Shelter Retractable Desk

Retractable Desk

I wanted my telescope shelter to provide as many of the conforts of a real observatory as possible and this included some kind of table or desk to lay eyepieces, charts, computer and other observing accessories on.

The solution I adopted was pretty simple. Since there is a lot of space Inside the cover when it is opened, why not put it to good use. I attached an aluminium channel on each side of the cover, using the internal gas spring support structure to attach to. On the west side wall I bolted two hinges and on the east side, a height-adjustable stopper. A ½ inch thick plywood measuring 3½ x 3 feet in size constitutes the “desk”.

I added some reinforcement channels at the bottom as well as on top. The top channels also serve as raised edges to prevent objects from falling to the bottom of the cover.

Not much to write about for this feature so, here are a few self-explanatory pictures:

The desk in the folded up position:

Desk folded up

With a closeup of the simple lock that I use to keep it in the upward locked position. Notice the lock is angled a bit so that it doesn’t accidentaly release the desk when the cover is in the closed, horizontal position:

Lock to hold desk in folded positionAnd in the folded down position:

Desk folded down
And in use (note: the electrical receptacle on the surface top had not been installed when this picture was taken):

Desk in useAn overall view of the empty desk showing the plugs, light control and the three aluminium channels that prevent accidental fall of objects:

Desk overall viewAnd  a picture of the remote wireless temperature probe attached to the North Wall (which becomes the floor of the cover when opened). A similar probe is located outside the house, in the shade. This way I can simultaneously monitor both temperatures from a single weather station in the house. I can also zero the thermometers readings every day to follow and track the maximum/minimum daily temperatures for eventual heating/ventillation add ons if necessary:

Remote wireless temperature probe on North Wall