Image of the day

Captured by
Victor Tellez

NGC7000 (the North America Nebula)

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Multiple telescope roll off question

Started by lthaxton, 02/16/2016 05:35PM
Posted 02/16/2016 05:35PM | Edited 02/17/2016 02:24PM Opening Post
I am in the planning stages for a home observatory. While I like the look of the MAXPod, I have two or three telescopes I want to keep permanently set up and multiple domes gets expensive fast. So my question is whether anyone has built a roll-off to house multiple scopes, what dimensions you settled on and what issues you encountered due to the increased size?

Thank you so much in advance!
Posted 02/19/2016 05:33AM #1
Hi Larry, Saw your new thread few days ago so will weigh in couple of thoughts. My "small" home made dome (TM #18 picture attached) served well for decades. I side-saddled multiple scopes or cameras for imagery and that eventually got out of hand. So I set a couple of small piers just outside with attached equatorial heads. OTAs (stored in the dome) easy to carry out and use; electricity and other stuff right there in the dome. So I had the advantage of multiple set-ups with the amenities still close at hand. It was a compromise that worked nicely at minimal added cost. That dome was 12-ft; I eventually build a nearly identical 24-ft. Twice as big but ten times the expense and effort. I'm guessing roll-offs are more graceful when it comes to scaling up though. Tom Dey

Attached Image:

Thomas Dey's attachment for post 150470

29-inch Dob in a dome
36-inch upgrade soon
LUNT 80/80 solar scope
FLI 6803 cam
APM 100mm APO Binos
JMI RB-16 Night Vision Binos
Zeiss 20x60 IS binos
Posted 02/23/2016 07:24PM | Edited 02/23/2016 10:02PM #2
My idea of an observatory is like this:

Roll off roof, either as one roof or split in two. This way you can keep either side open and the other side closed if desired.

Observatory floor built about 2-3 feet above the ground, elevated with wooden stilts. This allows venting, quick cooling, better seeing etc.
This also eliminates a floor slab that can radiate heat thru out the night destroying seeing. It's cheaper too.
Ones the piers are poured, build the observatory all around the piers.

Finally, make the observatory as big as possible...

Good luck.

Posted 07/06/2020 11:46AM #3
My ROR has two piers, and has a 3rd scope on a tripod.  The building itself is 10'x12'.  I think with a little better pre-planning, I could have arranged the piers for better clearance, but I was only thinking one pier at the time of my build.  I don't do visual in my ROR, so if you plan to do visual, clearances need to be bigger to allow movement inside the observatory.  Two of the scopes are refractors about 3' end to end, the 3rd is a small RedCat scope on an Orion Sirius mount. 


Thunder Creek Observatory
Posted 02/01/2021 04:29PM #4
I built a new 10x12 ' split pitched roof observatory a year and a half back, to replace a smaller single roll off observatory that was no longer adaptable for my needs. The roof splits and rolls off north/south, I utilized redwood frame members for the roof because of the lighter weight vs doug fir, external roof and wall of metal, metal wall studs with interior of plywood paneling, each side loaded on low riding 4x 4 wheel (smooth ball bearing) sets, riding in garage door channel struts, supported by welded piers . I absolutely love the results. It takes very little effort to roll out the roofs. 
The roofs are locked in the channel struts, so NO unscheduled lift offs wink , and as you've noted, I can leave either roof opened or closed. In my specific location, there is wind protection west and east, but north is entirely open and south is partially open to wind gusts. I've operated the observatory in 20 mph winds from the north and south with the appropriate roof closed, in complete protection. The observatory houses two different systems - based on two Byers Series II GEM ; on one mount I have a 16" RC with a smaller WO refractor atop, and the other the 11" RASA and a larger WO refractor atop that. I have two computers inboard, one for each setup. 


Attached Image:

wyliecoyote's attachment for post 179424
Posted 02/01/2021 04:32PM | Edited 02/01/2021 04:36PM #5
+ I close the roofs and pin them together with two wood working clamps, one to a side....super fast and easy. 

Attached Image:

wyliecoyote's attachment for post 179425