Using the Remote Observing Room


There are 5 4-headed computers in the remote observing room. These are called rm525-1, rm525-2, rm525-3, rm525-4 and rm525-5, where rm525-1 is the computer on the left of the table opposite the entrance, and the numbering system increases clockwise around the room. The full IP address uses the computer name and the domain

The polycom camera and monitor is mounted in the opposite corner from the entrance. Usually rm525-2, the computer just to the left of this monitor, is the primary one used for remote observing, but any of them may be used.

There is a black-and-white Dell Xerox Phaser 6010N printer,, on the network.


Connecting to the mountain:

Login to rm525-2 (or any other machine in the remote observing room) as observer. Your support scientist will tell you the password.

The mountain workstations used for observing are called obs2, obs3, and obs4, and their IP ends with All 5 computers in the remote observing room are connected to the mountain network. Two ways to connect from the remote observing room to the mountain are:

1/ via a VNC (virtual network computing) session, which has the advantage that it allows you to work as if you were sitting in front of the mountain computer, but can have a disadvantage in some unusual keyboard mappings, and

2/ via a secure shell (ssh -Y).


1) Opening A VNC Session to the Mountain:

From the applications menu, at the left of the panel, select Internet and then openNXClient. This will open a new window with boxes for username, password and session. There should be several sessions already configured for LBTO, but you'll need to configure one for your own partner account.

Unless the configuration has been changed from our default settings, the VNC session will come up using a single monitor.

You can click on the upper right and drag it to stretch the session across all 3 of the lower monitors. 

The gnome-panel that is local to the rm525-2 machine can be moved to the upper monitor by pressing the "Alt" key while clicking on it with the left mouse button and dragging it up.


2) ssh to the Mountain:

If you prefer, you can ssh to the mountain. The disadvantage is that you'll need to ssh in every new terminal window that you open on the local computer. Running the automatic display tools, such as RB_Science for the LBCs or modsDisp for MODS can be slow and difficult through ssh; it is better to run these in a VNC session on the mountain computers.

Use the -Y option, i.e. ssh -Y partner@obsN to allow remote display.


Using the Polycom:

The polycom monitor and camera are both mounted in the corner opposite the entrance to the room. The silver remote control that is needed to make calls should be on the table directly below the monitor, together  with the microphone. There is a separate Samsung remote to control the monitor.

Use the green 'open' button (labeled "show address book" in the picture) to access the address book, and then the paddle to scroll down to LBT MT CONTROL RM. Select this using the middle button of the paddle. The call should now be initiated and and you should be able to see and communicate with the telescope operator, so long as the green light on your microphone is on.

To hang up, use the red 'close' button (labled "hang up") in the picture. You may leave the monitor on.