Wednesday, April 10, 2013

One of those nights

I schlepped my scope outside and started with alignment. Everything went really well. First calibration star was close to center, second calibration star was in center!
Next: polar alignment. Also going really well...
... until the VERY last step: pressing <Enter> to confirm that after alignment, the star is in the middle. I fumbled the handset and pressed <Back> - all lost!
At this point, I didn't know if my alignment is still correct, because I changed the scope alignment underneath. So, start from scratch.
2-star alignment, 2 calibration stars. Next polar alignment. Now I was so frustrated that when I had to align the mount I continued to use the handset to move the alignment star into the middle! AAAAAGGHHHH!!!
3rd attempt. All well. Phew!
Next I wanted to work on configuring @Focus2 from TheSkyX for my Hyperstar lens. Have all the parameters prepared. Enter them. But every time I want to start the focusing sequence I get a "Error 206" error message. But all individual components (mount, camera, focuser) can be perfectly controlled by TheSkyX. Play with several options (automatically slew to star on/off, adjust exposure time on/off) - nothing. Reconnect all components - nothing. Reboot computer, reconnect - nothing.
After an hour I gave up.
So, instead I focused with my Bahtinov mask, improved the collimation and then wanted to some imaging of M81/M82. But now, guiding does not work. Neither in TheSkyX, nor in PHD. The scope simply does not respond! Checking the cable connection - nothing. No idea what's broken.
At this point, it's so late that I don't feel doing more analysis. So, I switch off the mount, put my dark filter into the Hyperstar lens, create several imaging series in TheSkyX to take darks and bias frames. Go to bed.
... next morning I when I wake up I check my laptop: it has automatically restarted during the night because of a security update. But at least not before all my images were taken!