14" Telescope Operations
Reading these instructions does not mean that you are qualified to operate this instrument! For training, email Elizabeth or call x56555.
If you plan to use the ccd to display or take images, the computer needs to be taken out of darkroom 1104. The set up and use of the computer and ccd is on a different page.
- Have the roof open and all ladders and other objects out of the way of the telescope before you get started. This telescope slews very quickly.
- Turn on the power strip on the pier. Turn on the drive at the base of the pier.
- Take the hand paddle and select the "Startup" menu from the options displayed.
- Press option 3 "Resume from Park".
- Press the menu button until you reach the main menu. Then set the button speed to 12 by pressing "5" until the display reads B:12. This determines how fast the telescope will move using the buttons on the hand controller.
- Now select "Objects" from the main menu, and then select "Stars". Scroll through the list of named stars until you find one that you can recognize in the sky that is more than 20 degree away from Polaris and is not going to be crossing the zenith in the next 5 or 10 minutes. You don't want a star that will cross the zenith while you are aligning the telescope as that will confuse the telescope about which side of the pier it is on.
- Once you have selected your star by pressing the number next to the name, you will be given a screen of information about the star. Press the "GO TO" button on the bottom of the controller to slew to the star.
NOTE: Locate the "Stop" button on the controller BEFORE you slew the telescope. It can be found between the directional control keys. The telescope slews VERY quickly, and you need to be ready to hit that button if it is going to run in to anything.
- When the telescope stops moving, check to see that it is on the correct star and use the hand controller to center the star in the eyepiece.
- Press the "Menu" key once to move up one menu level. Select "9" for the RCal option to calibrate the telescope. It is now ready to use!
- The telescope can be used with both the hand controller and the computer. The directions for using the telescope with the computer can be found on another page.
- To slew to objects using the hand controller, go to the Objects menu. Select from the cataloged deep space objects, solar system objects, or named stars available in the Objects menu. When you select an object, information about it will appear first. To slew to the object, press the "GO TO" button.
- You can change the button speed by going back to the main menu and selecting option 5.
- Keep an eye on the telescope and a finger near the STOP button when slewing the telescope. The cords are set up so that they shouldn't wrap in anyway that will cause problems, but it is good to keep an eye on them. Also, make sure you roll ladders out of the way before slewing to a new object.
- There are two finder scopes; however, you should only use the smaller one located beneath the 14" to get your object in the field of view of the main scope. The larger one on top is an off set guiding scope, so it is not aligned with the main scope.
- The main telescope is focused by turning the silver knob on the black cylinder which protrudes from the back of the telescope.
- You can't see anything through the eyepiece. There is a knob below the eyepiece that controls the diagonal mirror sending images to either the CCD or the eyepiece. Turning the knob will flip the mirror into position and you should be able to see.
- The hand controller freezes. We are not sure this is actually a common problem yet, but it has happened. If this happens to you, turn off the power to the telescope for 10 seconds. Then turn the telescope back on and use the arrow keys to move the telescope down into park position. Turn off the telescope. Put a sign on the telescope to alert the next users that the telescope was not officially "parked" and that the alignment may be further off than usual. Let Elizabeth know what happened.
- As you run into problems with the telescope - let Elizabeth know so that they can be added to this section.
- Shut down the computer first if it was used.
- Press the "MENU" button until you reach the main menu. Then select the "Set Up" option.
- Scroll through your set up options until you reach the "Mounts Menu". Select "1" for parking in position 1. The telescope should slew to the park position.
- When the telescope has stopped slewing, press the "MENU" key to let the telescope know it is parked.
- Turn off the drive and the power strip.
- Put on the lens covers.
- Disconnect and put away the computer if it was used.