Table of Contents

Remote Observing

  1. Preliminaries.
  2. Open the shutter no earlier than one hour after sunset. Prior to opening the shutter:
    • Close the shutter no later than before sunrise,
    • Stow the telescope,
    • Turn off the receiver,
    • Exit UIP; and
    • Exit from your account. Please leave the xterm active.

For sunset and sunrise times, refer to the USNO or NOAA calculators or to the EAO Weather page.

In case of problems during, CSO staff are available but can provide remote assistance only. In case of an insuperable malfunction, observations will cease for the night.

Supported instruments


Computer configuration

Remote observing requires ssh and a VNC viewer. Although other configurations may work, we've tested these options:

Although big screen or additional monitor is nice, it is possible to observe using a laptop.

Connect to the VNC desktop(s)

Unix (and similar)


VNC desktops

These are the standard desktops. The port assignments are subject to change. The staff will create the appropriate desktops for the different instruments.

Port Function Contents
5901 spectro spectrometer displays
5902 uip UIP, Telescope Status, Secondary mirror, Orrery
5903 dsos DSOS monitor, xterms
5906 bolocam UIP, Telescope Status, Orrery, xterms
5907 bolocam.ql xterms
5907 music.daq xterms
5908 music UIP, Telescope Status, Orrery, xterms
5909 music.ql xterms
5911 sharc xterms, Sharc IRC
5912 sharc.ql xterm
5913 sharc.fridge fridge monitor, clock, xterm
5915 zspec xterms
5916 zspec.ql xterm

VNC problems

On occasion, the VNC server may become unresponsive or otherwise behave incorrectly. For example, the keyboard mapping may get confused so everything appears in CAPITALS. If this occurs:

  1. Press the shift lock key. This may permit typing commands normally.
  2. Toggling the shift lock key and changing window focus several times may restore proper function.
  3. Stop the VNC client and disconnect. Then connect again. Observations will not be interrupted by this step.
  4. If these steps fail to resolve the problem, recreate the VNC desktop. This will interrupt observations. Please consult the staff if this is necessary.
    • Make a separate ssh login
      mycomp> ssh
    • Stop the existing VNC server
      csovncserver -kill :N
    • Create a new VNC server
      csovncserver -type function
    • The supported VNC server functions can be listed with
      csovncserver -help
      Some functions may not function properly if run from the wrong account.

Auxiliary software

If you wish, start orrery, class, or other software from a regular ssh login. These programs will display regular X windows on your local computer. These X windows are not persistent and will close if you disconnect.

mycomp> ssh -X

kilauea> orrery &
kilauea> cd data_directory
kilauea> class

After observing

  1. Close the shutter:
    uip> shutter /close
  2. Stow the telescope:
    uip> stow
  3. Turn off the receiver:
    uip> lo /off
  4. Exit UIP.
  5. Exit from your account but please leave the xterm active.