Quote:... So, consider putting your remote observatory in somebody's observatory farm.Alex
- “ Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. ” — Hugh C. Cameron
Quote:The Achille's Heel of my remote site is the comms link.PCs are all Atom-based, so power consumption is ridiculously low.So, you need a reliable power supply, and a reliable data link. Hope some of that info may be of some use.
Quote:One of the best things you can do to be sure that your obs stays up and running is preventive maintenance. Make yourself a PM schedule and stick to it.
Quote:Only let the PC control what it has to..
Quote:Be sure you can close your roof/dome if the PC fails.Be sure the roof/dome will auto close in inclimate weather.Be sure your roof/dome can be closed if there is a power failure.
Quote:Install cameras. If you have dome install a camera on the mount so you can see where to scope is pointed.
Quote:Be sure you have a climate control system that will dry the inside of your obs after you close it up so any dew that may be on the inner walls will dry quickly and not get moldy.
Quote:Make sure the mount will stop moving on its own before it contacts something that will hurt it or the scopes its carrying.
I lost count of my scopes. Now I just want mobility. I came, I saw, I bought some interesting accessories, and put names to faces: NEAF 2012, ASAE 2012, SWAP 2013, ASAE 2013.
Quote:My experience is not with remote observatory equipment, but remote integrated/converged communications -- A/V, data, etc.
Quote:first, you could see which devices were working or not working and get into any command interfacesecond, you could toggle the power on each device.
Quote:---The roof should be closed when it is supposed to be closed. A design that closes by gravity or spring if power is lost would be nice.---The telescope should not be able to collide with anything. Limit switches.
Quote:- Do everything you can to simplify the setup.
Quote:- Control the power with intelligent TCP/IP connected power strips.
Quote:- Plan everything out and separate the functionalities into sub groups for testing and function.
Quote:- If possible setup a complete running observatory (or at least a full approximation of all the functions) locally so you can more easily work through the inevitable teething issues.
Quote:My poor old scope has many broken castings from trying to compete for space with a mechanized ROR. --Justin
Quote: Power control is critical. The Digital Loggers Web Power Switch is an excellent product. I can't say the same for the CPS power switches.
Quote:I am documenting the building of my backyard observatory, so you may be interested in some of my documents. Also, this is my first time building an observatory, so I am learning as I go even though I did spend a lot of time researching before I started.Eric
------------------------------- [ Level 1 Atom Based PC #1 ] [ Atom Based PC #2 ] [ Primary Control ] [ Level 2 Raspberry Pi (I/O) ] [ System Health ] [ Backdoor control ] [ Level 3 Electrical interlocks ] [ Independant systems ] [ Level 4 Hard physical Stops ] [ Level 5 Human Intervention ] ------------------------------------------------------- Level 5 - Last fallback for saftey - a warm friendly body Level 4 - Primary risk (high cost) - Damage to the corrector plate, hyperstar, and CCD - Hard physical stops to prevent breakage from a runaway mount - This may reck the mount but save the scope (Lesser of two evils) - Hopefully we will never get here Level 3 - Individual system's power will be interconnected to other systems through electrical interlocks by way of limit switches with multiple contacts - This system runs independant of higher order systems and takes control - Primary purpose if tripped: Home the scope and close the roof - Roof cannot open unless scope is parked - Scope cannot power-on unless roof is open - Limit switches engage before hard physical stop, rain sensor trips etc. - Returns control to higher order systems after trippage - This system should never fail (Very robust components - relays, switches) Level 2 - Raspeberry Pi with I/O board - Primary purpose: System health, backdoor into observatory over internet - All limit switches auxilliary contacts connect here - Temperature sensors, weather monitor - Power cycling, environment/fan control (Through normally closed contacts) - Single Foscam robotic security camera - Web Server for observatory health/security with email warnings - This system may fail but not be fatal Level 1 - Multiple Atom based PC's - Primary connectivity device (tightvnc) - Primary telescope, CCD, webcam control - Image processing etc. Other Systems running in parallel and connected - Battery backup/Primary power / Solar Panels (Self contained) - tcp/wifi/router/hub/turbo-hub/internet (Maybe one device - but bootable) - backdoor cellphone or other gps device (Location if stolen)
Quote:Good job Eric. Looks like you have indeed done your homework. I will be lucky to produce a tenth of the documents you have created. On a good day I get a few scribbles on paper
Quote:Can you turn off the IR on that Foscam? Jared
Quote:As an exercise...Just though I'd give you a couple mutually incompatible options.
"Starman" Dan Doyle
Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
Central Texas Astronomical Society
8" LX200GPS w/ST80 guidescope, Canon 350D+DSI Pro
150mm f/8 Sky Watcher Refractor
10" f/4.5 Homemade Dob RV-6 Criterion Dynascope http://www.darcstarobservatory.webs.com