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Building an 8" pier for smaller telescopes
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Motel o'Scope - The Telescope Enclosure
with painted dacron covering
Motel o'Scope with natural
aluminum foil finish
Motel o'Scope is a pier-mounted telescope enclosure. Its small footprint makes it an ideal solution for observers and astrophotographers who would like to keep their equipment polar aligned and ready for use on a moment's notice.
Motel o'Scope consists of an enclosure base and cover. The enclosure base is an ingenious design of very high quality parts including many that are custom machined that clamps to a 12" concrete pier without bolts, anchors or fasteners. The cover is constructed using foil-faced foam board, aluminum reinforced edges and aluminum foil tape. Optionally, the cover may be finished using aircraft-quality dacron using a process that creates a UV barrier and a beautifully paintable surface. The super light-weight cover is also very strong.
Motel o'Scope is a kit, made up of parts that you purchase yourself, as well as a manual and some essential parts that we can provide. The do-it-yourself materials may be purchased from your local home construction store including the foam board as well as some parts that may need to be purchased from a national supplier such as McMaster Carr or Grainger. Once you have the parts you need, the detailed construction manual will help you build the most basic enclosure within 1-2 days. The dacron-covering process can be more involved and requires additional purchases from an aircraft supply house.
Elemental Protection
keeps your scope dry in any weather

The Enclosure Base
clamps to the concrete pier without fasteners

The Enclosure Deck
is a handy platform for your telescope equipment
The Parts
are mostly items available from National Suppliers as well as some key components that you may purchase from us.
Required Items and Optional Items
The Motel o'Scope cover is super
strong and light weight
Motel o'Scope is adjustable in several ways. It can accomodate variations in pier diameter from approx. 11-1/2" to 12-1/4". It can be adjusted for piers that aren't perfectly concentric (round). The table platform can be mounted offset  in one direction to account for telescopes whose equipment load isn't exactly centered over the pier.
Motel o'Scope creates a great environment to protect your equipment. The cover fits onto the enclosure base using a positive seal against a neoprene foam perimeter. Properly built, your telescope will sit in a dust-free and insulated space. The use of aluminum foil-faced foam board and other aluminum features create a UV resistant space that reflects solar radiation. Paint and/or the optional dacron covering adds more UV protection, insulation and protection from dings and nicks.
Motel o'Scope is an alternative for those enthusiasts that don't have the real estate for an observatory. The footprint at ground level is 12" while the footprint at waist level is 26" x 50". The cover is 48" tall. The enclosure deck provides a convenient space to mount power strips, ccd equipment, sensors, usb and ethernet hubs, alarm detectors for security and more. The only constraint that the deck places on an observer is the use of right-angle mounted eyepieces.
Motel o'Scope is as secure as most small observatories. Although it comes with latches that accept deadbolt locks, a dedicated thief could break into it. We recommend that you place Motel o'Scope in a controlled area where fences, security lighting and passive methods prevail. Many of our neighbors still think that our prototype Motel o'Scope is a barbeque! We have however, placed a remote contact sensor that is physically tied into our home's alarm system.

Un-Park and Go!
Accomodations for a sizeable equipment load
(C-11 with 4" piggyback refractor)
Use a measuring tape when your telescope is mounted and configured on a tripod. Measure an imaginary envelope around your equipment and compare it to our Motel o'Scope diagram to see how it would fit. Motel o'Scope can be built in a reduced size if you're willing to make some changes and cut metal. If you need a larger size, send us an e-mail with your requirements and we'll see if it can be done.

A place for a power strip,
alarm system contact sensor,
moisture-absorbing beads.
Pricing - Ordering
Frequently Asked Questions
Access hole for power strip cord,
temperature sensor (remote RF),
CCD camera power supplies.
Building the Cover
The cover is built on a framework of aluminum tubing

Foil Faced Foam Board
1" thick foam board both insulates and strengthens
Motel o'Scope needs a strong and lightweight cover. This is accomplished through the use of foil-faced foam board, pure aluminum tape and reinforced aluminum edges. A finished cover will weigh between 12-16lb. Handles can be mounted for a single person to lift and remove the cover or for two people. Removing the cover is slightly more unwieldy than heavy. The cover can be left in its unfinished aluminum form for some time. We left our prototype unfinished cover on our outdoor mount for 4 years where it endured heat, cold, rain, snow and hail. At times there was over a foot of snow on it while our telescope remained completely dry and secure. We grossly exceeded the manufacturer warranty of 3 months for unfinished exposure of the foam board. A puncture wound or scratch can be instantly repaired with a piece of foil tape and the whole cover can be painted or covered with dacron at any point down the road.
Pricing - Ordering
"We had 20 minutes of dime-sized hail last weekend. My trees and plants were completely shredded and my neighbors had to have parts of their roofs replaced. My Motel o'Scope and all my valuables inside it were totally undamaged even though it is directly exposed in my yard.."

Cedar Park TX
Motel o'Scope Installation Manual Rev C (24Mb)
Motel o'Scope Parts List
Motel o'Scope Parts List
Motel o'Scope Installation Manual Rev C (24Mb)
Ordering Information Amount USA Shipping Lead Time
Dacron Envelope Kit (Sewn Cover + Seam Tape)
$75.00 $17.00 15 Weeks
Custom Joining Plate Kit (16 Plates)
$200.00 $17.00 15 Weeks
International and Custom Orders
Send eMail for shipping charges outside the USA
Note: These items are the only parts of the DIY project that we sell. See the parts list for the additional parts required