Nickel POCO User's Guide

Table of Contents

Menu & Title Bar
Target Panel
Position Display
Guider Buttons
Dome Status
Limit Status
Time Display
Virtual Joystick
Manual Slew
Offset Telescope
Guider Offsets
Guider - CCD Setup
Non-Sidereal Rates
Focus Telescope
Home Telescope
Park Telescope
Manual Dome
All Limits Status
Message Log
Starlist & Starchart

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Nickel POCO (short for POinting and COntrol) provides control of the Lick 1-meter Nickel telescope and dome. Users operate POCO through the POCO GUI. The GUI is slightly different for each instrument, but only the versions for the facility instruments (direct imaging and spectroscopy) will be described here. At right is the direct imaging version of POCO GUI's Main Window. The Main Window appears when the program is started and remains open at all times. POCO's basic function is to point and track the telescope, display its position, and track the dome to follow, but it includes a variety of other functions and status information, many of which are invoked from the Functions pulldown menu in the Main window, and all of which are described herein.

Nickel POCO Main Window

POCO's most important features, from an observer's standpoint, are listed in the first two tables below, arranged according to the part of the POCO GUI (Main Window or pulldown menu) in which they are found. Click on the table header or use the menu at left for details of each function. A third table itemizes the things POCO does not do.

Main Window Features:

  • Start/stop telescope tracking & autodome
  • Enter coordinates (keyboard or starlist)
  • Move telescope to a target
  • Select pointing axis (direct imaging only)
  • Insert/remove TUB diagonal
  • Insert/remove the guider ND filter

  • Current RA, Dec, HA, & Airmass
  • Zenith distance, elevation, & azimuth
  • Dome azimuth
  • Next object HA & Airmass
  • Telescope limit status
  • Dome clear/occulting status
  • Zenith warnings
  • LST, PST, & GMT
  • Features Appearing in Pulldown Menus
  • Software joystick
  • Offset telescope
  • Non-sidereal rates
  • All limits status
  • Focus telescope
  • Park telescope
  • Home telescope
  • Manual slew
  • Manual dome rotation
  • Starlist and starchart support
  • POCO message log
  • ... and what POCO doesn't do
  • Open or close the dome, mirror cover, or rainscreen
  • Raise, lower, or track the windscreen
  • Guide the telescope (Though integrated with the autoguider, POCO tracks, the guider guides.)
  • Perform instrument functions (filter changes, collimator focus, etc.)
  • Perform data-taking functions (set integration, start exposure, etc.)
  • Fill the dewar and tuck you into bed
  • Starting POCO

    The POCO software is run from the user account on noir. It is started either from its icon, , or from an xterm window with the command poco_fe &. Upon startup, there will be two windows: the main Nickel POCO GUI window and a window displaying log messages. The message "RESTORED connection to Poco server" should appear in the latter. The RA (or HA, if the telescope is tracking) display should be updating. (You may, if you wish, close the log window at this point. It will automatically reappear if it has something to report.)

    For details on the operation of the GUI, click on the appropriate topic in the table of contents at left, or click on that section of the POCO GUI image above.
    Last modified: Mon Aug 1 15:30:19 PDT 2011