Image of the day

From the
ATWB Customer Gallery

Mars_Oct-Dec_2005

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Looking for input on automation.

Started by Melnmarn, 06/19/2006 07:17PM
Posted 06/19/2006 07:17PM | Edited 06/19/2006 07:20PM Opening Post
Hello all,
I am looking for information on automating my Observatory. My main concern at this point in time is weather related automation. I want to be able to have a system where if it starts to cloud over, rain, or high winds will cause the roll off roof to close automatically, the mount to slew to a park position, the camera to shut down, etc... Is there a system out there that can do all the automation? Or do I need separate systems and software.
Any input is appreciated. Addresses of sites with info are a plus...

Observatory info:
Roll off roof, with garage door opener.
Losmandy G-11 Gemini Mount
Sbig St2000 camera.
Maxim DL4
The Sky 6


I am thinking I will need a weather station, for the humidity, rain sensing. Software for Automation (CCDAutopilot??), software for cloud sensing from images?? Hardware for closer automation? Not sure what else.

Thanks in advanced.

[COLOR="Blue"]Wayne[/COLOR] 8O
_________________________________________________________
Never stop looking up!!

---
Takahashi TAO-130on a Losmandy G-11 Gemini 4
Williams Optics Zenithstar 105 APO on a G-8 Gemini 4 (Field setup)
ST2000XM with CFW10/L-R-G-B-Ha-SII-OIII filters
Home Built backyard Observatory
Understanding Wife.. 8)
---
Posted 06/20/2006 04:36PM #1
Hmmmm, anyone out there??? 8O Hellloooooooo...

Perhaps no one has any automation done on their observatory? :S

Perhaps I am just too impatient, and need to wait for some responses? shocked

Anyone??? smile 8) wink


[COLOR="Blue"]Wayne[/COLOR] 8O
_________________________________________________________
Never stop looking up!!

---
Takahashi TAO-130on a Losmandy G-11 Gemini 4
Williams Optics Zenithstar 105 APO on a G-8 Gemini 4 (Field setup)
ST2000XM with CFW10/L-R-G-B-Ha-SII-OIII filters
Home Built backyard Observatory
Understanding Wife.. 8)
---
Posted 06/20/2006 10:30PM #2
Wayne,
It sounds like you're asking for quite a lot.

First question you need to answer is: "Will this observatory be run unattended?"

How many hours away will help be if the observatory gets caught in a failure mode?

What safeguards need to be implemented to protect other humans and critters from this automated observatory?

How are you going to communicate with the observatory?
How reliable will this connection be?

It is one thing to have a motorized roof opener that you operate from your house 100 ft. away but it is quite another project to open the same roof on a building that's on a mountain top 4 hrs. away from a human to help it if it needs it.

It also sounds like you want to put a lot of intelligence in this observatory. There are very few truly automated observatories, the software for this type of project gets rather sophisticated. Most are remote controlled, a human is at the controls somewhere and usually there is a human on site to fix any problems that might arise.

I don't want to discourage you but this is a very large project.
I would recommend that you break this up into smaller more workable phases such as get the roof working first, then the scope, then the camera, then finally the weather system.

Technical Innovations- manufactures of the Home Dome and Pro Dome makes an automation system for their domes called Digital Dome Works. It's main function is to slave the dome to the scope mount. There are and or have been others on the market but almost all of them have been specifically designed to slave the dome to the scope. But AFAIK none are designed to be truly autonomous.
Posted 06/21/2006 01:56AM #3
Start here:
http://ascom-standards.org/index.html

Then go here:
http://ccdastro.net/Roof_Controller.html

Weather Watcher here:
http://ccdastro.net/wwi.html

Hope this helps...