Monday, May 07, 2012

helped at work party

I helped out at the work party at the RASC Toronto Centre Carr Astronomical Observatory. Actually, I helped out before, during, and after.

With Charles, Dietmar, and Tony, I helped in planning the event. Considering activities and chores and the tools, supplies, needed. Gathering the list of volunteer workers. Sending a reminder note to all those helpers as to what to bring, in terms of clothing, tools, food, etc. time lines, etc. Banned Phil from bringing movies. Picked up the digital projector for the Friday night monoplex.

During the event, I worked on a few chores.

I serviced the Integrated Sensor Suite of the Davis weather station, installing a fresh battery. I cleaned the clogged rain bucket. Then covered the top of the bucket with a window screen, some fine plastic mesh, to hopefully keep bugs and debris out. I verified that we had the Metric adapter installed on the tilt sensor. And considered how to upgrade the solar sensor: the plastic "lens" is yellowed and cracked. We all agreed it should be glass.

I did a bit of trench work. But not much. Phil, Tim L, Justin, Bailey, Tony, Jacek, Steve, Thomas, Alan, Katrina, Lora, Tom, and others worked very hard at this. Both trenches, at the house, and to MODL 5. I was very pleased to finally see conduit run between the house and the garage. It meant I could expand the Local Area Network eastward.

Helped Matthew and Justin and Tony as they wired up the garage ethernet and mounted the new security camera. Matthew installed a new wireless access point in the garage, connected to Phil's recently-donated Linksys router, greatly enhancing the wireless coverage.

Helped a bit with the spring servicing of the Stargrazer ride-on mower. Trevor and I changed the oil. I finally got 'round to reinstalling the cowling and bonnet. Both the lead-acid 12 volt batteries were tired so it took us a while to get it going, but it worked fine, in the end. Cut the lawn.

Did a bit of spring prep for the generator, deactivating the battery blanket. Reset the warning condition. Tested the battery (several times).

Orchestrated a meeting of the supervisors, given that we had a good portion present.

While not a planned chore, I fixed the internet service at the CAO. Something had gone wobbly with the DNS servers. Maybe had changed something at their end. I wouldn't put it past them to reconfigure something and not tell us...

Did a bit of testing on the proximity door lock. I'm not clear what powered circuit it is on.

Weather was great, for a change. Sunny and warm in the day. The skies though were so-so, but we did get to enjoy the Super Moon.

And then, after the event, I debriefed with the CAO committee. Nudged Tony to write up his report while I coaxed the photographers to upload their shots. Updated the supervisors as to the status of fuel, etc. And finally I posted Tony's article to the centre web site, with links to photo galleries and Katrina's time-lapse.

Good food by Lora and Ralph through the weekend.

I enjoyed camping as well. It had been a while. The spring peepers were loud though. And an owl circled the grounds the whole night. Tried out my canopy "shelf" in the Pingo at last.


There were a few things I did not do. For lack of time. Or motivation. I really wanted to survey the property, reviewed the east, west, and south boundaries. I had asked Trevor to bring his GPS. But we just didn't have any time. The valve adjustment for the generator will need to wait a little longer...


Remembered to double-sock with the steel toes. Worked great.

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