After skies cleared quite late for our scheduled star party on the May11th, (and having not erected any placards as a result), we decided to utilise the conditions by trying out the LX 200 and power pack for a pre-season shakedown run. 

Keith, John, Phil and Elaine all came up to the college where we hoped to have a good shakedown test of the Meade scope.  Initially, things did not look promising, problems with the power station/power cable, locking/motor synch mechanism and hand controller, gave some cause for concern.

Eventually the scope was coaxed into action and slewed to the desired target with fairly decent accuracy, allowing views of mostly stellar objects (still wasn’t dark enough for deep sky objects).  We concluded that the power pack may require changing and the scope’s hand controller is not responding as it should every time and also likely wants replacing.  We may also consider getting the scope serviced.  It is after all 16 years old, and parts do wear out.

The event on the 18th was clouded out (just as well the forecast more or less was proved right as Mark had bunked off to watch a Bowie tribute act in Scarborough).  Anyway nobody knows… sshhh.

The event on the 26th also fell victim to the more familiar bank holiday type weather we have grown accustomed to – ie cloud.  So May was not very fruitful, at least not on scheduled event dates.  Let’s us hope June (which is always awkward due to the very light nights) has something better to offer.

Our annual pilgrimage over to Hook’s House has been booked for Aug 31st, that’s the Saturday after bank holiday, so the site should be pretty full and with a new Moon, skies should be dark!

Could be a great evening!