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This wiki is not maintained! Do not use this when setting up AuScope experiments!

Hobart 12m now uses pcfshb and mk5ya rather than pcfsya and mk5ya respectively.


The .skd file was drudged on pcfsya. The rack and recorder hardware was first selected (option 11) and set to “Mark5 rack” “Mark5B recorder” “No second recorder” and “Start with 1” (options 16 14 1 1). Then the procedures and snap file were made, and a summary printed (options 12, 3 and 5 in sequence). Printing from drudg does not seem to work at present so the summary was printed using the command “enscript -r -2 /tmp/DR.tmp” from the terminal.

After drudging the schedule, the procedure file was copied to /usr2/proc/. It then had to be edited to remove procedures using non-existent equipment and to support the Mark5B. The ifdsx and vcsx8 procedures were removed in entirety (as the IF power levels and VC settings are set through the DBBC in our system. It may be worth keeping a copy of the vcsx8 settings to confirm the DBBC frequencies required) and the calls to these functions were removed from the setupsx procedure. The pcal functions were also removed from the proc file as we do not have a computer controlled phasecal. The vsi commands could be removed but do not seem to be causing any serious problems or excessive errors in the logs. The preob and midob procedures were edited to include some mk5 and site specific functions. One problem encountered was difficult in setting up thee new procedures by editing the proc file directly. The best way of inserting/editing procedures in a proc file is to load it into the fs and then run pfmed from the terminal. To create or edit a procedure, type “edit” and then the name of the procedure. The final procure file is included below. Don't try to paste this text into a proc file as the Wiki formatting causes strange problems for the interpreter.

define proc_library 10252181423x
“ r4447 hobart12 hb
” drudg version 2008oct08 compiled under fs 9.10.04
“< mark5 rack >< mark5b recorder 1>
define exper_initi 10252181420x
define setupsx 10252181440x
define preob 10252182950
define midob 10252183008
sy = run setcl adapt &
define systemp12 10252182950x


After editing the proc file, it is necessary to set up the DBBC and Mark5B. The C:\DBBC_CONF\dbbc_config_file.txt has been edited to set the frequencies correctly for R1/R4 type experiments. For other experiments, the DBBC frequencies can be calculated either from the sky frequencies or from the original values of the VCs in the proc file. The sky frequencies are given in the skd file. To convert the VC frequency settings to DBBC frequencies you need to add 480 MHZ for the first 4, add 980.1 for dbbc05-dbbc08, add 120 for dbbc09-dbbc14 and set dbbc15 and dbbc16 to something innocuous (say, 320 MHz) as they're not being recorded. Running C:\DBBC_CONF\DBBC Control.190710.exe and answering yes to configure the system should load the frequencies correctly. One the configuration is complete, you need to set up the IF system. The commands to do this are


It appears that CoMo 3 is reporting low total power levels. It may be that there is a poor connection on one of the SMAs…The target values for the total power readings is 56000. this can be checked by the command dbbcif[abcd]. If the levels are too high or low, then adjust the attenuation on the IF box.


As oper@mk5hb, first check if the dimino program is running (ps -ef | grep dim). If not, start it with “dimino -m0&”. While your at the prompt, check that the ntp time is correct by running “ntpq”, and then issuing the “peers” command. The offset and delay to tac32ho should be small (less than ~5 milliseconds). If it is not, then the best thing to do is to run “fmset” on pcfsya, set the time (with ”.“) and then sync the formatter (“s”, followed by “y”). Exit from fmset as soon as you have finished.

It's worthwhile making a test recording using the mark5b. To do this you can either use tstdimino on mk5hb or the fs. The instructions below are for the fs but to use them in tstdimino, omit the leading “mk5=”.

mk5=mode=ext:0x55555555:2 (For VSI recording, 1-bit sampling, 8 MHz BW) mk5=dot? (Check that the times reported are correct, that FHG_off and syncerr_eq_0) and that the final number is less than ~5 ms)
mk5=dot? (As before, but it should say FHG_on)
mk5=scan_check? (Check the last numbers are the correct date at the start of the scan, duration, the data rate (should be 256 for this mode) and 0 at the end for no problems)

If all seems ok, delete the recording from the disk using


Running the Schedule

Start the schedule with “schedule=r4447hb,#1” as usual. During the experiment, the following checks can be made.

onsource - Onsource reporting does not work reliably at the moment. Instead check the HMI controller for the current Az, El and the reported errors. The Az & El of the source at the start of the scan are listed in the printed snap file summary.


  • Run ”/usr/bin/xterm -name monit2 -e /usr2/fs/bin/monit2“ on pcfsya to check pcfs time.
  • Check SNTP Server OK in the HMI
  • Run clkoff to check formatter-GPS time offset

Rx/IF system - Run systemp12 to check system temperature. The reported values should be ~25 CAL units for S-band (only one channel has the appropriate filter and will give consistent values) and 12-13 CALs for X-band. When scaled to Kelvin, expect values of ~85-90 K.


  • disk_pos should report three values - the current number of btyes recorded, bytes at start of previous scan and bytes at start of current scan. If not currently recording, the first and third values should agree.
  • decoder time - Check time offset in the formatter with “mk5=dot?” and check that it reports a small offset as the final value, than syncerr_eq_0 and that FHG_on or FHG_off depending on whether it is currently recording or not.
  • Check mode with “mk5=mode?”. The result should be ”/mk5/!mode? 0 : ext : 0x55555555 : 2 : 2 ;“

Weather Conditions - wth as usual. Also log conditions as per 26m

End of experiment - The “source=stow” command does not currently work so please stow the dish using the HMI interface and the “Stow” button.

To run the status monitor, enter this command at the pcfsya prompt

/usr/bin/xterm -name monit2 -e /usr2/fs/bin/monit2

Common problems

  • clkoff reading is drifting or far from the maser-GPS offset - This usually is caused by the DBBC. First, go around the back of rack 14 and move the cable from the DOTMON output of the Mark5B to the “1 PPS Mon” output of the DBBC (left hand side, sixth SMA from the top). If the same offset is seen on the counter, then the problem in in the DBBC. A temporary fix can be achieved with pps_sync in DBBC Control but this did not reliably fix the problem on 13/10/10. Instead, try reconfiguring the DBBC with reconf - this will take ~two minutes in total and you will need to re-issue the dbbcifa=… commands, and resynch the mark5B with fmset.
/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/operations/r4447_set_up_and_monitoring_instructions.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/26 06:37 (external edit)