For system maintenance, the main priority is keeping the projectors aligned.
The rest of the components in SOS tend to be rather maintenance-free. Projector
alignment should be checked frequently (once a week ideally) to ensure that the
system is aligned properly. Usually, the system only gets out of alignment when
there has been some disturbance to the projectors. It is recommended to check
it weekly just to ensure that the system is displaying data in an optimal
manor. If the alignment is really off, it will be visible in the display of
datasets. For more details on how to align your SOS system, see the SOS
Generally, it is recommended that both of the SOS computers remain powered up
all the time in order to receive real time data and for system backups. The
projectors only need to be on during operation and should be powered down to
save lamp life when not in use. If the projectors have network capability, it’s
possible to set the projectors on a timer with schedule power on and power off
times. If a complete system power down is required, then it is recommended to
close the SOS software before powering down the computers. A single press of
the power button starts a clean shutdown.
Projector lamps are the main consumable for SOS. A typical projector lamp lasts
anywhere from 1500 to 3000 hours. In darker settings, the economy mode can be
used to extend the life of the lamp. As a projector lamps ages, it will start
to dim or show discoloration and then in many cases, suddenly go out.
Generally, the projector will turn on a lamp warning light indicating a new
lamp is needed. It’s a good idea to have a spare lamp on hand in case of a
sudden failure. It is suggested to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on
lamp replacement. When lamps are replaced because of age, it is recommended to
replace all of them at the same time, since the color and intensity difference
between an old lamp and a new lamp will make the sphere visualization look bad.
Projector alignment will need to be adjusted after replacing the lamps. When
replacing the lamps, change one lamp and then fix the alignment of that
projector before moving on to the next projector. If you replace all the lamps
without adjusting the alignment along the way, then you will have to start from
scratch on the alignment.
For LCD projectors, projector air filters should be checked monthly to ensure
proper airflow. At minimum, check the filters every quarter, though this
depends largely on the projectors environment. Dusty areas require more
frequent filter cleaning. Dirty filters reduce cooling capacity and shorten
projector lamp life. This is probably the most important of the maintenance
tasks to perform.
For DLP projectors, the optics are sealed and dust is not as much of a concern.
In fact, many DLP projectors do not have air filters. Check your specific model
to determine if there is an air filter to clean.
The SOS systems are like any other computer system. In general, they run and
run without the need for maintenance. Ubuntu releases operating system patches
frequently and patches that affect security should be applied as needed.
Notification of patches will appear in the left-hand menu in the Ubuntu Update
Manager.If NOAA comes across an operating system patch that adversely affects
system operation, sites will be informed through the SOS Google Group.
Periodically, software upgrades from NOAA for the SOS software will be
distributed. The SOS software upgrades will also appear in the Ubuntu Update
Manager. It is up to each site to decide if they want to install the upgrade.
An announcement with full instructions for the upgrade and a description of the
new features in the upgrade will be posted to the SOS Google Group when
Should you encounter problems with the SOS software, the log files can be a good
place to turn to try to diagnose what is happening. The log files for SOS are
stored in the home folder for each user in a directory called
soslogs/. The logs vary from crash reports to download progress
To check for the SOS Visual Playlist Editor (VPLE) software version, open the
VPLE using the desktop launcher or by searching for it with the “Ubuntu Dash
Home”. Click “Help → About” to show the VPLE software version.
To check for the SOS Projector Control software version, open the application
with the desktop launcher or by searching for it with the “Ubuntu Dash Home”.
The version should be in the title bar of the application window.
To check which version of the SOS software you are running, open the Terminal
application and run the command: dpkg -l | grep sos.
The first column, contains either ii or rc, to indicate the packages
installation state. An installation state of ii means the package is
currently installed. An installation state of rc means that the package is no
longer installed, but there may be configuration files which are still
In order facilitate support, maintenance, and troubleshooting, the SOS
computers come loaded with a program called “TeamViewer”. This is launched from
application. This program allows the SOS support team to logon remotely to the
SOS computers and temporarily take over the desktop. The site must launch the
software and provide log in information to the SOS team in order for them to
log on. The SOS team will only log in at the request of the site and at a
scheduled time when it is convenient for the site.