Trouble Shooting and Cautions for WIRO Prime

Updated: 7/10/2009 
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 slew > 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? Taking Flats 1.) Really dark exposures > Check to see if the mirror covers are open > Check to see if the telescope is pointing at the dome Winter Problems 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. Changing Filters 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. Focusing 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. Voodoo 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. Image Quality 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 wavelengths. 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.