Sunday, October 17, 2010

quick CAO visit

Charles, Tony, and I headed to the Carr Astronomical Observatory primarily to examine and repair (if possible) the roll-off roof wheels and bearings. It had been reported that some stopped turning recently.

Tony picked me up just before 8:30 AM. We loaded his MVP with my 2 toolboxes, 3 ton jack, 2 ton jack, cordless drill, impact wrench, impact socket set, the Mother of All Breaker Bars, and other bits. Headed to Charles. He gave me a quick coffee from the Braun. I noted that he is a true amateur astronomer: he has telescope gear in his kitchen. After we transferred tools and parts (mine and Tony's) to the pickup truck, we were on our way.

We arrived the CAO at 11:30 or so. Unpacked everything in front of the Geoff Brown Observatory. Fired up the house. Quickly, we checked the wheels as we opened the GBO roof. All steel wheels were turning. Whew! Easy. Be home for dinner!

It was somewhat satisfying to learn we did not have a catastrophe on our hands. So we headed to the kitchen to enjoy our lunch. Made plans.

After removing all the J-hooks, marking each wheel's position, breaking the torque on all the axle pins, notching an old wooden post, we jacked up the west side of the roof. Pulled out one of the wheels from a centre truck. Two washers on the outside; three inside. We found the wheel had a pressed brass bushing with some mild scoring but no major damage. The centre pin axle looked fair with some scoring on the weight-bearing side.

Again, we were relieved. Nothing major. Nothing urgent. We proceeded with our plan to clean and lubricate the axles and washers with grease, shuffle the pins one position south, and take one or two wheels back to the city for replication or upgrading.

As we completed the work on the west side, I noted the time to Tony. He suggested that he and Charles could proceed with the roof repair while I could tackle other items on our short job-jar list.

I headed to the house with the new BenQ projector and installed it in the overhead shelf of the Great Room. Unfortunately, I found that the angle of the throw was even steeper than our old Panasonic. When I invited the guys to take a break, I got them to help me with an inverted test. I held the projector upside while Charles, using the remote, put the projector into ceiling mode. It would work well in this configuration.

Ralph phoned earlier looking for some paperwork. I located the requested membership forms in the library.

In the meantime, I swapped in the Panasonic for Ralph's upcoming event.

I reset the empty GBO mouse traps.

We found the recently repaired south doors had been closed in the wrong order. I reset them with Charles's help.

When I reported that it was 4:00 PM, Tony was surprised. We put the finishing touches on the roof, lubed and tightened the chain, quickly packed the truck, tidied the GBO, and locked everything up. Tony said, "the GBO is rolling again." Puny guy.

My car jacks came in handy.


Unknown said...

I said to Lora we're all lucky to have guys like Tony, Chas and you who are willing and able to do all this heavy lifting at CAO so that others can enjoy. Thanks!

bla said...

There's some self-interest here, of course. If the CAO works, then I too get to play with it.