Maintenance Visit Day 3: Watts More Needed

Today Povilas and I changed our recalcitrant Y-stage motor, which is responsible for moving the W-Unit (pyramid and VisAO) in the (usually) up direction. This means it fights gravity for most of its miserable existence, and, well, was giving up.

The Y stage motor is the vertical tower with black wires sticking out of it. You can also see the X stage motor, which we think will need to be replaced too.

The problem is that the motor and its brake are always supporting the unit, even when powered off, so if we just unbolted it the whole project would be over. So step 1 was to create one of the highest-tech components of the MagAO system delivered to date:

This looks like a simple block of wood. That’s because it is in fact a simple block of wood.

Then we carefully lowered the W-Unit down until its full weight was on the wood. It took a little adjusting to get it squared up:

Povilas carefully adjusting the placement of the block.

After all that, it was a simple matter of unscrewing a few bolts and plugging in the new motor. Alas, there was little improvement. Our next step is to upgrade to a higher power motor. This will take a little more software work to configure it, but it should otherwise be pretty easy. Our biggest concern in all of this has been changing the motor, which we now know how to do.

Now it’s time for your daily Viscacha and Sunset:

Vizzy lounging on a Sunday afternoon.
A nice sky for sunset watching, but miserable if you have telescope time.