• Ville Puoskari

Off-season improvements

Last weekend I visited the observatory after a four month hiatus with Erik. We added some thick styrofoam to shield the telescopes from polar-aligment issues in the coming season. Its never been a real issue but it seems to affect both piers slightly. To protect the insulating styrofoam base we built a casing out of impregnated wood, Erik had a great idea of putting the boards at a ~45 degree angle for looks. I think it looks great! Also the wasps had built us a suprise - directly at the electronic housings in the observatory! We poisoned the nest and I spent couple of hours cleaning contacts and vacuuming out dead wasps and other gunk. It was really awful but everything seems to work fine despite being drenched in pyrethroid. I hope it doesnt cause any long-term corrosion of insulations in the electronics - only time will tell I guess. After cleaning up things I swapped my telescopes USB hub to a more modern system called Pegasus Astro USB Hub. Its possible to unplug USB cables individually from this hub via software so it should save me from possible issues in the future. Also I got my hands on a QHY Polemaster lately, I look forward to try it soon to polar align my Losmandy G11 in the observatory. No more awkward angles trying to peek through the finder scope or hassle with drift align. :)