At the end of August Alain started with the groundbreaking works and pouring the concrete foundations where the dome will be installed on. Afterwards, cables for power supply and computer network were pulled and routed through the other domes. When all that was one the terrain around could be leveled again. For that job a small excavator came in quite handy. The soil in southern france is loaded with rocks and pebbles. With a large telehandler it was a breeze for Alain to move the unassembled dome from his hangar to it's spot. Finally we could start with unwrapping the dome. First thing that now needed to be dome was assembling the blue base ring on wich the dome will rest. Next came assembling the dome itself. This wasn't as easy as it looked, especially as some of the supplied bolts and screws were too short. Though that certainly wasn't the only problem we'd encounter concerning the dome mechanics. Before we would put the now assembled dome on the base ring we decided to fit the pier and the wooden floor. Doing this before putting the dome on the base ring gave us some more room to work. Once all this was done and we had removed the pier again we could finally put the dome on the base ring. Me, Karel, Wouter and Martin lifted the dome from the inside and put it on the base ring. At temperatures of over 30°C this wasn't a small task. The dome is quite big and heavy. Now we could start with installing all the other equipment like motors, and electronics for the dome automation. When all this was done it was time to align, and calibrate everything. The final job was to install the computer, configure all software (Thank you, Martin) and connect the network equipment in order to control everything remotely over the internet. To realise this we hand worked 7 long days without much sleep. Though in the end the dome wasn't functioning as it should. And due to lack of time I also wasn't able to configure the mount and telescope well. But time ran out. There was no other option than coming back another time to finish what wasn't done. I decided to come back to Verclause late october, early november, together with Wouter.

August & September 2011

  1. © Copyright 2014 by Lieven Persoons

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