Few weeks ago I tried to close the observatory roof and to my shock it was stuck open. So I was forced to drive on-site very early in the morning. To my suprise wheels of the roof had been broken, most seemed to have a collapsed bearing or twisted axles. I think that the wheels couldnt handle the load and were worn out because of that. Some wildlife near the observatory might have heard a quite colorful and lenghty set of cursing that morning.. I reported back to Erik and we came to conclusion that there is nothing we can do for now to keep the telescopes operational. So we were shut down for about two weeks until new, much stronger wheels arrived from Sweden. Last weekend we did manage to get them installed and now the roof works even better than it was when it was brand new. Here is some photos of the process.
Hoisting the roof up was bit sketchy with a car jack, but it went without any problems. After all what could possibly go wrong with a 500kg structure above the two telescopes and two people beneath it? Also the weather was horrible at the time because a snowstorm was rolling in fast. We started the operation 8AM and were finished 18 hours later. As we finished and I turned off the lights we noticed that the skies were completely clear. It was a great moment to just stand in the pitch black night and just look at all the constellations in awe. Next weeks weather forecast looks very promising and its almost new moon too so I think it was also perfect timing for this to happen. It would have been horrible to waste clear moonless nights.