Day of the Dome

Today was dome day…. Actually it was almost the entire weekend, but “Day of the Dome” sounded so much better than “Dome Weekend”.

I’ve made a lot more progress in the last few days and more confident that I can get the dome glued together in the next week or so ready for C4.

I’ve had a long list of to-do’s for the dome and been putting things off waiting for other bits to fall into place. The frame was holding me up for the longest time. Now that it’s pretty much done I could go back and work on the dome.

I installed Rockler bearing a week ago and it’s working great now after a few tweaks. One of the issues was the damn dome ring again. I thought I’d seen the last of problems with it, but the inner circle that’s tack welded on the inside is all warped/wavy so when I put it on the bearing the dome ducks up and down as it spins. Luckily I had to bolt the periscope life mech dome base plate to it and it helped level it off. It still needs tweaking but I’ll wait till the I have the skins on.

On Friday night and Saturday morning I decided to tackle fixing a wiring problem in my periscope lift mech rather than sending it back to Daniel. He kindly offered to fix it but it would mean that I would be delayed again from working on dome stuff.

I removed and disassembled the Delrin block holding the switches on Friday night, and a quick test showed that diodes had blown. I had to wait till Saturday morning for Radio Shack to open, but the good news was the new diodes were only 89 cents and about and 30 minutes work to get installed.

Next up was a bunch of fixes to the holes I’d cut in the inner dome a few months ago. When I first cut them I had the older aluminum Holo Projectors and resin Front and Rear Surrounds. Well now I have new HP’s and aluminum Surrounds, and everything was a tad bit bigger and I needed to tweak the holes.

I used a bottle wrapped in sandpaper to widen the HP holes.

Enlarging the HP hole

I also had to adjust the hole for the new Rear Logic.

Notice I’ve yet to cut the rear panels from the dome. I’m still using them as a guide to make sure everything while line up with the holes on the inner dome. I’ll probably cut them out this week now that I’m happy with the fit.

Next up was the dome ring. I needed to cut some notches in it to allow the PSI and HP’s to sit flush with the dome. I marked, dremel and filed out where I needed to the space.

I decide to tackle the periscope housing next even though I have a new aluminum one coming in the next few weeks. The PVC kit was still in pieces on my workbench but I really needed it to figure out how much bigger I needed to make the dome pie panel hole I’d miss sized a few months ago. So I quickly tacked it together with super glued and installed it on the now working lift mech.

Once done this allowed me to go back and adjust the dome pie panel hole that was too small. This is a real bad picture, but I’m trying to show that the periscope now passes through the opening without any problem. I’ll try and take some better pictures tomorrow.

At this point I almost started to cut the remaining holes in the dome, but decided to finish the PVC periscope kit and add a lens. I’d already done a lot of work on it in morning and I was so close to getting it done. Finishing it up would have two advantages, 1) I can make sure that it really does fit after squaring off the edges, and 2) if the aluminum one is delay at least I have a backup for C4.

For the lense I cut out a small square of acrylic and then rough sanded it into shape with my bench sander. I really should have used a thicker block, but all I had was 1/8″ acrylic. It really didn’t take long, so I may go back and make another later this week.

The fit was good

Next I marked out where I needed to sand down on the bench sander. Please be careful that you don’t push your fingers into the disk!

Here it is after I’ve sanded down the edges. Not pretty but I wanted to show how you can go from rough piece of plastic to something shiny in a matter of moments.

Here it is after some quick sanding through various grades of paper

And then polished up on my bench grinder with a polish wheel.

Next up was sanding and bondo’ing the housing ready for painting.

Almost done. I applied a layer of undercoat, sanded and undercoated again.

In the morning I’ll probably sand an prime again before trying the top white coat.

I also need to glue and pain the resin riser pieces, but I should be done tomorrow night. I can then think about adding the LEDs.

Posted by Chris on May 7th, 2007 in Dome, Electronics | No Comments

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