So my scope RA drive is acting up. After consulting with several astro-techies, they have all recommended I take the RA drive out of the scope and try and fix it myself. Yep, big fat fingers fixing tiny motor drives and electronice components? No way mate.
So, the scope is off to Dr Clay Sherrod at the Arkansas Sky Observatory for his famed "Supercharge" service. For a pretty penny, he will adjust and repair the whole scope, from the optics, to the motor drives, to the computer. In fact, folks who buy their scopes directly from the major manufacturers (like Meade and Orion) send their scopes to him before receiving them personally. So, he's clean my optics and collimate them. Will fix the RA drive issue, reset all of the drives etc. Check my computer for the latest version of the firmware, program in my location coordinates etc etc. It seems fairly rigorous and he promises a 120-point inspection and adjustment overall. He even throws in several CDs of astronomical software and reference data. So, it should be interesting to see the end result. It also adds a lot of value to the telescope too!
It means I'll be without my scope for a few weeks, but it's okay!
I'll update the blog again once I get the scope back and can report on its performance. In the meantime, I won't have much astronomical banter for the blog, so I may need to revert to rugby or international security for a while.