The POD arrived today, November 10. Good timing - we are having a warm spell, and it is sunny and 10 degrees C. And tomorrow is a holiday. So I have 1.5 days of good weather to assemble everything, and temperatures warm enough for adhesives and caulking to cure properly.
The POD XL-3 comes in 3 large boxes: two for the dome halves, one for the wall sections, and one for the storage bays.
It comes with a detailed DVD of installation instructions, and the videos are also available online so I had already viewed them several times when the boxes arrived.
|The POD parts unpacked. Visible here, left to right, are the 3 storage bays, the 4 quarter-pieces of the dome, and the 3 wall sections.|
|After watching the relevant part of the instructional video again, I dragged the dome pieces to the observatory site for assembly.|
|The two halves of the primary dome, joined together.|
|Inside view of the primary dome.|
The secondary dome also assembled.
On the primary dome, the semicircular steel running plate for the rotation wheels is also visible.
|After installing the rain water management gasket on the primary dome, I called the work finished for the day, as the sun was about to set and the temperature would drop rapidly. I'm satisfied that I got this far, as I was able to do the caulking between dome pieces, so it can cure overnight.|
Day 2, warm and sunny again. There is still frost on the deck but it is disappearing as the sun moves in.
The 3 POD wall sections are loose here, ready for installation.
|And the 3 storage bays. Walls and storage bays alternate, making 6 sections in all.|
|We assemble the walls by starting with a storage bay in approximately its desired final position.|
|Add a wall section (a molded plug on the bottom of the wall drops into a matching hole on the storage bay, and vertical lips overlap).|
|Add second storage bay|
|Another wall, and another storage bay, leaving a 1-wall gap.|
|And here all 6 wall sections are now in place. They aren't bolted together yet and there is lots of adjusting and aligning still to do.|
|The primary dome will rotate on wheels set in the tops of the walls. 30 wheels each go in a recess, with a nylon axle and a spacer.|
|Here all the wheels are in place and the wall sections have been aligned and bolted together.|
|We lift the primary dome onto the walls, and carefully rotated it several times to true up the circularity of the walls.|
|The dome is then secured in place with metal clamps that hang from the dome and pass under the upper lip of the walls. The clamps also contain wheels, to hold the dome at a fixed distance from the walls.|
|Next, the secondary dome is lifted into place.|
|And the secondary is fastend with pivot axles so that it can fold up inside the primary dome.|
|There was then a lot of small-task work to do, installing gaskets and foam to manage rain water run-off, and fastening the whole unit to the deck with lag screws.|