Thursday, September 10 2009 @ 10:04 PM EDT
Contributed by: David Gwyn
It seems like forever ago since I was able to gaze at the stars with Bertha. In fact, I reported on July 1st that Bertha has Brain Damage and the AutoStar II controller wasn't responding. Even after receiving a new one from Meade, I was getting the same results. The hand controller was completely dead and the scope wouldn't respond. The only option was to ship it back to Meade in California.
Fortunately, I purchased the Sky Assurance package, which as of this repair has paid for itself. The program includes shipping in both directions, including sending the shipping materials to you, so I avoided tons of shipping charges for a hundred pound instrument. Plus, all the repairs were included, so that saved a ton too.
So, Bertha went back to the factory, which is actually now in Mexico, to be repaired. I'm assuming the main board in the base of the yoke was replaced. I also had them check the declination motor, as it was starting to act funny as well. With fingers crossed, I hope to be able to report tomorrow night that Bertha is back in the dome and functioning properly again.