MORE INFO
Join thousands of POD owners

…From around the world who’ve experienced the joy of POD ownership, and a more active astronomical life. Join our FRIENDLY DISCUSSION GROUP and get advice and tips from hundreds of POD owners around the world. Browse the POD OWNERS GALLERY to view a sample of them. To date we have hundreds and hundreds of photos to browse. More photos arriving every day. We look forward to receiving yours soon. Scroll down to find out more about POD Add Ons, frequently asked questions, fun facts and more in depth information about our products. If you have questions, we are always here to help. Please CONTACT US.

MORE INFO, FAQ’s, Fun Facts and Helpful Links

POD can be configured in a number of different patterns, from a standard POD with no Bays up to an additional 5 Bays.

View more in depth images of POD dimensions. Use as a guide for perfect placement on your property.

Click the button below to watch an 8 minute video of POD being wind tested on the back of a flatbed trailer.

See how your scope fits into POD with this software designed by POD owner Ian Shatwell of the U.K. (Windows only)

We asked POD owners and our Groups.io members what questions they’d like to see answered here. POD owner Robert Lilly sent us most of the following list of questions and answers. It would appear Robert knows his POD stuff so well that we can post them pretty well as they were received. Please click through this list to learn more.

If you have any questions you can’t find an answer for on the website please EMAIL US and we’ll be happy to reply with an answer ASAP.

POD is the friendly name for SkyShed’s Personal Observatory Dome. It is a low cost, permanent or semi-permanent astronomical enclosure designed to allow the amateur astronomer a chance to enjoy more under-sky time with their favorite hobby. Utilizing a new take on a classic design, you get the protection of a covered dome while still enjoying a full majestic view of the nighttime sky we all love.

POD is available in several configurations to best match the kind of astronomy you want to do. The basic POD consists of a 6-wall circular enclosure and a two-part rotating dome, perfect for visual observing or quick transport on weekend trips to dark skies. The XL1 -XL5 models provide three and five “rooms” (respectively) ideal for storing everything from log books and star charts to computers and photographic equipment. Optional accessories can be added to adapt the POD for almost any requirement.

After reviewing several construction materials, we decided on HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). This material has been used for many years to manufacture outdoor structures and agricultural products. Its strength and durability, combined with its resistance to weather and high UV damage made it an ideal choice.

The minimum size of a POD is around 8 ft across by 8.5 ft high. A full size XL5 requires a circular space approximately 12 ft across and 8.5 ft high. This does not include any walkway area leading to the door, or any area you may want to set aside for lounge-chair viewing outside the POD.

POD’s are available in seven colors: Available in Lunar Gray, Discovery White, Midnight Gray, Cobalt Blue, Hunter Green, Forest Green and Desert Tan. The POD dome as well as the walls can come in any combination of the colors listed. Please note, Discovery White is not available to be purchased with the Ecomate™ insulation option.

For an incredibly handy powerpoint presentation about the colors we have available, click the button below. Created by POD owner Andrew Corkill.

We believe that POD offers the best combination of value, performance and ease of use. For the cost of some competing dome-only products, you receive a complete observatory in a box; ready to install and use the same day it arrives. Our construction materials are easier to handle than the fiberglass or metal used in most competing products. Besides, how many other observatories can be thrown in the back of a pickup truck and taken with you on that weekend trip to the mountains?

Make sure you start with a reasonably level base. POD can be placed on bare ground, grass, gravel, a wooden deck or concrete pad. Smooth operation of the rotating dome, though, is dependent on having a fairly level base. Once the site preparation is complete, two people can have a POD fully assembled in about 2-3 hours for a first time assembly. If you plan to regularly pack your POD and take it with you to star parties or other dark sites, experienced assembly can be accomplished in under 60 minutes.

While the current record for the number of people in a POD is twenty-one (see the PHOTO HERE), the design of the basic POD allows two or three adults to operate comfortably with a tripod mounted telescope. Mounting your telescope on a pier will provide additional room.

From the beginning, the whole idea behind the POD was to provide a quality, low cost way for the amateur astronomer to get more time under the stars. In order for that to happen, you need to be able to go outside and begin observing without a lot of setup. We believe we have met our goal. After field-testing in conditions from searing heat to blistering cold, POD has proven itself to be a great protector of your astronomical gear. When correctly assembled and mounted, POD does an excellent job of keeping the elements at bay. You should still protect your gear as you would if it was stored indoors – cover the scope and mount, keep eyepieces in sealed containers, etc. – but by having your telescope instantly available when the clouds clear, you’ll find yourself doing more astronomy than ever before.

Your POD is as safe as any other outdoor building or your car. Probably more so than most. The dome is held in place by five support brackets and two threaded lock-down bolts. The door is secured by a key-locking handle and two-point locking bar. When properly anchored to the ground via the 12 anchor points on the inside of the POD wall, your POD is reasonably secure from most passing opportunists. Anyone with the proper tools, who wants in, can get in. In high risk areas many security solutions are available to help protect outdoor buildings.

Our intent with POD is to provide an alternative to the more specialized dome solutions, at a price available to the amateur astronomer. With our unique ‘half sky’ opening, there is usually little need to rotate the dome often, even during long exposure photographic sessions.

Absolutely! We would highly recommend adding the Ecomate insulation option along with heavier POD Bays if you live in any extreme climate. On top of that, we want to approach the problem of high temperatures in a “green” fashion whenever possible and our first choice for cooling in temps above 100°F and the easiest solution is to open the door or dome which will equalize the inside of the dome to outside temps within minutes. If additional cooling is needed, an oscillating fan can be added. Set it in a Bay with a timer to come on during the hottest part of the day. Even a tower air conditioner can be added in a Bay for severe conditions like high temp desert locations. Many cooling solutions are available and you can find more info about cooling solutions in our discussion group for POD at Groups.io.

Like any outdoor structure POD can come under tremendous heat from the sun. The material used to create POD can withstand temperatures into the hundreds of degrees. Your equipment inside may not.

Ecomate Insulated Wall Panels/Heavier Bays Option –  We 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 visible light.

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

We can”t insulate the POD Bays so we add 15 lbs of extra HDPE to create a “Heavy” Bay at 50 lbs when you choose the Insulation and Heavy Bay option. This makes the already strong Bay even stronger, helps keep IR waves out, and aids in cooling in hot temps.

Perfect! CLICK HERE to go to our shop page! Have a question? CLICK HERE to go to our contact page.

SkyShed POD
ADD ONs
dome observatory
POD COVER

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.
.

SkyShed POD Dome Observatory
POD PZT

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.

U.S PRICES & SHIPPING 
Check out our handy drop downs here for all things pricing and shipping related.
Still have questions? CONTACT US, we are here to help.

Your POD is tailor-made to your option choices. The POD factory is always busy. Please allow up to 10 weeks until we ship. Allow up to 12+ weeks June-December.

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Check By Mail, Bank Transfer.

For more information, you can contact us any time at info@skyshedpod.com or CLICK HERE to go to our contact page.

POD TYPE
DESCRIPTION
PRICE (IN USD)
SKYSHED POD
Included: 1 Dome, 5 Wall Panels & 1 Door Panel
Add Insulation Option: $750.00*
$3,195.00
SKYSHED POD XL1
Included: 1 Dome, 1 Bay, 4 Wall Panels &1 Door Panel
Add Insulation & Heavier Bay Option: $750.00*
$3,295.00
SKYSHED POD XL2
Included: 1 Dome, 2 Bays, 3 Wall Panels &1 Door Panel
Add Insulation & Heavier Bay Option: $750.00*
$3,395.00
SKYSHED POD XL3
Included: 1 Dome, 3 Bays, 2 Wall Panels &1 Door Panel
Add Insulation & Heavier Bay Option: $750.00*
$3,495.00
SKYSHED POD XL4
Included: 1 Dome, 4 Bays, 1 Wall Panels &1 Door Panel
Add Insulation & Heavier Bay Option: $750.00*
$3,595.00
SKYSHED POD XL5
Included: 1 Dome, 5 Bays &1 Door Panel
Add Insulation & Heavier Bay Option: $750.00*
$3,695.00
DOME ONLY
Included: 4 Dome Quadrants
Add: Dome brackets (5) for $100.00
Add: 2.5″ Wheels & Axles (35) for $199.00
$2,295.00

* The insulation option and heavier bay option allows you to insulate your wall panels and add an additional 15 lbs. more HDPE to create a “Heavy” Bay at 50 lbs. This makes the already strong Bay even stronger, helps keep IR waves out and aids in cooling in hot temps. Please Note: When choosing your POD color, Discovery White is not available with the added Insulation.

Look through our list here of extras for your POD, any questions CLICK HERE to contact us. Prices are in USD and shipping prices listed or included are for the 48 contiguous states.

PRODUCT
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
POD BAY
Each Extra Bay Replaces 1 Wall Panel
Add Heavier Bay Option for $150.00 each*
Shipping is an additional $75 per Bay.
$449.00 each
POD WALL PANEL
Add Insulation Option for $150.00 per panel.
Shipping is an additional $75 per Panel.
$399.00 each
BAY PULL OUT SHELF
If ordered with POD with pick up at factory: $75.00 each
If shipped with POD order: $100.00 each
$75.00-$100.00 each
PZT KIT
Hardware needed to create the POD Zenith Table. You add plywood and paint.
Shipping Included.
$579.00
VINYL DOME COVER
Adds protection. Comes in several colors.
Shipping Included.
$449.00
QUICK RELEASE BRACKETS
For those who create their own PZT from scratch.
Shipping Included.
$185.99
INLINE SKATE WHEELS
For easier, quieter dome rotation. All PODs made after Jan. 2009 have these wheels as a standard item. This option is for earlier POD owners.
Shipping Included.
$229.95

* The insulation option and heavier bay option allows you to insulate your wall panels and add an additional 15 lbs. more HDPE to create a “Heavy” Bay at 50 lbs. This makes the already strong Bay even stronger, helps keep IR waves out and aids in cooling in hot temps. Please Note: When choosing your POD color, Discovery White is not available with the added Insulation.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR SHIPPING?
PICK UP!
WE SHIP!
YOU SHIP!
Come by mule team, wagon train, dog sled, convoy, pickup truck, RV, trailer, or plane to our factory in Shallow Lake, Ontario, and pick up your order for $0 shipping or handling. You have a choice between two main shipping types:

Individual Shipping to your Door – Your order will enter the system immediately. Your finished POD will be boxed, shrink wrapped and palletized, then shipped directly to your shipping address.

Bulk Shipping to One Location  – For large astro club or retailer bulk orders CLICK HERE for a Quote

If you can find a better shipping rate for your POD delivery you’re welcome to arrange pick up by your carrier at the POD factory.

Join the thousands of POD owners around the world who’ve experienced the joy of POD ownership, and a more active astronomical life. Join our Groups.io Discussion group and get advice and tips from hundreds of POD owners around the world.

For complete POD to-your-door shipping prices see the State by State shipping chart Below or in the SkyShed Shop site.

We found a great logistics company to ship PODs from our factory to your door.
Logistics by Hellmann
  • POD is checked, then packed in large double corrugated boxes at the factory
  • POD ships in 4 boxes
  • Then, POD is shrink wrapped and bundled on custom pallets
  • Our boxes have built in handles and “this way up” markings as well as easy to read color codes
  • POD Dome and Wall Panel boxes weigh less than 100 lbs. each
  • POD Bay boxes weigh more than 100 lbs. each
  • Someone must be at the receiving end to assist with the boxes
  • We’ll keep you in the loop with notifications about your orders progress
SkyShed POD Dome Observatory
SkyShed POD Dome Observatory
SkyShed POD Dome Observatory
boxes of SkyShed POD Dome Observatory
SkyShed POD Dome Observatory Boxes
IN USD
DOME ONLY
POD (NO BAYS)
 POD XL1, XL2 & XL3
POD XL4 & XL5
ALABAMA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
ARIZONA
$650.00 $795.00 $895.00 $995.00
ARKANSAS
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
CALIFORNIA
$950.00 $1195.00 $1295.00 $1395.00
COLORADO
$700.00 $800.00 $900.00 $1000.00
CONNECTICUT
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
DELAWARE
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
WASHINGTON D.C
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
FLORIDA
$700.00 $800.00 $950.00 $1000.00
FLORIDA, KEY WEST
$800.00 $1250.00 $1350.00 $1400.00
GEORGIA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
IDAHO
$850.00 $1050.00 $1100.00 $1150.00
ILLINOIS
$600.00 $650.00 $700.00 $750.00
INDIANA
$650.00 $700.00 $750.00 $800.00
IOWA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
KANSAS
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
KENTUCKY
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
LOUISIANA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
MAINE
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
MARYLAND
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
MASSACHUSETTS
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
MICHIGAN
$600.00 $650.00 $700.00 $800.00
MINNESOTA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
MISSISSIPPI
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
MISSOURI
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
MONTANA
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $1000.00
NEBRASKA
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $1000.00
NEVADA
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
NEW HAMPSHIRE
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
NEW JERSEY
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
NEW MEXICO
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
NEW YORK
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
NORTH CAROLINA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
NORTH DAKOTA
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
OHIO
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
OKLAHOMA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
OREGON
$900.00 $1050.00 $1100.00 $1150.00
PENNSYLVANIA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
RHODE ISLAND
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
SOUTH CAROLINA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
SOUTH DAKOTA
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
TENNESSEE
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
TEXAS
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
UTAH
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
VERMONT
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
VIRGINIA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
WASHINGTON
$950.00 $1195.00 $1295.00 $1350.00
WEST VIRGINIA
$650.00 $750.00 $795.00 $850.00
WISCONSIN
$750.00 $850.00 $900.00 $950.00
WYOMING
$900.00 $1050.00 $1100.00 $1150.00
EXTRA POD BAY
(ORDERED WITH POD)
$75.00 $75.00 $75.00
If you are shopping from outside of the U.S, please click on one of the buttons below to get started.
Helpful Links
Daily Astronomy Links

Astronomy Picture of the Day A new insight every day

Stardate Online – your guide to the universe

 

Weather Links
Windy.com – Find out if it will be clear tonight
Astropheric.com – Find out if it will be clear tonight

Environment Canada – Canadian Weather Services

Intellicast – US Weather

Accuweather  – International Weather

 

Clear Skies Charts
Astronomy Discussion Groups

Groups.io – sign up for email groups discussing Astronomy. Search for SkyShed POD to sign up for the POD group.

The SkyShed Facebook Group – We are always posting new things and would love to see you there.

Astronomy Links

Astrobackyard.com – An incredibly valuable resource for everything astrophotography 

Astromart.ca – Classifieds and Forums

Visible Dark – Shawn Nielsen’s Astronomy / Astrophotography Site

Astro Buy & Sell – Canadian Astronomy Classifieds and more

Astronomy.com 

BackyardAstronomy.com

Mike Weasner’s Mighty ETX Site – Great Meade ETX Telescope Web Site

NASA.gov – Brings you the latest news, images and videos from America’s space agency.

Hubblesite.org – Embark on a journey of discovery with the Hubble Space Telescope.

jpl.nasa.gov – Space mission and science news, images and videos from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Telescope Manufacturers

Celestron – makers of Nexstar telescopes

Skywatcher Telescopes  

 

Astronomy Software

Microsoft World Wide Telescope – Amazing and free to use.

Google Sky – An astronomical extension to the popular Google Earth. Also free to use.

Astronomy  Magazines

Astronomy Technology Today– Great New Magazine

Astronomy Magazine – The Classic

Sky & Telescope Magazine The Legend

Sky News – Great Canadian Magazine


Events

Starfest – A very popular Star Party held near Mt. Forest Ontario each summer 

If you have a link you’d like to add or if you’d like to exchange links with us click here to send us an email.