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> Is There an ExploraDome "Must Have" Kit???
johnmkanz
post Feb 21 2007, 09:49 AM
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Hi All,
I asked this in the East Coast Route thread, but here it is again:
Amongst all the accessory kits that Dan is offering, what would people here consider the most necessary? I will be trying to do as much as I can myself, but I will at least be shopping for wheels. So, rotation kit #1., #2, transition pieces, or what then? What have other people opted for, and has it proven to be a good choice?
Thanks in advance,
johnk.
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Ron Walker
post Feb 21 2007, 11:02 AM
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I went for the ring and rotation kit #2. Basically because I'm fairly lazy and didn't want to have to build the ring structure. Have not put it together as yet, but as trips in my direction are few and far between I thought best to just order them right away.

As for the transition panels, so many people had so many problems that I just thought I'd do it myself. Also I'm just planning on an 8X8 foot bottom as of this time.
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SteveDurham
post Feb 21 2007, 11:40 AM
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You will not be disappointed if you get the wheels, the channel ring, and the retainer ring. I put mine together without the channel ring, and am seriously considering adding it this summer.
Steve
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Ron Walker
post Feb 21 2007, 12:09 PM
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Just to make things clear (and correct me if I'm wrong) but I believe the retaining ring comes with the dome and is not an extra. This ring is "L" shaped and comes in four pieces.

The wheel and associated channel ring are what comprise wheel kit #2. This ring is "U" shaped and comes in four pieces.

The "large base ring" in the support ring for the entire dome and is one piece. It connects the dome to the observitory base structure and normally holds all of the wheels.
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SteveDurham
post Feb 21 2007, 12:56 PM
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Correct-a-mundo.....this is my understanding also.
Steve
PS: I forgot the retaining ring comes with the dome.
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johnmkanz
post Feb 21 2007, 01:36 PM
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QUOTE("SteveDurham")
You will not be disappointed if you get the wheels, the channel ring, and the retainer ring. I put mine together without the channel ring, and am seriously considering adding it this summer.
Steve


I remember, way back when, lots of head scratching over DIY channels. Kit #2 may be too steep for me right now, but it does sound like a good idea. I hope to at least get some wheels so I don't have to go searching for the same ones elsewhere (Is this kit #1, then—wheels only???).

Good to know about the retaining ring, I think the driver mentioned it, too.

johnk.
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Pete Peterson
post Feb 21 2007, 03:01 PM
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The one accessory that I purchased was the wheel channel assembly. I mounted it inverted, attached to the lip of the dome. It not only stiffened the dome and took a bit of the egg shape out, but it covered the gussets.

My wheels were purchased from McMaster Carr - 10 offset wheels and 8 support wheels - all for about $80. I believe details are available on the Wishing Star Observatory construction thread.

Pete
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johnmkanz
post Feb 22 2007, 05:37 AM
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QUOTE("SteveDurham")
Correct-a-mundo.....this is my understanding also.
Steve
PS: I forgot the retaining ring comes with the dome.


Not this time, apparantly. The driver told me that it was to be sold with kit #2, which I did not opt for. So I now have a dome, but no retainer ring. Was that their mistake?

johnk.
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Pete Peterson
post Feb 22 2007, 08:43 AM
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THings change. Perhaps the retaining ring no longer comes with the dome. I found aluminum angle sections much easier to install for retaining.
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johnmkanz
post Feb 22 2007, 09:50 AM
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Unless it is the channel pieces that come with set #2, and they brought a retaining ring instead, and tried to make a deal of it??? So confusing! I will try out the aluminum stock idea (how to bend it though?)

johnk.
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SometimesKen
post Feb 22 2007, 07:15 PM
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Hi John,

Regarding the transition panels ..... they have gotten some bad press, but I didn't experience the problems other had.

I took my time fitting them. I temporarily trapped them in place to the ring and let them sit a few day. Took them off, change the direction of the roller bolts. Re-installed the ring and panels. Carefully squared them up, then measured 5 times before I cut. LOL !!

All in all, they came out pretty good. Also, a tip ... check the Bad Moon Observatory thread to see the tool I used to cut down the panels. It worked like a dream and cut the panels smooth and easy like a knife thru butter.

Good luck
Ken 8)
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Pete Peterson
post Feb 23 2007, 09:10 AM
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QUOTE
I will try out the aluminum stock idea (how to bend it though?)


No bending required. That's why its called "angle". Once again, see details of the Wishing Star Observatory under Dome Construction.
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Richard B. Drumm
post Feb 23 2007, 09:25 AM
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Pete:
What John's wondering about is bending the angle "L" just like I was wondering the same thing. I was pretty sure it'd want to bend like a "V" instead, getting skewed the wrong way.
John:
It might be necessary to hacksaw kerfs every 4" along the "L" on the horizontal member to allow the bending. This will (unfortunately) prevent that horizontal member from stiffening and circularizing the dome's skirt. However, if a steel "L" was used instead of aluminum, then one could weld the kerfs to return stiffness to the bracket...

What Pete did was to use 2" long bits of "L" so he didn't have to do any bending at all!
Rich
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Pete Peterson
post Feb 23 2007, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE(Richard B. Drumm)
Pete:
What John's wondering about is bending the angle "L" just like I was wondering the same thing. I was pretty sure it'd want to bend like a "V" instead, getting skewed the wrong way.
John:
It might be necessary to hacksaw kerfs every 4" along the "L" on the horizontal member to allow the bending. This will (unfortunately) prevent that horizontal member from stiffening and circularizing the dome's skirt. However, if a steel "L" was used instead of aluminum, then one could weld the kerfs to return stiffness to the bracket...

What Pete did was to use 2" long bits of "L" so he didn't have to do any bending at all!
Rich


Right - 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" X 3/16" thick aluminum angle was cut to 2" lengths (8 pieces total). The U shaped wheel track sold by Polydome functioned as a dome stiffner.

Pete
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Bob Benson
post Mar 14 2007, 01:17 AM
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QUOTE(Pete Peterson @ Feb 22 2007, 02:43 PM) *
THings change. Perhaps the retaining ring no longer comes with the dome. I found aluminum angle sections much easier to install for retaining.



Pete,

Could someone possibly post information on what specifically is included with the ED. I am a little confused on the options for the ED and what is included in the base price and what isn't.

Thank you for any advise you can offer.
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Pete Peterson
post Mar 14 2007, 07:56 AM
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QUOTE(Bob Benson @ Mar 14 2007, 11:17 AM) *
Pete,

Could someone possibly post information on what specifically is included with the ED. I am a little confused on the options for the ED and what is included in the base price and what isn't.

Thank you for any advise you can offer.


Things can change. Guess you just have to ask when you place your order.
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NeoDinian
post Mar 14 2007, 09:20 AM
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There are currently 4 options..

When you order the Dome alone, you get the Dome, with both upper and lower shutter.

There are 2 different Wheel options.

There is also the top Ring option.
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Ron Walker
post Mar 14 2007, 10:37 AM
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Neo,

When you order just the dome, don't you get the retaining ring in four sections also?
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NeoDinian
post Mar 14 2007, 11:02 AM
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Not sure.. I thought I recall seeing the retaining ring as part of the wheel kits???


OH, Theres also the Transition panels...
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Richard B. Drumm
post Mar 14 2007, 03:11 PM
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If you order the dome alone, you DO get the retaining ring (4 pieces) with it.
I may end up using mine as a wheel track of sorts.
Rich
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