Wye Mountain Working Local/Remote Observatory.

I call it "Wye Mountain Observatory" as it is on that mountain in central Arkansas. The observatory building is constructed on a 24ft by 16ft deck structure. The building is 10ft by 10ft by 6ft tall. It is topped with a 10ft diameter Technical Innovations HomeDome model HD10 fiberglass dome. The dome includes motors for auto opening and closing of the shutter window and to drive the rotation of the dome. I have designed and implemented computer control for the dome so that it can follow the telescope as the telescope slews to a destination in the sky and track the telescope while the telescope mount is tracking the rotation of the earth. Control includes GOTO, Home, Open/Close Shutter, Slave (auto follow mode) both computer driven and hand control managed. Below are images of Wye Mountain Observatory development.

Update April 24, 2005
Click on Dome Controller to see my homemade observatory main control device.

Update January 04, 2005
Click on Dome Modifications to see my homebrew shutter modification. This stops the shutter jams during opening.

UPDATE MAY 23, 2004
Click on Walkway to see how I get to the observatory now.

Click on any of these images to see larger pictures in a scroll down fashion.

Observatory in progress

pierbase pit, small version, click on for large image.    pierbase being poured, small version, click on for large image.    pierbase pit, small version, click on for large image.
Pier Base dug, rebarred, poured and finished

The post holes are dug, small version    Three support posts are up, small version    six support posts are up, small version
  Support Posts

end of the day May 26th, having a beer and watching the sunset.
End of the day May 26th

2x10x16 joists are up,decking has been laid small version   decking has been laid, small version
Joists are up, Decking is laid

The 15 foot tall concrete block column looking from below up and through the pier opening of the deck which is twelve feet above the column base.    A plywood concrete form atop the column is 8 inches tall by 17 inch by 17 inch. It is quickrete 5000# with the four 5/8 inch j-bolts sunk in it and held by the form.    The ten foot by ten foot by 6 foot high building is framed.    The pine contoured rough exterior siding is on three walls and the cedar stain oil base protectant is applied.
Work progress shown between the dates May 26th and Setptember 29th.

Dome interior with Robert and Jim   Sunday September 28th Jim Dixon and Robert Baker come by to help erect the dome. I was not yet finished with the flashing so while Jim readied the domes (DSR) mounting ring Robert and I connected the flashing.    basering is installed, small version    Dome is erected   
Sunday September 28th Flashing installed, Dome ring mounted and Dome erected

This is a view looking northwest from my upstaris north balcony. It shows Petit Jean mountain in the distance on the right. The dome is installed, the east wall siding is up and sealed in this view.    This is a distant view about 190 feet away from the road in front of my home. The Observatory is shown on the left and my home to the right.
September 28th in perspective

 On deck looking into observatory at stairs with trap floor raised.  On deck looking into observatory with sub floor lowered.  Inside looking at trap floor raised for exiting.  Inside looking at trap floor lowered.
Observatory door open, subfloor raised then lowered. Inside floor raised and lowered.

 Inside looking up at the telescope and through the domes open shutter. Inside looking up at the telescope and at the rear of the dome.  Inside looking at front of telescopes and mount. The ST-237 imaging camera is showing in the larger.The Gemini goto controller is at bottom facing us.
Looking up through the Dome slit, toward rear of dome and down into the telescopes.

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© , 2011

Created:2/17/2011, by Don Lewis, Last update 2/17/2011