Reading these instructions does not mean that you are qualified to operate this instrument! For training, email Elizabeth or call x56555.

For open houses it is always nice to set up the computer to display a nice image. If an object is looking photographable you are always welcome to take some images as well. For those using the ccd for some more serious fun, you can save images to disk so you can do some image processing on them back at the astronomy department.

The SBIG ST-8 CCD Camera System

Setting up the Computer
Displaying Images
Taking Images
Putting Away the Computer

Setting up the Computer

  • Roll the cart out of the closet to the 14". Be very careful going through doors: cables and connectors which stick out from the cart can be easily damaged!!!
  • Plug the power chord (wrapped around the black bracket on one of the legs of the cart) into the same outlet on the pier that the power strip is plugged into. Do not plug it into the power strip! This ensures that you will not accidentally start the telescope slewing with the roof on if you are displaying images during a cloudy open house.
  • Turn on the power strip resting on the bottom of the computer cart.
       The computer should boot up into Windows
  • If you want to use the computer to control the telescope use The Sky IV.
    • Start up the telescope as you would if you were not using the computer. Leave the telescope pointed at the star you use for "RCal".
    • Double click on The Sky IV to start the program.
    • Select and pull down the "DATA" menu.
    • In this menu, select "site information".
    • Change the telescope's location - either choose Washington DC or enter the coordinates for College Park (Longitude 76° 56' 14", Latitude 38° 58' 50") Click the "apply" option.
    • Next, click on the "date and time" tab on the location menu. Double check that the information is correct.
    • Make sure that the hand paddle is in the main menu screen by pressing MENU until it is there. Then pull down the "telescope" menu on the computer and select "Link" and "Establish".
    • Next, find the star that you used to align the telescope on the computer chart and click on it. If you have aligned everything correctly, the telescope should not move and information about the object should pop up on the screen. If the telescope moves, make sure that you selected the same object on the computer that you used to align the telescope. If you did, you need to go back and realign the telescope.
    • Click on the "Synch" button at the bottom of the window that appeared for the object. You are now set up to use the computer to control the telescope. For more information on using the computer to point the telescope, see the Celestron Ultimas Operation Instructions.

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Displaying Images

For open houses we will always want to display images on the computer. This is especially important when it is cloudy and there's nothing else for the public to see.

  • Open the Main menu.
  • Click on the SkyPro icon to open up the program.
  • Select Open from under the file menu.
      Depending on what state the computer was left in, you may or may not have to do any of the following:
    • Open the SkyPro folder.
    • Open the images folder.
    • Open the openhouse folder.
  • Select the images you'd like to display.
       Several images can opened at once so that you have a variety to show the public without having to open and close each image when you want to change images.

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Taking Images

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Putting Away the Computer

  • Close all the images you have opened.
  • Choose Exit from under the File menu to exit SkyPro.
  • Click on the Program Manager icon and select Close to exit Windows.
       You should now be at the DOS prompt.
  • Turn off the computer cart power strip.
  • Turn off the power strip on the telescope pier.
  • Unplug the computer from the telescope pier and wrap the chord back around the bracket.
  • Carefully roll the cart back into the closet and be sure the door to 1104 is locked.

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