Because of all of the available options and configurations for SkyShed POD's we have decided to not display a price. If you are interested please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you are looking for. Let us know the size of POD you would like, and the number of Bay's, if any.
The SkyShed Personal observatory dome is the most fully featured and easiest to set up dome on the market. It offers the ample equipment storage space, and can be moved with little effort. The POD affords secure, waterproof and windproof protection for you and your telescope whilst observing or imaging. The POD combines the features of traditional slotted observatory domes and roll-off shed observatories without the constraints and construction time, making it ideal for the amateur astronomer who wants to spend time imaging or observing, with minimal fuss and complication.
Easy setup & Portability. Six wall sections and four dome sections nest together, taking up less shipping space and weight than conventional domes. In fact, they're even portable enough to take to star parties, and POD customers do this! First time assembly takes less than 2 hours, subsequent quick assembly at a starparty for example, is even quicker once rain seals and wheel tracks are bolted in place. The product is 2.4m in diameter at it's widest point. Everything required to assemble your POD is provided in the kit, except for bolts or augers to secure the POD to the ground, which are freely available. It can be assembled easily with normal tools compared to any other dome product. A step-by-step DVD guide is provided with every POD. You can view the SkyShed POD assembly setup DVD online, at the bottom of this page.
See the whole the sky!
Unlike conventional domes the POD in it's standard form offers a 180 degree wide angle view of the sky for more visual enjoyment, allowing you to see objects in their context and chat with fellow observers over the side.
Another advantage of the POD is that the dome doesn't need to be constantly rotated as your telescope tracks the sky, and movement is only needed every few hours. Opening up your dome just before sunset also gives you faster telescope cool-down with greater air circulation. For customers who want to shield out intrusive light - from say a neighbours security light - the POD visor is the perfect accessory. The POD visor fits inside the dome, and can be opened or closed as required in seconds, with a variable width opening from 31 to 81 inches, you can choose how much of the sky you want to reveal. The Visor is perfect for shielding out wind too. The images below show the visor in open and shut position from inside the dome. The POD is the only observatory dome which offers this flexibility.
By offsetting your scope from the centre of the dome, or using an equatorial mount (which is naturally offset), you can achieve zenith viewing. For customers with a large telescope, the optional PZT (POD Zenith Table) accessory enables you to slide the dome back, allowing the telescope to point beyond the zenith.
Customise your POD.
Colour combinations are available for the dome in white, tan and light grey. Walls are available in white, tan, green
and two shades of grey (see opposite colour charts and photos). We recommend a lighter colour on the dome, for less heat retention, and a darker colour for the walls, which also looks great. Additional inset wall panels called POD Bays offer vastly expanded equipment storage space, ideal for computers, accumulator batteries and eyepiece cases. You can upgrade your POD to 3 Bays or even Shelving systems are available for the Bays as an optional extra - they can slide out to bring your laptop or star chart closer, for example. No other dome product has this flexibility. Bays nest into each other for shipping, therefore ordering 3 Bays with your POD can cost a lot less than ordering Bays individually as they take up almost the same volume. That's why we usually offer the POD package with 3 or 5 Bays. The Bays and walls let you save space, and our Altair SkyShed 8" telescope piers free up even more floor space whilst offering a more rigid mounting surface than a telescope tripod (see opposite). The Altair SkyShed pier is available separately in your choice of height and is the easiest to install pier design on the market. Imagine never having to polar-align your telescope mount again!
Protect your equipment.
Your POD can house a large scope like an 11 or 12" Cassegrain. In fact - some customers are already using 14" fork mounted Schmidt Cassegrains on our 8" piers. The POD door is designed with a weatherproof seal, and a lock. The observatory dome also has a locking system so it cannot be opened from the outside. The dome material is made of high density Polyethylene giving a wipe-clean surface with a low friction feel. It's extremely tough and durable, almost impossible to stain, and features temperature and UV resistance. It's also resistant to scratches and cracking, absorbing shocks very well - unlike thinner, single walled plastic designs. For the ultimate in strength and heat blocking, you can order black lined bays. This modification stops infra red heat entering the POD and therefore heat build-up in very hot climates. A cleverly designed ventilation channel allows air to
circulate under the dome, which doubles back, eliminating dust and moisture ingress. The dome can be easily fixed to the ground for use with a tripod mounted scope, or preferably bolted to a raised decking kit, which allows better ventilation with cool air able to flow under the decking and up through it into the POD.