I have had the chance to move the dome used my father in law to my new place.
This dome was quite perfect with a diameter of roughly 2,8 meters opening like a shell (no problem to move it when moving the telescope).
The dome could just fit the mount and telescope I intended to buy at that time (RILA 400 by Officina Stellare and DM85 ASA mount) :
Dome schema
Unhappily, it had a manual opening with a big crank handle : difficult to open, but, worst impossible to do it remotely !
The first operation was to buy two cheap electric winches at the local supermarket and to remplace the old crank by these winches :

Now, the problem was there was not automatic stop when opening or closing the dome with the winches remote control.
If you were a little late stop pushing the button to open or close the dome, then everything could just collapse !!
The next step was to imagine all the electronic equipment to open or close the dome not only with a local command box but through a computer by an USB connection.
At the same time, it was given the possibility to swith on or off two circuit breaker : this allow to remotely with on or off two different sets of equipment.
To fully automatize the dome and electric power, I realized the following :
  • putting switches to detect for each semi-dome when it is open or closed
  • to specify and build a specific electronic-electrical interface allowing to open or close the semi-domes (the dome box)
  • to connect this power box to a standard USB interface board (K8055 USB experimental board but Velleman kit 5 digital inputs , 8 digital outputs, 2 analog inputs)
  • to write the application software allowing to open or close the dome and also to switch on or off the observatory

The switches installation (detection of open south dome in this case)
The switches were mounted on semi flexible steel extensions to prevent there destruction :

Here is the dome box (in blue, finished with the control paddle):
ControBox enlarged
You can download the electrical and electrical schema here
Information about K8055 Velleman kit can be found here
You can contact me for more detailed information if necessary.

Finally, the computer application has been derived from the standard example given with the K8055 kit
It is written in Visual Basic and the interface looks like this (simple but efficient !) :
Dome manager

Conclusion :

The whole system has been working perfectly for 18 months now !
I strongly recommend the use of the K8055 Velleman kit to interface whatever you want through an USB connection.
If you don't feel to become an electonical engineer and a hacker, other solutions " on the shelf" are available from Lunatico for instance, but at a higher price.
It is absolutely necessary to be able to switch on and off the observatory equipments if you work remotely : besides to prevent using electricity power for nothing, it is sometimes the only way to re-initialize hardware equipments (the mount, the telescope, USB hubs etc.) when something is malfunctioning or is hanged up !