February 2010

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OTA Ring Mods, Fork Spacing, Testing Mount Park Modes

The pier wasn't ready today, but I went to Durmach machine shop to discuss shortening the OTA ring plates from 18" to 12" and replicating the mounting holes in one end. The staff at Durmach in general and Dave in particular are real nice.  Should be about $50.  I hope to get it to them Wednesday.

Installing the Mount Controller - Part 2

Got the A-P cable connections right first thing this morning and e-mailed Mathis of my error.  Lesson 1.  Don't try and figure out a new GTO system late at night!

Installing the Mount Controller

I connected the cables between the RA and DEC motors and the A-P control box.  The connection layout is not clear nor documented.  I hooked up the power supply and turned on the mount.  The cable connections are wrong because I've got a yellow overload protection light on the control box and the keypad does not get to the main menu.  I turned off the mount, swapped the RA and DEC connections, and tried again.  Keypad shows main menu.  Using N-S-E-W keypad keys, I can move mount in RA but nothing happens in DEC.  Getting a mount status through keypad indicates "stalled motor".  Turned off th

Power Supply, Fork Problems, Mating the Imaging Train

Delivered the pier to Liberty at 8 AM.  Later in the afternoon, I called to find out if it was ready but was told that it would be Monday.  So that gave me time to pick up a Pyramid 12V regulated power supply from Durham radio at 4:15 PM.

Modifying the Pier

Delivered the 2' x 3' x 1/2" steel plate to Liberty Metal Fabricators at 8 AM this morning to have three new bolt holes drilled 11" south from the old bolt holes.  Moving the pier to this location will put the OTA central to the dome.

Picked up the steel plate at 4:30 PM.  Was helped by a neighbour and his friend to get the plate back on the parallams.

Delivery and Test Set Up of Mathis Mount

Left home at 9:55 AM and checked in to Forward Air to get the shipment documents which I then had to run over to the other side of the airport to Canada Customs to have the shipment cleared.  Forward Air wants $60 for a terminal fee.  The agent at customs was very nice and seemed to know exactly what I was importing.  After a 20 minute wait for the paper work to get processed, the agent directed me to the cashier to pay the taxes and then launched into a a bunch of topics about astronomy, Star Trek, etc.  I paid the taxes without hassles and then headed back to Forward Air to claim the ship