4. Filter Wirc Plug-In

This Plug-In handles the commands and status of the WIRC Filter wheel. This Plug-In is normally started automatically when the system starts. This is, however, configurable
Basically, with this GUI the user can select which filter to use, as well as initialize the filter wheel. The user (or normally the operator) can setup too the order of the filter wheel according to the actual physical order on the wheels. When you open the Plug-In, the first thing that it will do is to ask the motor controller box for its status and the wheel positions. If it fails to get such information, it will get an error message, meaning that the motor controller needs to be initialized. We preferred to leave the choice of initializing the motor controller to the user.
For having an idea on the actual physical mechanism for communicating with the motor controller box, please refers to the motor controller diagram
Configuration Files:
ArcVIEW/ConfigFiles/filtersgui.cfg  --> general filter gui configuration file
ArcVIEW/ConfigFiles/filters.list --> filter list
 

The filter list file is an ascii file describing the names, IDs, focus, position and color code representation for each installed filter. The layout of the file is:
[wheel 1 name]
filtername1="ID1 position focus colorcode"
filtername2 = ...
..
[wheel 2 name]
.
.

This is the file read when for displaying the filter names and defining the positions on the GUI. The operator who install the filters can edit this file manually or can do it graphically using the filter editing tool

4.1 Middle area

FILTER LIST: here the user can select which Filter list you want to go next. It is a drop-down menu which has all the Filters available
MOVE: Causes the filter wheel to actually move to the above indicated position
independent wheel control: if checked, the FILTER LIST control will transform on two drop-down menus, one for each filter wheel (FORE and AFT). In this way the user can move independently every wheel. This gives more flexibility to the user, but it is potentially dangerous, in the sense that the user can finish with an useless configuration (two filters) and there is nothing to prevent this in this mode

Important Note: The NOT independent filter wheel control (which is the recommended way of using the system) is really hiding to which position the wheel which does not have the selected filter will be sent. This is normally OPEN position (for example, if feII is selected, AFT will be sent to feII and FORE to OPEN ... this is just an example ....); however, in the configuration file above mentioned there is a couple of keywords which indicates the position to which the wheel will be sent automatically ("foreopen" and "aftopen"). In other words, if  "independent wheel control" is NOT selected, the wheels will be driven in this way:

if (selected_filter |E AFT)
     MOVE AFT selected_filter FORE foreopen
else
    MOVE AFT aftopen FORE selected_filter

where
"|E" means "belongs too", and
foreopen and aftopen are the filters specified in the configuration file (normally "OPEN") for FORE and AFT wheels respectively

log: check if you want to log all the transactions. You need to specify the log file name and dir (normally ArcVIEW/Logs)
show wheels: shows a picture of both filter wheel and the current positions. Each filter is represented with a different color. The picture is updated on "real time"
get filters: get the filter names. This should be used only if, for some reason, no names appears on the filters drop-down menu
 
 

4.2 Lower area


Motor init: Initializes both filter wheels. This action needs to be performed at least the first time you turn on the motor controller box. When you open the Plug-In, it will try to communicate with the motor controller box. If it fails, it will write the error messages in the status area. When you press this button it performs the following actions:
a) Configure the serial line
b) Configure the two motor controller cards on the remote (Primary focus) motor controller box (PIC-STEP)
c) Send both wheel to the home position. After each position has found its home switch, it is sent automatically to the first valid position.
If for some reason you need to turn off the software, or close the PI, the next time you open it it will again try to communicate with the motor control box; if it was previously initialized it will receive the right status and it will not be necessary to reinitialize
QUIT: quits the PI
 
 

4.3  Upper Area

This is the Status area.
motor light: It will turn on when the filter wheels are initialized and ready for receive commands
error light: it will turn on when any error occurred when performing a command (communications or reported by the motor controller box)
timeout light: it will turn on when there was no response from the motor controller box, normally meaning an error on the communications line

Command: this are will show the actual serial command sent to the motor controller box
Cmd Status: status of the command sent (like "waiting response", or "OK", etc.)
Response: actual response got from the motor controller box
Motor Status: status of the motor controller box according to the last response to the "status" command (sent automatically) or to the last issued command. This will be like "moving", etc.