Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) and Pre-Farm Dress Rehearsal

My objective this evening was a full-dress rehearsal to uncover power and imaging issues with the ASI6200. My imaging target was M101, but I never got that far before being clouded out. I have a few notes worth capturing as an Observing Report though.

The temperature was a very pleasant 66F when I went out to polar align at 2100. There was an occasional slight breeze. I was expecting it to clear off right at dark, but I saw nothing but clouds in the display when I tried to polar align. I waited half an hour and found that it was still cloudy. I was getting tired rapidly, so I elected to give it up instead of waiting it out.

A couple of days ago I made a detailed dress rehearsal work plan, that I used tonight. It required significant modification, but getting through that was progress. I’ll make changes tomorrow. I had two issues during the attempt, the first, I think was related to the second.

Part of my checklist was to update computers (laptop and mini) during the day before a planned session. It turns out that I had turned off automatic updates for the mini computer about a year ago, so it took over two hours to update. Lesson learned…if I am going to disable auto updates to avoid unexpected updates, I need to do manual updates occasionally.

Recently I have had no trouble establishing RDT sessions. The only problem in the past has been dropped connections that automatically reconnect, which is quite annoying. Establishing RDT sessions tonight was giving me fits as I worked through the workplan. I discovered as I was about to shut down that the mini-computer wifi was set up as a Private connection whereas the laptop is set up as Public. I am not sure which is better for my application, but I think that both computers need to be the same. Perhaps the minicomputer got changed from Public to Private during the update. I’ll sort this out tomorrow too. I am hopeful that getting the Public/Private issue worked out will eliminate the dropped connections.

Even though tonight was a cloud out, it was worth it to work out some more issues. I think that tomorrow night will be a better weather opportunity, and I think that I am better postured for success.

Leave a Reply