Monthly Archives: July 2011


Wired the power bar monitoring relay contacts in series into Zone 1 of the building alarm system. Zone 1 also monitors one of the doors or motion sensors in the building. The monitoring relay gets its power from the load side of the 3 amp slo-blo fuse protecting the servo controller.



We spent most of the time fabricating an alignment plate for the RA gear and trying to figure out why the telescope was having so much trouble in the NW-NE quadrant. It turned out to be 4 separate problems, and once the telescope was precisely balanced, the RA gear plate trued up to the RA axis base (it was out 0.0030″ and corrected yesterday) the worm gear properly aligned with the RA gear plate using the newly fabricated alignment plate, and a loose screw in the RA motor mount bracket tightened, the telescope performed properly. The 4″ finderscope was shimmed, all the finderscopes rechecked for alignment, and the flip assembly checked and rechecked. The telescope collision areas were flagged with reflective tape. Various operating procedures were written up, sent to the webmaster for inclusion on the website, and placed in the ‘Observatory Operating Procedures’ book.

Bob and Glen


Drilled many adjustment holes into the RA gear plate and managed to true the RA gear plate to within 0.001″. We then checked the dec gear backlash and tried balancing the 24″ telescope in declination to offset the mass of the 6″ refractor by adding weight to the bottom of the mirror box but this wasn’t successful. We then stumbled across a counterweight located between the mirror box and dec axis box. It wasn’t originally a counterweight, but was a really heavy bracket assembly that was connected to the old dec
wheel. We rotated it to the most effective location, tightened it up on the dec shaft and were then successful in declination balancing.

Glen and Bob


With the new flip assembly locking plates installed, we reecollimated the 24″ telescope (Newt and Cass), realigned all the finderscopes and video camera, and took some images with the ST9 at the Newt position. More work is required on the Newt to improve the CCD images.

Bob and Glen


Mounted the 6″ refractor to the top of the mirror box and added the video camera. We hunted around for a proper length extension tube, and once it was installed, we were able to achieve focus on the moon and view the image in the monitor. The dome was mapped for interference with the telescope. The only area of concern is the manual dome crank handle and when the telescope is low enough to hit the stairwell wall.

Glen and Bob