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Sunkey Readme File

The program SUNKEY enables you to enter your sunspot data
directly into your computer.  It will run on almost any PC
operating system, including DOS, Windows 3.1, Win95, and

            *** INSTALLATION ***

To install the program, first choose a folder (directory)
where you wish to keep your sunspot data.  You may wish to
create a new folder (directory) specifically for this
purpose.  Then copy the file SUNKEY.EXE into that folder

If you operate under DOS, installation is complete.  To run
the program, simply change to the sunspot directory and type
the command "SUNKEY".

If you run Windows, you can run the program in two ways.
One way is to start a "DOS prompt", then change to the
sunspot directory and type the command "SUNKEY" (just as
though you were running DOS).  The other way is to create
a link to the program, so you can run it directly from

Start the program "Windows Explorer", and navigate until you
find the file SUNKEY.EXE in your sunspot directory.  Click
the RIGHT mouse button on that file; you will be offered a
menu of options.  Choose the option "Create Shortcut".  This
will create an icon (which looks like the DOS prompt icon).
You can copy this icon onto your desktop, or into the start
menu, using the Windows Explorer program.

Now click the RIGHT mouse button on the "Shortcut to SUNKEY".
Select the option "Properties".  Under the "program" tab,
you will find a small check-box for "Close on Exit".  Click
this check-box, to set the "close on exit" option.

To run the program, locate your newly created "Shortcut to
SUNKEY".  If it is in your start-menu, single-click the
icon to start the program; if it is on your desktop,
double-click the icon.

            *** RUNNING THE FIRST TIME ***

The first time you run the program, it will ask you some
basic information about yourself.  It wants to know your
name, your AAVSO observer I.D., and your address.  It will
also ask you how you want to enter your sunspot data, i.e.,
what order you want to type in the fields.  It will then
save this information, so you won't have to enter it again.

First you are asked:

    Your name =

Please enter your name as you would like it to appear in
your sunspot data reports.  Now you are asked

    Your AAVSO observer I.D. =

Enter the AAVSO observer I.D. code you have been assigned.
If you haven't yet been assigned an observer I.D. code,
leave this blank (simply hit <ENTER>).

Next you are asked

    Address (line 1 of 3) =

Enter the first line of your postal address.  This is
followed by

    Address (line 2 of 3) =
    Address (line 3 of 3) =

Then you are asked

    e-mail address =

Enter your current e-mail address, if you have one.  If not,
leave this blank (just hit <ENTER>).

Now you have the opportunity to enter additional information,
such as the instrument, method, magnification, etc.  The
program asks:

    Please enter any additional information you wish
    included in your report:

Enter up to 10 lines of additional information, in exactly
the form you wish it printed in your regular reports.  For
example, you might enter the following:

    instrument: refractor
    aperture: 60mm    focal length: 900 mm
    observations direct, 1000 oaks filter, H25mm eyepiece

Now the program wants to know the order in which you will
enter your data fields.  SUNKEY accepts any or all of the
following fields:

        DAY         UT day of the month for the observation
        SEE         Seeing conditions:
                        E   excellent
                        G   good
                        F   fair
                        P   poor
        UT          Universal Time of the observation
        G           Group count (whole disk)
        S           Spot count (whole disk)
        W           Wolf number (= 10 * G + S)
        NG          Northern-hemisphere group count
        SG          Southern-hemisphere group count
        NS          Northern-hemisphere spot count
        SS          Southern-hemisphere spot count
        REMARK      Remark

These are the fields, in their usual order, as present on
the standard report form.  You don't have to enter them all,
but these at least are required: DAY, UT, G, S, W.  You also
don't have to enter them in the standard order; you can
choose your own, except that the DAY must always be the
first field, and the REMARK must always be the last.

That's why SUNKEY shows you the list of fields in standard
order, and asks you whether you want to enter data in this
form.  If you say "Y" (for YES), then it will expect you
to enter all the standard data fields in standard order.
If you say "N" (for NO), it will ask you

    Please select your own order for entering the
    fields.  Note that the DAY must be the first
    field, and the REMARK must be the last.

    Select the fields, in order, from the following list
    SEE      seeing                  NG      north groups
    UT       Universal Time          SG      south groups
    G        groups                  NS      north spots
    S        spots                   SS      south spots
    R, W     Wolf number             REMARK  remark

    Field #  1 = Day
    Field #  2 =

Enter the appropriate code for the field you wish to enter
after the DAY.  For example, if you want to enter the
Universal Time, enter "UT", or if you want the group count,
enter "G".  After you have specified field #2, it will ask

    Field #  3 =

Enter the code for the next field.  Keep entering until you
have specified all the fields you wish to enter.  Note that
if you specify the "REMARK" field, then the program assumes
that this is the *last* field.  Also, if you leave a field
blank (by just hitting <ENTER>), the program assumes that
you have finished specifying the fields you wish to enter.
If you have not included REMARK as one of your fields, the
program automatically sets the last field to be "REMARK".

At this point the program creates a user profile, in the
file "SPROFILE.DAT" in the sunspot folder.  Now the program
begins running in normal operation.

            *** RUNNING NORMAL OPERATION ***

When running under normal operation, the first thing you
are asked is:

    Month and year =

Enter the month then the year, during which the observations
were made.  Now the program needs to know what you wish to
name the file you will create.  It suggest a name which
consists of your AAVSO observer code, the last 2 digits of
the year, the 2 digits representing the month, and a suffix
".RAW".  If, for example, your observer code is "GF", and
you are entering data for January 1999, the program suggests
the output file name

    Output file = GF9901.RAW

If this name is acceptable, just hit <ENTER>.  If not,
change the name to what you would like it to be, then hit
<ENTER>.  If the file name you have chosen already exists,
the program informs you:

    File GF9901.RAW already exists.  Append? Y

If you wish to append to the existing file, hit <ENTER>
(taking the default answer <Y> for yes).  If not, enter
a <N> for no, then hit enter, and you will be asked to
choose a different filename.

Now you are ready to enter daily observations.  The program
prompts you for the day of the first observation, by
printing your observer ID, the month and year, and a line
indicating the fields you will enter, in their entry order:

January 1999
|Day|  see |  UT  |   g  |   s  |   W  |  ng  |  sg  |  ns  |  ss  |

The program places the cursor under "Day".  Note: this
prompt line will be given if you enter data in standard
order; if you have a different order of data entry, the
prompt line will show the fields you have chosen, in your
order.  Enter the day, then hit <ENTER>.  The cursor will
advance to the next field.  In this example, the next field
is "see", the seeing.

When you enter the seeing, you may enter one of the codes
"E", "G", "F", or "P".  However, you may also enter digits
to represent these codes, in the following manner:

          digit   code      meaning
            0       E       excellent
            1       G       good
            2       F       fair
            3       P       poor

The reason we have put this in the program, is that it
enables you to enter the seeing conditions using the numeric
keypad on a standard keyboard.  By doing so, you can enter
*ALL* the data (except REMARKs) using only the numeric
keypad, and experience has shown that for observers who are
used to using the numeric keypad, this makes data entry very
much faster.

After entering each field, hit <ENTER> and the cursor will
advance to the next field.  If you have made a mistake, then
hit the <up-arrow> key, and the cursor will retreat to the
previous field.  You may then make any correction you wish.

After entering the last non-REMARK field, the cursor
advances to the next LINE.  You may now enter any remark
for that observation.  You may still, at this point, hit
the <up-arrow> key to retreat to previous fields.  Once
you finish entering the REMARK, the record is complete.
The REMARK you have entered will be removed from the screen,
but is stored in memory and will be attached to your data
observation.  Now the program prompts you for the next day's

When you have finished the last observation of the month,
and you are prompted for "Day", hit the "escape" key <ESC>,
and the program assumes you are finished for that month.

After you have enterd the last observation for the month,
the data file for that month will look something like this:

********* SUNKEY 02-03-1999   13:16:25
Solar data from: GF  
Grant Foster
myaddress line 1
myaddress line 2
myaddress line 3
myinfo line 1
myinfo line 2
myinfo line 3
For the month of: JANUARY 1999
| Day | see |  UT  |  g  |  s  |  W  |  ng |  sg |  ns |  ss | Obs. | Remarks
   1   G      1111     1     1    11     1     0     1     0 | GF   | Demo

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