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Building a Roll-Off Roof Observatory: A Complete Guide for Design and Construction Paperback – Nov 19 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2009 edition (Nov. 19 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387766030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387766034
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #610,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


From the reviews:

"The subtitle of this book–A Complete Guide for Design and Construction–perfectly describes this well-illustrated accumulation of research and personal experience. The book opens with a discussion of the pros and cons of roll-off roof and domed observatories, and there are strong points made for both types. … The time saved researching so much information makes this an extremely valuable resource to anyone considering building their own observatory–whatever design you choose." (Mark Parrish, Sky at Night Magazine, July, 2009)

"The author of this book has been selling plans and advising people on how to build roll-off-roof observatories for many years. … He then proceeds to give detailed advice as to how to deal with everything from planning applications to the construction itself. …Would I recommend the book? Yes." (Norman Walker, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1211), August, 2009)

From the Back Cover

Almost every practical astronomer who takes the pursuit to its second level aspires to a fixed, permanent housing for his telescope, permitting its rapid and comfortable use and avoiding hours of setting-up time for each observing session. A roll-off roof observatory is the simplest and by far the most popular observatory design for today’s practical astronomers.
Building a Roll-off Roof Observatory will help you decide whether to embark on the venture and will certainly provoke your enthusiasm for the project.
The author, both an amateur astronomer and professional landscape architect, answers many of the common questions asked around observatory construction covering the following topics:
Site planning, zoning, and by-law requirements common to most states, towns and municipalities
Opportunities for locating the observatory
Tailoring the observatory for your particular use
Tools and structural components required to build it
Variations in footing design to suit your soil conditions
Variations possible in design through photographs from owners throughout USA and Canada
Opportunity to utilize the structure for in combination with others–(incorporating a Garden patio under the gantry for example)
This fully-detailed book outlines step-by-step construction .
A professionally designed roll-off observatory could cost as much as $3000 just for these plans – which are provided with Building a Roll-off Roof Observatory.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa64ad54c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa54eefd8) out of 5 stars For Those Interested in Building Their Own Observatory May 3 2009
By Kenny - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you own a large telescope, you'll want an observatory for it so you won't have to set it up every time you want to use it. (You know what I mean!) If you have plenty of money, there are many nice observatories to choose from, but if you are on a budget, then building a roll-off roof observatory is probably your best option for utility and cost.

Hick's book is based to a large extent on his own observatory, but the general principles and advice that he gives can be transferred to other designs. The book is well-written, clear and with pictures and drawings. I took off one star because it is focused on one design - the author's own observatory, but that should not deter anyone that is interested in the topic. His design serves as an example to start at. If you are considering possibly building your own roll-off roof observatory then this book should be on your shelf. (You should also check out [...] for more information on roll-off roofs.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5abe84c) out of 5 stars Observatory review Oct. 16 2010
By Gary T - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great source of information about the subject. It is well illustrated and the text correctly references the pictures. There is helpful information about location, design, and other things you might not have though about. I highly reccomend this book to anyone considering building a backyard observatory. It also comes with a CD that contains all the illustrations in the text along with detailed plans for construction.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa54d7864) out of 5 stars READ BEFORE YOU BUILD Feb. 1 2013
By Eric Rachut - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you tire of setting up all the time, you'll opt for an observatory. That means a roll-off, unless you live in the tundra and want a dome's protection from winds in the wintertime. Roll-offs are cheap, easy to construct and allow star-hopping.
I've had two built - the second by a contractor using this book and it is a joy.
If you explore online, and anybody planning an observatory is going to do that, you will find that despite the copyright, this entire book can be downloaded from a (Red) Chinese source. Don't lose your soul.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa580693c) out of 5 stars Some useful information, but by no means a "guide" Nov. 27 2014
By David Lee Hudson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very disappointed in this book. It is nothing more than a bunch of pictures of different observatories which I can see online by searching google images. The book is not well organized, has the feel of a book written in the 1950s on a typewriter, and honestly doesn't present a lot of useful information to help you plan out building an observatory. Instead it just seems to present a bunch of random tidbits on various aspects. The subtitle says "A complete guide...." yet there is no list, plan, step by step guide or other "checklist". It does go over most aspects such as walls, roof, electrical, etc. but I found information on the Internet much more useful in actually giving me a practical step by step "guide" that says "make these decisions, then take these steps".
HASH(0xa5747810) out of 5 stars Nothing but common sense inside, 'Plans' nothing but included ... July 23 2014
By User - Published on
Format: Paperback
Nothing but common sense inside, 'Plans' nothing but included figures in the text. Bought it 'Used' and still wasn't worth it