http://jatobservatory.org/JATO_logo.gif Logbook 
_______________________________________________________________________________
This logbook is in reverse entry format. The first entry is at the bottom.
=============================================================================== 
12/18/2015 - Well after 6 months the observatory has finally been picked up by 
the Kennesaw Mountain High School science department. It will now be in storage
at the school until it is ready for installation. I have offered to help them
get it up and running. 
===============================================================================
7/26/2015 - The observatory has been disassembled and crated due to our move to
Georgia. I am in the process of trying to donate it to a local Georgia high 
school. The new place has way to many trees.
 
===============================================================================
10/27/2014 – Replaced the ProStar Crated Observatory 

batteries. The new controller is an upgrade over the old one as it has an LCD display for Batt volts,

Solar amps and batt amps. The two 115 ah batteries were replaced with one 122 ah battery as the

store only had one.

- Installed 800 watt inverter with remote control.

===============================================================================
6/26/2014 - Reconfigured telescopes.The configuration is now:
2.6mm  Tamron Wide Angle Lens    - Imager = GStar-Ex B&W Video.
40mm   Coronado Solar Spoce      - Visual Onl
50 mm  DIY Reflector             - Imager = SBIG ST-2000XM with 10 slot filter wheel
66mm   Williams Optics Refractor - Visual Only
102mm  Stellarvue APO Refractor  - Imager = SBIG ST-402ME with LRGB cfw.
 
- Both focuser ports on the Paramount ME stopped working. After reseting the Bisque
TCS file parameters back to the default values the focuser ports works again.
 
- Assembled a DIY 50mm refractor for use as a wide field imager. The scope will be
attached to the SBIG ST-2000XM. The scope has a motorized focuser and was constructed
from a Meade 50mm finder scope.
 
===============================================================================
4/26/2013 – Washed dome. Tightened acorn wheel nuts.
===============================================================================
4/24/2013 – Installed the 10" Meade SCT. The telescope configuration is now:
2.6mm  Tamron Wide Angle Lens   - Imager = GStar-Ex B&W Video.
40mm   Coronado Solar Spoce     - Visual Only
50mm   Stellarvue APO Refractor - Imager = Mallincam Hyper Color Video
66mm   Williams Optics Refractor - - Visual Only
102mm  Stellarvue APO Refractor - Imager = SBIG ST-402ME with LRGB cfw
254mm  Meade SCT  Reflector     - Imager = SBIG ST-2000XM with 10 slot filter wheel
===============================================================================
3/05/2013 – Repaired the Boltwood Cloud Sensor. The thermal grease used to both
seal out the elements and provide electrical isolation of the IR sky temperature 
sensor and the rain sensor circuit needed to be replaced. The sensor would always 
report the sky temperature as being between -10F an +4F. That would cause the 
software to always display "Very Cloudy" and constantly trigger the shutter close
routine for the dome. The sensor will be placed back online on the website's 
weather page in a few days, after it is fully calibrated.
===============================================================================
2/21/2013Replaced the Davis Vantage Pro 1 data logger. Weather Station CW2775
is again uploading data to the website and Citizen Weather Observer Program.
===============================================================================
9/29/2011 – The observatory has been completely upgraded to TheSkyX and all the 
current available software upgraded such as TPoint, CCDSoft etc.
- Moved the sensor for dome rotation from the motor shaft to the rotation gear. 
A black and white target was painted on the gear. This setup is much more 
reliable and corrects an issue with the dome rotation and slit alignment to the
telescope aperture.
- Reconfigured the telescopes to the 10” SCT with a piggybacked 66mm Refractor. 
- Observatory control program modified version 10.1 in order to support TheSkyX. 
- Petcool configured for winter (heater on A/C off).
- Weather station remains off-line due to lightning strike. 
- Experimented with POTH telescope hub. Dome alignment accuracy not so good.
- Mounted 1200 watt inverter on south wall and wired it into battery box. 
Reorganized power cords so only one AC plug needs to be moved in order operate 
the observatory from battery pack during a mains power outage.
===============================================================================
1/9/2010 - Continue to work issues with upgrading the observatory to TheSkyX.
- Ordered camera extension cable from SBIG.
===============================================================================
12/29/2010 - Began configuring the mount for the SV102A, SV110ED and the 
ZenithStar 66 in a Side-by-Side arrangement. The SV102A has the ST-2000XM, the 
SV110ED has the ST-402ME. ZenithStar 66 has the Mallicam attached. The setup 
weights 60lbs without the SBIG cameras attached.
===============================================================================
12/10/2010 - Installed TheSkyX on the observatory computer for testing. TheSky6 
remains the primary control software for the Paramount ME. 
===============================================================================
11/21/2010 - Reconfigured Petcool for winter heating. 
weather station power control off-line due to unknown issue
===============================================================================
6/14/2010 - Installed the 12" LX200R and the ETX90 OTA. 
- Received the ST402-ME back from repair. Not tested  yet.
===============================================================================
3/14/2010 - Removed the 10" LX200GPS OTA and cradle. 
- Installed the ADM side by side plate with cradles for the SV102 and 110. 
The pointing adjustment plate was attached to the 110 cradle.
- Fix the rain gage, a twig was caught in the spoon. The debris mesh is missing.
- Adjusted the All SkyCam script for daylight savings time.
===============================================================================
12/24/09 - The Sky Quality Meter has been repaired. As suspected the power plug
had come loose. 
===============================================================================
12/24/09 - The Sky Quality Meter has not worked since the snow storm on Friday
night. A quick inspection this morning shows some slack in cable. I believe the
power cable has become disconnected internally. I will open the unit later for
confirmation. 
===============================================================================
12/21/09 - Called SBIG about my ST-402ME. Again my call to the repair department
rang over to voice mail. This is the 2nd VM I have left along with two emails.
There have been no response to either my VM or emails. I am not happy with SBIG 
at this point.
===============================================================================
10/12/09 - The observatory has been indefinitely idled. 
- Petcool is in heat mode and being operated via the humidity controlled power 
outlet. 
- Computer, monitor, mount and all cameras are disconnected and/or powered 
down. 
- Shutters are locked out via the internal switch. 
- Scopes are capped and covered.
- Pier lowered
===============================================================================
8/22/09 - The SkyCam is up and running. The problem turned out to be a lose 
power cable.
===============================================================================
8/22/09 - The SkyCam is not working. The problem has not been determined.
- Cameras and telescopes reconfigured:
 254mm SCT w/SBIG ST-2000XM
  66mm Refractor w/Mallincam
  80mm Refractor w/SPC900NC/27
- Base of wall and deck interface sealed with caulk.
===============================================================================
8/8/09 - The ST-402ME has been shipped back to SBIG for repair.
===============================================================================
8/3/09 - Installed the Optec adjustable Az/Alt dovetail plate.
The ST-402ME suffered a electronics failure (bright flash & smoke). it has been
replaced with the 2nd ST-2000XM with CFW5.
===============================================================================
6/20/09 - ASCOM Dome Parameters for Side-by-Side configuration 
SV110 & SV102
 
latitude : 40.16
Longitude: -074.84
Radius:        45.276
Pivot Point East (inches): 6
Pivot Point North (inches): -6
Pivot Point Up (inches)        -10
Pivot Point Optical (inches): 18
 
Com: 4
Tic Per Revolution : 228
Home: 0 degrees
Park: 325 degrees
===============================================================================
6/16/09 - Removed spectrograph and the 12" SCT. The configuration is now the 
110mm and the 102mm refractor side by side.   
===============================================================================
5/20/09 - Repaired the wireless shutter operation, a loose screw had allowed 
the a wire to become disconnected. 
===============================================================================
5/19/09 - Attached the SV110ED atop the LX200R. The custom ADM side-by-side
plate was also attached. The WO-66 with the ST2000-XM is on one side and the
GStar-EX with the 2.6mm lens on the other.
===============================================================================
5/17/09 - Installed the LHIRES-III spectrograph in the 12" LX200R OTA @ F10.
The SBIG ST-402ME is the attached to the imaging port and the Meade DSI-Pro is
connected the guider port. CCDSoft has be setup for the cameras.  
===============================================================================
5/16/09 - The dome rotation issue turned out not to be a motor or controller
board issue. The problem was a mis-aligned optical sensor. Once the sensor was
realigned the issue was resolved.
- Moved the 2 port PCI serial card to the bottom PCI slot. The dome 
rotation & mount control are working again. Was not able to load the drivers
for the MosChip 4 port card on the observatory computer. This card installed 
without issue on the Weather Station PC. I suspect the issue may be related 
to Windows SP3.
- Sealed the based of the observatory with polyurethane in an attempt to keep
the water out. 
===============================================================================
5/14/09 - Received the 300 and 1200 LHIRES-III grating modules.
===============================================================================
5/1/09 - Received and installed the replacement LHIRES-III grating module.
===============================================================================
4/29/09 - Installed a 2 TB Cavalry CAND Raid 1 network storage drive.
===============================================================================
4/28/09 - The complete 2400mm grating module was returned to Adirondack for a 
replacement.  
===============================================================================
4/27/09 - The 2400mm grating mirror detached itself from its module plate.
===============================================================================
4/18/09
- Purchased a Shelyak LHIRES-III spectrograph with 2400 & 150mm gratings. When the
LHIRES-III is used in stand alone solar mode, it will be mounted on the LXD-650.
http://jatobservatory.org/images/LHRES-III/LHIRES-III.jpghttp://jatobservatory.org/images/LHRES-III/LHIRES-III_finder.jpg
===============================================================================
4/16/09
- All telescopes have been removed from the observatory.
===============================================================================
4/15/09
- Dome motor has been swapped out. The dome now gives the following error 
during rotation: "Communications Error"
===============================================================================
4/13/09
- Begun the swap out of the dome rotation motor.
===============================================================================
4/08/09
- Replenished water level in the 220ah battery pack. The batteries required 
almost 1/2 gallon of water to top them off.
===============================================================================
4/05/09
- Replaced the Dec motor and control board in the LX200GPS. While testing the
scope today it reported a motor stalled error.
Pre and post repair pictures of the Dec assembly can be found here:
http://jatobservatory.org/images/LX200_Dec_fix/Dec_fix.html
===============================================================================
4/03/09
- Swapped MaxDome-II dome rotation board serial #320 with board #1087. 
 
===============================================================================
3/20/09
- Began cabling up the new scope configuration. The setup is very closed to 
being balanced. None of the scope have be focused yet.
 http://jatobservatory.org/images/4_scopes_front_labeled.JPG
The image below is from the GStar-EX mount between the scopes. It will be aligned 
when the scopes are focused.
http://jatobservatory.org/images/4_scopes_day_labeled.jpg
===============================================================================
3/18/09
- Removed the Meade 12" Meade SCT from the mount.
- Installed the Stellarvue SV110ED-A and SV102A side by side. The Williams 
Optics Zenithstar 80mm has been piggy-backed on the SV102A and the Coronado 
ScopeMax 40 hydrogen Alpha solar scope is piggy-backed on the SV110ED-A. The 
===============================================================================
3/7/09
- Installed the remaining 7 dome wheels. The 8 additional wheels put the spacing
between them at 17.5 inch. That is half of the original 35 inches from the 
manufacturer. The picture below shows one of the new wheels (center). 
http://jatobservatory.org/images/dome_wheels.jpg
 
The hole was cut to allow wheels to be installed or removed without removing the 
dome. (The hole is not visible when the wheel cover is in place.)
http://jatobservatory.org/images/Dome_wheel_hole.jpg
===============================================================================
2/26/09
- Installed one of the dome wheels. Originally the wheels were spaced 35 inches
apart. The new wheel was place in the center of the area were the lower part of
the dome was dragging on the top of the walls. A noticeable improvement in the 
smoothness of the rotation was observed.
===============================================================================
2/23/09
- The dome wheels and motor arrived a few day ago, but it been a bit to chilly
for me to do the installation.
- Update the firmware in the SQM-LE to 3-3-12. This allows the calibration
values to be changed. The jSQM-LE.jar program was also updated. 
- Installed the SQM Reader Pro software on the weather station PC. The new
software provides graphing and FTP ability.
===============================================================================
2/11/09
- Yesterday was a good and bad day. I decided to drill the vent holes in the 
PVC that holds the SQM. This will help equalize the internal and outside
ambient temperatures. Without the holes the internal temps are 20+ degrees 
higher than outside. I decided to leave the SQM circuit board in place during 
the drilling. Bad move. On the last hole the drill bit caught and damaged some 
traces on the circuit board. The good news is I was able to repair the traces
with some bus wire and a soldering iron. The other good news is the vent holes 
work. The the temps inside are only about 4 degrees above ambient. I 
will have to keep a close eye on the temps in the cold weather. If the temp 
drops too low inside, condensation could build up on the inside cover. To correct 
that the design allows for the top and middle pieces of PVC to be rotated to 
close the holes thereby raising the internal temps.
===============================================================================
2/10/09
- It appears I may have found the issue with the dome rotation. The dome is
dragging on the top of the dome walls in some places. I am not really sure
why this is happening. It is almost as if the dome is distorted. In order to
fix the problem I have ordered a set of 8 wheels from the dome manufacturer.
The wheels will be added as needed to the low spots on the dome. The existing 
wheels will also be removed, cleaned and reinstalled. A 3/4" hole was drilled 
on the inside of the dome track near the man door. This hole will allow access 
to the screw head that holds the dome wheel on the bearing. Without the hole 
the dome would need to be lifted off the walls to access the screw. The hole 
will be cover when that section of the protective wheel cover is put back in 
place. That section of the cover will be marked so the location of the hole can 
easily be located if  access is needed in the future.
- The outer surface of the top of the dome walls and the inside of the rubber 
weather strip were recoated with silicone lubricant. 
- Ordered a spare dome rotation drive motor and spare drive gear.
===============================================================================
2/8/09
- The SQM-LE has been permanently mounted on the bottom (east side) of the 120
watt solar panel. The initial mounting position was adjusted lower as it was 
casting a shadow on the panel. The meter was also recalibrated in hopes of
producing a more reasonable reading of the local sky darkness. Prior readings
seemed to show the sky was darker than it really was.
===============================================================================
2/5/09
- The SQM meter is now being tested outside. It is not yet permanently mounted.
As soon as the weather warms a hole will be dug for the PVC pole it will sit 
on. The enclosure info is here. http://jatobservatory.org/SQM/SQM_kit.html
- The dome rotation issue has not been fixed.
===============================================================================
1/20/09
- The observatory's dome stopped rotating on 1/16/09. The dome stopped while
it was facing SSE. The 5 amp fuse inside the dome control panel was blown. The
fuse was replace and the dome is able to rotate again, but the rotation is not
smooth. It appears the dome is binding or dragging so the observatory has been
taken off-line.
- The Unihedron Sky Quality Meter (SQM-LE) arrived today. The meter uses a 
Ethernet port to make sky darkness readings. The folks at Knightware (the makers
of Deepsky4) provide a free utility to read the meter. Their SQMReader program 
displays the SQM output in magnitude per square arcsecond (MPSAS) and Naked Eye 
Limiting Magnitude (NELM). 
Greg Kettell from Cloudynights was kind enough to
write some code for me in php that reads the output file from the Knightware 
software and display the data in a readable and useful format.
You can see the output here: http://jatobservatory.org/SQM.php Currently the
data is only test data and doesn't represent actual sky darkness values. Also
since the SQM-LE is not weather proof it must be placed in an custom enclosure,
which I have yet to finish the design.
 
I am also waiting for the Extech light meter to arrive since I managed to over
write the calibration file in the SQM when I connected it the PC (always read
the manual first).
===============================================================================
1/15/09
- Received 2nd Petcool HAC unit. This will be a spare
- Received Orion V-Block, Sulfur-II and Hydrogen-Beta 1.25" filters
- Removed Schuller VBRI filters for the CFW10
- Installed the new filters in the following positions:
  Hydrogen-Beta filer in filter wheel slot #7 of ST-2000XM #1
  Sulfur-II filer in filter wheel slot #8 of ST-2000XM #1 
  UltraBlock LP filer in filter wheel slot #9 of ST-2000XM #1
  SkyGlow LP filer in filter wheel slot #10 of ST-2000XM #1
- Cleaned all filters and the 6.3 Focal Reducer
- Modified OCP8 replaced CCDCommander button with CCD Navigator.
===============================================================================
12/16/08
- The plate solve issue experienced a few days ago was a result of the 
astrometry catalogs being turned off within TheSky. The catalogs can be turned 
back on via the tool bar by selecting "View">"Stellar Options">
"Catalog/Astrometry". 
===============================================================================
12/15/08
- Fixed some issues with MS Agent that were preventing ACP from running after 
  the system restore.
- Modified OCP to ver 8.3.4 to include TPoint Mapper and the ASCOM Dome 
  controller. The code will terminate ACP when TPoint Mapper starts. It will 
  also terminate ASCOM Dome when ACP is started.
- Created new batch files TPointMapper.bat, ASCOMDome.bat and 
  Kill_TPointMapper.bat to handle the starting and stopping for the new code.
- Configured TPointMapper with a 208 point model of the eastern sky. Run was
  aborted due to clouds.
- Created a new system backup of the observatory computer. This one includes 
  all fixes and mods listed above.
===============================================================================
12/14/08
- Created a system backup of the observatory computer.
===============================================================================
12/13/08
- Created a 208 point TPoint model using AAGware's TPoint Mapper software. I
started using the TPoint Mapper software because of the dome lag issues my 
system suffers from when not using Automadome as the dome controller. I also
have "out of memory errors" when using Automapper 2 and the mapping runs never
complete. The mount will need to have its Polar Alignment readjust based on the
data returned by the TPoint run:
Northern Hemisphere
 
************* AZIMUTH ************
MA: +46 seconds (+0.8 minutes).
Rotate axis West (counterclockwise).
For latitude 40.17°, the azimuth adjustment is 1.0 minutes.
Paramount ME: Loosen the West knob, and tighten the East knob 0.5 knob tics
Sigma=4.382
 
************* ALTITUDE ************
ME: +709 seconds (+11.8 minutes).
The polar axis should be raised +709 seconds (+11.8 minutes).
Paramount ME: Raise the polar axis 5.9 knob tics
Sigma=2.141
 
===============================================================================
12/12/08
- had an issue where the CCDSoft would no longer plate solve. I was getting 
error messages ranging from things like"to few stars" in image to "error unknown".
I know the images where fine because I have what I call a plate solve calibration
image that I know works. After explore all options that including loading a
previous day's restore point so I reloaded the system. That fixed the plate solve 
issues, but it broke ACP. 
- Reinstalled ACP and applied latest hotfix.
- Current ASCOM dome parameters:
Latitude : 40.16
Longitude: -074.84
Radius:        45.276
Pivot Point East (inches): 2
Pivot Point North (inches): 1
Pivot Point Up (inches)        -25
Pivot Point Optical (inches): 20.276
 
Com: 4
Tic Per Revolution : 227
Home: 0 degrees
Park: 336 degrees
 
===============================================================================
12/11/08
- Bob Denny from DC3 Dreams the author of the ACP Observatory Control software
was kind enough to create a script for ACP that using the Boltwood Cloud sensor
data file. Previously ACP could only make use of the Boltwood senser is it was
connected to observatory computer via a comm port. Mine is not so this feature
is very useful to me. Thanks Bob.
===============================================================================
11/26/08
- Installed the 2.5 amp power adapter for the Mallincam and GStar CCD video 
cameras. All 60 cycle noise in gone and the cameras start up faster.
=============================================================================== 
11/17/08
- The observatory now supports web based scheduling via ACP's "Scheduler" 
software. The simple logs in to the web scheduler and enters the target,
filters, Ra, Dec, expose time and binning. The request is submitted to the
observatory and a run automatically scheduled.
===============================================================================
11/09/08
- Received the Matrix CCD Video camera from the CN Swap & Shop purchase. The
  camera works but has a lot of hot pixels. It also draws more power the either
  the Mallincam of GStar camera. A new power supply will have to be installed in
  the observatory before the Matrix camera can be used as a replacement. The
  Matrix camera does not support remote control of the settings.
- The 60 cycle ground issue turns out to be the 500ma power supply used to power
  both the Mallincam and GStar CCD video cameras. The powers supply appear to 
  not to putting out the power needed to drive both camera at the same time.
  A replacement power which supplies 2.5 amps will be installed. Until then the
  Mallincam with remain unplugged.
===============================================================================
11/01/08
- Most of the 60 cycle noise problem was due to the Peltier cooler on the 
  Mallincam. When the cooler was turned off most of the noise disappeared.
- Removed the Moonlite focuser and replaced it with the Meade Micro-Focuser.
  The Moonlite unit was slipping, causing focusing isses for the SCT.
===============================================================================
10/26/08
- Received and installed the mini fuse for AUX port 1 in the Paramount ME. 
  The fuse controls the dew heater, It turns out the fus was not blown but the
  AUX-1 connector on the Vesa-Plate side was cross threaded and resulted in a 
  an open circuit condition to the dew controller. But now I at least have 
  space fuses. They are Little Fuses part number: 0452003.MRL. They were ordered
  from Mouser under the Mouser part number 576-0452003.MRL. The fuses are 3 amp.
- The observatory has developed a 60 cycle noise issue on both the MalinCam and
  the GStar-Ex video cameras. It suspect there is an grounding issue with the 
  power supply (both cameras are fed by the same power supply).
=============================================================================+=
10/02/08
- Added 1 gig of memory to the obs PC for a total of 2GB.
- Restored the system for Backup.
- Modified the OCP program to include: SBScriper, MPO Connects, MPO AVG, IRIS
  CCDSoft, K3CCDTools, CCDAutopilot4 and CCD Commander. Program now turns on 
  the heater since it is getting cooler. K3CCDTools is noe the default video 
  monitor when the sysem starts up.
=============================================================================+=
08/31/08
- Removed and cleaned the ST-2000MX CCD camera again. Dust was present on either 
the CCD chip, cover glass or filter(s).
- Since the main camera was removed I realignment was needed. The home index
offset was reset and a new T-Point model was created. The model suggested the
following adjustments to the polar alignment:
 
************* AZIMUTH ************
MA: +1451 seconds (+24.2 minutes).
Rotate axis West (counterclockwise).
For latitude 40.17°, the azimuth adjustment is 31.6 minutes.
Paramount ME: Loosen the West knob, and tighten the East knob 1.1 full turns
Sigma=57.371
 
************* ALTITUDE ************
ME: -596 seconds (-9.9 minutes).
The polar axis should be lowered -596 seconds (-9.9 minutes).
Paramount ME: Lower the polar axis 5.0 knob tics
Sigma=23.953
=============================================================================+=
08/24/08
- Cleaned the #1 SBIG ST-2000MX CCD window and filter wheel.
- Installed software as of 8/24/08

COMPUTER: OBSERVATORY

Software Versions

a - Desire Version 1.00 *
addport Application Version 2, 1, 0, 0 *
Adobe Acrobat Version 4.05 *
Adobe ImageReady (tm) 7.0 Version 7.0 *
Adobe Photoshop Version 7.0 *
Analytical Graphics, Inc. - Satellite Tool Kit Version 4, 3, 0, (0) *
Apache HTTP Server Version 2.2.3 *
Apple Inc. - QuickTime QuickTime 7.3.1 *
Apple Software Update Version 2.0.2.92 *
ASCOM Rotator Simulator Version 1.0.1.0 *
Astro Photo  *
AstroByte Version 1.00 *
AstroPlanner observation planning and logging Version 1.6.0.0 *
AU2 Application Version 3, 6, 0, 0 *
AU2 Application Version 3, 9, 0, 0 *
AVG Internet Security Version 8.0.0.94 *
barkoSoftware - DSLRControl Version 1.00 *
barkoSoftware - GuideDog Version 1.00.0006 *
Battery & solar Panel Voltage  *
Beacontree Systems Pty Ltd - Binary Systems Pty Ltd\GStar2Com Version 2.01.0017 *
Belarc, Inc. - Advisor Version 7.2x *
Binary Systems Pty Ltd - gstar Version 1.02.0036 *
Binary Systems Pty Ltd - GStar2 Version 2.05.0002 *
Boltwood Systems Cloud Sensor Version 1.58.0005 *
ButtonTool.exe *
Canon Utilities RemoteCapture Version 2.7.5.27 *
canopus Version 1.0.0.0 *
Cartes du Ciel Version 1.0.0.0 *
celestia Version 1, 0, 0, 1 *
Check for Program Update  *
CLEA Toolkit for CCD Astrometry  *
COMPORT_Setting Application Version 1, 0, 0, 1 *
COMSERV  *
CONVERT9 Version 1.0.0.0 *
Cor Berrevoets - RegiStax Version 3.0 *
Create and edit drawings, flow charts, and logos by using Draw.  *
Create and edit presentations for slideshows, meeting and Web pages by using Impress.  *
Create and edit scientific formulas and equations by using Math.  *
Create and edit text and graphics in letters, reports, documents and Web pages by using Writer.  *
DC-3 Dreams, SP - ACP Observatory Control Software Version 1.00.0007 *
DC-3 Dreams, SP - ACP Observatory Control Software Version 3.01.0003 *
DC-3 Dreams, SP - CatalogChecker Version 1.00 *
DC-3 Dreams, SP - GSCInstall Version 1.03 *
DC-3 Dreams, SP - SkyClickCatcher Version 3.01.0001 *
DC-3 Dreams, SP - WeatherSim Version 1.00.0004 *
DC3 Dreams, SP - ACP Observatory Control Software Version 5.01.0003 *
DC3 Dreams, SP - PPReg Version 4.00.0005 *
DC3 Dreams, SP - Visual PinPoint Version 5.00.0003 *
Developed by Jon Brewster - ASCOM Dome Simulator Version 5.00.0006 *
Developed by Jon Brewster - ASCOM Focuser Simulator Version 5.00.0005 *
Developed by Jon Brewster - Hub Version 5.00.0002 *
Developed by Jon Brewster - Pipe Version 5.00.0006 *
Developed by Jon Brewster. Focuser part by P.de Ponthiere. - POTH Version 5.00.0004 *
Developed by Robert B. Denny, DC-3 Dreams, SP - ASCOM Telscope Simulator Version 5.00.0009 *
Diffraction Limited - ASCOM Dome Control Panel Version 5.03 *
Diffraction Limited - MaxIm DL v5 Version 5, 0, 28, 0 *
Diffraction Limited - MaxIm DL Version 4,61,1,0 *
DigitalEnhance Application Version 1, 0, 0, 1 *
DiskDude - TDLPortIO: DriverLINX driver install Version 1.0.0.0 *
DivXNetworks Inc. - Config App. Version 1, 0, 0, 1 *
DivXNetworks, Inc. - DivX® Codec for Windows Version 5, 1, 0, 0 *
DriveImage XML Version 1.0.0.0 *
DSLR Shutter  *
Echogent Systems, Inc. - EchoVNC Version 2.34.0.0 *
Echogent Systems, Inc. - EchoVNC VNCViewer Version 2.34.0.0 *
FabulaTech, Inc. Network Serial Port Kit Version 4, 7, 1, 0 *
FileMaker Pro Runtime Version 4.0v1 (5/11/98) *
Foster Systems, LLC - AstroMC Version 1.04.0001 *
FotoWire Print Service Version 3.0 *
Google Earth Version 4.2.205.5730 *
Grant Averett - Cerberus FTP Server Version 2, 4, 0, 4 *
Herbert Raab - Astrometrica for Windows Version 4.3 *
HW Virtual Serial Port Manager Version 2.5.10 *
HW Virtual Serial Port Version 3.0.23 *
ImagesPlus Version 1, 7, 2, 0 *
Imaginova Canada, Ltd. - Starry Night Version 6.2.1 *
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=============================================================================+=
08/23/08
- The observatory is back on-line and fully operational. The problem turned out
to be a faulty USB port that was dragging down the 12 volt power supply.
- USB routing was redone so the 2 USB hubs where not in a chain. They are
now connect to root ports.
- Current Com port configuration:
  Com 1 = Serial Switch Box - connected to onboard serial port
  Com 2 = Power control outlets - connected to USB to serial adapter (USB hub)
  Com 3 = Paramount ME - connected to left port on PCI board
  Com 4 = Dome rotation - Connected to right port on PCI baord
  Com 5 = reserved for camera rotator - USB to serial adapter (USB hub)
  Com 6 = Undefined - connected to USB to serial adapter (USB hub)
- Installed MaxIm DL 5.00
- Toped off the water in the battery pack. Both were low.
=============================================================================+=
08/22/08
- The observatory computer suffered a boot failure during the driver loading.
The failure occurs after the Mup.sys driver is loaded. The last time his occurred
the power supply had failed (see 2/16/08 entry). The problem appears to be with
either the USB to serial converters or the 2 port serial PCI cards. The computer
was removed from the observatory and the PCI serial card was removed. The BIOS
was reset and the computer was able to be booted to the Windows OS. The current
problem is the serial ports (both PCI and USB) are either defective or not
configured correctly as communication with the scope is not possible on com
port 5. Each com port will have to be traced and tested.
=============================================================================+=
08/20/08
- Installed the Shorty metal dew. This dew was originally designed for the 12"
RCX400. The dew shield also has a triangular Hartman mask.
=============================================================================+=
08/19/08
- Aligned the 3 telescopes SCT, 50mm and 66mm so all are pointing to the same
object.
- Created a T-Point model.
=============================================================================+=
08/14/08
- Modified the Center Image script used in CCDSoft to display crosshair. The
script will now turn on the crosshairs, center the brightest star (or object)
then turn off the crosshairs.
=============================================================================+=
08/09/08
- Installed the Willams Optic 66mm refracto attached the SBIG ST-402ME camera
- Installed the Stellarvue 50mm F50e finder and Mallicam video camera.
- Removed the Stellarvue SV102APO refractor
- Removed the Pyxis camera rotator
- Removed the Meade micro focuser
==============================================================================
7/24/08
- After rewriting and testing the Observatory Control Program, version 8.3.2
is ready for full time use. The new version cleans up the code but has no new 
features.
==============================================================================
7/12/08
- Removed:
  WO66mm refractor
- Installed
  SV102APO
  Pyxis camera rotator
  Meade micro focuser
==============================================================================
7/04/08
- Removed the telscope "array"
- Installed the 12" SCT, moonlite focuser and Williams Optics 66mm refractor. 
- Attached the SBIG St-402ME to the WO66mm.
- Attached the Mallincam to the SCT.
- Attached the Stellarvue 50MM finder to the SCT
- Attached the Telrad to the SCT
- Installed dew heaters on the SCT, 66mm and and 50mm finder.
- Balanced the setup
==============================================================================
7/03/08
- Received the 12" LX200R OTA, Moonlite focuser, Rigel Systems nFocus controller
dew heater, Telrad and SCT ventilator.
==============================================================================
7/02/08
- Received the ST-402ME back from SBIG. The camera was sent in to repair a 
no connection issue. SBIG replaced a board at No Charge. 
==============================================================================
6/22/08
- Installed the 10" OTA back on the forks. The optics still need to be 
collimated. Handbox version is 4.1i.
==============================================================================
6/13/08
- Added a blog to the website.
==============================================================================
6/12/08
- Added a new inlet to the heating and A/C for the observatory. The inlet is 
just below the rotational dome section. The cool forced air will enter from
there and should allow better cooling. In the winter the warm air will be
drawn from there in the hope of providing better circulation.
==============================================================================
5/30/08
- Sent the ST402-ME back to SBIG for repair (unable to connect to the camera).
==============================================================================
5/13/08
- The telescope configuration was recently changed. The 10" SCT is no longer 
in use. The new configuration consists of 6 refractors ranging in size from 
40mm to 102mm mounted on a common fixture. The setup has been nicknamed "the 
Array" and it can either be used for visual observing or imaging. The 
GStar-Ex camera that is used for monitoring the dome position is part of the 
Array.  All of the scopes except for the larger 102mm mounted in the middle 
ride on dovetail adapter plates and are adjustable. This allows the Array to 
be collimated so all scopes point at the same target as the 102mm.
==============================================================================
4/14/08
- The DC to DC power supply for the ST-2000XM camera arrived today. The camera
now operates fine. 
- Requested that Bisque provide the new cover for the upgraded MKS-4000 board.
- ST-402ME will be package up and returned the SBIG for repair. Can't connect
to the camera.
==============================================================================
4/12/08
- Installed the MKS-4000 controller and interface panel board.  Slew 
temperature compensation has been set to 50F (10C). New values for
the MKS4000 are below. 
 
Bisque Telescope Control System (TCS) 
Copyright © 2002-2006 Software Bisque, Inc.
 
Mount Id.: Paramount ME Running at: 3333.333
***************** Axis 0 (RA) Control version: 1.1.45 *****************
Index angle: 361
Base rate: -43067265
Maximum speed: 600000000
Acceleration: 400
Non-sidereal tracking rate: 0
Minimum position limit: -4960000
Maximum position limit: 1120000
Sensor HA (from sync): 1.9859 
Guide: -672926
Tics per revolution: 11520000
PEC ratio: 10
Maximum position error: 1000
Unit Id.: 100
EMF constant: 72
Home velocity high: 660000000 
Home velocity medium: 110000000 
Home velocity low: 3900000 
Home direction, sense: 1100
Home mode, required, Joystick, In-out-in: 2111
Home index offset: 0 
PEC cutoff speed: 0
Maximum voltage: 15
Maximum gain: 150
***************** Axis 1 (Dec) Control version: 1.1.45 *****************
Index angle: 1369
Base rate: 0 
Maximum speed: 600000000
Acceleration: 400
Non-sidereal tracking rate: 0
Minimum position limit: -5460000
Maximum position limit: 1700000
Sensor Dec (from sync): 0.0886 
Guide: 438102
Tics per revolution: -7500000
PEC ratio: 10
Maximum position error: 1000
Unit Id.: 100
EMF constant: 72
Home velocity high: 660000000 
Home velocity medium: 110000000 
Home velocity low: 3900000 
Home direction, sense: 1100
Home mode, required, Joystick, In-out-in: 2111
Home index offset: 0 
PEC cutoff speed: 0
Maximum voltage: 15
Maximum gain: 150
==============================================================================|
4/11/08
- A new power supply for the ST-2000XM was ordered. 
- Re-installed the dehumidifier and configured the Heating and A/C unit for 
A/C.
- Re-installed Quicktime 7.1.3 along with new SiS651 video drivers and 
Starry Nights Pro now works.
- The LX200GPS OTA needs to be collimated. 
- Modified the OCP8 code to turn on/off the dehumidifier. Since the 
dehumidifier replaces the Heat & A/C unit the code now also turns off the 
A/C when the shutters are open. The interior lights have now been coded to
work on the Aux outlet. The lighting outlet was allocated back to the 
dehumidifier.
==============================================================================
4/6/08
- The observatory is off line for some spring maintenance and upgrades. The 
control board for the Paramount ME will be upgraded from the old 3000 series
to the newer MKS-4000 series. An attempt will be made to seal the gap where 
the upper and lower shutters overlap. New sealant will be applied to dome walls
and decking. Cameras will also be moved between scopes as I continue to have 
problems with the SBIG cameras. The ST-2000XM is on it way back from SBIG. It
was returned to them again after repair for a black image. They can't seem to 
find a problem. The ST-401ME was sent in for repair for not being able to 
connect to the camera. The problem has returned. The camera will have to be sent 
back again.
==============================================================================
3/6/08
- Installed one of the 4 port PCI serial port cards in the Weather Station PC. 
The system is functional and data transfer between the weather module in the 
observatory and the WeatherLink 5.6 software is much faster. The rain and cloud
detector has also been reconnected to the weather station PC. Both USB to 
serial adapters have been uninstalled. There is one open com port (Com5).
==============================================================================
2/24/08
- Ordered two 4 port PCI serial port cards. One for the observatory and one for
the weather station PC.
- Repaired broken links on weather page.
==============================================================================
2/17/08
- Installed a new 500 watt power supply. The observatory is up and running.
==============================================================================
2/16/08
- The main observatory computer has failed.  The power supply is burned out.
A replacement supply was installed boot the system would not power up. The 
observatory will be offline until the computer is either repaired or replaced.
- The MKS4000 upgrade controlled for the Paramount ME will be installed during
the down time.
- The short belt in the RA axis will also be replaced.
==============================================================================
2/2/08
- The ST-2000XM was shipped back to SBIG today.
- The scope's park position had the be reset.
==============================================================================
1/30/08
- Received the ST-2000XM back for SBIG. The camera still has the original
problem of a black screen after image download. The ADU count is always 0.
Needless to say I am not happy with SBIG's repair service.
==============================================================================
1/28/08
- Ordered the MKS 4000 upgrade for the Paramount Me. SB threw in two new belts
for the Dec drive.
==============================================================================
1/08/08
- Replaced the 2 deepcycle 100 amp hour marine batteries, with two 115 amp 
hour units. The old batteries had begun to fail.
- Strung a temporary composite video cable between MallinCam and the Dazzle
video capture box. The original cable was damaged and needs to be replaced.
- Aligned the MallinCam, finder scopes and the SV102APO to each other.
==============================================================================
12/31/07
- Solved a long standing issue with the dome rotation unexpectedly stopping 
during operation. Two switches on the wall mounted rotation interface box had
been left in the wrong position. During remote control operations the wireless
switch box enables the "Dome Enable" and "Dome Power" functions via relays on
the circuit board, but the manual switches must be in the up position.
- The 5 port USB hub on the pier is intermittently cycling off and on during
the dome rotation. I suspect there is an issue with power supply that is being
used to power the dome.
- The Adirondack Flat Fielder light box was remounted on the ceiling just past
the rear of Zenith. The scope and dome where tested to be sure they don't
interfere with each other.
==============================================================================
12/30/07
Water was found on the floor of the observatory near the entrance door. It 
appears the caulking at the base of the dome's walls where damaged when the
decking was leveled a few months ago. New caulking will be applied to the 
full diameter of the wall and decking interface.
==============================================================================
12/28/07
- The repaired ST-402ME has returned from SBIG. The camera now has enchanced
cooling. Previously the camera was only able to be cooled to above -3C. Now it
is able to be cooled to about -15C. The ST2K is not expected back until 
sometime after the New Year.
==============================================================================
12/23/07
- Removed the dehumidifier from the observatory. The drain hose remains for
future use.
==============================================================================
12/06/07
- Received the Williams Optic 66mm SD 388mm focal length APO refractor.
==============================================================================
12/01/07
- Wired up the outside batteries.
- Connected the Velleman voltage/data logger as follows:
        Channel 1 - Solar Panel Voltage
        Channel 2 - Load Voltage (battery output voltage)
        Channel 3 - 12 volt DC main power supply
        Channel 4 - Pier Power (DC voltage)
- The #2 analog voltmeter was reconfigured to display the Main DC power supply
  voltage instead of battery voltage.
- Shipped the ST-402ME back to SBIG for repair. No info on when either it of the 
  ST-2000XM will be returned.
- Install the DSI-Color and DSI Pro CCD camera in place of the ST-2000XM and 402.
==============================================================================
11/25/07
- Moved the batteries outside the observatory. They are installed in a plastic
Stanley Tool box. They have not been wired to the solar panel and charge 
regulator yet. The batteries have been replaced with a 15 amp DC power supply.
This power supply drives the dome rotation only. The 10 amp DC supply is used
to power the pier. During the rewiring some issues have cropped up:
  The SBIG 402ME has no power.
  The 4.5v power supply smoked due to a voltage reversal during the rewire. 
  The USB Vellman data logger is not connected.
  The Red & White florescent are not working.
-The Observatory Control GUI (ver 8.2.2) has been upgraded and tested. 
-Drawers (2 on each side) have been installed to support the computer self.
-The batteries where filled with water.
==============================================================================
11/16/07
- The ST-2000XM was shipped to SBIG. It should arrive there on 11/26.
==============================================================================
11/15/07
- The Observatory Control Panel GUI is being modified to handle the Heating &
Air Conditioning unit. The new GUI is shown below. A additional remote control 
power strip was installed to support automation of the HAC unit. The GUI also 
now supports the Sling Player and has the option to reboot the observatory PC.
 
http://jatobservatory.org/remote_control/8.2_GUI.jpg
==============================================================================
11/13/07
- Comet 17P/Holmes continues to be an amusing object in the Northeastern sky.
This evening I used my iPhone running the latest version of VNC the control
the observatory and capture an image of Holmes. The first image below shows 
the iPhone connected to the observatory computer with is running CCDSoft. 
http://jatobservatory.org/remote_control/Holmes-iPhone.JPG
Hers is the actual picture. The image was taken with a Stellervue 104 mm apo refractor
and a SBIG ST-402ME. Until the ST-2000 I returned to SBIG for repair comes back the 
402 ME is my primary imager.
http://jatobservatory.org/Galleries/Comets/slides/17P_Holmes_11-13-07-Clear-45sec.JPG
==============================================================================
11/03/07
- The ST-2000XM CCD camera is malfunctioning (it only produces black images). 
- Installed the heating and AC unit. The unit sits outside the obs. There are 
two hole approx 2-1/2 inches in diameter. One is a feed the other is a return.
http://jatobservatory.org/images/HAC-1.jpg
==============================================================================
10/28/07
- Shimmed Southeast side of the of the observatory platform. The platform had
settled more than an inch. This caused rotation problems for the dome as the
battery for shutter had to rotate up-hill. 
- The SBIG ST2000-XM is not functioning. 
- Batteries showing low voltage.
- Received the HAC unit for the observatory.
- Plans to move the batteries outside the observatory. This wall free up space
inside.
==============================================================================
10/14/07
- Weather-stripping was installed on the top of the lower shutter to fill the
gap between the upper and lower shutters. 
- The weather-cam server was hung and required a restart.
==============================================================================
10/13/07
- The battery issue has been solved. It appears the manually operated 12vdc 
oscillating fan and a CCD camera were left on. The equipment ended up draining 
the battery packs (this took about 3 weeks). The batteries have been recharged 
and the charge regulator appears to be functioning OK.
==============================================================================
10/10/07
- The two 100 amp hour marine batteries have gone dead. The battery packs are
currently being charged via a AC power charger. This will allow the interior
lights, cameras, fans and other 12 vdc items that are powered from the batteries
to function. The next step will be to check the water level of the battery 
packs and test the solar charge regulator to be sure that it is functioning. 
==============================================================================
09/15/07
- Replaced the upper shutter. The wider flange of the new design allows the 
shutters to be closed from any dome rotation position without the upper and 
lower shutters smashing into each other. The solar vent will be installed at
a later date as will the lower shutter. Stops for the open and close limit 
switches had to fabricated as the upper shutter didn't have them. Also it was
necessary to remove some fiberglass from the rear of the upper shutter to 
prevent it from binding on the domes outer rails. 
==============================================================================
09/07/07
- The Weather Server is off-line for scheduled maintenance. That means no local 
wind, rain, lightning, cloud, humidity or temp data. The Underground Weather &
the Citizen Weather Program data are also effected. The system should be back 
up in the next 24 hrs (or sooner).
==============================================================================
08/29/07
- The upper and lower shutters have developed a problem that is preventing 
them from closing without manual intervention. A new set are on order and 
should ship from the Sirius factory the week of 9/10/07. Until the new 
shutters are installed the observatory will remain off-line. 
==============================================================================
08/28/07
- A terabyte of disk storage was added to the observatory's network. The 
network drive will be used mostly as a backup device and to house the 
observatory's star catalogs.
==============================================================================
08/20/07
- The timer for the routine within the Observatory control program that parks 
the telescope was changed. It is was increase from 60 seconds to 90 seconds. 
At 60 seconds depending on where the the scope was pointing and what the slew 
speed was set to, the Paramount ME would not reach the park position. 
- Installed ESD dust covers on all open 9 pin serial ports.
- Used the iPhone to remotely control the observatory while on a business trip
  from Sunnyvale, Ca. 
  The iPhone was used as the interface while connected to AT&T's EDGE network 
  in order to: 
  Power-up the observatory, telescope mount and cameras.
  Configure, align and point the telescope.
  Set-up and initiate the autoguider.
  Focus the camera.
  Begin the 15 minute exposure of the Bubble Nebula (NGC7635)
  Process the image.
  Shut-down and secure the cameras, telescope and observatory.
  http://jatobservatory.org/Galleries/DeepSpaceObjects/NGC7635.jpg
 
 
==============================================================================
07/17/07
- Installed the additional counterweight on the Paramount. The Cal-K solar 
scope was temporarily removed until the Dec axis of the mount can be better 
balanced. 
==============================================================================
07/16/07
- The data logger and the Weather Envoy for the weather station showed up 
today after repair by Davis Instruments. They replaced the Data logger with 
refurbished unit and they updated the firmware. It took a while to get the unit 
setup and running again but it is back on-line. 
==============================================================================
07/4/07
- Updated the Observatory Control Panel GUI. The update adds access for the 
Pyxis camera rotation and the Vellman data logger (used to monitor solar panel 
and battery voltage). Two new buttons were added to allow the dome to be homed 
or parked from the GUI. There was also some general clean-up to the GUI's 
internal code in how command windows and processes are handled.
==============================================================================
06/30/07
- Connected the AO-7 (Adaptive Optics) unit to the SBIG ST-2000XM CCD camera
which is attached to 10" SCT OTA. The camera has not been re-aligned.
==============================================================================
06/29/07
- The replacement stepper driver chip ordered from Digikey arrived today. The
installation of the chip restored the LazyFocus to full functionality.
 
==============================================================================
06/28/07
- A thunder storm took out the Wireless Weather Envoy. The WWE relays data 
from the weather station to the weather PC (which uploads the data to this
web page). So there won't be any weather data until the WWE is repaired. I
believe the data logger module is fried. The unit has been returned to the
manufacturer. I estimate about 10 to 14 days for the repair.
==============================================================================
06/25/07
- The LazyFocus emitted magic smoke this evening. Fortunately I was in the
observatory when it occurred. Upon inspection of the device I found the Stepper 
Motor Driver chip was damaged. The chip (TEA3718) will have to be replaced. A
new one was ordered from Digikey.
http://jatobservatory.org/images/LazyFocus.jpg
==============================================================================
06/24/07
- Move the GStar CCD video cam to the left side of SV102APO. This was done
because the camera cables interfered with Pyxis cables. 
==============================================================================
06/23/07
- Installed Pyxis camera rotator. It was originally acquired for use one the 
ST-2000XM but the play in the gear drive and its inability to hold the ST2K in 
position when the power to the unit is off relegated it for use on the ST-402ME.
==============================================================================
06/13/07
- Recently in an attempt to improve the system the cloud sensor software was 
moved to the observatory PC. An FTP server was installed on the Weather PC and
a remote serial port server was also installed on the Weather PC. The idea was
to allow the ACP program to access the cloud sensor. For that the happen the 
software needs to be running on the observatory PC. This configuration turned
out to be to unreliable. The link between the serial port on the observatory 
and the on on the weather PC would not auto-reconnect if the connection was 
lost. This would cause the ACP scripts to fail because the loss of weather 
data to be seen as "Sky Unsafe" message.
- A storm blew the cloud detector off the roof. It had be secured with ty-wraps.
Fortunately the detector landing on the rain soaked lawn so it wasn't damaged
in the fall. But it did get wet. It was dried, tested and re-secured using 
stainless steel hose clamps. 
==============================================================================
06/12/07
- A fairly violent storm passed through area about 2:00 PM today. During the 
storm the Cloud and Rain sensor was blown from the roof. The nylon ty-wraps
had became brittle due to Solar UV radiation. Fortunately the sensor landed
in the grass. It was dried out with a hair dryer become being remounted using
stainless steel hose clamps. It was also tested to be sure it still worked. 
==============================================================================
06/3/07
- Tweaked the Observatory Control Program (OCP8). It now full starts up and
shuts down the observatory. That includes homing both the dome and scope on
start-up. The shut-down procedure parks the dome, closes the shutters and
parks the scope. 
==============================================================================
06/2/07
- Last night a storm rolled through and had some lightning activity with it. 
A strike took out com port 1 on the Weather PC and the wireless (DIY) shutter
control board. The control board was replaced with a spare. The serial port
on the Weather PC was connected to the wireless temperature and humidity sensor
located inside the observatory. The sensor still works and was moved to com2.
Com2 was connected to the wireless transmitter insider the house. Since a 
transmitter was added to the observatory PC as part of the the ACP upgrade the
loss of the serial connection to inside transmitter won't result in any loss of
functions. The inside transmitter is still connected to the Boltwood sensor and
still functions the primary dome closure system in case of bad weather.
 
==============================================================================
05/26/07
- The MaxDome II board has been installed and is operational. 
 
=====================================================================================
                                     ACP Dome Control update TO-Do-List
- Purchase Maxdome-2 dome rotation controller. Done
  This controller will replace the old Autodome controller currently used to
  control the dome rotation. The new controller is ASCOM compatible.
- Design wireless interface to Maxdome-2 controller board. Done
  Needed for wireless control of dome rotation by special user programs.
- Rewrite routines for JAT Observatory Control GUI. Done
  Since the new wireless transmitter is located in the dome, the control program 
  will have to use a local serial port instead of the remote/virtual serial port for 
  the wireless transmitter. This includes the shutters, focuser switch box, and 
  the any custom software to manually move the dome.
- Write stand alone control routines. Done
  The stand alone routines are needed so ACP can control power and equipment. 
  These routines will have no user GUI. The following new routines are needed:
  * Pier Power.
  * Shutter open.
  * Shutter close.
  * Top shutter open only (used when drift scanning).
  * Focuser switchbox control.
  * Dome rotation control (used by special user programs).
- Install Clarity software for the Boltwood Cloud Sensor on the observatory PC. Done
- Configure Network serial port. Done
    The clarity software needs to access the Boltwood sensor which is not connected
    to the observatory computer.
- Configure and test ACP control program In Process
  Interface to MaxImDL 4.x
   * Camera(s)
      - Imaging
      - Filter wheel
      - Dark, Flats, Bias frames
        > Scripts for light box control
      - Interface to Pinpout
          - Plate solving 
          - Mount pointing correction
  Interface to Maxdome2
   * Dome
      - ASCOM compatibility
  Remote user account setup 
      - Controls 
      - Restrictions
=====================================================================================
==============================================================================
05/24/07
- The MaxDomeII Dome rotation controller arrived today. Now I just have to
install it and make it work.
==============================================================================
05/21/07
- Clarity software for the Boltwood sensor is now running on the observatory
PC. That includes Russell Croman's Boltwood graphing program. I have not been
able to make the split serial port software work for the Clarity software so
the software on the Weather Station PC has been disabled. The Clarity software
in the observatory is connect to Com Port 6. Com6 is networked to com4 on the
Weather PC.
- The ACP software is now using the Clarity software to determined the safety
of the sky. Anything below "Cloudy" is seen as an "Unsafe" Sky. Anything
above Wet or Very Cloudy is seen as a "Safe" sky. It would have been nice if
the ACP software would have displayed Clear, Cloudy, Very Cloudy of Wet like
the sensor software display does. It would have been more useful.
==============================================================================
05/20/07
- Completed rewrite of remote control software GUI. The Observatory Control 
Program is now at version 8. The software now uses the transmitter located in
the observatory and not the house. The house transmitter with still be used to
close the shutters when it rains. The Clarity software installed in the
observatory will eventually be linked to the ACP software. The stand alone
remote software OBS Start-up, Shut-down, Focuser#1 and Focuser#2 was also 
rewritten to use the new transmitter. 
- The OCP8 GUI now supports "Nudging the dome <<CCW and CW>>. The dome will
rotate for 1 second when the two new radio buttons are pressed.
- Created a place holder button on the GUI for the Adirondack Flat Field Light 
Panel.
- The Power Strip control was placed back onto Com2. The problem was the 
CPS power strip needs to run @ 300 Baud, the serial port switch box will not
operate below 9600 so the 2 got not be used together. 
- A Dynex USB to Serial adapter was installed in the observatory. It is 
configured as serial port # 3.
==============================================================================
05/19/07
- Installed LazyFocus control box. Made new "Y" Power cable
- Disconnected focusers from Paramount.
- Reconfigured Com2 for LazyFocus (Com2 was Power Strip)
- Configured Serial Switch to use slot "J" for Power Strip (now Com1)
- Installed wireless transmitter in observatory (Slot D on Serial Switch)
- Configured Serial Switch to use slot "G" for Flat Fielder Light Panel (Com1) 
- Began writing software to control OBS side transmitter and account for new
  equipment configurations.
 
==============================================================================
05/15/07
- Reset Clear/Cloudy temp threshold on Boltwood Cloud sensor to -32 degrees F.
- Install solar powered red lamp on outside observatory near the door knob.
- All Astronomy/observatory software has been placed in it own case.
- Began storing install and setup software from weather & OBS PC onto CD-Rom
==============================================================================
05/09/07
- Ordered Lazy Focus to allow the Meade micro-focusers to be controlled by 
FocusMax while connected to the Paramount. Currently FocusMax can not talk
to them.
- working to figure out how to launch "exe" file from the ACP console and
browser. This is a requirement as this how observatory remote power-ups and 
shut-downs will be done.
- Evaluating DC3 Dreams Scheduler 2.0
==============================================================================
05/05/07
- Installed DC3 Dream's ACP 5.0 Observatory control software. The ACP software
required the 3.x version of MaxImDL be upgraded to 4.x. The problem is ACP will
not control the version of Sirius Dome Controller current in use by the 
observatory. This will require an upgrade of the old Autodome hardware and 
software. The remote browser has been assigned to port 30080.
- The disk provide by DC3 Dream is defective. I have requested a replacement.
==============================================================================
03/27/07
- Collimated the SV102A with the ST-200XM and the F50 Finder with the 
Mallincam to the 10" SCT with the ST-402ME. 
- Found a number of screws loose on the dovetail plate and one dovetail adapter
thumb screw was loose for the SV102a.
- Noticeable hot pixels present on the GSTAR-EX CCD video camera with the 
ambient temp being around 67 Degrees F. 
==============================================================================
03/25/07
- Modified the Observatory Control GUI to include control Mallincam and the 
GSTAR-EX as well as the 20 port serial switch. 
==============================================================================
03/24/07
- The 20 port serial switch was installed in the observatory. The cable for
the video camera was installed and routed under the floor.
- All the video cables were covered in split-loom.
==============================================================================
03/22/07
- The problem with the serial port switch not responding when the RS232 to 
RS485 converter was connected has been solved. The problem was twofold. The 
first issue is pins 2 & 3 on the RS232 side needed to be reversed when connected 
to the switch so a null modem was install on each of the 2 converters. The 
second issue is the RS485 side of the converter needs external power when
connected to the switch. Once these 2 conditions were satisfied the switch
worked as adverized. 
- A cable was fabricated using 6 wire telephone line, although only 2 wires are
need on the camera side for control (the +485 and -485). 2 of the wires were 
used for the Mallincam and 2 were used for the GSTAR-EX settings control. I
found the ground wires were not needed.
==============================================================================
03/20/07
- Building of the hyper and thermal electric cooler remote wireless controller 
for the Mallincam has been put on hold temporarily.
- Fabricated a cable to connect the GSTAR-EX video to the RS232 to RS485
converter. The cable with be used to remote control the GSTAR-EX camera.
- A 20 port serial switch was added to the observatory. This was done because 
of the increasing serial port requirements. While the switch adds 20 more ports
only one port can be use at a time. The switch will be used to switch between
the flat field light box, wireless controller, video cameras controllers and 
other RS232 devices. Currently the switch is hanging-up when the RS-232 to RS485
converters are attached to any of the port. The manufacturer of the switch has
been contacted.
==============================================================================
03/17/07
- Removed the Mallincam color video camera from the observatory in order to
build an remote controller to operate the  7 and 14 second Hyper switches and
the thermal electric cooler switch. The controller was designed using relays 
that will be connected to a wireless receiver. A new Beta GUI for the 
Observatory Control program is already being coded. The camera is being sent 
back to the vendor in Canada for an upgrade to the hyper system. The new system 
allows 7, 14, 28 & 56 second frame integration. The upgrade add a new switch the 
camera so the remote interface and software design won't be completed until
the returns from the vendor. The remote modification to the camera will 
requires a hole be drilled in the camera's case and small cable and connector
will the attached. The plan is to still keep the functionality of the manual
switch while adding the remote control ability. The new Beta GUI will also 
allow control of both the GSTAR-EX and Mallincam via a RS-232 controlled serial 
port switch. 
==============================================================================
03/10/07
- Updated the observatory PC's mememory to 1 gig.
- Attached the MallinCam Hyper to the 10" LX200GPS OTA. The Dazzle video 
capture unit was installed in order to capture the output of the Mallincam. An 
RCA composite video plug was connected (the S-video connector still goes to 
the SlingBox). 
==============================================================================
03/09/07
- Tested the dome rotation. No problems and no noises. I suspect it was ice
in the track. 
- Installed the GStar-Com remote control software on the observatory PC.
- Installed the Dazzle software. Dazzle is a video capture device that will
allow image to be captured from either GStar-EX or MallinCam Hyper. The 
hardware will be installed tomorrow. 
- Replacement 4 port USB hub will be installed in the observatory. The SBIG
cameras have been suffering from errors and non-responses. 
==============================================================================
03/08/07
- The dome started making a grinding noise when it was positioned southeast.
- The MallinCam Hyper & GStar-EX are now working under remote control. It was 
tested with the laptop. The interface is RS-485 and the GStar-EX software only 
works with COM1. The observatory PC with be setup for attachment of the 
MallinCam on COM1.
==============================================================================
03/04/07
- Updated the Observatory and Weather station PC to Service Pack 2
==============================================================================
02/05/07
- Constructed a "Y" DC power cord to allow both the Mallincam and the GStar-Ex
to be powered from a single power supply.
==============================================================================
02/04/07
- Installed Meade LPI
==============================================================================
01/29/07
- F6.3 focal reducer removed from 10" SCT. The FL is increased from 1600mm to
2500mm @ F10.
==============================================================================
01/17/07
- Shutter battery has been recharged.
==============================================================================
01/15/07
- The voltage in battery for the shutters dropped the ~5 volts. This prevented
the top shutter from being closed. The emergency external supply was connected
to the battery in order to close the shutter. The observatory has been taken 
off-line and the trickle charger was connected. I believe the reason for the
dead battery is extended cloudy weather. When the sky is cloudy the cloud 
sensor continuously sends the closure command to the shutter receiver. Since 
the battery is charged by a solar panel, if it remains cloudy for many days in 
a row the battery will be drained. 
==============================================================================
01/11/07
- The 4.5 vdc external power connector for the wireless weather module in the 
observatory managed to work itself loose. The module switch over to it's 
internal batteries (which went or where dead) and stopped working. New 
batteries where installed and the module was reconnected. The time and date was
reset. About 24 hours or weather data was lost.
==============================================================================
01/09/07
- Installed a GStar-Ex B&W video camera with a Tamaron wide-angle on the side 
of the SV102A. The camera is attached to an inverted Losmandy camera mount. 
The camera mount is mount the dovetail plate on the top of the SV102A. The 
camera is actually mount further forward than shown in the image. This was done
so the mounting clamps of the SV102a with be in the camera's view. The camera
is used to monitor the dome's slit in relation to the telescopes' aperture. 
The output from the GStar-Ex is routed to the Slingbox A/V the same as the 
Mallincam color video camera. The Mallincam is connected via a S-Video cable
and the GStar-Ex is connected via the RCA jack. This setup allows the video
output from from either camera to be selected remotely using the SlingPlayer
client software.
==============================================================================
12/28/06
- Given up on controlling the Mallincam remotely (at lest for the time being).
The Mallincam has been mounted to the modified Stellarvue F50 finder scope. 
The F50 has had its diagonal removed and a threaded 2" extension barrel has
been bonded to the removable back plate on the F50. The new configuration will
be used as an electronic video finder scope.  
==============================================================================
12/27/06
- Built 2 different cable in an attempt to control the Mallincam settings 
remotely. Neither cable works. One is based on a RS-485 protocal the other is
based on RS-232. The software use is from a GStar-EX camera which it appears
the Mallincam is based on. 
==============================================================================
12/14/06
- Installed the Mallincam video camera. The camera is connected to the a 
Slingbox AV unit. This allows the video to be accessed from any computer that
has the SlingPlayer software installed.
==============================================================================
12/09/06
- Replaced the screw for the screw-drive for the lower shutter. The dome is 
now operational. 
==============================================================================
12/07/06
- The dome has been taken off-line to prevent remote operation. The reason is 
a screw was found on the floor of the observatory. After a lengthy inspection
of the telescopes, pier and  dome the location of where the screw came from 
was found. The screw holds the screw-drive for the lower shutter and allows it
the pivot during opening and closing. Before the screw is replaced 
non-permanent locking compound will be applied in order to prevent the screw 
from working loose in the future. 
==============================================================================
12/05/06
- Reconfigured the SV102APO to use the stock Stellarvue mounting rings instead 
of the 3 point Losmandy rings. The stock rings hold the scope more rigidly then 
the 3 point rings. This should help eliminate most of the remaining flexing, 
but will require shimming in order to align the pointing of the piggy-backed 
scope with the main OTA. It will also no longer be possible to adjust the 
piggy-backed scope in order to locate a guidestar if needed.
==============================================================================
11/16/06
- Installed a CPS Intelligent Auto Push Board and a N-RRC controller to the 
Weather Station PC. The PC is now able to be shut-down and booted remotely and 
reliably.  (This setup is identical to the Observatory PC setup). 
- Added a link on website's Observatory status page for remote power control of 
both the Observatory and Weather Station PC.
- Installed new fully charged shutter motor battery.
==============================================================================
11/15/06
*** After 5 days FTP access to the website has finally been restored.  The FTP 
server for the observatory site stopped working @ 5:15 am Friday 11/10/06. 
That meant no weather, lightening, cloud, sky-cam or weather-cam pictures 
could be uploaded to the website, nor could the website be updated via FTP 
during that time. 
 
There is still no FTP access to the root directory and the FTP account name 
in use before the outage is no longer valid, so all the scripts and automated 
software that uploaded data to the website had to be changed.
 
So if you happen to be looking for web hosting services I would have to 
recommend that you steer clear of IPOWER Web. In my opinion they suck.
 
==============================================================================
11/1/06
- Created new local horizon mask. The mask defines what areas of the sky are
visible to the telescopes. 
- I decided my ISP (IpowerWeb) sucks. There has been no FTP access to site 
since Friday morning at about 5:15am. The CSR claims there was a power failure.
and the JATObservery domain was on one the FTP servers affected by the power
outage. Because of this issue no weather data, lightning data , cloud data or 
images can be uploaded to the website.
==============================================================================
11/03/06
- Ordered a new shutter battery. The new battery has slightly more capacity 
than the original Panasonic battery supplied (9ah vs the original 7.5ah)

TR9-12 - TEMPEST SEALED LEAD-ACID AGM BATTERY

$18.00

==============================================================================
11/03/06
- Received the Baader solar filter for the Stellarvue SV102APO.
==============================================================================
11/02/06
- The shutter battery is showing signs of not holding a good charge since the
temperature has begun to drop. The battery is currently being charged at night
by an AC charger. Because the charger is connected, the dome rotation has been 
disabled so as not to allow remote start-up of the dome. Doing so with the 
charging cable is connected will cause damage.
==============================================================================
10/31/06
- Modified a Meade 8x50 finder scope to accept standard eyepieces. 
==============================================================================
10/26/06
- Aligned scope using the iterative method
==============================================================================
10/22/06
- Installed an RJ-11 "Y" on the end of the 9 pin to RJ-11 connector on the
Paramount ME.
- The 12 volt trickle charger has been connected the the shutter battery.
==============================================================================
10/17/06
- Installed a CPS Intelligent Auto Push Board into the Observatory PC. The PC
is now able to be shut-down and booted remotely and reliably. The Relay box
has been removed.
==============================================================================
10/16/06
- Removed Windows Service Pack 2 update from the Observatory PC. The SBIG 
ST-2000XM USB camera would not connect. After the SP2 was removed the camera
is functioning fine.
==============================================================================
10/15/06
- Re-installed side cover on Paramount. Scope only eyeballed aligned to Dec 40 
degree tick mark. The scope is operational but pointing will not be accurate.
- Remove the Windows Service Pack 2 update from the Weather Station PC. It was
hanging the WeatherLink software and preventing it from uploading correctly. 
After the removal of Windows SP2 the software is functioning correctly. 
==============================================================================
10/14/06
- The free version of "LogMeIn

" software has been deployed to the PCs on the

observatory's local network. The software provides an alternative method of 
remotely accessing the observatory's PCs from either the local intranet or the
internet.
==============================================================================
10/13/06
- The source of the noise in the RA drive has been located. The problem was one 
of the rubber cogs on the short belt had separated from the belt and became 
stuck in the pulley. Whenever that section of the pulley rotated around the 
belt would ride up over the filled gap. This caused a thumping noise whenever 
the scope was slewed at speed. The rubber was scraped out and the problem has 
gone away. The scope is still out of service because the declination axis had 
to be raised in order the get the screws off of the side cover plate. One of the 
screw heads was striped during removal. A new screw and belt will be ordered from 
Software Bisque. The mount with have to be realigned.
- All the PCs on the Network have been updated to Service Pack 2 and all 
Microsoft patched have been installed.
==============================================================================
10/12/06
- Adjusted the short and long belt on the Dec axis. There is now a bit of play
in the belts and slewing is quieter. Both the upper and lower Dec covers have
been replaced. The RA axis will be adjusted next, as that drive is noisy also.
==============================================================================
10/08/06
- The Paramount ME has been taken out of service. The Dec drive is suffering 
from a knocking noise during slews. The problem only occurs during cool weather. 
I believe the sound is caused by a change in belt tension when the temp drops.
Re-adjustment of the belt tension should correct the symptom. The Software 
Bisque belt adjustment procedure calls for use of a Sonic Tension Meter.
- Disconnected the DVD reader in the observatory PC. The reader malfunctioned
and was just drawing power from the PC. The CDR-W is still the E drive, there
is no longer a D drive.
- N-RRC Ethernet controller and remote relay box was placed back in the 
observatory. The PC's manual power switch was disconnected and replaced with
the remote relay box. The PC can my be turned on or off via the local network
or internet. 
==============================================================================
10/03/06
- The "Observatory Control Program 6a" was modified to automatically load the
Sirius ASCOM compatible control program when the "Observatory Start-Up" button
is selected.
==============================================================================
9/21/06
- Created 2 new T-Point models, one for the eastern side of the sky (75 points)
and one for the western side (66 points). Telescope pointing is now very 
accurate on both sides of the sky.
- Performed PEC training, the mount now has a PE of 2.0 arcseconds PP and 5 min
unguided images are now possible.
==============================================================================
9/17/06
- Rewired the AC outlets on the pier to eliminate the ON/OFF switch. Replaced
the switch with a 4th outlet. 
- Modified DC outlet #3 so it is controlled by the AC pier power. This was done
by rewiring the "Emergency Power Off" AC/DC relay from Normally Closed (NC) to
Normally Open (NO). The relay was moved from the output of the solar charge 
regulator to the (-) side of DC power #3, on the pier. The SBIG ST-402ME is now 
remote controllable via the Observatory Control 6a program.
- Modified the Observatory Control 6a program to set Focuser#1 as the active
focuser with the "Observatory Start-Up" button is selected. 
- Changed the buttons previously labeled "Paramount ON" and "Paramount OFF"
to "Pier Power ON" and "Pier Power OFF". 
==============================================================================
9/13/06
- Dome rotation power has been moved to the 10 amp 12 volt DC power supply. 
Dome power is now enabled with the Paramount and ST-2000XM energized (provided
the "Dome Power On" button on the GUI has been previously selected.
==============================================================================
9/6/06
- The filtered serial adapter has been added to the CPS power strip. This will
allow control via a Comm port on the observatory PC. The observatory control
program has been modified to include buttons that control the outlets on the
CPS. I didn't see a way the do that using the manufacturer's webserver control
box (N-RRC). The draw-back to this is the CPS will not work with both the 
N-RRC and the serial adapter connected at the same time. The good news is the 
N=RRC can be used to control a relay box so it is not a total waste of money.
I plan on building a relay box and connect it to the N-RRC to allow remote 
re-booting of the PC. 
- The modified control program is setup now to automatically 
turn off the dehumidifier when the shutters are opened, it is turned on when the 
shutter are closed. It addition a button has be added to the GUI that automated 
some portions of the observatory start-up routine. When selected the following 
actions take place:
* Dehumidifier is turned off.
* Shutters are opened.
* The dome's rotation power is turned and remote control is enabled.
* Paramount ME (GEM) is switched on.
* ST-2000XM CCD camera is switched on.
* Dew Heaters are switched on.
The plan is to modify the software to also start-up the Sirius Dome controller 
software as well as startup CCDSoft.
Now if I can just figure out a way to automate removal and replacement of the 
telescope aperture covers.
==============================================================================
9/4/06
- Modified the indoor remote shutter control box. A red covered switch was 
added the disables the Boltwood cloud and rain sensor closure signal. There 
are a number of reason this was done. When the closure signal is sent to the 
transmitter due to either "Very Cloudy" or "Rain" conditions no other signals
can be received by any of the other receivers within the observatory. Also if
maintenance or repair to the relay circuit is required the signal can be 
disabled. The remote disable toggle switch in the observatory was also 
replaced with a protected switch.
==============================================================================
9/1/06
- Installed the CPS remote IP control power strip. The strip is currently 
connected to the Dehumidifier, telescope, ST-2000XM and a fan.
==============================================================================
8/31/06
- Installed the 12 Vdc 10amp relay for the wireless remote dome rotation power 
controller. The relay was ordered from Jameco. The dome is now capable of 
complete remote start up. 
==============================================================================
8/28/06
- The 12 volt deep cycle batteries are of the wet cycle type and unfortunately
not maintenance free, they required almost 4 liters of water to top them off. 
==============================================================================
8/26/06
- Installed the wireless receiver and relay board to control the dome rotation
power and remote enable. The dome rotation and remote enable works, but a 5 
volt DC/DC 10 amp relay is needed in order to control the dome power remotely.
- Created a new GUI that includes a selection for dome rotation and power.
- Installed a Netgear ethernet switch in the observatory. The switch will be
use to connect the IP controlled power strip ordered from CPS.
- Installed a Dyanex 4 port USB Hub in order to reconnect the Velleman Logger.
==============================================================================
8/21/06
- Lubed the dome rotation gear.
==============================================================================
8/19/06
- The homing for the dome was still suffering from intermittent failure. An
inspection of the dome control box revealed some loose connections on the relay
board terminal strip. After tightening the problem appears to have been fixed.
==============================================================================
8/11/06
- Updated CCDSoft back to 5.00.175
*** The LPI camera seems to have developed a problem, it only displays in 
black & white.
*** The Homing sensor (N.O. magnetic switch) for the dome has stopped working.
The switch has replaced with a new one.
- Ran a small TPoint model and the pointing of the Paramount improved greatly.
(I should have done that sooner).
- Upgraded the LX200GPS forks to 4.1i (don't ask me why).
- Installed TLE Retriever. Satellite TLEs are downloaded every for hours. 
- Finally got the username and password working for the Air Force Weather
Agency website.
==============================================================================
7/25/06
*** During an imaging session on 7/24/06 of NGC-6205 (M13) a problem occurred 
with CCDsoft5 hotfix version 5.00.175. The setup consisted of the SV102a 
refractor using the SBIG CFW10a color filter wheel connected to ST-2000XM. The 
camera was setup to autoguide via the built-in 237a imager at a guide rate of 
1 frame per second. When the color series capture was executed CCDSoft would 
hang after the autodark frame download. The message "waiting on shutter" was
displayed. CCDSoft was downgraded to version 5.00.175 in am attempt to fix the
issue. As it turns out the problem was a "MultiFile Bad Pixel Remover" dll that 
was inadvertently dropped in the "Camera Events Plug in" directory instead of 
the "Image Processing Plug in" directory. Currently all image processing 
plug-ins have been disabled. CCDSoft will be upgraded back to version 5.00.175. 
The focuser select and Auto center on bright star scripts buttons where lost 
during the downgrade and will have to be reprogrammed.
==============================================================================
7/19/06
- Reinstalled the SolarMax40 HA scope.
- Rebalanced the mount.
==============================================================================
7/6/06
- Added 2 Losmandy dovetailed adapter plates to the front of the Versa-Plate.
The 2D system allows easy balancing of the scope cameras are added to the 
telescope, when the dew shield is removed or when telescopes are attached to
the cradle's side rails. Weights up to 15 lbs are available to be attached.
==============================================================================
7/4/06
- All the website's FTP traffic has been transferred from Verizon back to the 
hosting ISP.
- Reconfigured the telescope, the Zenith Star80 has replaced the StellarVue 
102a that was piggy-backed on the 10" SCT OTA. The mount was rebalanced. The
3.3 lbs EZ-balance weight on the rear of the SCT was removed. A 10" long 4"
wide dovetail plate was attached perpendicular to the bottom front of the 
Versa-Plate. This will allow counter balancing in future when the scope becomes
tail heavy.
==============================================================================
7/2/06
- Edited a number of the lightning, weather and camera pages in order to route
their FTP traffic through Verizon. The ISP that hosts this website is having 
problems with the FTP servers for my URL. The issues have been on going for 
the past 48 hours and I am less than happy about the speed it which they are 
working the issue. Some of the web pages are are not working correctly because 
Verizon does not support Front Page extentions. 
==============================================================================
6/30/06
- Tweaked the polar alignment a bit. Pointing on the eastern side of the 
meridian is much better. The western side is not so good. I believe this due
to flexure. I have not modeled the mount use TPoint yet. So far the Paramount
has not lived up the pointing I was accuracy I was expecting. The old LX200GPS
had better pointing. I will continue to work the pointing issues.
==============================================================================
6/16/06
- Received and installed the SBIG ST-402ME. This camera will mainly be used as
an autoguider and will replace the DSI-Pro. 
- Complete fabrication of the power cable for the focuser switchbox. 
==============================================================================
6/15/06
- Completed most of the remote controlled wireless focuser switchbox. I still
have to build a cable that will allow the switchbox to get its power from the 
mount. 
==============================================================================
6/13/06
- The author of the Guidestar program contacted me after reading the problems
I was having with the program. He suggested I use the "1 at a time per Axis'"
option within Guidestar. I was under the impression that this option prevented
the guiding software from making correction in two axis' orthogonal to each
other at the same time (ie the west/south). What it really does is prevent two
axis opposite from each other from being selected (ie North and South). 
Apparently this something the Envisage tries to do. After selected this option
the program guiding became noticeably smoother. 
==============================================================================
6/12/06
- Replaced the external 17ah battery on the old APC UPS. The UPS has been placed 
back in service in the observatory. The PC is connect to this UPS.
- Purchased a used ST-402ME from Astromart. This camera will replace the 
DSI-Pro that was being used to guide the Paramount.
==============================================================================
6/11/06
- Replaced the 3-1/2 year old UPS in the observatory because there was no 
capacity left in battery. The Paramount, PC, LCD monitor, SBIG & Canon camera 
as well as the USB hub are connected. 
==============================================================================
6/10/06
- Installed a new externally powered 4 port USB hub. 
- Patched the GPINT-PT guider cable into the lower guider port on the Paramount. 
- Updated to the Guidestar1.1 program. Got unacceptable results guiding with
the LX200GPS OTA at F6.3 (1600mm fl) while imaging with the SV102 (862mm). 
Reverted back to Guidestar1.0 and had similar issues. I think it is time to 
start looking for the CCDSoft5 compatible camera to use as an autoguider and
toss the DSI-Pro. 
==============================================================================
6/7/06
- The dome calibration program was run. The number of motor revolutions was
set to 114. 
- The dome geometry parameters entered into the Sirius.exe program are as 
follows:
40.09 Latitude, degrees, north is + 
-74.5 Longitude, degrees, east is +
 45.0 Radius of dome at equator
  4.5 Distance from dome center to scope pivot point, inches, east is +
 -3.0 Distance from dome center to mount pivot point, inches, north is +
-10.0 Height of mount pivot point above dome equator, inches
 19.5 Distance from mount pivot point to telescope optical axis, inches
- Changed the mount control com port from 2 to 1. Com port one is a real Com
port. Port 2 was a USB to serial adapter. The USB com port was disconnected in
order to free up a USB port on the back of the PC. 
==============================================================================
6/6/06
- The magnetic homing switch and sensor needs to be replaced. It doesn't 
position the dome in the same spot every time. Also I believe the Rotation
control box may be developing a problem. The would not home after it was first
turned on this evening. It would not spin. After about 2 minutes the dome began
to function normally.
- Received the USB 2.0 extender cable today. The DSI Pro is now recognized when c\
connected to the through mount USB cable. 
- The Meade DSI Pro is now able to guide the Paramount ME using the Meade 
Envisage software. The GuideStar LX200 Software Emulator and HW Virtual Serial 
port software is up and running. This software will also allow the Meade LPI 
and it native software to guide the Paramount too. A Shoestring Astronomy 
GPINT-PT parallal to ST4 (RJ-12)adapter was purchased in order to connect to the 
autoguider port on the paramount.
==============================================================================
6/2/06
- Installed the Dew Buster dew controller and dew heater strips on the main 
OTA, 4" refractor, Meade finder and Stellarvue finder.
- Installed the laser finder.
- Added two 1 Lbs counter weights on the back of the right side cradle ring. 
==============================================================================
5/31/06
- Received the Pier-Tech2 to Paramount ME adapter plate. Installed the plate using 
the screws from the old Milburn plate. The Milburn screws are a hair to long. I 
will swap them out with shorter ones at some future date. Installed the Paramount &
the 10" LX200GPS OTA. 
- The OTA was configured with the Stellervaue 102a along with
the Stellervue F50E finder and the stock Meade finder. 
- The second Meade micro-focuser was installed the Stellervue refractor.
- Dew heater controller was installed on the front left of the cradle. All wire 
have been neatly routed and wire-tied down.
- All three 20lbs counter weights were needed to balance the system. One was 
place at the very top of the shaft and the one two at the bottom.
- An operational fit check of the system was done in the dome. The system clears
almost everywhere except for south wall near the dome control box. The dew shield 
contacts the box and the Davis weather station sensor. 
** Issues:
- A mask will have to be made of the limited areas the scope can't be slewed to. 
None of the no slew zones effect limit any views of the sky. While the mask will 
prevent the scope from being slewed to this areas, it will not prevent the scope 
from tracking into those zones.
- The current polar alignment is not adequate as the gotos are no accurate. Also 
there is very large drift observed during tracking. 
- Dome is not doing a good job of tracking the scopes movement. There must be 
something wrong with the dome geometry. I have poor performance with both the 
Sirius.exe (from Diffraction Limited) and Automadome (Software Bisque).
==============================================================================
5/30/06
- Received the cradle from Andy Homeyer. Installed the Cradle on the Paramount ME.
It fits like a glove.
==============================================================================
5/28/06
- Began the process of defining the dome geometry for the Paramount 
configuration. 
==============================================================================
5/26/06
- Received the Meade Micro Focuser from A-Mart. The focuser will be used to
focus the piggy-backed scopes. A wireless remote controller will be built to
allow two focusers to be connected the single port of the Paramount. But only
the selected focuser will be used at a time.
==============================================================================
5/25/06
- The OTA for LX200GPS was removed from the fork assembly. 
- The new pier adapter plate shipped this evening.
- Tested the dew heater cable I fabricated for the Paramount..it works. 
==============================================================================
5/24/06
- The LX200GPS was removed from the pier as well as the Milburn wedge. The
Paramount ME was placed on the pier for a fit check. There should be no 
clearance issue with the mount and OTA in the observatory. The adapter plate 
for the ME has not arrived yet so the ME was just set on the on Milburn plate 
for the check. 
==============================================================================
5/23/06
- Completed the AC wiring to the pier. Installed the outlet box with one 
off switch and 3 outlets. One for the Paramount power supply, one for the 
Canon 10D power supply and one spare. The off switch controls all 3 outlets. 
- Built a dual USB cable that uses the 25 pin pass through on the Paramount.
One cable is for the ST-2000XM and the other is for the guider.
- Andy Homeyer informed me the cradle for the 10" OTA shipped today. Deliever
is expected to be on May 31st.
==============================================================================
5/21/06
- Tested the new RS-232 cable for the Paramount. The line uses a 6 conductor 
phone line with RJ-12 to 9 pin adapters on the ends. The cable is wired 1 to 1.
- Removed the Pictor 416-XT camera control box from the east side of the pier,
and installed 2 "L" brackets to hold an AC power box will be installed in that 
location.
==============================================================================
5/20/06
- Removed and replaced the grease on both the Dec and RA drives of the 
Paramount ME. 
- Tested the Meade Micro-Focuser connect the Paramount, it functions fine.
  Park, Fine Home, and Satellite Tracking also tested fine. 
==============================================================================
5/19/06
- Replaced both homing sensors in the Paramount ME. The motors were removed 
and the damaged sections of the the wiring were cut off and replaced. The 
inside of the mount was thoroughly cleaned. There some noises coming from the 
RA motor during tracking but the mount functions ok. maybe it is just a 
Paramount thing. So far I am really happy with the mount. It is well built and 
the craftsmanship is incredible. The other great thing about this mount is the 
support from the Bisque Brothers. 
==============================================================================
5/16/06
- The Paramount ME arrived today. After powering up the mount is was 
discovered the Dec drive would not home. After removing the RA and Dec side 
coverings the source of the problem was found. Rodents had made a nest inside
the mount and had chewed through a number of the cables. Including the homing 
sensor cable. The RA and Dec motor cables were also damaged although the motors
still operate. The motor cables have connectors on one end but the other end
connects directly to the motor with no connector. The RA cable is damaged to
close to the connector to allow it to be spliced and save the connector. A new
sensor cable and 2 motor extension cables were ordered from the Software Bisque. 
The sensor cable will require the replacement of both the RA and Dec sensors.
This will require the removal of the Dec motor. Much of the mount will be 
dissembled and cleaned during the repair. 
==============================================================================
5/14/06
- Upgraded the firmware in the LX200GPS from 4.0I to 4.1b.
- Swapped the membrane keypad from the LX200GPS spare parts hand controller.
The old keypad had the DigiKey keypad repair kit applied. The current hand-
controller had already began to stuffer from unresponsive key presses.
- The low memory issues continued to plague the weather station PC. The real
time virus scanning was turned off. The weather PC's virus scanning will now
be handled by another PC on the network.
- Installed the Wrap Drive belt kit into the LXD-55. The installation was 
pretty straight forward. The upgrade has not be test because one of the RA belt 
drives is making contact with the drive cover. The plan is to heat the drive 
cover case so it can be slightly reshaped in or to provide to clearance needed.
==============================================================================
5/12/06
- The "Warp Drive" belt drive kit for the LXD-55 arrived. The kit replaces the
gears on both the Dec and RA drives with cogged belt and pulleys. This should
cure any backlash issues with the mount. I soon as I find some free I'll begin
the upgrade. 
- The weather station PC began to have memory issues. With the addition of the
All Sky camera software there is a lot of stuff running on that PC. The problem
seems to have been solved (for now) by shutting down TheSky6 Pro after 
SBScripter6 connects to it. Since the All Sky camera isn't connected to a mount
TheSky is not needed. I just have to figure out how to make SBScripter6 not 
call it at start-up.
==============================================================================
5/11/06
- The program SBScripter6 is being used to start and stop CCDSoft (which 
controls the camera) The script turns the camera on at 9:00pm eastern time and
turns it off at 04:45am. The software must currently be initialized every day.
- Removed the Flat Fielder light panel to support a Remote Control and
Automation presentation to the NJAA's Research Group tomorrow evening.
- The Paramount ME shipped today and is scheduled for delivery on the 16th.
==============================================================================
5/7/06
- Installed a "camera event plug-in" for CCDSoft. The plug-in was supplied by 
Ron Wodaski and saves any image with a camera controlled by CCDSoft as a JPG
file. The plug-in was installed on the Weather Station PC, which is also the
controlling PC for the All Sky & Meteor camera. The JPG file is written 
directly to the website via the WebDrive software. The next step is to find 
away to start on stop the camera automatically.
==============================================================================
5/6/06
- Cleaned the RS-232 ports of the LX200GPS. The ports had some corrosion.
- Reconnected the LX200GPS. 
- Installed the GuideStar LX200 Emulation software and HW Virtual Serial Port 
software on the observatory computer. This was needed to test if Meade's 
Envisage software could be used to guide the LX200GPS via the CCD autoguide port 
(this is how the Paramount will be guided). The test was not successful. I 
believe the cable used to connect the GPINT-PT guide port interface adapter to 
the LX200GPS did not have the correct pin-outs.
- Attended the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern NY. The highlight for
me was getting to see a Paramount ME in person, conversing with the folks from 
The Software Bisque and getting to see some of the new product coming.
==============================================================================
4/30/06
- Permanently mounted the SBIG All Sky camera on the house next to the Cloud
and Rain sensor. This location provides a better view of the sky. There is also
no longer any obstruction from the observatory's dome and there are less
trees in view, but a bit more of the house. The biggest issue is there is a 
reflection on filter cover glass. I believe the reflection is coming from the
side of the house. I am going to place a shield on the side of the camera's
case in an attempt to block the reflection from getting to the cover glass.
==============================================================================
4/29/06
- Re-installed the LX200GPS back onto the observatory pier. The scope has not
be connected, balance or aligned. 
==============================================================================
4/28/06
- Did a temp install the of the SBIG All Sky and Meteor camera. The camera does
a great job of cutting through the light pollution. You can actually see the
Milky Way. The camera will be permanently mounted near the Rain and Cloud sensor 
if that location proves to be suitable.  
- The telescope returned all in one piece from the Lockheed Martin Young Minds 
At Work day event. It will be placed back in the pier in the observatory until 
the Paramount ME shows up.
==============================================================================
4/23/06
- Updated the Davis weather station software from version 5.5.1 to 5.5.6a.
Added the following graphics to the Weather Station webpage.
Current                        History
Monthly Rain                   Heating Degree Days
Storm Rain                     Cooling Degree Days
Air Density                    Air Density
EMC %                          EMC %
THW Index                      THW Index
                               Wind Direction
==============================================================================
4/21/06
- After doing some research I have decided on a cradle system from Andy Homeyer
instead of the hinged rings to attach the 10" LX200GPS OTA to the Paramount ME.
The cradle has a 4 to 6 week lead time. The cradle in addition to price of the
Paramount ME will be a sizable investment. But the rigidity of the cradle makes
it one of the only real options of mounting the scope the Paramount ME. I also
have some concerns about the how well the Paramount will fit in the observatory 
with the pier in its current position. The pier may have to be centered in the 
observatory structure for the scope to have adequate clearance. I think this 
can be achieved by either offsetting the pier adapter plate, or by adding slats
the floor and unbolting the dome walls and moving them south 12".
==============================================================================
4/17/06
- The optics on 10" LX200GPS was re-collimated. The scope was configured for 
solar viewing for the Lockheed Young Minds At Work on April 27th. The setup 
will use the HA SM40, the HA PST and the full aperture white light filter on 
the 10" GPS. The GPS will be configured with a 32mm RINI eyepiece and a 6.3 FR. 
The PST will use a 26mm Meade and the SM40 will have the 7-21mm Orion Zoom. The 
scope will not return to service in the observatory until after the YMAW event.
- There is still no new info on the status of the replacement Dec motor and
control board that was suppose to ship from Meade.
- A circa 2003 series Paramount ME was purchased from an AstroMart auction. It 
will more than likely be a week or 2 before the Paramount ME arrives. It will be 
a few months before the ME is put into service. Several things must occur first:
*The LX200GPS OTA will have the be de-forked.
*The ME pier plate will have to be adapted the the Pier-Tech 2
*The MKS3000 series telescope control system will be upgraded to the MKS4000.
*A set of mounting rings from http://www.parallaxinstruments.com/IndexFX.html 
  need to be purchased.
*New dome geometry will need to be defined.
Control of the ME mount and TheSky6 will have to be figured out.
- It was discovered that the Gateway Tablet and Radio Shack USB to Serial 
adapter does not correctly control the LX200GPS under Meade's Enviage software. 
It works fine with the Autostar Control software.
- Some corrosion was found in one of the LX200GPS's RS232 ports. It will be 
cleaned in the next day or so.
==============================================================================
3/10/06
- Installed the Wide Area Storm Probe 2(WASP2)real-time data viewer and 
analyzer for monitoring lightning activity captured by a StrikeStar 
Lightning Locator network. The software was installed on the Weather Station
computer
==============================================================================
3/9/06
- Installed a F50E on the Maxscope40 solar scope. This will allow the Maxscope40 
to replace the F50 finder scope when solar observation is desired.
- Installed the Slingbox player (remote TV viewing software on the observatory 
PC. While it may seem odd that TV software was installed in the observatory. It  
was done because time is often spent in the observatory during non visual 
observing sessions. That time includes maintenance, repair, post image processing 
etc. The TV software allows music, news or even movies to be viewed on the 
observatory's PC (or any other PC connected to the network).
==============================================================================
3/8/06
- The LX200GPS suffered scratches to left upper fork arm and lower right fork 
when it fell while being transported to a local school. The damage appears to
be cosmetic, but a full collimation and checkout is required before the scope
will be placed back in service.
==============================================================================
3/5/06
- Removed telescope from the observatory to support an astronomy presentation
the a local school. 
==============================================================================
2/20/06
- Added anonymous proxy server function to the webpage.
==============================================================================
2/17/06
- Received the Coronado PST Hydrogen-Alpha version. The H-A PST was mounted on
a Losmandy dovetail adapter next to the Calcium K PST. The H-A PST also has the
built in solar finder.
- Received the Astrodon Tru-Balance 1.25" 6nm H-a filter. The UV filter in the 
6th position was removed to make room for the H-a filter.
The filter wheel is configured as below:
Position  Filter
1         Clear                         (Meade)
2         Red    LA-200          (Meade)
3         Green  G-550          (Meade)
4         Blue   B-400          (Meade)
5         O-II   Oxygen-III     (Orion)
6         H-a    Hydrogen-Alpha  (Astrodon)
7         Bu     Blue    (UVBRI)(Shuler)
8         Vis    Visible  (UVBRI)(Shuler)
9         Red    Red     (UVBRI)(Shuler)
10        IR     Infrared (UVBRI)(Shuler)
==============================================================================
2/3/06
- Received the Coronado PST Calcium K solar scope. The image produced in the
eyepiece of this scope is very very dim. Even though I had read about the dim
image I was not prepared for how really dim the image was. When I first 
received the scope I figured it was broken because I couldn't see the sun in
the eyepiece. After spending a fair amount of time letting my eye adapt I was
able to see a very faint purple image of the sun. The scope really is not a 
scope for the casual solar observer as it takes some getting used to. The 
scope does have a nifty solar finder that helps finding the sun fairly easy.  
==============================================================================
1/29/2006
- Installed Fabula Tech's Serial Port Splitter. I can now split and share the 
serial port that connects to the LX200GPS (or any other Com port on the 
observatory PC) with more than one program. The LX200GPS has 2 serial ports.
One of those ports is dedicated to use by TheSky6 which is the main controller
and also links the scope to the dome. The other port must be shared between 
programs like the DSI autoguiding software, the Autostar remote control 
software, Astroplanner, MPO Connections or a host of other programs. I no 
longer have to disconnect one program from the com port in order to connect 
another. I can now connect all of them at once if I so choose. The software 
works very well. Care must still be taken not to send multiple commands to the
scope at the same time. 
=============================================================================
1/21/2006
- Replaced blown 3.0 amp fuse for scope power. Fuse blew when an attempt to 
slew the scope was made during autoguiding. The scope draws a bit more power 
in the winter as the lubricants are thicker. It should be noted the action of 
attempting a slew while autoguiding would not normally blow a fuse, it is also
not a recommend procedure.  
==============================================================================
1/16/2006
- Installed Fabula Tech's "Network Serial Port Kit". The software is a 
combination Virtual Serial port, re-director, Client / Server software package.
It was installed on both the observatory (client) and weather station (server)
PCs. The software now allows direct access by the observatory PC to the 434Mhz 
wireless shutter control transmitter on the weather station PC. The enables the 
automated scripts running on the observatory PC to open and close the shutters. 
3 new exe programs have been created for scripting use. They will either place 
the shutters in the "fully open", "top open only" or "closed"  configuration 
when called by any script being executed by the observatory PC. In addition the 
original shutter control program which resides on the Weather station PC was 
modified to use the virtual com port on the observatory PC. More info about the 
installation can be found here.
==============================================================================
1/13/2006
- Reconfigured the LX200GPS with the 3.3 focal reducer. The DSI-Pro is still
attached.
- Created a "robots.txt" file for the website with rules for the Webcrawlers.
- Created a ".htaccess" file in order to deny access to the growing number of 
porn sites that have been accessing the site in order to have their URLs placed 
in the weblog in case it gets published. While I don't makes the website's web 
logs available to the public, I would prefer not to have thier URLs in my log 
files. I am always amazed it how far spammers will go to get their info out 
there.
- Re-Calibrated the Barometric Pressure Sensor in an attempt to correct the 
the continual +2.05 ~ +3.19 errors being generated by the weather station.
==============================================================================
1/7/2005
- Place an order for a JOVE Radio and antenna.
- Contacted the Adirondack about returning the Flat Fielder controller. They 
said they would replace it, but the controller's display is no longer showing
the problem.
==============================================================================
12/2/2005
- Installed the SkyPipe1 software on the weather station PC. The software will
allow me to monitor the JOVE transmissions in real-time from other observatories.
==============================================================================
12/28/2005
- Re-balanced the GPS with the aluminum dew shield, the DSI and the SV102a 
piggy-backed with the ST2000XM attached. A total of 22-1/2 pounds of counter-
weights where required (including a 3lb on axis weight at the rear). The scope
is now perfectly balanced in RA and Dec, and will stay put with both 
clutches unlocked
==============================================================================
12/27/2005
- Began to characterize the Flat Fielder light box with both the SV102A and the 
ST2000XM. Settings can be found here.
==============================================================================
12/24/2005
- The LX200GPS tracked itself into the screw drive for the lower hatch. Either 
the scope began tracking after it was parked (known issue when the scope 
receives commands for the autoguider), or the scope was never parked. The 
LX200GPS suffered no damage other than a blown fuse in the DC power cord. The
Stellarvue SV102a however received a scratch on the retractable dew shield. 
Replaced fuse.
-Installed the Adirondack Flat Fielder light box. The box has been mounted on 
the southern side of the dome. 
==============================================================================
12/25/2005
- Received the Adirondack Flat Fielder light box with digital power supply. A 
set of scripts have been created that will automatically turn the light box on 
and off, as well as set the light output level. The box will be permanently 
mounted in the observatory. The plan is to call a user defined coordinate from
within TheSky to point the telescope at the Flat Fielder when flat frames are 
required.
 
==============================================================================
12/15/2005
- Completed computer control testing of the LXD650 via the RS232 port.
Tested the mount with TheSky and SatTracker. Both programs worked, but during
satellite tracking, SatTracker continuously activates the beeper in the hand 
controller. The beeper is loud and rather annoying. 
==============================================================================
12/13/2005
- Gave away the Meade 626 Pier and GEM mount. 
- Received the LXD650 mount and tripod. Bench test the mount and it seems
to work fine. I have not tested the RS232 or CCD autoguiding interface yet.
It needs a saddle plate. Found one that allows mounting a Losmandy 4" adapter
plate. 
==============================================================================
12/11/2005
-Recently took delivery of a bunch of new equipment,
* Rini 2" eyepices:
10mm, 26mm, 32mm(with reticule), 48mm, 50mm(with T-threads),60mm and a .5x 
focal reducer.
* Williams Optics:
ZenithStar 80mm, 480mm fl.
* Antares
2" dielectric diagonal
==============================================================================
11/26/2005
- Reconfigured the SBIG filter wheel as listed below:
SBIG Color Filter Wheel configuration
#1   Clear       Meade NA45
#2   Red         Meade LA-200
#3   Green       Meade G-550
#4   Blue        Meade B-440
#5   UltraBlock  Orion
#6   Oyxgen-III  Orion
#7   Visible  Vs Schuler (ubrvi)
#8   Blue     Bu Schuler (ubrvi)
#9   Red      Rs Schuler (ubrvi)
#10  IR72     IR Schuler (ubrvi)
==============================================================================
11/2/2005
- Installed a Velleman 4 channel data logger to monitor voltage. 
Channel 1 = Main Battery Voltage
Channel 2 = LED lighting voltage
Channel 3 = Solar Panel Voltage
Channel 4 = 10A DC Power Supply Voltage
The data logger is interfaced to the observatory PC via a root USB port. Data
can be displayed in either numeric or graphical format. Currently the data is
not transmitted to the website.
==============================================================================
10/26/2005
- Batteries appear to be damaged, they will only hold a charge for a few hours.
The 10 amp DC power supply will be used to power the scope until the batteries
are replaced.
- Reset the Boltwood sensor's  "Cloudy" set point to -55. 
==============================================================================
10/24/2005
** Added water to both deep cycle batteries, and placed batteries on a trickle
charger overnight. Inspection of the batteries revealed the water was low and 
the plates were exposed.
==============================================================================
10/23/2005
- Swapped the 150mm rings for 125mm rings on the SV102A.
- Imaged NGC6960 (The Witch's Broom Nebula). The photo was a quick 5 minute 
single image after the rings were swapped on the SV102A. Also 2 minute RGB 
image was taken of an open cluster NGC7078 just to test the filter wheel. 
- Scope stopped responding to remote commands. Observatory batteries are dead.
==============================================================================
10/22/2005
- Upgraded Autostar firmware to ver 4.0l
==============================================================================
10/20/2005
- Received 2 Losmandy 5lbs counter weights, 4 dovetail adapter plates and 2 
counter weight holders. The threaded counter weight rods where removed and the
2 counter weight holders will be used as adapter plates. 
- Converted the mounting plate on the LXD-55 mount to a 4" dovetail.
- Converted the ETX-90 OTA, 114EQ, ST80, Orion Guide scope and the SM40 to 
Losmandy compatible quick release dovetail mounts. All scopes and the camera
mount can now be swapped between being piggy-backed on the LX200GPS or being 
mounted on the LXD-55.
-Balanced Scope - Configuration:
                  LX200 Metal Dew Shield, DSI- Pro, F6.3FR, Mircofocuser 
                  SV102A Piggy-backed with ST2000-XM and CFW10
                  Weights: Bottom center rail - two 5lb, One 2-1/2lb
                           Bottom outer rail  - One 1 lb (one each rail)
                           Dec Axis - One 3-1/2lb (EX-Balance)
==============================================================================
10/16/2005
- Complete drive and PEC training.
- After 10 days of cloudy rainy weather the shutter battery voltage dropped
to 7vDC. An external power supply was used to open the shutters and recharge
the battery to 12vDC. 
- Attached the StellarVue 9x50 erect finder scope (#F500). The dovetailed 
mounting base (#R50E)was secured to the Meade 10” LX200GPS base via one of
the mounting screws on the right side of the scope. The recessed base of the
dovetail mount fit the on to the LX200 perfectly. The StellarVue finder 
accepts standard 1.25” eyepieces. Unfortunately the Meade LPI will not come 
to focus.
** Reverted back to using the Automadome software to sync the dome’s rotation
to the telescope’s position. For some reason the Diffraction Limited 
SiriusDome.exe software is having sync issues and would lose track of the 
telescope’s postion, even with TheSky reported the correct position of the 
scope. The problem may be related to the 4.0H telescope firmware upgrade. The
dome geometry used within Automadome needs to be refined as it has some 
accuracy issues with tracking (which was the reason for switching to the
Diffraction Limited controller).
- There has been some erratic behavior  between the LX200 and TheSky software.
Some slews have failed to complete and the position of the telescope within 
TheSky will sometimes be reported incorrectly.  
==============================================================================
10/14/2005
- Upgrade Meade ASCOM telescope driver to version 4.1.8 This version supports
auto-align. It can also unpark a parked LX200GPS if the scope control software 
is disconnected and then reconnected. The driver also has the option the auto
set the scope time and date to the PCs upon connect.
- Turned off GPS fix at startup.
** Found TheSky6 will not start correctly if the external USB (star catalog)
drive attached to the Weather Station PC is not mapped and connected to the 
Observatory PC. TheSky's screen will be black with no stars and the program 
will be unresponsive.
==============================================================================
10/13/2005
- Received Orion filter sets
   Basic Filter Set
    #80A Blue    #58 Green  #25 Red    #15 Yellow
   Expansion Filter Set
    #21 Orange   #47 Violet #11 Light Yellow-Green    #82A Blue
   Advanced Filter Set
    #8 light Yellow   #23A Light Red   #36A Deep Blue   #56 Light Green
==============================================================================
10/10/2005
- Received replacement EZ-Balance weight
** Fixed issue with batteries showing 0vDC. The 4 AAA batteries in the 
transmitter for the Emergency RF Shut-off Switch were dead.
==============================================================================
10/09/2005
- Upgraded LX200GPS to firmware version 4.0h. 
- Noticed the battery packs where dead. Although it is over cast there is no
reason the batteries should not have powered the scope all day. I will have to
check the water levels in both batts.
==============================================================================
10/06/2005
- Received Unihedron Sky Quality Meter The meter is used to measure the sky's 
brightness.
==============================================================================
10/04/2005
-Received the SBIG CFWA-10 filter wheel (SN0905). Attached it to the ST-2000XM 
CCD imager. Filters are currently installed as follows:
Position  Filter
1         Empty
2         Red   LA-200  (Meade)
3         Green G-550   (Meade)
4         Blue  B-400   (Meade)
5         HA-50 visible (Meade)
6         UV    UVBRI   (Shuler)
7         Bu    UVBRI   (Shuler)
8         Vis   UVBRI   (Shuler)
9         Red   UVBRI   (Shuler)
10        IR    UVBRI   (Shuler)
The wheel was tested with CCDOps and CCDSoft and functioned without issue. The
camera with be mated to the SV102A and used as the primary imagers with the 
new mounting rings, dovetail adapter plates and counter weights arrive.
==============================================================================
9/29/2005
- Installed MPO Canopus (and PhotoRed) Astrometry software.
- Removed ST80, SM40, the 2 top mounting rails and lower center mounted rail
from LX200GPS OTA.
- Installed Losmandy dovetail mounting rail (top).
- Installed Losmandy counter weights rail and 2 1/2 weight (bottom).
- Installed Losmandy rings with Dovetail mounting base on SV102a
- In order to mount the SV102a on the LX200GPS approx 13lbs of counter weight
is required. Additional weight will be ordered from either Losmandy or ADM.
- Installed Losmandy dovetail mounting plate on bottom of ETX90 OTA.
==============================================================================
9/23/2005
- Received the Stellarvue SV102A. The 102mm 890mm FL refractor will be 
configured for both the LXD-55 GEM and for use piggy-backed on the LX200GPS.
The piggy-back configuration requires the arrival of the Losmandy mounting rail
and counter weight system.
==============================================================================
9/17/2005
- Installed the USNO B1.0 star catalogue. The catalogue contains over 
1,000,000,000 entries and has positions, magnitudes and proper motions for each 
object. The catalogue is over 80GBytes in size and is contained on a USB hard 
drive connected to the weather station PC. The observatory PC gains access to 
the catalogue via the local LAN.
==============================================================================
9/10/2005
-Received the Schuler 1.25" UBVRI photometric filter set. The set contains the 
following filters:
Uv - Ultra violet
Bu - Blue
V  - Visible
Rs - Red
Is - Infrared 72
==============================================================================
8/26/2005
- Balanced scope.
Configuration:
* ST-200XM CCD camera to the Orion.80mm
* DSI-Pro CCD camera on LX200GPS (diagonal, micro-focuser & F6.3 focal reducer) 
==============================================================================
8/22/2005
- Removed the ST80 wide field guide scope and replaced it with the Orion 80mm
910mm fl scope. 
==============================================================================
7/11/2005
- Received the Autostar 497 control box used for the LXD-55 GEM mount back 
from Meade. According to Meade it was suffering from a Trap-2 software error. 
Meade replaced the unit and cable (no charge). Tested on the LXD-55 and it 
works ok. The box was delivered with version 33E software loaded.
==============================================================================
7/10/2005
- First light of the Stellarvue binoviewer.
About 2 months ago I decided I wanted to try a set of binoviewers. Binoviewers
allow the observer to use both eyes. This is suppose to increase contrast and
allow the user to see more detail. I didn't want to spend to much money so I 
looked for an entry level binoviewer. I originally placed an order for a 
Burgess Binoviewer, but after waiting over a month with no idea of when the 
unit would even ship I cancelled the order and went with a Stellarvue (they
were in stock). They where the same price ($199) and are made by the same 
company in China. 
With in a week of placing the order the Stellarvue Binoviewer model BV1 arrived 
via UPS. As always whenever any new piece of equipment arrives, clouds and rain 
come with it. The Stellarvue case is aluminum and weights about 19 onces. It  
came with two 23mm fully multi-coated eyepieces.  To focus the the binoveiwer I 
used a bright star and closed one eye just as I would with a single eyepiece. I 
used the telscope's focuser until the star was a sharp point. I then used the 
fine focus ring on the binoviewer to complete the focus on the left eyepiece. I 
then close my left eye and focused the right eyepiece using it's fine focus ring. 
In order to put the bino at a confortable position on the 10" GPS I used a 45 
degree diagonal. But in order to bring the bino in focus with the diagonal I 
used a Siebert OCA corrector which purchased at the same time as the binos. The
OCA was attached directly to the filter threads of the diagonal so the OCA 
extension tube was not used.
When I opened both eyes there was a double image. To get rid of the double image 
the right eyepiece thumbscrew was loosened and the eyepiece was slowly rotated.
This merged to 2 images. 
I then slewed the scope to M5. I was completely blow away by the image. It was
like I have a brand new scope. M5 was rich with stars. it was no longer a faint
fuzzy. I turned to scope toward M13. Again I was presented with a rich star 
field. It seem like the cluster actually had depth. I spend about an hour just
observing M13. 
The next morning I attached the binoviewers to my Coronado Maxscope 40 Hydrogen
Alpha solar scope. Since the binoviewer eyepieces were focused and merged the
night before I only used the telescope focuser. The OCA was also needed to get 
the binos in focus on the Maxscope This time OCA was attached directly to the 
binos, again with using the extension tube. As with the night before the 
Stellarvue binos did not disappoint and gave a great view. From now on I am 
going to find it very hard to look through a scope that only has a single 
eyepiece. 
==============================================================================
6/22/2005
- Returned the Autostar 497 controller to Meade for repair. It hangs at bootup
on the software version display. I am unable to reset it or force a new 
software download.
==============================================================================
6/7/2005
** Removed the scope from the pier to troubleshoot the ticking noise coming from
the RA drive. The backlash of the replacement steel gears was adjusted. The
spring loaded worm gear assembly was to tight. The stop screw was adjusted.
The replacement steel gears and the worm gear were lubricated. After 
re-assembly and re-installation on the pier the noise was gone.
==============================================================================
5/31/2005
- Performed a quick interative alignment using the ST80, only 9 cycles were
completed. 
Cycle   Error   Change
9       2.2'    +45.5"
8       1.5'    -1.5'
7       2.9'    -2.7'
6       5.6'    -6.3'
5       12.0'   -3.6'
4       15.6'   -5.6'
3       21.2'   -7.1'
2       28.3'   -10.4'
1       38.7' 
==============================================================================
5/30/2005
- Installed 2 battery powered LED lights inside the observatory. The lights 
turn on at dusk and off at dawn. The battery is charged during the day by a 
small solar panel. 2 switches (one for each light) were also installed so the
lights could be turned off during observing sessions.
==============================================================================
5/22/2005
- Installed SiriusDome.exe dome control software supplied courtesy of 
Diffraction Limited. The software replaces Software Bisque's Automadome