Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network
- Took care to spread tripod legs evenly to avoid breaking plastic spreader bracket?
- Tripod spread, braced, and leveled?
- Telescope mounted on tripod and bolted down?
- Diagonal, eyepiece, hand control attached?
- Telrad mounted?
- Power cable attached to fork arm handle and plugged in?
- Telescope powered on?
- Lens cap off?
- Dew shield attached if needed?
- Telrad aligned with telescope?
Camera System Setup:
- Focal reducer attached to camera?
- Power and data cable connected to camera and secured to fork-arm handle?
- Data cable connect to VIDEO IN on IOTA-VTI?
- Cigarette lighter cable connecting battery supply to both IOTA-VTI and camera cable?
- Gray USB video cable connecting VIDEO OUT on IOTA-VTI to laptop?
- Laptop on?
- VirtualDub software opened and configured?
- FILE -> CAPTURE AVI
- Press letter “P” to shift from green screen to preview mode
- Disable AUDIO
- Set FILE NAME to YYYYYYYMMDD_01
Telescope Alignment and Focusing:
- Telescope on?
- Using GPS signal?
- Telescope aligned using UP and RIGHT arrows for final approach to objects?
- Alignment confirmed by pressing ENTER to get to CPC Ready prompt?
- Telescope focused for camera using Bahtinov Mask?
Recording Position Data:
- IOTA-VTI set to Full Screen?
- Recorded 5 seconds of lat/long position information?
- Switch IOTA-VTI to POSITION setting
- F5 to start recording
- ESC to stop recording
- Swich IOTA-VTI back to TIME setting
- Recorded filename and description in Observation Log
Finding Target Field:
- Used GOTO RA/DEC to move to target field or to first star train object?
- Determine systematic offset in direction and distance using star train objects
- Alternatively, used PRECISE GOTO
- Enter coordinates and follow instructions to center reference star before telescope slews to correct position
- Star field confirmed by identifying recognizable star patterns?
- Target star not near hot pixels?
- Camera sense-up configured to recommended setting 5 minutes before event?
- Target star appears focused and not near hot pixels?
- Used F5 to start recordings and ESC to stop recording?
- Confirmed data being recorded using information at top, bottom, and right side of VirtualDub window?
- Recorded filename, description, and sense-up Observation Log?
- Kept breathing throughout all previous steps?
- Re-emphasized to self and others that all data is valuable regardless of whether occultation is observed?
- Listed all participants on the Observing Logsheet?
Recording Flats and Darks:
- Turned off telescope and recorded 2 minutes of drifting stars?
- Covered telescope and recorded 2 minutes of dark field?
- Recorded filenames, descriptions, and sense-ups in Observation Log?
- Turned off power to telescope, IOTA-VTI, and camera?
- Exited VirtualDub and shut down the laptop?
- Stored camera, IOTA-VTI, telescope accessories, and cables in accessories box?
- Capped both ends of telescope while in horizontal position?
- Stored telescope, Bahtinov Mask, and dew shield in telescope crate?
- Altitude clamp loosened for travel?
- Closed all three tripod legs at the same time without breaking plastic bracket?
- Latched webbing on tripod legs?
- Thanked all of team members for contributing!