When connected in Client Mode or Server Mode you may chat with others connected to the same strip chart server or to the person running the server if they are present. The chat feature is intended to provide a simple way for observers to communicate about the observation. Chat is only available on strip chart servers where the administrator of the strip chart server has selected Enable Chat in their Connection options.
You may initiate the Chat window by selecting View/Chat Window from the menu, or by pressing the Chat button. The Chat window is available only when you have at least one client window open or are in server mode.
You may elect to receive chat from all Client connections or just the Client/Server connection which you have selected as your Send Target (see below). To receive chat from all active connections select the View Received Chat from All Connections checkbox located on the Options / Connection configuration page. You may also toggle this feature off and on right on the chat window by clicking on the orange Menu button and clicking View Chat from All Connections. Because chat text may arrive from any of multiple servers to which you might be connected, each newly received chat item is tagged with the time and the source server name in brackets [ ]. Chat is received in the upper green colored text window on the chat form.
Selecting a Send Target
If you connected to more than one server, you must select which will be the destination for the chat you send. This is referred to as your Send Target. To select a new Send Target click the orange Menu label in the lower left corner of the chat form. The top item in the drop down menu will be Send Target. Clicking on this item will display the list of available Send Targets. The Send Target will always be displayed at the top of the chat form.
To send chat just type your text into the blue window and press enter. Limit the length of your comments. An upper limit of 255 characters is imposed per send. Note, if for any reason your line of send text fails to appear in the receive window, you may press enter a second time and the chat will reappear in the send box. Press enter one more time to re-send it.
You may find out the Local names of all users connected to your Send Chat Target by clicking the orange Menu button and selecting, Get Users. The user list will appear in your receive chat box. Note that just because a name appears in this list, it does not mean that they have their chat window open.
You can clear all of the received chat from the receive chat text box by clicking the orange Menu button and selecting Clear Chat. There is no way to retrieve this text once it has been cleared.
Chat Macro Buttons
Pro Edition owners will see a series of eight chat macro buttons across the bottom of the chat form as shown in the picture above. These can be very useful for sending often used phases quickly. Chat macros can also send entries automatically to the Observer Log. To configure the text and button labels, right click on any of the buttons or select Configure Chat Macros from the drop down menu. See Chat Macro Configuration.
The Chat - Observer Log Connection
During many coordinated observing sessions, you may find that most of your time is spent in the chat window. Jumping back and forth to the observer log to keep good notes on the observation is very cumbersome. To overcome this problem there are ways to transfer info from the chat window into the observer log more directly
A little Trick to Get Someone's Attention
Typing a user's Local Name (exactly as it appears, including capitalization), preceded by an asterisk (*) will page that person by causing a beep and displaying a "Paged You!" message in the title bar.
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