The spectrometer software is written in Visual C++ and is
Follow the Readme file instructions to properly load the software
on your computer and review the computer hardware requirements.
From your chosen folder simply click SpectraCyber.exe. This will
JSSatomicTime.exe which connects to the internet and
updates your system clock to the nearest second, you could also
create a shortcut for the desktop if you wanted an icon for it.
through the Control Panel, System, then Device Manager to:
Online and the product will query the SpectraCyber spectrometer.
Once two way communications has been verified then the main
(Local Apparent Sidereal Time) depending upon the Time
selection described later. At the top are the
several selections which open a separate dialog box.
user to save a favorite configuration for a target under study. One
could save a favorite under a target name and then come back to it later.
To pull up a previous favorite simply click on the Load menu item. If
you want to have a standard default configuration you would save
the current configuration to the filename: Default.fav, which is what
the program loads on initialization.
window, which may be useful for clean and clear Screen Prints or for the
Plot Capture option which drops a .bmp file to be included in publication
documents or an animated gif of the data.
present data from the screen.
An X axis feature permits you to use either KHz or Km/sec on the axis.
The Km/sec is now based on the targets relative doppler shift velocity
coordinates, and the frequency of the gas under study.
of the the gas/molecule you are imaging, which in turn affects the
doppler shift velocity... As an example if you are working the Methanol
5th transition state at 6.667 GHz and downconverting this frequency
1420.406 (Hydrogen) for the SpectraCyber then the doppler shift
For your reference, there is a
VSR JAVA calculator at the Jupiter
Here you will find the Plot Zoom feature. Upon clicking this feature a
dialog box comes up capturing the upper and lower Y-axis limits
you wish to zoom too. The only restriction is that the lower limit
cannot exceed the upper limit.
Another feature permits the user to use either dots or connected lines
or a bar for
the plotting. The Plotbar feature can only display in
The final feature is Plot Capturing. This feature permits the user to
specify whether or not a bmp graph file is created on each save
of the scan. This does not drop a bmp for each AutoSave during
the scanning process; the user must load the scans they like, re-save
them, and the bmp is created if the Plot Capture feature is on...
The user can also ran a single scan and save it to produce the bmp.
A 13k bmp can be converted to a 6 k gif file with almost
graphic software package.
The Plot Capture also now lets you select just a plot or the whole
the plot on your screen.
Data which has been stored on disk can be played back in a
When you left click Pick Starting File bar a dialog box will guide
you asking for the path and file prefix name to play. The files to play
should have been previously stored on the hard disk by the Autosave
command (described later). The filename prefix could be something
like C:\YourDir\Data\Orion.1 The C: represents your hard disk or perhaps
a floppy disk drive. The name of the files to display is Orion. After
clicking select Pick Ending File to specify an ending file extension
in the data series. The file extension is the suffix after the period in a
The Autosave command will automatically increment this
data movie. After entering a number for the start press
After entering the ending # press TAB. Next you will be asked for a
delay. This represents the delay in seconds or fractions of seconds to
pause between each screen of data. A short delay of .2 seconds runs
the movie quickly while a long delay of 1 second per frame moves
more slowly. This allows close examination of small changes
in the graphs. Just enter the desired delay in seconds and press TAB.
You will then select Single or Continuous play of the movie. In single
play the movie runs once and then returns to the command state, in
continuous play the movie is automatically started over at it's end.
Simply enter S or C followed by a clicking on OK. The movie should
start and display the file name and the date it was recorded at the
upper portion of the screen.
To start the movie click
On... To stop the movie click Off.
moving average for your plots and you can then choose how
effect of further smoothing your plots.
And finally Inverse: this has the
effect of mirror image flipping
kill a movie which is in progress. Plotting will indicate when a scan
is in progress and will cease when scanning is stopped.
A Scan Rate feature permits you to speed up the scans by a factor
of up to 4x. Basically this changes the between point scans from
either 5 or 10 KHz (depending on your upper/lower limits) to as
much as 4x or 20 - 40 KHz.
A selection of Rescan On or Rescan Off toggles the screen rescan on or
Autosave On or Autosave Off
clicked automatically saves plots of data when
Target name is used for the filename and the data is stored in the Data
folder. This path
helps to better organize things as it is a good idea to use
which would save on the C: drive in the DATA subdirectory. As an
example: ORION.1 THRU ORION.999
The path and file prefix will be shown in the plot area
Load and Save feature bars permit individual scans to be loaded
for viewing or stored for later analysis.
Next comes a powerful operations feature: Que. The software has
the ability to start data collection at a point which is chosen in the future.
When the Que bar is left clicked you will get a dialog box which prompts
you to enter the countdown time until data collection. An example
could be 15 hours 21 minutes. After entering this time press TAB and
you will be asked for the lapse time to run the observation using the
spectrometer data collection. The times must be in 24 hour format.
Click OK when done. The data would be stored under the Target name
as the Autosave saves the file. As an example it could be C:\YourDir\Data\Orion.
This will save files named Orion.* on drive C in the DATA subdirectory.
If you wish to abort this Que operation, simply click Que Off.
There are two powerful features at work here: first, a Que.fav file
is saved to be retrieved when the countdown kicks the job on,
and second, the user can use the spectrometer and software
during the countdown
By clicking Online a dialog box of settings comes up for you to
initialize the spectrometer settings. When completed with filling
out the settings values the spectrometer moves to Online if the
communications channel is open. In Offline mode the spectrometer
can be completely exercised using a dummy Sagittarius data set.
The backend unit is equipped with a relay to supply +12vdc
the relay on or off. This command may be used during the scan
acquisition to record a reference power level.
Time System... the user may select either a UTC or LAST (Local
Apparent Sidereal Time) time coordinate system for data file stamps.
Each time LAST is selected the user may enter the local latitude and
longitude coordinates which will become the default for all sessions
thereafter; also one would note that the current Julian Day is also displayed
in this dialog box. Some users like LAST displayed so that they can easily
estimate when the target
comes up on their
integrate for each plot point.
This would be especially useful for
The last option is the Input Frequency Shift. This brings up a dialog
box which wants to know how much (in KHz) you want to shift the
the x axis values. If you have equipment that can position a range
of frequencies (like 1416 to 1428 MHz) onto a center IF frequency
of 70 MHz (which is one of the input frequencies of the SpectraCyber),
then you can have this frequency shift reflected on the x axis. This
permits you to investigate velocities greater than 2 MHz in a given
direction and have the velocities properly reflected on the x axis.
The backend unit is a dual channel spectrometer and
(optinally) a continuum
will change the selected mode. The choices are
Spec Mode which is spectrometer
windows... too be implemented later). The spectrometer channel is in the main
window and the continuum channel is in the same window (if selected). In Both
mode the continuum channel is used as a check to see if there have been any
signal level fluctuations while the spectral scan has been in progress by having
both active in two different windows. Dual mode has the disadvantage of
consuming twice the disk space for each screen of data.
Integration acts like a capacitor charging up with signal and then is tapped
at intervals specified by Time/step (DT). Standard integration values for Spectral
mode are .3, .5, and 1.0 seconds; Continuum mode are .3, 1.0, and 10 seconds.
A few units have the option of either 15 or 30 KHz IF bandwidth. The default
is 15 KHz.
Target permits the user to set a target/filename for data and
for the title line on the plot... If the user does not specify anything
then the words SPEC or CONT are used along with date stamping
to indicate target information.
Gain and Offset require a special operation detailed as follows.
These two control functions.. DC Gain and DC Offset are duplicated twice...
once for the spectrometer channel and once for the continuum channel.
To make a change to any of these values click on the appropriate menu
bar item on the top of the window.
DC offset adjustments are for the spec and continuum channels and requires
is left clicked the user
may enter a dc offset level from 0 to 5 vdc. The
The Scan or Sweep limits are used to set the upper and lower scan limits
This corresponds to blue shifted doppler signals. Enter a value from 0
Keep in mind that the spectrometer moves in 5/10 Khz steps so these
values should be integer multiples of 5/10. An entry such as 183 Khz
would be invalid, however 185 would be fine. The program selects -600
and +600 for the limits at start up (unless you modified them in your
file). Most signals observable with a smaller dish will be in this
A final note about the x axis values: depending on your upper and lower
limits there are 4 possible ranges: -2000 to 2000 (10 KHz steps), -1000 to
1000 (5 Khz steps), 0 to -2000 (5 KHz steps), and 0 to 2000 (5 KHz steps).
Above we described a Scan Rate feature which speeds up scanning by
jumping steps 2x to 4x.
The Time/Step or DT bar allows a change in the "Delta Time" or simply
the time between sample data points. In
Spec mode this is usually 1
If you enter 0 seconds it will be "rounded up " to .2 seconds.
Above 1 second values are rounded to the nearest whole second.
Continuum only mode stores 360 data points per screen while Spec
mode has 400 data points per screen.
Finally Rest Frequency Correction permits the user to tune the
spectrometer so that the hydrogen rest frequency will be precisely
0 MHz on the Doppler x axis scale. Typically the units come from
the factory with a precise
clocking of the hydrogen frequency.
The Port selection permits the user to designate COM1 or COM2 as
the computer port interface to the spectrometer.
This Web selection permits the user to go onto the internet to set the
computer clock to within 1 second of NIST time, go to the support
site to pick up new releases of SpectraCyber and the documentation,
or jump to the SpectraCyber sales site for information on new
radio astronomy equipment.
This Web selection permits the user to select software or hardware
help on this product as well review the Readme file for installation
instructions. Information about the Development Team can be found
in the Help About SpectraCyber selection.