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The "new" 1-m telescope was installed in the dome that previously housed a 30-inch telescope. The telescope was built by APM Telescopes[1] and was lifted into the dome on 02 August 2016. Commissioning is currently underway.

The 30-inch telescope was donated to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Watch this space!

Commissioning Aids

Centre of rotation on SHOC

19 Jan 2017: (527,538) - SHOC removed to check mounting (all ok) & countersink ND filter wheel screw below camera mount plate

18 Jan 2017: (530,527) - secondary retaining ring & radial screws tightened

7 Nov 2016: (524, 527) - primary & secondary mirror retaining screws & secondary retaining ring tightened

Latest model (model_38s) based on 18 Jan pixel coordinates

Start-up recipe

  • Log into SHOC as shoc1m at http://shoc1m.suth.saao.ac.za:5000 and switch camera on
  • If in the dome, log into the NUC as ccd
  • Open a terminal and ssh -X observer@1ms1.suth.saao.ac.za
  • rts2-mon
  • In CUP menu, check that manual=false. If not, manually switch off dome lockout on observing floor
  • centrald -> "on" to open dome, followed by baffle and mirror covers

Shutdown recipe

  • centrald -> "off" to close mirror and baffle covers, park telescope, park and close dome
  • (These steps can be done individually with: APM0 -> "close", T0 -> "park", CUP -> "close", CUP -> "park")
  • (The close commands can be done in one combination: centrald -> "close" to close mirror covers, baffle cover, then dome)
  • Switch on lights (CUP -> toggle "lights" parameter) to check telescope & dome via webcam: then switch lights off

Running SHOC through rts2

  • Start rts2 control of SHOC on shocndisbelief:

ssh ccd@shocndisbelief.suth.saao.ac.za
sudo bash
cd /home/petr/rts2/src/camd
sudo killall CameraServer && sudo ./rts2-camd-andor --server 1ms1.suth.saao.ac.za

  • Take images with SHOC:

ssh -X observer@1ms1.suth.saao.ac.za
rts2-xfocusc -d C0 -e 1
(where -e is the exposure time option. Add "-X 1" to overlay grid lines).

  • Take and save an image with SHOC:

CTRL-C out of rts2-xfocusc
rts2-scriptexec -d C0 -s 'ADCMODE=15 E 1'

Running SHOC from web browser after running it through rts2

  • This won't work without first rebooting shocndisbelief:

ssh ccd@shocndisbelief.suth.saao.ac.za
sudo reboot -h now

Need to then restart data spooling to the server:
(1) copy the temporary files that were written to /data/spool on the spindle drive to the SSD. Procedure:
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt
rsync -avz /data/spool/* /mnt/

(2) umount the SSD from the /mnt mount point
umount /mnt
(3) Mount the SDD on /data/spool
mount /dev/sdb1 /data/spool

(4) Check it's mounted
df -h

See https://itwiki.saao.ac.za/index.php/Standard_Nagios_Notifications for more info.

Running AG Lodestars through rts2

  • Check whether Lodestar is connected:

ssh pi@1mag1.suth.saao.ac.za (or pimag2 for DER2)
Look for "Starlight Xpress Lodestar autoguider" in output

  • Start rts2 control of Lodestar on the pi:

ssh pi@1mag1.suth.saao.ac.za
sudo bash
/etc/init.d/rts2 start

  • Take images with the Lodestar:

ssh -X observer@1ms1.suth.saao.ac.za
rts2-xfocusc -d AG1CCD -e 1
(where AG1CCD is on DER1 and -e is the exposure time option).

  • Take and save an image with the Lodestar:

CTRL-C out of rts2-xfocusc
rts2-scriptexec -d AG1CCD -s 'E 1'

  • Loop multiple saved images:

rts2-scriptexec -d AG1CCD -s 'for 5 {E 1}'
(also rts2-xfocusc --save)

Pointing tests

Follow section on Running SHOC through rts2 then

Run the model:


Build the model:

gpoint --refine /etc/rts2/T0_model --filter 'model-err:15' align -o ~/model_XXs 
cd /home/observer
sudo cp model_XXs /etc/rts2
sudo rm /etc/rts2/T0_model
sudo ln -s /etc/rts2/model_37s /etc/rts2/T0_model
sudo rts2-stop T0
sudo rts2-start T0


  • Telescope does not respond to move or altaz command:

In T0 menu, check auto_mode_az=on and auto_mode_alt=on

  • Naughty telescope claims "Trying to contact centrald" and rts2-mon won't start:
sudo /etc/init.d/rts2 start
  • Certain subsystems don't wake up:
sudo /etc/rts2/start-rts2
  • Certain subsystems don't wake up with start-rts2 command above:
ps -Af | grep rts2
sudo killall <relevant process>

where <relevant process> could be: rts2-centrald - comms (?)
rts2-apm-multidev - mirror & baffle cover & primary mirror fans
rts2-teld-sitech-altaz - alt & az motors
rts2-sitech-focmirror - M2 and M3
rts2-httpd - for thrift?
rts2-cupola-saao - dome

Then restart:

sudo rts2-start <relevant process>

e.g. rts2-start CUP

Names of devices can be found in /etc/rts2/devices

  • Derotators still don't wake up with start-rts2 command above:
sudo rts2-rotad-sitech -f /dev/derotators --defaults-der1 =/etc/rts2/D1.ini --defaults-der2 =/etc/rts2/D2.ini 

  • Initialisation files for each subsystem are stored in /etc/rts2