Initially, there were no business intentions behind the efforts to build a trailer dome. Our founder, Anders Hjelset, could simply not find any commercially available vehicles with the capabilities he was looking for, not anywhere, so he set out to try building one himself.
He was about to acquire astro gear with larger aperture than what he already had, a 10” dobson, but only if he easily could take the much heavier gear to remote dark sky locations fully mounted. He wanted to avoid the heavy and somewhat risky hassle of assembling and dismantling the entire rig every time, out in the field, often in freezing darkness, and mostly alone.
A dark sky location is essential for high-quality observations and therefore often considered to be a Holy Grail for astronomers. Such a vehicle would easily take him anywhere from his urban home and thereby maximize the usability and benefits of the much heavier and more powerful gear. It was that simple.
This was back in 2018. Three years later, our team around Trailer domes could offer vehicles with exactly this capability. To fellow astro enthusiasts as well as to organizations and institutions within astronomy.
A heavy suspension platform 280 kg protects the gear from being hit by shocks, jolts and vibrations during transport.
During observation, the rig stands fully released from the trailer on an anchored tripod with a ground weight of 440 kg.
Conversions take approximately 15 minutes either way, single-handed.
Trailer domes can be parked in a sealed stationary mode with the gear in a lowered position although still being fully rigged and ready for observation.
16” astro gear of GEM type
140 kg with counterweights
1100 x 1100 x 1100 cubic mm
Prototype carries a C14” tube on a CGE Pro mount with an extended counterweight bar. It typically fits well within all limitations.
The combined weight of the trailer dome’s own platform and the mounted gear is always balanced to 280 kg by varying the number of small ballast plates. Light gear requires more plates, heavier gear less.
Likewise, the centre of gravity and the virtual suspension point for the combined platform are aligned by selecting the appropriate mounting height on the platform for the damping trains.
When using the same gear every time there is no need to change anything in respect of neither combined weight nor suspension alignment.