Stargate II
                Modified a Royal Shed to create a home for my RCX400 12".. More Pictures o come...
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Welcome to my new Observatory Site - Stargate II! Caledon, Ontario

The PIER, Mitty's Wedge and the RCX400 are in place~!

Nov. 2005 - Just in time for winters clouds!

close-up view of the wedge on the pier

Full modification details below - Oct. 10th - 90% Complete  


 90% Complete (Looks like a Garden Shed!)

   Inside look - Meade's RCX400 



I built the Royal Shed – Woodbridge Model (8 x 10 purchased from Home Depot) according to plan for the main wall structure. All modifications were for the roof panels and middle support sections. Make sure you do not seal the outside of the base wall with silicone like I did. This action blocks the manufactured drain holes (so that’s what those holes are for!) and forces the rain water from the side walls back into the shed. Seal the base (according to the instructions) and then on the inside you can seal the base wall at the floor around the perimeter of the structure.

Inside view (Closed Position) Outside Walls only


1 – Install Roof beam and Roof panels. The first thing I did was install the in place with the roof beam in place across the top of the shed temporarily (no screws). I needed this roof beam in place to support the top weight and keep the slotted roof panels in alignment. The roof panels are all slotted so this was fairly easy to do (a second person would of made it painless, one inserting the panels the other

guiding the panel into the beam slot)  I then secured the roof panels with the “FC1” end cap supplied by the shed manufacture screwed the base panels together creating now a larger sliding

roof section of panels.  I screwed the FC1 CAP to the SHED temporally so it would not slip out of place.

Close up of side wall roof support from the inside.


2 – Metal Support beam (internal) Once the roof panels are in place, I used a metal “L” shaped bar used for (Light) Metal shelving units as my main roof panel support, this creates the one solid roof section,  as well as a convenient handle to close the roof panel and support to the bungee cords to keep the roof cap closed.  I used a number of the supplied screws I screwed each roof panel to the bar for additional support.  Make sure that you install the bar no more then 12” to 18”  from the roofs center point. Why? This also acts as the roof stopper, install to close to the center of the roof panel and you will not be able to open the roof too far! Trust me I made this mistake.

This metal bar creates one roof section, supports the weigh, makes a great handle, and bungee cord holder.


3 – Install exterior Mini-rollers (Home depot) In order to reduce friction of the panels while opening and closing the roof sections and support the center weight I installed mini rollers to the side wall just under the roof panels. These really helped reduce friction on the 8 x10 roof section which does have some weight making much easier to slid out and in. I recommend at least four per side from the center out. .

Close-up of the drawer roller installedClose –Up



4 -  Install Internal corner Latches – Four for each corner to keep the roof sections in place once closed. Simply drill the appropriate hole diameters through the wall lip into the roof panel.

 Can you see the latch in the corner!


5 – Remove  Temporary ROOF Beam (supplied by manufacture) Remove temporary screws from the FC1 panel to release the roof section form the shed. Slid the roof panels “open” to release the roof beam.

Once complete on both sides I slid the roof panel out of the center roof beam and removed the center roof beam (no use anymore)


6 – Install Roof support rollers – Too support the roof panels from shagging and any weight from winter snow I installed a Removable Roof Support Poles. I purchased the adjustable closet Poles cutting off the lipped ends and then secured the length with a drilled setting screw in the pole of the appropriate lengths. I then covered the poles with water pipe Insulation sleeves to provide addition support and rolling capability

to the roof sections. The poles simply drop into the open cup supports secured to the side walls.


7 – Install Metal Hinged Roof Cap – This modification was a little tricky. I first tried to modify the supplied center roof beam with no success. I just happed to have an 8’ section of metal paneling in my garage. It was six inches wide and had metal lip along its length (You could use wood painted and sealed). I purchased a long hinge for Home Depot and screwed it to the roof and attached the Metal Tin Section (the length of the shed) with weather proofing strips inside the panel were applied. I drilled two holes at either end and added hook bolts (see picture) so I can simply hook a bungee cord from the Metal “L” Bar across the hook bolt over tot the other side attaching to the other Metal “L” Bar, this pulls the metal down for a nice tight seal. (No leaks)





Result – I roof system that I can easily open and close from the inside of the observatory.

Seconds to open the roof sections;

1 – Undo the corner latches

2 – Remove bungee cords

3 – Flip Roof cap to open position

4 – Slid roof panel to OPEN

5 – Remove Center Roof Support Rollers

Sometimes I only need to open one side leaving the other roof section closed to provide additional wind projection. Wireless Networked installed, Security Camera now installed.

Lots of room for me plus three additional astronomers and my computer!

Additional Shots. Shed - 8' x 10' back in July 2005


Started with the 16" cement base for my future pier

Next completed the Shed base, nothing to fancy, just wanted to make sure it was solid.

Here is a shot of the roof open, (Note: no RCX400, Pier not installed as of yet)