Radio-SkyPipe Help

Configuring Radio-SkyPipe


(For our purposes, logging refers to functions related to the storage of data on the R-SP computer.)

Data Files Path

Saved copies of stripchart data are stored in a special format on your computers hard drive. Data File Path refers to the base directory for storage of these files.  Depending on you organization method (see below) files may be stored in subdirectories of this base directory.  You may use the browse button to find or create a suitable Data Files Path.

Organize by Month and Day Options

When making large numbers of observations it becomes important to organize your data files in such a way that they can be easily retrieved. AutoSaved files are automatically saved in a Local Name subdirectory of the base directory, (the base directory = Data Files Path [see above]).  This keeps data files from different sources from co-mingling.   When using the Organize by Month/Day options, the computer automatically stores the files in next level subdirectories based either on the day the file was generated or further sorted into directories based on month and day.  

The picture above shows the directory structure when using both the Organize by Month and Organize by Day options.  These files were created by the Radio-Sky Jupiter Observatory, locally. The selected files are found under a Month directory (0101) actually also includes year information formatted YYMM). In the directory tree separate directories are also created for individual days for that month (format: YYMMDD).  To the right are the data file names which were captured on Jan 14, 2001  (format: YYMMDDHHNNSS.spd where NN represents minutes).  

There is nothing sacred about the data file names and they can be renamed (though you should retain the .spd extension), however, it has been found useful to organize files in this manner.  The .spd extension will allow the files to be associated with R-SP so that clicking on a file in Windows Explorer or on a web page brings Radio-SkyPipe up as the appropriate viewer for the file.  See Associating Radio-SkyPipe Files.

Log Using Universal Time
Most scientific observations are based on Universal Time (closely related to Greenwich Mean Time) so that observers all over the world may easily relate when events actually occur.  Selecting Log Using Universal time adds the value of your time zone to that supplied by your computer clock to the time stamp associated with each data point.  For example the time zone in Hawaii is -10, so ten hours would be subtracted (adding a minus!) form the time supplied by my computers clock (my local time).  Thus using this option implies that your computer clock is set to your local time and that you have correctly stated your time zone on the identity page.

Back Up StandAlone/Server and Client Runs
A separate real-time back up may be saved of your data as it is collected. In the case of a computer crash, you may use these back up files to recover your data the next time Radio-SkyPipe is started. Check these back up options to activate this system. Some performance degradation can occur from using the backup system. The next time you start R-SP after a crash, you will be presented with the file names of the backup files saved. These files are located in an automatically generated recovery directory under you default data directory.

AutoSave Stand Alone/ Server Runs
Automatically save stripcharts created when in Stand Alone or Server Mode. Files are saved using the naming convention:  YYMMDDHHNNSS.dat  where YY represents the last to digits of the current year, MM represents the month number, DD represents the day number in the given month, HH represents the hour in 24 hour format, NN represents the minute, and SS represents the second for the time when the stripchart begins. AutoSave does not over-ride the Prompt Before Saving Option.

AutoSave Client Runs
Automatically save files when running in Client Mode.

Prompt Before Saving
If you select Prompt Before Saving you will be presented with a dialog box allowing you to modify the name and location of the data you are saving. You will be prompted even if using the AutoSave options.  

AutoSave Session Activity Logs
Automatically save the Session Activity Log each time you run R-SP. While these logs are not needed under normal circumstances, they may be helpful in deciphering problems or keeping tabs on otherwise un-monitored activity.

Warn About Unsaved Files
If selected the program will attempt to warn you each time newly collected data is going to be discarded by a computer user action.

Suppress Messages
Check this option if you run an unattended installation and you want to minimize the chance that an error message will halt operation waiting for a user response. If you use this option when it is not necessary to do so you may miss problems that are arising. These messages should not be confused with messages generated by Message Manager.

Restart Chart at HH MM SS
You may elect to have a new chart begin each day at a certain time. This parameter allows this.

Start New Run When Max Samples or Max Duration is Exceeded
When either of these parameters is reached the data is saved and a new run is automatically begun. If not selected, the program will stop upon reaching these limits awaiting user intervention. You should never set these limits too high as performance will suffer and it is possible to run out of computer memory.

Maximum Duration
Enter the maximum length of time in HH:MM:SS format which you would like the program to collect data before ending or starting a new run (see above).

Maximum Number of Samples
You should set a maximum number of samples which may be collected before a Save is enforced. Data samples eat up memory. When you use up all available memory the program will attempt to write samples to the hard drive.  This is a very slow process and will probably degrade performance significantly. The value you assign to Maximum Number of Samples will depend on how much memory your computer has and how much of that memory you are willing to devote to this program.  Each sample can consume about 16 bytes of memory.  It is suggested that for computers with 64 megabytes of RAM or less that no more than 50% of the memory be used by this program. Thus the following table applies:

Total Available RAM Suggested Max Number of Samples
16 M 500000
32 M 1000000
64 M 2000000

If you are using multiple channels (Pro version only) then remember to multiply these values by the number of channels!

The best bet is to be conservative and use even lower values. If you are running two stripcharts on the same computer, you should halve these values. An estimated time for the chart duration is presented, but can only be relied upon if the requested sampling rate is achieved.

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