Observatory Modifications


I like the Boyd observatory quite a lot.  However, there are a number of things that needed to be done to it:

Top Bolts

Bolt before

Bolt after

Nut before

Nut after

The bolts that hold the top part of the building onto the walls leaked water big time.  (It can really rain in Oregon).  They are the only bolts in the observatory that are set up to catch water and funnel it this way.

I also noticed that there is nothing holding the dome on in case of strong wind.  The spring tensioning mechanism for the gear drive would be insufficient as a general tie down scheme.

The cure for both of the above problems was to replace the supplied bolts and washers with eyebolts (for tiedowns), fender washers (for better load spreading), and neoprene washers (for water tightness).


One of four tie downs in place.  I've now seen 50 mile / hour winds with no problems.

Gear Drive Upgrades


I had two problems with the CyberDrive dome motor package. First the driving gear was not being held tight enough to the dome gear.  A couple of springs helps this out.

Second, the whole motor unit twisted with the driving torque.  Some plates epoxied onto the fiberglass help this by providing hard edges up against the original base plate.

Shutter Rope Holder

The cleat - on the fixed part of
the dome, it threatens to tear
things apart

The new system - stuck
to the moveing part of the dome

The dome shutter is opened and closed with a rope and pulley system. This system works pretty good except that the rope dangles into the telescope space.  A cleat is provided to tie the rope off, however, it is on the fixed part of the observatory.  This means that if I need to rotate the dome, I risk tearing things apart.  It was quite simple put up some sticky backed hooks.