IMT3 Build Update – Part II

So the dome was built in a day, which was clearly quicker than Rome 🙂 The video of the construction can be seen below. The new Orangery is to the right and the building mess within my garden is apparent.

IMT3 Timelapse Construction

With all the planning, I was always slightly nervous the cable pipes we had now concreted in place would not be in the correct positions. I required a set outside the dome, a set just inside where the electrics and computers would sit and a set near the pier. Fortunately I was pleased I measured twice 🙂

Cable run just inside the dome
Cable run outside the dome
Cable run by the pier

As you can see above the pier was fitted centrally which is what I wanted rather than offset as some suggest. The pier was a standard pulsar pier and took some time after fitting by Pulsar themselves to settle. As can be seen below, they fitted rods and bolts to secure and used a resin in the holes drilled.

Pier bolts now tight

This was different than my last observatory where I used long 12″ bolts. After tightening with a spanner the pier seemed secure but upon placing weight on it it started to move. I then tightened to the point where it was still vibrating a lot. I left a week to settle then came back with a torque wrench to tighten again. This drew the bolts out by about an inch which told me the resin had not gone off. Another week went by and I tightened a little more, this time the wrench kicked in with clicking and the bolts held, the pier stopped vibrating and all is finally well including the top plate fitted but Pulsar with a standard Meade pre drilled pattern.

Standard Meade pre drilled top (notch to the left is North)

I asked for the pier to be central and gave the Pulsar team the direction for North using a compass on my phone and checking with a traditional compass. Hopefully this would get me near the North Celestial pole once we fitted the Paramount MEII mounting plate we had. It turned out a few new holes needed to be drilled in our slightly used plate which to be fair was used for previous telescope mounts including a Meade 16″, Skywatcher EQ6, Paramount ME and now the MEII.

You can see Bob’s name proudly punched into the aluminium as well as the original manufacturing date of 2008.