Juan and Matt out here with Lauren U, Brian T., Erin A., and Brandon C. for telescope training. “Interesting night” in the cursed sort of “interesting” way.
Computer would not power on: Initially the computer would not power on. We played with the cords and so on and came to the conclusion it could be either the power supply or the (watch) battery for the BIOS. However, as the I (Juan) took the kiddos out to the dome to learn how to open up the dome, Matt got the computer to boot. No magic. He unplugged it for a few seconds, then plugged it in. This had already been attempted, but hey, “interesting”…
Camera Drivers self-immolated again: Then we discovered that the computer was not recognizing the camera. It turned out we had to install the Apogee camera driver (again, this happened a few weeks ago). Something is seemingly wiping out the driver.
Camera focus was far off the model we have been using in the past: We next pointed the telescope using http://nova.astrometry.net/ and discovered we had the focus really far off (preventing a astrometric solution).
For a temperature of 72F we discovered we had to get the focus to 2865 (about 20 above where our previous solutions were) to get things in focus, but it was astounding seeing (FWHM of 3 pixels!).
Finally, the kiddos take pictures: First target of the night, M13 (The Hercules Cluster)… and nothing, because the telescope was off in position by about 50 arcminutes (confirmed by astrometry.net). As clouds rolled in we did finally get a picture of M13…
And were not able to shutdown calmly: Maxim DL lost track of its Camera Control Window. Quitting it and restarting it seemed to make it recover the window.
Thus ends the “interesting” night….