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Remote Observing Instructions:

Mac with macOS 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina), or 11+ (Big Sur, Monterey)

A) Updated Lowell VPN instructions (as of September 2021):

Lowell has shifted to a new firewall appliance (2021-Sep), and all users should use the new VPN server.  Instructions for setting up your computer to use the new VPN are at Watchguard SSLVPN Installation.

We no longer support the earlier VPN solutions.  Please review the supported systems information on the VPN installation page to be sure that your system is compatible with the new VPN solution.  If it is not, please get in touch with LDT staff as soon as you can.  The Lowell VPN solution splits the traffic, only routing Lowell specific traffic through the Lowell networks.

Account Name: [Contact your home department or LDT staff for your departmental VPN account name / password / shared secret] This should be the same as before.

B) Setting up a VNC connection to dct-obs1 or dct-obs2

Once you have a VPN connection into the Lowell network, you are ready to connect to the VNC server on dct-obs1  or dct-obs2 . 

Note: Contact your TO first to know which machine is free to use at the moment.  All instrument control software and data access is identical on both machines.

The default option is to use the Apple ScreenSharing client, which is detailed here.  If you want, you can use an alternate VNC client, like RealVNC or tightVNC, see LDT Remote Observing (Linux Specific Steps).

  1. From the Finder menu bar, select the Go menu, and at the bottom click on "Connect to Server ... -K".
  2. In the top text box that says Server Address enter vnc:// or vnc://
  3. Click Connect.
  4. You will get a dialogue box that has two fields, Name and Password. The Name field will likely be pre-filled with your local computer login name.  Delete that and enter:
    1. Name: observer
    2. Password: <observer account password> (ask your TO if you don't know this)
    3. Then click "Connect"
  5. At this point, the system will bring up the ScreenSharing window (the MacOSX application that contains the VNC client).  By default, it shows a window that has the entire remote host screen. There is a menu on the left that allows you to select the whole display, or either Screen 1 or 2.  Most observers limit themselves to using Screen 1 only, but both are available.