Chicken Dinner Road
a.k.a. The "Storage Shed"
This observatory is located in Caldwell, Idaho on the bank of the Snake River, near a little town called Marsing. The name of the observatory comes from the road we live on, Chicken Dinner Road. The road got it's name from a Idaho governor of years ago, who would occasionally come out to a friends house for chicken dinner on Sunday afternoons. Since the road had no name at the time he decided to name it accordingly.
My first scope was a Celestron N-11 GPS. I was used to lugging it in and out of the garage when I would observe. But the time setting up and tearing down was about a total of 2-3 hours with computer, cameras etc. So when I sold the N-11 and ordered a Celestron CGE-1400, much heavier and not very portable, I decided to build an observatory. Without a doubt, it was the best move I have made. It now takes at the most ten minutes to be up and ready to observe or image.
We had a lot of fun and a few challenges along the way, but all in all it turned out great! John, a co-worker, helped me a lot and we made good time on it. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Chicken Dinner Road Observatory
Looking south before construction.
Sure doesn't look like a 12' x 18' footprint.
X marks the spot......oops !!!!!
The pier pole gets set.
Rubber hose inserted to keep gap even between pier and floor while doing pour.
Kind of dusty, but necessary.
8" inner pipe and 10" outer pipe.
John and Ralph, two great friends who helped with the pour. Thanks guys!
John was the master builder, who tolerated me and my strange ideas. Many thanks John!!!!
John feeling frisky.
The floor gets poured. Note plastic pipe for data and power cables from warm room to observatory.
Starting to look like a building. Nice clear skies huh!
Footings for roof supports are poured.
Roof rails ready to go.
Angle iron track for rolling roof.
Each rail is 20' long and very heavy. My back is still sore.
Rails in place, note 2 x4 across top to hold in place.
Wheel on angle iron. Notice wheel designed to roll on angle iron.
Another look at rail and wheels.
Rough in electrical.
Truss and roofing begins.
Now it's starting to look like a building.
Other side view.
Inside looking south before hinged wall put up.
The walls are up. Walls are just 6' high.
Garage door opener is a Wayne Dalton MLT and works perfectly!
I cover motor with a waterproof bag with drawstring.
Push button operation makes opening and closing simple.
6' x12' Warm room equipped with fold down cot for a short snooze.
Note in wall electric heater and picture window on right into observatory.
From scope looking into warm room.
We rolled the roof to the north for better viewing to the south.
Although the scope is still on the tripod I still plan to finish the pier.
Trenching made easy work of running power to the observatory and yard light. (on switch of course)
Hinged wall in upright position.
View looking from house.
South wall is hinged for a better view.
We installed both red and white lights on dimmers.