Getting the Dome to Rotate

Usual apology for not posting things in a frequent or timely fashion. This post will probably be quite boring to anyone thinking “OK, where are the pictures of galaxies?”

One of the hardest things we have been trying to achieve is getting the dome to rotate electrically.  I read online that you could do it with windscreen wiper motors, so I went to the scrapyard in Tottenham on White Hart Lane.IMG_2833IMG_2831

The gentlemen there can get you loads of stuff and seem completely unphased by my not caring what car it comes from. I’ve been back to visit a second time now as we destroyed the first couple of motors.


They come with part of the old mechanism attached but Edo got that off and cleaned them up for us.  The idea is to attach a cog on the end and then use it to drive timing belt which we put up all around the interior of the dome.  Timing belt is the belt with teeth on inside a car engine which coordinates the opening and shutting of the valves with the rotation of engine.  They couldn’t sell us this so we had to buy it from a specialist who was able to get us a single 10 metre length which was good as we need more than 9 metres for our 3 metre diameter dome.  We also bought a cog from them.

The rest of what we did is better explained in video form.  So if you are interested, feel free to click but beware, this has been a lot of fiddly frustrating work by Edo, Sunayana and myself over the summer and the length of the video reflects this.

So you see it only goes one way, but we hope to fix that soon.  Please note there are TWO switches.  One is to make it go left and right, it will only go left for now but we will fix that.  The other is currently top secret.  All will be revealed if we ever get phase 2 to work.  Sorry, WHEN we get phase 2 to work…