The original plan:

The planning for my observatory probably started decades ago when I was about 9 years old.  My initial exposure to science in school and later the acquisition of Allan J. Thompsons “Making your own telescope”.  I still have my copy, one of the eighth printing Copyright 1963.

Picture of Making Your Own Telescope

Original Masterpiece

Showing pages of Making your own telescope

Ah yes, the knife edge shadows of a mirrors surface

This book was quickly followed by the venerable “Nortons Star Atlas” and “Burnham’s Celestial Handbook”.  I believe it is probably safe to say that many of my fellow astronomers both professional and amateur, most likely had all three of these books in their initial library too.  This is what started my journey.  Here is where that journey has taken me.

I did not become a professional astronomer, remaining in the amateur world for all of my career.  I became an electrical engineer but that afforded me the opportunity to get this nice retreat up in the White Mountains of Arizona.  Our dark skies are quite phenomenal out here, as my place is only about 60 miles straight distance from the new Discovery Channel Telescope located in Happy Jack Az.  They did not pick their location because the skies are bad seeing I can assure you!  Here is our place.  Nice little “warm room” for an observatory.

Initial Design

The original plan was to make a roll off roof designed observatory.  These have the advantage of a lower cost and simplified construction.  My son has his own metal fabrication construction company and he’s a wizard with Solidworks and metal fabrication.  He came up with the original design:

This is just a simple building with two external supports to hold the struts that would support the roof.