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System checks

Firstly, check the schedule summary out and find out which is the first scan to finish after the start of the check period (check times for each antenna are given in the table on this page). The idea is to stop the schedule while no data are being recorded. For example, if the check time is 19:00 UT, then in the schedule below, it could be halted after 19:05:45 UT but before 19:07:43 UT:

                                         Start     Start     Stop                      Record
 Scan      Line#  Source   Az El Cable  Record      Data      Data      Dur    Gbyte
date = 2013NOV21  DOY = 325
 325-1854   140 1610-771 170  6 CCW    18:53:58  18:54:08  18:58:33    4:25    35.0  *    
 325-1859   159 1255-316 119 19 CCW    18:59:02  18:59:12  19:05:45    6:33    43.8  *    
 325-1907a  178 0131-522 218  7 CCW    19:07:43  19:07:53  19:20:57   13:04    56.7  *    
  • Wait for the scan gap and look for a disk_record=off in the log to confirm that the command to stop recording has been sent, and then type:
  • Wait about 10 sec and verify that the recording has stopped with a

    command. Look for FHG=off in the response. If you see FHG=on then the Mark5 is recording and you should stop it with a


    . Repeat this step if necessary.

  • Now make a note in the log that the schedule is being stopped for system checks. e.g.
    "Halting schedule for system checks
  • If this System Check period is one allocated for a Module Swap, do it next in coordination with the local person on-site:
  • If not running already, Start MONICA and choose the pre-set aust_check profile from the GUI for the antenna. e.g. for hobart
    Navigator -> hb -> aust_check

    This will plot antenna coordinates, tracking errors and motor currents against time.

Note: need to start MONICA from the command line

ssh ops-serv2

Now the checks can begin. Note that the procedure is different for the 12m antennas and Hobart 26m:

12m antenna Checkout Procedure

  1. Send the antenna to (Az, El) = (1, 87) deg
  2. Wait for it to get there (look for flagr/antenna,acquired or watch the system monitor display). While you're waiting, Check the generator status:
    1. At Hobart and Katherine you can check the status of the backup generator via the System Monitor interface. The default mode is “In Auto, off” which means it's ready to turn on if there's a power failure but it's currently switched off. If it's in any other state, query it with the On Call person.
  3. Check that the RF and IF signal paths are correct and the attenuators are at their nominal levels. Refer to the notes on configuring the RF and IF signal paths
  4. Check the DBBC is properly configured:

    You will see what the current Conditioning module settings are. Output format is:

    <time>/<Module label>/<IF input number>,<Auto or Manual gain control>,<Nyquist filter number>,<Target power level>,<attenuation>,<actual power level>

    Check there’s agreement with what appears in the ifd8f definition in the procedure file. The actual power level should agree pretty well with the target level. The attenuation number can be anywhere between 0 (none) and 63 (maximum). If you see it at 0 or 63, it means the Conditioning module is having trouble getting the power to the right level. You may want to adjust the attenuators (see configuring the RF and IF signal paths) to get them back in range.

  5. Then type:

    You will see what the DBBC has set the BBC freqs to (compare with the .prc file). Output looks like this:

    <time>/<bbc name>/<Frequency (MHz)>/<Conditioning module in use>,<Bandwidth (MHz)>,...

    the Frequency, Conditioning module label and bandwidth should agree with the listing in dbbc8f8.

  6. Check the maser. See theHydrogen Maser check notes
  7. check that the clock offsets are in range

    and check the difference reported in the log monitor

  8. Make sure Skype is running to allow a chat session with all participating sites plus the on-call person
  9. Use the “Audio test” button on the log monitor to check the alarms are audible.
  10. Measure the Tsys while at a high elevation
  11. There are a series of Az/El slews to move the antenna over it's full range. Type each of these commands into eRemoteCtrl in the order they appear. Wait for eRemoteCtrl to report flagr/antenna,acquired before continuing to the next:

    These commands send the antenna to the following set of (Az, El) coordinates in turn : (1, 87), (1, 6), (1, 45), (-269, 45), (269, 45), (1,87). The idea here is to exercise the antenna and log the results se we can look for any changes over the days that may indicate mechanical problems.

  12. Lastly, export the data collected by MONICA from the MONICA GUI as follows:
    1. Select “Export → ASCII Data”
    2. When asked for a file name, give the current obs code and station name (e.g. a1402hb), the word “check”, and end with “.txt”. For example:
    3. Select “Export → PNG image”
    4. As above but a “.png” extension. e.g.
/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/operations/aust14_system_check.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/04 14:06 by liza