I finally took a stab at installing the gear track on the dome this afternoon. In response to some posts, I first did a dry install (no double-sided tape). As I feared, once the track was in place it was too long by about 1/4". Sliding on the track up and down on the mounting surface did nothing. Then, I worked my way around the entire dome, loosening the bottom bolts and prying and pushing the dome segments in the hope that I could pick up 1/32" per joint. That worked but there is no more play in that direction. I then marked the location of the track on the dome, with a tick mark for every 10th tooth. Next up, I put the double-sided tape in place. It's not very sticky but I proceeded anyway. By the time I reached the 20th tooth, it was clear that the track was now running long. I tried pushing very hard to keep the track in the same place (azimuthal force here, not radial) but that had no effect. I continued putting the track up until the end. The result? As it sits now, the track is too long by exactly one tooth. If I cut one tooth off, it will be a perfect seam. However, doing so means 287 teeth per revolution rather than the 288 teeth that I suspect is intended. My guess is that won't go well at all.
I'm not sure what to do here. I just don't see how I can pick up an inch. I'm guessing the tape thickness is what caused the overage here compared to the dry install. I'll be thinking a lot about how to solve this problem but any clues the rest of you can provide from your own (successful?) experiences will help a lot.
I followed this guide and it's worked great. You drill a pilot hole through the tooth so it lines up perfectly. The double sided tape works to line everything up prior to securing. I did buy thicker 3M tape and took 2 goes to get it right.
Steven -- I tried different locations on the ledge and all gave me identical outcomes regarding the length. Without tape, I was able to get it to sit properly when at the maximum vertical position and that seems to look neatest as well. On my dome (2021 vintage) it seems that the mounting flat for the belt is actually plumb. Regarding the motor gear, I have not yet installed this part. I didn't want to do that until the belt was installed and located. Since I have to drill holes to mount the motor bracket I can put it anywhere it needs to be so as to line up with the belt while also being in the middle of its adjustable range.
Very interesting. Without the double-sided tape, I did get the track to lay where it should. The location (and temporary tape) shown in Paul's pictures is exactly what I had. I really don't like the idea of the double-sided tape either. The suggestion of using the SS self-tapping screws from the outside is very attractive. I know that will work, and, the tension of getting it to sit against the dome encourages it to be where it should. One issue I see with the screws from the outside: you probably want to screw into the back side of a tooth and that's not trivial to ensure.
Given the mis-fit, I calculate that the double sided tape needs to be 3/16" thick to explain what I experienced. No way is it that thick. So, I'm forced to conclude that the tape encourages the track to sit in places it shouldn't. From that perspective, any amount of tape works against what needs to be done. Food for thought.
Thank you for your thoughts. This certainly gives me something to work with.
I'd say mine appeared to long at first. I saw lots of comments saying not to cut it. I began by temporally duct taping the gear up around the ring starting starting with the ends and making them butt next to each other. Then, working around the dome pushing the gear into position and temporally attaching it with duct tape. The last part had to be pushed into position but it did go. After tweaking the gears location up and down, the double sided tape was added several inches, (6-12) at a time for attachment all around the dome. As I don't care for adhesives, #6 x1/2 self tapping screws were added from the outside instead of the tape.
The simple truth is the track is too high on the dome. As many of us have experienced you need to undo the track, most likely will need another roll of double sided tape, and install it lower, closer to the floor, again.
in my case I used less double sided tape, the original should maintain a good amount of sticky, by adding 2.5’-3’ of tape over the seams between dome sections.
The other thing you should look for is where the gear on the rotator motor sits in the track.
Please post photos of your work.