MAS Cherry Grove Observatory
09-19th, 2008

Shot with a Nikon D40

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Fri 09-19th, 2008

MAS CGO
MAS CGO
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Steve repairs steps @ MAS CGO
MAS CGO
Steve repairs steps @ MAS CGO
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New Pier @ MAS CGO
sunset @ MAS CGO
Sunset @ MAS CGO
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roll off roof rolling
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:12 am
Post subject: CGO Committee Open meeting notes
We had a lot of success along with a little disappointment last night during the Cherry Grove work party and open committee meeting.

The LX200 is now mounted on the pier inside the observatory. We did note that our experimental pier mounting (on top of the old support structure for the old 16" Newt's EQ mount) isn't really solid enough for good imaging use. It appears that we will have to remove it and pour a concrete foundaion pier in the ground, using the traditional sonotube approach. We pretty much expected this to be the case, but were disappointed our experiment didn't appear to work out. Next year. Confused

The LX200 needs to be balanced yet, and also appears to have some issue with the gear drive. While slewing it, the scope slipped greatly (like 20-30 degrees!) in RA. We decided to leave it mounted and look at it in the daylight later to see what's up, hoping we can correct the issue with the scope in-place, rather than taking it off and transporting it again to someone's house to be worked on. Crying or Very sad

New 2x4 construction handrails were built for the observatory front steps, replacing the old rotted handrails. It's safe to walk up the steps now! Very Happy

Vic Heiner called the open CGO committee meeting to order. Present were CGO committee members Vic, Kevin and Steve. Also present were Ben Huset, Kirby Richter, Tom Lindquist and Bob (sorry, I forgot your last name again! I said I'm horrible with names!). Embarassed

We discussed "what's next" with Cherry Grove. Aside from the obvious items of getting the LX200 operational, we discussed:

Documentation and training. We should be able to leverage the Onan Wiki documentation web pages for a quick start on LX200 documentation by "borrowing" some of the information there. Cool

Equipping the LX200 with a guide scope/camera and imaging camera. We agreed in principal that we'd like to do this, but will defer purchases until we have the basic operation of the scope straightened out. Rolling Eyes

With the new LX200 at CG, and with the 24" Starmaster "BAD" upgraded with the powered ground board this year (augmenting the Argo Navis DSC and ServoCAT drive), it looks like time to get refresher training going soon. The good news is that MAS now has some commonality of equipment betwen sites (Truss Dobs with SC and AN at all three major sites, LX200 at two sites), training becomes a little more universal. Smile

Earlier this summer, Dick Jacobson had originated a forum thread asking about interest in "equipment lockers" at some site, so that MAS members could store their own telescope equipment on-site. We talked about our newly opened up space in the northwest quadrant of the CG property, and whether it would be a useful addition to have an equipment locker building there. We came away from that discussion undecided. People with smaller scopes would probably want to keep them at their own houses. People with very large scopes may use such a facility, but is CG dark enough for someone wanting to house, say, a 16", 20" or 25" Truss Dob or similarly large equipment? Please - feel free to respond to this thread with any input! Idea

Vic offered another idea for improving and increasing MAS member use of Cherry Grove: Obtaining a couple of telescopes to be used for on-site loaner equipment. With gas prices being what they are, carpooling and smaller cars are becoming more common. The problem with carpooling is how to deal with putting two or more people's equipment in one person's car for the drive.

If we had a few fairly inexpensive scopes available at CG ready for individual use by MAS members, would you be interested in using them? This would be a good resource for members not wishing to haul their own equipment out for a couple hours of viewing, or for members owning only smaller equipment like smaller 'fractors or spotting scopes and wanting occasional access to a bit more aperture, or for members who don't yet have their own equipment. We were thinking along the lines of a couple of the ubiquitous Orion XT-8 8" Dobs. They're enough aperture to be useful, pretty inexpensive, and are easy for anyone to use.

Smile
_________________
Steve Emert

http://mnastro.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3680


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