There are some changes in store for TRO in 2015! The first issue is getting a real roof plus siding on the telescope shelter. Since we were gone over Christmas to my son’s wedding in Oklahoma I had to move the telescope indoors since you can’t currently lock the shelter! That is a pain and takes 3 stout men to do it! The plan is to put corrugated metal panels on the roof and then use plywood for the sides. The canvas has worked fairly well but does not provide the level of security needed for an extensive telescope setup.
The second issue is better polar alignment and wire routing. Polar alignment on a fixed wedge scope is quite a challenge! You physically have to move the tripod legs up and down or side to side. It is hard to get the right level of precision! A small rubber hammer is useful for moving the scope! This is a time consuming job but is well worth it in the long run.
There are a lot of wires! Heaters, focusing, power supplies etc. I just need to take more time and rethink how the wires should go. My last run kept losing alignment. Turns out the cold made the wires stiff and it was causing the scope to slip! So some time and energy need to go into how to route them better.
After getting the shelter secured I plan to set up the Meade LX 200 for spectroscopy. This is to do low resolution spectroscopy. Several years ago I purchased a Star analyzer 100 at the SAS/AAVSO meeting (2009) in CA. Though I got fairly familiar with this setup on several scopes it was never used to it’s potential. With a dedicated 8″ I think the potential resolution can be easily reached and the scope become productive.
Overall I think 2015 should be a very interesting and productive year!
Here is what the shelter looks like. Not very secure!