Monday, September 27, 2010

Huge Setback and Very Disappointed

Life is good when the highs are higher than the lows are low.
Well last week everything was looking good only to drop to a new low. On Tuesday Sept 24 our Starizona MicroTouch AutoFocuser unit and the color filters showed up so I started getting ready to install the compete assembly including the CCD camera.
The focuser is a beautiful piece of machine work that came with a shorty adapter allowing the installation of our QSI 583 Camera without clearance issues.

Here is the complete unit less the power motor that installs in place of that gold colored knob. The black rubber cover on top of the camera is for a second guide camera that controls the telescope during multiple exposures.

When Pat and I went out Saturday afternoon to test fit all this new gear, we were shocked to remove the rear cover of the telescope and find a lot of damage including mashed threads and a ripped up aluminum internal flange.

Here is a photo of the damage.
I called Jim Sunday night with the bad news and emailed him all the photos, he will have to be the one to deal with Meade.
Today I got the bad news that I'll have to take the scope down, pack it up and ship it back to Meade.
This just sucks!!!
I'll get it shipped this week, keep working on the warm room and hope we get it back by the end of October. I guess we will find out what kind of company Meade really is. This telescope was purchased as a refurbished item but in my opinion this damage could have only happened during assembly of the scope.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stairs, Carpet, lighting and Clean-up

Sorry I've been slow to blog but things have been crazy around here lately, so I'll try to catch you up.
The end of August we had a lot of visitors including Stuart and Anita, friends from Georgia, this being their first trip to our remote site. Stuart used all his deep woods navigation skills and his vast local knowledge of Cook County to make the 17 minute trip in just under one hour. (Stuart you know I poke fun cause I care and the boys at breakfast miss you!)

Anita emailed me this photo she took during the visit, her email also stated that it's a magical place and I have to say I love that description, thanks.

The deck top when on well and I also boxed in the pier and started to design and build the stairs

Then the deck was covered with 18" square black carpet tiles and the lighting layout began.

The red rope lights are from Ax Man surplus and worked out great. Once the pier cover is painted black it won't glow any more and we also ran lights down the edge the stairs to make them very visible.

Last week I made the run to Duluth for warming room building materials so the Dr Seuss house will get it's start this week. Our neighbors, Bill and Jackie, donated a very nice window to the cause and we thank them for that.