Contains:  Gear
My observatory, Michael Kutschera

My observatory

My observatory, Michael Kutschera

My observatory


Dear astro friends,

today I'd like to share with you the pictures when I build my own observatory in our garden.
It all started almost two years ago in April 2020, when I got the idea that having a constant location for my telescope would make things much more comfortable.
Along with that, I could also go for an imaging session more often, as usually I don't grab all the equipment for only two or three hours and head to my favorite spot.
When I did, I used to stay there all night, if the weather was stable.

Version B:
So I started to think about how to design the column for my Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
Finally I ended up using a steel tube with a length of 1.4m, a diameter of 220mm and a wall thickness of 12.5mm.
Together with the base plate and the levelling unit on the top it has an overall height of about 1.52m.
Initially intended to take my Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro mount it seemed to be a little bit overdosed, but the plan was to install a little bit larger mount later.
After having all the single parts for the mount ready prepared, I started welding it all together. Before applying the matte black coating to the column, I sand blasted it (this caused a lot of dust in our garden, best regards to our neighbors). On the inside it is coated with epoxy to prevent rust and later I will fill it with sand to eliminate final vibrations, if there are any.

Version C:
The column was supposed to be seated on a concrete foundation and be screwed to a stable anchor. The anchor itself is about 32cm x 32cm with eight M16 stainless steel thread shafts of 50cm length.
The hole for the telescope's foundation measures approx. 85cm x 85cm with a depth of around 130cm.
The dimension of the observatoy are 5m x 3m (measured outside), where the telescope room has about 3m x 3m and the control room has about 3m x 2m. According to this outer dimension the foundation has the same and a depth of around 80cm.
After the formwork for the foundation was finished, the concrete was ordered. All together about 4.3cbm of concrete were burried in the soil and I was really glad when this part was successfully finished (not my favorite job).

Version D:
While the concrete was left to dry, I started drawing the plan for the building and ordered the required wood beams.
The main framework is made from 12cm x 12cm beams. All joints were made as mortise and tenon joints, the I have milled with my big router, using special jigs I have also made by myself.
The upper cross connections in the roof area were made as dovetail joints, for which I also have made special jigs.
Finally, after five weeks of working almost seven days a week between eight to ten hours, the framework for the building and the roof was finished (yes, that's my favorite job). By the middle of September 2020 we had everything prepared to get it rigged up.

The roof itself is seated on six wheels, made from stainless steel carrying 390kg each, and is running on two stainless steel rails of 8m length. It is driven by a motor unit from a door drive.
When closed, the roof is secured by special hooks, integrated into the framework, to avoid the roof being lifted in case of strong storms. Up to now I did not notice any problems with winds up to 100km/h (guess even more should be no issue).

The roof opens to the south-east. Not ideal, but regarding the local prerequisites this was the most suitable solution (would have been too close to the neighbor's ground otherwise). Nevertheless, the view is not really obstructed to the south and in case of demanding to observe lower objects, the motor can be disengaged and the roof can be opened further 80cm manually.
By November 2020 the door, windows, roof and the outer shield were finally in place and the winter may come.

Version E:
During the winter 2020/2021 the isolation was installed, as well as the floor construction was build and the floor was layed. Further on the electric wiring and the network installation was done.
The lining of the walls in the control room was chosen to make it look a bit more comfortable, as I also use it as my home office during summer.
In the meantime the winter moved in and brought some snow, where the roof proofed to be stable enough.

Final version:
The observatory was finished (only some smaller things to do) after almost 15 months by the end of June 2021.
Time to get all the equipment to the right place. In the beginning I had my EQ6-R Pro installed, which already did a great job. The column definitely proofed to be rock solid and not having to permanently rig up and tear down the equipment is a big win.

In August I considered buying a bigger mount and after taken different models into account and thinking about their pros and cons, I decided to get a Fornax102 from Fornax Mounts in Hungary. Again, this looks a little overdosed for my 10 inch Newton, but you never know what may be coming next.

So by the end of August I ordered the Fornax102 and finally got it delivered by February 2022.
What should I say... It's great, I love it and for me it was the right decision.
The mount is equipped with Heidenhain encoders on both axes and performs really great. The mount and the imaging equipment are controlled via CCDciel, using the SkyChart software as planetarium and PHD2 for guiding.

The whole equipment can be turned on/off from the control room and is powered by two power supplies. One (12 volts) for the imaging equipment and the other one (28 volts) for the mount, which I have also build by myself.

Finally I can say that the whole project was much more work than I had expected, but it was absolutely worth the effort.
Having all the equipment ready to start within a few minutes gives me the opportunity to go for shorter sessions, if the weather does not last the whole night. I would not ride to my favorite spot in such a case.
Also the equipment is kept dry inside the telescope room, even during the cold winter season it can easily be de-iced by using a small electric heater (if the temperatures stay low during the day).

I hope you like the pictures and enjoy reading the story.
Have a great time and always clear skies.

Best regards,



  • Final
    My observatory, Michael Kutschera
  • My observatory, Michael Kutschera
  • My observatory, Michael Kutschera
  • My observatory, Michael Kutschera
  • My observatory, Michael Kutschera


Title: column

Description: welding the column for the mount

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Title: foundation

Description: making the foundation for the telescope and the walls

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Title: wood working

Description: preparing the wood beams for the walls and the roof

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Title: inside

Description: completing the interior (walls, floor,...), electric wiring, network installation

Uploaded: ...


My observatory, Michael Kutschera