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Sid Sidhu's Teles-coop - David Lee

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On Sunday afternoon May 31st Sid Sidhu had a gathering to officially open his new observatory. Many of the people that had helped and given technical and moral support were there. Sid started breaking ground, or was it rocks (Sid gave a wonderful description of how the rocks split very easily once you know how) in the fall of 1997. Construction started in the summer of 1998 and was completed recently. The observatory was beautifully constructed, looking more like an addition to the house than an amateur astronomer's getaway. A sign hung on the observatory wall with the words "SID'S TELES-COOP". A red ribbon was suspended in front of the observatory which was later cut by George Ball.

First of all design criteria ... what did Sid want when he started this "little" project ? If you've met Sid you know he's tall (at least compared to my 5 foot 7, actually 7.5) so this structure had to have a tall enough roof not to cause any bruising. Sid succeeded and only has to watch his head in one spot (it was perfect for me !). The observatory is 12 x 8 ft with 6 ft high walls. The roll-off roof was reasonably cheap to construct and very quiet so as not to bother the neighbours. The roof is an interesting design in that the split design gives it some of the advantages of a dome with a movable slit. This minimizes dewing and is more comfortable for warm-blooded creatures such as ourselves. I have to comment on the roof framework, it's beautifully constructed of 1.5 inch square metal tubing and finished with near perfect welds. Sid had it commercially welded locally at a very reasonable price. Sid went with all metal construction for rigidity and lower maintenance. The 25 foot tracking for the roll-off roof was courtesy of George Ball, apparently sitting in his yard for the last 40 years ! There is a reason to be a packrat ! The 18 inch diameter pier is firmly planted on a 5 x 6 x 4 foot base. The larger than normal diameter pier was possible with the use of a form that was purchased surplus from some highway construction. There some nice touches with the pier, courtesy of George also. Sid embedded threaded rod with some nuts on them into the pier so that the threaded rod could be removed leaving the nut readily accessible giving a easy method for attaching things to the pier. Sid's orange C8 looked quite at home on the pier, though he tells me quietly that he would like to construct a 16 inch telescope for the observatory at some future date.

Sid is the first to acknowledge all the help he had in the construction of his new teles-coop. Allan Paul was essential in stirring the concrete mixture and in the construction of the floor and walls. Colin Wyatt lent his tools and helped with the roof. Special thanks go to Vic Hemming for the loan of the concrete mixer.

So what is Sid going to do in this teles-coop ? CCD imaging and visual observing will be the primary uses for now. Internet site access for the schools is in the future.


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Last updated: December 12, 2013

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