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Reopening the Obs after a long Hiatus


SnakeyJ
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After over a year out, I decided to reclaim my observatory for the spiders and creepy crawlies on Saturday.   Work had really paused in here last summer with the drive rotation, though between work and caring for my daughter, it had really slipped.

After a through wash outside, I opened up with the hoover and removed cobwebs and a surprising array of critters that had setup home.      Then set about updating the computer, installing and sorting out Cartes de Ceil, Ascom, Firecapture and drivers for mount, filterwheel, camera and steeltrack (the last took much longer than it should).   The dome drive was set to manual with a couple of screwdrivers providing the required drive wheel clearence.

Reasonably sorted I then managed a few hours to tweak in the evening with some star test collimation, pa and trying to get Jupiter on the sensor of a small chip planetary camera at 3.5m focal length with nothing more than a telrad that is loosely stuck to the OTA.  It soon brought back the many hours of fun ;)    Quite rewarding views on camera, but video captured in the end.

Unbelievable amount of spiders brazenly re-occupying the dome after a very thorough cleaning, so have purchased some spider repellent as an experiment - at least it smells nice and minty.IMG_20210911_144457.thumb.jpg.d5b46a3f0a66c161bdebf45d8870f3f8.jpgIMG_20210911_144510.thumb.jpg.2adc87752adb74f1971ce44377ef9088.jpgIMG_20210911_144530.thumb.jpg.3d22b1215d73e2d73a4dc57ad7de1cec.jpgIMG_20210911_144538.thumb.jpg.f9650e62f8eed63a26ee80f624198bf2.jpgIMG_20210911_144553.thumb.jpg.ef1def25e8cf5e7c6347eff6db9939fe.jpg

 

Hoping for decent weather and some time to play in the coming months.

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And the Arachnid community seem especially active at this time of year. I removed all the intrusive webs the other night prior to a session, you could almost hear the spiders cursing me as they scuttled off and yes, by lunchtime the next day they were all back again, one even had a nicely wrapped cranefly in it which must have flown in when the dome was open. Perhaps I should leave them be.

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Spiders dislike a compound which is present in horse chestnuts (conkers) , you can buy products with it in , or just go for a walk, fill your pockets with nice shiny conkers, and leave little piles of 'em around the place. My neighbour's 30 year old son is spider phobic, 'phones his 70 year old mum to come round and remove them from his flat. Each autumn I pick up as many conkers as I can when out for walks, and hand a bagful of them to him, partly in jest.

They do work though !

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  • 1 month later...

Tea tree oil is my favourite arachnid deterent. A liberal spray of the stuff around the inside walls of the obsy every couple of months seems to "help" remove the squatters from their lairs....... and it smells OK as well !!!!

Regards, Les

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