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Frustrated Trying to Buy A Dome (a.k.a. How Do I Get Someone To Take My $20k?)

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#1 Bill Lee

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 01:50 PM

I’ve been trying to buy a dome, automation, pier, etc. but I can’t get any response from a large, west-coast telescope dealer. I’ve tried calling, I either can’t get through and get dropped into voicemail, or I get through but the two experts are busy and I’m assured they will get back to me, but never do. I’ve tried chat, but no one ever answers. I’ve tried emailing, with no reply.

 

What does a guy have to do to drop a bunch of money? You’d think that a business would be interested, but I must be too small of a fish for them.


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#2 ssagerian

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:00 PM

Bill

How handy are you? $20K can buy a lot of concrete,building materials, contractor help.


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#3 Bill Lee

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:19 PM

Oh, that’s just for the dome and miscellaneous things I need to fully automate it. The building is a separate cost. And my wife’s family are builders, so that’s covered. You can see the plans in this thread.

 

Currently, the framer will start in November. The footings and foundation are done:

IMG_0655.jpg


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#4 hdbaron

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:37 PM

https://www.cloudyni...-cylinder-base/



#5 FRANKVSTAR

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 03:01 PM

I’ve been trying to buy a dome, automation, pier, etc. but I can’t get any response from a large, west-coast telescope dealer. I’ve tried calling, I either can’t get through and get dropped into voicemail, or I get through but the two experts are busy and I’m assured they will get back to me, but never do. I’ve tried chat, but no one ever answers. I’ve tried emailing, with no reply.

 

What does a guy have to do to drop a bunch of money? You’d think that a business would be interested, but I must be too small of a fish for them.

 The West Coast is shut down due to covid-19, that is the story I received when I put down a large order for a scope & mount. All was fine until my funds were transferred from my bank to theirs. that process took only seconds.  Now the entire order is on back order for 4 to 6 weeks and its been over 11 weeks and they want do a refund or replacement order. Seems China and Mexico, where everything is built for us in the good old USA, since we don't know how to build anything, is the problem. It is going at a snailes pace or not at all.

 Good luck >>



#6 DeanS

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:10 PM

Roll offs do have their own advantages, and cost less to build.  Have you considered one?



#7 astrohamp

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:10 PM

There is a Pier Tech type 5 station up for grabs although a ROR plans set can be had as well if you have the skills or contractors.



#8 Bill Lee

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:28 AM

Thanks to all for your suggestions, but I’ve already considered my options, including a ROR, and have decided on a dome for several reasons:

 

  1. Height: the observatory is ~35 feet above the ground. I did not want to roll off the roof so high in the air
  2. Wind: I want protection from the wind
  3. Light: my neighbors leave their lights on at night (Bortle upper-4/lower 5), and yes, a ROR would shadow ground lights, but I wanted more
  4. Design: it’s already been designed and permitted 
  5. Framers: we’re using our regular framers (our family builds houses during the day), so the closer to regular framing is better, and putting up a 12’x12’ box in the sky is as simple as it gets
  6. Family: the most important thing of all: my wife has approved this design (she actually designed on her architecture program), and she has approved the spend (who am I to say no?)

Here’s the design, it consists of a breezeway/sunroom on the first floor from the kitchen, where the existing side door is. This room also has a spiral staircase to the second floor. The rest of the ground floor is a 3 car garage, a work area and a hoist to the 2nd floor. The 2nd floor has a walkway (open to the sunroom below) from the master suite to the warm room, and the warm room with lots of storage, desk, etc.. the 3rd floor is the 12x12 observatory.

 

Here is the plan:

Attached File  85x11Final Front Entry Garage_06052020.pdf   376.69KB   87 downloads


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#9 SimonIRE

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 11:34 AM

I have a RoR but I must say, those plans look super!

#10 MJB87

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 01:59 PM

What does a guy have to do to drop a bunch of money? You’d think that a business would be interested, but I must be too small of a fish for them.

I hear ya.  I got very frustrated trying to order a dome and getting people to even respond to my inquiries.  Finally reached someone at Explora-Dome and placed an order there. Meanwhile, I have been trying to order another Omega Pier from BYO. BYO is often in the field building great ROR observatories, so I was prepared to be patient. But it has been three months now and there has been complete radio silence despite numerous emails and phone calls.

 

Just to be clear, there are also real gems also in this area. I can't speak highly enough of Wayne at Starlight Instruments or Martin at Company Seven. George at Astro-Physics, as we have come to expect, has been extremely helpful and generous. So it is really a mixed bag.

 

MJB



#11 N1ghtSc0p3

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 02:32 PM

Have you tried Ash Dome? They're in Illinois, so maybe not as affected as the West Coast folks.


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