Observatory roofs seem to be my Achilles heel. By 2023 the third iteration of the roof was beginning to get difficult to open again. Rusty trolley wheel axles being the primary culprit.
I was also unhappy with the amount of moisture getting into the observatory. We live at 220 metres and regularly are enveloped in low cloud and winds that will drive rain vertically up through the smallest of gaps. Most of this wet stuff is coming through the gap between the roll of roof and the observatory sides.
With a new £5000 mount stuffed full of electronics, having my own cloud system inside the observatory didn’t seem like a good idea, so I had been using a waterproof cover over the scope and mount. This raised another problem of the wind coming in through all these gaps, caused to it to rub against anything it touched and take the paint off.
In the end I decided to radically rethink the whole observatory and came up with the above design, which is basically a roll off shed. I didn’t want to completely dismantle the previous observatory, so decided to keep the existing walls and place the new roll off shed design inside it. This gave me the advantage of some degree of wind protection for the structure inside. The box is partitioned into two compartments, the upper of which seals the mount, scope and all the electrics from the elements and can be heated during the winter if necessary.