Improving My Backyard Deck Into a Better Observatory, a Nice Comfortable Nook For Both My Wife, Debbie and Myself. It Also Shields Ambient Lighting When Using My Telescope.




Deck before renovation and modifications:




The majority of my astronomical telescopic observing, for the past 35 years has been from my backyard deck.  It received a major renovation and enlargement about 15 years ago.  My NELM from this deck is normally about 5.0-5.2 on an excellent night.  On a cold and crisp winter night, on occasion, the NELM can reach 5.5 at the zenith.  

For at least the past five or more years, I’d thought about adding a bit of privacy for both my observing and when my wife, Debbie and I choose to just sit, relax, and talk.  

During the day, I can use my MacBook to write astronomy articles, emails to my many astronomy friends across the country and beyond. I can work on the Observer’s Challenge report, which just celebrated 121 consecutive months.  

The petition blocks the sun until late morning, and with Debbie’s new outdoor umbrella, we can enjoy for most of the day….should we choose.  The other day, it became a bit too warm, so we now have a fan that works extremely well.  So much breeze, that paper weights are necessary for books and related.  

On selected nights, when it’s clear and without a moon, I can use one of my many telescopes to observe deep-sky objects, galaxies, nebulae and star clusters.  

And to make my pencil sketches: A couple eyepiece/telescope examples below of faint galaxies.   

Rogers NGC-2300 Inverted

Rogers NGC-2964 Invereted

Rogers NGC-4236 Inverted b

More than a month ago,  I purchased a 6 x 8 privacy fence from Lowe’s Home Improvement, two 12 foot, treated 4 x 4’s and lots of bolts, 6-inch lag screws, and braces.  

And also extra footing post underneath.  The two 4 x 4’s are deep in the ground, with ~100 pounds of concrete in each hole.  The privacy fence is completely held up by the the 4 x 4’s, as not to put any stress on the deck railing.  However, large bolts were used to “pull the post” up against the deck, before the concrete dried.  

I then spent a couple days, improving the underside of the deck, installing  bolts, lag screws, extra supports, etc.  This will improve the stability of the deck and especially while using my telescope.     

Roger Ivester








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