IN THE DOME:
Turn on the dome fan, either with
the switch on the wall inside the dome to the left of the doorway, or the
red switch below the main power console in the warm room. Use the
potentiometer by the switch in the dome to control speed.
Turn on the water circulator for
the CCD camera. The CIRCULATOR MUST be on FIRST to avoid damage to the
Adjust the temperature ON THE CIRCULATOR
(Do NOT adjust the temperature on the camera electronics.) to the ambient
dome temperature (in degrees Celsius) to avoid condensation on the camera.
Hold down the display button and adjust the knob.
*NOTE* When the ambient temperature is at or near freezing, set the
circulator to 2 degrees Celsius.
Turn on the CCD camera electronics.
The switch is in the back, top middle of the electronics box which is located
on side of telescope tube.
*NOTE* When using the
ladder, be careful not to bump anything and always return it to its original
position west of the telescope to avoid collisions while slewing the telescope.
The camera takes about 15 minutes
to cool, but to reduce noise in final images, turn on >1 hour before observing.
If the green cooling light stays on >1/2 hour, shut down and go home!
The light normally will come on for short periods of time to regulate.
AFTER OPENING THE DOME:
Take cover off the telescope, using the ladder if necessary (Don't bump
the telescope.), and the autoguider, being careful of its small thread
IN THE WARM ROOM:
Turn on the main power switch on
Turn on the 4 monitors and wiggle
the mice. The computers may be in sleep mode.
The computers should always be on.
If they are not, the passwords are in the binder next to the autoguider
On the telescope control computer:
Go back to the dome to remove the telescope and autoguider
Once the covers are off, turn on the tube fans, which
are controlled by one of the red switches below the main power console.
On the CCD control computer:
In Ace, open Database (right click while in white object
selection area) and open algol.tof.
Go to telescope > focus to open the focus adjustment window.
Go to dome > open shutter to open the dome.
On the autoguider computer, open
Turn dome fan down to low or to
off if you've been running it on high.
Record the date, weather conditions,
and dome temperature in the blue-green logbook. Open up the observing log
notebook (3-ring binder) and start a new page.
*NOTE* The thermometer
for the dome temperature is on the edge of the shelf below the CCD control
When the camera temperature reaches
its operating range (roughly between -43 and -36 degrees Celsius), you're
ready to go. The next step will be to take
Open Windows Explorer and create
a directory within the images directory on the c: drive for the night's
images. The directory must have a 4 digit year, 3 letter month, 2
digit day, and MUST BE EASTERN TIME EVENING'S DATE even if you don't start
observing until after midnight. Thus the directory for September
2, 2001 would be "c:\images\2001\sep02".
Open PMIS. The desktop icon
is labeled CCD Camera.
*NOTE* The COMPUTER WILL
CRASH(!) if PMIS is opened BEFORE the camera has been turned ON.
Make sure the default path is the
directory you just created.
The start count is 1, as is the
chip gain. The observer initials should be the observer's first initial,
followed by a period and the last name, with all letters in caps, a comma
separating multiple observer names, and ABSOLUTELY NO SPACES anywhere.
Once the camera has cooled, take
an image or two to flush out the chip cache. Do this in the image
window under acquire > expose > 20 msec. If a mistake is made on
exposure time, press ctrl+alt+del, close PMIS and start again.
A. Marschall, Gettysburg College