This page is for notes on user experiences with Lucifer.
Selection of guide stars is a consistent problem. The sky area available for guide stars is quite small, taking into account not only the limits of the patrol field and the vignetting region, but also small pointing errors and the buffer needed for offsets. Once these limitations are taken into account, even a guide star that is 30'' away from the limits can be lost during offsets. Sometimes scripts have to be modified on-the-fly to find a better guide star, or the field has to be offset from center to place the guide star at a better position, both of which take time.
The Telescope Control GUI is sometimes confusing. There are separate buttons for Set Target, Set Guide Star, and Set Telescope, each of which must be pressed when loading a catalog object (such as a pointing star or Persson standard). Adding the Commit button a total of 4 clicks is required for objects which have well-defined positions, which seems unnecessary.
Related to the above, even though there are three separate buttons and value fields, clicking Commit sends all values in the Next fields. Therefore it is not possible to, for example, only change the guide star while keeping the current pointing. In order to do that, the current position must be typed into the Next Target fields (it can't be copied and pasted because the entries in the Current Target fields are not selectable!). It seems like it should be possible for the Next Target fields to be left blank, while the Next Guide Star fields are edited and then sent with Set Guide Star without affecting the Current Target.
Sometimes when running scripts fields in the GUI are changed to old or unexpected values arbitrarily. For example, at the end of an acquisition script, the filters are changed from the values given in the script. One time, the Current Target suddenly became the same as Current Guide Star, even though they clearly had separate values in the script.
It is somewhat confusing that when CoordSYS=RADEC, an offset of -10 moves the telescope south, and hence objects in the image move up, while when CoordSys=DETXY, an offset of -10 moves objects in the image down. The user's manual does clearly state how this works, but on the mountain there was some confusion when we expected -10 in DETXY to move the telescope down and hence the stars up, as is the case for RADEC.
Consistent problems with skycat not receiving new images, solved by saving an image again or restarting skycat.