3. Start and configure CCDOPS.
Start CCDOPS by clicking on the rainbow apple (Apple menu) from the desktop's menu. From the menu that appears, choose Applications and then CCD&Imaging and finally, CCDOPS. For the remainder of these steps such menu actions will be written as:
Once the program starts, a box should appear indicating that a connection to the CCD has been made and the "Video" and "Offset" should be calculated. A status window should then appear.
To configure CCDOPS, from the CCDOPS main menu choose
In the dialog box that appears, the most important thing to set is the Observer field. Put your name in this field. Next make sure that the Focal Length and Aperture fields are correct for the telescope that you you will be using (see the following table but keep in mind that if you are using a focal reducer or a barlow lens with any of these telescopes, the focal lengths will be different than those listed here):
Choose "Ok" when you are done entering this information.
Next, from the CCDOPS menu choose
In the dialog box that appears, make sure that the temperature regulation field is set to Active. Then, in the "Setpoint" field, enter an appropriate temperature value to which the CCD should be cooled. In general, you would like the camera to be as cold as possible. The camera, however, can only cool itself to 40° C below the ambient air temperature. So, for example, if the outside air temperature is 10° C then a reasonable value for the setpoint might be -30° C. The other options in this dialog box should be fine as they are set. However, typical values are as follows:
|Reuse dark frames:||Yes|
Choose "Ok" when you are finished.
You should now notice that the "Temperature" reading in the status window will begin to decrease until it reaches the setpoint you specified. The percent value in the parentheses is the percentage of power being applied to cool the CCD chip. When the Temperature reading reaches the setpoint, if the percentage value is at or near 100% you have chosen a setpoint that is too "cold". Change the setpoint to a "warmer" temperature by following the above procedure. Ideally, the percentage value should be around 70% when the chip has reached the setpoint.