McGraw-Hill 1.3m Checklist


This document is intended to provide a quick run down on tasks to perform at the nightly startup as well as at the morning shutdown.  It is based on a checklist first created by a student in 2008.  Please let me know if you have any additional suggestions.


Before Observing:

Fill the dewar and update the fill-time/date on the white board on the door to the dome.  

Open the doors to the dome.  If it is very warm, turn on the fan.  This can aid with telescope seeing.

Verify that the E-Stop is disengaged.  The red light should be out.

Toggle the dome open/close switch to “Open”.

Open the main dome shutter by pressing and releasing its button (hit “Stop” if you need it to stop opening).

Once the main dome shutter is open, press and hold the drop-out button until it is fully open.

Open the MIS dark hatch.  

Turn on all monitors.  Make sure that all software is functioning properly.  

Note the HA on the TCS GUI.  It should read around 00:00:00.  If it is appreciably different, you might want to home the telescope.

Note the tilt sensors.  If the values differ greatly from -0.003,-0.007 you might wish to home the telescope.

Assuming the telescope is properly homed, RA and LST should read roughly the same.  Dec should read roughly +31:57:12.  If either of these are considerably off, type zero ra=SI:DE:RE dec=31:57:12 in the command box, where SI:DE:RE is the sidereal time ~30s in the future.  Once LST matches SI:DE:RE, press enter.

On the guider PC, make sure that the cooler is turned on and set to a proper temperature.

Open the mirror covers by clicking the Mirror button.  Wait for the mirror indicator light to turn green.

Turn on tracking by clicking the Tracking button.  Make sure the tracking rates are selected as sidereal rate.  You can also indicate “Auto Adjust” for a more accurate tracking system.  When tracking begins, the indicator will go green.

Click Dome and make sure Center Dome and Auto Center have been selected.  Click Apply.  Alternatively, you can click the Center Dome button, but be aware that unless Auto Center has been selected, the dome will not track with the telescope.

Choose a bright star from the Astronomical Almanac and enter its coordinates in the RA and Dec boxes of the TCS GUI.  Be sure to enter the correct sign for Dec, as well as the proper equinox. Click Point.

Make any necessary adjustments to the telescope setting using the CCD and guide cameras.

In the Command box of the TCS GUI , type zero ra=xx:yy:zz dec=±aa:bb:cc and hit enter.  This sets the pointing of the telescope.

Adjust telescope focus as needed.  This is best performed on-field.

In the morning:

Turn off the telescope tracking by clicking on the Tracking button or by selecting Tracking Off from the “Tracking Rates” menu.  The indicator light should change to gray.

In the TCS GUI Command box, type point ha=0 dec=31:57:12 nodome and hit enter.  This should bring the telescope to zenith.

Click the Mirror button to close the mirror covers.  The indicator light should change to red.

Home the dome by either clicking the Home... button and selecting the “Dome” option (be careful not to select any of the other options) or by clicking the Dome... button and selecting “Home Dome”.  Click Apply.  

Fill the dewar and update the fill-time/date on the white board on the door to the dome.  

Close the MIS dark hatch.

Toggle the dome open/close switch to “Close”.  

Close the drop-out by pressing and holding the drop-out button until fully closed.

After the drop-out is closed, close the main dome shutter by pressing and releasing its button (hit “Stop” if you need it to stop closing).

Turn off the building fan (if used) and close all doors tightly.  

File a nightly run report and if needed, a trouble report.

Turn off the monitors, climate control (in the control room), and lights.

Make sure any food/drink is picked up and removed from the control room.