It was a clear and sunny day today, no rain. The temperature reached a high of 6 degrees, so it was on the cool side. There was ice on the dome this morning and frost on the deck until the sun melted it off around noon. I used the pleasant day to make some more progress on final touch-ups:
I stripped out the wall-to-deck exterior caulking – that white-becomes-clear stuff that was destroyed by rain – and replaced it with traditional exterior clear silicone. I also put another layer of caulking in the primary dome seam, around the shelf hanger bolts, and various other touch-ups. It’s supposed to be below zero tonight, but 6 to 8 degrees again tomorrow, so the caulk will have another good day of warm sun to cure.
I installed eye bolts (replacing wall fastening bolts) to secure the polyethylene storm cover, so it is ready to use.
Finally, I began tidying the interior cabling. Installed cable guides on the pier, for the Gemini power, accessories power, and USB cable. I will be installing a cable channel on the floor to keep everything tangle-free.
As part of the cabling activity, I began setting up the wide-field imaging train:
- Stellarvue SV80S refractor
- Tru-Tech filter wheel
- Van Slyke “slider-2” manifold (off-axis guider and slide-in mirror for side-port eyepiece)
- Starlight Xpress SXV guide camera in the OAG
- Starlight Xpress SXV-H9 main camera
Indoors, I made several cables:
- Longer power cables for the filter wheel and USB hub to provide room to route them through the floor-mounted cable tray
- Longer Gemini motor cables to provide room to lower the Gemini control panel under the pier top plate (a project for later).