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To Be Observing in Minutes  
The dream of every astronomer

In the last few years we've added more and more technology to our backyard telescopes, turning many into powerful scientific instruments. Unfortunately we've found that with all the added technology it takes a lot more time to get set up and tear down all that equipment. 

With life becoming more hectic than ever, many astronomers report doing LESS observing than they have in the past. All this fantastic technology, and sizeable investment, sits unused in the corner of a room, or buried in the garage.

What's needed is both a permanent and mobile solution to house and operate telescopic equipment at a moment's notice, whether in the backyard or in the field. 


By using the same proven material that's been used globally for decades, in agricultural products and outdoor structures, combined with an evolutionary Patented design, SkyShed POD is the permanent or temporary observatory solution to house and operate the latest visual and photographic astronomical equipment.

POD's low cost and high quality, along with its innovative design, make it the perfect alternative to much higher priced observatory solutions.

Celebrating POD's 9th Anniversary!

Vsit our facebook page for the latest updates and postings by POD owners
POD on Facebook 

 
 
You need them. POD's got them.
Making POD the most changeable, and most popular observatory ever.

Order Now for Winter Prices and Spring Delivery!

Why a Clamshell design and not a slot opening?
Simple, to see the sky!
In a POD this size with a thin slot, you would feel like you're sitting in closet with a small window. Not fun. POD provides a wide-vista-view. You feel like your under the stars while still being sheltered.
 
It's a far better experience than peering through a small opening and seeing little. Plus with a large opening like POD's you don't have to to keep going in and out to see what's going on in the sky.
 
For occasionally blocking out some sky, we provide the optional POD Visor, which allows you to go from the clamshell wide opening to a 36" wide slot in just seconds.
 

POD's Double-Wall-Design makes a HUGE difference in strength and security! In the early design phase we considered a thin, single wall to lower price and weight. No matter how we looked at it you end up with a flimsy structure. We knew astronomers would not want to leave their expensive equipment inside it year 'round.

So we doubled the wall by putting one-POD-inside-another, and separated the two by up to 4 inches. We added even more strength with large, star shaped "kissoffs" between the two walls.
 
This created an extremely strong building that can be left in place with equipment inside, in the worst weather. Nine years, thousands of PODs, and thousands of storms later have proved we were correct to not chose the flimsy single wall design. We're very glad we did.
You will be too!

SkyShed POD SkyShedPOD backyard observatory dome observatory mobile observatory for Celestron Meade and other popular telescopes Built like a Tank! Made from high density, nontoxic, Highly UV resistant, double walled, polyethylene.
 
Super strong, yet lightweight. Individual panels only weigh from 27-50 pounds.
Assemble POD from 10 fitted panels to allow for short term mobile, or long term stationary installation. Bring POD with you to your dark sky site and set it up in less than an hour. Or leave it setup in your backyard for year round instant access to the sky. Ultimate flexibility!
 
Huge viewing window! PODs Patented
design provides you with a horizon to horizon, east to west view, at the same time! No need to motorize the roof. No need for motors, pulleys or cables. Saves both valuable observing time and money. 
 
360 Degree Rotation. View in any direction. Track objects for hours with no need to move the dome! Need the ultimate in zenith access? Check Out the PZT - Now Available!

 
Other domes can need motorized rotation systems which can cost over $3,000

View Jim Lafferty's "Cloudy Nights-Winning" 6.6 hour exposure of the Jellyfish Nebula. Imaged without having to rotate the dome.
 

POD is just under 8' in diameter by 8' in height and will accommodate the latest popular SCT and GE telescopes, up to 14", including 14" CGE and 14" RCX. Plus small to medium sized refractors, even Dobsonians. Click Here for POD Dimension Graphics and Configuration Views.

Available in your choice of
Desert Tan, Discovery White, Lunar Gray, Midnight Gray, Forest Green,  Hunter Green and Cobalt Blue. See the More Info page.
 

No need to paint. POD will retain its color for many years.

 

Install POD on the ground, on a deck, or any flat surface.

POD is Available With 0, or Up To 5 POD Bays

Optional POD BAYs provide additional space for laptops, equipment, LCD screens, charts, storage, etc. The Bays extend to the ground, meaning you can put much more weight in them than a cubby that sticks out through the mid wall.
 
 
Already own an observatory?
POD makes a great addition to your line up. Can you take your current ob with you to the cottage or favorite star party?
 
Flow through ventilation.
AAir transfer located below the dome for maximum weather protection.




 


Operates in Extreme Temps POD can operate in temperatures far above and below the temps your equipment can operate in.
Stainless steel and rust resistant hardware used throughout.
Black Lined POD Bay Option The lining is 100% virgin black polyethylene, heavily UV/IR resistant, and adds 15 lbs weight to the Bay. This makes the lined Bay even stronger than the unlined POD Bay. More...
Ecomate Insulated Wall Panels Option We've perfected a method of filling the POD walls with hardened foam insulation. Not only does this make the already strong walls incredibly strong, it cuts out IR waves, UV waves, and light.

The thick insulation helps keep outside hot and cold temps on the outside in extreme environments. More...

Ecomate® Awarded The IBEX Environmental Award!
 

Excellent Wind and Dew Protection POD owners report much greater than expected wind and dew protection, while still having access to a huge sky view. POD's dome and Bays provide excellent protection for you and your equipment.

 
 

"Redneck" Wind tested To make sure POD can withstand high wind speeds we conducted wind tests with POD mounted on a flat bed trailer. We drove POD across the country side with the dome in both open and closed positions. POD passed the tests with flying colors. Click Here to view an online video!
 
Secure your equipment with PODs locking door and dome. In addition POD has 12 internal anchor points around the wall base to deter theft and keep POD anchored even in extreme conditions.
Assembly DVD
POD mold maker Alain Roy shows you how to easily assemble POD in little time with just a few basic tools.
Price Vs. Quality In price vs. quality comparisons, POD outperforms competing products, even some much higher  priced ones, by a country mile! Internet photos can not portray the huge difference in quality between POD and competing plastic products. We use only expensive poured aluminum molds to create POD. This means we end up with a far more finished looking and refined product. The differences in quality are easily visible upon close inspection.
 
The most frequent comments from new POD owners are, "The quality is much higher than I expected", "POD is much larger than I expected", and "POD is a lot stronger than I expected." What we hear most is "I Love My POD!"
 
Building Material Comparison
Fiberglass X Steel X Polyethylene
Expensive, fragile, expensive to transport, dries out and fractures Expensive, heavy, difficult to work with, rusts eventually, dents Low cost, lasts for decades, transports easily, easy to work with, mobile, strong, non toxic
 
The POD Team Difference!
Before and after delivery you have unprecedented access to the team who developed POD, the people who make your POD, and direct contact with the people who ship your POD. Questions or concerns are normally responded to within minutes if not hours, often by multiple members of the team. Unprecedented!
 
POD "Raw" Owner Galleries Thanks to POD owners for allowing us to share hundreds of their photos with you. A lot of the photos have to do with assembling or equipping your POD, so new owners may find them helpful.
Click Here to view. 
 

Join the friendly    SkyShed POD Group Here
UK/EU Group Here 
Over a 2500 members and growing daily!

Astronomy Technology Today Editor Loves His POD!
Gary Parkerson, managing editor of ATT Magazine, sure knows his astro gear. He's seen it all. Of all the observatories he could choose from, he chose POD.

Read Gary's "POD Love Letter" to the POD Yahoo Group about his personal experience with POD. Thanks to Gary for letting us share it with you. 

Click Here to read the letter.
   

 

Andy Raiford, TX 
This thing is a phenomenal success!

Andy Raiford, Astronomy educator, and equipment reviewer andysshotglass.com

Click Here for more.

John Chumack, OH 
I have built many homemade and manufactured Domes, and have owned 6 domes of various manufacturers throughout the years. I can honestly say that the SkyShed POD was by far the quickest and easiest to build and its incredibly solid!!!!

It literally rotates with one finger.....very smooth!!!! I'm still amazed how simple, yet strong the design is, and how warm and quiet it was inside the POD out of the snowy cold wind, I couldn't even hear the wind howling."

"After viewing your excellent instructional DVD, I must say this was extremely helpful, actually a must see for quick & easy assembly"!  John Chumack, OH 

More Testimonials...
 

POD has created a monster!! I am finding myself trying to image every night! The convenience of just walking into my backyard, opening the dome, switching the equipment on and start imaging has multiplied my time out under the stars 10-fold!!! ... I am a beginner at narrow band imaging but the POD is allowing me to really attack that learning curve by making it so convenient to image nightly.
 

Thanks!!
Jim, Redlands, CA

Just a short note to let you know how pleased I am with my POD. Fortunately, I was one of the first to receive my POD in mid-June ('07). Weather permitting, I have used my Celestron Nexstar 8iSE just about every night. How convenient to unlock the POD, open the secondary dome, fire up the scope and start observing or imaging. No more lugging the equipment in and out of the garage. My back thanks you! I also purchased the SkyShed pier and it has worked out great. Thanks again for making my observing sessions really enjoyable.

Warren, Stardust Observatory, Illinois

It is great to have the POD assembled on my deck. You haven't lived, until you have a XL3 POD on your home's deck - I go out on the deck and in about 30 sec I am up in running! ... for those waiting, I can tell you that it will be worth the wait, this is a great product.

James P.

 

   

    

 

 
Click Here


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A SkyShed POD Is A Wonderful thing. I went out last night, it was in the 30's and the most stable skies I've seen in a while. I fired up a gas space heater kicked back in my chair with coffee for 3 hours. I did not even the fire up the scope. I sat there with a pair of binoculars scanning the Eastern sky from horizon to zenith. I could see things I had never seen before. Can't do that in a slit dome. Many Thanks to Wayne and crew.

CDS
David
All I can say is WOW! Not only did I get my CGE14 in it but Piggy Backed on that is an Orion 100ED and it all fits! We also had a storm last night with winds 25-30 mph and heavy rain, I checked everything this morning and the interior is all dry as a bone. I'm absolutely beside myself, it's the best purchase I've ever made. A big thank you to yourself and the whole SkyShed POD team!

Clear Skies, Jesse
The SkyShed POD is going to be a revolutionary product for amateur astronomy. It will take its place in history with the SCT, the DOB, the Telrad and the ETX Autostar.

Greg Lisk CET
President/Observing Chair - RASC Belleville Centre
Telescope Reviewer - SkyNews Magazine
Author - How to Buy a Telescope

Two XL3 TAN/TAN PODS were installed at our 35 acre site near Necessity, Texas (100 miles west of Ft. Worth). Both PODs were installed on their own 12' x 16' deck. The installation was simple and easy. The PODs were in operation in only a few hours after beginning the installation. I can truthfully say that the PODs exceeded our expectations for a truly affordable personal observatory. We are expecting to add several more PODs (POD village) at our observing site within the next few years!

Preston Starr
Physics Manager
University of North Texas
Astronomers by Necessity
 
Over the years... 
 
SkyShed POD on the Vanilla Ice Project!

Vanilla Ice Project SkyShed PODWe had a lot of fun contributing to an episode of the very popular Vanilla Ice Project on the DIY network in the U.S. and Canada.

Each season Rapper/Entrepreneur/Builder Vanilla Ice starts with a derelict or run-down Florida mansion, and turns it into an incredible place.
 
This season Vanilla (Rob Van Winkle) who is an aspiring astronomer, wanted to add an observatory to his latest creation -- and chose SkyShed POD.  Thanks Rob! And thanks for being such a great host and all-around nice guy. We had a great time with you and Wes!
 
Fans of the show can contact us to find out how we can create a SkyShed POD for you too!
 
Visit the Valilla Ice Project on DIY Network
 
 
 
 
 
POD Visor

For those with neighboring lights, the POD Visor allows you to temporarily turn your Clam Shell Dome into a Slotted Dome in about 3 seconds. Provides slightly more wind and dew protection as a fringe benefit.

Lightweight and low cost, the POD Visor is a great addition to your POD for those in urban settings.

SkyShed POD: The most configurable observatory on the planet. Permanent or Mobile, Slotted Dome, Clam Shell Dome, Slide Off Dome, All In One. Choose the configuration that suits your location, your object, or your mood.

Click Here for larger images. Price starting at $349.00. 
 

 

   

12.5'+ POD MAX Launches!

POD MAXWe're very happy to announce that the 12.5'+ POD MAX observatory is in now for sale. The "12.5'+" designation is due to the fact that the standard model will measure 12.5' in diameter, while adding "POD MAX Bays" will increase the wall diameter, depending on the number of Bays, to almost 18' in diameter.

The 12.5'+ sized POD MAX is designed primarily for serious astro photographers with large equipment, schools and public institutions, and for corporate research.

In comparison to the popular SkyShed POD 8' model, POD MAX will have a higher, thicker wall, tall steel door with deadbolt, motorization and internet interfacing from the ground up, and since its primary job will be for astro photography and research the dome design will be more of a traditional dome opening. The mobility concept will be carried over from the 8' POD design and you won't need a crane to assemble POD MAX. Just a friend or two. Best of all it will cost much less than any comparably sized commercial ob now available. More Info...

 

SkyShed Obs Owner/Designer Travels to Afghanistan to Entertain Coalition Forces

SkyShed Observatories Owner/Designer Wayne Parker traveled to Afghanistan with his 1980's CDN rock band "Glass Tiger", to meet with and entertain coalition troops. Wayne carried a PST solar scope everywhere he went and whenever possible set the scope up to show the sun to troops. The reaction from the troops was great, and it provided a few moments to take their minds off the war going on around them. Many service members were intrigued to see the desert sun for the first time through a scope.

Wayne says "We were honored and thankful for the privilege to spend time with frontline troops, and hopefully bring a little bit of home and a momentary repose to their lives, if only for a short time. Our philosophy in the band is that no one who's sane supports war, but we have to support our men and women who are out there fighting for freedom."

For the complete press release and a link to a photo album of the trip Click Here
 

Read Max Corneau's Astronomy Technology Today Cover Article from the Jan/Feb '09 Issue

NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, Max Corneau's great article about tearing down an old roll off observatory and replacing it with a POD XL5 at his club's dark sky site in Texas.

Read the article in .pdf Here

Visit Max's informative website Here

Many thanks to Max and the great folks at ATT Mag!
 

POD won Sky & Telescope magazine's Hot Product Award. SkyShed POD was included in 2008's S&T "Hot Product" awards. The editors of S&T review dozens of new astronomy products each year, then single out a few for the prestigious honor of "Hot Product" .

Thank you to POD owners! This award would not have happened without you.

This is our second HP award. Our SkyShed Roll Off Plans were named for 2005. Since then we've worked hard to live up to the level of excellence that the award recognizes, and will continue to into the future.

Special thanks to the great people at S&T for another show of support for SkyShed Observatories, and our mission to make astronomy more accessible to all. 

IBM Research Unveils Breakthrough in Solar Farm Technology. POD at use in IBM project. IBM researchers have achieved a breakthrough in photovoltaics technology that could significantly reduce the cost of harnessing the Sun's power for electricity. Click Here to see the IBM press release.

Click Here for a larger image.

 

   
GPOD
Worlds First "Green" Observatory
In our mission to continually innovate, we're proud to announce the worlds' first observatory made completely from Re-Cycled plastic (Re-HDPE).

The new POD is designated GPOD, G for Green. It has all the UV factors and longevity of our original POD made from "virgin" HDPE, and like the virgin HDPE POD, will a last for decades.
 
SkyShed GPOD is available in Tan and Gray/Blue colors, and is able to include all of our other new enhancements, including the new environmentally friendly Ecomate hardened insulation, and black lined POD Bays.
GPOD is available in all models including the standard sized POD, as well as the XL3 and XL5 versions.

For GPOD Bay lining, we use re-cycled HDPE, this way we're be able to make a lined GPOD entirely from Re-HDPE. GPOD is now available on our online checkout starting at only $1995.00!
Click Here to order now.
 
DIY POD Zenith Table! or PZT For those who want easier zenith access with some scopes. How about slewing through zenith from horizon to horizon, and not having to move the dome all night? As without the PZT, you need no motors, no chains, no need to interface the dome and scope. No problems. Way more time for imaging. Longer duration images. Now Available! More...

Competing products need motorized rotation systems which can cost over $3,000!

  

Ecomate Insulated Walls We perfected a method of filling the POD walls with hardened Ecomate foam insulation.  Not only does this make the already strong walls incredibly strong, it cuts out IR waves, UV waves, and light.

The thick insulation helps keep outside hot and cold temps on the outside in extreme environments. Click Here for more info and larger views.


  

Black Lined POD Bay A Black Lined POD Bay is an Available Option. 

The lining is 100% virgin black polyethylene, heavily UV/IR resistant, and adds 15 lbs weight to the Bay. This makes the lined Bay even stronger than the unlined POD Bay. The black lining is melded with the outer color and will not scratch off or peel over time. It will prevent IR waves from penetrating into the Bay, reducing heat from IR in extreme high temp environments, and also prevent more light from entering or leaving the Bay
.
 

These elements, combined with the success we've had with applying black Krylon paint to the dome interior, or insulating the dome and walls, will provide a passive high heat, high IR/UV solution for high temp environments.

Customers who do not choose the Bay lining option, or who currently own non-lined Bays, can apply black Krylon Fusion paint for plastic to their POD Bays for a lower cost solution to lining. View the Krylon Fusion commercial Here (RealPlayer) May take a moment to load. More...
 

POD Now Available in more Countries than Ever We're very happy to announce that POD is now available in more countries than ever. In addition to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, POD is now available in Great Britain, France, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Most of Asia, Scandinavia, Russia/CIS, and India. Coming soon to additional countries. Visit the Retailer page for a list of countries and links to international retailer websites.
  

PODs Are Popping Up All Over
PODs are popping up all over North America, Europe, and Asia. Messages come in constantly from very happy POD owners. Thank You!

Don't delay. Each POD is custom made to your option choices. PODs ordered today will be delivered in 10-12 weeks in North America.

 
POD Owner Galleries!
We receive many photos and we had to find a way to showcase them quickly and easily. We've chosen a non-linear, montage style, without captions or descriptions. This will allow us to update them easily and regularly.

For the most part the photos speak for themselves. Thanks to POD owners for allowing us to share hundreds of their photos with you. A lot of the photos have to do with assembling or equipping your POD, so new owners may find them helpful. Check back often as the Galleries grow. Send us your POD photos to include them!
Click Here
  

3D Photo Gallery
2D photos don't due justice to POD's shape. Being round, 2D photos tend to squash POD's depth. 3D photos help give you a better idea of POD's shape and size.

In order to view the photos in 3D you'll need red/cyan glasses or red/cyan eyepiece filters. Number 23A and 80A filters work nicely. Red lens on the left. Have Fun!

Click Here to view. NEW Download a 3D Here  Here or w/music Here

  

SkyShed Tops Cloudy Nights Polls
Cloudy Nights is a popular article and discussion website for astronomers. In an observatory popularity poll, SkyShed garnered about as many votes as all other observatory companies combined!

In the "Best Product of 2007" poll, SkyShed POD was second in votes only to the revolutionary "Ethos" 100 degree eyepiece from TeleVue. If we have to be second to something we're honored it's Ethos. Thanks to all the CN members who voted for SkyShed!

 
POD Cover Story in Astronomy and Technology Today
Read how POD came to be in Astronomy Technology Today. POD Creator, Wayne Parker, who's a Grammy Nominated, Juno Award winning musician, writes about his dream of creating an affordable, highly functional observatory.

Click Here to read the story. Click Here to read an accompanying review by Dave Miller.

Thanks to the great people at ATT for their support!

 
Lorelei Parker Power new writer for ATT
During the writing of the POD cover article, Astronomy Technology Today editors learned that SkyShed Observatories co-owner Lorelei Parker Power is also a published writer. They asked Lorelei to be a contributing writer for the magazine, focusing on women in astronomy.

Lorelei's first article debuted in the November issue to rave reviews. Her cover story with Farah Payan of Woodland Hills Telescopes is featured in the January issue.

Click Here to read Lorelei's debut article.

 
POD Review in SkyNews Magazine
SkyNews has a great POD review written by Steve Barnes

Thanks to SkyNews for their great support!

Click Here  to read the article

 

  

POD Assembly Video Online Version 2
For those of you who are about to receive PODs and would like to get a jump on the assembly video, you can view an online abridged version of the DVD you will receive with your POD.
 
You'll need a high speed connection and the video quality is bad compared to the DVD you'll receive with your POD. (DVD is 5.1 Surround). The video will also provide great information for those interested in purchasing a POD.
View Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6 , Part 7 , Part 8 , Part 9
 

POD and Astronomy Day, or "How many people can you put in a POD?"
Twenty one people actually, PLUS a C 8i on a tripod! Glenn Mac Donald set up Rock Mallin's Beta POD in Ottawa for an Astronomy Day public viewing event. 
 
Members of
OAOG setup over 50 'scopes, for the viewing pleasure of thousands of members of the public, in warm temps, under a clear sky. Twenty one of them jumped right into POD to show you how big it is in there. Click Here

  


Visit our SkyShed Roll Off website at www.skyshed.com

SkyShed products in use in the NASA sponsored Automated Meteor
Observatory project.
SkyShed POD is dedicated in memory of John Kidner, a first class astronomy retailer and great friend, whose advice and guidance helped make POD happen. 

John passed away Sept. 5th 2006. We miss him dearly.

 

 

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