Warning/Caution/etc: the full drive system of the Schmidt telescope has been replaced recently (as of 2021-06-23). Despite the fact that the CCDSH environment hides many of the internal details, one should consider the telescope as a completely new system and, therefore, spend sufficient amount of time to learn and/or to adapt to the new features and changes. In addition, this upgrade is still in progress (as of end of June, 2021) therefore many subsystems are either disconnected as of this writing or their functionality and/or interfacing will change in the future. The planned (and already performed) upgrade sequence is designed to minimize the downtime (practically to zero) - thus, in between the various upgrade steps, some features are indeed temporary and these intermediate-stage functionalities might not be as convenient as these used to be and as these will be soon. Please bear these in mind once observing with the telescope.
Important notes related to the upgrade process and the current usage of the telescope in practice:
m9.konkoly.hu, where all of the software components are installed).
The cooler and the camera of the telescope is always on. If not, contact the support astronomer. There is no filter wheel at the moment. There is a PanSTARRS wide (w) filter installed in front of the camera, thus all of the image files created by CCDSH will have the filter suffix of "w".
Please follow the points below for routine observations.
1. If the telescope is turned off, go to the dome, and switch on the telescope using both of the control panels. The "new control panel" is currently an euphemism for a comparatively small panel with two big led lights, a local-remote key, two glowing push buttons and an emergency switch. The old one is the old one (see photo, in the background) and once it is powered on, it still shows the feedback light for the oil pressure. On the other hand, the oil pump is powered by the new system. Check also the three phases of the electric power (lights with R, S and T, on the old control panel). These three light should be on, and the oil pressure should be off once the system is ready for operations.
2. Remove the tube cover.
Since the convenient position for removing the tube cover is beyond the software limitations, always use the telescope control panel to move the telescope in this position. Similarly, after removing the tube cover, move the telescope manually (i.e. still using the telescope control panel) to some reasonable horizontal altitude in order to allow the software backends to handle the telescope motions properly. Login to
m9 (basically, using a smartphone or tablet or laptop), start
ccdsh and issue the command
schctrl -s 0,-40. It will move the telescope to the convenient position where the tube cover can easily be removed or put back by anyone. Once it is done, you may put the telescope back to nearly vertical by issuing
schctrl -s 0,48.
3. Turn off all the lights and leave the dome.
4. Login again to the control computer,
m9.konkoly.hu, with your own account.
eng-schmidt test to see if everything is OK.
rszakats@m9:~$ eng-schmidt test [ Ok ] Checking gateway at 172.31.90.1... done. [ Ok ] Checking gateway at 172.31.90.2... done. [ Ok ] Checking Archon ARP state at 10.10.111.3... resolved. [ Ok ] Checking camera reset relay driver module at 172.31.90.19... done. [ Ok ] Checking MDSNACD bus master at 172.31.90.225... done. [ Ok ] Checking TAU motor driver (//172.31.90.225/0x63/0x01)... done. [ Ok ] Checking TAU coarse control (//172.31.90.225/0xDD/0x01)... done. [ Ok ] Checking TAU encoder (//172.31.90.225/0xEC/0x01)... done. [ Ok ] Checking DEC motor driver (//172.31.90.225/0x63/0x02)... done. [ Ok ] Checking DEC encoder (//172.31.90.225/0xEC/0x02)... done. [ Ok ] Checking dome relay controller (//172.31.90.225/0xDD/0x05)... done. [ Ok ] Checking dome encoder (//172.31.90.225/0xEC/0x05)... done. [ Ok ] Checking focus motor driver (//172.31.90.225/0x63/0x17)... done. [ Ok ] Checking focus encoder (//172.31.90.225/0xEC/0x17)... done. [ Ok ] Checking accelerometer (//172.31.90.225/0xAC/0x01)... done. [ Ok ] Checking mains controller (//172.31.90.225/0xDD/0x21)... done. [ Ok ] Checking mains input state (//172.31.90.225/0xDD/0x22)... done. [ Ok ] Checking PSCHTCM server (ALIX)... done. [ Ok ] Checking PSCHTCM status... telescope is ready. [ Ok ] Checking dome surveillance camera... done. rszakats@m9:~$
The new system is controlled via the MDSNACD network, implemented over CAN bus. The wiring of the CAN bus runs from the dome controller electric cabinet up to the focus motor within telescope tube - and this bus connects the ~dozen individual logic nodes performing the motion control of the telescope.
screen session. (See Usage of the screen program)
If the postproc_schmidt_bin.sh script is not running, start it.
Important note: Always save your images to the /data directory, because with the new camera one fits file is around 220MB!
Start the program
ccdsh in the screen.
CCD> status to see if everything is OK.
CCD> status CCD: ready # 0 idle Mount: ready # 0 idle udec=29.9755 st=342.0044 utau=86.8298 mx=0,0,0,0,0 Dome: ready # 0 tracking 0x0 Filter: ready # 0 nothing_to_do Focuser: ready # ready Logger: ready # 0 idle Logger: ready # 0 idle Logger: ready # 0 idle Resolver: ready # 0 idle Resolver: ready # 0 idle Resolver: ready # 0 idle Command: ready # 0 idle Command: ready # 0 idle Command: ready # 0 idle Command: ready # 0 idle Keyword: ready # 0 idle Keyword: ready # 0 idle CCD> CCD>
6. Check the camera temperature:
CCD> get temperature It should be around -50. Never try to change the camera temperature from
7. Open the dome, and set it to automatic:
CCD> set dome slit open
CCD> set dome auto on
The mount shuld be tracking the sky, but you can type A major difference w.r.t the previous system is about the sidereal tracking:
CCD> set mount track on if it was off.
sequence), it also starts to track regardless of the previous state of the tracker.
set mount track on|offstill works: it stops tracking if the telescope was commanded to a J2000 coordinate and can also be used to start tracking if it was not tracking before.
The first three points imply exactly the same behavior what is known from the RC80 telescope. However, while the command
set mount track on|off is not supported by the RC80 system (due to the limitations of the ASA mount), it is supported by the Schmidt system.
CCD> get dome slit can be used to track the status. Wait until the slit door is fully opened. If the dome is in home position, and there are some lights in the dome area (see the notes at the end), you can clearly see the slit door via the webcamera (see also the notes).
8. Start observing. The telescope can be slewed to any position using the
CCD> slew command of ccdsh. Individual images can be taken using the
CCD> acquire command (for testing purposes, for example). Complex series of images can be created via the command
CCD> sequence. There are many commands in ccdsh that makes the observations convenient (object name resolves using databases such as Simbad or MPC, definitions of favourite and frequently observed objects, visibility calculations and visibility graphs, and so on). Here we refer the full documentation of CCDSH (in English). Please use the command status regularly, both after and before complex operations and/or long image sequences to check if every subsystem operates properly. Wait until the operations complete: if the status of some of the subsystems (e.g. mount, etc.) is busy (displayed in yellow), you might have to wait a little bit until the operations are completed and the telescope system becomes ready to use.
If you have a script, type
CCD> source myscript in
ccdsh will interpret the script and start to execute it line by line.
9. If you have to stop your script while running (preferably during 'delaying'), always check if the telescope has stopped with the
CCD> status command. If mount and/or dome is busy, type
CCD> set mount stop and
CCD> set dome stop.
1. Make sure that the telescope subsystems completed their work. Never start shutting down the system before any of the controls is in a busy state.
2. Close the dome slit door (locally from the telescope control panel in the dome area or remotely, using the appropriate ccdsh command), e.g.
CCD> set dome slit close.
3. You may want to move the dome to its home position. The normal home position of the dome is at azimuth=150 (the slit door looks west-southwest). It is not essential, but recommended. You can use the appropriate ccdsh commands as well:
CCD> set mount track off
CCD> set dome auto off
CCD> set dome azimuth=150 , then wait until the dome moves to its home position (see also the status command).
4. Exit from the
5. Go to the dome. Put on the tube cover (for this, you need again your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, see above, how to remove the tube cover, etc).
6. Move the telescope to a vertical postition (using again the
ccdsh command of schctrl -s 0,48, etc, see above). Switch off the telescope.
ccdshcan be started before switching on the telescope. In this case, the status command will report errors for the mount, dome and focuser, but immediately if the telescope is switched on, the status messages also change to ready. Of course, there are obvious dependencies: one cannot switch on the telescope until the main electricity switches are off, or the tube cover cannot be removed (or, more precisely, the telescope cannot be slewed to this position) until the telescope is switched off and so on.
ccdshsoftware. If the mount and dome status is ready for both units and the dome status is idle (and not tracking) it is safe to control the telescope from the panel as well. But either the mount and dome are busy or the telescope is started to slew from the control panel, never try to use the another type of control. Note that this is true even if some kind of errors are encountered. If the telescope seems to be stuck or moved to some highly unexpected position, first check the
CCD> statusmessages and report these. After, ensure that the controls are released from ccdsh, i.e. check the
CCD> status, and make all of the systems ready by saying set
CCD> dome auto off,
CCD> set mount stopand
CCD> set dome stop. If both the dome and mount are ready, one can go to the control panel and solve the problem manually.
CCD> set dome light 0 onand
CCD> set dome light 0 offto switch on and off the flat lights in the dome. The
light 0is the fainter one (that is used routinely for taking dome flats) and the
light 1is the brighter one. By switching on the latter one, the dome slit can be seen clearly if the dome is rotated to
CCD> set dome azimuth=150.
According to the current schedule, the upgrade plans are as follows:
The timeline of the above steps is not known. As of this writing (end of June, 2021) expect something like the calendar year of 2021 to be fully finished. However, all of these steps imply minimal or zero practical downtime for the system. Our goal is to keep the retro style of the system while all of the internal and control parts are fully upgraded to modern standards.