Pixcel follows the windows3 convention of having a .ini file to
store configuration and setup from one run to the next. This is
a plain text file with one entry per line and a format of KEYWORD=VALUE.
Some of the values in the file are changed by buttons on the control
panels inside the program and some can only be changed by editing
the file. That there are such a large number of configuration
parameters is a tribute to the flexiblity of the astronomers minds
and working practices.
Many of the parameters which do not have a button on the GUI controlling
them can be set using the remote option while Pixcel is running.
Important: The file can only be edited when pixcel is not
running, otherwise any changes will be overwritten when pixcel
The new parameters are in five groups at end of the pixcel.ini
- SUBTRACT=TRUE/ FALSE
- Displays and saves the data with the reset level subtracted.
In RRR mode the reset level is subtracted separately for each
image, in NDR mode the first read is subtracted from subsequent
- CONSTANT=0 to n
- Adds the value to each pixel after subtracting the reset,
used to prevent negative values where noise would give a readout
level below the reset level.
- AVERAGE=TRUE/ FALSE
- In RRR mode computes a running average picture which is saved
in read 000.
- LINEAR=none or filename
- Corrects the data for non-linearity by substituting the value
read with a value taken from a file. The file should be plain
ASCII text containing one number per line. The number on row n
is the value to use to replace the value n. eg. To have no effect
on linearirty the file should contain the number 0 on the first
line through to 16383 on the last. The file must contain exactly
16384 lines (ie 2^14).
- IDLE= TRUE/ FALSE
- Sets the camera to flush the arrays every second while not
- DETECTOR=Hawaii (or Picnic)
- A text value used for the DETECTOR keyword in the fits file
- CAMERA=Cirsi (or Cohsi etc)
- A text value used for the CAMERA keyword in the fits file
- READS=1 to n
- Stores the number of reads selected by the read box in the
infrared sequence control
- PRE_READ=TRUE / FALSE
- If true the camera is readout before the start of each sequence
and the data discarded. This avoids any artifacts which occur
in the first frame due to saturation or remnants of earlier images.
- SAVE_TIME=0 to 999
- An estimate of the time taken to read the arrays and save
the data. This is used by the system to decide whether to save
the data during the exposure time between reads or save at all
the data at the end. Set 0 to force interleaved saves or a long
time such as 999 to force save at the end. See the timing section
for more details.
- SAVE_RESET=TRUE / FALSE
- An In NDR mode, saves the reset image which was subtracted
from all the other images.
- RUN_PAD=0 to n
- The number of characters to pad the run number field in the
filename to. Useful if the reduction software needs filenames
with the same length.
- RUN=0 to n
- A run number is inserted into each file written, the number
is automatically incremented with each new sequence. To disable
this feature set RUN=0
- LINES=0 to n
- A number of blank lines can be inserted in the end of the
fits header before the END record. This allows later data processing
software to add its own keywords without having the extend the
- LIST_CHIPS=TRUE or FALSE
- Includes the number of the chip and quadrant in the file name,
eg _c1q3_ for chip 1 quadrant 3.
- A string to prepend to each filename before the run number.
- OBJECT =name
- The name of the object, used in the fits header and in the
filename if OBJECT_FILE is set.
- OBJECT_FILE=FALSE or TRUE
- If true the name of the object as entered in the Object box
will be prefixed on the filename when saved. If set to false the
filename will start with the run number.
- FPA_ID =name1,name2,name3,name4
- A string stored for each chip to uniquely identify it.
- The type of observation as selected in the Observation box,
this will also be placed in the fits file with the OBSTYPE keyword.
- ASSEMBLE=FALSE or TRUE
- Stores each chip in a single file with the four quadrant images
arranged in their correct orientation. This reduces the number
of files by 4 but makes each file larger.
- ROTATE =FALSE or TRUE
- Rotates the chips before saving the fits files. The angle
is set in ROTATE_ORDER.
- ROTATE _ORDER=270,0,90,180
- The angle to rotate each chip when saving. The first number
is chip 1. Only 0,90,180,270 are supported. The order for La Palma
is 0,90,180,270 for Las Campanas it is 270,0,90,180.
- Saves the chip image mirrored vertically ie, the first row
of the chip is the last row in the fits file.
- Saves the chip image mirrored horizontally ie, the first pixel
in a row of the chip is the last pixel in the row in the fits
file. For La Palma set to FALSE Las Campanas set to TRUE, to put
N up and E left.
- FITSFILE=filename (or path or none)
- This allows an external fits file header segment to be inserted
into each file saved. The external file must conform to the fits
standard for formatting but can have a CR at the end of each line
allowing it to be written with a standard text editor. There are
four ways to specify the file.
- A filename, the file is read from the current directory.
- A full path and filename, that file is read
- A path ( ending in \ ) the file RUN.hdr is read from
- The single word path, the file RUN.hdr is read
from the data directory
- none, no file is read
- The file is read at the start of the sequence before any data
- FILTER_POSITION=0 to 7
- The current selected filter position, select with the filter
- The name of each of the filters in the wheel, as used by the
filter pull-down menu. These should be strings containing no spaces.
- LOG_FILE=filename (or path or none)
- Those fits header parameters which are the same for the whole
sequence are written to a file which can be included in a database.
File format is currently either comma-seperated values or an html
table. There are four ways to specify the file.
- A filename, the file is written to that name
- A full path and filename, that file is written
- A path ( ending in \ ) the file RUN.dat is written
in that directory
- The single word data, the file RUN.dat is written
in the data directory
- The word none, no file is written
- LOG_FORMAT=format for log file and extension
- this entry is used for the file extension of the log file.
If LOG_FORMAT is htm or html ( case insensitive ) then html format
is used otherwise a comma separated variable list is used.
- Enable remote control connection.
- The socket number to use for the remote connection. Standard
is 23 (telnet) but any unused socket can be used.
- A list of IP numbers of clients allowed to control the camera.