Feder Observatory

A Blog for Minnesota State University Moorhead's Paul P. Feder Observatory

Archive for the ‘Repair or Maintenance Report’

Dome flats 0

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Matt

Dear all:

I spent today hanging a frosted curtain in the dome, as a flat dome screen.  Well, most of the day was spent finding the very tall ladder, dragging it up from the basement, and hauling into the upper dome, then dragging it back to its original spot.  Anyway, I’m a bit too tired to try it.  I have left a battery eliminator and a couple incandescent bulbs (flashlight bulb and Christmas tree light) in the dome on the table, in case any of you wish to try the screen before I get a chance.  The screen is roughly 70″ x 70″, so should be quite easy to point the telescope at.  It looks charmingly gray in the dome–not exactly Martha Stewart living!  It is held on by magnets which I also taped onto the curtain so that dome movement does not knock them down.  Let me know if the magnets do fall off though and I’ll find stronger ones.

Focus versus deg F, Fall 2011 0

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Matt

Download this image as PDF

Cleaning 0

Posted on February 15, 2012 by Matt

Items worked on tonight:

Cleaned all filters optically:  relubed the O-ring in the filter wheel; reinstalled the wheel and checked the motors.  If errors occur, try tightening the thumbscrew slightly on the back of the black housing.  I checked indoors where it is warm and temp. changes may loosen.

Cleaned the CCD chip optically; exposed for 30 seconds and blew computer cleaner (duster spray from Radio Shack) on for full 30 secs.  Remounted the camera to filter and back on telescope.  Didn’t have time to try new flats–but I am eager to see what they look like compared to old flats!

Reviewed the monitor set up.  Please keep monitor on top of blue DFM controller as PRIMARY–it is the most reliable monitor.  I left some instructions on how to move icons and apps around between monitors–use the nView Properties software accessible with a right mouse click anywhere on the desktop to get the items where you most easily see them. 

Also, please note that we are migrating all documentation to the MAC.  For now, there is a folder in the Documents folder on the MAC called Feder Notes.  The Documents can be opened from the MAC menubar–look near the trashcan icon.  Please keep the MAC desktop free of random items! Thanks!


Clean the filter wheel tonight 1

Posted on February 14, 2012 by Matt

Dear all:

I plan on going out tonight, Tues. Feb. 14 to do some maintenance on the filter wheel.  It will take a while for the wheel to dry and for me to reinstall it.  If you plan on observing, please give me until 10 pm, but feel free to come out later (when seeing may be better anyway!)



Observation Request Form (02072012 version) 0

Posted on February 07, 2012 by Matt

If you know someone is going out to the observatory and you would like to request they do some observing for you, use this Observation Request Form to put down everything they need to know to make the observations for you!

Download this file

Common Problems and How To Fix Them 0

Posted on February 28, 2011 by Matt
  • Camera does connect (Could not initialize CCD camera (5)
    • Try unplugging the cable connecting the camera to the computer and plugging it back in.
    • If that doesn’t work, check the device driver; find the device list by going to Start, right click on My Computer and click on Manage:

 See if there is a yellow exclamation point next to the Alta camera driver. If so, uninstall the driver (not delete–to uninstall, click on the yellow flag and a pop-up appears. Uninstall driver is one of the options.)  After uninstalling, the New Hardware Found Wizard shows up. Ask it to install driver from known location. The Wizard knows where the Alta camera driver is and will whirl around doing its thing.


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