View Full Version here: : Poly pool as observatory dome..
06-04-2010, 01:43 PM
I've started thinking about an observatory. I like the dome variety however the commercial examples seem very expensive. I note there have been a few discussions about using a poly water tank as an observatory, however I found these guys make poly swimming pools which I think could easily be made into a dome (turned upside-down). http://www.polyworld.com.au/1-products/?c=4-swimming-pools
The 5500L model is $1500 and is 2.4m diameter 1.2m high.
With some easy modifications I think you could turn one of these into a dome. I've made a little drawing to show what I mean. I think a large plywood ring could be attached to the base to support rollers and the opening could be edged with aluminium angle to create a weather tight seal.
What do you guys think?
Although its still not cheap, I think it would still be at least half the price of a commercial dome.
06-04-2010, 04:37 PM
Personally I wouldn't compromise on an observatory that's why I haven't built one (yet to a get rid of the pool to make space and b) move into my last home), save your money and get the real deal you'll be happier in the long run.
06-04-2010, 04:47 PM
Have you ever used a dome?
I find them a pain as you can only see a small part of the sky at any one time. Good for research or photography but not user friendly for visual.
This is why I built a roll off roof. (even though mine is mostly for photometry)
06-04-2010, 04:57 PM
I like the idea of a dome as its more protected from dew and the elements :-)
06-04-2010, 05:47 PM
Agreed about the dome, yes its a pain especially if you want to zap around from place to place in the sky but it has the BIG plus in shielding you from the elements especially the wind when imaging.
My obs has a slide off roof and on days where there is a a bit of a breeze even, it always seems to get to the scope, even with wind flaps raised. Having a meade 12" fork mount, the wind is my arch enemy and it seems to win every battle. :-(
Standing inside a friends dome the other day I thought wow (and it echoed back).
My two cents
06-04-2010, 06:37 PM
I went through similar thoughts before I bought my POD. I'm not sure what the current price is for a POD dome only but for $1500 for something that you still have to modify to make work, and seal and secure it, I wouldn't bother. If I had one laying around, maybe its worth it, but to buy one I don't think so.
An observatory is too valuable to skimp. You want something that you know will stand up to a severe storm.
Honestly, I think if you are considering spending $1500 on a pond to mod into a dome, check out the price on a POD dome only from Matthew at Telescopes Astronomy.:thumbsup:
06-04-2010, 08:57 PM
Yep doing astronomy under a dome is like taking a shower while wearing a raincoat. Isnt at least half of the joy of doing this being out under that great celestial dome called the night sky?
06-04-2010, 09:38 PM
Dave, I have a dome free to give away.
PM me if you're interested.
07-04-2010, 06:46 AM
Sounds like serious scheming and plotting afoot here......
Geez Dave - just don't ever let me see it if you do build one! :P
My wallet is still aching from you getting me started on astrophotography!:rofl:
07-04-2010, 09:38 PM
I am considering this foam system but chopping it a bit so that i can remove it if i have to move, kind of obs for rentals. The largest gap in our house is only double a door width.
I think poly pool are flexable and may buckle under direct sun without water in it to cool it down.
07-04-2010, 09:56 PM
I agree with your sentiments, and for visual, there really is nothing
that beats being out under it all. The dome or roll off roof suits a purpose.
Each have their drawbacks, sure, but the bottom line is most of us
have built whatever we have built weighing up the pros and cons of
each system with a lot of careful thought before diving in.
To discount the limited field of view of a dome outright or , equally to
say how a roll off roof gives no shelter from windage....well that's all
academic. No arguments. Most of us know that and had all of that in
mind when we set them up.
Don't get me wrong....most nights, when the scope and camera are
faithfully doing their thing in the dome, I'm not inside watching the
idiot box, or crammed up close to the red screen in the dome, I
am out in the garden with a coffee, taking it all in with the eyeballs.:thumbsup:
07-04-2010, 10:04 PM
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I agree that for $1500 I can probably do something better.
Thank you Jeanette for the kind offer of your dome, I wish I had room for that 4.5m monster!
back to the drawing board.....
07-04-2010, 10:15 PM
Alright Rob, but I'd like to see you stay away if I did build one ;):lol:
I'm just getting back into astronomy after a bit of a break, and I really like the idea of permanent obs to make it easier. I like the idea of trying some "real" (:P) astronomy like supernova or comet searches etc.
Its all dreams at this stage though....
Great news you're back on the horse Dave!
Dreams and imagination compulsory to get the most out of astronomy..... :)
08-04-2010, 09:01 PM
I wasn't going to butt in, but it's hot and cloudy here, so why not......
I estimate my little 2.3m square roll off cost around $1000, here in Brisbane West. Apart from one morning's help from my son to bore the post holes, I did the rest myself. I'm 67 and definitely not in the carpentry business nor the best of health.
It has a Polycarb roof on 8 small $5 rollers, metal walls on a wood frame, all attached to six treated $10 pine posts. Yep it's unpainted and unlined, and I don't care. It's rain proof, animal proof, carpet floor and totally manually operated roof, with a LAN connection to my remote control room in the house (Read unused 3rd bedroom). Having a pier-mounted setup is the only way I would bother with this hobby.
For my 2c, I don't think a reasonable roll off is hard to achieve for well under $1500, as long as it's all DIY and you don't expect too many "fancy features" such as remote roof control. Do you really need such things in your own backyard? You just need to be inside away from the mossies :)
14-02-2011, 04:18 PM
I have space :P
PM me if you were serious
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