Harvard University

Astronomy Lab and Clay Telescope


Telescope Opening and Closing Procedure

Telescope Opening Procedure

1) Turn on Power strip next toTelescope PC (blue box)
2) Turn on PC (front switch on big blue box, not in the back)
3) Log in
4) Turn on Motor Driver Chassis switch on front of the Telescope PC) ** wait for motor to completely start up before moving on **
5) Open TCS (double click on yellow TCS desktop icon)
6) Go to Dome – telescope should be operational

In Dome

1) Turn on power strip on wooden box next to desk
2) Open dome slit
         - Plug in dome control to hanging cord, slide the side metal latch and push the control the opposite way (F to open, R to close)
         - Unplug power cord
3) Using the hand paddle, slew the Telescope to the South and West a little to remove all covers, being careful not to hit any of the optics!
4) Open The Sky (double click on X icon on desktop)
         - Under side Telescope tab > start up > connect telescope.
5) Turn on telescope tracking in TCS
         - In TCS > telescope tab > Misc > rates > set track rates > set R.A. rate to 15.
         - Click Apply
6) Turn on dome tracking in TCS
         - In TCS > telescope tab > misc tab> switches tab > click on the 2 red dome buttons. This will change the red "off" to green "on" and the red "home" to green "track".
         - Click Apply
7) Using The Sky slew to a bright star to check pointing
         - Look through the eyepiece for confirmation that your star is there
         - If necessary, use the hand paddle, center the star
         - If you needed to re-center the star, synce the telescope by using The Sky > telescope tab > start up > sychronize > click sync

Telescope Closing Procedure

1) Put the covers back on Telescope
2) Close dome slit
3) Return telescope to the zenith
         - Set track RA track rate to zero in TCS
         (Telescope > Rates, change R.A. rate from 15 to
         0, click “Apply”)
         - Telescope > Movement > Offset/Zenith, click “Apply”, thne under Zenith Position, click “Start Slew”
4) Send dome home (Telescope > Misc > Switches, click green "tracking" button and it will change to red "home" and click green "on" button and it will change to red "off", click “Apply”
5) In the Sky program, side telescope tab > shut down pulldown > disconnect telescope
6) Close all programs EXCEPT FOR TCS
7) Check to make sure camera is off, reticle is off !
8) Turn off power strip next to the desk, turn off lights, close dome door and roof doors


1) Close TCS, wait for it to completely shut down before moving to step 2!
2) Turn Motor Driver Chassis off (switch on front of Telescope PC)
3) Shut down PC
4) Turn off power strip behind the PC
5) Return keys and email Allyson with update!