Eagle Eye Observatory Training Outline, Jan 2009
I. Before Entering the Building
•  Visually inspect the outside of the Building and the observing field.
•  Look for any damage and or hazards that may need to be addressed before the public event begins (ruts, washouts, broken tables, etc.).
•  Notify the equipment chair and the AAS president of any problems that could be a hazard.
•  The Combination of the lock is available upon request from the equipment chair. It's a good idea to keep a copy in your auto(s).
II. Opening the Entrance Doors of the Observatory
•  Upon opening the lock, hang it on the latch. Open the entrance doors all the way and set the foot latches into the galvanized pipes provided.
•  Watch for small critters that may be inside! Scorpions, Black Widow spiders, snakes, and such. They can appear at anytime during the night! Due to their nature, sitting on the floors or leaning in the doorways should be discouraged.
•  Visually inspect the inside of the building for hazards or damage. It's a good idea to sweep the floor first, especially in the corners where the ropes land on the floor keeping them clean and free of stickers or grassburrs.
•  Turn on the computer using the red switch on the power strip. Click on the 2009 EEO log and the Visitor Count New spreadsheet. Enter the criteria as in existing entries (date, name, # of guests). It's easiest if you copy paste the previous entry and just replace the figures. If you are logged in as the observatory operator and you are leaving for the night, then the observatory is to be closed unless the other scheduled telescope operator is staying or another qualified operator logs in.
•  Turn on the observatory exterior lights to an adequate brightness level (Be sure to dim as dark progresses).
III. Opening and Closing the Roof Sections
•  Unlock west side roof latch. East side latch is inoperable.
•  Untie both ropes, noticing the tie method you see before loosening. Pulling the RED rope OPENS the roof section; Pulling the BLUE rope CLOSES it. Attach the bronze swivel clasp (anchored to the floor) to the opposite rope you are pulling. This is extremely important for snarl prevention. When pulling on either rope, pull vigorously with rhythmic motion to maintain roof momentum then retard toward the track's endstop. Use caution as stickers or grassburrs can attach themselves to the rope.
Feed the remaining rope on the floor straight back in the corresponding plastic container. Do not coil and stuff otherwise as it will snarl in the swivel clasp. Again, use caution as stickers or grassburrs can attach themselves to the rope. 
•  On nights with excessive wind, you can retract one or both roof sections to reduce the wind effect making sure the telescope can freely rotate without contacting the roof beams. Be sure to attach the swivel clasp to the OPPOSITE rope you are pulling.
•  Eliminate the rope slack and tie ropes around the cleats, using figure 8 pattern. Make a twist loop to secure on 3rd pass as first observed when untying.
•  When closing the roof section, the same priniciple applies: attach the swivel clasp to the OPPOSITE rope you are pulling. LOCK THE WEST SIDE ROOF LATCH!
IV. 16" F/11 Ealing Educator Operation
•  Examine the telescope for any missing or damaged parts, log and report anything noted to the President and E&E Chair. Do not attempt to make any repairs yourself.
•  Do not Collimate the scope or point at the sun without proper filtering.
•  The Ealing Telrad is kept in the steel storage cabinet when not in use. Keep dew cover closed between use on high humidity nights. Check and realign reticle if necessary.
•  Remove the aperture-mask cover by pulling straight off using a walking motion. Place it atop steel cabinet. Plug in the power cord, turn on drive and check for lumination of the LEDs on power supply and hand paddle. Set slew mode on paddle to 'F' for fast slewing, 'S' is slow; 'G' is guide.
•  Byers tracking control: (Unit is currently reversed) 'Solar' for tracking the moon, 'Lunar' for the sun (with solar filter is in place) and 'Sidereal' for everything else. Do not switch the N/S mode while unit is ON!
•  Caution!
When inserting an eyepiece or rotating the diagonal for easier viewing, confirm the diagonal is firmly clamped in place. Orient the diagonal to where the eyepiece is pointing horizontal or above…never below horizontal. When re-inserting an eyepiece with an 1.25” filter to a 2”/1.25” eyepiece like some Meades and Naglers, DO NOT attempt to fully seat the eypeice in the diagonal as the filter WILL HIT the glass in the diagonal causing damage to the glass!!! This goes for 1.25” long barrel barlows also, but in reality, a barlow isn’t necessary for this telescope.
•  When moving the telescope make sure that no one has their hands on the scope (have everyone stand away from the mount itself).
•  Loosen both clutches 1/3 turn when manuevering to objects. Adequately tighten both to permit tracking and slewing with the hand paddle.
•  Do not overtighten slip clutches as can be more difficult when loosening. Do not attempt to rotate scope with clutches tightened as this will load/offend the stepper motors.
•  The optical tube should never point below horizontal. The mirror is secured with retaining clips but could lose collimation after having done so. If it happens, point the tube vertical (you might hear an audible ‘clank’ — the primary resetting in the cell) and/or give a moderate bump using your palm. 
•  DO NOT over-rotate the telescope in R.A. where the focuser enters the 4 thru 8 o'clock positions (with respect to north) as this is upside down. This is the so-called 'curfew zone.' 9 thru 3 o'clock is the normal and proper operating range. Reset to the east when an object has set below this zone. Over-rotation could sever the pwr/encoder cables which are drilled through the R.A. shaft. 
•  Using Off-Axis Aperture Mask
For solar/hi-definition lunar viewing, use the off-axis aperture mask and attach to tube front. Remove port hole cover and place in a safe area. Align the port hole between the spider using the black ink dots on both tube and mask as align marks. Use the larger Baader solar filter cell located in the Rubbermaid container inside the steel cabinet and secure with the 3 retaining clips and lock into place using the 3rd pivot clip. Also, remember to cover the finder with the larger finder filter inside container.
•  Close Down and Storage:
Turn power switch off and disconnect plug. Turn Sky Wizard off, turn Telrad off and place in steel storage cabinet. Rack focuser fully in. Replace 2-1.25" adapter w/plug in diagonal. Move tube to east side of mount pointing south and slightly above horizontal, tighten R.A. and DEC clutches. Replace tube mask w/port hole cover by aligning black dots and push forward. 
•  Return all eyepieces to designated case and store in the SouthEast cabinet.
V. 12.5" F/6 Harlan Smith Newtonian Operation
•  Examine the telescope for any missing or damaged parts, log and report anything noted to the President and equipment chair. Do not attempt to make any repairs yourself.
•  Do not Collimate the scope or point at the sun without proper filtering.
•  The Harlan Smith Telrad is kept in the SouthEast steel storage cabinet when not in use. Keep dew cover closed between use on high humidity nights. Check and realign reticle if necessary.
•  Remove the end covers. Flip the switch on south side of pier.
•  When inserting an eyepiece, make sure to tighten the lock screw securely as the eyepiece often points downward. This is very important when using the heavier eyepieces. 
•  When moving the telescope make sure that no one else has their hands on the scope. Have everyone stand clear from the mount itself. 
•  Do not point the tube below horizontal.
•  Due to the nature of this mount, it is advisable to observe objects that are no more than one step up the ladder for adults. Place ladder safely around telescope. Assist carefully small children on top step and those with physical limitations such as the elderly.
•  Using Off-Axis Aperture Mask
For solar/hi-definition lunar viewing, use the off-axis aperture mask located atop of steel cabinet and attach to tube front. Align the port hole between the spider vanes so that light enters unobstructed to the primary, using the highest quadrant location when pointed west. Use the smaller Baader solar filter cell located in the Rubbermaid container inside the SouthEaststeel cabinet and secure with the 3 retaining clips and lock into place using the 3rd pivot clip. Also, remember to cover the finder with the smaller finder filter inside container. 
•  Rotating the Tube Assembly
The tube will not require rotating the majority of time. The focuser should point in the same plane as the declination shaft. Should rotation become necessary, level the tube horizontally pointing west.
•  Using two people (can be done with one), grab each end of the tube assembly, spy a reference point on the tube near the brass straps. Avoid contacting the telrad base. Rotate tube assembly keeping this spacing. 
•  Balancing the Tube Assembly 
Should minor balance become necessary, first try a simple tiny tweak of the DEC collar clutch screw with a flat bit screwdriver (located in cabinet). REMINDER: this clutch screw is very sensitive. Most of the time it will not be necessary. For major balance adjustment, slide the tube forward or backward in the cradle. Reset to previous setting when done using heavy items.
•  The lead counterweight adjustment shouldn't be necessary when using standard camera equipment. Do not adjust the DEC collar clutch screw to counterbalance for extra heavy camera weight. Instead, slide the tube assembly and adjust the inner DEC shaft counterweight using the turnwheel. Reset when done. The DEC collar clutch screw is for fine tuning only. 
•  Note about camera use: There is no piggyback mount on the Harlan Smith. Use the Ealing’s mount for piggybacking. Use prime focus astrophotography only, and with your own T-adapters.
•  Close Down and Storage:
Turn power switch off, turn Telrad off and place in SouthEast steel storage cabinet. Replace cloth endcovers. Point the tube south on the west side of the mount, nose slightly up.
•  Return all eyepieces to designated case and store in the SouthEast cabinet.

VII. Important Notes

Do not leave an operating telescope unattended without alerting another assigned operator.
You are responsible for the safety of the guests, the observatory and the equipment.  If guests become rowdy or irresponsible, you must close the observatory.
Report any equipment or field damage to the President and equipment chair preferably by email or phone.
Important phone numbers:
512-756-8521 : This is the phone in the observatory, in case someone needs to contact you.
800-977-0081 : This is the toll free number of the COE lodge. 
512-334-2070 : This is the local phone number of the COE lodge.
512-756-8080 : This is the Burnet county sheriff, EMS, and fire dispatch number. 
911 : This will connect you to the TOW, TEXAS 911 OPERATOR. You must tell the operator that you are located in Burnet county, on the other side of the lake, so that they can notify the Burnet sheriff. 
512-699-4266 : This is the equipment chair. When in doubt, call me. Email address is jameshallrn AT hotmail DOT com

Originally prepared by David T. Sands, AAS President 1999-2001
Revision by Darin R. Koch, E&E Chair 2000-2003
Revision by Sean Leary, equipment chair 2008
Minor Revisions by Larry Martin/James Hall EC 2015

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