Astronomy Report – January 27th



Name: Rob Hunt
Crew: 291
Date: 27/01/2024
Solar Features Observed: Sun spots
Images submitted with this report: None
Time in observatory: 10:00 to 16:30 (less 30 minutes lunch break in HAB). Optimum period for observing is approx. 10:00 – 15:00
Problems Encountered:
Scope was found pointing North.
Interior hook for padlock as shown in Guide, is not there.
Broken eye-piece tightening screw found in top drawer.
Shutter Control box operates very poorly. Initially, lower shutter would not open at all but eventually responded. Order in which shutters open changes randomly or they don’t both open. Power cycling might make a difference but must be ‘Off’ for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes lower shutter stops at about ¼ open. There is a clunk/stall in the worm drive about ⅓ way open but iot doesn’t stop the movement. Worm thread is not lubricated.
Lower shutter fits over its seating rims very unevenly leaving gaps on the sides and at the overlap with upper shutter when closed. Lower shutter has four loose screws on outside of the edge that closes against the upper shutter. The hinges attaching iot to the dome are stiff (with paint?), not secured well and wobble.
Upper shutter follows its guides OK but is very noisy and unlubricated. When closing against the lower shutter, it leaves large gaps – caused by misaligned lower shutter.
Azimuth motor works OK but dome wheels don’t always run on the track. Dome and walls do not match up around the track and wheels hit gaps at mismatched wall segments. Nylon drive ring guide above controller shunts back and forth with loud clunking sound and makes dome shudder.
Azimuth drive control paddle has a light metal label immediately under the toggle switch. It has “On” in red on opposite sides buts is misaligned relative to the “Left” and “Right” labels on the outside of the paddle.
Guide book pages came away from spine and fell out.
In Guide book, “Alignment Success” is not displayed. Instead “Select Alignment” appears. I selected “Solar System Alignment” then “Sun”. I then got “Don’t look at Sun” warning.
All alignment problems (p 13 Guide) were experienced.
No instructions in Guide to remove lens cap.
No instructions in Guide to remove red plastic eyepiece socket plug.
One eyepiece holding screw is seized in position.
One eyepiece holding screw is snapped off leaving thread in the collar. Screw head found in drawer is a match for the other half.
Eyepiece cannot be securely inserted. It wobbles when used in situ.
ZWO cable was found dangling on the floor.
ZWO camera sits in eyepiece collar very loosely because of missing tightening screws.
Locating “USB Extension” not described in the Guide.
SharpCap update was downloade but not installed because password protected (v 4.0.9538)
No “Gamma” controls found in SharpCap menus.
Closing Proceedure with scope Controller – Menu doesn’t say “Goto Home Position” but says “Go to”.
There is no “Hibernate” in “Home Position”
Today, the “Hibernation” position was very different to where scope was found.
Button #7 on Control paddle goes Menu >> Utilities >> Home Position >> Goto

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