Re: Of Mice and Mounts

Michael Dolenga

Hi Wade, what covering did you use? I think I'm a couple of miles as the crow flies from your location. Now that someone is always home due to COVID, I've used a simple nylon tarp for about a week and just left the rig setup. What a pleasure not having to setup from scratch every session, I can only imagine how heavenly it would be to have a permanent setup.

Anyway, the rope fastened nylon tarp doesn't seem ideal for the long run, so any suggestions for a different material would be appreciated.


On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 4:28 PM, W Hilmo
<y.groups@...> wrote:

A couple of years ago, I broke down my AP1100 after it had been set up in the yard for a few months and covered when not in use.  Some enterprising creature had completely filled the inside of the mount with maple seeds.  No harm was done and all I needed to do was to separate the mount halves and lightly blow out the stuff that didn’t just fall out.


There was no evidence of a nest, just a food storehouse.




From: <> On Behalf Of uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2020 2:57 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Of Mice and Mounts


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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