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The construction started on
May 5, 2000
Cinco de Mayo
Click on images to see them full size!
The site in its original state
The camera and Astro-Pier arrive
Day 1 - May 5th 2000
"The observatory floor is built and walls go up"
As you can see - most of the walls were pre-built in the factory so things came together very quickly
Unloading the truck and building the custom floor
Home for the Astro Pier. A 4 foot deep hole to be filled with cement. Note that the shims will be removed and then the pier is isolated from the floor of the observatory.
A quick wave and the work really starts to move along
5 hours from nothing to floor and walls up
Day 2 - May 6th 2000
Trenches are dug and wires run in preparation for tying the observatory to the Internet
Ethernet, phone, power and umm DTV.....
The work continues slowed by the weather -
Not a surprise in the Northwest
The hip roof is up and shingled.
The extra height of this type of roof was a worry but I had an extra tall pier so they balanced out. I learned that no matter how good intentioned the builders are you must remain in constant communication and assume nothing!
The finished "Deadman"
Note the care take to insure the base aligned.
The Astro-Pier still in its wrapper by its final home
It took me half an hour to remove
the pier from its box!
The DOME arrives!
One delivery guy with a lift and a BIG dolly and manual forklift
The driver positions the box carefully because it is missing one of the "legs"
He figured someone knocked it off so put a palette under it to stabilize it
Hmmm, some damage to the box by the missing leg, I took a picture ..just in case
The box in the garage...waiting for its home....
Dome out of the box and roughly fit together.
Per the Home Dome people it is better to build on the ground first before placing on a roof
Days 5-9 - May 27-30th 2000
I BUILT THE DOME MYSELF but...
..nothing is sadder than watching a middle-age software bear having to do physical labor....except taking his picture!
Adjusting the DSR access. Everything goes together with a drill and a socket set.
Note that the duct tape is used to hold pieces together and to keep the dome from rotating unexpectedly
Attaching the skirt to the walls.
Note that my walls are 7'2" and with a hip roof to boot.
Attaching the base ring to the
skirt.. do you see the rollers for the dome?
Day 10 - June 3rd 2000
Setting the dome...at last!
Setting the dome on the building. I did the rings and base but as it turns out it took THREE of us (5 counting the wives who handed the tools up) to get the dome set. As you can see my head may be in the stars....but my feet stayed on the ground! I don't BOUNCE well!
My wife's friend Michelle stopped
by to visit and brought her husband Jeff .... Jeff and I said hello, shook hands
and he volunteered to help. Pretty darn nice for someone I met 5 minutes
THANK YOU JEFF! I OWE YOU A BIG STEAK DINNER!
An hour later, my friend Ed stopped
by on the way back from fishing....Ed was on the roof with Jeff a couple of
minutes later...Note how the ol' round bear has his paws on the ground.
Jeff, Ed and I are in a state of
Ooops, let's put Tomas in the middle.
The dome from the inside....boy, it looks high - but the pier is tall!
THE DOME IS SET!!!!!!!
A few screws need a bit of tightening. The shutter cables need to be mounted and the fiberglass cleaned. One small chip needs fixing...
June 30th 2000
July 1st 2000
The drive wheels must float to compensate for uneven and less than level portions of the dome. Mike trimmed the aluminum arm and mounted the pivot arms correctly so that with springs they would always force the wheels against the dome with a consistent force. The trimming is only needed for the 6' dome. Also note that the motors are mounted horizontally on the DSR and not how they are shown in the manual!
Mike peeking out of the dome
The dome rotates PERFECTLY!
Note the splattering on the lens-dramatic but accidental!
My wife, Elfie and son Joel standing by their inheritance!
OH NO! Need to change my pier!