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2.2 Meter NexDome with 14" Meade on X-Wedge

astrophotography Meade SCT observatory
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#1 ManboneRidge


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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:14 AM

Good Morning!

After a ton of lurking around this and other forums, the least expensive dome solution seems to be the 2.2 m NexDome. It seems some have been able to successfully use their Meade 14" LX600 SCT on an equatorial wedge in those domes. Other than making sure the scope pier is centered, the offset is properly calculated for the latitude of the equatorial wedge, does anyone have any other advice for me as I go to final design on the building?


For those who have been successful:


1. What was the height difference between the declination pivot and the bottom of the shutter? I am thinking that distance to be about half the scope diameter. This would be measured by extending an absolute level line from the bottom of the shutter then vertically about eight inches above the bottom of the shutter.


2. I have not been able to find a detailed drawing of the ring and dome combination NexDome offers. I am sure there are critical connection points for which I must account in the decking to mount the dome ring. 


Check here soon for the final design.


Clear Skies!

#2 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 09:39 AM

Wishing Star Observatory houses a Meade 14 and I've had 2 domes on the 10' structure - the very first shipped 8' Exploradome and currently a perused 2000 vintage TI 10 footer.  The observatory was designed to handle 10 adult students and there's enough headroom for comfortable seating on benches running around most of the wall surface.


While the eight-foot Exploradome was tight and I bumped the scope occasionally, it worked.  Even if you go with a large structure, a 2.2m 7' 2" dome is going to be extremely tight for one person and probably not practical if you plan on guests.


The center of a wedge mounted Meade 14" declination axis should be at the center of the dome.  Not only on the horizontal plane but on the 3rd axis as well.  pier6.jpg


Some factors considered in this design included minimum comfortable viewing height thru eyepiece, headroom for comfortable seating on benches, and how low a horizon you want to be able to view.

Full construction details may be found at http://www.peterson-...onstruction.htm  


It took 6 full months to refine this design, (including convincing the building inspector that no fire exit was necessary).  In hindsight, my only regret is that that huge pier will be very very hard to remove by some future owner of my home.  I should have designed it in two parts connected by bolts with the bolted section 6" below ground level.





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