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Following on with another observation

Sometimes, another IVS observation will follow from the one just finished. In this case, some of the setup procedure will need repeating. Here's a run-down of what needs doing and what can be skipped:

Prepare the schedule file

This should already be done and can be skipped. However, you can check for schedule and procedure files on the pcfs machines. For example, for Hobart there should be the following files on pcfshb for r4556:

If they aren't there, follow the following steps to prepare them:
* Preparing the schedule and procedure files
* On occasions, the Hobart data are written to disk between scans for e-transfer to Tsukuba for ultra-rapid EOP observations. Some additional changes to the schedule files are required in this case:
* Additional schedule preparation for Hb ultra-rapid EOP experiments

Timing PC Software

This software should still be running from the previous experiment. Skip.

For reference, here's a description of software on the timing PC

Field System Software

As you shouldn't have terminated the Field System, this should still be running. Skip. Again, for reference:

System Monitor

Should still be running. Skip.

If you do need to re-start: Start the System Monitor

e-Remote Ctrl

This should still be running too, but there are a few things to do here.

If for some reason you need to re-start eRemoteControl, here's how:
* Start e-Remote Ctrl

eRemoteControl will still be writing a local log file and pcfs_log_monitor will still be monitoring it. Although that log file has a name that doesn't match the new experiment, it's not essential to start a new local log (as it's only used locally and the master log on the pcfs is used at the correlator).

If you do want to start a new local log and monitor it, click on the red dot icon in econtrol to make the green bar go away:
Then set up the log monitor to provide warnings and alarms

To keep all log messages related to the new experiment in the same file, the next thing to do is

  • Now start the Checklist by loading the procedure file for the experiment, then exper_initi. e.g for R1556 at Hobart:

The checklist should now be visible. The items in the list are described below and can be ticked off as you go, but many can be skipped in a follow-on experiment.

The Before Observation Checklist

The RF and IF signal paths, and DBBC are now configured through the Field System.

RF and IF signal path

Should already be setup and correct. Skip.

For referenece here are notes on configuring the RF and IF signal paths
DBBC Configuration

The DBBC should already be running and the PCFS should be able to communicate with it.

There should be no need to start any software on the DBBC but for reference here are the notes on setting up the DBBC:
* DBBC Setup

At the start of every scan, the pcfs executes the setupsx which sets the DBBC input channels, filters and BBC frequencies (and configues the Mark5). However, it's a good idea to execute it now so that a recorder test can be made:

  • For R1, R4, RD, RDV, T2, ANZ, CRDS, CRF, OHIG:

setupsx calls ifdsx which sets up the DBBC Conditioning module inputs, filters and power levels, then dbbcsx8 (or dbbcsx4 for a 4 MHz DBBC mode) which sets the BBC frequencies. Then if you type:


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 ifdsx. 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 contact the on-call person in this case for help on getting the levels in range.

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 dbbcsx8 (or dbbcsx4).

Check the maser
Mark5 Recorder setup

Next the Mark5 recorder needs to be prepared for the observations.

If the allocated Mk5 module contains data:

Check the remaining space on the module and the compare with the space required for the experiment from the summary file. disk_pos can be used for such purpose. Do NOT delete any data unless it is something done as test recording.

If you need to swap disk modules:

Now check that the times are all OK:


look for syncerr_eq_0, and that the final number is less than ~5 ms. If you see something like syncerr_gt_3 then fmset may need to be run to synchronise the clocks. To do this, open a terminal on pcfs[hb|ke|yg], and type


When the interface appears, type


then confirm with a


Following this, the clocks should all be synchronised and agree with UT. Press the [Esc] key to exit fmset. Then check the times again:

Clock and delay check
Test recording

Test recording notes are given below.

Note though that you should only test the module you'll be recording to (i.e. skip the last section where it describes how to test the second module), and unless you are absolutely sure, don't clear the disk module:

System Temperature (Tsys) check
Antenna checks

Skip these.

Weather checks
Fringe check

Skip this unless you have at least an hour to spare!

Send a Station Ready email
  • Start Skype and begin a chat session with all participating sites plus the on-call person


The usual startup procedure can now be done: Starting and Monitoring

/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/operations/documentation.ivs.newstart_v3_fs9.10.5.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/25 22:09 by Pradyumna Kiran Kummamuru