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Scopedome 2M project at the Knight Observatory in Portugal

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#1 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:13 AM

The Knight Observatory is located near the City of Tomar. (the name is a reference to the Templar Knight's.) The 2M dome  is made by Scopedome in Poland and i installed the fully automated plug & play 2 meter version with Tower. From groundwork to the first operational session took 30 days. The dome houses a 10 Micron GM2000 HPS II mount on a pier and for now a Skywatcher Esprit 100 APO Refractor. The GM2000 uses GPS for exact timekeeping and a Blueastro Stickstation weatherstation to correct for atmospheric refraction.  I will post the project pictures in this thread.

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  • 051-scopedomefrom-N.jpeg

Edited by keesscherer, 10 October 2016 - 08:18 AM.

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#2 Raginar

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:13 AM

Cool looking domes ☺️

#3 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:18 AM

The Concrete foundation with separate pier-block with Pier mounting frame.

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  • 011-afstelkruis-op-pierframe-s.jpg
  • 025-Base-ready.jpg

Edited by keesscherer, 10 October 2016 - 07:19 AM.

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#4 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:23 AM

The 10 micron GM2000 HPS II Mount is delivered!

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  • GM2000-delivery1-s.jpg

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#5 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:27 AM

The Scopedome 2M arrived completely assembled and tested on a truck from Poland. It is in fact really plug and play, it has one power plug and works straight after installation.

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  • 038-dome-on-truck.jpg

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#6 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:31 AM

The inside of the Dome with installed automation. There is one powerplug and one USB cable to connect to a Windows PC. The dome ASCOM driver works great together with the 10 Micron ASCOM driver and Sequence Generator Pro

Attached Thumbnails

  • 052-scopedome-interior.jpeg
  • 053-USB-panels-Highres.jpeg

Edited by keesscherer, 10 October 2016 - 08:22 AM.

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#7 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:40 AM

Installation of the Euro EMC Pier.

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  • 066-pierinstallation1.jpg
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#8 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:42 AM

The Pier with GM2000 HPS II mount and Esprit 100 refractor installed and ready for action.

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  • 075-16mm-wide-shot-trhrough-shutter-s.jpg

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#9 keesscherer

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:53 AM

The Observatory is controlled form the main house "Mission Control Center" via a 85 meter long gigabit network cable and teamviewer software.

 

Youtube video showing the "Dome Inertia Testing". (The dome gets a series of 120 different "rotate to position X" commands and the response is measured and stored in a calibration file)

Youtube video showing a dry run  to demonstrate working ASCOM drivers for Sequence gemerator Pro  with Scopedome 2M, GM2000 HPS II ,Canon6D and Microtouch AutoFocuser. The dome and telescope on the GM2000 slew to a target, autofocus starts and (only manual interaction because of daytime) is aborted. End of sequence starts, closing shutter,parking scope, parking dome.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 073-Obs-control-s.jpg

Edited by keesscherer, 10 October 2016 - 07:54 AM.

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#10 mlanglois

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 11:09 AM

Very nice build. I like your choices for the observatory and the equipment within. It would be especially nice to have access to those domes in the US.

 

Michael


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#11 keesscherer

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 03:20 AM

Very nice build. I like your choices for the observatory and the equipment within. It would be especially nice to have access to those domes in the US.

 

Michael

Thank you!  The Sacramento Mountains astronomy park seems to be the distributor for the U.S.A. 


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#12 skybsd

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 04:22 AM

Hi,

 

The Knight Observatory is located near the City of Tomar. (the name is a reference to the Templar Knight's.) The 2M dome  is made by Scopedome in Poland and i installed the fully automated plug & play 2 meter version with Tower. From groundwork to the first operational session took 30 days. The dome houses a 10 Micron GM2000 HPS II mount on a pier and for now a Skywatcher Esprit 100 APO Refractor. The GM2000 uses GPS for exact timekeeping and a Blueastro Stickstation weatherstation to correct for atmospheric refraction.  I will post the project pictures in this thread.

I really like that dome - Scopedome seem to have an awesome line up of sizes too.., 

 

Tell me, are the walls (tower?) also available for the 3M and up, or is it only an option for the 2M? 

 

Congrats on the new observatory - I'd hardly blame you if you never want to leave  :lol:  

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd



#13 TestnDoc

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:56 PM

Very nice setup! I'm just curious..how easy is it to build a model with a 10Micron Mount inside of a dome? Does the dome move quickly enough to keep up with the scope and mount? Thanks



#14 keesscherer

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 02:10 PM

Hi,

 


Tell me, are the walls (tower?) also available for the 3M and up, or is it only an option for the 2M? 

 

Congrats on the new observatory - I'd hardly blame you if you never want to leave  :lol:  

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd

The towers are only an option for the 2 M dome.



#15 keesscherer

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 02:19 PM

.how easy is it to build a model with a 10Micron Mount inside of a dome? Does the dome move quickly enough to keep up with the scope and mount? Thanks

Very easy, the mount slews to the new location and the dome follows within about half a minute. After the third star the next one is almost dead center under the crosshairs and after a few more you first have to move the star in sight because it is obscured by the crosshairs. The 10 Micron is very, very accurate in pointing. I have a 20 star model now with 8 arcsecond RMS pointing accuracy. All with the help of the GPS time and refraction correction by means of the real time stickstation data. I do 15 minute unguided exposures and i have not even done a very accurate polar alignment. (PA error around 1 arcminute) 


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#16 nytecam

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 02:46 PM

Nice obsy ;)  Couple of queries if I may ...

1] the base sits on a large oversize concrete pad - how is it sealed from rainwater ingress at the perimeter?

2] the pier is bolted central to the above pad - does foot traffic around the pier cause vibration of the image or will scope be controlled/used remotely?

 

Nytecam


Edited by nytecam, 12 October 2016 - 02:55 PM.

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#17 keesscherer

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:52 AM

Nice obsy ;)  Couple of queries if I may ...

1] the base sits on a large oversize concrete pad - how is it sealed from rainwater ingress at the perimeter?

2] the pier is bolted central to the above pad - does foot traffic around the pier cause vibration of the image or will scope be controlled/used remotely?

 

Nytecam

1) The pad is smooth, flat, and leveled. The dome is bolted to the pad with 12 chemical anchors/ 12 mm stud bolts and sealed with silicone sealant. We had heavy rain and everything is waterproof.

2) The pier is bolted to the central part that is separated from the pad (the pad is 30 cm thick, the central pier section 60 cm). The joint is sealed with the same silicone sealant. The dome is operated remotely and there are no roads nearby (Dirt roads without traffic, it is in the middle of the woods) So perhaps overkill but better safe....;-) 

 

The pad is oversized because i am going to add an extra pier for a visual telescope setup and i can put extra tripods/mounts on that nice horizontal surface.


Edited by keesscherer, 13 October 2016 - 02:26 AM.

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#18 skybsd

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 03:23 AM

 

Hi,

 


Tell me, are the walls (tower?) also available for the 3M and up, or is it only an option for the 2M? 

 

Congrats on the new observatory - I'd hardly blame you if you never want to leave  :lol:  

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd

The towers are only an option for the 2 M dome.

 

That's good to know - thanks! 

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd



#19 keesscherer

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 05:30 AM

Added the AAG Cloudwatcher device to the Scopedome setup. It has a cloud sensor, rain sensor and temperature and light sensor. (Optional is a wind sensor). Seems to work, the software shows all the graphs and now i have to integrate the "unsafe" state into the Sequence Generator Pro ASCOM Safety Monitor. Still get a "Line too short, older version, check software version" line in the log file. Strange because i downloaded and installed the latest drivers and program....... EDIT: Solved the issue, i also needed to download a patched EXE file for the Cloudwatcher program and now Sequence generator Pro works with the Cloudwatcher as Safety monitor...

Attached Thumbnails

  • 096-cloudwatcher-detected-clouds.jpg
  • 095-cloudwatcher-wide-s.jpg

Edited by keesscherer, 15 October 2016 - 08:48 AM.

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#20 keesscherer

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 02:25 AM

This screenprint shows the integration of the AAG Cloudwatcher Safety Monitor signal via Chris Rowland's ASCOM driver with Sequence generator Pro. In the Cloudwatcher program you can select/mark conditions that will trigger the Unsafe state (In this example Overcast and Rain) The screenprint shows that the actual condition is "Cloudy", "Dry", "Very Light" with resulting "Safe" state. IN SGP the Safety driver is activated and the "Safe" condition shows bottom right as the green light. In the event of an "Unsafe" state SGP will stop the session and run the End of sequence events like "close shutter", "park observatory", "park scope". The safety driver can be tested during the day by selecting "Very Light" as a trigger!

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  • 099-cloudwatcher-safety-monitor-SGP.jpg

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#21 jl tressol

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 04:52 AM

Hi Kees,

 

Thank you for your feedback on this 2M Scopedome. I am currently considering the same dome for my dark sky site in Haute-Loire. The elevation is only 1000 m but weather conditions can be very severe, so robustness is a major concern. Maybe it is not so hard in Tomar, but I would appreciate to have your feeling about this point.  My basic setup is an RC 10" / GM1000HPS, hope it is large enough to host it.

 

Thank you and clear skies

 

 

Jean-Louis Tressol


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#22 keesscherer

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:52 AM

Hi Kees,

 

Thank you for your feedback on this 2M Scopedome. I am currently considering the same dome for my dark sky site in Haute-Loire. The elevation is only 1000 m but weather conditions can be very severe, so robustness is a major concern. Maybe it is not so hard in Tomar, but I would appreciate to have your feeling about this point.  My basic setup is an RC 10" / GM1000HPS, hope it is large enough to host it.

 

Thank you and clear skies

 

 

Jean-Louis Tressol

 

Hi Jean-Louis,

 

The dome is very robust and meanwhile we have had severe storms with heavy rain here and there has not been a drop of rain inside. The base rim has plenty of surface area to add enough chemically anchored bolts to hold the dome in place in severe storms. I used 11, 10mm "bolts" to secure the dome. I have also added a dehumidifier with automatic setpoint keeping RH at 60%-70% max (see pictures, i also added a screenprint showing the Relative humidity inside the dome at this moment). It also has an external hose connection to drain the water.  In cold weather climates i would recommend to have some sort of insulation layer at the inside of the dome and tower to make sure that the wall temperature stays above the dew point temperature to avoid having wet walls despite the dehumidifier. In the Portugese climate i don't have that problem, my walls are always dry, only the concrete base gets a little damp. I will add some sort of rubber layer to that. Your 10 inch RC will fit just fine (It will have an OTA with 75cm length), as long as the total OTA length is under 150 cm you are OK in the 2M dome.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 091-Added-dehumidifier.jpg
  • stickstation.jpg

Edited by keesscherer, 08 December 2016 - 09:26 AM.

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#23 ScopeDome Team

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 06:05 AM

Hello everyone!

Thank you dear Kees for very interesting photostory about  making your observatory based on ScopeDome 2M. Looks really impressive. We have just seen that you made a special floor for the dome. We got similiar solution dedicated to 2M domes:

http://scopedome.com...eled_floor.aspx

It is designed for those who do not want to do it by themself :)

Looking forward to see some observations reports from you!

Regards,

ScopeDome Team


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#24 jl tressol

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 11:37 AM

Hi Kees,

 

Thank you for your comments about robustness. I do agree with you on the insulation / humidity issues. A solution may be to incorporate vents in the concrete base and circulate the air inside the dome with 12V fans  . ScopeDome Team has certainly already faced this issue and  may  come up with a proven solution.

 

Clear skies

 

Jean-Louis



#25 skybsd

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 01:27 PM

Hi,

 

Hi Kees,

 

Thank you for your comments about robustness. I do agree with you on the insulation / humidity issues. A solution may be to incorporate vents in the concrete base and circulate the air inside the dome with 12V fans  . ScopeDome Team has certainly already faced this issue and  may  come up with a proven solution.

 

Clear skies

 

Jean-Louis

I'm curious.., 

 

Do you mind explaining a bit more how vents in the concrete base + internal air circulation help mitigate for insulation / humidity problems, please? 

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd




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