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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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my-spot
member


Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: South East Michigan
Domes and Snow new
      #6226603 - 12/01/13 09:47 AM

I'm planning to build a remote observatory a couple hours from my home and I'm about 80% settled on a dome. However, I obviously will not be able to clear the snow off. I can just imagine dumping a pile of snow on the scope when opening the slot.

Any Thoughts?


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John Fitzgerald
In Focus
*****

Reged: 01/04/04

Loc: AR
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: my-spot]
      #6226654 - 12/01/13 10:20 AM

Generally, it will slide right off and not accumulate, if the dome is made of a smooth material. We had one substantial snow since I got the dome and it only stuck a little at the transition area between dome and track, and right around the top. Depends a lot on the design.

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #6227186 - 12/01/13 02:09 PM

It always melts on the south side and if need be you just rotate 180 to get the other side. Not an issue.

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6227597 - 12/01/13 05:52 PM

If you can heat the interior it will melt off faster.

JimC


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T1R2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6227606 - 12/01/13 05:57 PM

a push broom will also help if you get a step ladder, just pull it right off

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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: T1R2]
      #6227948 - 12/01/13 08:58 PM

Get one of those snow rakes for the roof that comes with an extension pole.
Michael


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: MHamburg]
      #6227996 - 12/01/13 09:26 PM

Quote:

Get one of those snow rakes for the roof that comes with an extension pole.
Michael




If by remote, the OPer meant imaging via the internet from his home several hours away, a snow rake won't work.


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Galaxyhunter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/02/06

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: JJK]
      #6228097 - 12/01/13 10:30 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Get one of those snow rakes for the roof that comes with an extension pole.
Michael




If by remote, the OPer meant imaging via the internet from his home several hours away, a snow rake won't work.




Not unless it had a reeeeeeeeally long handle


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #6228132 - 12/01/13 10:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Get one of those snow rakes for the roof that comes with an extension pole.
Michael




If by remote, the OPer meant imaging via the internet from his home several hours away, a snow rake won't work.




Not unless it had a reeeeeeeeally long handle




Well, of course.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #6228670 - 12/02/13 09:42 AM

+1

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Aquarist
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6228848 - 12/02/13 11:02 AM

Quote:

If you can heat the interior it will melt off faster.

JimC




My thinking as well. I am considering adding a network controlled heater to turn on when it snows and turn off remotely.


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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: tim57064]
      #6230090 - 12/02/13 07:53 PM

Duh! But of course.
Michael


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my-spot
member


Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: South East Michigan
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: MHamburg]
      #6230545 - 12/02/13 11:32 PM

The good news is a plan to trial everything for a year or so in the back yard before moving it all to the dark site. Hopefully I'll be able to work out if snow is an issue or not.

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John P
sage


Reged: 01/27/04

Loc: Honeoye Falls, NY USA
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: my-spot]
      #6230840 - 12/03/13 06:47 AM

My clamshell has a great gel coat and snow slides off very quickly. I suspect as it's a remote operation type, you could rotate it a bit and allow the motion to help get the snow off. I open each half of the clam shell separately to accomplish the same thing.

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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: my-spot]
      #6248164 - 12/12/13 12:13 AM

Might I suggest a camera pointed at the outside of the dome so you can check the snow before opening? Other than that a good heater would melt the snow from the inside if that is an option.

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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: my-spot]
      #6248171 - 12/12/13 12:18 AM

Put a really big motor on the dome rotation and crank that sucker up to a couple of hundred RPM and the snow will be history!

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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: TCW]
      #6248643 - 12/12/13 09:51 AM Attachment (30 downloads)

While not appropriate for the OPs requirements (not a dome design that can be easily automated for remote control) my POD does illustrate what happens with dome material that snow doesn't easily stick to.

This is on a relatively warm morning (just above freezing) after an overnight snowfall.

The PacMan Observatory ...


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rodney
Vendor - Explora Dome
*****

Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Asbury, NJ
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6248714 - 12/12/13 10:27 AM

Frank,

Great posts from the others. The IP camera on the building is a terrific idea. Since you will be automated, turning the dome remotely will help in getting the snow off easily enough. As a dome vendor I can attest to the durability of the products on the market. If you keep your slotted opening facing in a Southward direction most of the problem will be eliminated by sunlight.

As few years back a dome owner installed a 12 volt heat strip on each side of his shutter opening. Similar to Dew Strips and such. I can not find his article, but he used heating elements off mirrors on pickup trucks. Disassembled the mirror and used the elements. I do know he was not as remote as you plan to be, and he did have some form of controller. He ran everything over a Tight VNC connection. And he lived in Northern Canada.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: Domes and Snow new [Re: rodney]
      #6257263 - 12/16/13 10:45 PM

There is a company called Warmquest in Utah that specializes in snowmelt systems for roofs, floors, driveways, etc. Their heat mesh products have a controller that is activated by both temperature and moisture sensors. So the weather has to be below freezing and have precipitation before it turns on. They might sell you the controller and you might be able to let it turn on a heater inside the dome.

There are other companies also. Thier common focus is "snowmelt".


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tadpoletoo
super member
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Loc: NW Michigan
Re: Domes and Snow [Re: rlandsboro]
      #6258285 - 12/17/13 02:48 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Hi Frank, Here is my Sirius dome located about 250 miles NW of you. This is about a weeks worth. Depending on temperature and wind speed sometimes it will not build up quite so much. We have not had a clear night in quite some time and thats the way it is in a lake effect area, but the rest of the year I like it! Dave

Edited by tadpoletoo (12/17/13 03:14 PM)


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