Oct 7, 2002    I finally started my 14' x 14' observatory, it was a hassle to get this going because I had to move an existing shed that was there first. but with that done I am on my way.

Today I started laying out the forms and digging the two pier pits which are one yard concrete holes. when filled with concrete they will weigh 4000lb each, should be enough to hold any scope.

Oct 9, 2002    Today I got the forms setup and had to do some serious grading. It's starting to take shape, tomorrow I will run all the PVC and finish the bottom of the rear forms, I'm hoping to pour the concrete this week.

Oct 10, 2002    Today was very productive, I got the rear sections of the forms done and then the PVC was run for wiring between the pier and desk. I welded the threaded rod to the rebar in the pits, the concrete was then poured at the end of the day. I will start framing on Mon so stay tuned!

Oct 14, 2002    Today the forms came off and some cleanup was started, I then framed up the walls and door opening, I am ready to order the outside plywood and close up the walls.

Oct 18, 2002    I got the T-111 plywood installed on the walls today, I also had delivered today the two 28' angle irons and the ten v-pulleys.


Oct 20, 2002    I got the roof on this baby today and it's beginning to take shape, we got to take it for a test run at the end of the day and it was quite a feeling.

Oct 21, 2002    I had to setup my two scopes today to test the roof with them in place and also to see how long the pier pipes need to be. there are also a couple of sample videos of the roof closing and opening. the one opening also shows the C14 come up over the wall.

     Roof Open Video         Roof Close Video

Oct 22, 2002    Today was "Trying to get it water proof before the Snow Day", but we didn't make it. I got the peaks  closed up along with my buddy Scott shooting the gray stain on. I was hoping to have the roof on but the sun fell out of the sky and that ended that. I managed to get tar paper up there to keep the water out while the snow and rain fell.


Oct 24, 2002   Well the paint is finished, trim is done waiting for aluminum coverage and the roof is now on. Office walls are going up with door in the middle and two windows on each side. The two piers are up and the GPS-11 is mounted, I'm milling out the adapter for the HGM-200 to mount to the pier.


Nov 2, 2002   It's been a few days now since the last update but a lot has gotten done, trench to the main house was finished, wires were pulled for power, phone, lan, and cable tv. the observatory was completely wire buy my buddy Scott, while he did that I did the trench and finished the outside of the office. I put two large windows along with a full length glass door, there is a roof on the office inside the building so I can stay warm but no heat gets to the scopes. It's almost there, I'm still trying to get an adapter together for the HGM-200


Nov 4, 2002   Today I got the insulation done in the office and started building the L-shaped desks, I also finished the billet adapter to mount the HGM-200 head to the pier. IT'S GETTING CLOSE!


Here is a link to the HGM-200 Page

Nov 15, 2002   OK! well it's been a while since my last update, but I'll tell you putting ends on 3 serial, 1 parallel, video and power took some time. the bad part is I only got one scope done! I also finished the office walls in Luan and mounted the red light for night vision, if you look on the wall over the phone you will notice a dimmer switch, that controls the plug above it that the red light string is plugged into, It allows for just enough red light to see. I finished the desk on the other side and got one computer all setup and running. I could not resist standing in front of the beast for a picture. I will be putting in the floor this weekend and try to wire the other scope. I spent last night drift aligning the HGM-200 to get it polar aligned, I think I got it nailed. on the right is a combo of 20-2 Min exposures unguided, C-14 @F11 with an ST-8XE. I had a few people ask me about the pier for the GPS-11 and they commented on it being too high, but as you can see it is perfect for visual use also. the heater is a small baseboard style electric heater, it enough to blast you out of the room! the last picture is the GPS-11 with a short 80 on top.

Dec 16, 2002    Hi Folks well it's been going real well at the "Shack Out Back" I decided to ditch the GPS-11 in favor of another HGM-200, the GPS-11 just was not cutting it a F/10 imaging. so I put my C-14 back on the original HGM-200 with the ST-8XE/CFW8/AO7 to image at F10 and on the second mount I put the Tele-Vue 102 with the HX-916/HA Filter guided with my STV Deluxe. The first thing I did was remove the 1/2" steel plate at the top of the pier, I then added a 5" piece of steel to the pier along with a bronze 1" think pipe that I turned down to mate to the HGM-200. it worked out very well.

Feb 15 2003 New changes this week to the observatory include the addition of a TMB-152. This scope was purchased from Ron Wodaski who took some beautiful images with it. I have traded my TV-102 for a second ST-8XE, I'm hoping to move into a ST-10XE or maybe an FLI camera down the road.