Using the Meade 10-inch Telescope


In order to use the telescope, one should follow these steps:

  1. open the telescope dome slit; wait for the slit to open fully, and give dust a bit of time to settle to the floor
  2. remove the plastic bag which covers the telescope
  3. remove the big lens cap from the front of the telescope
  4. place lens cap on short white file cabinet, with plastic bag sitting in it
  5. turn on telescope power
  6. after telescope's system finishes booting, set the time and date (these are sometimes remembered from the previous night, but not always)
  7. walk outside the dome, find a bright star in the sky
  8. look up the ID number of star in the list of "Calibration Stars" for the LX-200; there is a black 3-ring binder with this information on the shelves on the north wall of dome
  9. point telescope manually at the star, using the hand paddle; move telescope until star appears at center of crosshairs in the finder telescope
  10. enter the star's ID code in the hand paddle, and tell the telescope that it is currently pointing at that star

    At this point, one should be able to give the coordinates (or catalog number) of a desired target, command the telescope to slew, and expect to find the target in the field of view.

    One can focus the telescope by rotating the silver cylindrical knob on the back of the tube.

    Closing up

    At the end of the night, one should shut the telescope down in the following order.

    1. slew the telescope so that it points due south, roughly 45 degrees above the horizon
    2. turn off the power

      Remove the CCD camera, if mounted

    3. place the lens cap over the front of the tube
    4. place the big plastic bag over the telescope
    5. close the dome slit