Thursday, November 08, 2012

telescope repair night (Etobicoke)

Finally, I could stay out late and play. I think Manuel goes into work, in general, late morning. Maybe noon. This schedule let's him stay up late and sleep in. Tomorrow, I didn't have to be at a client site so I didn't feel constrained. We planned to meet for dinner and then head to his place. The big job for the night would be to check, and fix, the collimation in the Celestron 9¼" SCT.

A little after 8:30 PM, we met up. He was still very upset about the night before. In addition to the collimation issue, he talked of difficulty with the star alignment process, with the Orion mount. I suggested it was a modelling issue, that possibly certain stars needed to be used, and others avoided. I told him that I knew this to be the case with some Meade mounts and that people had written software apps to help select the best alignment stars.

Once at his place, we started the set-up. OTA to the deck to begin cooling.

I started working on the Orion mount outside. I noticed something strange right away when the hand controller fired up. At the location prompt, I spotted a question mark on the display, in the longitude value, after the 79. Didn't look good. And immediately I realised what happened. The longitude had been entered as a two digit number, not three. I re-entered the longitude number with a leading zero and everything went swimmingly.

As I began a multi-star alignment, I found the Telrad way off. Oh boy. What happened here? I tuned it. All fixed. And then slewed to objects with reasonable accuracy.

When Manuel emerged from the house, I explained that I had resolved his mount alignment issues. He was happy to hear that.

We commenced the big job. The collimation of the 9¼. With DFK camera, it proved very easy, in the end. I did however have to remove the camera for the initial adjustments, the telescope was so far off. I had never seen collimation so bad.

I also found the adjustment screws very tight to turn in. I believe, looking back, they had been turned to their maximum depth. What a mess. But, we fixed it. And Manuel was very happy.

I helped with focus. We captured some frames of Jupiter.

At 11:47 I headed inside to warm up. And I suddenly realised how tired I felt. I was done. I think Manuel was tired too, in addition to feeling the effects of a cold. I headed home.

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