So many great features! Scroll down to find out more.
So many great features! Scroll down to find out more.
Scroll down to find out more.
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 portable 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 dome 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 dome observatory solutions.
We use only the finest American made, highly UV resistant Polyethylene from 3M. Longevity is in terms of decades, not years. If it’s quality and longevity you want.
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 “kiss-offs” between the two walls.
This created an extremely strong building that can be left in place with equipment inside, in the worst weather. Fifteen years, thousands of PODs, and thousands of storms later have proved we were correct to not choose the flimsy single wall design. We’re very glad we did.
Join Thousands of SkyShed POD dome observatory Owners Around the World
SkyShed POD Weathers 120+ MPH winds in Hurricane Michael 2018
It is with great joy that I can report my POD survived 120+ MPH winds yesterday. The POD was totally unaffected… Unfortunately I had a storage shed at ground level that was totally obliterated by the storm surge… I’m pleased as punch at how well the POD did…Very relieved.
Fort Meyers Beach, Florida – Hurricane Ian 2022
Our house received 5 feet of water in it and all of our furniture decided to change rooms… The house structure, roof and solar panels seem okay. Not bad for 155 mph winds. Whatever you had seen on TV about our Island, the destruction was 10x worse. We found it interesting that among all the destruction my SkyShed POD Observatory on top of my roof survived fine – This was the POD’s 2nd Category 5 Hurricane. Even the POD dome cover is still in place on top of the POD!
POD Can Move With You:
My POD has successfully been transplanted from Ohio to North Carolina, where it will begin its second decade of constant use. I maintain that the money spent to buy my POD was the best astronomical purchase I have ever made. Scopes, mounts, cameras, etc. come and go, but the POD is an investment for a lifetime of astronomical endeavors.
This thing is a phenomenal success! Andy is an astronomy educator, and equipment reviewer.
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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 is the CET President/Observing Chair of the RASC Belleville Centre, a telescope Reviewer for SkyNews Magazine and the author of “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.
My POD has come through sub-zero Indiana winters and 80 mph storm-driven rain, sleet and snow. It has never leaked so much as a drop of water, and after several years it still looks brand new after a yearly spring clean with soapy water.
This is the first time I have had an observatory at home. Before this I had to travel 2 hours and that was always challenging to get quality sky time. I can literally be up and running in five minutes. I really like the fact that half of the sky is available to me at one time and you don’t have to keep adjusting the dome to meet the telescope. I can honestly say that my sky time has gone up exponentially as I can now take advantage of little windows that would have been lost before. Leaks….This was one of my big concerns and I know a big concern of a lot of people. Well, I have none. There are no leaks and I’m very comfortable leaving the scope out and many times uncovered. Support…Fantastic!
As most people involved in astrophotography, I laid out a nice piece of change over the many years. By far, one of the best investments I made was purchasing a POD. I’ve had my POD for about 5 years now. The product is made exceptionally well and easy to assemble. Everything is snug inside when closed up and it only takes a few minutes to start capturing photon. Wayne has done an outstanding job in designing the POD. I expect to get many more years of use from my POD.
It is immediately accessible, simple to use, inexpensive to buy and maintain, and the company head on down to the employees are all wonderful people.
I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the design and build quality. Really first rate, Wayne. I could not be more pleased. Thanks again!
The pier was delivered yesterday and is in perfect shape. Wow, what a nice piece of work. Your instructions and supplemental information is outstanding and has made planning and sites preparation go smoothly. With the assembly video I suspect POD assembly will go smoothly as well. Thanks for all!
I am very pleased with my 3-Bay POD that has been performing magnificently for several years.
Without repeating what others have said about the POD’s value, durability, and enhancement of the hobby of amateur astronomy (all of which is very true!), I want to add that I have found this to be a female-friendly owner experience. As a woman in my 60s, I was able to successfully complete the construction of my POD over several days with relative ease and with only minimal assistance from my partner. No worries if you’re not into power tools; not only are they not required, they’re actually strongly discouraged. As a side note, the user’s group is an invaluable resource for tips and tricks relating to construction, weather sealing, power and wifi, LED lighting, observing chairs, floor coverings, and myriad other topics. I strongly recommend both the Sky Shed POD and its online user’s group for serious, and semi-serious, amateur astronomers, women and men alike.
I have gone through many astronomy items in my time. The one thing that remains a constant is my SkyShed POD. Great product with zero reason to ever change!
The SkyShed POD is a delight to use! The assembly video was spot on and made assembling the POD easy!
Approaching 10 months of POD ownership, and I am really glad I made the jump. I am out nearly every clear night.
I’m very pleased with my POD. I looked at a lot of pictures but seeing one assembled is quite something different. Perhaps seeing the actual size or something. I’m very pleased with the whole system. I haven’t finished building quite just yet, need to before I can test the whole thing out… But I know I’m going to like using the system. Thanks for all your hard work in design, development, & implementing the SkyShedPod… It Must be a good feeling know how much your customer appreciate your hard work and efforts.
Having my SkyShed POD has made a huge difference in my astro-photos, flexibility, availability and ease of use. I am always ready when the sky clears.
I’ve had my POD for a few years now but its currently enduring one of the worst storms I have ever experienced, with large trees down all around the area. The POD however, is doing exceptionally well.
I’ve had a lot of dealings with Wayne (SkyShed Observatories Owner). I got his pier and adapter plate for my CGX, and then he designed a new plate for my L-350. Totally great experience with him, and we’ve been in contact many times – very responsive. His stuff is top notch … And a plug for his pier/adapter plate system. It allows you to rotate the plate to get the mount with its azimuth adjustment range. When mounting the L-350 I found that it needed to be rotated about 6-7 degrees to get within the mount’s +/- 5 degree az adjustment range. It took about 5 minutes working alone with the 210 lbs of mount and wedge still installed on top of the adapter. Just amazing.
Thank you for everything, we finished the POD just in time for the snow storm 🙂. I’m very happy with my POD, everything from ordering right through delivery was exceptional! Communication, coordination, delivery and the video instructions were all 👍 I’m looking forward to many nights in my POD once the clouds clear up 🙂🔭
Just wanted to thank you again for all the assistance and guidance. You’ve made this whole experience easy and enjoyable… You’re a “Class Act” Wayne Parker and I am proud and privileged to know you!
During Hurricane Ian our POD held like a rock! We got the Max winds and the eye wall passed over the house. Our POD did better than house.
I am 110% satisfied with my POD and highly recommend it. I love my SkyShed POD and my SkyShed Pier. As a deep space imager, the POD allows me to maximize my time capturing photons. It keeps my gear safe and protected while allowing me to be on target in minutes without sacrificing time to set up or break down. The POD has housed my gear safely through harsh winters with sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow. The POD also protects my gear summer’s heat, keeps the gear dry during high wind and torrential rain. The SkyShed pier is well designed, solid, stable and allows my mount to stay polar aligned between sessions.
BUILT LIKE A TANK
Made from non-toxic, highly UV resistant and double walled Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE).
INSTALL ON ANY FLAT SURFACE
POD can be installed anywhere on the ground, on a deck, or any flat surface.
THERE IS NO NEED TO PAINT
POD will retain its vibrant color for many years, keeping maintenance low.
FLOW THROUGH VENTILATION
Air transfer located below the dome for maximum weather protection.
OPERATES IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES
POD can operate in temperatures far above and below the temps your equipment can operate in.
SUPER STRONG YET LIGHT WEIGHT
Individual panels only weigh from 27-50 pounds making POD easily maneuverable.
TOP OF THE LINE HARDWARE
Stainless steel and rust resistant hardware used is used throughout for strength and durability.
For those who want to keep their POD clean and want easy maintenance. Helps keep weather, pollen, leaves and other matter build up off your POD dome.
For those who want easier zenith access with some scopes we have developed the PZT kit. The kit includes all the hardware needed to transform your POD into a slide off dome.
ALREADY OWN AN OBSERVATORY?
POD makes a great addition to your line up. Bring POD with you to the cottage or favorite star party!
HUGE VIEWING WINDOW TO SEE MORE SKY
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.
POD IS THE PERFECT SIZE
POD is 8 feet high and 8 feet in diameter and will accommodate the latest popular telescopes up to 14″, including 14″ CGX and 14″ ACF. Plus small to medium sized refractors, even Dobsonians. CLICK HERE for Dimensions & Configurations.
KEEPS YOUR EQUIPMENT SAFE & SECURE
Keep everything safe and secure with POD’s 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.
EXCELLENT WIND & DEW PROTECTION
POD owners report excellent 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.
HD ASSEMBLY VIDEO AVAILABLE
Hosted by SkyShed Observatories owners Wayne Parker and Lorelei Parker Power. More info, more insight, more tips. In glorious wide screen HD! EMAIL US to receive a video download link.
ASSEMBLE POD FROM 10 FITTED PANELS
Allow for short term mobile, or long term stationary installation. Bring a 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. The Personal Observatory Dome has the ultimate flexibility!
OPTIONAL POD BAYS
The 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. *Unlike others who’ve copied our Bay design, POD Bay is one molded piece. Stronger, weather tight, longer lasting, easier to install. Way better!
20+% Thicker/Heavier, Wall / Bay Panel Material Option
“REDNECK” WIND TESTED
We wanted to make sure that POD could withstand whatever mother nature had to offer, including high wind speeds, so we conducted a few wind tests with POD mounted on a flatbed trailer. We drove POD across the country side with the dome in both of the open and closed positions. POD passed both of the tests with flying colors! Want to see how well it did?
CLICK HERE to see the video of POD in action!
TELESCOPE IS OFFSET TO THE SOUTH
Like many well known large dome observatories, POD is designed to have the pier/scope offset to the south, to take advantage of the busier Southern sky. In our case about 10″ South of center. This also provides more work room to the North where you spend much of your time. DO NOT locate the scope in the center or Zenith can be obscured by the open dome flange. This is important!
PRICE VS. QUALITY
POD outperforms competing products, even much higher priced ones! Photos can’t 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 POD TEAM DIFFERENCE
Before and after delivery you get support from 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. We are here to answer your questions, help you decide your POD options, your Pier options, and more.