Friday, August 27, 2010

power tank charged

3:50 PM. Arrived at the RASC Toronto Centre Carr Astronomical Observatory. Ultimately here, with projector, laptop, telescope, and lots o' giveaways, to deliver my second astronomy presentation at the Farmer's Pantry apple orchard.

4:30. Started charging the gel cell batteries, in preparation for the Saturday night. Rolled my heavy battery tank mobile cart from the driveway to the Geoff Brown Observatory. Grabbed the MotoMaster 12 volt battery charger from the garage. This smart charger is the one I picked up, during a sale, for the society from Canadian Tire.

Hmmm. The front plate is off kilter. It would have required a lot of force to do that. Looks like the thing's been dropped! I wonder if that happened during the snake discovery... I set the charger on the ground, off to the side, under an observatory table.

Connected to the primary battery in the tank. With the buttons on the front panel, I put the charger to gel type battery and on 15 amp mode.

5:21. Tried, for the first time, the "divide" feature on the Sony voice recorder. There was positive feedback on the little screen: a pair of scissors snipping. Also, the time stamp updated. It worked good, upon playback.

This means, in the future, all I need to do is make sure, at the beginning of an observing session that the time is synched. And then, when I hit the DIVIDE button, it will essentially mark the time. I can not worry about reading a clock. I can let the recorder run continuously. Cool.

Heard a car coming up the drive. I suspected it was Tim. He had said, on the Yahoo!Group, that he was going to open the CAO at 6:00 PM. I recognised his car.

Gave him his own personal key for the supervisor's closet.

5:43. The first battery showed as charged. I connected to the backup battery to boost it too.

7:13. While monitoring my batteries, I took some photos of the smaller garage alarm 12 volt battery, for Tony. He suspects it is very old and won't hold up during a long outage...

Checked it for dates. Nothing was stamped into the plastic casing. The date code on the top sticker, unfortunately, was unreadable... Splashed with water. Or acid.

7:20. The second gel battery reported itself charged.

I put the leads back on the primary battery but with the charger at 2 amps, trickle level, just to keep it topped up.


Later, Tim would remark that it looked very suspicious what I was doing... Funny guy.


Couple of other things to do in preparation for the apple orchard event: make sure the laptop computer is working OK; freshen up the presentation file; and phone the orchard to go over (and improve) logistics... Oh, and program calendar alarms in my palmtop for the ISS flyovers!

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