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Thread: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

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    Default Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?



    We are in the planning process for our home observatory. We have decided to go with a rotating dome but ran into the question of whether it is better to have metal or plastic as the material of choice. Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    I would think fiberglass/ plastic would NOT retain the heat as much and allow for quicker cool down of the obs,,
    then theres the lighning strikes
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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    You would think metal will be prone to rust, but the plastic would be susceptible to high wind damage.

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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    Quote Originally Posted by MytThor View Post
    You would think metal will be prone to rust, but the plastic would be susceptible to high wind damage.
    They test them for normal high winds but I guess a tornado could take it out.

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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyonce View Post
    I would think fiberglass/ plastic would NOT retain the heat as much and allow for quicker cool down of the obs,,
    then theres the lighning strikes
    I not not considered lightening in this regard (although we did for power conditioning and surge supression).

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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    Seems metal would heat up WAY too much (unless insulated) and it seems depending on how it's built of course, that plastic would be sealed better or easier to seal from water and bugs. May be lighter too and less prone to damage/easier to fix.
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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    I have an 8 foot Exploradome.. Mine is one of the very early production domes and is not lined with a black coating like the newer ED domes are ... Interior Temps tend to run about 3 to 4 degrees above ambient in the hot summer.. in the winter the temps stay within 1 degree of ambient... The newer Black lined Domes "reportedly" run a little cooler in the summer... Its the IR radiation that is the killer ..!!

    Only reason I did not go with metal was the cost..and the weight ..
    However I was very concerned about how well the Dome would "hold up" over time.. Discovered that the ED was made by Poly-dome who is the leading manufacturer of calf shelters and since I happen to live in a county that has more cows then people it was not hard to ask a few local farmers how their calf shelters have held up.. The answer was they last at least 20 years and since I had no plans to let any cows give birth inside my dome I fugure My dome will last at least that long...

    My observatory is basically a wood shed..non insulated..with a Poly (??) roof panels and Dome...Heat has not been an issue in the 6 full years I have owned the thing..and it has not leaked a single drop of fluid inside

    Bob G.
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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    If you got the bucks and really want a metal dome, go with copper. It will never rust and start turning green over the years with oxidation and really boost the ascetics of your neighborhood. If heat is an issue, I'm sure you can get some kind of R rating by designing slated foam baffles in the system. It might not be the most efficient design, certainly not the most cost effective, but it will really look cool and may even get you profiled in Architectural Digest.
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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    The weight of a copper dome would be up there, but the verdigris of a dome...wow...

    One attaperson to whoever knows how they used to accelerate the aging process (for colour matching) when they did repairs to copper roofs in the old days.
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    Default Re: Planning a home observatory: metal dome versus plastic dome?

    Copper Dome.jpgJust found one....I'm sure it would cost mega bucks to install one.
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