Popular Post Jkulin Posted October 3, 2020 Popular Post Share Posted October 3, 2020 As some members know back in May I purchased a second-hand Pulsar MKII Pulsar dome with a home/amateur designed rotation and shutter system. My wife (Deborah) and I both agreed that we didn't a want a white dome as it would look intrusive, so we found a green one.I decided that I wanted more room inside and had for a number of years used a custom made pier which was about 1.2m high, so in order to gain the clearances, I had my builder lay a 3 course circle of bricks on which to mount it on, and I don't think it looked too bad, in fact I felt it enhanced the dome: - Due to the lockdown I couldn't collect until June 17th where my Son and Son-in-law travelled down in a Luton Van to Somerset, I travelled down separately in my own car to keep socially distanced, my lads work in the same office so they didn't have a problem.Prior to buying it I had seen a video of it working and it seemed OK with just the odd creak and bump.My intention was to treat the fibreglass with Polytrol which is a treatment for fibreglass that restores its original shine. I decided to start work on it before assembly, but it soon became evident that there had been some previous treatment applied that proved impossible to remove, so the only option was to obtain some two pack yacht paint from a very kind member on another forum, so here is the before and after: -Indeed it was a massive improvement, however the first big mistake I made was not to isolate the pier and as the dome moved every two minutes, it reverberated through the walls to the pier and cause anything from 2 to 10RMS error in PHD!!!In addition there was frequent disconnections from the Arduino board that affected the reliability as the banging was causing constant disconnections.The rubber dampers had totally perishedI was not aware of how noisy the shutter functioned, when attempting to open the shutter it would bang like beating on a drum in the middle of the night ?, now to be truthful I did know that the shutter needed some adjustment, but the sad fact was that it would need ripping out and redesigning completely.The nail in the coffin that caused major problems was just how noisy the dome was when it decided to miss a beat and bang even louder, so much noise in fact that my wife heard a neighbour shouting out in the middle of the night to shut the F up! The dome was perfectly set up and aligned and rotated exceptionally freely on the castors.That was it for me, the pleasure of imaging was being ruined, I would never have invested so much time and money had I known of these issues.I decided to sell it and took a series of 5 videos showing the problems and a load of photos, I declared that there was some issues, but it didn't put anyone off, there was a queue of people lined up to buy it, and finally a lovely person from Cambridge who was moving to Norwich came and saw it fully operational, the home he was moving to had a 300 yard long garden and his nearest neighbour was 2 miles away, so it suited his needs perfectly.When we had removed the old dome, I removed the flooring and rafters and I got my builder back in to grind a 2" channel around the 0.75m meter concrete block to isolate the pier and he filled it in with strips of polystyrene.I ended up losing around £500 what with the expensive two pack paint, hiring a van buying a new cambelt and buying replacement dampers etc.So let me now introduce my replacement dome.I found on AB&S the latest model of the Pulsar that would utilise the very latest rotation and drive system from Pulsar, as it turned out it was being sold by one of the owners from Pulsar - Gary, it would mean Paying out for the motorisations kits at £1295 a pop and £120 for the induction charging system, £395 for the assembly and installation and £195 for the delivery from Norfolk a total including the purchase of £5105.I was not to be disappointed, Gary and his business partner Steve had taken the dome into the workshop and renovated it to virtually a brand new status, it really was pristine.So on the 22nd September they arrived to install this dome and in 3 hours had finished it! It is a lighter green and when I asked the lads why they had gone down this route they advised that the dark green absorbed too much heat from the sun and took a while to cool down, whereas going for the lighter colour bounced a lot more of the heat and indeed it does.So since being installed I have had to design and fit an electronics panel for everything from the consumer unit, Network Hubs, USB Hub, Sockets and Red and White switchable lights with dimmer.I went to finalise things and discovered that the main control panel was not functioning, no problem, Steve organised a replacement to be sent within two days and I plan to fit that over the weekend.My offsets should be almost identical to the previous dome, I just need to mess around with the park and home positions as the induction systems could only be installed in one place, so that will take a little thinking about.I have purchased from Lunatico an AAG CloudWatcher system, that should close the shutter if it detects rain or high winds, in fact anything that may cause problems weather wise to my equipment. I'm just waiting for a 2" Aluminium pole to be delivered and then I can mount it properly. The final addition to the dome was a plaque that I had made in brushed Aluminium, now some members already know but I shared with my wife a magical moment when we both and my son met up in July to photograph Neowise, I managed some very nice photos, when my son turned round and said "Dad, I don't know why you need all this equipment, when I could take better with my iphone!" and he proved it, see below"Now my wife has been having a rotten time with the dreaded C and when my Son Dan took this photo it literally brought tears to my eyes: -From this: -to: -The work for the dome started in June, so I haven't bothered changing the date and I have now affixed it above the door as a reminder of the beautiful time we spent together observing Neowise, a once in a lifetime experience.I hope you find this interesting and I am now waiting for some clear spells to finish commissioning the dome, so blame me for the rain. 10 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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