First and foremost, many thanks to my wife Ann, who's provided constant encouragement to this project over the years and who found the slogan "Ad Astra Per Aspera" ("Through Struggle to the Stars") at a time in our lives when it seemed like there would never be any starlight again.

AEB Rick(small)

Without my very good friend Rick Mills and his help in design and construction, this project never would have seen a building permit, much less the light of day. Building the observatory with Rick has been a ball and for a couple of guys who sit at desks all day, we think we've done pretty well! I couldn’t have done it without you, my friend.

Many, many fellow amateurs have contributed their ideas and inspiration, mostly by publishing their good ideas and their trials and errors on the web. This site is my small attempt to pay back the amateur astronomy community for their support. In particular, props to:

Bill Arnett, whose website contains a compendium of amateur observatories, both roll-off and dome, that is an invaluable resource to anyone who is contemplating their own.

• Bob Luffel of
Alpine Astronomical LLC, whose roller assembly design I have blatantly copied and who was kind enough to provide engineering drawings on which I based the ones provided on this site and to my steel fabricator. His personal observatory can be found at

Chris Vedeler, who demystified the track-and-roller system with clear photos, details, and CAD drawings.

• The moderator (Doug Askew) and members of the "Observatories" group on Yahoo Groups. If you have any interest at all in such a project, join the group, get the postings and participate in the dialogue. Many good ideas and a few tales of woe. Read and learn!

I’ve included my own annotated list of projects and sites that I’ve found particularly useful - see the "Files" page.