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Next: Menu Control Up: Observing with WHIRCAM Previous: Introduction

Starting up

If you are intending to observe with WHIRCAM (as opposed to simply starting it to familiarise yourself with the commands and create EXEC and CONFIG files), then you need to ensure the Telescope Control System (TCS) is up so that WHIRCAM's SLIDE commands etc will communicate with the telescope. First, verify that an ICL session is running on the computer specified on the whiteboard (lpvf or lpvg). Ask your Support Astronomer (SA) or Telescope Operator (TO) if you are unsure. You should also make sure you start WHIRCAM after 10:00 am, as the directory and filename nomenclature (see § 7) incorporates the current date, and this is incremented at 10:00 am so that an entire night's observations will be written with the same prefix in the same directory.

If ICL isn't running, then log onto LPVS3 or LPVS2 as OBSERVER, select the correct system (lpvf or lpvg), type `ICL', and accept all the defaults.

Your TO should also ensure that TCS is running with the following:

Also, at the autoguider terminal, select the GHRIL Autoguider application.

Once ICL is running, log on to the WHIRCAM Vaxstation (IRCMVX) (or telnet from the LPVS3 terminal next to the ALICE screen if you want to be near the camera display) as user WHIRCAM (get the current password from your SA or TO). In the DECterm window type:

which will start up the WHIRCAM control software.

At this point you'll be asked to enter a unique ID (usually the observer's initials). This will then either direct the ALICE software to your own unique directory where your personal CONFIG and EXEC files are stored (there are also several standard example files in the system directory), or else create one to store any such files you may create during your run.

The colour monitor (ALICE Graphics Display) and ALICE Transputer/Occam control software will be initialized, and three windows will be created:

During initialization, check that one of the status messages scrolling up the IRCAM3 Instrument Control screen reads:

connected to Telescope Control Task.
This means the ICL system was running, and that the ICL tasks and WHIRCAM can talk to each other. Initialisation should take about 4 minutes.

Before you start taking exposures, you should start AUTOFITS running (see § 7) to record your frames to tape as they are taken.

If you wish to analyse your data as they are taken, it is usually easier (and less messy) to do this from the RODIR directory (see § 7), in which case you should also start up an ACVT session which automatically copies frames from IDIR to RODIR as they are taken. To do so, open another DECterm window, and simply type:

You can then iconise this window and it will run in the background.

next up previous contents
Next: Menu Control Up: Observing with WHIRCAM Previous: Introduction

Shaun Hughes
Thu Mar 14 14:48:38 GMT 1996