This Plug-In takes care on the communications with the P200 Telescope Control System. When it is opened, it sends a request to the Server software to connect to the TCS.
After it is connected, it will send the requested commands and will print the received responses and information
In this area the main commands (offset, focus and Zero) can be entered
Command: shows the command which is in progress. This
area will blink when any command is in progress.
Response: here the response from the TCS will be shown. This includes any error message
log: checking this box will cause the Plug-In to log all the transactions
timeout: this control says the amount of time to wait for a response to complete. if "-1", means that the timeout applied is the default value, which is 90 secs
focus: the user can enter the requested focus value in
the control box. By pressing the focus button the specified value will
be sent to the TCS in a relative sense. These will be focus bumps not absolute moves. The green bar on the low can be used for entering the
absolute value in a graphic way.
offset: by pressing this button the values of RA and DEC on the correspondent boxes will be sent to the TCS. The values are in arcseconds with East and North Positive, and West and South negative.
more commands: by pressing this button the window will expand, and will let the user send ANY available command to the TCS using a set of drop-down menus and a control for sending the string commands. This is normally not required, and for that reason is not being shown here
TCS light: this light will be on when the connection to the TCS is up
timeout: will turn on when a timeut occurred for the last command sent
Error: will turn on when any error occurred sending the command
UT, focus, Coords: will normally show the current focus value, offset and UT time. This controls may be disabled for local observing
commands: Pressing this button will have opposite reactions, depending on the state of the Plug-In. If it is on the same state than the picture shown, then it will cause the lower part to collapse, leaving only the upper part (only the status). If only the status is shown, then pressing this button will cause the window to expand and the lower part to appear. This is basically for saving screen space if not tcs commands are being sent manually
By selecting "DITHERING" on the drop-down menu, new window will be opened:
The dithering tool will allow to the user to perform automatically a
series of objects by basically performing a set of offset-image pairs.
The white area indicates the series of offset desired. The tool will go
to the first
line, it will perform the offset to the telescope, and then it will take an image, according to all the parameters specified on the Camera GUI
Basically, what the tool does is to manipulate both the TCS Plug-In and the Camera GUI by filling the controls and pressing the buttons, in exactly the same way that a human user would do , but automatically and much more efficiently
The upper display (which says READY on the picture) indicates the status of the task ("performing offset", or "taking image", etc.).
Offsets: shows the array of offsets to perform. This list
can be directly edited on the tool by pressing the EDIT
button, or can be LOADED from a file
Offset Type: indicates the type of offsets in the array. This can be of two different classes:
Relative: indicates that every offset is relative to the PREVIOUS offset, so every offset is relative to the previous position
Absolute: indicates that every offset is relative to the STARTING position, so every offset describes an absolute position if you are standing on the starting point
Return to orig. position: if checked, the Telescope will be sent to the starting point when all the list of objects has finished
Repeats: number of times you want to repeat the whole list
The algorithm is as follows:
DO Repeats TIMES
WHILE Offsets NotFinished
Next on Offsets List
The tool will indicate the current object by changing the correspondent line to blue. The blue line will then keep moving line by line until the end of the list.
show: will show a graphical representation of the offsets
to perform. It will show the current position (blinking), the positions
already done (green points) the positions to be done (white) and the positions
in which any
error occurred (red)
load: you will be prompted for
the location of the file to load. The file must be an ascii file with two
columns per line. The first number will be interpreted as the RA position,
and the second as the DEC position.
Any following character on that line will be ignored. Any line starting with something different than a number will be skipped (so comments are allowed). A sample file would be:
10 20 This comment will be ignored
this line will be skipped
save: you will be prompted for the name and location of
the file to create. The current list on Offsets will be saved to the indicated
file as an ascii file
Edit: Pressing this button will open a new window in which you can edit the current list. You can insert/delete rows, modify values, etc. If you do this while the tool is running, your changes will take effect
immediately after you accept the changes; this means that you don't need necessary to STOP the dithering for making changes
STOP: Will cause to stop the
dithering list. This means that it will finish the current object (offset/image)
and then will stop before executing the next one. It then will NOT abort
any current action.
GO: Will cause the action to start. The dithering will start from the place where the blue line is. As you can choose manually the position of the blue line by simply clicking on the desired position, you can start the dithering from any place. This means that, whether you are resuming a previously stopped dithering or you are starting a new one, this buttons behaves always the same. It just start the action from the place where the blue line is (so it would be "resume" and/or "start")
QUIT: will close the tool. It this button is pressed when the tool is actually performing a dithering, it will have the same behavior the the STOP button: it will wait until the current object is finished (offset/image) and then it will quit before starting the next one in the list. There is no way, then, of aborting actions from here.