Wednesday, September 12, 2012

reseated jumpers

8:45 AM. A sinking feeling emerged when I looked at the clock in the car. And as I thought about the road signs. And replayed the memory of the SNO trip to Sudbury. It just didn't look right. The exit numbers. Or rather lack thereof. Then I saw the sign for Severn Bridge and realised the scope of my mistake.

I pulled off, fired up the map software. Yep. I totally goofed. I should have continued on Highway 400; in taking Highway 11, I was now on the other side. Too far east now. I planned my route, backtracking now, to Geoff's.

Curiously, I realised, I could use the route I had originally planned for *leaving* his place, via New Brailey Line. It'd put me into his driveway 30 minutes later than I had planned.

It was a nice day. I really didn't have a strict itinerary. So it wouldn't affect my timing. I had to force myself not to stress about it.

And I'd be able to see his property while approaching from the other direction, at least. He greeted me at the door. I apologised for arriving late. He said, "It happens."

After I dug my digital multimeter out from the centre of the car (poor planning there), we walked through the basement to the telescope room. Geoff remarked about "the book," and that he couldn't see it. He had, for the moment forgotten where'd he'd put it. I was still not fully awake—what book?

We exited the house, opposite side, to the deck. The SkyShed POD was open. There stood the CPC 1100 with the centre fascia removed. Flipped (and tensioning the wires). Ready. Ready for inspection.

Geoff had brought his most complete Allen key set out. They lay on the small table with a couple of other items. I grabbed the keys to begin the removal of the plastic from the left arm. With the OTA in place, it was awkward to remove the upper bolts. We discussed leaving them out on reassembly. Geoff already had the small key out for the grub screw for the azimuth knob.

We inspected the new motor control board. Everything looked fine. No chips missing their tops. No scoring. No burn marks. The jumper cables looked fine. Perhaps one (second from the right, top row) was raised a half-millimetre higher than the others. But, in general, all the connections looked good. Still, I wanted to reseat them.

Sequentially, I quickly disconnected and reconnected every jumper on the motor board. Then the connectors on the centre panel.

We connected the power and turned on the main switch.The hand controller showed... normal response. I hit Enter and it prompted for the local time. Yeh! No error codes.

That was easy!

We bolted the panels back on and tried again. All good. I was happy. Geoff was relieved.

"Oh, there's the book!" Underneath the Allen key set lay the NexStar User's Guide by Swanson. I had noted the book as I started working on the mount. I grabbed it and my unused DMM. We chatted a bit and then I was climbing back into the car. On my way. It was around 10. And suddenly, one hour ahead of schedule!

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