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Controls and Basic Operation

  • Telescope Control: This program gives the general status of the telescope as well as links the telescope to the computer. It can be used to move the telescope; however, the program “The Sky” is better suited for this function. Telescope Control is generally used for focusing the telescope and returning it to zenith. To focus the telescope using TC, selected the “Telescope” pull down menu at the top of the window and select “misc”. Then select “Focus/Harmonic”. In the box that says “target position”, set the desired focus (3003), and click “apply” to set the focus. To return the telescope to zenith, select “Movement” from the menu and choose “offset/zenith”. On the control panel, move the “track” switches to the down position (making sure that the computer recognizes this in TC). Then, in the box labeled “set zenith position”, click “apply”. Finally, at the bottom of the window, click “start slew”. Never close Telescope Control unless the telescope is at zenith and the dome is home. (If you do, click here).
  • The Sky 6: This program shows a representation of the night sky and is used to point the telescope to the desired object. First establish a link between The Sky and the telescope by selecting the “telescope” pull down menu, clicking “link” followed by “establish”. There is also a shortcut button that looks like a telescope in the user interface. To select an object to slew to, either click on the desired object in the main screen or select the binoculars icon on the top toolbar to bring up a window where you can search for it. Once an on has been selected, slew to the object by clicking on the telescope icon, which produces a “slew” information box after the mouse is held over it, on the bottom of the resulting “object information” window, and confirm the slew. If the telescope is unresponsive, click here. To achieve maximum accuracy, you must sync the telescope to a known object in the sky. To do so, go to “telescope”, then choose “sync”, and then choose the last option on the menu. Depending on how long you observe, you may need to periodically check the telescope to make sure it is still aligned.

Controlling the Telescope with the Hand Paddle:

  • To focus the telescope: Using both hands, hold the center slew button while holding either focus in or out at the top of the paddle.
  • To move the dome: Buttons to move the dome left or right can be found at the bottom of the hand paddle.
  • To slew the telescope: Use the N, W, E, and S directional buttons in the middle of the hand paddle while holding down “slew” for large adjustments and “set” for fine adjustments.