The Main Telescope Control Window

The main telescope control window provides access to the most important telescope functions (including slew to a new star and guider on/off!). The layout of the main telescope control window is shown in Figure 2. Across the top of the telescope control window are several buttons for accessing telescope control functions. These include opening and stowing the telescope, setting the grating, offsetting the telescope, accessing the telescope computer (Iris), and quitting the program. To invoke any of these functions, just move the mouse pointer to the button and click the left button on the mouse.

Below these buttons are three boxes which contain the coordinates of the current object, the next object, and the last object to be observed. Below each is a button to select that field as "active." If you move the mouse pointer to the "go there" button and click the left mouse button, the telescope will immediately move to the coordinates in the active box. This allows you to move the telescope quickly among three positions. Also included in this window is a button ("new next") to enter object coordinates directly, bypassing the star cache window.

The next set of buttons in the telescope control window turn the guiding off or on, allow you to re-zero the telescope coordinates after placing a star on the spectrograph slit, change the guiding and tracking rates, or get help from the on-line help facility. Just click the mouse on the appropriate button. The window also contains an "idiot light" to warn you if something has gone wrong (oil pumps not working, etc.). The light will be green and "ready" if the telescope is functioning and red and "not ready" if the telescope needs to be reinitialized (see below) or if something mechanical has gone wrong.

To change the tracking or guiding rates, move the pointer to the "Set Value" button and hold down the right button on the mouse. Slide the mouse down to the choice you want (say, "Set track rates") and release the mouse button. A new window will open in which you can type the rates you want. Click the left mouse on the "default" button to restore the default rates. Click on "enter" or "cancel" to close the window. Finally, the bottom of the main window is devoted to status messages.

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