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Vdesk

vdesk for Dummies

This information is for vdesk v2.1, installed on newsmerd at the Mt Pleasant observatory.

Running vdesk

On newsmerd, vdesk can be started by either typing vdesk in a terminal, or by clicking on the vdesk icon on the desktop.

Once vdesk has started, you will be prompted for which telescope (or more accurately, drive PC) you wish to connect to. The default is sys26m, the Mt Pleasant 26m telescope’s drive PC. If you are happy with this, simply press enter, otherwise enter the name of the drive PC you want to connect to before pressing enter.

vdesk basics

Once vdesk has connected to the drive PC you specified, your terminal should look something like this:

You are now prompted to enter a command to either configure the telescope or control it. A summary of these commands follows:

Configuration commands

Each configuration command requires an argument, and should be specified as:
command argument

longitude
Set the desired longitude of the telescope. This command expects an argument such as 12:12:12, ie. a more human-readable format
dlongitude
Set the desired longitude of the telescope, specified in decimal degrees
latitude
Set the desired latitude of the telescope, specified in human-readable format
dlatitude
Set the desired latitude of the telescope, specified in decimal degrees
coord_mode
Set the coordinate mode to use when interpreting the longitude and latitude. Available modes are b1950 (B1950 coordinates, longitude=RA, latitude=Dec), j2000 (J2000 coordinates, longitude=RA, latitude=Dec), date (JNOW coordinates, longitude=RA, latitude=Dec), hadec (longitude=hour angle, latitude=Dec), xy (XY native coordinates, longitude=x, latitude=y), galactic (Galactic coordinates, longitude=Galactic l, latitude=Galactic b), azel (Azimuth-Elevation coordinates, longitude=azimuth angle, latitude=elevation angle). Note that after changing coordinate mode, you should enter your longitude and latitude values again.
leftlength
Specify the length to scan the telescope along the longitude direction, in decimal degrees
rightlength
Specify the length to scan the telescope along the latitude direction, in decimal degrees
leftrate
Specify the rate at which to scan the telescope along the longitude direction, in degrees per minute
rightrate
Specify the rate at which to scan the telescope along the latitude direction, in degrees per minute
leftmarker
rightmarker
ntvleftoffset
ntvrightoffset
angle
calibrator
Configure the telescope to point at one of the calibrators known to vdesk: 3C227, virgo, 3c286, 3c348, b1934–638, taurus, 3c161, hydra, 3c352

Control commands

Each control command is stand-alone, ie. does not require any arguments

abort
stops the telescope’s current action
slew
move the telescope to the configured coordinates
ldrive
move the telescope to the configured longitude
rdrive
move the telescope to the configured latitude
leftscan
begin the configured longitudinal scan
rightsca
begin the configured latitudinal scan
anglesca
begin the configured arbitrary-angle scan
nleftsca
nrightsc
stop
stop the telescope
park
move the telescope to the pre-configured park position
service
move the telescope to the pre-configured service position
drvon
turn the telescope’s drives on
drvoff
turn the telescope’s drives off
ldrvon
turn the telescope’s native left drive on
rdrvon
turn the telescope’s native right drive on
onsource
move the telescope to the configured coordinates
track
move the telescope to the configured coordinates
home
quit
exit vdesk
exit
exit vdesk

vdesk 2.1 allows you to enter only the minimum matching string for each command, and it also features TAB command completion.

For example, if you wish to give the command abort, then you only need to enter ab, as no other command begins with these two letters. Also, if you type ab, then pressed the TAB key, vdesk would complete the command abort.

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Page last modified on September 20, 2007, at 07:29 AM