My remote observatory project is almost completed. I have a particular issue in that I don't have permanent power at the observatory so everything runs off batteries which are charged by solar panels when there is no mains power available. So, I only have my internet connection (microwave link), my router and a digital logger permanently running. These gobble up about 20 watts/hour and the battery pack that powers them has plenty of power to keep them running for a week without any charging. So far so good. I use the SkyRoof system from Interactive Astronomy to control the roof. The observatory is 20x20 so there is lots of space.
What I have not been able to do is to find an inexpensive night sky camera. I don't want to spend more than 250 dollars on one. I just need something that will let me see if it's clear or not once I open the roof. It needs to be accessible over the LAN at the observatory. It would be even better if I could get to it using port forwarding over the internet. Since it needs to run without human intervention it's best if it has some kind of long lasting battery BUT I have spare 120V AC and 12 DC spare ports if needed.
I have also been looking for a UPS that can be turned on/off using some kind of GUI or (second choice) scheduler. The one I have has a GUI that allows me to monitor the voltage and current in/out but does not allow me to turn it on/off. The purpose of this device is to act as fail safe power if the batteries are depleted and the roof needs to be closed. When I tried to use it on my roof in "always on" mode it drained in just 2.5 days even though my watt meter puts the roof at 1.4 watts/hour when idle.
Anyway, if anyone has any ideas of good ways to solve these problems I'd love to hear from you.