Mars and Equipment Tuning

Tonight’s session started off horribly, but ended greatly.

The equipment setup was G11/Meade already set up. I added the ASI178 hoping to get in some lunar shots, but clouds lingered until about an hour after the moon crossed the meridian, and I didn’t want to go chasing it to the other side, only having to come back east for Mars. I put the ASI289/EFW on the scope and waited for the clouds to go away an the seeing to reach average.

In addition to the ASI290 and EFW, I had the mount and focuser connected to the laptop with an ASCOM connection to FireCapture. With this I was able to do my first remote planetary imagine session.

I used the polar alignment that I set and have not adjusted for a couple of weeks. I noticed that the drift rate was a little higher, but FC Autoguiding handled it well.

The temperature hung out around 30 degrees while I was making adjustments while the clouds were still around. It had dropped to 27 degrees and the relative humidity was 78 percent. There was no dew or frost on anything.

The mount gave me problems first. It was the same freeze up that I was experiencing at the Farm and that I had experienced in cold weather before. I was also getting slews that were off, and on one attempt to park the scope, it went looking for Australia. I had a different hand controller cable, and I was unplugging it to use the USB connection. I put the GM8 control panel on the mount, and it worked perfectly. Reading on this, hand controller can be a problem, but I ruled that out with a new cable. Battery can be low. I think that I changed it last year, so it should be good for four more years. I’ll check it again. Software in the control panel could be corrupted, so I’ll re-load it.

I had remote desktop connectivity issues that did not appear until I started imaging. I believe that pushing captured data across the wifi to OneDrive was causing the problem, because everything was working fine until I started my first capture. I went out to the remote computer to reset the wifi and to pause OneDrive Synchs. Now remote desktop seems to be working just fine.

Mars - 2022-12-02 03:35 UTC

Leave a Reply