Saturday, September 25, 2021

late checkout from DDO (Richmond Hill)

Helped at the Up In The Sky event from the David Dunlap Observatory... yesterday? Yesterday.

I headed down in the late afternoon so to have a good amount of time to set up and prep, feeling a little rusty, and wanting to work on my own. Quite cloudy during the trip down. Maybe this wasn't going to work...

Then some slack time.

When Denise arrived, I had the dome open, cooling fan running, Stellarium running, adapters out, Visitor eyepiece ready, finder MallinCam going, my laptop John Gomez going, my new USB headset at the ready, sidereal time set, upper door open (after some persuasion).

Received Andrew's MallinCam Universe.

The skies were perfectly clear!

Targeted Saturn quickly but the camera image was breaking up. As I tried to sort things on my work, I was awarded a BSOD for my efforts. With about 30 minutes to go. Stress I didn't need. While I waited I fired up the DDO ASUS laptop but neither Denise or I could remember how to log into it.

Finally Win 10 came back and all was well. Received the VDO Ninja information from director Andrew. And suddenly I was on, talking about Saturn, the second largest gas giant in our solar system.

Rick and Claudio and Ron took turns talking through the evening. 

After Saturn I headed to Albireo. When I sat down and put my headphones on, they were transitioning to me. Yikes. Wasn't ready for that. So I quickly found my notes and talked about double stars.

Then I went to Jupiter with the 23 ton telescope. And was ready when they tossed the football to me.

Took an audience question.

And then I was done. There was some talk about me doing another target, beyond what was scripted, but I suggested others should show things. Even Ward was able to share an image, his comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) shot from the summer of 2020.

Jupiter through 74 via MallinCam

This gave me time to work on the DDO portable computer. Got logged in. And discovered the MallinCam Universe software had never been installed. So I did a near-field Bluetooth transfer of the control app and the driver. Swapped out my computer for the RASC unit and connected successfully to the camera.

I tried viewing τ (tau) Cygni.

When the show wound down, the lads from the lawn came up to celebrate and do some quick training and refreshing on the 74-inch.

Claudio in particular wanted to try his cameras. We spent a lot of time experimenting.

During this, I tried to improve the focus of the finder scope with its MallinCam. That worked, the Ring Nebula obviously improved on the TV monitor. But as I locked down the focuser, the little refractor moved in the ring holders. I spent the rest of the evening trying to realign it. Frustrating. I still think its off so I'll have to revisit that...

Denise and I closed out the dome at 2:42 AM.

I gave her the my 3D model of the telescope printed by Steve. She was thrilled.

Seat of the pants, tonight. But Denise was happy. First time I went to three different targets in the same show!

Wow. Long night. Home after 3 AM.

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