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Company Seven | Astronomical Observatories Design and Installation Services

Sandler PierTech Telestation 2 Observatory with Celestron 14 atop Astro-Physics 1200GTO German Mount and Pier-Tech 3 elevating pier (65,120 bytes) There are very few sources of astronomical instruments in business today who are actually well familiar with how to use a telescope, much less know how to integrate a telescope with a suitable platform and within a protective facility - the observatory. Company Seven is among the very few specialty companies left who not only can provide the telescope, but we can also provide all the components and accessories to suit the requirements of clients who may require telescope systems of up at a meter or more in aperture world-wide. Our services include site surveys to determine optimum locations, what type of observatory is best suited to the task, advice about foundation work or consulting with architects to design add-on structures, coordinating with local general contractors and their tradesmen to insure they understand and implement the recommended practices we will provide to them.

For the amateur in particular, but also for schools we preach 'the best telescope is the one that gets used'. Unfortunately most people lack the time, or the physique, or patience to take a telescope in and out of their home and set it up for use. So for people who value both their time and their access to our hobby, we make any telescope 'the one that gets used' by enclosing it within an observatory structure. Imagine coming home after a long day of work, glimpsing up to a clear sky, then simply stepping out doors to your own observatory; push a button and the dome shutter opens or the roof slides off!

Right: Your observatory may be only a push-button away! Here we show the Sandler Observatory sold by Company Seven as it appears in 2011 (65,120 bytes). Click on image to see enlarged view (177,615 bytes).

We provided written guidance to the local contractors on how to build the floor slab, telescope pier foundation, and run utilities.

PierTech 3 elevating pier installation by Company Seven technician (65,120 bytes) To best suit the requirements we predicted for Mr. Sandler we provided a compact PierTech Tele-Station 2 Observatory, a sliding roof arrangement, to house his Celestron 14 telescope. Initially, as put into service in Janurary 2009, the client preferred to employ a smaller consumer grade German Equatorial Mount. We anticipated his needs at the time, but knew his initial choice of mount would prove to be inadequate and so we specified the suitable Pier-Tech 2 elevating pier so that the telescope position could be adjusted up or to to insure the eyepiece position would always be at a convenient height for him and his guests. We planned it to be a simple matter to swap out this pier for a larger model at a later time with no need to modify the pier foundation.

Left: PierTech 3 elevating pier being installed by technician from Company Seven (51,586 bytes). This man has more than two decades of professional experience in mechanics and with astronomical telescopes.
Click on image to see enlarged view (164,801 bytes).

In the Summer of 2011 we upgraded this observatory with what we initially recommended and so this C-14 telescope now rests atop our Astro-Physics 1200GTO German Mount, with these supported by a new Pier-Tech 3 elevating pier. Our staff assembled the rest, and we also maintain it - being only a phone call away.

So when you call Company Seven to discuss your project you most likely will be speaking with people who not only have an uncommonly high degree of understanding and experience with the use of telescopes, but whom also have first-hand experience with the installation and operation of observatories too.

Martin's Observatory at Biosphere 2 (65,120 bytes) Nothing Says "Observatory" Quite Like A Dome: For educational organizations, and in particular colleges that recruit students for the sciences, little that can be seen on a campus speaks louder about where its students are going than an astronomical observatory dome. The dome however is not just a choice for prestige, it is a sound investment where protection from winds or nearby lighting is important.

Right: an Ash Mfg. 5 meter steel dome and base housing an OGS 24 inch Ritchey-Chrétien telescope, as originally installed near Tucson, Arizona (67,957 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (193,326 bytes).

Company Seven can provide a variety of design, manufacturing, installation and repair services for observatories. This will involving recommending or specifying optical and mechanical systems, tracking platforms, and associated technologies. For observatories that must comply with the "Americans With Disabilities Act" access requirements or for amateurs who seek easier access too, we have the experience to advise. Our experts will work with licensed architects and tradesmen in your area to design a facility that is foremost functional and reliable, as well as aesthetically appealing. We also provide systems installation and integration to local or remote sites with control locally or for data acquisition over wired networks or by other means. This means we can be a one-stop shopping source for a complete telescope with observatory for the amateur, for schools, industry or governments.

Furthermore, our resources remain available to support any observatory sold by Company Seven; we have been doing so now for decades after all so we have become quite good at this.

Company Seven can be there for you when the complicated work needs to be done properly:

Pier-Tech pier and infrastructure installation of Sandler Observatory (45,796 bytes) pier and infrastructure installation of MCCMO observatory (73,264 bytes) dome and telescope installation of MCCMO observatory (63,808 bytes)

At left we show the renovating and automation of The Analemma Society of Great Falls, VA 5 meter Ash Dome (45,796 bytes).
At center we show critical design aspects of the pier, utilities of the MCCMO (73,264 bytes).
To the right we show installing a telescope into a Ash Mfg. 5 meter steel dome with the aid of a crane (63,808 bytes).
Click on images to see enlarged view (127,427, 174,341 and 157,336 bytes).

We can be there for you when the complicated systems need to be taught too:

OGS 32 inch (0.81 m) telescope at George Mason University 2011 (70,054 bytes) The MCCMO showing the telescope inside the observatory (130,647 bytes)

At left the new OGS 32 inch (0.81 meter) Ritchey-Chrétien fork-mounted telescope at the George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia in 2011 (73,264 bytes).
The relocated MCCMO OGS 24 inch (0.61 meter) Ritchey-Chrétien telescope at its new location in Maryland near sunset on 11 November 2010 (130,647 bytes). Image by Ed Whitman.
Click on images to see enlarged view (174,341 and 234,058 bytes).

For Further Reading: consider some of the publications provided by Company Seven to help our customers. We tend to provide information and advice beyond that provided by the makers of these products, often incorporating lessons we have learned from actually being involved with design and installation processes.

Observatory Location Guidelines cover (21,329 bytes)
Ash Mfg. Dome Assembly Manual
The 41 page illustrated document in .pdf format (7,322,842 bytes)
Observatory Location Guidelines cover (21,329 bytes)
Observatory Location Guidelines
The 6 page illustrated document by Company Seven in .pdf format (1,353,060 bytes)
Observatory Wiring & Utilities Guidelines cover (21,255 bytes)
Observatory Wiring & Utilities Guidelines
The 20 page illustrated document by Company Seven in .pdf format (4,843,534 bytes)
Observatory Wiring & Utilities Guidelines cover (21,255 bytes)
Pier Tech Tele-Station 2 Installation Addendum
The 7 page illustrated document by Company Seven in .pdf format (360,303 bytes)

Then to obtain information about the metal or fiberglass domes and slide off roof observatories we offer contact Company Seven, preferably by telephone on 301-953-2000 or by E-Mail. In your communication to us please be ready to provide:

  • Your name and contact information (E-Mail, daytime telephone number)
  • Return address and planned location of the observatory
  • Intended use or application for the telescope or other instrument
  • Your thoughts on what you consider suitable for your application


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