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DEC fix; iPhone Moon imaging;
Carbon Star in Capricornus

Posted: 12 November 2016

Astute readers of my last several reports may have noted comments about slewing tests and the DEC motor. I have been in contact with Meade for the past week and checking out things for them to determine why my 12" LX600 had recently developed some severe DEC rocking and DEC slew slippage. They were going to send me a replacement DEC motor, but had one last thing for me to check. The worm gear axle was moving back and forth about 1mm in its mount and it shouldn't. Meade suggested tightening this bolt head at the end of the axle:


Friday morning, 11 November 2016, I checked the bolt head and it was so loose that I could turn it with a finger. I tightened it using a screwdriver and the DEC rocking was eliminated. I would still need to test the drive at night to confirm that the DEC slew slippage had also been fixed.

Open: Friday, 11 November 2016, 1810 MST
Temperature: 72°F
Session: 1039
Conditions: Clear, calm

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wired AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
2" 2X PowerMate

iPhone 6s Plus

1816 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

After the daytime DEC drive work the AutoStar needed to be re-aligned. Slewed the telescope to the star Fomalhaut and SYNCed on it.

Viewed Venus and then Mars, 102X.

Slewed to the star Altair and SYNCed the Autostar on it. Did some DEC slewing tests to check out the fix that I did during the daytime. Tests passed. No more DEC rocking or slew slippage! Thanks to Meade for the tip.

1831 MST: viewed the waxing gibbous Moon, 102X. It was a gorgeous view. Switched to the 2" 30mm eyepiece (81X). The Moon was bright but was still a nice view.

Mounted the iPhone 6s Plus on the telescope using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter and began imaging the Moon. This is an afocal 81X image:


Added a Televue 2" 2X PowerMate. Took these afocal 163X iPhone images of the Moon:

Mare Imbrium (center), Crater Plato (top), Crater Aristarchus (lower left), Crater Copernicus (lower right)

Crater Gassendi (left), Crater Tycho (right)

1853 MST: ended Moon imaging.

Did some lunar sightseeing, 163X. Wonderful views. Then took a final look at the Moon, 102X.

1901 MST: slewed back to Mars to check out a very red star I had observed in the same field-of-view (102X) during the night's first view of the planet. I used SkySafari 5 Pro on the iPhone to identify this star. The very red star was RT Capricorni (HIP99990), a Magnitude +7 Carbon Star. I had last observed some Carbon Stars in 2014. I don't recall any of them being as red as RT Capricorni.

Close: Friday, 11 November 2016, 1933 MST
Temperature: 63°F
Session Length: 1h 23m
Conditions: Clear

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