The intent of this page is to document the construction of my observatory.

It is NOT intended to be step-by-step instructions for personal observatory construction.

Be sure to check with local laws and applicable building codes before starting a project like this.

Observatory Construction - Interior

The walls are fastened to the floor using two 3/8" lag bolts per wall section.

Wall bolts.

November 2006

 

A 68" tall x 10" diameter pier replaces the existing smaller pier.  Nine inches of the pier is below the observatory floor.  This gives me a 59" tall pier within the observatory.  Coupled with the height of my mount, I should be able to view to within 2 degrees of the horizon.  I requested a flat pier top in which I drilled and tapped three holes in a bolt pattern that matches my mount.

Pier top.

November 2006

 

The mount is attached to the pier using 3/8" stainless cap screws.

Close up of mounting bolts.

November 2006

 

At this point, I couldn't resist setting a scope on the mount and see if all my figuring and measuring worked out.  I am happy to report that everything fits as expected.

On to wiring...

Looking up at the telescope.

November 2006

 

I have tried a variety of ways of cabling the observatory over the years.  The latest method is shown at right.

I installed two NEMA boxes on the pier.  The boxes shelter the equipment from dust in summer and snow in winter.   The larger box on the south end of the pier holds the various power supplies required for the observatory.  The smaller box on the east end of the pier contains an Icron REX and various USB/serial port converters required for computer control of the observatory.  Spiral wrap covers multiple wires that are routed to similar locations within the observatory.  An outlet box at the base of the pier provides access to house power.

The flooring is a conductive mat system.  During summer, a static charge could build between the synthetic decking and the pier.  At times the discharge between me and the equipment would halt an imaging session.  Since the mat has been installed, I have not experienced any static shocks.  I am hopeful the static problem is resolved.

Electrical components.

March 2012

 

This is the west side of the pier.

West side of pier showing cable routing.

March 2012

 

This is the east side of the pier.

East side of pier showing cable routing.

March 2012