Friday, August 12, 2011

iOptron GotoNova installation

Happy Day!
I love coming home to find brown boxes waiting for me at my door

Lets take a look inside!

The GotoNova kit was packed well and arrived in good condition.

There is not much to the kit, and the only complaint I have is the lack of a printed manual.  They have pdfs available on the website but that means I have to print out my own if I want a field reference.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

GotoNova and my SuperPolaris

Like many folks in the hobby, I have several scopes.

Old scopes are sold to finance newer better scopes.

I inherited (more like liberated) my dad's old 8inch Celestron SCT which was mounted on a Vixen built german equatorial mount called a Super Polaris.

This is my main imaging rig, unfortunately it only has an AC Clock drive.  Which means that it will track, but will not correct for error.  It requires 110v AC to operate which means batteries AND inverters.

Monday, August 1, 2011

TMSP Trip Report

Another year and another Table Mountain Star Party.

This was my second year as a member of the board of directors for TMSP.
Since I am on the board, I get the privilege of helping to set up all the tents which means I arrived on the mountain on the Sunday before the actual event.

Sunday morning I packed up my 1975 VW Kombi and set out for the mountain.

 My particular bus has more than enough power to conquer the highways and passes
between my base of operations in Des Moines and Table Mountain.

The weather was beautiful and the drive was uneventful despite having rebuilt my distributor on the previous Friday evening.

As you can see she cruises nicely on the freeway.

I made it to the most demanding and most picturesque portion of the journey at around 3pm

This portion of the trip has you climbing from the floor of the Kittitas Valley to Table mountain in the Wenatchee Mountains.  The first 5 miles up Reecer Canyon sees over 2400 feet in elevation gain.

The switchbacks give ample opportunity to gaze out across the valley, however the technical nature of this portion of the drive leaves the driver with little time to enjoy the vistas.