FAQ
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I get started on my observatory... ?
  2. Where can I find a list of your vendors ... ?
  3. Why didn't you buy the 10' dome rather than the 6' dome ... ?
  4. Who or what is "Littlebear" ... ?
  5. What is the point when you live in the Northwest ... ?
  6. When is "First Light"... ?

How do I get started on my observatory... ?

First of all - do a lot of surfing on the web for other amateur observatory sites. I looked at pictures of their installations and read their logs if they were available. There are a number of people around the world who have done this before and most seem very willing to help out.

Use the vendor's knowledge. I must have driven my vendors CRAZY with my endless questions...but it is a lot of money to spend without some planning and guidance. 

Decide what it is you want out of your observatory. Is it just someplace to just get out of the cold or a slightly smaller version of Keck? Remember that if you plan your building up front carefully, you can turn a shed into a very nice observatory over time and spread the cost.

Set your budget. I can tell you that the $$$$ went flying when I added this and that to my orders (Gee, did I really need a color wheel if I have never done CCD before?). If you are not careful, you can add many thousands to the cost of your observatory and not realize it until the end.

 

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Where can I find a list of your vendors ... ?

I am compiling a complete vendor list now - but here is an overview:

TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS  (My guides and gurus)    http://www.homedome.com

 

Pocono Mountain Optics (No web site)

 

Astronomics www.astronomics.com

 

ORION  http://www.telescope.com

 

CELESTRON  http://www.celestron.com

 

Le Sueur Manufacturing Company, Inc. http://www.astropier.com

 

Garden Solutions  http://www.gardensolution.com

 

SkyMap Pro6 by Chris Marriott

TheSky by Software Bisque http://www.bisque.com/

 

 

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Why didn't you buy the 10' dome rather than the 6' dome ... ?

The reason is the additional cost of the 10' dome. I really agonized over this for quite awhile. In the end, I decided to construct a building that can take a 10' dome in the future and start with a 6' dome. This left me with about $2500 extra in my budget to buy my CCD system

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Who or what is "Littlebear"?

ahem, it's me. I leave it to your imagination why this is my nickname...hey! That's not the reason!!!

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What is the point when you live in the Northwest ... ?

Hey! How did you know I live in the Northwest?!? Oh, the latitude and longitude on the home page....

Well you're right! it rains and rains and rains....but when it is clear ....it is BEAUTIFUL!

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When is "First Light" ... ?

If weather permits, the first week in June. I plan to have a party and I will take pictures...maybe blackmail will help me pay for this endeavor!!! 

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