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Thread: Rusty but everything still works.

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    Alec in France's Avatar
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    Default Rusty but everything still works.



    Just in case anyone was wondering, yes I'm still here. Having had the temerity to buy a Skyshed pod observatory earlier in the year, I've been dealt with severely by the cloud gods. My part of the south east of England has suffered poor skies for weeks on end. I apologize to any fellow amateur astronomers who live within 50 miles of me.

    You know how your GoTo handset retains the date of its last use? Well tonight while setting up I had to wince at the date showing on mine. It read June 9th! I won't claim there have been no possible viewing nights since then and indeed July 22nd was a fine night. Trouble was, I had to be up at 4.45am the next day to catch a cross channel ferry. Talk about rubbing salt into the wounds. The first good night for ages and I couldn't make use of it. I could hear the cloud gods on the roof of the house - laughing!

    Anyway, I caught the ferry to France and enjoyed a two week holiday in my old stamping ground in the deep south of the country. Amazing skies there. Lovely naked eye views of the Milky Way on several of the nights. I visited my old club's observatory and was immediately pressed into service giving an introductory lecture to a group of holidaying Brits who had requested an English speaker. Superb views of M13 and Saturn through the 510mm reflector and various other crowd pleasers to show our guests (we had around 90 visitors to the observatory that night).

    Back home to England and grey skies for a couple more weeks. Tonight though I opened my little observatory's dome. I brushed out some cobwebs and removed a few snails that were stuck to the inside of the equipment bays. I had fully charged the Celestron power tank after my last use of it in early June. I hoped it would last for a couple of hours tonight. It did! Plugged everything in, switched on and set up. Everything working, except me. Its surprising how rusty you can get when you don't use your gear for a couple of months. I managed to stumble into the tripod very early on and upset my alignment, almost dropped an eyepiece by rushing too much. So I gave myself a talking to and settled down to a back-to-basics evening. Easy targets only tonight, nothing taxing. Saturn, Mars, Mizar/Alcor, M3, Double cluster, M13. Tried and failed to find M51 but the moon had just emerged from behind the neighbouring houses.

    A few ciggys and a cup of coffee and I'm a happy bunny again amongst the stars. One slight downside, I'm not convinced that my C6 Schmidt-Cassegrain is exactly colimated. I purchased it secondhand and the previous owner told me he had never adjusted it. Can anyone convince me that its easy peasy to do? Not sure I feel all that confident of attempting fine adjustments in the dark.

    Good to be back.

    Alec.
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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Welcome back Alec, hadn't seen you around the Forum in awhile.

    Clear (hopefully) Dark Skies.
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    Michael
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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    If the C6 is the same setup as the C11. Point your scope at a bright star. Turn the focus to put the bright star out of focus and it should create a doughnut shape. A bright circular ring with a dark patch in the center. If you have a doughnut with its wall a constant thickness all the way around...Its good. Do nothing, enjoy the stars.
    If however you find the wall is thin on one side and very think on the other...then you need to adjust the three screws at the front of the scope. In the center of the aperture, behind the secondary mirror. Only turn a screw a quarter turn, 1/4, as they can be very sensitive and the star image will move out of field of view causing other issues.
    Schmidt Cassegrain telescope advice - maintenance - SCT collimation
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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Glad you're back.

    If it makes you feel any better, I turned on my AVX last week before I sold it, and the last inputted date in the controller was March 16th... so you're still doing good!

    Hope your observatory serves you well, I certainly want one.
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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Hi Alec! Good to see you back on the forum! I was wondering about you the other day.

    Thanks for the great update. I enjoyed the read!
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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Good to hear you are back at it with a clear night, Alec. Yeah, it can be tough after a long time away. I was nightless from last November until May, and it was a bit scary the first night out. Hopefully the weather won't put you back down - you have served your time!

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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Welcome back! SCT hold collimation rather well. Do star test as Dave suggested and chance are you all good. If you see that doughnut is uneven don't start messing with screws yet. Make sure that you gave enough time for the tube to reach outside temperature and that the star is high enough and not affected by bad viewing conditions.

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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantypoo View Post
    If it makes you feel any better, I turned on my AVX last week before I sold it, and the last inputted date in the controller was March 16th... so you're still doing good!
    While I sympathise with you, yeah it does make me feel a bit better! March 16th eh? Wow!

    Alec.
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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobharmony View Post
    ........... I was nightless from last November until May, and it was a bit scary the first night out.

    Bob
    November until May? Wow Bob, I think I'd better quit my complaining!

    Alec.
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    Think of those rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot ..... Carl Sagan.

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    Default Re: Rusty but everything still works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Testgear View Post
    If you have a doughnut with its wall a constant thickness all the way around...Its good. Do nothing, enjoy the stars.

    Schmidt Cassegrain telescope advice - maintenance - SCT collimation
    Dave, thanks for the words of encouragement and also for the excellent link.

    Alec.
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