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Manufactured dome recommendations?

Started by rpegg, 10/01/2002 06:09PM
Posted 10/01/2002 06:09PM Opening Post
After years using a roll off roof shed and a home made dome I have decided to move up to a manufactured dome observatory. The two manufacturers that seem to be in my price range are the Home-dome from Technical Innovation in MD and Sirius Observatories of Australia with an agent in Pennsylvania. The prices are comparible and the optimum size will be something I'll need to decide on my own. Has anyone on this forum seriously examined both domes to give the pluses and minus of function, construction and quality?. I am currently looking at the 2.3M Sirius Dome and either the HD-6S or the PD-10 Home Dome. Thanks rick.
Posted 10/01/2002 10:34PM #1
I have a PD-10, which I really enjoy. I bought my observatory from another amateur astronomer who was moving so mine was already built.( I moved it complete on a lowboy trailer. We drove about 70 mph for 130 mi. and the dome didn't mind the wind and the ride a bit.) The fiberglass construction seems very adequate and overall quality is excellent as far as fiberglass molding and gelcoat goes. I have not seen the Sirius Domes up close but from what I have heard is that the Sirius Dome's construction is more in the yacht class of fiberglass quality (perhaps overbuilt for what is needed). The Home Dome is approx. .25in. thick. The one thing that I have had trouble with is the automatic shutter mechanism. It uses 1/16 in. aircraft cable and a windlass in a pull pull configuration. Biggest problem has been the cable that pulls the shutter shut sometimes jumps out of the guide tube. This really is a minor problem that some further adjustment of the cable tensioning springs should remedy this. I would not use the dome without the power shutter option, manual operation would be a real chore because of the weight of the two shutter pieces.The shutter is very wind resistant, the dome skirt seems to fit well and is tall enough that wind,dust, and or rain penetration has not been a problem( don't know about snow yet). The construction manual that came with mine is good and has since been improved. I would definetly recomend that you order the Home Dome predrilled. Unless you have a very flat area (bigger than the dome area) to do pre-assembly layout work on you will be greatly complicating your project. I have a 12" LX200 on a wedge mounted to a 14" pier in the center of the observatory. The 10 ft. dome gives plenty of room for 3-4 people and equipment. A 6 ft. dome would be tight if your going to be using a wedge or GEM mounted scope.
I would buy another Home Dome again if I need to. Good luck in your search, domes are a blast.
Posted 10/02/2002 11:33AM #2
I too have been looking. Anyone seen Mooshine dome? They are less money than Home Dome or Sirrus.