Constructed out of 12mm plywood and 3mm hardboard.
All the ribs are made gluing plywood arcs together, these are then fastened to the base ring which is made in a similar way.
The skeleton is then skinned with 3mm hardboard.
A lot of dome designs use nested shutters, my original design did use them but it was to complicated
to automate. I have installed a single shutter with a moveable short section, this normally stays
in the closed position and is not automated.
Shutter Motor and drive chain
A standard car wiper motor drives a set of bicycle gears to decrease the speed, then the chain
loops around another gear at the top of the dome and connects to the shutter. Limit switches
stop the motor at the open and close positions.
This is a DC motor with 12:1 gearbox, the electronics use a PWM signal to control the speed,
the speed is slow to start and after 5 seconds ramps up to full speed. This allows the dome to track
with the telescope.
Three centering rollers keep the dome central in it track.
There are two support rollers, the third position is the motor drive.
The domes brain, the whole system run of 12v batteries which are charged form an external source.
Using a custom built micro-controller, all the dome systems are constantly monitored. If any parameters are
outside the set limits, the unit will alarm and shutdown the faulty system.
Telescope tracking is accomplished using TheSkyX, this controls the scope and sends commands to the micro-controller.
The controller also send data out over the Ethernet to provide Ipad telemetry and control
Ipad control app