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Has anyone experienced this with a TI Home Dome?

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#1 TeslaTrek

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 10:21 PM

I've had my 10' home dome since 2015.  It worked well enough on my first observatory - a 10' x 12' building, Although the shutter would catch or snag frequently followed by a loud boom when it broke free.  But that's not my question.  In 2016, we moved and I built a new octagonal observatory with ~5' sides to keep area under 120 sf for building code restrictions.  I got everything working for literally 2 weeks.  Then the Santa Ana winds came through at 65+ mph and pushed the dome askew or off center from the dome ring and now it binds. It binds so bad that it stops moving. Obviously the dome is quite heavy to push it back into place.  So wondering if other TI owners have experienced this, and if so, how did you fix it?

 

I am starting o consider getting an Ash dome but one person told me that they all have their problems that you must battle.  I guess I'm old enough (read > 65) that I'm tired of the "challenges" with flaky equipment that I just want it to work and do astronomy.  For now I'm using my little 8" Celestron while my 14" Planewave sits idle.

 

Any idea is welcome.

 

 



#2 Stevegeo

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 03:41 AM

My home built dome has guide wheels around the inside perimeter .. spring loaded garage door wheels that keep mine centered within a 1/8 in. I had when first built the same problem, but not from wind, but just rotating .

 

My dome sits on a steel ring with steel wheels,3  inside perimeter  wheels keep it centered. And three are placed just under dome ring enough to prevent lift from wind . 

Hope this helps . 

Stevegeo 



#3 cmaier

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 09:48 AM

When I need to recenter the dome, I identify which direction then have several helpers push-pull the dome. It will slide latterly on the wheels a small amount using a jiggle motion.  Also I stopped the shutter bind by putting several strips of gorilla tape over the  fixed shutter to allow the moving shutter to glide over where it was binding. Hope this helps... 



#4 MHamburg

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 12:39 PM

So my dome is completely home designed and made. I soon discovered that the base ring of L-shaped iron was far from perfectly round or even level and therefore would bind at certain points. Ultimately I had a metal fabricator design and make these very clever supports that are able to move both vertically and laterally with the ring's irregularities. I did have to add stops to a several of them to limit any rotational motion imparted by the moving dome.

Michael

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#5 rimcrazy

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 04:25 PM

The rotation system on HD is pretty abysmal.  I worked extremely hard to be sure it is both square and level.  I have a 10' HD. In all of the winter months and most of the year now it will rotate about half way and then the it just slips.  I am going to redo it with a 3D printed gear that goes around and use 3 DC motors at 120 degree increments to evenly move it.  This will avoid the stupid sandpaper drive mechanism that TI uses for their HD.  While I'd love to get an Ash dome that is out of my league but fixing the HD so it is at least reliable is not so bad.  I picked up a MaxDome II controller to drive it BTW too.



#6 drprovi57

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 07:08 PM

I had a 10ft TI Homedome for about 8 years mounted on a 12’x12’ wood structure - never had much of an issue with the dome except similar shutter issues.  Never had the dome move on its base (even with 60+ MPH occasional storm).  You can move the dome, with help from others to re-center it.  I would check the dome wheels that help center the dome on rotation.  About 2 years ago I donated my dome and built a new observatory and installed a 12.5ft Ash dome - it was life changing.  The construction, design, and operation is outstanding - never had a single issue with rotation or shutter operations.  The Ash Dome is in a league of its own - it will handle what ever Mother Nature throws at it - rain, wind, snow, ice, etc - built like a tank.  The down side is cost - VERY EXPENSIVE for this hobby.  In my case at an age of 60+ I made the investment.   I did have to negotiate with my CFO (wife) and she got a new kitchen I got a new observatory smile.gif

 

Please keep us posted on how you make out

 

jason



#7 vsteblina

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 07:49 PM

I've had my 10' home dome since 2015.  It worked well enough on my first observatory - a 10' x 12' building, Although the shutter would catch or snag frequently followed by a loud boom when it broke free.  But that's not my question.  In 2016, we moved and I built a new octagonal observatory with ~5' sides to keep area under 120 sf for building code restrictions.  I got everything working for literally 2 weeks.  Then the Santa Ana winds came through at 65+ mph and pushed the dome askew or off center from the dome ring and now it binds. It binds so bad that it stops moving. Obviously the dome is quite heavy to push it back into place.  So wondering if other TI owners have experienced this, and if so, how did you fix it?

 

I am starting o consider getting an Ash dome but one person told me that they all have their problems that you must battle.  I guess I'm old enough (read > 65) that I'm tired of the "challenges" with flaky equipment that I just want it to work and do astronomy.  For now I'm using my little 8" Celestron while my 14" Planewave sits idle.

 

Any idea is welcome.

I owned a Home Dome with exactly the same issues, but due to snow loading.

 

I sold mine to a kind soul that thought they could make it function. 

 

I didn't get ANY support from Home Dome and at that point decided to bail.

 

It did help that they told me it was a "early dome" that didn't work well.  Buy a new dome!!!  Right, that's also why I don't own a GM truck, anymore.

 

I think you could get it to work.  It will be a long trip with many issues to work out.

 

I think the trick is to ignore Home Dome...you have a dome.  Look carefully at the issues and how to fix them.  It would help to find a mechanical engineer friend prior to starting the project.

 

The simplest solution is to build a roll-off roof.



#8 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 07:54 PM

ExploraDome has an 11 foot dome that seems pretty good, at least at first glance.  I have had good luck with my 8 foot ExploraDome.



#9 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 08:12 PM

The dome itself is probably centered.  Suspect that your walls got pushed sideways and you now have an oval shaped base rather than a round building.  Easy to measure and verify.



#10 outofdark

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 08:24 PM

I have a 10 foot home dome.  I did need to use four motors to make the dome rotate realibly.  Other than that I have no complaints.  Jerry has been very helpful with any questions I have had.




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