Domes Under the Radar

A previous post here entitled “Domes from Karl” is accompanied by a video which is also on Youtube. Over the months a number of people have commented on the Youtube video. As you might expect, the content and nature of the comments there varies widely.

One viewer who built his own dome offered to share more information about it. I asked him if he’d like to write a couple of paragraphs I could use here. He quickly obliged and sent the following, complete with pictures and a diagram. My thanks for the info.


Dome image from a reader--1


Dome image from a reader--2


“In August of 2009 i finished working on a 4-frequency geodesic dome, 6 meters in diameter. That’s almost 20 feet in diameter to those of us who still like the English measurement system. I used metric because it renders very accurate dome struts, and accuracy is very important when it comes to most stuff, including domes. It is made of galvanized steel tubing–1/2-inch EMT to be specific. It’s a great dome, except for one tiny problem I happened to think of–all the radar pointing down at the Earth. If I were to set it up in some secret location, it wouldn’t remain a secret for long because a geometric steel structure would raise curiosity and eventually someone would investigate.

“I’m always searching for more things to learn. I enjoy reading about other people’s adventures and what knots they used, or how they set their shelters up and this, that and the other thing. Despite my vast knowledge, I’m not so stupid to believe I actually know it all! So I’m always on the look-out for new and interesting ideas and stories.

“Youtube is a favorite stop for me sometimes. I saw your video about another person’s PVC domes and it was like a halogen bulb flicking on! I’m not liking the plastic lid solution for the dome vertexes, but the larger diameter PVC as vertex connectors is outstanding! I was impressed enough to begin making a list of materials minutes after! Tomorrow is Monday and i already know how many sticks of PVC I’m going to need to make another 6-meter dome!

“Thank you for the great idea. It will allow me to build and set up a shelter that is both secret and structurally sound. Something that can bear the weight of snow loads, or stay put in high winds, and not be a worry on my mind to Big Brother’s electric eye staring down.”


Dome image from a reader--Cut schedule diagram


Note: To get an engineer’s tape measure for building a dome or other project, buy the Komelon 425IE The Professional 25-Foot Inch/Engineer Scale Power Tape.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

2 thoughts on “Domes Under the Radar”

  1. can you please provide more detailed information on the plan? It’s not clear from the picture. How is the hub set up? What schedule and diameter tube are you using? Also, did you build this and how did it work out.
    What are you using to cover the dome? Plywood, plastic, shotcrete, etc.

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