Construction was started
in August of 2008, and halted over the winter. We almost bagged
the idea for lack of funds. We have been getting help from local
business men and with out them we couldn't do this.
The Dog house is
being constructed on the NW side of the dome. It is going to create
a small blind spot at the lower elevations in the north west. It will
be the control room and storage and will be heated in the winter for more
comfortable observing. There will be a weather tower attached to
the north side of the of the Doghouse and weather data will be automatically
collected 24 - 7. Security will be 3 small digital cameras that will
be motion activated and connected to an alarm system. It's too bad
we have to worry about security, but I guess it is the times.
laugh at my dome. I am poor boying this project and using anything
that works. Several years ago, I
saw a fertilizer tank on the edge of an alfalfa field. Being
a working telescope operator, I thought, cowabunga! That looks just
like a small observatory building, and drove on.
That is what my dome is made from. It's a 7 1/2 foot diameter
fertilizer tank. I got it for $100. It had a crack in the top.
The shutter has to go somewhere, and that's right where it needs to
The Carousel is now finished,
except for some grinding and paint. It's going to work like planned,
after a wheel substitution. The cheap castor style adjuster wheels climbed
up the hub and caused the carousel to bind and stop. The fix was a
trip to the 2nd hand store and a pair of used roller blades. The roller
blade wheels fit perfect and don't climb. I just need to figure out
how to power it and, in the future, figure out how to sync it to the
telescope. The dome goes on next..
2009, we got a coat of paint on the dog house and figured out how to
locate the true center of the slit from top to bottom. It won't be long
before we are trying to find time to do the little tedious finish work, and
find that asteroid that is going to take out the planet. We still need
another battery and the drywall in the dog house needs to be mudded and painted.
The base of the dog house needs sealing, flag pole installed and several
yards of gravel spread, but the light is on at the end of the tunnel.
The rest is pretty
easy work, but needs to get done before it starts snowing. Official
"First Light" is going to happen sometime in the middle of November. ( I
hope the snow holds off 'til then.)
9 Oct 2009
Today was a mile stone day. We got the shutter cut out in the Dome.
I have been himhawing around for the last several days, just putting off putting
a saw to my dome. Once it is cut, it's hard to back up. My brother
suggested radiusing the corners, so I radiused the coreners and started
cutting. If I had cut it when I had it measured out, the corners wouldn't
have gotten radiused. The stress on the corners would have split out.
Sometimes waiting and thinking works out for the best. With
the shutter cut out, first light is just around the corner.
The door and shutter cover come next. Stay tuned.
Today I got the shutter framed.
It took a
bit more doing than I had hoped. There was some warpping due to the
crack I cut out for the shutter. I built
the frame outside the dome and installed it after. I had tried to assemble
it in place, but would not come together. When it was all assembled
it bolted up just like it was planned. It just took several clamps
and a good friend to push and pull at the right time. To fix
the warpage, I am trying to heat treat the dome. I sealed it up and
left a heater on for a few hours. I'm hoping when it cools it will
keep it's shape. We will see.
Today a friend helped me finish installing the shutter framing. I want
to thank Darrel for coming out in the middle of his day to hold pieces of
the frame while I put a screw in them. He didn't think he did anything,
but I couldn't have done it without him. THANKS Darrel.
Tuesday, November 24th,
we are going to try to mount the telescope and make sure everything fits
and can move like it is supposed to. Wouldn't that be a bummer.