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Automating Sky Roof closure

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#1 KD58

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:13 PM

I don't have a software or computing background so please excuse much of my ignorance.

 

I have a remote observatory and have a VPN connection to the local network and can control my web power switches and computers. I have 2 piers with a separate PC controlling each setup. SkyAlert and Sky Roof are connected to the a third PC. I can connect to these PC's via WRD and TeamViewer.

 

At present I start an imaging session and on completion have to close the roof through a command to Sky Roof after I have parked the scopes. I wonder what I need to do to automate roof closure on completion of an imaging session or when the conditions are unfavorable for imaging. I use SkyX Pro for image acquisition and mount control but am willing to switch to another software if that is necessary. I cannot, of course write scripts or drivers so that isn't an option either.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated. 

 

Khavar 



#2 iuseglasses

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:16 PM

In the manual for sky Roof, they have a link to a plug in for The SkyX here: https://rti-zone.org...ome_plugins.php

I personally use SGP, and there is an option to slave the roof to the telescope being parked. When my imaging session is complete, SGP parks my scope and that triggers the roof to close. I assume something similar happens in The SkyX


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#3 iuseglasses

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:17 PM

Otherwise, you can just set Sky Roof to close at dawn/sunrise every day


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#4 DeanS

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:21 PM

I use CCD Autopilot for my roof automation.  Have SkyX,  Sky Alert, and Sky roof as well. 

 

In my observatory the scope that must be parked is the one that I run autopilot thru.  I just set my other scope up to finish any runs before the main one since it can not hit the roof in any position.

 

Dean


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#5 KD58

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:42 PM

Thank you for these suggestions. Both of my scopes need to be parked prior to roof closure so would that still be possible in either scenario: i.e, CCADP or Sky Roof plug in. 

 

Would it be possible to run 2 iterations of CCADP with roof control designated to one and the other to park the second scope? Or is there another option?

 

Khavar



#6 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:50 PM

If you have skyroof and skyalert then you need the photosensors that interactive provides as part of the package. They will insure that the roof does not close if the scopes aren't parked in the first place. Talk to Jim Collins about how to set this up. My systems are under the roofline by design so I've never done it. You cannot rely on a software package like SGP or CCDAP to complete a run correctly, much too risky, IMHO.

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#7 KD58

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 05:08 PM

If you have skyroof and skyalert then you need the photosensors that interactive provides as part of the package. They will insure that the roof does not close if the scopes aren't parked in the first place. Talk to Jim Collins about how to set this up. My systems are under the roofline by design so I've never done it. You cannot rely on a software package like SGP or CCDAP to complete a run correctly, much too risky, IMHO.

Rgrds-Ross

Ross,

I have the photosensors all set up and the roof will not close unless Sky Roof senses that the scopes are parked. I am trying to tackle the issue of automated parking on completion of an imaging run and then automated roof closure when that occurs. I guess with one system, CCADP can do that for me and I'm wondering how to accomplish this with two scopes both of which have to park for roof closure to occur as both will hit the roof unless horizontal.

 

Khavar



#8 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 05:12 PM

Sorry that I misunderstood you. I was concerned that you were missing the sensors. Yes that's exactly the problem with using CCDAP - it's going to close the roof automatically when the first run finished. That will fail because of the sensors on the other scope which is still working. Now if that's the case, then won't CCDAP just close the roof when the second scope finishes? Or does the roof system need to be manually reset? If not then you don't have to worry.

Rgrds-Ross 



#9 DeanS

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 07:32 PM

Starting to get complicated when both scopes must be parked.   I can see that stopping the roof from closing but the control system may time out if it waits too long to get a safe reply from the other scope.  Then it will not close at all.

 

That is why I make sure my second scope clears the roof.  It is only about 1/2" but enough.

 

I have had the second scope image for a while after the roof closes before if something slows down the imaging run like focus issues.    But no harm.

 

Dean



#10 KD58

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 07:04 AM

Starting to get complicated when both scopes must be parked.   I can see that stopping the roof from closing but the control system may time out if it waits too long to get a safe reply from the other scope.  Then it will not close at all.

 

That is why I make sure my second scope clears the roof.  It is only about 1/2" but enough.

 

I have had the second scope image for a while after the roof closes before if something slows down the imaging run like focus issues.    But no harm.

 

Dean

I think I will try CCDAP when I get to the observatory in a couple of weeks. I will have to settle for using one rig at a time. One obstacle I see is that SkyAlert and SkyRoof run on a different computer on the same network as the PC’s controlling each pier. Is there any way around this?

 

khavar



#11 DeanS

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 08:45 AM

I have my Sky Alert on a desktop in the observatory, then run Skyroof on the imaging laptop.  Both my laptops wireless/network to the desktop for weather data.  Would be easy enough to just install and run the SkyRoof on the imaging laptop that runs CCDAP, it needs to connect to that anyways.

 

If you try CCDAP also try Navigator.  Makes organizing and setting up imaging runs easy.

 

Dean



#12 rgsalinger

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:52 AM

I get the theory and Dean, you may be correct. I've not tried the experiment. If I had this problem I'd give Jim Collins a call. He'll have the answer right away. Then you can let all of us know what it is. I may have the same problem in about a month when I add a third system to my observatory.

Rgrds-Ross



#13 RussD

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:40 AM

Hi Khavar,

We have a very similar setup and needs and I have a possible solution for you.  Like you we have two mounts and two scopes and SkyRoof and SkyAlert.  

 

There may be other and better ways to do this but this is my present solution that works reasonably well.  Like you I started with a third PC that controls the roof.  But we found it was not necessary with the current setup.  Instead we connect SkyRoof, SkyAlert to one of the scope pcs through the USB.

 

Then SkyRoof and SkyAlert run on that PC and control the roof.  The key bit of software though is an ASCOM beta project called ASCOM Remote.  ASCOM Remote runs a little server on the PC that is connected to SkyRoof.  The second PC also has ASCOMRemote.  When configured the second PC can also run SkyRoof and control the roof.  The second mount can then sense shutdowns and weather issues just as if it is directly connected to SkyRoof.  The version I have on my PC was a bit of a pain to setup mostly due to firewall issues.  But I know these problems are known and perhaps the newest versions have this fixed so there is less manual setup.  But I have an older version running on our system and have not updated because it works....and if I have learned anything about running remote...if it aint broke dont update it.  

 

https://github.com/A...ive/ASCOMRemote

 

I know there is also ASCOM Alpaca but I am not sure if this is the same thing under a different name or a different project.... in any case I think this is the kind of thing you are looking for.

 

Connect with me offline and maybe I can offer more help.

 

Regards,

 

Russ


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#14 KD58

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:05 PM

Hi Khavar,

We have a very similar setup and needs and I have a possible solution for you.  Like you we have two mounts and two scopes and SkyRoof and SkyAlert.  

 

There may be other and better ways to do this but this is my present solution that works reasonably well.  Like you I started with a third PC that controls the roof.  But we found it was not necessary with the current setup.  Instead we connect SkyRoof, SkyAlert to one of the scope pcs through the USB.

 

Then SkyRoof and SkyAlert run on that PC and control the roof.  The key bit of software though is an ASCOM beta project called ASCOM Remote.  ASCOM Remote runs a little server on the PC that is connected to SkyRoof.  The second PC also has ASCOMRemote.  When configured the second PC can also run SkyRoof and control the roof.  The second mount can then sense shutdowns and weather issues just as if it is directly connected to SkyRoof.  The version I have on my PC was a bit of a pain to setup mostly due to firewall issues.  But I know these problems are known and perhaps the newest versions have this fixed so there is less manual setup.  But I have an older version running on our system and have not updated because it works....and if I have learned anything about running remote...if it aint broke dont update it.  

 

https://github.com/A...ive/ASCOMRemote

 

I know there is also ASCOM Alpaca but I am not sure if this is the same thing under a different name or a different project.... in any case I think this is the kind of thing you are looking for.

 

Connect with me offline and maybe I can offer more help.

 

Regards,

 

Russ

Thanks Russ. I'll contact you this weekend. 

 

Khavar




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