Now that the 16′ dome has been moved from atop of the control room to the new concrete pad on the east end of the observatory grounds, it’s time for an upgrade.
The control room has served multiple purposes. It currently houses three laptop computers (each controlling a separate telescope system), a desktop computer (for research and watching basketball), shelving to store a multitude of parts, and a couch, table and refrigerator. A metal stairway which led upstairs to the RiFAST 400mm telescope system chewed up a lot of interior space, and our shelving could not cope with all of the extra telescopes, cameras, tools and other equipment.
The interior ladder has been removed and the ceiling hatch sealed over, greatly freeing up space in the control room. A storage closet is being added to the south side of the building, and a rest room is being added to the north side. A new metal roof will be completed soon.
This photo shows the control room from the northwest. The RiLA 600mm telescope is in the 16′ dome to the left, and the RH 300 3-scope array will be in the 16′ dome in the middle. The 12′ dome, which can just be seen through the tree just at the left edge of the control room, houses the RiFAST 400mm telescope.
And this photo, taken one week later, shows the completed roof and storage closet. The panoramic photo is centered on north, and also gives you a good idea of what our daily weather looks like during the rainy season.