Date of exercise: 05APR2016
Astronomer: Dakota Clayton
Sky conditions: Clear!
Wind conditions: Calm
Observation Start Time: 8:55 p.m.
Observation End Time: 9:30 p.m.
Last night I had the best viewing experience yet, as the culmination of clear sky, and my practice finally paying off allowed me to view several great things. Also, I think I saw ISS pass in front of my scope twice! It went so fast at first I was unsure I saw anything at all. Then it happened again! Sirius was the most beautiful thing. It was so bright, vibrant and looked as though it was dancing while on fire.
I rushed a little so that I could get to bed early and wake up early.
So I awoke at 6:00 so that I could test the batteries for dome control. All I did was open the dome, wait for a little bit then begin closing process. The dome did not close all the way, it stopped responding about half way through closing. I had to wait until much later after the solar panels recharged the battery I did not operate the telescope in the morning, I simply performed this test to help diagnose the issues occurring with the dome operation.
So I noticed that the two solar panels are connected to separate batteries, one for the rotate, and one for the close/open of the dome. I took the engineer out to test the voltage of the batteries after the failed attempt at closing the dome. The battery that rotates the dome tested at 12.7 volts. Which seems to make sense, as the rotation gives me much less trouble, and the standby voltage on the battery says it should read a little over 13 volts. The close/open control for the dome, however showed a reading of 10.03 volts (and should also have read between 13.4-13.8). This is immediately after the occurrence listed above of when the dome failed to close.
Please advise if there is anything I can do to help the low voltage situation with the battery.
International space station (unintentionally)?