Installing the 16" Meade in the main dome, Acre Road: assembly details


The 16 inch Meade LX200 presently housed in the main dome, Acre
was originally stationed at the University of Glasgow
Crichton Campus, Dumfries, but the lack of a suitable dome there
precipitated its move to the Acre Road Observatory, Glasgow.

The main dome at Acre Road had housed a 12 inch Meade, which we
removed, and we repointed the 560x560 mm concrete column that had
supported it to add rigidity. The base of the new mount is an 820
mm diameter mild steel disc, 20 mm thick. We fixed this to the
top of the pillar using five 12 mm epoxy bolts (Hilti), to avoid
any possibility of cracking the pillar. The disc itself sits on a
bed of Isopon P40 to spread the load over the pillar. The disc
centre line was roughly aligned north-south using the shadow of a
plumbline when the Sun was due south at the Observatory site (as
determined by Starry Night Pro).

The wedge came with the telescope from the Crichton campus and
needed a little adaptation. We gave it a three-point mount with
one fixed ball joint at the south end and two adjustable legs at
the north end. These legs rest on brass pads that slide in
azimuth on stainless steel plates without lubrication. Two
pushers fixed to the base plate act as azimuthal adjusters and
lock the wedge in place once it is at the correct position. The
ball joint is from a car steering system.

The entire assembly, excluding the pillar, has a mass of around
250 kg.