Trouble Shooting and Cautions for WIRO Prime
written by Dave Cook
With input from J.Weger, A. Monson, B.Berrington, Christine Lamanna, and Cliff Johnson
Usuful Numbers When Observering
- Jim Weger (307)742-4600 (home) (307)766-6196 (work) (307)760-2192 (cell)
- Danny Dale (307)742-3533 (home) (307)766-5154 (work)
- Dave Cook (612)810-1638 (cell)
- WIRO (307)742-8666
- Cat House (307)742-8500
Set up in the Dome
1.) The dome won't move or The shutters won't open or the Telescope won't
> Check to see that the breakers are all flipped on
> Check to see if the controls are set to "local" or "manual"
> Check to see if the 'brushes' are on the power tracks
(orange tracks that are located on the inside perimeter of the
dome)visible from the observing platform. (BE VERY CAREFUL, these
are live pieces of metal that will electrocute you!)
2.) When retracting the lower windscreen
> Be careful not to retract more of the screen than necessary. It is
the weight of the extended windscreen itself that keeps tension on
the cables which raise and lower it.
> Watch the pulleys above the large winch to be sure that they are
maintaining tension as the screen is moved
3.) When raising or lowering the upper windscreen
> Watch the tensioners (pulleys on levers) which extend and retract as
the screen is lowered and raised. These tensioners may fail, and the
cable may come loose!! If this happens STOP IMMEDIATELY to prevent
breaking the cables. Call Jim for help.
4.) The dome is going crazy. It won't stop spinning, even when I give the
"dome off" command
> This has occured after a power glitch at the observatory. If this
happens, find the dome breakers in the spectrograph room. Flipping
the breakers to cut the power to the dome should cure the problem.
Setting up the Computers
The WIRO Prime interface cannot connect to the camera
> Is the electronics box turned on?
> Is the camera plugged in and turned on? Sometimes the camera plug needs
to be wiggled to turn on.
> Is the ethernet cable plugged into the electronics box?
> Are the ethernet cables plugged into the hub correctly?
1.) Really dark exposures
> Check to see if the mirror covers are open
> Check to see if the telescope is pointing at the dome
1.) There is frost on the mirror
> Sublimate the frost away WITHOUT causing liquid water to occur.
Turn on lights inside dome; This increases the amount of moisture
the air can hold. Open outside door in dome, the door from the
breezeway to the dome, and the outside door in the breezeway -
this allows air to flow through dome. In addition, you can also
use the dome fan as well.
2.) The mirror covers will not open/close from the south pier
> Due to the cold tempertures, one of the capacitors in the switch
does not have the power to work propertly. Open panel and warm
the capacitor (round gray cylinder) that is attached to the top
of the cabinet in the center by rubbing.
1.) The Filter wheel is "lost" (displays all red circles OOOO) or displays
a wrong code for my filter.
> Jog the filter wheel one step in one direction. Record the code at
this position. Is it still lost? Reading some magnets correctly?
Reading all magnets correctly?
> Jog another step in the same direction being sure to let the magnet
cool down between jogs. Again record the code.
> If the filter wheel is now reading all magnets correctly, continue
to jog slowly in that direction until the filter wheel no longer
reads correctly. Record this position.
> Now slowly jog back to the original position, again recording the
displayed code at each position. A center should appear, where the
filter wheel reads correctly both to the right and left of this
position regardless of jog direction.
> If when jogging a few steps in one direction, the filter wheel hasn't
found its position, try jogging slowly in the opposite direction.
If the correct position is found, execute the above steps to center
the wheel on the correct position.
> If after jogging in both directions, the filter wheel is still unable
to display anything correctly, click on the "Intialize Filter Wheel"
button. This procedure will take 5-10 minutes to complete.
> Once the Initialization procedure is finished, follow the centering
procedure described above.
> If initializing the filter wheel fails or takes too long, you can
initialize the filter wheel manually: move telescope to service,
open light box, locate filter wheel pin (towards back at top of
wheel). Manually lift pin and rotate filter wheel until pin can
be seated into a known filter choice. Check that the software
correctly identifies the chosen filter, and continue observing.
NOTE: If opening camera, take care to not touch the filters with
fingers (filters located near edge of wheel - take care when turning)
AND do not force the filter wheel to move as there is a physical
limit/stop from the wheel turning all the way around.
> Be sure to only move the filter wheel in steps of 1 or 2 slots!
2.) The Filter Wheel doesn't seem to move (unlocks, but colored circles don't
change when asked to move) when I tell it to.
> Look at the ethernet connection inside the electronics box. Make
sure you see a blinking yellow light - if not, the connection died.
Just disconnect and reconnect the GUI.
> Look at the ammeter on the side of the electronics box. When you give
a filter change command, does a current register on the ammeter?
> If no current is flowing, diconnect the WIROPrime GUI from the camera
and cycle the power on the electronics box. Reconnect to WIRO Prime.
Try to change filters again. This may need to be repeated more than once.
> If cycling the power does not solve the problem, check to be sure that
both powercords of WIRO-Prime are connected to live sockets. The farthest
outlet on the powerstrip does not work, we suspect that the end socket
may also not work.
1.) Range of the focuser
> The focuser has a software imposed limit of about 10,000 positions.
However, the machine has a mechanical limit that is much larger.
> The focuser uses its initial position as the new zero each night.
> Should a clear trend toward better focus require exceeding this
range, shut down the interface and restart it. Your final position
is now zero, and you should have leeway to keep focusing.
2.) The focus isn't changing, even when I've slowly click many times
> If the focus does not appear to change at all when jogging and the
connection is definitely okay, there may be a problem with the focus
mechanism. To move the camera in and out there is a gear that is rotated
by a motor via a green belt. The gear rotates around a threaded shaft
(#6-80) that is threaded into a brass stand-off attached to the camera
mounting plate. The stand-off should be tightly attached to the plate via
a #10-32 threaded shaft and the #6-80 shaft should be tightly fixed to the
stand-off. The bungees supply the force that keeps the gear against a fixed
bearing and as the gear rotates it pushes the camera plate in or out. The
steel shaft is finely threaded to have fine increments in focus and if
something binds up the brass stand-off is more likely to fail. If the
threaded shaft moves with respect to the stand-off, the stand-off needs to
be replaced. There are spares in the lab.
1.) Voodoo is starting to freeze up - it doesn't seem to be responding to
commands and is showing red error messages
> Hit "Read Temp"
> Close the program or kill it, press the small white reset button on
the PCI card and restart the program.
> If frozen and unable to close Voodoo, restart the computer.
1.) My images have a weird wavy pattern in them
> The wavy pattern is called fringing and is the result of an interference
pattern, much like thin-film interference. This is normal for certain
2.) All the stars are elongated in RA or DEC
> First check to the "errors" readout on the TCS (hanging) monitor.
if the errors are fluxuating more than the normal.
> Try slewing the telescope to a nearby bright star, or just off the
image with a fixed RA DEC follow command. Slew back to field
and try again.
> Turn everything off and start up again.