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Baby Steps

Started by NebSteve, 06/16/2010 06:38AM
Posted 06/16/2010 06:38AM Opening Post
Small progress in Apache Junction:
Got the Exploradome mounted. Everything went pretty well, but it had been upside down so long it was pretty warped. The new ones have the rails built in, a nice feature. Mine didn't. If you get an old one that needs the rails installed, support it while it's upside down, and avoid the "squished Bowl" effect.

Anyway a few days in the hot sun should take care of it, If not I'll have to make a spreader for the hatch opening.

It rotated first try, but things got hung up as I started installing the anti-lift strips. more on that after some investigation tonight.

Posted 06/17/2010 08:55AM | Edited 06/17/2010 08:57AM #1
OK, more work done last night. The anti-lift strip has been installed. We get some high winds here, and it's essential to have it in place.

The anti-lift strips supplied by Exploradome are a snug fit to the bolts holding down the horizontal wheels. More on that later.

Previous advice (can't remember who, sorry) was to minimize wheel contact to get the easiest rotation. Just enough contact to keep the dome centered and "in-round" seems to be necessary to prevent rubbing.

However, there are still some interesting issues. First, the wheels supplied are excellent and the template is good. They are mounted correctly on a ring that's been measured to within 1/8 inch of a true circle. Trouble is the dome is pretty flexible once the cargo straps are off. That's not a bad thing, but you have to take that into account when "tuning up" the assembled dome.

Long before all this I set the mounting screws and bolts tight but not so tight the brackets could not be moved with a mallet and drift pin.

The first measurement I made was to make sure the mounting ring (the non-rotating one) was "in-round". The second measurement and adjustment I made that helped rotation was; at each vertical (weight bearing) wheel stand I made sure the wheel bracket was as parallel as possible to the rotating ring on the dome. The third adjustment was the horizontal wheels make light contact with the outside rim of the track as mentioned above. This was done mostly to prevent the anti-lift strips from rubbing.

The photo shows it about 2/3 done. Yes that's dirt on the observation hatch.


Attached Image:

NebSteve's attachment for post 137398
Posted 07/12/2010 01:08PM #2
very nice observatory and the view of the Superstition Mountains is fantastic! Martin

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." Shunryu Suzuki[COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR]