MCDONALD OBSERVATORY

DOCUMENTATION FROM MCDONALD
OBSERVATORY COMPUTING SERVICES




.
WHAT'S NEW AT MT. LOCKE


03/20/03:  New Sun workstation installed in 30-inch control room.
The new machine is called luna, and replaces titan as the main operating console. All user accounts and home directories were copied from titan on 3/20/03. No startup files were modified, though, so users might want to edit their .cshrc file and replace references to titan with luna. Titan is still located in the control room. It has been shifted left to where the guider computer used to be, and now only has one monitor. The guider computer is not installed right now, but can be re-installed if required. Since the instrument (PFC) and CCD controller remain attached to titan, an observer sitting at luna's console must first log into luna, and from there log into titan before running ICEX. One consequence of the installation of the new computer is that the night report program 'xreport' is now run on luna, and not titan. For now, titan's disk and tape drives remain connected to it, because it is safer to write data to a directly attached disk, and faster to write it to a directly attached tape drive.

03/13/02:  Which computer do I use?
There are now two instrument-control computers in the 107-inch control room, "atlas" for instruments with Version 1 CCD controllers, and "oberon" for instruments with Version 2 CCD controllers. Right now the only CCD with a Version 2 CCD controller is TK3, so 2dcoude/TK3 users would run ICEX directly on oberon. All other users still log into oberon (since it has the three monitors and keyboard), but then must log into atlas remotely to run ICEX and control their instrument.

Native Solaris GUIs are available.
GUIs that run under Solaris are now the prefered mode of operation. This means that you can run 'tcsgui' from any of the 107" Suns: atlas, charon, mimas or oberon.

The path for the tcsgui on oberon is /opt/oberon/bin/tcsgui, and the path is similar on all suns.

For most users, you can just type 'tcsgui' at the unix prompt, and you no longer need to log into colossus from the control room.

A few special functions are only available from a GUI run from colossus. This includes 'Restart TCS monitor'.

New Sun workstation installed in 107-inch control room.
The new machine is called oberon, and replaces atlas as the main observing console. HOWEVER, the instruments and CCD controllers remain attached to atlas, so the observer must log into atlas from oberon in order to run ICEX. The three monitors formerly attached to atlas are now attached to oberon, so the observer logs in there first. From oberon, the observer can log into mimas and start an autoguider, log into colossus and start the TCS, and log into to atlas and start ICE. Starting the night of 18 February 2002, a new CCD controller will be installed for TK3. At that time, for 2dcoude observing only, the observer will be able to start ICEX on oberon itself, controlling the instrument and CCD directly from there. The CCD will no longer be controlled from atlas. One consequence of the installation of the new computer is that the night report program 'xreport' is now run on oberon, and not atlas.

Can't find your worklists?
The new default location for worklist files is in your home directory on oberon /home/oberon/{your_username} .

You can always find your files elswhere by changing the file filter line at the top of the worklist file-name pop-up window.

And oberon is now the default for ephemeris and macro files too.

Pointing Problems?  Maybe It’s Your Bore Sight?
Each mount model is built with a particular bore sight.  Some instruments, such as those at Coude, are never used with a different bore sight.  The slit location is fixed, as is the acquisition camera position, and pointing is always good.

With many other instruments the bore sight can be moved.  An inconsistent bore sight has a large effect on the telescope pointing.

Since the actual position of the bore sight used for mount modeling relative to the bore sight being used by a particular observer is generally not known, we have a procedure which will, nevertheless, improve pointing.

1. The observer should find and center a star as far north as possible.  A star with Dec > 75 is preferred.  This is where the effects of a misaligned bore sight will be greatest.
2. The observer should set the ‘Zeros’ to zero.
3. The observer should now select new ‘CZeros’
4. Now the observer should move to a star that is near the ecliptic (or at least south of the zenith) and center it.
5. Now select new ‘Zeros’

With these steps, the telescope pointing should be improved.  The only caveat is that pointing is a statistical problem, and we used just 2 stars to adjust it.  The only complete pointing solution is to build a mount model using the observer’s particular science bore sight.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE:
After logging in to to console floor monitor, you must type <ctl><alt><-> (all three keys simultaneously) to cycle the video display to one that fits the screen. Use the numeric-keypad-minus, and NOT the hyphen-underscore key.

STAFF NOTE:
The disk is configured with 4 partitions. The first is /dev/sd2940.0a (R 6,16 and b s0a) is a recent TCS system ready to be run. The second is /dev/sd2940.0b (R 6,32 and s0b) is a raw Lynx system used to rebuild and maintain the TCS. The third, the TCS system is /dev/sd2940.0c (R 6,48 and s0c), and /dev/sd2940.0d is not bootable, but contains system backups and logs.


.


 
Courses | People | Program Information | Resources | Public Outreach | Weekly Seminar | Research

Facilities | People | Visitor Information | Observer Information | Public Outreach | Employment | Research


20 March 2003
UT Astronomy Program • The University of Texas at Austin • Austin, Texas 78712
prospective student inquiries to: studentinfo@astro.as.utexas.edu
web site comments to: www@www.as.utexas.edu