1. © Copyright 2014 by Lieven Persoons

October & November 2011

Photo gallery 2

Biggest challenge this time was to get the scopedome driver to function properly and make sure the slaving and shutter control would work flawlessly. This certainly was easier said than done! After carefully taking all measurements for the dome geometry and putting these in the scopedome driver it took us a few day fiddling with the numerous parameters in order to make the scope point reasonably well through the shutter, and have the shutter track the telescope. Only in the very North and very South there were some small deviations. I also installed an e-finder, a DMK32 camera with a wide angle C-mount lens. giving a comfortable 15° field of view. Unfortunately clouds forbid to make a good calibration of the e-finder or decent polar alignment of the telescope. And a calibration of the mount’s goto system was entirely impossible. I also fiddled some more with the shutter and dome rotation, in order to get these working a bit more smoothly. Though soon I discovered that the major show stopper was the temperature. For some reason as soon as temperatures dropped below 5°C both the dome rotation and shutter motors stalled. This was a major setback because winters can get quite cold at Verclause. I’ll certainly will need to come up with a good solution for this problem. Imagine that you can’t close the shutter and a rain rolls in. Actually, a few weeks later, though temperatures were not that low, I wasn’t able to get the shutter closed and the weather forecast predicted heavy rain the next day. Only a mere hour or two before the rain started to fall I managed to close the shutter. At that time the weather station wasn’t installed  so automatic closing of the shutter when rain would fall wasn’t possible either.  Lastly I installed a plexiglass wall around all the equipment around the pier. This is required to make sure that the cable that connects the stationary part of the dome can’t get caught anywhere.