A Quick Guide to the New Coudé Feed Control System

by Kim Gillies, D'Anne Thompson, and Caty Pilachowski

1. Introduction

The new coude feed telescope control system is similar in architecture to the 2.1m system. Two computers replace the old 11/24 DEC computer running under Venix which has been operating the feed since 1987. The new computers are Iris and Lisa. A third computer (Indigo) operates the CCD and gives access to IRAF data reductions. The advantages of the new system are
  1. . much improved pointing and tracking,
  2. . a graphical user interface which we hope will be easier to learn and faster to use,
  3. . better access to star caches and catalogs,
  4. . compatibility with other telescopes on the mountain,
  5. . better maintainability.

In addition to the graphical user interface, the new telescope also includes a "feed emulator program" which allows you to run the telescope by typing in the same commands used in the old Venix operating system. You may choose to use either the graphical interface or the command line interface.

2. How to Make It Work

When you arrive in the coude feed control room Lisa's console should be up and running. We now recommend that the telescope control system be left running during the day.


After you login, the computer system will automatically load the telescope control system and open two windows, one for telescope control and one for access to the "star caches" or coordinate files. These two basic windows should be open throughout the night, but additional windows will pop up as needed. The screen layout includes a third window for entering typed commands.

To work in a window, move the mouse's pointer to within that window. In the window are "buttons," boxes for displaying information, and fields for entering information. The mouse is used to control most of the action on the screen. Generally, the left button on the mouse is used to "push" a button on the screen, and the right button is used to access and select menus. To "push" a button, move the mouse's pointer onto that button and click the left (select) button on the mouse. To enter information into the program (e.g. the wavelength setting for the grating) move the mouse's pointer to the line for the information you want to enter, and then type in the appropriate number or character string. If the task calls for entering several fields (e.g. adding a new star to a star cache) the carriage return will automatically move you to the next field. Note the most windows contain a "close," "cancel," "quit," "exit," "enter", or "ok" button to exit and close that window.

With that brief introduction, choose where you want to go next.

  • The Main Telescope Control Window
  • Opening Up the Telescope
  • Typical Observing Proceedures
  • Setting the Grating
  • Stowing the Telescope
  • Using the On-Line Help
  • Shortcuts
  • Problems
  • Thanks for your Help

    It isn't too late to make changes in the new system. Please let us know of any items that seem awkward, slow, or confusing. Have we left out any functions that you consider important for efficient observing? Have you run into any problem or bugs? Let us know, and maybe we can fix it!

    Telescope Scientist