Received my Explora-Dome
Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:25 AM
Thanks for the feedback on the Maxdome II controller. I was starting to wonder if I had might as well breadboard my own.
Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:07 PM
The original system had faulty components/soldering and was incorrectly wired. The dome would rotate in one direction only and the manual switch was defective. I also found the software interface design to be poor. After returning the equipment for repairs, the system was still not working so I exchanged it for the MaxDome system, which has been robust so far.
If you go with MaxDome, here is some info:
-There seems to be an issue with the interface between MaxDome and the AAG CloudWatcher; the shutter closes randomly when connected to CloudWatcher and I do not know what the cause is yet.
-For the rotation system on the 8' dome, the number of "tics" that worked best for me is 98 as it provided sufficient azimuth resolution for proper homing and pointing.
-My MaxDome azimuth controller box from Explora-Dome did not come with a manual switch, which is not an issue for me but may be a requirement for you. The MaxDome card itself has an input for manual control, so Explora-Dome or yourself could add the manual switch if required.
Overall, integration of the MaxDome into the observatory has been straightforward. The CloudWatcher issue still needs to be resolved however.
Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:45 PM
Eric I got to ask, I'm looking at your WOOD base Plate mounted on top your Pier, I was thinking about using Wood myself, Did you use wood to Isolate from Elc ground
It's been a while since I posted progress on the observatory. The automation system had a lot of issues, and after several months I decided to swap the control system for another one. Also, I've been busy testing the system, including the Gemini 2, and building the software to automate imaging sessions.
Basically, I've been busy building and testing, not imaging.
I attached an image to this post of the scope inside the dome and I included many more pictures on my site if you are interested.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:34 PM
Actually, I used wood as it is easy to work with and it was meant to be a temporary solution. Using wood also made it easy to install the support for the East bias pulleys. Eventually, I would like to replace it with a metal plate, as I am afraid the wood plate will cause the polar alignment to change with the seasons (Canadian climate), but I have not measured the changes in polar alignment to confirm this.