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Thread: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?



    Quote Originally Posted by Astronut2 View Post
    I use wire (cable) ties to hold 2 sections together & velcro to hold a 2 section tarped to another 2 section tarped panel. This way I can easily take it apart without cutting and replace ties every time.
    When you get back I think we need to make one up This would be a nice set up so I can leave my CPC 1100 and my AVX AT 130 set up full time only dismantling when it looks like a storm is coming....
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    I like what folk have done!

    Maybe simpler is to just use some outdoor umbrella bases with the pipe and tarp.

    Get a cap for one end of ABS pipe. Drill a hole in the end of the cap and put an eye-bolt in it. Clip a decent-sized carabiner in the eyebolt.

    Put un-capped ends of the ABS pipes into the umbrella bases. String tarp between the umbrella bases and you can clip the grommets into the carabiners (you'll probably want to get grommets from two tarps into one carabiner which is why you can't use carabiners which are very small).

    You can use zip-ties to hold the tarps together if you so choose. There are zip-ties which you can easily remove so zip-ties are no longer much of a commitment.

    At the base you may find the tarp flopping around if you have much of a breeze. You can use something weighty with a cord and another carabiner to clip to grommets near the ground and use those to stabilize the tarps at the base.

    Sorry, no pictures. Things tend to sag a bit but that's quite alright and you can just move two umbrella bases closer together if you need a bit more sag in the area you are pointing.

    It actually sounds more complicated than it is - and you can dis-assemble pretty quickly if you want/need to transport.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    Not an obsy, but I made a light screen from 1-in (Half-inch? Whatever...) PVC, an old dark blue blanket and 4 spring clamps from Harbor Freight.

    The legs are t-connectors with 1-foot pipes sticking out from them perpendicular to the blanket. The blanket is held to the top cross piece with the clamps. Takes about 5 minutes, if even, to take out and set up.

    Does a reasonable job blocking the neighbors and lights but does flap in the wind a bit since i don't anchor the bottom of the blanket.

    I'm thinking the umbrella bases might be the way to go unless I drag the thing camping.

    Does a reasonable job blocking the neighbors but does flap in the wind a bit since i don't anchor the bottom of the blanket.

    3 or 4 of these assemblies could make a 360 degree surround.
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    I haven't had a chance to try it yet but I bought a beach sun/wind shelter at Walmart on for $30 some bucks. My view is restricted to looking at about a third of the sky, fortunately to the south with a gap in the trees that lets me see Polaris.

    As for lights I am lucky as no street lights and only one neighbour who sometimes forgets to turn off their outside lights.

    Not exactly like this but the same idea.

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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    Just saw this. It might have some potential.

    https://www.hayneedle.com/product/sh...CABEgLw5_D_BwE

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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    Kendrick Astro occasionally sells tents that are made for observing.
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    You know, I have thought seriously about modifying on old screen tent for a bug-free zone for our yearly Florida cost camping trip. At night we take a screen tent and put a pick-nick table in it, with a citranella candle on the table. It's great for dinner and cards, but not for star gazing. Last year, my youngest and I rigged up a big fan to "blow" the bugs away, while using binos. This actaully worked really well till the folks in the screen tent started to sweat and reclaimed thier fan. Sinse then, my sone and I have talked about putting mosquito netting over an old hunting blind, for a bug free summer viewing zone. The ground area, I ALWAYS treat with 7's dust as I hate, "I MEAN HATE" spiders.

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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    Kendrick Astro occasionally sells tents that are made for observing.
    Kendrick Stargate II Observatory Tent
    I bought a new one a couple years back. Never set it up and sold it. Nice idea, but costly at $500 and seemed like a pain to set up and take down for one night of imaging. I couldn't leave it in the backyard because of the sprinkler system since the yard is quite small, besides that my view is shrinking every year with fast growing neighbor's trees so ultimately even with an observatory it wouldn't help.

    The idea of converting a camping tent was discussed here, with some canvas stitching skills, I don't see a big problem cutting a big enough hole in the top of a tent and lining it with a HD zipper. This would serve the same purpose as the Kendrick without the heavy price tag.
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    Default Re: Has anyone ever modified a tent to make a portable observatory?

    I haven't been able to find the bookmark, but somebody took a Walmart 3-person Ozark tent, cut out 1 or 2 top panels and used that for a portable observatory. I don't remember if he actually added zippers for the cutouts or if he just used velcro to close the new flaps.

    Also see if you don't mind paying ( a lot ) more to avoid cutting and sewing:

    https://www.astroshop.eu/instruments...vatory/p,12278
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