THE MAIN DOMED BUILDING AT GROVE CREEK:
|Outside View of Dome||The C14 fork mount on the 500mm pier||10" Meade LX-200 on the 500mm pier|
Located in the main observatory building, is the 3.2m (10 ft) motorised dome. This once housed the vintage Celestron Pacific C-14 with the original fork mount (shown top middle) for 22 years, before it was moved onto a Astro-Physics GTO-1200 internet remote controlled mount in a different building. The main pier has a special pier adaptor plate that supports Meade Instruments type wedge, Paramount (MX/ME), Astro-Physics telescope mount and others. The dome will shortly undergo major renovations and automation, and will house a new telescope.
Multi-Platform pier mounting
The 500mm diameter pier is sunk into the ground 5 metres, with no part of the building touching it. Stairs lead up and down to the telescope platform with entry and exit from the control room. In February 2008, the shutters were also motorised, to allow for the possible future upgrading for another fully remote internet controlled observatory, like the 2 other buildings at Grove Creek. The shutters are wireless and use solar cells mounted on the top of the shutters, facing the sun during the day, to charge the internal 24V battery system.
The shutter control system: At left, the solar cell regulator and 2 x 12VDC (24V) battery compartment.
At right, the automatic wireless shutter motor control system (shown with cover removed).
THE MAIN CONTROL ROOM:
The main observatory control room is the "nerve centre" of the telescope operations at the Observatory. It is adjacent to the main dome area, with 2 door access and stairs to the telescope platform. Staff use this warm and comfortable area to control the telescope remotely while taking CCD images via the LAN and wireless network or directly to the computer that controls the dome. The control room has heating, red lights for dark adaptation, lounge area and work desks. At the south of the control room, are doors that lead to our workshop and accommodation area. The control room also houses the main server that runs the security system and weather station, that protect the remote sliding roof observatories.