Currently a 50MHz 486DX PCBrand personal computer, located on the fourth floor in the warm room in lab number 443C, is used to control the charge coupled devices (CCDs). The PC has 8 megabytes of RAM and a 325 megabyte hard drive which is useful for temporarily storing images taken with the CCD cameras. The PC also has 4 communications ports, 2 printer ports and an ethernet connection. The Colorado tape drive next to the PC is useful for backing the hard drives and storing data, but these tapes are not compatible with the network tape drives. The PC runs on DOS 6.0 and uses version 3.1 of WINDOWS. Presently, data acquisition software should not be run through WINDOWS.
The PC is connected to a monitor and keyboard in the warm room and another pair in the dome itself. The active keyboard and monitor pair is selectable via the switch box in the warm room. The cables for the Lynxx, ST-6, ST-4, monitor, keyboard and the FW-1 filter wheel are run from the warm room, along the wall, and through the hole that is directly under the steps in the dome. The software for ST-4 and ST-6 is set so that the communication line for either camera is through communication port 1. Because they are operated through the same communication port the two cameras cannot currently be operated simultaneously. The Lynxx software runs from a card in one of the expansion slots, and the cabling is connected directly to a port on the card. Another cable running into the warm room is used to connect the PC via Kermit to the astronomy server. This connection can be used to upload data to any machine in the cluster at 19.2 kilobits per second (kps). However this line has been made obsolete by an ethernet connection that allows for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to be used with data transfer proceeding at a much higher rate.
An intercom system simplifies communication between the dome and the warm room. Usually one of the intercoms in the dome is locked on channel b, so the observer in the warm room can hear what is happening in the dome. The second intercom in the dome is used for two way communication between the dome and the warm room.