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Sawley 26th May

Guest Steve

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Guest Steve

My first observing session and trip to Sawley.

Where to start?!

I was due to pick the missus up and drop her home at 8:30 - she didn't finish until 9:15!

Then, having bought a brand new Leisure Battery in the afternoon, I had spent the afternoon searching the roof for the adapter to get from the terminals to a cigarette socket. I know I have one from the old camping days, but no sign. (It was about 50C in the roof, so I only had 5 minutes before I would pass out). So at the last minute I melded a 1-to-2 cigarette socket adapter in an unholy alliance with a pair of jump leads and some insulation tape, and was all set.

Eventually I arrived at the site at just after 10 - an hour later than anticipated - remembered to dim my lights, and found 4-5 cars and scopes already set up. There was still a bit of light, so I cracked on with setting up the CGEM C9.25 - still new to me so setting up in the dark could have been interesting.

It all went swimmingly until I got out my shiny new battery. When purchased, 6 hours earlier, it had a green glowing indicator showing it was fully charged. 6 hours later - nothing! Not an Amp, not an erg. The indicator was not showing anything - not orange for 'OK sunshine, you've had your fun, now top me up', nor red for 'Help, help, I'm dying!!'

I'll be back to the shop later.

Many thanks for Darren for letting me borrow his spare Baz Battery - a life saver. With power I was able to get a reasonable alignment and start having a look about.

Saturn. Standard Wow factor.

Moon. Great down the terminator, but I was going to need welding goggles if I got too much in the frame. This was my first close look at the moon, so I was hooked.

Felix was looking for M13 next to me with binoculars and his dob, so I had a quick attempt. The Goto was a bit out, but with a great deal of luck I was able to find it. A bit fuzzy, I thought - it looked much sharper when Felix found it.

I decided to hop back to Saturn, but it was horrible. Dew had struck, covering about a third of the front glass. I haven't got a dew shield, or even thought about heaters yet, as I wanted to experience it first hand. Now I have! I'll be back in the roof hunting for old carry mats this later. If you don't hear anything else from me, send a search party!

I have go a 12V hair dryer, but as I'd only got one socket and I'd have to power down the mount, I decided to call it a night at 12:30.

Overall a good experience. Put some nice friendly faces to aliases and to names, but probably in the wrong order. Learnt some valuable lessons. And best of all I now have some more cutting and sticking and internet research to do.

I'll be back!

Edited by Steve
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Wow you prefected time travel! AWESOME! lol.....good report, it was a good 'chatting' night as not much was doing with my mount dying and everyone hell bent on finding M3.....it was hiding.

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Great report Steve - fun to read and reminded me of my early first sessions - turned up once with the Skywatcher handset and the Celestron scope lol. :)

Btw - new batteries always need a good 16hr charge before the first session.....

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Good report Steve, you beat me to it :)

Just a few extra details to add to the report, there was quite a gusty wind when I arrived around 20:30, a wind that persisted until about midnight or there abouts, made viewing for me (and I beleive some of the others) dificult, as the OTA kept shaking in the wind.

In attendance were the following.....(sorry if I have missed anybody off, I`m useless with names.....)

Daz-type-r, Catman161, Eddy_J1, Celeste, Fluke, Red dwalf, Steve, Wobby83.

So I arrived at the site about 20:30 and opened up the gate, then sat there waiting for somebody to arrive. About 21:15 Wobby83 turned up, stood chating to him for 20 minutes or so until a few more people turned up. Got off to the usual start with a bit of chating, finding out who was who, introductions etc, then se about setting up. The wind was quite strong so gave up for the next hour or so, stealing a brief (but wobbly) view of the moon and Saturn from time to time. Then set about trying to help Celeste sort out her scope, collimated that to a fairly decent level but could not help her with the mount, turned out the mount was goigf to be a pain all night, ending with a very loud noise that did not sound good, Celeste decided to call it a night at that point.

Next went over to see Steve and his 9.25, very impressive scope and set-up, but like he wrote above, the power pack was dead, luckily I had brought my Baz battery just in case, so Steve was set for the night. Unfortunatly dew was to play it's part and around midnight Steve called it quits.

Next, did a bit of DSO hunting, found M13 but really wanted to find M3 again from a dark site but could not find it for the life of me (annoying :angry: )

Any way there was only 4 of us left about 00:45 so we called it quites.

Not much observing done but still good to get out, meet new folks and help out where I could.

Bring on the next meet!

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Guest Steve

I'm thinking that the battery problem was down to my last minute rushed DIY connector - the ends of my jump leads are heavily tarnished, and just wrapping stripped wire around wasn't getting a contact!! Ordered some quick release terminal connectors so I'll do a proper job of it next time.

And I've negotiated with my daughter to swap her camping mat for some lifts to school in the morning, so I'll soon have a diy dew shield too.

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