If you are a Hackaday reader, you probably like space in real life, fiction, or both. A trip to a planetarium is a great treat, but what if you could have a planetarium in your backyard? [Ecasill] thought so and used a Zip Tie domes kit to create just such a thing. It takes some sewing and a projector, but there’s a problem. The dome needs to come down if there is going to be bad weather. The answer? Magnetic dowel rods.
Because the magnets are brittle, plastic dip covers them after epoxy sticks them in place. The cloth has steel bolts to adhere, too. All in, the setup cost about $2,000. That includes a projector, a mirror ball, a sound system, and all the construction.
There were a few items that need improvement. In particular, [Ecasill] wants to use Velcro to tighten up the dome fabric to make it smoother. We were impressed with the dome construction and the clever use of magnets. If you didn’t want a planetarium, you might be able to use this idea as a makeshift observatory or some other backyard structure.
The projector has to, paradoxically, project to a small area big enough for a mirrored ball. [Ecasill] provides a link to the site that gives all the information and software about setting up such a projector.