Day1 Getting ready to build Observatory for Meade LX200


Today is the first day in a very long time that I have managed to get the LX200 Classic 10” out of its protective case in the workshop.  This is due to a number of factors, which I won’t bore you with right now.  Let us just say that much has happened and I have not been entirely focussed on my astronomy, which is quite a shame having such a decent scope.   Thankfully I managed to fully test the mount and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the clock was accurate to within 10 seconds.  This is quite impressive considering that it had not been powered up for nearly 2 years.

I used to observe a lot with my good friend, Tom, of The Curdridge Observatory and I had quite a bit to do with the construction of the observatory on many different levels.  As Tom has a permanent observatory setup, he has become somewhat of an expert in imaging, guiding and also designing/engineering and building his own EQ mount…..amongst other things.  However, you have to be a little careful because when he gets excited about something you do need to slow him down a little and say NO from time to time, a trait which I’m all too familiar with.

Getting back into astronomy can cause you to make a very long list especially, when you have not built your observatory yet! Here we go for starters:

  • Work out location for Pier . DONE!
  • Clear ground (waiting for Slow Worms to move out but that will happen soon).
  • Dig Hole approx 1m square.
  • Dig channels for cable pipes (more than 1 pipe never put power with data and separate data incoming and outgoing).
  • Bury pipes with drawstrings inside.
  • Fill pier hole with Concrete.
  • Once concrete set mount pier to concrete.
  • Bury pipe from work room area to where you are getting your electricity and internet if you want it in your obs.
  • Dig perimeter footings for obs wall (I am using thermalite and wood cladding externally)
  • Build wall round obs and work room leaving a gap for the door from your workroom to dome and workroom to outside world ohhh and remember you might want to get your scope out again for maintenance so make the doors big enough.
  • Clad walls on outside to make it look nice.
  • Build roof on work room….. You want one place dry.
  • Fit doors to dome room and workroom to outside world.
  • Build dome. …. I am going to use a Geodesic design.
  • Fit dome.
  • Install wedge.
  • Install cables between workroom and dome room.
  • Install power cables to work room.
  • Install scope.
  • Fit furniture to work room…. you want it to be comfortable.
  • Think about how on earth I am going to computerise and automate the operation of the dome.
  • Fit weather station to Obs.
  • Remember all the stuff you forgot and add it to the list as you go along.

Time for bed.

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