Seeing sunshine outside, I decided to go out to the telescope to see if I could work on some of the stuff on my to-do list. I also ran 1000 frames on a couple of sunspot groups. I had hoped to leave the mount set up and ready to image the moon if conditions permit this evening. A line of thunderstorms will roll through in a little while, and I found that I must have perturbed the polar alignment while working on Ra backlash, so I’ll need to reset polar alignment before I can image the moon.
The temperature was 78F and there were no perceptible breezes when I started working at the scope at 1415. There were scattered fluffy clouds that permitted a few minutes of direct sunlight between clouds. Astrospheric indicated poor transparency and above average seeing. The temperature was 81F when I finished the session at 1530, and the breeze had picked up just a little.
The NP101is was already on the G11. I added the ZWO ASI290MM and power for the session.
I had no issue with power up and target acquisition.
I ran 1000 frames each on sunspot groups AR3007, AR3010, and AR2011. All of them were pretty interesting. My exposure was <1ms and gain was close to zero.
I changed to the 60Da/2xPM to image the full solar disk, my tracking was way too far off to stay on target long enough to image with this camera. I suspect that I perturbed the polar alignment while working on Ra backlash.
A run down of the work that I did on the equipment today follows:
Ra backlash measurement and adjustment. After slewing a sunspot to the center of a reticle, and measuring how long the sunspot continued to move after releasing the arrow button, I measured 0s in N Dec, 4s in E Ra, 0s in S Dec, and 0s in W Ra. I attempted to more tightly mesh the worm and spur gears and remeasured to assess the effect with the Ra axis perfectly balanced, E heavy, and W heavy. I found that a W heavy preloading gave the best result. The final E Ra measurement is 3s of backlash. I intend to complete a W slew before initiating a PHD calibration. I am hoping that this will eliminate the backlash before I start a calibration run to see if that helps PHD with the calibration process.
I updated the user-defined file name template to include a time stamp.
Tested the Remote Desktop connections for drops and lags. I was on the home wifi for several minutes without any, and I have been on the nano-router that I will use in the field while writing this email and processing the three images, and I have not seen any drops.
All problems are not completely resolved, but I am ready to make my next DSO session a full dress rehearsal for going to the farm.
A line of thunderstorms is about to roll in. I’m going to cover the scope. Hopefully I will get a chance to work on the eclipsed moon tonight.