User's Guide to the Nickel Direct Imaging Camera

Table of Contents

Hardware Overview
Software Overview
Detector Characteristics
Filter Wheel
CCD User Interface
Observing Hints

Data Archive
Mt. Hamilton Homepage


Eventsounds is a program to generate sounds for exposure events, such as Exposure Begin and Readout End. This software is not required for operating the Nickel Direct Imager, but is very helpful for indicating when an exposure has begun or finished reading out.

Eventsounds may be run on either zola or noir.

To start the software type
eventsounds nickel &

A separate program called soundplay must also be run on the computer whose speakers you wish to use. Local observers will have soundplay started automatically when they start the VNC sessions for observing, start_lick_viewers nickel. Remote observers will have soundplay started on their local machine (if it has speakers) automatically when they start the remote observing VNC viewers (using the same command as local observers).

There are four exposure events for which sounds can be generated, Erase Begin, Exposure Begin, Readout Begin, and Readout End. Separate sounds may be chosen for each event. The checkbox to the left of each exposure event determines whether the sound is played or not (a red checkbox means the sound is played).

A large selection of sounds are available from the pulldown menus. You may test play a sound by right clicking on the sound event name (e.g. ReadoutBegin).

The Volume slider at the bottom of the window adjusts the master volume of the sound played.

A particular configuration of sounds may be saved for future use by clicking on File - Save... and saving to a file of your choosing (please save the file to your subdirectory in /u/user/observers/). This file may be loaded by clicking File - Load....

Under the Edit menu is the option Show Timestamp. This will add a timestamp entry to the GUI to show when a sound was last triggered. This is useful for diagnosing problems.

Support Astronomers (
Last modified: Tue Jul 17 17:23:34 PDT 2012