NEWS UPDATE: January 9, 2019: End of an era.
We know how owners of a Kendrick Observatory Tent love them so much. The dilemma is that there are so few of us nutbars that want to have a tent with a hole in the roof. Not a big hit with your average camper.
Over the years there have been 4 models manufactured, and each time we had to make a big enough quantity to justify starting-up a production line and it took years to sell them all. Any business (or even personal capital) just canít afford to tie-up a 6-figure investment for something that sells in such small #ís and takes so long to recoup the investment. The usual compromise in that scenario is to reduce the price in hopes that you sell more, but that isnít going to make demand increase for such a specialized audience, and we wonít resort to making cheap junk.
Alternatives? In our opinion, there are no competitor brands worth considering, so a DIY solution offers the best hope. We have seen folks at Star Parties who purchased a good quality, general purpose, camping tents and then found a local seamstress to sew in a zipper. Look for local shops that specialize in working with canvas (sail makers). Some high-end camping outfitters offer custom alterations.
Will We Make Patterns/Scematics Available?
NO. They wouldn't help you because it would cost far too much to do anything with them.Your best bet is to visit a camping store that has models on display. Buy one that is big enough and has a separate rain-fly that can be retracted. Then take it home, set it up in the backyard, and mark the area that needs a zipper. Then visit a fabric store, buy the zipper, and then look for someone who can sew it in for you. Some fabrics are easier to sew than others. Stick to good quality tent models that use good quality fabric that won't fray when cut.
This was the last observatory tent that was producted (Stargate II):
Karl Baltz's Review (PDF)
We highly recommend you read Karl Baltz's review as it is very comprehensive and has a number of very helpful images.
This is the fourth revision of our popular Observing Tent. It hearkens back to the original design but with some substantial upgrades and improvements.
Our Observing tents provide:
- A secure, private, enclosed environment for amateur astronomers to image, observe and/or store their astronomy equipment while out camping or while attending star parties.
- Weather protection. Equipment can be quickly protected from approaching storms.
- Comfort. With reduced air movement inside the tent, an imager or observer will find they are considerably more comfortable doing their work within the tent as wind chill (which is very noticeable even on summer nights) is reduced greatly.
- Ease of set up in a very portable package. Set-up time 15 to 20 minutes.
What do Stargate II owners think?
Matt Harbison was so impressed that he made a nice video and gave us permission to share. Thank you Matt!