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Jkulin

Domes - Whats out there that is good and won't break the bank?

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Sorry about Storm. Losing a pet is very hard.

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Looking at the scopedome on Astrograph, it looks like the shutter only just makes it to the zenith, while the Pulsar dome goes past.

Another thing with the Pulsar which makes it attractive for me is that it's available in short-wall form to go on your own obsy building.

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2 hours ago, Jkulin said:

So apart from Pulsar and Astrograph are there any other manufacturers that I should consider?

I stumbled across this 'observatory' disguise a few years ago, simple and easy to build, even a cack-handed DIY'er like me could make one, and it just looks like a part of the garden furniture:

http://www.covastro.org.uk/mira/mira-issue-83

William.

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That's really quite tidy William, thanks, it might be a bit large with the 10" and the 120EC inside🤔😎

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Very interesting indeed.  The principle is a bit similar to my idea for a second micro-observatory for widefield narrow band DSO imaging - camera plus vintage SLR lens on DIY mount and pier but I was thinking of a dome type structure, looking a bit like a lollipop 😀

Edited by Gina
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Looks like it could blow away in a bad storm if not bolted securely to a concrete base and even then the dome could be lifted off.  The wind doesn't have to get underneath, apex roofs and domes can produce lift like an aircraft wing.

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Also looks very cramped inside.   Says the most spacious one is 36" wide !!!!!!

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It says they are 2.2m domes so should be the same as other domes of that size.  They certainly look floppy though from their own construction video.

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A really nice looking solution but my concern would be the internal diameter of 1.94m (6ft 4in).  It could limit ambitions should you want a longish refractor. When racked out with an imager attached you could be pressed for space.  Even my Pulsar 2.7m was an issue when I upgraded last. I use a dehumidifier linked with a device that switches it on and off depending on the humidity level. No condensation issues.

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I alo have a SkyShed - the zenith problem does not seem to cause me too many issues.  It does leak at the pivot but I do the same as Casatro and use a bucket to collect, only needs emptying once or twice a season.

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To be truthful the width isn't an issue as I very much doubt that I will go bigger than a 12" Newt or a 150 Refractor.

I'm going to do some measurements today and try and work out a scale drawing, my wife was receptive last night, so will plan it with her.

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I notice you can just buy the Scopedome with out the motors. You could get that first. The only thing that worries me is that it comes fully assembled. It could be difficult to get into position if you've restricted access. It does look lovely though.

I've got the older Pulsar dome which is now well over 10 years old. I find the fact that it's got a gap around the base of the dome means it dries out well, the newer one has less ventilation. I have to rotate it manually when imaging though.

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The pulsar ones are tested in a wind tunnel too and has almost zero lift as assumed earlier. Mine too is manual but it moves with 1 finger, so all the extra work and money involved automating it are not on the plans......Just yet 😋

Your position in the garden seems to be your main hurdle so not sure what will appease the wifey on this one lol 👍I will be most interested to see what you do though. 😁

Edited by LeeRich

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The Pulsar domes also have heavy duty hooks / clamps available to stop the wind or ne'er-do-wells from lifting it off.

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16 minutes ago, DaveS said:

The Pulsar domes also have heavy duty hooks / clamps available to stop the wind or ne'er-do-wells from lifting it off.

True enough Dave. Great for potential thieves, added confidence in hurricane winds BUT an absolute nightmare for the fingers in the dark. This is the only reason I envy you peeps with automated domes because I'm surprised you can't here my crys where ever you live when I am rotating mine and run my fingers under these "bleeding' brackets and i use that word literally because I nearly always take some bark off when observing lol  😫 😲😋

Note to self, fit some handles 👍

Edited by LeeRich
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Apologies for the quality, but attached is a crude CAD drawing of an Esprit 150 at focus with dew shield extended inside a 2.2 m Pulsar Dome. It fits but my conclusion is the observer wouldn’t fit in there as well, so I will be constructing a separate warm room.

DEA50525-F787-4283-859F-1A78E9C16501.png

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@tomato Thanks for the drawing, I don't do observing so as long as I can get in and do maintenance, then shouldn't have a problem with the width.

@Anne S can you motorise the older pulsars and do you know if you can still get parts for them?

@LeeRich I will be going motorised even if it means designing my own motorised system.

I truly appreciate every ones thoughts, still got lots of planning to do.

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16 hours ago, blinky said:

I alo have a SkyShed - the zenith problem does not seem to cause me too many issues.  It does leak at the pivot but I do the same as Casatro and use a bucket to collect, only needs emptying once or twice a season.

Thanks Blinky, I really would prefer a dry dome, so that may mean the Skyshed is out

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7 hours ago, Jkulin said:

 

@Anne S can you motorise the older pulsars and do you know if you can still get parts for them?

Sloz1664 started a topic about it under the section "DIY Observatores".  I don't know how to post a link but the last post was Friday so it should be possible to find it. There aren't any kits though I believe Rigel made one years ago. It not the same as the current kit as the motor would have to ride around on the dome unless you alter the base of the dome as Sloz1664 has.

The ones that ride on the dome are easier now as battery packs are much smaller and you could put a solar panel on the outside to recharge the pack. I just wish I had the skills and knowledge to do it. 

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I think your best bet might be a Pulsar dome with a self-build housing. I remember seeing a cracking-looking obbo built along those lines in a recent thread on here.  I think Pulsar also do different colours if the stark white is a problem.

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3 hours ago, Hallingskies said:

 I think Pulsar also do different colours if the stark white is a problem.

You're spot on pal, only issue with coloured fibreglass is anything other the white with lose it's vibrancy in direct sun light and go off colour in time where as white is much more forgiving and will only show signs of dulling over time really. Having said that if you have the means or a friendly local fibreglass company near by then recoating is an easy job. 👍

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You can indeed motorise the old Pulsar domes, but it does help if your collaborator is a retired electronics and mechanical engineer! 

Attached are some photos of the simulator Tomatobro has put together to both motorise the dome rotation and shutter operation  of an earlier version Pulsar Dome. 

Look out for a progress thread when construction starts Q3 2019.

46BE687A-1765-4DD1-A129-93D5F9220A5F.jpeg

A61282E1-FFFB-41D0-98A9-05C6049D0396.jpeg

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