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What's Happening | ScopeDome Australia

Thursday, 20th April 2017

New Stock of 3m domes arriving late August 2017

All 3m domes arriving April have now been sold. Our next shipment of 3m domes will be arriving mid to late August 2017. These domes will be fully automated, with a side entrance door, and inclusive of the pre-wiring harness [plug-n-operate, makes overall assembly, wiring, much simpler]. If you have questions on these options, you can email us, or call us on 03 8752 2404. We like to know more about your interest in having your own observatory, where we can discuss whether our solution is right for you.

 

Thursday, 4th April 2017

3m domes arriving the 15th April

Our next shipment of 3m domes is about to arrive – due 15th April. Of these, we have one remaining 3m dome that is fully automated, with side entrance door, and inclusive of the pre-wiring harness [plug-n-operate]. Our following shipment will be due mid to late June 2017.

 

Monday, 20th March 2017

Astrophotography

Those people dedicated to serious Astrophotography have been very interested in the ScopeDome observatory. Overall, the ScopeDome observatory is very compatible for remote and unattended operation. The brains of the system has many “Close the Shutter” triggers to safely protect your significant investment. From the standard weather event signal provided by a compatible weather station, to other user defined emergency close methods including:

  • Loss of AC power
  • Analogue user defined trigger
  • Boltwood text file
  • Secondary rain sensor input
  • Loss of communication to the PC

The fact also the 3m series is the most popular, it can house a significant size range of optical tube assemblies. The internal dome space is significant. The shutter aperture of the 3m dome is significant, with customers installing OTA’s up to 20” of size [but the more practical size being up to 17”].

We can help people with the dome configuration settings, for programs such as CCDAP5 or ACP.


Demonstration Dome - Not Available - Sorry

Sorry to those people recently asking, but the demonstration dome has been sold and moved to customer site in November 2016.Those having the chance to see the dome gave us excellent feedback regarding the build and operation. In many cases, it was extremely pleasing to us that customer expectations were surpassed by the presentation. For the time being, we do not envisage reinstating a demonstration dome.

We have an extensive photo library of existing installations, a number of videos of a dome operating and of the inside of the observatory, plus photos of installations to help prospective buyers understand the installation process in advance of committing to buying a ScopeDome observatory.


 

Monday, 8th February 2016

Demonstration Dome Assembly Complete

Assembly is now complete with the ScopeDome USB 2.0 control system now installed. Upon completion, the following video has been produced to allow you a remote intorduction:

The assembly time was over three days, however, we casually proceeded with each step, documenting steps with video and still images as we went. The amount of people required to complete the process varied from one person for minor fittings, two persons for the base ring assembly, and lastly, three to four people to carry the most heaviest compoents - the side elements.

An effective team who have thoroughily reviewed the manual, watched the demostration assembly video, laid out all parts and small fittings in order, could complete the assembly in one day.

bolt packs Scopedome 3m dome


Most people with a reasonable mechanical apptitude could complete the assembly in one weekend taking their time to review their work as they go.

 

Monday, 1st February 2016

Demonstration Dome Assembly Commences

With the new dome stock arriving Christmas Day, we finally have managed to commence the assembly of the Melbourne display dome. This dome will be on display for the next two months before it will be packed up and sent to a remote dark sky site. Via an appointment the dome can be inspected.

At this stage, this dome has been partially completed, with internal fittings and the electrical system still needing to be installed. In the next few weeks, this dome will be completed to the full automation specification using the ScopeDome USB 2.0 control system.

Click here to view a short video of the demonstration dome at this stage of construction, it gives an excellent idea on how easy the dome rotates under manual, by hand, movement:


With the ScopeDome USB 2.0 control system, you can take control over multiple DC and AC power control devices, with also a handsome range of safety systems to protect your investment.

Assembly
Assembly of this latest version required a minimum of three (3) able bodied persons, and if you have four (4) people at the major lifting times, the carrying of the individual side elements is safe and predicable (these are huge panels!!). Much of the smaller tasks can be completed by one person, then intermittently, a second person is required. At the lifting and positioning stages of the two side elements, a minimum of three (3) people would be required, but preferably four (4) people is ideal (in this instance all four (4) people can carefully lift and position, and then the three (3) people can steady the panel during bolt hole alignment, with the fourth installing the securing bolts).

During the installation, the amount of helpers needed will vary. During the assembly of the base ring, you will need an additional person to assist you during the flipping stages of the base ring segments. This is probably the most complex section of the assembly, with care being required to correctly install the rolling mechanism, and the AC 240v electrical transfer system. At this stage, you will need a licensed electrician.

Once the base ring section is completed, electrical circuit checked, you go on to the element / panel installation. This requires is a relatively short assembly period when compared to the base ring assembly. The first panel installed is the front lower section which I installed easily myself. When installing the panels, it is most important to not fit the securing bolts to firm, as you will need a little play to align panels as you go. Next are the major side elements, and here the use of four (4) people makes lifting of these awkward shapes a breeze. You could do the install with three (3), but with four (4) people the installation is far safer for the people and the dome!

The rear panel is possibly the most challenging, as this is the time when you find out how accurately you positioned your previous elements. To encourage hole alignment, we gently used a suitably sized Phillips head screwdriver to bring the panel holes to alignment. As you progress, sequential bolts become easier to install. Once the four (4) major elements are installed, the final is the shutter itself. At this stage, and if you are motorising your dome, it is MOST important to install the upper/opening shutter limit switch, as installation of this unit will be very difficult once the shutter is installed. Progressing onto the shutter, the three (3) sets of rear roller guides all require removal. Two (2) people are needed here with placing the shutter element against the rear panel, and to slide the shutter up and over the dome, making sure not to scratch surfaces in the process. A third person is required to be ready on the closing side of the shutter, as once the shutter is guided into the front roller guides, it will move freely once over the zenith of the dome.

By this stage, the dome is at a "lock up" stage, and this is where we are today. We still need to complete all internal fit outs for gutters, side ring gear protective panels, and the electrical/ control system. This Dome will be on demonstration for the next two months [or so], before being relocated to a deep sky site for full autonomous remote imaging.

Video of the Assembly
Unfortunately, the weather on the two days was highly variable, with sun, then rain - typical four seasons in one day of Melbourne's weather. This made the smooth video shooting of an assembly guide very difficult and we aborted on the thought. However, we have taken a range of supplemental videos and still shots that will be provided to help people through parts of the assembly. For customers, this supplemental guide will be completed promptly and provided with purchase.

What We Still Need To Install...
The installation for us took longer than normal, as we photographed many parts and stages of the assembly. We estimate that for a group to install the dome for the first time, with people to assist on site when required, a team who have read the manual carefully in advance, and viewed the online assembly photos from the ScopeDome [Poland] gallery for the 3m dome [these are excellent to refer to during the installation], they could reach the stage we achieved in one full day [and that is taking it easy, step by step, not in a rush].

 

Thursday, 31th December 2015

When you get your fully automated dome - all small supporting parts are nicely labelled for assembly

When you order a fully automated 3m dome, you basically get two (2) articles in the delivery. The main dome itself (nicely packed ready for assembly), and a carton containing all the nuts and bolts, electrical items and manuals. When you first open this carton, it may seem daunting, but once you layout it out, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the individual part labelling and wire number system for the pre-wired looms. So get ready to assemble!

Scopedome 3m dome small parts

We will be introducing you to the contents of the normal supply in time, so you have the chance to know better in advance what you are getting within the package. We will show you component pieces up close so you can appreciate the quality, standard and overall competency of this equipment - you will not be disappointed.

The main controller, normally located at the pier for easy connection to your devices, comes in a high quality electrical enclosure. Here the plug and play wire connections can be seen here, but this is only a handful of the total range of possible connections available. All cabling is clearly marked for quick connectivity.

ScopeDome USB2 Controller - Main

What about using the rest of the connection options / features? The Plug and Play wire looms cover the main running features of the dome, including a temperature sensor cleverly located on the shutter gear box, which then allows you to monitor external temperatures when the shutter is open, and internal temperatures when the shutter is close. A humidity sensor is included in this base configuration and a line for connecting a AC light on the moving section.

But, there are so many other possible connections available to you (and remember this device is ASCOM compatible) like:

  1. Four DC relay switches for your DC devices
  2. AC switchable relays labelled to your CCD, SCOPE or FAN
  3. Weather station connection
  4. Option to include an encoder for the shutter, so you can accurately open the shutter to a predefined position for venting the dome
  5. A rain sensor connection for on the moving section
  6. Additional temperature sensor connection so you have both internal and external monitoring at the same time

The weather proof enclosure has numerous pop out positions to allow the clean expansion of this wiring.

ScopeDome Controller - wire expansion


If you are looking for a serious solution at the pier, the ScopeDome controller cannot be overlooked:

ScopeDome Pier

ScopeDome customer solution, with controllable AC and DC plug in points arranged around the pier and the main equipment.


Wednesday, 30th December 2015

Dome's and accessories are now in stock!

Stock of domes and accessories are now available for dispatch, with the first orders being dispatched the week starting the 4th of January 2016. We have endeavored to establish a comprehensive freight calculator for the direct online purchase of our domes, however, we have had to scale back this ambition due to the enormous variation of delivery pricing being dependent upon the ultimate delivery destination and the local supply of delivery services. Normally domes will be delivered via a crane truck, with these services not being available at all remote freight depots. In these cases, we will need to manually establish a freight method. As this is the case, we have withdrawn shopping cart services from the site, with customers needing to Contact Us for their order requirements.

ScopeDome Australia - 3m Dome Observatory - In stock!

Currently ScopeDome Australia is closed for the festive period, re-opening upon the 4th January 2016. If you are interested in a dome, please let us know your interest by email, or via our Contact Us Page to secure your order.

Friday, 13th November 2015

When is My Dome Coming!

3m domes are on the way!

We realise a few people are becoming more interested on when the first main stocks arrive. It seems the European Summer was a hit period for ScopeDome dome observatories, and this overall caused the supply delay experienced. The original forecast was for the first shipment to arrive late October/ early November. We can say with certainty, that stock will be available from the New Year, with stock scheduled to arrive on the 25th December –SERIOUSLY!

3m domes are on the way! 

 We will be checking stocks over the short break after Xmas celebrations, with 3m domes, from manual operation to fully automated 3m domes, plus ScopeDome control systems will be finally ready for dispatch.


Sorry that this introduction has become sooo drawn out, but these will be worth considering if you are after a comprehensive dome solution. We will post here and on Facebook the stock status.

Wednesday, 21st October 2015

For Returning Customers

We are noticing a large number of returning visitors to our site to see what has been changing or being updated. Numerous people have already called us during the lead up period to our opening with a number of fully remote domes being already sold.

When Can We Start Supplying

It has been a long time in the planning to make this business active, and we have experienced some delays in getting our main stocks. These have been for positive reasons to ScopeDome, in that the European demand for our systems has been very good, and the pre-order list was very long. As so, the main stocks to Australia have been slightly delayed, and are due unfortunately around the start of December 2015. From this time we will be holding stock of full systems, automation control systems for roll off roof observatories, and ScopeDome spare parts [for those ScopeDome Australia customers].

What Range Are We Going To Sell, And How Fast Can We Supply

Overall, we promote a limited stock list specific of only the ScopeDome product range, and we hold a detailed list of spare parts that are not listed to support our customers. In regard to our stocks, we will be getting use to the demand level and the correct levels of stock to hold over the first six months [or there about] of operation. Our aim is to always be in stock for the 3m dome range of solutions, being available for dispatch to customers 2-4 days after payment has been made.

Our Pricing and Your Questions

Our main pricing has been uploaded and provides the market a clear view of the ex-Keysborough pricing options. Please feel free to contact us on 03 8752 2404 if you wish to make enquiries about what goes with what.

Interested in a Victorian Remote Location to Install Your ScopeDome?

Lastly, we are considering options for Victorian customers to have their dome hosted in a dark sky site location about 3.5 hours from Melbourne. In this case, the site is on a private residential rural property with very good clear sky conditions. The annual fee will be significantly less than those at places like Sliding Springs, and you will need to consider the fact that you will need to supply your own power and communications. These two items are not big hurdles and assistance can be provided on how to ensure you are totally self sufficient. As the fee will be significantly less, there will be no technical support on site, but there will be the possibility of the property owner being charged with providing basic services to assist in emergency cases to make sure your dome is safe until you can visit again [this will be a fee based service - a small cost per incidence]. This is all currently being negotiated, so please include this as part of your enquiries if you are interested. At this stage, we have 2-3 domes potentially being installed to this location [the location will be disclosed to ScopeDome customers only and you must be a member of the Astronomical Society of Victoria].

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