Today, Lucien is going to check the rack gear located inside the main pole of pb8 and tied to the moving part of the antenna. This is a secondary rack gear, the main AZ rack is located outside and drives the main reflector (with help of two motors).
Some photos taken from the inside of PB8:
Last picture shows the mechanism that drives the resolver (cylinder with a yellow cable). The resolver does not move but the rack gear does. The rotation of the rack drives the pinion on top. As we can clearly see, this one is not in a good shape… The rust could explain the difficulties we had with AZ.
We found a leak on the East side of the rack gear. Three missing bolts are responsible of this damage. That sounds crazy that the company who built PB8 forgot these bolts… Not sure we can fix it, the rust deeply damaged the teeth.
Next step, cleaning !