The Lost Valley Observatory
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Pier Tech Observatory (custom 10 x 10 foot) built and in place.  The product is remarkably well designed, with the exception of snow load characteristics (note the flat roof design). In fairness, it was sold as a three season observatory. 










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The motor is cleverly placed into a watertight compartment which extends out the north end of the observatory, keeping it out of the way of the telescope as it slews out of the observatory.  This is a very nice feature, and an example to Vito's attention to details. 
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SRO in all it's young glory.  Eight independant and robotic observatories in unusually good seeing conditions.  All eight were "taken" long before construction began and it became obvious that we would have to add at least two large observatories if we were to keep up with the demand for space. 
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The location of the standard garage door opener can be seen in the corner, with the roof using a standard worm screw design.  It has been remarkably trouble free.  the stops on either end are mechanical and I will enentually replace then with magnatic switches, which will not be suseptible to snow or ice.  Again, this model was designed for three season use.  The design has excellent thermal properties, with rapid heat dissapation as the structure is essentially 100% aluminum.  The frame is strudy.  The weather stripping was a bit problematical (sometimes comming loose),  but with a dab of silicone worked well and the new weather stripping works better (the brand was evidently upgraded).  I have been happy, extrememly pleased, with the design (with the exception of the snow load issue, which is being addressed).   
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The door is up and swings outward.  This is the best configuration, but in snow be prepared to clear the area!  Of course, if it swang inward, it would hit the telescope. 
 
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My genious daughter wondering why she had come up and see my observatory.  But as with my other children and wife, she's been a good sport about Dad's crazy hobby :)
 
 
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Just a close-up fo the worm drive.  I prefer this design to the standard chain drive.  It required a bit more engineering (by Vito), but I believe is much more trouble free. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Now if I can just get my fully assembled RCOS 16" telescope on its Paramount ME in through the door :)
 
 
 
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My favorite SRO picture.  From left to right you see Greg Morgan, Mel Helm and myslef, or, as I see us in this image, the Three Amigos!  We are standing in the shade of Frank (Sandy) Barnes Observatory.  At that time it was shared by Sandy and Steve Mandel.  To say the least, we felt just a bit outclassed !
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