User's Guide to the Hamilton Spectrograph

Table of Contents

Quick Reference
CCD Characteristics
Grating Tilt & Dewar Height
Filter Wheel & Shutter
Calibration Sources
Photon Integrator
Image Rotator
Iodine Cell & Slit Room Controller
Guide Camera & Filter Wheel
Data Taking System
Hamilton Motor Controller
Hamilton Focus
More Info:
Spectral Format
Navigating the Spectrum
Table of Orders
Setup Procedures
Observing Hints

Data Archive
Mt. Hamilton Homepage


Setup Checklist | Shutdown Checklist

Setup Checklist

  1. In the slit room:
    1. Remove clear plastic cover from aperture plate.
    2. If using the Iodine Cell, turn on its heater.
    3. If using the Image Rotator:
      1. Remove both covers.
      2. Install in light path. Do not install the auxilliary mirrors yet if using the CAT.
    4. If using the Photon Integrator, check the settings. E.g. for typical use, one notch down from bright, gain 0.1, toggles to manual and shutter open. Do not turn on the integrator or PMT at this time.
  2. In the Camera Room (always use shoe brush before entering):
    1. Check the CCD temperature.
    2. Fill Dewar.
    3. Open the spectrograph covers.
  3. In the Control Room start the following software:
    1. Hamilton Motor Controller.
    2. Data-Taker.
    3. Eventsounds.
    4. Coords.
    5. If using the photon integrator, Showmidpoint.
    6. If using the CAT or Iodine Cell, start the Slit Room Controller.
    7. Guider or Guider Copy (for CAT or Shane Telescope, respectively).
  4. Set up wavelength coverage using Th-Ar or day sky spectrum. (NB: getting a day sky spectrum requires some addition setup not mentioned here).
  5. Focus spectrograph.
  6. Focus guide camera.
  7. Take calibration images.
    1. Biases.
    2. Arcs.
    3. Flat Fields.
    4. Darks.
  8. If using Image Rotator with CAT, insert two auxilliary mirrors.
  9. If using Photon Integrator, turn on photo integrator and PMT. Pull chopper plunger.
  10. Turn on ventilation fan in slit room.
  11. Prepare for night sky:
    • CAT: Insert pickoff mirror. Open CAT telescope shed and optics.
    • Shane: Open polar axis port hole.
  12. Find bright star. Adjust pointing.
  13. Focus telescope.

Shutdown Checklist

Under construction.

Support Astronomers (
Last modified: Fri Feb 25 10:43:19 PST 2011