Friday, August 22, 2014

repair booth report - day 1

Ran the Telescope Repair Man booth at Starfest today. Reminded me of my old conference gigs. Hard on the feet. I forgot to eat lunch!

Received many visitors and answered many questions, even before officially opening. Busy non-stop. Repaired many telescopes and binoculars. Collimated large and small binoculars, including Caroline's Celestron 15 x 70 Sky Master. She also had a pair of Adlerblick 10 x 50s, but they have hex screws smaller than 0.050", my smallest Allen key. Could not tune those unfortunately.

Helped with a reticule illuminator: batteries were in fact OK, just inserted wrong, wrong polarity. Inspected a dielectric mirror diagonal and warned that it is a primary surface, clean only when necessary, and very carefully—overall I thought it would work fine in its current condition. Collimated a number of small Newtonian telescopes. Reminded Newtonian owners that their 'scopes are like guitars... So it was more of an educational endeavor: I showed them the process and encouraged them to master it.

Mike dropped off the 102 and his SLA battery. Tested the internal battery pack. Tested the SLA battery. Verified the polarity of the hacked, custom cable. Checked for shorts. Everything seemed OK. But the mount definitely acted strangely on external power. Even with my "clean" PSU supply. Had to power down to avoid a collision. Weird. Didn't make any sense.

Strange request for the day: I was asked to fix a bino microscope. Um...

Photo by Elaine.

The big job was tapping a cross-threaded collimation screw hole in the mirror cell of Janice's 8" LightBridge Newtonian. Now the M7x1 knob goes in all the way. She can properly collimate.


I returned Mike's 'scope. He wanted me to hang onto it, to fix the power issue. I told him that I had not been able to research the matter as the internet service was still not working. He could observe tonight on internal batteries. I was uncomfortable taking the 'scope home. I wanted him to have it. It only made sense that he keep it until I knew for certain there was a solution. He asked me about a GPS upgrade. I said I'd look into that too.


Janice told me the next day her 'scope worked great!

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