As with any system, there must be maintenance preformed occasionally. The main points of maintenance at Mt. Stony Brook include the dome motors, and the cameras. The slit motor was replaced in 1993. The rotation motor is currently the original motor. The motor has shown considerable amounts of hysteresis, and to move the dome to west, one must first let it move to the east, the try to move it west. The track for the dome rotation must also be oiled occasionally. Once an observing season is recommended.
The cameras need to be maintained as well as the dome. The filters need to be cleaned once a week, as they are wonderful lint collectors. The window above the chip should also be cleaned once a week. Dust on the filters or window will be extremely apparent when examining flat field exposures.
The telescope must not be forgotten either. The declination lock wears itself loose over a few weeks. This should be checked as often as possible. The lock is easily tightened. An important note for the serious observer is moisture. The telescope is not sealed so water can condense on the corrector plate. If this happens in winter, the water will freeze. A hairdryer is stored in the warmroom for just this problem. In 30 minutes or less, the ice can be melted and the water evaporated. At least once a semester the collimation should be check. The directions for this are located on page 22 of the Celestron 14 operating manual located in the warm room.
The biggest maintenance issue with the observatory is cabling. There are at least 7 cables connecting the dome to the PC. Exposure to the elements and time make failure of these cables inevitable. Failure in any cable can cause the entire system to go down. The following table list the cable types, their purpose and part number in the Misco catalog:
: Cables fundamental to the operation of Mt. Stony Brook.
These are the major problems with maintenance have occurred in the past. As with any experiment, one has to periodically check for problems.