Wednesday, August 13, 2008

tested Andy's dew equipment

Andy sent out a plea to the RASC Toronto Centre listserv. His dew heater wraps or controller were not working as he expected (during or after Starfest).

We gave him a bunch of suggestions but he didn't have some of the necessary tools to verify functions and parameters. To the meeting, I offered to bring my equipment (for comparisons) and my multimeter (for testing).

Tested his Kendrick 8" dew heater wrap. It showed 7 or 8 ohms. Same as mine. I had him wiggle it around and flex it. It did not cut out.

Tested his eyepiece dew heater wrap. It showed higher ohms, as expected. Nominal response to flexing and movement.

Tested the voltage output from his Kendrick IV controller. Seemed fine, in unloaded testing. Mine worked in a similar way, although it showed a lower voltage.

So, all the gear looked OK. But we were not getting any noticeable heat from any of the wraps.

We were driving this off his (small) portable 12V battery. When we checked the status gauge, it reported low. Oh! I was immediately suspicious of the battery. I asked when he last charged it. "Before Starfest," Andy replied. I suggested he charge it up and try again. And explained that lead-acid batteries need to be regularly charged. I offered to continue the testing in the parking lot with my (larger) power tank. Or to run it off a car. But he seemed satisfied at this stage that nothing was wrong with the dew equipment.

Hopefully the battery is not pooched...

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