Icodome - a revolutionary portable observing dome
Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:30 AM
Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:35 AM
How secure is the structure?
Can it hold on to strong winds so that it can be used during star parties over the multiple nights?
Is it intended for that type of purpose or is it better to be set up every night?
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:25 PM
You can secure the PVC frame with tent stakes in which case it should stand up to some pretty strong winds. It is perfect for those multiple day star parties where you set it up once and then you can leave your gear inside zipped up with some degree of security during the day.
P.S. I used to live in Gibsons, on the Sunshine Coast!
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:42 PM
I see you are a Canadian! That's cool (and saving on shipping ).
Do you think that the floor is roomy enough with 5" refractor and EQ6 with a small folding desk for a laptop?
I'm not sure what setup you tested the setup.
And I assume you need to rotate the entire skin to image other half of the sky?
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:57 PM
I think it should all fit, although you would probably need to remove the scope to zip the flap back up without moving the tripod closer to the middle of the dome. I've tested it with a Vixen GPDX and a 72mm refractor. And you're right, no motorized rotation - you gotta pick up the dome and turn it in the direction of the sky you want to image!
Shipping will be in a 3x2x1 foot box and weigh about 15 lbs.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:54 PM
It is desirable to leave the scope otherwise I may need to do polar align and balance the set up etc etc..
Do you have any plan for a bit bigger version of this then?
Do you usually rotate the skin part or the whole dome?
Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:31 PM
I leave a pier outside my front doorsteps with an AP400GTO on it but I take the scopes off and cover the mount against rain. I never have to repolar align again nor rebalance when I put the scope back on as long as I know where the dovetail end is in relation to the saddle. So you should be ok with removing the scope and replacing it.
There may be a bigger dome in the future but that would necessitate thicker struts & hubs and fabric and might impact on the affordability and portability of it.
You could rotate just the skin but it's easier just to rotate the whole structure, it's light.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:49 PM
It's $250 plus S&H which will probably be much cheaper with surface mail to Israel rather than air. This info and more is also available at our website. We are hoping to be able to take online orders shortly.
Thanks for your interest!
Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:09 PM
Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:56 AM
Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:07 PM
The images only show the prototype using materials at hand. The domes will most likely be made of heavy duty green polypropylene tarp. We could do custom colours but it would require some number of committed orders.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:22 PM
Any idea when you might have photos of the final production version available on the website? Until then, do you have any photos which show more detail of the velcro and zippered flaps? Also, is the outer skin actually secured to the frame or does it simply hang on the frame? If it does secure to the frame, I would be interested in seeing photos of that, as well.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:24 AM
Thanks for your interest!
We are finalizing our suppliers and should have a commercial example with more detailed images on our website in a couple of weeks. The skin currently is not attached to the frame and at this price point we're leaving it up to the buyer to implement a restraining system if he/she chooses. Perhaps adherent velco straps?
Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:56 PM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:24 PM
Its actually made from that type of heavy duty, UV shield rated tarp material that is silver on the outside and black on the inside. The first series of production Icodomes will be Green (and Black on the inside) but of the same heavy grade of tarp.
Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:54 PM
Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:40 AM
We will be at the Canadian Astronomy Swap Meet on June 9th in Oakville and would like to be at Starfest as well.