April 23, 1996: Equipment Status Report


Scope Transport Unit still not ready. Meade 16" f/4.5 mounted on the turret sitting on ground.
First time DOB Driver II used. Weather perfect; skies clear.

The computer showed that the Moon was 34.5% illuminated and waxing. The Sun would set at 7:34 PM. The Moon's distance was 250,954 miles (105% of the average distance). The Moon was 6.2 days old.

At 5:30 PM, while the massive pyrex mirror cooled, all the necessary equipment was attached. The scope was swung to the north and zeroed in on the distant water tower to align the finder scope with the main optics. The motors were tested and all worked fine. Only one hitch. Without the STU and roller bearings we would have to raise and lower the scope manually. Target date for the completed STU:  mid-May.

The Panasonic WV-450 tracking camera was slid onto the top-rear quick-disconnect mount and switched on. The Moon was now visible on the tracking monitor down below in the control room.

At 8 PM it was dark enough to start the session. The WWV signal from Fort Collins, CO by short wave was weak and reception was sporadic, but would have to suffice. A Hamtronics WWV receiver already been located, but not yet purchased. Coordinated Universal Time was two hours, zero minutes.