Starting Up
Using the Telescope
Common Problems
Shutting Down

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

Starting up

Arrange of computer, case, pier, wedge
  • Arrange the computer, telescope case, and wedge as illustrated in the picture, bolts tightened on the wedge. NOTE: Use the alignment pins to accurately orient the blue base on the pier, then tighten the nuts.
  • One person lifts the telescope into place, sliding the bolt left in the telescope into the top slot.
  • The second person places the other two bolts into place. NOTE: These do not just slide deeper in to place when you have found the correct position. You are going to have to try screwing them in to see if you have found the correct placement. Twist the screws a few times so see if you are properly aligned. Adjust the telescope if you are not catching the threaded holes.
  • Flip the telescope out of zero position and remove all protective coverings. Place coverings in the telescope case. NOTE: Take care not to touch any exposed optical surfaces. If you see any fingerprints, DO NOT try to remove them, but DO report them to your instructor for removal by a trained person.
cord arrangement
  • Attach the eyepiece.
  • Plug the power source into the bottom outlet. Run the power cord through the yoke to plug in. (see picture)
  • Plug in the hand paddle.

If you are using the computer as well

  • Plug in the cord connecting hand paddle and computer. This cord should NOT be plugged in to the telescope base. The cord looks like a phone cord.
  • Plug the computer cart into the top plug on the pier and take off the computer's cover.

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Aligning the telescope

  • Turn on the power on the telescope base and the hand paddle.
  • Use the hand paddle to follow the commands in the chart below.
Button/Action Notes Display
Start at Align Menu   MENU
Press ENTER You have now entered ALIGN menu and message "Initializing" scrolls across screen followed by prompt to set fork to zero SET FORK TO ZERO
Set fork to zero, then press ENTER Tells telescope the fork is set at zero. You are next prompted to put the tube in downstop. TUBE TO DOWNSTOP
Move tube, press ENTER Tells the telescope the tube is in downstop, enters align menu SKY
Press UP Scroll to the EQ NORTH Menu EQ NORTH
Press ENTER This selects EQ NORTH alignment procedure NEW OBJECT
Scroll to name of an alignment star This star should be at least 20 degrees away from Polaris. Our example will use Altair. NEW OBJECT
Move the telescope manually to alignment star selected Use the diamond buttons to center the object in the eyepiece. NEW OBJECT
Align the finderscope Use the three screws surrounding the finderscope to place the object on the center crosshairs of the finderscope.  
Press ENTER three times Tells the telescope you are now on your alignment star. Make sure the hand paddle reads W=( < ).3. if this number is way off, you are probably aligned to wrong star. NEW OBJECT
W=.01(scrolls past quickly)
Press MENU Back to main menu MENU
Scroll to CATALOG, press enter once you are in the catalog, select NAMED STAR and select another star you can recognize in the sky. Press enter twice and the telescope should slew to it. If so, you have correctly aligned the telescope!  
Zero Position home

Adding the Computer

  • Make sure the computer is connected to the hand paddle, NOT the telescope base.
  • Turn on the computer.
  • Enter the program, The Sky IV.
  • 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 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.

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Using the Telescope

With the Hand Paddle

The telescope can be controlled using only the hand paddle. To find an object, press "MENU" until you reach the main menu. The scroll through the menu and select "CATALOG". There are several catalog options from Messier to NGC to Solar System. Once you have selected a catalog, scroll through that catalog and select an object. When you press "ENTER" the first time to select an object, information about that object will appear on the paddle. Press "ENTER" a second time to actually slew the telescope to the object.

For more information about how the telescope can be controlled with the hand paddle, see Elizabeth Warner for a map of the hand paddle menu structure.

With The Sky IV Software

Finding Objects

  • If you know the name of the object you want to look at, go to "view" on the menu bar, select "move to" and then select the name of the desired object. Click on the slew button to move the telescope.
  • If you know the RA/Dec or the Alt/AZ coordinates of the object you want to look at, go to view, then select "move to" and enter in the coordinates. Be sure to select the correct coordinate system (horizon system for RA/Dec and equatorial for Alt/Az). After the selection, move the telescope clicking on the slew button.

Displaying different types of objects on the star map

  • Go to the "view" menu and select the "filter" option.
  • Select the type of objects that you want to display and then click OK.
  • You can also use the filter option to limit the magnitude of objects that are being displayed on the computer screen. This means that you can limit the number of objects that you can see on the star map by typing in a range of brightness.

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Common Problems

Telescope Not Tracking
If you notice objects are drifting out of the field of view, most likely the telescope's tracking is not turned on. This is easily fixed. Hit the menu button on the hand paddle until you return to the main menu. Scroll through your main menu options and select "SETUP" by pressing enter. Once you are in the SETUP menu, scroll through your options until you reach "TRACK". Select by pressing enter. Finally, scroll through your tracking options. There will be several options about tracking speeds, but eventually you should get an option that says "OFF". Use the arrow keys to toggle that to "ON". The telescope should now be tracking.

W < +/- 0.3 when aligning
if you know you are on the correct star and you are getting W < +/- 0.3, the most likely cause is that the telescope was not truly in the zero and downstop position when you started. You will need to turn off the telescope for at least 10 seconds to clear the memory and start again. Double check to make sure you are on the right star before you resort to starting over!

The telescope does not slew all the way or it slews to far
For both of these cases, try the slew again. Occasionally the stop motion command either gets skipped or gets sent too soon.

The link between computer and telescope cannot be established
Check to make sure all the cables are connected. Then check to make sure the hand paddle is at the main menu. The connection will not work correctly if the hand paddle is not in the main menu.

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Shutting Down

  • Turn off the telescope and shut down the computer by quitting The Sky, clicking on the "Start" menu and choosing the "Shutdown" option.
  • Disconnect the computer from the telescope. Cover the computer and unplug the computer cart. Make sure the cord is properly stowed.
  • Unplug the handpaddle and the power supply from the telescope and return to the case.
  • Remove the eyepiece and replace all the protective covers.
  • Return the telescope to downstop. One person holds on to the telescope while the other unscrews and removes the bottom two bolts. Loosen the top bolt one full turn, then slide the telescope off of the mount.
  • Make sure that everything is returned to the case and stowed as pictured below.
  • Close the telescope case. Place it on the computer cart from the front (except for cart #4 where is should be placed through the side). Return the cart to storage in the lecture hall.
  • Remove the wedge. Leave the nuts on the pier bolts. Return the wedge to storage.
Packed Case

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