Re: Of Mice and Mounts


Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Rolando,

Yep mice are a menace to equipment. I had mice make a home in one of my RF power amplifiers (~$75k each). They got in via the air cooling slots which were just small 1/2" wide slots. I didn't expect that mice could actually squeeze through them.  Unfortunately, due to the mice pee and cr*p, this amplifer was a health hazard for anyone to repair and clean it and so it had to be written off. I still know where the power amp carcass is ...

For its replacement, I had the techs install chicken wire to cover the holes.

Hopefully, you found the nest dry and could clean it properly.

cytan


On Friday, July 17, 2020, 04:58:45 PM CDT, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:


Lat week during an imaging session in my observatory I happened to see a mouse rappelling down the power cord on my nearby 1600 mount. Rather strange, I thought, that mice would use wires as highways up and down a telescope pier.

Then last night, as I was getting ready to do some imaging with the 17" astrograph on that 1600 mount, I ran into a familiar problem. The Dec axis ran for 1 second and stopped, with the yellow light coming on in the CP4 controller. I looked up the open hole in the back of the RA (yes I forgot to put the plug back in last August) and saw some shredded paper way up in the Dec axis cavity. I knew then I had to get into the Dec axis and check out the damage.

Since I had a large astrograph on the mount, I decided to put the mount counterweight down, scope on top and lock the axes clutch knobs tight. Without removing the scope, I removed all the counterweights, the counterweight shaft and unscrewed the counterweight adapter from the end of the Dec axis. Here's what it looked like:



After cleaning out the mess:



The mice had chewed on all the wires and broke several of them. Fortunately I have lots of practice soldering. I pulled out the Dec connector wire along with the crossover box:



The mice had damage 6 of the 8 wires. With some matching pieces of wire, some heat shrink tubing I spliced in the damaged portions:



Finished cable wrapped with some electrical tape. Did it work? YES, the mount is back in business and the scope is imaging again.


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