SPAO Resurrection

The SPAO in decline 2019 – cleanup begins!

With the kids now in their teens it’s time to start resurrecting the observatory!

Some of the things that need to be done:

  • Short term goals (this summer)
    • Thorough cleaning (the squirrels are annoyed to be losing their home!) 
    • Restain the outside of the building, the cladding has not weathered well
    • Replace a warped 2×4 on fold done panel thats causing a gap between the roof and the panel
    • Critter-proof
    • Enhanced physical locks and hinges
    • Security camera & alarm system (unfortunately much more urgent than 15 years ago)
    • Install C8 on Sirius EQ-G for unattended astrophotography / photometry
    • Interior updates – skin walls with plywood, paint, soft floor
    • Rail covers to keep snow / rain out of the tracks for the roof
  • Longer term goals (probably Spring 2020)
    • Replace the shingle roof with steel
    • With a lighter roof, automate rolloff of the roof using a gate opener
After first coat of solid color stain looking better already!

Looking out with the fold done panel cladding and wall removed!

Cladding and wall removed, ready to pull off and rebuild – note the weathering on the left

Warped board causing the roof and front panel not to meet, giving entrance to weather and critters

Folded back the steel joint plate – quite secure!

The warped board ready to use as a template to cut a new one

Whoops the normal 2×4 isn’t even close, this is 3.5″ x 1.5″ off to Home Depot!

New piece installed and back up but the wood around it is rotten,
will have to put it back up til I get some replacement material (rain coming)
Another section of the wall that was rotten from moisture getting in
Replaced section
Replaced the cap board on the N wall as well
Up and running with the C8 on a newly acquired Orion Sirius EQ-G mount to replace the CG5 –
replacement OSB for the rotten section of the S gable ready to cut also

After digging in the 2×6 boards seen at the base of the walls to deter critters from digging under the walls to secure a warm hidey-hole during the winter. Still need to add trim pieces in the corners to cover the edges of the cladding.

Observatory in operation July 2020