The installation was completed on Thursday October 8 2009. It appears to work well. We need a clear night to perform a final test. The Sky Commander will be added as a new part of the Douglas Dome C11/G11 training. If you are trained on the basic Douglas Dome C11/G11 operation, you may want a refresher course including the Sky Commander operation. For those of you that have encoders, the Sky Commander operation will be intuitive. I will offer 2009 training classes until it gets too cold or snows the dome shut, probably through November/early December. We had three prior training sessions scheduled in September/October with no luck with the weather. Training is possible any night of the week for those interested; just give me a call a few days in advance.
I’d like to thank Don for picking up the Sky Commander, John for advising on the installation, Terry for getting the Sky Commander to me and Stan for helping me on the first day of the installation, Saturday October 3 2009. If I forgot anyone, please let me know. I will keep the readout box at my home for now, especially in the winter and bring it to the dome or loan it out to trained club members, as necessary.
Here are a few additional notes:
The original C11 cover has been replaced and spare covers are in the dome,
The Sky Commander v3.0 and Losmandy G11 instruction manuals, inc. the readout box, are kept in a snap case along with spare batteries (these manuals are on the web, also),
There is a pair of gloves in the eyepiece box and a small table in the dome,
The following charts were placed in the dome; Messier, Caldwell and the Orion DeepMap 600,
Photos of the Feb. 20 2008 Lunar Eclipse and the NGC 6781 (Planetary Nebula in Aquila; taken July 2002 with the club’s C11/G11) color photos displayed in the dome – every observatory needs some pics,
I have photos of the Sky Commander installation that I will bring to a club meeting this winter, I also have a photo of Steve P’s 6-axis eyepiece control on the MQHill Meade 8” SCT. This scope was originally refurbished by Joe Celmer.
We need to grease the G11 bearings, level the G11 mount and cleanup the dome next spring. The Sky Commander functionality will be affected by the out-of-level condition, but if we resync on a bright star near the target object FOV, we can get by for now.
To better utilize the C11 several club members who regularly use this scope have suggested that the club purchase a 2” dielectric diagonal and a better eyepiece, even an Orion 2” Stratus eyepiece would improve the scopes functionality.