AAVSOnet news, 2014-12-05

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 13:13

one step forward, two steps back over the past month!  Things have not been as smooth as I would like.

Coker30 is up and running, but the California weather has been poor over the past few weeks.

SRO is up and running, but the Arizona weather has been poor over the past few weeks.

TMO61 appeared to have a problem with its camera.  Jon Holtzman returned the camera to HQ, but we can't get it to fail here.  I'll continue testing over the next few days and then ship it back.  Most likely it is a cable or grounding issue.

OC61 had a flaky Robofocus controller that I've had replaced.  This may be continued fallout from a lightning strike the observatory had about a year ago.  Now that the controller is working, the computer power supply failed.  Nigel Sharp switched out that supply and things are back together.  We also purchased a 240VAC web power controller and are in the process of making power cables of the correct length and gender to attach to the controller.  This will solve several of the nagging problems with OC61.  That should be finished early next week, though I expect operations to resume on the next clear night.

BSM HQ is up and running with its ST8-XME camera.  Right now we are testing some new filters from Chroma and fixing leaks in the enclosure.  The filter mix is BVRI and grating.

BSM South is fully operational, but Peter Nelson is taking a holiday for a few days, so no new images will be forthcoming.

BSM NM had a focuser control issue.  We've sent out a new module, but Bill Stein has not had time to replace it yet.  In addition, Bill is moving BSM NM from its field tripod to a permanent pier.  It will be offline until sometime next week.

BSM Hamren is operational, but with tropical weather conditions.  Mike Linnolt needs to oeprate it with manual open/close to watch for rain, and so only operates for a few hours at the beginning of the night.  We are investigating his remote site and may move BSM to that location in the near future, if the weather is significantly better.

BSM Argentina is installed, but awaiting a new hand controller.  With the difficulty of importing things into Argentina, it may be January before we can get something shipped.

BSM Berry is awaiting the completion of its enclosure.

So repair of equipment, plus handling APASS, is taking a lot of my time!  Hopefully this spate of equipment issues will be a momentary blip.