New 1.0m

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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

  • From thin client, log in as ccd30
  • Open a terminal and ssh -X
  • rts2-mon
  • Manually switch off dome lockout on observing floor
  • centrald -> "open" to open dome, followed by baffle and mirror covers (N.B. currently only works for the dome covers, so go to APM0 menu and type "open" for baffle and mirror covers)

Shutdown recipe

  • Park telescope: currently using T0 -> "altaz 50 90" until the "park" function is fixed (do NOT use "park" for now as the telescope position will time out and all sorts of things will go belly up on restarting everything).
  • centrald -> "close" to close mirror covers, baffle cover, then dome
  • Manually lockout the dome using the switch on the observing floor
  • Manually park the dome pointing to the West using the buttons on the control box on the North side of the observing floor

Running SHOC through rts2

  • Start rts2 control of SHOC on shocndisbelief:

sudo bash
cd /home/petr/rts2/src/camd
sudo killall CameraServer && sudo ./rts2-camd-andor --server

  • Take images with SHOC:

ssh -X
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:

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 for more info.

Running AG Lodestars through rts2

  • Check whether Lodestar is connected:

ssh (or pimag2 for DER2)
Look for "Starlight Xpress Lodestar autoguider" in output

  • Start rts2 control of Lodestar on the pi:

sudo bash
/etc/init.d/rts2 start

  • Take images with the Lodestar:

ssh -X
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


  • 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

  • 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