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I have a large (maybe 4 metres, 12 feet in diameter) metal dome which is in need of some refurbishment. Does anyone have any particular advice about what to cover the interior with? Previously there was some polystyrene panels fixed up with wallpaper glue which over time have broken off and land on my optics and equipment, something I'm not very happy about. Take a look a the video or pictures in the instagram for what has happened over time (https://www.instagram.com/rhulobservatory)
Is there any particular need to cover the interior at all?
Following on from my other mini-observatory threads, I'm now thinking of a small dome observatory for my widefield imaging rig. Several previous ideas for a mini observatory have bitten the dust!
I have a number of thin aluminium sheets the I bought for my earlier cylindrical roof mini obsy that can be bent into the sections of a multi-sided dome. Why a dome? Well, it is more compact, requires less power to drive - this observatory and contents will be fully automated - and a dome provides more protection from wind etc. No space is required inside for a person in this case - just a Raspberry Pi 3 for controlling everything with INDI drivers. Not even a laptop.
I'm considering building a small scale observatory - remote imaging to keep the form factor small. The problem is I only rent my house, so I can't exactly go all out. My landlord is fairly forgiving though, so I can do minor damage as long as it's repairable when we eventually have to move.
My plan then is to repurpose a steel frame (40mm tubing) which I will clad and insulate. This will be easy enough both to build and to move/remove if necessary. However, I'm not sure what I should do about the mount.
My setup isn't massive - TS Optics 6" f4 reflector on an NEQ6 with a WO 66mm refractor guide scope. However, I'd like something more stable than the NEQ6's standard tripod as I'd like to not have to do PA every time I go out. I'm looking for ideas for a pier that will be sturdy enough, yet that I don't have to immerse in concrete. I've no worries about burying the base of it just in the ground, but I'm not sure if that'll be stable enough. My thoughts were to use some 160mm HDPE pipe, bury it to a depth of about a metre and fill with sand. The bottom end would be capped so the sand doesn't run out and the top end would be plugged with (something as yet undecided) to hold a pier plate.
How stable to people think this would be? As I'd be operating remotely, I'm not worried about disturbing it whilst imaging, but I am concerned it might shift with temperature changes etc.
Is this a rubbish plan? If so, any ideas about an alternative?
I thought I would share this design. I needed a house for the 6 inch Mak Cas on a pier. I wanted it bug proof and I wanted a sitting area near the scope that I could warm. Some wind block would be nice. After reviewing a lot of roll off roof designs I went with a roll off building instead. It rolls to the west, where trees would otherwise block the sky. I am clear to the south, and the house blocks a bit to the north. The 5 by 10 building was built to roll on 6 casters on top of square steel tracks. There is a 3 by 5 warm room in the back. The floor is steel for rigidity, while the building is normal 2x construction with hardie exterior to match the house. Its a bit heavy to push by hand, so we added a bicycle crank set to move it along. The bicycle frame is inside, with a very narrow slot in the floor for the chain. I have yet to install the electrical as winter came and slowed down construction. So far, no rodents, wasps, bats or other guests have been able to move in. Enjoy.
I have my Celestron 9.25 AVX permanently mounted in my observatory. So having done my alignment I simply hibernate the scope when I finish and restart the next time with minimum fuss. What advantages would I gain by using the Celestron SkyPortal with my Android phone? I mainly do imaging.