User's Guide to the Lick 36" Refracting Telescope

Slit (shutter)
Lens Cover
Position Indicators
Tangent Arm
Access Ports
Control Desk
Observing Hits
Trouble Shooting

Mt. Hamilton Homepage

Start-up Checklist

This checklist is designed for a typical public night (tour, less than 40 people) using the eyepiece in fair weather. Setup may be done in somewhat different order for Summer Visitor Programs or other events.

  • Turn on main power on desk console
  • Check railings and other safety equipment
  • Set the light to an appropriate level (make sure exit lights are on and all red lights)
  • Unlock doors and let guests in
  • Guide guests to their seats
  • Give safety talk (history, etc)
  • Call 3m and get weather and current LST or use our LST Webclock (note that the webclock is only as accurate as the time on your computer).
  • Set Sidereal Clock
  • Open dome (and windows if desired)
  • Raise floor
  • Turn on Position Dials light
  • If telescope is not at 0 HA:
    1. Unclamp RA
    2. Move telescope to 0 HA
    3. Lock RA
  • Check/set RA dials to LST
  • Open Lens Cover
  • Open Finder Cover
  • Turn on Finder Light and adjust brightness with dimmer switch
  • Select first object (something bright so that you can verify pointing easily and get the guests looking at something quickly)
  • Turn on RA tracking controller and tracking
  • Turn off white dome lights
  • Announce move (at least floor movements)
  • Verify safe to move
  • Move telescope to first target and lock clamps
  • Check pointing and adjust RA dial if necessary
  • Focus telescope
  • Explain observing technique and object
  • Bring first guests onto floor (~10 at a time)
  • Guide guests down/up steps/ladders
  • Ensure all guests have seen the object
  • Close all gates, move ladders, etc.
  • Select next object, announce move, and move, etc.

Shutdown Checklist

  • Turn on white lights.
  • Turn off tracking and clock drive controller
  • Close all railings
  • Park telescope at HA=0 hrs Dec=-18 deg
  • Clamp RA and Dec.
  • Close 36" lens cover
  • Close finder telescope cover
  • Turn down finder telescope light dimmer
  • Turn off finder telescope light
  • Rotate dome to East park position
  • Close dome
  • Close windows (if open)
  • Lock the upper door
  • Stow ladders and any other equipment used
  • Lower floor
  • Enter data into logbook: Date/Group/Objects/Seeing/Problems/Initials
  • Call 3m and give them report
  • Turn off red wall lights, red balcony lights, south floor lights, and desk lights
  • Open floor railing by door and put chair by it (so ready for daytime tours by giftshop staff)
  • Shut off main power on desk console
  • Exit lower door, turning off exit and under floor lights as you leave
  • Check that all doors are locked (including all main building exterior doors) and turn off any light in the main building (leaving just the one in front of the clock on)