A number of things conspired against the viewing Ron... Weather was worse than expected, My car dropped a wheel bearing on the way home from work today etc.. Hopefully we'll get a chance either during the week, or next weekend..
Well all you happy punters, as Martin Luth King once said "I have been to the mountain top" and had a vision. Here are some pics. The base is 1500mm high and 3700mm in overall diameter. It has a 3-element upper rail suporting horizontal and vertical rollers. The half dozen vertical structural ribs are 35mm angle iron - some welded and some bolted to the top rails. There was a bit too much growth inside to see the bottom rail but these verticals are obviously either bolted or welded to it AND it can be expected to be somewhat rusted.
The outer skin is a small profile corrogated iron or similar screwed to the top and bottom rails. There is a guy 2 doors down with a crane truck so we will probably be able to lift the base up high enough to be able to work on it - sit it on blocks or some such.
It seems to me that disassembly is the only way to go with this. It would require a little bit of oxy work I suspect but the beauty of steel is that can be cut can also be welded. And the outer skin would have to be unscrewed. Some screws are abit rusty and would have to be drilled out.
The top and bottom rails would be transportable if the skin was taken off and they were put in a rough cradle on about a 30 degree angle so we wouldn't need a wide load or any special traffic control permits etc.
The dome itself is a faily thin fibreglass skin over ain internal ply skin with light steel framing for the opening. The door needs reframing and the remainder of the fold-away roof section needs a new frame and skin.
The skirt at the bottom is too thin to take any real weight and so it the upper skin really. The only way we could move it would be to cut it in half along the zipper line I have shown in one of the attached photos. To reassemble would not really be a huge task at all. We would need to fabricate a connecting plate to join the two halves, srew it togehter firmly and then fibreglass over it. All very do-able.
The dome has an outer diameter of about 4000-4200mm. I forgot to measure it accurately but that would be pretty close. So it would probably need a tray truck to move. I wouldn't get it on my ute.
BUT, and here's the rub: we would need volunteers to put in a 5 metre slab to sit it on, disasseble and move and reassemble the thing and also to attend to the necessary refurbisment.
SO, this is a general call for expressions of willingness to lend a hand and kick in to cover some of the costs of the slab etc.
Form an orderly queue, don't push and shove; but do let me know reasonably soon. The thing is that I don't need another observatory for my own use but am happy to make space and faciltities available to the group if you would like to have a bit of a home. It's really up to you to say whther this is something you want.
Assuming the dome and top/bottom railes were cut, we could transport it all on one of those vehicle trailers I think. The length of 4200 would allow some overhand front and rear so we could avoid infringing any rules (I think). Anyone have access to one of these? I have my small tractor with a loader bucket at this end so we could get the stuff on and off the trainer OK I should think.
A Dingo would do to dig footings for a slab - I don't know if they would be strong enough to level a site. I haven't used one myself so rely on the thoughts of others.
We can get a mini-load of concrete from Kilcoy. We can also frame up the slab ourselves and lay some steel. Still need a tray truck to get the steel to site though. Anyone had any experience doing slabs?
I would have no use for the dome myself as I hope to have one on the property soon.
Having been involved with this dome from it's origin's, I know that the original builder has always advised against cutting the dome as of it's sprung nature and of getting it back into the round?
How did they get it to netties? 4.2 meters sounds like a wide load to me.
Peter, concrete, steel, wood and I don't normally get on very well, cables, plugs, sockets and software is normally my thing. I'll do what I can to help of course, but I sort of enjoy sitting out in the paddock under the stars up there
I know that the original builder has always advised against cutting the dome as of it's sprung nature and of getting it back into the round?
I wonder whether he was talking about the steel rails on the base or the fibreglass dome itself. We can find a way to keep the rails intact by sitting them in a cradle at an angle of 30 degrees or so. But the dome is another matter. Truck trays are 2200-2400 wide. That means a total overhang on about 1500-1700mm - 4-5 feet. It couldn't be put on its side or edge. That means a trip of about 35km through one town and over winding roads with several hairpins and narrow bridges. The only way this could be done legally and without cutting the dome would be with an escort and the usual permissions.
Up to you folks. If you want it, it's there for the taking with Jeanertte's blessing. But if you don't want the hassle, that's fine with me too.
The Dome has done four journey', one from Morayfield to Mapleton with escort as wide load
One from Mapleton to Beerburrum with wide load escort.
One from Beerburrum to Kilkoy with I presume an escort
and from Kilkoy to it's present location so it has done a bit of travel.
as you say it is up to the "Ten Chain Hill Gang" if they want to spend the Time, Money, and effort into getting the observatory up and running.
The thing is that I don't need another observatory for my own use but am happy to make space and faciltities available to the group if you would like to have a bit of a home. It's really up to you to say whther this is something you want.
As I see it you're more than happy with your current roll off roof observatory Peter. The biggest advantage in any observatory I'm lead to believe is the luxury of having your gear set to go at a moments notice. Even though its extremely generous of you to offer use of land/dome, I suspect most of us that have visited regularly would still want to keep our gear close enough to use throughout the month (even with BrisVegas' illuminated skies).
I'm happy to pitch in and help if you or someone else is very keen - but I'm no use for most forms of construction. Heck - there must be something I'd be useful for though
I guess distance hasn't stopped all those that have built at Leyburn....
It's been raining again overnight - up here anyway - and the ground is super-satutrated: so no heavy vehicle movements for a while. So we have time for a compulsory breather/rethink on this and to reassess in a week or so.
If there is a hole in the weather this weekend (and no more rain in between), we might get a new moon night this weekend but I don't think the access road would be usable for anything more than a bicycle unless the rain stopped now. I'll keep you posted.
At the moment I am not at the observatory stage, but it would be a crying shame to just let it sit there.
Have you thought about the actual dollar cost of getting it transported and set up? How much time are we talking about?
If you are not in too much of a hurry to get it done, then maybe we could do a little each new moon weekend - then I would be able to provide some labour, and also some cash, depending on how much we are talking about.
If we could get it to a useable state, I think that it would get a lot of use.
It took 2 trips to get the dome to it's present location.
I used a flat bed crane truck. We travelled the back roads with me driving in front, flashing lights to oncoming traffic.
The journey to Peter's property, there are no back roads. So the authorities have to be notified.
This is the last chance for this obs. If it doesn't find a new home, it WILL be cut up and dumped. Which would be a damn shame.
I notice Skippy added high zoom zones today, including one for SE Qld. Last couple of days the date hasn't been updating (in white letters) - I suspect NOAA data source was dodgey as 7Timer wouldn't work for me either.
Certainly seems ok now - and Fri and Sat night look sad...
Not sure where you're looking on Skippy Sky, but I'm not too hopeful about this weekend for SEQ viewing?????
Well, there's no avoiding it is there. Even if the rain holds off the cloud is darn near wall-to-wall isn't it? The best-case for the weekend is for a few pockets of clear sky here and there - perhaps. It's a bit depressing isn't it? All that gear and not a photon for love or money.
OK. Lets make it official. TCHO is OFF for this weekend. And so am I.
Although just looking at Skippy for this morning, it has got us at nigh on 100% cloud cover at the moment which doesn't gel with what is out my window...
Yes. That's interesting isn't it?
The daily weather cycle seems to be settling into a sort of rhythm with the cloud cover drifting offshore in the early morning and then coming back onshore when the ground heats up and the wind comes off the ocean.
There used to be a bit of a farmer's truism "Wind follows the sun". Seems to be something like that going on.