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Spanish 'Astronomy Booth' nears completion

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About this observation
Observer
Len Adam
Time of observation
27/07/2018 - 20:34
Observing location
Just outside Albox, Almeria , Spain
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My new 'observatory' in Spain is almost complete. Following a request from me via the BAA Forum for a source of run off roof observatories in Spain I will soon have an 'Astronomy Booth". The observatory is a mere 2m X 2m and will house either my C14 or an 8-inch Ritchey Chretien scope, The advantage is that the roof is motorised and I plan to open and close the booth from inside the house. The telescope and mount will be remotely operated from inside the house initially. Similar observatories are used for remote operation of telescopes at Nerpio in Spain which is just north of here. I may eventually be able to operate my equipment from the UK.

Comments

Very interesting  photograph.  Certainly gives food  for thought for its design and  it's possibilities. How it would fare in  weather   such as we are experiencing today ( high wind and rain ) would be interesting to  know.

lenadam's picture

Neil - it does get extremely windy here in Almeria in the winter and there are sometimes extremely heavy - but brief and rare - rain storms. (No rain for almost 3 months!) Although there are mountain ranges around I am located on a fairly flat plain at 500m so strong winds do occur. The observatory is very sturdy  - it is double thickness metal filled with insulation. It is mounted on a very heavy metal base bolted in to the concrete under the courtyard tiles. The roof sections are set into channels and fairly heavy. However I am yet to test it under long term conditions different to the 40 degrees temperature yesterday on my car thermometer! I normally have my telescopes here under cloth covers (that have been known to blow away)  so this is much better!

Grant Privett's picture

Interesting design. How is the roof driven?

Might need to be a slightly deeper angle in the current rain :)

The rest of it looks similar to  Keter shed I have seen.

lenadam's picture

Grant - the roof is driven by a motor that rotates a full width tube at the high end linking to toothed belts on each side. I am just organising the wiring for this now so have not tested it yet. On its way down the top section catches the middle section and pulls it down and then the same with the lower section. A switch drives the motor one way or the other to raise or lower the roof sections. The motor limits can be set. The top roof section is connected on each side to small metal blocks on the toothed belts that push or pull the upper section. Upper 30 degree temperatures delaying the work! (40 degrees yesterday!) (No rain for 2 1/2 months!)

lenadam's picture

I completed the wiring today and the roof opens and closes perfectly. I had to adjust the top and bottom limits - very easy to do. All it needs is a telescope now. I have put the switch on the wall inside the observatory initially but will move it to inside the house so if I have an automated late night session I can 'retire' and remotely close the roof when the session is over. I have put a fan and light inside the 'booth'.

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