Like any astronomy and astro-photography enthusiast worthy of the name, my dearest dream is to no longer have to install and uninstall my telescope every weekend, or with each drop of rain that presents itself, or even at each Gale.
Don't get me wrong, the setting up of a telescope, its installation and its adjustment, consists in lowering the foot, the telescope, the automated mount, the counterweights, the tons of cables, camera cases and other bazaars that go with it. It must then be adjusted so that it is aligned with the pole star (at 1/360 of a crank turn), that the power supplies, mini-computers, cables, camera, focusing, monitoring, etc. are in place.
Then allow a good hour to dismantle everything. On a 6h photo session, it already limits the night of photos a lot. And it tires!
So my biggest dream, a little crazy for those around me, would be to have at least part of this installation already made, secure and protected from the weather.
When I started astronomy, I quickly realized that it was essential. Google is my friend and made me discover an unsuspected commercial world; that of the hard observation station, not too expensive - well, some costs almost couple of thousand of euros anyway - and above all not too bulky.
The most affordable and the most powerfull for me is the one from the manufacturer NexDom.
This pretty "Igloo" as my little sister likes to call it, presented from the beginning of this page, is a little marvel of technology. First, the price is very affordable price (€ 4,000), to be assembled yourself, and can be automated;
It is equipped with an airtight entry door, a dome which turns on itself, several cells allowing the installation of arrangement or a computer station.
And above all, it is compatible via the INDI drivers with the Ekos control and automation tool.
The reluctance of those around me, and especially of the owner of the land where I would like to install this pretty refuge, means that the project is still being studied for the moment.
A short in-situ demo video to understand:
Another version, completely inaccessible by its price and especially by the size, makes me dream of a day when perhaps its installation at the end of the garden would take place. The ScopeDome by SkyObservatory.
Much more compact and above all much more professional, it would allow a less risky installation against break-ins and above all more waterproof. NexDom has no good skill over this. The exterior is just sublime by its design, the rotation looks soft as on a cloud. The interior a little less sexy by cons, but hey it's still a detail that belongs to its owner to correct.
Here, I let you appreciate:
Then there is the poor man's solution. And when I say poor, it is especially poor in the acceptance of those around him who is of course hermetic to any plastic bubble in the middle of a carefully worked garden. Why not link the useful to the acceptable, and therefore a wooden hut that would fit into the garden, but which would still be an observatory.
It does exist and is called the DomPart RollOff observatory, which has a moving roof. A simple wooden shed, but whose roof would slide to the side to allow access to the night. Rather "hand-made" solution, it is sold as a kit, and is also controllable and automated.
The price is very reasonable (less than 2000 €) and especially customizable to wishes, for the invisible return, integrate it in the garden, make disappear the "observatory" side.
I think the solution is there, and I hope one day very soon, to be able to achieve it: