Construction Photographs

[pier form] Pier Concrete Form

Ground was broken in 1998 for the pier. Here in a hole in the ground is seen the form into which approx. four cubic feet of concrete was poured to support the heavy duty pier.

[dome ribs]
Dome Ribs

The above pair of images forms a three-dimensional pair. The original ribs were reinforced with 2" x 1/8" strips of aluminum stock. They were attached to the edge of each rib and then the aluminum skin was riveted to the stock.

[dome coverings] Aluminum Dome

The dome consists of 18 sections of aluminum sheeting. The slit cover is in three sections which may be removed independently. The nine foot basement ceilings came in handy.

[rib] [wheel] [slot covering] [latches]
Ribs and Aluminum Skin

Ribs are fastened to the base ring with "L" brackets. The aluminum exterior is riveted to 2" x 1/8" bars of aluminum stock fastened along the exterior edge of each rib.

Roller Dome

The dome is supported by eight floating casters that are spring loaded and adjustable. Guide wheels keep the dome centered on the track. L bolts are used to tie down the dome when the observatory is not in use.

Slit Cover

The slit cover is in three sections. The bottom two sections are removed as needed. The top section remains on the dome sliding up and down the slit to allow access to the zenith and protection from wind.


Detailed view of hooks used for securely fastening into place each section that covers the slit.

[dog & mount] Dog House

The dog seen standing next to the heavy duty mount considered the observatory to be the ideal dog house. Plenty of head room for a miniature red long-haired Dachshund.

[Clock Drive] Clock Drive

Detail of the clock drive featuring an 11 inch worm gear driving the telescope's polar shaft.

[solar panel] Solar Panels

A second solar panel and an exterior shelf on which both are mounted was installed in 2004. All electrical needs of the observatory are met using solar power. The solar panels in the photograph at left charge the 12 Volt 85 Amp-Hour deep cycle marine battery sitting inside its enclosure beneath the shelf.

[lighting] Interior Illumination

Red and white electrical lighting was added to the observatory. The red lighting consists of six energy efficient LEDs. The white lights have a glow reminiscent of gas lights.

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