It was a full dress rehearsal. Both telescopes, two cameras, the entire streaming rig set up on the lanai. No less than three computers with cables all over the driveway! Surprisingly enough, everything went pretty well!
If you had been watching the Keck Transit of Venus stream, you would have been looking at a live image of the Sun for several hours. The seeing from my driveway was pretty poor, but there is a nice collection of smaller sunspots across the disk.
Everyone wandering by the house noted the telescopes. I gave peeks to our mail-lady and a couple young women who stopped by, intending to read me a bible verse or two (that was fun;)
Two technical issues were key today… Using thirty feet of active USB extension cables to run the streaming camera remotely, no problem. Co-aligning the two telescopes to aim at the same point, no action needed, aligned from the start. I had thought I might need to shim the mount for the piggyback ‘scope. I was also able to play with the streaming camera further. The Baader film filter gives a blue-white image. Adjustment of the camera white balance will restore a little yellow cast. I do not have much problem with the white, but a hint of yellow will allow people to instantly realize they are seeing the Sun. The same reason I adjust my processed photos for a golden orange hue.
We are all swapping gear around to get the set-up ready. Chris was nice enough to loan me a Canon T-ring and some Baader film. I built a battery pack and some sun-finders for several telescopes. Last night I picked up a whole solar rig from Cliff for delivery to Olivier. Olivier lent a 40mm eyepiece to Keck for the public telescope that will be setup at HQ. The list goes on…
I was not the only one doing a dress rehearsal. So far today I have been on the phone to other folks setting up and using a sunny Saturday to check gear. Some of the guys over on Maui even posted a video of their test run. I should have thought to do the same thing! Will have to time lapse the summit setup.