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Dec 19, 2018

Assembling the dome


I am about to assemble my NexDome and setup my observatory. I have a 14” Meade GPS on a custom pedestal. My guestion is: Getting the scope into the dome and onto the wedge I think is going to be a bear. My thoughts are to build the dome around the pedestal with the scope already on it. Any comments on this? That scope is BIG and I think that lifting it through the slot is going to present more problems than lifting the dome over the scope.


Planning the install to have as few few problems as possible.


Thank you


Bob P

Dec 20, 2018

Bob, I see one issue right off the bat is the dome itself has to be lifted onto the walls. I had lots of help but you still have to navigate around the walls and get the bottom of the dome over them so you can set it down on the wheels. I'm not sure I'd do that with the scope on the wedge.


Unless there is a way to construct the dome on the walls without pre-assembly I think you might want to reconsider. Have the tripod/pier in place with the wedge might work. But since I don't know what those dimensions are you'll have to make that determination.


Keep us informed on your process.


Dec 20, 2018

That was my concern. Not sure which is going to be the most difficult or risky, lifting the dome over the scope, or inserting the scope through the slot. To do that I will need a Cherry Picker, which I have.

However it will have to be turned around and counterweighted to get the scope in.


Decisions, decisions. I will have the pedestal and wedge there and will decide what is the best course of action at that time.


Thank you for help and I will keep you informed.



Dec 21, 2018

I don't think you'll need a cherry picker for the dome, it can be safely picked up easily with 3 adults, 4 is better but I've done it with myself, my wife and adult son.


Once you have the walls up I would think you could place the scope inside the walls, put on the dome then install the scope on the wedge with help. I know my 11" took two people to place and secure the OTA to the mount.


Keep us informed on your progress.


Dec 21, 2018

OH, take pictures of the build. Also make sure the walls are really round before you put the dome on. I had to take the dome off and really push and tug to get the wall straight and round.


I took several different radius lengths of measured string for the top, middle and base of the walls to make sure they were equidistant from the center of the dome. I did mine by driving a stake in the center of the dome, you have a pier so that might work, a walked around the interior of the dome with the string. As a precaution I also used a level to make sure the wall were vertical.


If I didn't mention take pictures of the build.


Dec 26, 2018

Two of us placed my dome on the walls. (with ease). Having a third person to lift one end higher UP and OVER the scope would suffice. Especially if he has a ladder (step ladder inside the walls). On the other hand, I've never considered passing a scope through the slit. I use the door? I have a 11" RASA which is fairly similar to a 14" SCT. I have a rubber floor in the dome. I use the handle and pass it over the threshold and place the nose of the scope (mine has cap on to protect it) inside the door on the rug. I then duck myself in the door and lift the scope to the mount. The slit is more narrow than the door and quite high for lifting. The RASA is around 45lbs.

One of us on each side of the dome, lifted up and over and set it down and worked it over the wheels.



Dec 29, 2018

Your observatory looks to have horizon issues like mine! I think my scope n the fork is closer to 60 lbs.

a beast to get through that door and then up to the wedge. I will take pics and decide the course of action when I get the walls up.


I will keep everyone invformedas I go.



Dec 29, 2018

Your observatory looks to have horizon issues like mine! I think my scope n the fork is closer to 60 lbs.

a beast to get through that door and then up to the wedge. I will take pics and decide the course of action when I get the walls up.


I will keep everyone invformedas I go.



Bob, so how did the dome install go? Did you have any significant issues getting the mount and wedge installed?




Well I have had to do some prep work on the deck before I could proceed. This has been done finally.

Now I need the weather to cooperate. So the answer to your question is that the dome is still in the boxes it came in.


I have been been making progress on the pier, it is nearly ready, just needs some paint. The garage is too cold yet to paint in. Where is Spring!? I am deciding if I run the power and data lines on the outside of the pier or up the centre. To run up the centre requires drilling a couple of holes through an 8 in Sch 40 pipe. Not too difficult but requires lifting onto the drill press. I could set the pier in stands high enough to run conduit under, but that seems a bit in eloquent.


I hope to have this together but necessarily operational by late April or early May. I will report back then.


Thanks for for the inquiry.



Second attempt at adding pics was a failure again, so we will go with the written account and maybe someone can tell me what I have to do to add images.


After a longer wait than expected I installed the dome on my deck this past Saturday May 3d. The install went rather well taking about 4 hours including about 3/4 hours to drill and install the concrete bolts to retain the pier. The pier turned out very nicely I think. The only thing I would change was the welder asked if I wanted him to turn off the raise face on the lathe. I said don't bother, should have said yes.

Not a big deal but it would have made bolting a little easier.


The dome went together easily without too much trouble. I would prefer actual instructions rather than Ikea "drawings: but they did suffice. The only issue was installing the shutter not the dome. We were not able to work it under the wheels as shown in the Ikea drawing. It only took about two minutes to remove one wheel, install the shutter and replace the wheel.


As for the issue I raised at the beginning of this post, installing the 14" LX200 onto the pier, my friend that helped me and who also has a 14" LX 200 in an Explore Dome, reminded me we lifted his on without any trouble. I had completely forgotten that, so when the time came we simply lifted the scope onto the wedge and done. A whole bunch of scheming and thinking wasted for a non event!


So I have pictures of this event but do not seem to be able to attach them to this post. I have clicked the little camera below but to no avail.


Hope this is useful even enjoyable.


Bob Parry




The pier close up



The dome ready to be lifted onto the wall section



hi Bob Perry seen you in the Mallincam group, I will be getting mine in a few weeks


is there a link where I can get technical drawing so can get building the platform

There are installation dwg's on this site. Those are the ones I used for my install. There are

dwg's with the base diameter and wall heights. I think you were talking about building a pony

wall? If so there are dimensions that should get you going.

All these dwg's are in Resources. Just had to check.

Bob, yes they are under Resources. Just click on Resources and ignore the dropdown.



Quick reminder - we have a VERY ACTIVE facebook Nexdome users group. With practically. real time responses for assistance. It has a search bar on the left you can search previous messages for your questions too. FYI

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