STOP PRESS: Today, 21 Aug 2013, at 12.00 noon BST, I observed the planet Jupiter for the first time (in broad daylight) through the Meade 10 inch. Amazing. It was fuzzy, but clearly there. Tried to find Venus, but she was being too elusive for me.
If you would like help setting up your new telescope, advice on buying one or me to visit you with my portable 'scope to view the heavens, then go to my new website: The Visiting Astronomer.
I wanted my telescope, a Meade 10 inch GPS, to be ready-to-use in a few minutes and not need to be carried into the garden. I did not want the observatory not take up half the back garden (yard), so I needed somethng that was just big enough to house the scope. I looked at various designs of observatories with lift-off roofs, but they all seemed too complicated and cumbersome for my simple needs.
What I needed was a shed that would cover the telescope, but be moveable, so that I could just plug in the 'scope and power it up. I got a local company, BM Metalworks, to make me a pier from some surplus steel tubing they had and I found the Yardmaster PEZ whose measurements seemed to be just large enough for my purposes. I bit the bullet and ordered one from a UK garden shed website.
The following pages describe how I cemented the pier and built the shed.