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Pulsar Dome Shutter Drive


MikeP
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I've been considering the purchase of a Pulsar 2.2m dome plus rotation drive and I'm looking for advice from owners on the merits of also purchasing the shutter drive.

For imaging, the dome and equipment will be operated from a warm room but never fully automated i.e. a visit to the dome to switch on etc. will always take place, so the shutter could be opened manually.  Does that make the shutter drive an expensive luxury?

Using the manual pulley system, can the shutter be positioned at intermediate positions i.e. not just fully open?

Mike

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Both the dome and shutter drive motor assembly is a very expensive luxury, at £2600 for them both....😮😮 but really the dome drive is needed as you will be out there moving manually...but the shutter drive is not needed, but if you do go down that route, then one thing to consider is it can be quite noisy opening and closing, so if, like me you have three neighbours bedroom windows within 20m then it’s something to consider....

Just my 2p worth....

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I have both dome and shutter drive. The shutter is handy but definitely not essential.  The dome rotation is essential for me as I image.  My shutter drive battery seems to drain quickly so I end up doing it manually anyway sometimes, and it isn’t any trouble.  
 

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The only reason you definitely need a shutter driver is if you are imaging unattended ie away from your dome or asleep in bed. The motorised shutter, coupled with a rain detector, will stop your expensive equipment from getting water damaged.

Steve

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+1 for a powered shutter and detector for rain protection, especially in the UK. If I am in the adjacent warm room and here rain on my tin roof I can get out and close the shutter quick enough, but not if I have retired to the living room  and monitoring via TeamViewer or something similar. Also I have seen perfectly good subs being collected and rain lashing in through the open aperture, such are the vagaries of the British Weather. 

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I'm just finishing building my own on a pulsar-like dome . The key benefits are that it is so much quieter, holds in place part open and does not slam into the end stops. It's taken a while to prove - it uses continuous steel wire around a winch bobbin and I still need to add a tensioner but mostly there. Largest cost is the motor at £140 and then some Arduino and motor control modules for wireless control. The wire is pennies and the guide wheels I made myself but can be obtained from Amazon equally nowadays. 

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Thank you for the responses.  As some of you have indicated, in my circumstances, the shutter drive is an unnecessary luxury and expense, so I've placed my order for the dome and rotation drive only.  I will rely on the manual pulley system to operate the shutter.  I'm 100+ feet away from any bedroom windows, so hopefully I won't disturb anyone.

I'm building a separate warm room adjacent to the dome but like others I will probably monitor from the house via Remote Desktop.  I'll have a look at rain detectors and see what there is that will alert me to leg it down the garden.

Thanks again.

Mike

 

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5 hours ago, skybadger said:

Look at hygreon rain sensors. Very simple and reliable. 

I understand  Lunaticoastro are looking at updating their AAG Cloudwatcher with hydreon the rain sensor. There is a debate whether to use the RJ-09 or RJ-11.

 

Steve

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On 12/03/2021 at 09:31, MikeP said:

Thank you for the responses.  As some of you have indicated, in my circumstances, the shutter drive is an unnecessary luxury and expense, so I've placed my order for the dome and rotation drive only.  I will rely on the manual pulley system to operate the shutter.

Sorry, Mike, I am late to this but in your circumstances, this is the right decision - I only have the shutter automation as I run fully auto. You'll love the Pulsar Dome - it really is nicely made.

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Thanks Steve (steppenwolf).  I read through your automation thread and all the other Pulsar threads that I could find.  Lots of good ideas and information. 

Skybadger and sloz1664 - rain sensors are new to me.  I looked at hydreon expecting to find something that would send me texts or emails. - obviously not.  Googling suggested I might use a Raspberry Pi in conjunction with a rain sensor (I have one doing nothing at present) but the projects seemed to use much cruder rain sensors than the hydreon. 

I've minimal electronics skills but quite happy to tackle any form of coding, what would you suggest as the way forward?  It will be months before the dome is installed and up and running, so I'm not in any rush.  The "hand out of the window" that someone suggested in another thread will be adequate to start with.

Thanks again everyone.

Mike

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