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2First light for the new club scope

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  • Keith Lohmeyer
    Aug 12, 2000
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      First light for the new club scope

      Don announced at the August meeting that the Meade 10" LX200
      Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope the club had ordered had arrived. Several club
      members anxious to see what the new scope would do gathered at Tuckahoe
      Saturday evening Aug 5. After setting the scope up, we found the scope runs
      on 18 volts and the adapter supplied was for 120-vac house current. The
      12-volt adapter is listed as optional! After a short discussion of the
      merits of this packaging choice I made a quick trip home to get a 12-v to
      120-v inverter I use with my notebook computer. We now had a pile of wires
      and boxes that converted from 12-vdc to 120-vac back to 18-vdc but we were
      finally up and running. Some clouds, haze and a 5-day old moon made
      observing conditions less than ideal. After a couple of false starts we were
      able to get the LX200 computer aligned using the two star alignment method.
      We could then just pick objects from the database and the scope would slew
      to the object. To test the optics we put the scope on the Double Double in
      Lyra. Don Surles, Lyle Jones and Paul Gray said they were able to resolve
      all 4 stars and gave the optics a passing grade. After slewing, all objects
      appeared in the eyepiece but it was agreed that most were not centered
      enough to hit the small CCD chip of the STV camera. We will have to find
      ways to refine the alignment process to improve centering. Next time out we
      will try to get the scope camera combo to work together. If interested in
      helping with this project and learning how to use it let Don, Lyle or me

      Keith Lohmeyer