RCC subsystems

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The PRCC environment

This section summarizes some features of the CCDSH installation at the 1-m Ritchie-Crétien-Coudé telescope of the Konkoly Observatory at Piszkéstető mountain station, after the general refurbishment of the whole system. Also, the PRCC-specific commands are mentioned here. The telescope and spectrograph control can be reached through the computer m5. The EMCCD is controlled by m16. For the necessary accounts, please contact the system admins.

Global startup script

The global startup script of the PRCC system is:

set     verbosity       1
set     xpa on
set     epoch   2000.0
set     location longitude=+19:53:54 latitude=+47:55:08 timezone=local
set     location fixed
module  mod\_criorcc.so
criorcc -t on
module  mod\_resolv\_sesame.so
module  mod\_imexam.so
module  mod\_staralt.so

For the explanation of each command, see the main documentation of the CCDSH package.

Commands and issues specific to the RCC telescope

Rcc status

Additional information on the status of the telescope can be seen using the rcc status command resulting in:

CRIO FPGA status: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ normal (0)
RCC mount limitations:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ normal
RCC mount status: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ idle
RCC mount configuration:~ ~ ~ ~ east
RCC dome status:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ idle
RCC dome slit:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ closed
RCC covers: tube: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ closed
RCC covers: mirror: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ closed
RCC finder cap: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ closed
RCC guider cap: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ closed
RCC mount speed:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 6000.0 (arcsec/sec) = 1.6667 (deg/sec)


Sidereal tracking is turned off by default, and also stops when exiting ccdsh. Note that the closing slit or rotating dome also halts in this case. The tracking can be turned on/off with the regular set mount track on|off command.

Dome control

Instead of the set dome auto on|off command, the automatic tracking of the dome can be controlled with the rcc dome auto|manual sequence. Note that the regular set dome auto on|off is also accepted without error messages but currently results in nothing.

The dome shutter can be opened with the usual set dome slit open|close command. To rotate the dome, the set dome azimuth=value command can be used, strictly after giving the rcc dome manual command.

The home position of the dome is around azimuth=156.3. This way the slit can be seen on the image of the internal camera.

Tube and mirror covers

The tube and mirror covers can be controlled via the rcc tubecover|mirrocover open|close sequence.

Dome lights

The lights in dome (not the flat lamps, however this command is used to control the flat lamps at the PSCH!) are controlled with the set dome light 1 on|offsequence. Note that the lights are also controlled with an alternating switch in the dome, therefore the required parameter (on|off) depends on the position of the switch.

Flat lamps

The flat lamps can be controlled outside of ccdsh with the energenie-manage program:

energenie-manage --flat-bright on|off
energenie-manage --flat-faint on|off


In case of any malfunction, use the criorcc -l -o filename command to save the debug messages to the file specified. A typical output of the above command looks like this:

   54378 1408415583.029   -8201 81.0883   -0.01399
   54379 1408415583.237   -8201 81.0638    0.02453
   54380 1408415583.445   -8201 81.0760   -0.05012
   54381 1408415583.653   -8201 81.0760   -0.02642
   54382 1408415583.861   -8201 81.0638   -0.00371
   54383 1408415584.069   -8201 81.0730   -0.05808
   54384 1408415584.277   -8201 81.0638   -0.00569
   54385 1408415584.485   -8201 81.0577   -0.00159
   54386 1408415584.696   -8201 81.0638   -0.00654
   54387 1408415584.901   -8201 81.0638    0.00126

The third column indicates the type of the error. 0 means nothing went wrong. Also, the output of the commands criorcc -c, status, rcc status, rcc gps and get mount position should be copied into a file.

Cameras and filters

Imaging cameras

FLI PL18603 conventional CCD

An FLI PL16803 camera with Johnson-Cousins B,V,R,I and Sloan r,i,z filters is currently mounted on the telescope yielding an approximately 10'x10' FoV. Camera control is implemented via ccdsh after the camera drivers are loaded. This can be done with the following command:

source /usr/local/ccdsh/scripts/load-ace-proline.ccdsh

This line can also be included in the user's local startup script in the home directory. The camera driver file contains the followings:

module mod_fli_camera.so --device
module mod_ace_filter.so

define  filter  1       B       "Bessel B"
define  filter  2       V       "Bessel V"
define  filter  3       R       "Bessel R"
define  filter  4       I       "Bessel I"
define  filter  5       C       "Clear"
define  filter  6       E1      "Empty 1"
define  filter  7       E2      "Empty 2"
define  filter  8       r       "Sloan r"
define  filter  9       i       "Sloan i"
define  filter  10      z       "Sloan z"
define  filter  11      E       "Empty"

The first two lines load the camera and filter modules respectively, and the next eleven defines the filters. The third column contains the filter positions, the fourth the names which the filter can be referred to when using the set filter command, and the fifth contains the names.

The camera can be cooled to -40^{\circ}\mathrm{C} in the winter, however in a warm summer, the lowest point which can be safely reached is around -30^{\circ}\mathrm{C} (consult the power usage via the get temperature command).

In order to avoid oversampling of the PSFs, a 2x2 binning is recommended.


An Andor iXon+888 EMCCD camera can also be mounted on the RC focus of the RCC. The camera itself can be controlled via a GUI, therefore the optimal way to reach the controlling computer m16 is by VNC protocol, e.g.:

xvncviewer -bgr233 -via root@m16 :42

m16 can only be reached from the internal network. Screen 42 should be used. The switch bgr233 reduces the color depth resulting in lower latency.

On m16, the program ixon-server should always be running. Usually, the user does not have to start it. In case of a power failure, or software crash, it can be started with the command (via screen)

ixon-server /usr/local/etc/ixon-server/ixon-server.cfg

Before restarting m16, the ixon-server has to be stopped. It can be carried out via telnet:

telnet localhost 32768

After connecting to the server, the command shutdown stops the server itself. The connection can be terminated by closeconn. Do this only, if you are absolutely sure about the results!

The camera controlling program can be started by the following command:


The FITS viewing program DS9 has to be started by the user as well. A typical screen of ixon-gui can be seen below.

A typical EMCCD session.
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