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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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EricG
member


Reged: 06/05/11

Loc: Gatineau, Qc
Received my Explora-Dome
      #4646330 - 06/18/11 05:57 PM

I just received my 8ft Explora-Dome, so I will be building my observatory in the next few weeks. I already had a concrete pier in the backyard and will be building the observatory around it. I recently created a website where I will post pictures of the construction. The site will also contain the documents I am preparing as I design and test the observatory. You can find some of the documents under the "Equipment" section of the site, I will add more shortly.

http://sites.google.com/site/egastrophotography/home

Let me know if you have questions or comments.

Eric


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4646416 - 06/18/11 07:11 PM

Congratulations! I hope you'll post some pictures as you progress.

David


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Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4647087 - 06/19/11 08:17 AM

Congratulation on your purchase....

IF you are as happy as I have been with my ED you will be thrilled... Mine is on a 10 x 10 base closing in on 5 full years of usage and absolutely not a thing has required any attention since its first light EXCEPT to wash the dome every year or so...

Bob G.


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Tim Gilliland
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/09

Loc: Sand Springs Okla.
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: Bob Griffiths]
      #4649379 - 06/20/11 03:36 PM

I can't tell you how happy I am with mine. Best astro investment I have made.

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EricG
member


Reged: 06/05/11

Loc: Gatineau, Qc
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: Tim Gilliland]
      #4671512 - 07/03/11 10:58 AM Attachment (100 downloads)

Given that it's a fairly big investment, it's good to know that you are happy with the Explora-Dome. I am hoping to have everything built and automated before the fall.

I just built the platform for the dome. I attached a picture and updated my site.

Eric

Edited by EricG (07/03/11 11:00 AM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4671687 - 07/03/11 01:09 PM

....and it begins!!

David


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quantumac
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/17/07

Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4675043 - 07/05/11 11:20 AM

Congratulations! Nothing like a brand new observatory. Looks like you've got a good start.

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4675614 - 07/05/11 05:16 PM

Eric, I have been looking at these. Are you doing the 8' x 8' round or 8' x 10' round? Have you used there plans for the foundation? If so, how does the bottom ring align with it? Joe

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EricG
member


Reged: 06/05/11

Loc: Gatineau, Qc
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: jmiele]
      #4676084 - 07/05/11 10:45 PM Attachment (83 downloads)

Quote:

Eric, I have been looking at these. Are you doing the 8' x 8' round or 8' x 10' round? Have you used there plans for the foundation? If so, how does the bottom ring align with it? Joe




Joe,
It is the 8' round building. I am not aware of plans for the foundation, so I designed one. The platform needs to be approximately 92 inches in diameter; the Explora-Dome instructions recommend measuring the top ring before installing the bottom ring to ensure they are the same size.

I am adding files to my website which document the observatory construction and other topics as well. I attached some drawings of the platform and the thermal management approach I am contemplating is heat is an issue.

I will post more once I install the walls and confirm the platform is adequate.

Eric


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4676189 - 07/05/11 11:45 PM

Eric, how exciting for you! You will so enjoy your observatory!

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Chris Schroeder
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/11/04

Loc: N.E. WI Sky Glow
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4676520 - 07/06/11 08:03 AM

Congratulations Eric!

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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: Chris Schroeder]
      #4676607 - 07/06/11 09:16 AM

Have fun Eric! Enjoy your observatory.

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EricG
member


Reged: 06/05/11

Loc: Gatineau, Qc
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: Starman27]
      #4696986 - 07/17/11 11:31 AM Attachment (92 downloads)

I completed the construction of the building and started installing the automation system. There were a few issues with the construction:
1. The pilot holes in the top ring did not match the holes in the aluminum brackets for the wheels. This was easily fixed by redrilling the holes.
2. The bottom ring halves were not the same length, and by following the assembly instructions this resulted in the door not being centered with the platform as planned.
3. One of the power cables connecting the automation control boxes to the batteries had reversed polarity, which resulted in the destruction of some of the components in the azimuth control box. I am in the process of obtaining a replacement box and cable.

While I wait for a new azimuth box, I will verify what thermal management features I need to implement in order to keep the temperature down during the day and to bring the dome temperature close to ambient air temperature at night.

Eric

Edited by EricG (07/17/11 11:33 AM)


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4698338 - 07/18/11 02:00 AM

Looks great to me. I think I like the Exp Dome best in that class. They are like 5K for one like that? Joe

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Chris Schroeder
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/11/04

Loc: N.E. WI Sky Glow
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4698532 - 07/18/11 08:17 AM

Looks great Eric

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bob irvin
sage


Reged: 03/22/11

Loc: Greater Los Angeles, CA
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #4701046 - 07/19/11 03:17 PM

Great job, Thanks for posting the updates. Enjoy your observatory.

I'd be interested in some pictures of the inside too.

bob


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Midwest Mark
member


Reged: 02/10/10

Loc: Southern Illinois
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: bob irvin]
      #4701211 - 07/19/11 05:08 PM

Congrats, it looks great. Make sure to give us a first light report when you're settled in!

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EricG
member


Reged: 06/05/11

Loc: Gatineau, Qc
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: bob irvin]
      #5504697 - 11/04/12 10:20 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

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.

Eric


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: EricG]
      #5518685 - 11/13/12 08:57 PM

Congrats and enjoy! Going down a similar path starting in the spring.

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averen
Vendor Main Sequence Software
*****

Reged: 01/20/09

Loc: Austin TX
Re: Received my Explora-Dome new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5519347 - 11/14/12 10:54 AM

Eric,
What all issues did you have with the automation? I'm building my own dome and will be automating it...just wondering what pitfalls to avoid.

Nice looking dome and setup!
Jared


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