the ground on an extension
            of
            > > my back deck) observatory.
            > >
            > > I also had to deal with my neighborhood community association.
            My
            > > solution was to put a wooden lattice enclosure around the Tele-
            > > Station that matches the deck. Most people in the neighborhood
            > think
            > > there's a hot tub behind the enclosure.
            > >
            > > He is a picture of my observatory during the Winter.
            > >
            > > http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/gallery/858342/1/38685978
            > >
            > > Gordon Mandell
            > > Pittsburgh, USA
            > >
            > > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Wodaski - Yahoo <yahoo@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Speaking as someone who set up a C14 on a Paramount mount out
            in
            > my
            > > > front yard for three years (!!!), and now has an observatory,
            I
            > can
            > > say
            > > > that I vastly prefer the observatory. <G>
            > > >
            > > > I would go so far as to say if you image at all, it's worth
            > > considering
            > > > an observatory just to avoid the hassles of setting up and
            > tearing
            > > down
            > > > - even if your setup isn't as heavy as mine was.
            > > >
            > > > In your case, a roll-off observatory would probably work well
            > with
            > > the
            > > > HOA rules. It can be made to look quite ordinary and need not
            be
            > > very large.
            > > >
            > > > Ten years is a lot of setting up and taking down.
            > > >
            > > > Ron Wodaski
            > > >
            > > > eja24601 wrote:
            > > > > Greetings all,
            > > > >
            > > > > We had an unusual spell of five clear nights a row where we
            > live.
            > > > > Over those five nights, I only managed to go out imaging
            over
            > one
            > > of
            > > > > those nights. Since it was a weeknight, I was not out very
            late.
            > > > >
            > > > > I set up and tear down each session, which is one of the
            > various
            > > > > reasons why I'm not out shooting every clear night.
            > > > >
            > > > > My wife has given the green light for us to at least explore
            > the
            > > > > possibility of building us a backyard observatory. The
            biggest
            > > > > advantage this would give would be that on nights like last
            > week
            > > I
            > > > > can pretty much just open the roof and start shooting.
            > > > >
            > > > > There are a lot of challenges in the way of this becoming a
            > > reality
            > > > > for us (HOA rules, though I believe they have been amended
            to
            > > allow
            > > > > an external building within certain guidelines, etc.). One
            that
            > > I'm
            > > > > somewhat concerned about is light pollution.
            > > > >
            > > > > We don't exactly live in a dark area (typical suburban
            skies).
            > > I've
            > > > > seen a trend towards most imagers giving up on shooting from
            > > their
            > > > > backyards and either driving to or setting up observatories
            in
            > > dark
            > > > > sites. While I see us eventually doing this ourselves,
            neither
            > my
            > > > > wife nor I see this happening for at least ten years
            > (unexpected
            > > > > major life events allowing).
            > > > >
            > > > > So my question is, would this be worth doing anyway? I'm
            doing
            > a
            > > lot
            > > > > of narrow-band work this time of year, so for the most part
            > it's
            > > > > less affected by LP. I want to do hi-res work during galaxy
            > > season
            > > > > as well, and the narrower FOV's offered by that should
            address
            > at
            > > > > least some of the LP issues. My wife and I would also
            > eventually
            > > > > want to do some "real science" with our setup, e.g.,
            photometry
            > > > > and "visitor-hunting" (comets, asteroids, supernovas, etc.).
            > > > >
            > > > > Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Any and all would be
            > appreciated.
            > > > > Thanks,
            > > > > Eric
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • mandellgl
            Hi Randy: Honestly, I thought it looked good without the wooden lattice but the only way that it was going to be approved was to put an acceptable enclosure
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 1, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Randy:

              Honestly, I thought it looked good without the wooden lattice but the
              only way that it was going to be approved was to put an acceptable
              enclosure around it. In addition, I had to agree that it would be
              removed if I leave and that there were no objections from the
              neighbors. Fortunately I have an understanding wife and nice
              neighbors.

              Gordon

              --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Nulman" <rj.nulman@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Gordon,
              > That's a very impressive setup! I can't see any way that a HOA
              > would have a problem with something done as nicely as this...
              >
              > Randy Nulman
              > http://www.nulman.darkhorizons.org
              >
              >
              > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "mandellgl" <gmandell@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Friends:
              > >
              > > Even though my suburban skys are at best mag 4.5, I'm glad that I
              > > have a "backyard" (its really 10' off the ground on an extension
              > of
              > > my back deck) observatory.
              > >
              > > I also had to deal with my neighborhood community association.
              My
              > > solution was to put a wooden lattice enclosure around the Tele-
              > > Station that matches the deck. Most people in the neighborhood
              > think
              > > there's a hot tub behind the enclosure.
              > >
              > > He is a picture of my observatory during the Winter.
              > >
              > > http://mandellgl.smugmug.com/gallery/858342/1/38685978
              > >
              > > Gordon Mandell
              > > Pittsburgh, USA
              > >
              > > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Wodaski - Yahoo <yahoo@>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Speaking as someone who set up a C14 on a Paramount mount out
              in
              > my
              > > > front yard for three years (!!!), and now has an observatory, I
              > can
              > > say
              > > > that I vastly prefer the observatory. <G>
              > > >
              > > > I would go so far as to say if you image at all, it's worth
              > > considering
              > > > an observatory just to avoid the hassles of setting up and
              > tearing
              > > down
              > > > - even if your setup isn't as heavy as mine was.
              > > >
              > > > In your case, a roll-off observatory would probably work well
              > with
              > > the
              > > > HOA rules. It can be made to look quite ordinary and need not
              be
              > > very large.
              > > >
              > > > Ten years is a lot of setting up and taking down.
              > > >
              > > > Ron Wodaski
              > > >
              > > > eja24601 wrote:
              > > > > Greetings all,
              > > > >
              > > > > We had an unusual spell of five clear nights a row where we
              > live.
              > > > > Over those five nights, I only managed to go out imaging over
              > one
              > > of
              > > > > those nights. Since it was a weeknight, I was not out very
              > late.
              > > > >
              > > > > I set up and tear down each session, which is one of the
              > various
              > > > > reasons why I'm not out shooting every clear night.
              > > > >
              > > > > My wife has given the green light for us to at least explore
              > the
              > > > > possibility of building us a backyard observatory. The
              biggest
              > > > > advantage this would give would be that on nights like last
              > week
              > > I
              > > > > can pretty much just open the roof and start shooting.
              > > > >
              > > > > There are a lot of challenges in the way of this becoming a
              > > reality
              > > > > for us (HOA rules, though I believe they have been amended to
              > > allow
              > > > > an external building within certain guidelines, etc.). One
              > that
              > > I'm
              > > > > somewhat concerned about is light pollution.
              > > > >
              > > > > We don't exactly live in a dark area (typical suburban
              skies).
              > > I've
              > > > > seen a trend towards most imagers giving up on shooting from
              > > their
              > > > > backyards and either driving to or setting up observatories
              in
              > > dark
              > > > > sites. While I see us eventually doing this ourselves,
              neither
              > my
              > > > > wife nor I see this happening for at least ten years
              > (unexpected
              > > > > major life events allowing).
              > > > >
              > > > > So my question is, would this be worth doing anyway? I'm
              doing
              > a
              > > lot
              > > > > of narrow-band work this time of year, so for the most part
              > it's
              > > > > less affected by LP. I want to do hi-res work during galaxy
              > > season
              > > > > as well, and the narrower FOV's offered by that should
              address
              > at
              > > > > least some of the LP issues. My wife and I would also
              > eventually
              > > > > want to do some "real science" with our setup, e.g.,
              > photometry
              > > > > and "visitor-hunting" (comets, asteroids, supernovas, etc.).
              > > > >
              > > > > Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Any and all would be
              > appreciated.
              > > > > Thanks,
              > > > > Eric
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
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