Hidden Valley Observatory -
Dome and Roll-Off Roof

Having a backyard observatory has been a dream since I was a child.  In 1987, we bought a house and some land and  the dream came true.  The observatory consists of two structures.  The first is a 15 x 30 sliding roof building.  A 10 x 10 control room  was added (note the window) to house the computers, building and dome controls.. The roof is moved by a surplus garage door motor and slides back over the control room roof.

The second structure is a 10' Pro Dome built by Technical Innovations.  The kit took about three days to fully assemble. The dome is connected to the control room by cables that run in conduit underground from to the dome.

Hidden Valley Observatory, located in Soquel, California, is  750' above sea level on the northern tip of Monterey Bay.  The devices on the porch overhang are part of a solar powered wireless weather station.  The sloped roof slides back over the flat roof of the control room.

Hidden Valley Observatory command center!  Separate computers and monitors for the two buildings, a video monitor with red screen and a TV/VCR/DVD so I don't miss my favorite shows.  The large window, with a shade that can block light from the control room when imaging, allows me to watch the scope if I wish.  The room is heated or air conditioned, as necessary, and a small fridge holds my Diet Cokes.  The computers are on a wireless LAN to my home office about 150' away should I wish to control the scopes from there.  Since i travel for business, the observatory can be operated remotely as well.


Building the 10' ProDome

Paul and Goldie guard the box.
Lots of work to do!
Making progress.
Now it looks like an observatory.