Re: Of Mice and Mounts

Donald Rudny

Thanks, Marj.  Kulu is one of three cats that showed up at our house as kittens one day about ten years ago.  She’s the only female and always comes out with me to the observatory when I’m out there.  She stays the whole time, no matter how long the session is, sometimes to three in the morning.  The other two boys just lay around on the lanai most of the day.  I was never a cat person, but these three have really changed that.

Kiko and Kalima

Don Rudny
Pepeekeo, HI 

On Jul 18, 2020, at 6:09 AM, Marj Christen <marj@...> wrote:

Karen would agree that we need a company cat.  Nice setup and great view, Don!


Clear Skies,


Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847


From: [] On Behalf Of Donald Rudny
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2020 7:24 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Of Mice and Mounts


There’s always this solution.


Don Rudny

Pepeekeo, HI 

On Jul 17, 2020, at 1:28 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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