Friday, February 13, 2015

Shutter and dome rotation completed.

It's been a while since I posted progress on this.  Finally got some warmer weather the other day and I figured it was time to take a break from indoor work and do some more on the observatory.
Long story on the fun and frustration of hooking up the cables that open and close the shutter, I'll post that fix another time. For now, here is the dome functioning as it should.  Ok, I still need to make sure it rotates a full 360 degrees - both ways - without getting stuck.  When I got the rotation motors running a while back, it was getting stuck in one direction.  I'll get to that too!

Here is a video from the outside showing the shutter opening, some rotation and closing again.  I did grease the tracks also, so I'll have to remember not to lean on that now or mess up my shirt!

This next video is the inside view of the dome rotating and closing.  it has two small electric motors that drive 4 wheels with a rubber belt.  It seems to work fine, I was fearing that I would need to replace all those since they were slipping in the old location in Renton - but then again, I've learned and improved on this one from my previous mistakes!  
The cable winch or jackscrew can be seen at the back of the dome wall.  That is a real pain to get working, and I DID get it working without any kinks or binding this time. I think I may have had the cable too loose previously.  Just need to grease that up good too. 

I'm still hoping for "first light" sometime in the spring.  I have to tie up some cables in the dome that are hanging all over the place, then I think I can call that completed.  Next, is the rebar in the hole and pouring concrete.