Technical Information on IRIS2


This page contains technical information and appendices; the sorts of stuff observers and AAO staff will need to refer to only occasionally. Beware, some of it is out of date!

To restart the entire system

In the event of a mjor system crash, or power fail, it may be necessary to reset the following systems in the order specified:

  • The IRIS2 VME system (font color="#ff6666">aatvme15, located behind the partition in the control room in the rack just below the XMEM) using the red button at the bottom of the unit. This just resets aatvme15 and the fibre optic link (FOL) to the controller (not the Solaris system aatvme14). When it has come up fully, the two lowest red lights should be on (indicating there is a carrier to and from the controller), and the uppermost of the green lights in the adjacent panel should flicker (indicating the Sparc and the VME are talking to each other).
  • The controller (on the side of the dewar) using the switch labeled RST (one of a group of three switches on the end module S/N 12 in the unit). Don't hit the one marked POWER in the adjacent module!!!!
  • The dewar VME system (aatvme7) in the Cass rack using the red button marked RESET.
  • Power cycle the dewar electronics - the top unit in the rack above aatvme7. The switch is on the back, so be careful reaching for it.

N.B. - you don't need to reset the dewar system if you are going to use the iris2dsim command, and you don't need to do any of these resets if you are using iris2sim.


To reboot aatvme14

From the "aatobs" account in an xterm logged in to aatvme14, type


IP numbers


Connecting to aatvme6 (the old way)

telnet to aatvme6 from a window on any machine. It will take about 5 minutes from reset before it is ready. When you connect it will start outputting messages on the terminal. Type through these to log in:

              username:   vw16x

              password:   16xtarget

              Then type the following commands:

              td t1

              (this will stop those annoying messages coming out)

              cd "/instsoft/drama/local/dct/r0_3/vw68k"


When the PTCS window hangs

If the PTCS window freezes (as can happen if an Xterminal runs out of memory), then it is best not to kill it, as this will require bringing up the whole PTCS and IRIS2 system from scratch. The PTCS process should still be running, so all that is necessary to re-connect to it is to start up a new PTCS window from the original Xterm by typing tel2 (if this one also freezes, another can be started as tel3, etc.). However, ultimately you may still need to reboot the Xterminal and start all over again anyway.


To put a wheel into simulation mode

Login to aatssy as a member of the "drama" group. Then

cd /instsoft/drama/local/spectro/r0_8
rm GRISM.sim

to allow grism movement, or

touch GRISM.sim

to disable grism movement (including homing on startup), etc. Then telnet to aatvme15, and login as "iris2tes" (or "aatobs"). Do a


to bring up the wheel engineering GUI. To move the slit wheel opposite to the usual direction of travel, use negative steps, e.g. to go to posn. 6 from the home posn., enter

SLIT STEP -22400

or multiples thereof to get to other positions - note that BLANK3 is halfway between the 1" slit in posn. 2, and the 5" slit in posn. 3.

The same commands can be sent from the IRIS2 Observing GUI by going to the System Loader window, selecting the "TCL command" option from the "Commands" menu, and then entering

obey SPECTRO@aatvme7 SLIT [args STEP -22400]

and click "Apply". Note that to get to the Matrix Mask in posn. 5, you will generally have to go there via posn. 7 (-22400) then posn. 6 (-44800). 

Dewar Control Software (SPECTRO)

Tony Farrell's complete documentation on the IRIS2 dewar control software (the SPECTRO task) is available in PDF format.