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Posts Made By: Merlin Raymond

June 19, 2006 12:19 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Re: Fire Hazard From Plastic Domes?

Posted By Merlin Raymond

The issue with insurance comes when they find out I may pull it to a remote mountain site and leave it there. Something about it not being attended and not being on my property. They get a little paranoid about these things.
Clear Dark Skies
Magic Man
SSMO

June 19, 2006 07:42 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Re: Fire Hazard From Plastic Domes?

Posted By Merlin Raymond

To late Herb! We've got your location and the mother ship has begun to launch. The best you can do is just stand up and take it cus they will find you anyway. And when they do you'll drawn up to mother and given the real story.
Magic Man
SSMO
One of the first Plastic Dome Heads.

June 20, 2006 05:15 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Dome Rotation - Suggestions

Posted By Merlin Raymond

I would loose the rail and change the rollers to skate wheels. Modify the horizontal wheel to keep the dome aligned by running on the plywood rotation ring and you will loose a lot of head ache. I have been involved in doing both ways and have found the steel rail to not provide anything to the system but problems. Besides the with the horizontal wheel the V groove is superfluous.
Magic Man
SSMO

August 28, 2006 10:39 PM Forum: Star Parties

Oregon Star Party-a "Clear" success

Posted By Merlin Raymond

You are right on all accounte!!! Was looking for you but didn't seem to find you. I hung out at the 30" scopes when I wasn't giving tours of the observatory. Wish we could have met. Maybe next year.
Merlin J Raymond
Magic Man
Star Shooter Mobile Observatory

January 14, 2007 04:01 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Exploradome?

Posted By Merlin Raymond

OK Allen let me preface this by saying I have a dog in the fight. I was one of the first to build an observatory from one of their calf barns. It worked well, was cheap, and I still have it and love it. When they started designing the Explora-Dome I was ask to put in my two cents along with about 8-9 others. The result I believe is a good dome designed by the people that will use it. I now have an Explora-Dome. But this is not every one's dome. There is a bit of handy work to get it up and running. You have to build your own base and tweak it a bit to get it running well. With that said if you are a little handy you can't beat it. It is still cheap, and almost indestructible. There is a web site set up by the original group for just this dome. http://www.astroskies.com/ They are a great bunch of guys and gals and they have accumulated a lot of knowledge about setting up their domes. Drop in and prowl around a little. Ask questions they are glad to help anyway they can. I peek in over there often but only put in my two cents when it seems I can truly add something. Good luck and hope to see you around the site.

Dark Skies Will Travel
Magic Man
SSMO

January 30, 2007 07:08 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Plastic Shed Observatory

Posted By Merlin Raymond

Rick I have seen a couple of these and have not been impressed. They are a bit small inside and tend to blow away in strong winds. There are two better choices in my opinion that are available or will be soon. The Explora-Dome and the POD. The POD is a complete unit but is limited to a little less than eight feet in diameter while the Explora-Dome is a DIY and is put on your wood frame leaving it up to you how big. They both appear to cost about the same when done ($1500). Look into these I think you will find them interesting.

Dark Skies Will Travel
Magic Man
SSMO

May 11, 2007 09:08 AM Forum: Star Parties

RTMC Program Available

Posted By Merlin Raymond

Just an note. Explora-Dome has ask that I go and represent their product. So I get a trip there paid, Yahoo!!! Look for me out by the lake, I guess we are in the penalty box for being late. I'll look for you all there.
Merlin J Raymond
(Magic Man)
SSMO

July 29, 2008 10:44 AM Forum: Home Observatories

How to build roll-off foundation??

Posted By Merlin Raymond

1. Should not be a problem but to be sure use a battery backup as a filter. They are cheap at $75.00 and will protect your electronics.

2.I have seen both cables ran close to each other without problems but all the networking books say parallel cables should be separated by 18". I would separate them or go wireless.

3.Below frost line is important. I would make it 4ft square and 6-12 inches thick with re-bar tying the pier into the base. Personally, hughe cubes of concrete are over kill.

Just my two cents from what I have learned over the last 6 years.

Magic Man
SSMO