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Dome add on and cloud sensor

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Posts 26
Dave Compton Posted: 04-12-2019 1:23 PM

I've searched for it but I only see some older posts.

In the latest release, if I have the Dome add-on, can SkyX take an input from a 1) cloud sensor or 2) weather station, and close the dome shutter or park the dome if conditions are not safe?

I see that the skyx scripting references has weather related command or properties, so is a safe auto shutdown or at least shutter closing something possible?

Thanks, Dave

 

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 512

Hi Dave,

Double check the spec's on your dome controller.   The few I've tried have either a direct hardware interface which can accept an electrical signal from the weather sensing equipment or the ability to read a formatted weather description file provided by the weather sensing equipment and act on the weather conditions it finds there to close the dome shutters if necessary.  This would bypass TheSkyX and any other software completely and only communications between the dome controller, be it via hardware or software commands, and the weather sensing equipment takes place.

Mike

 

International Dark-Sky Association - http://darksky.org/resources/losing-the-dark

http://www.astrobin.com/users/mklinke

 

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Posts 26

I found that the Nexdome controller doesn’t have a direct input. But the AAG CloudWatcher has a tab for scripting. If the state changes from safe to unsafe or vice versa it can run a script.

i think I will try a simple ‘shutter close’ if unsafe and ‘shutter open’ if safe. Then maybe if those work I can try adding on ‘park mount’ and ‘park dome’.

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,807

Dave Compton:
In the latest release, if I have the Dome add-on, can SkyX take an input from a 1) cloud sensor or 2) weather station, and close the dome shutter or park the dome if conditions are not safe?

No, not as of build 12034 for win, 3rd party automation software does this via a weather server (ACP, CCDAP, etc.).  Note that a weather station (Davis Vantage Pro2 for example) is very slow to react and if you rely on it for rain (no cloud sensor) you will get wet.

Tom

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 27,398
Software Bisque Employee

Dave Compton:
In the latest release, if I have the Dome add-on, can SkyX take an input from a 1) cloud sensor or 2) weather station, and close the dome shutter or park the dome if conditions are not safe?
The Dome Add On does not presently have this feature (not released publicly).

Dave Compton:
I see that the skyx scripting references has weather related command or properties, so is a safe auto shutdown or at least shutter closing something possible?
TheSkyX's weather-related scripting methods and properties have not been released for public consumption at this time.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Posts 26

Thanks for the reply.

the Nexdome controller does not have a hardware ‘close’ input. It would be nice if it did.  But the AAG CloudWatcher program has a ‘launch script’ window. It can launch if conditions change from safe to not safe or vice versa. So I’m going to try to make a short vbs script just to do that 

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Posts 26

Thanks for the replies. The Nexdome controller does not have a hardware bypass switch to close the shutter.

 

but the AAG CloudWatcher program has a launch script option. If condition goes from safe to unsafe or vice versa you can open or close the shutter by vbs script. I just have to see if I can write a short script for TSX that calls the shutter close command

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Posts 26

Sorry for the repetitive post. I’m still getting used the the moderated forum and I thought it was dumping my replies. I’ll stop.

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 903

Recent version of the NexDome Arduino Shield have an input for a rain sensor. If the input is driven low (to ground), the rotation controller will send a close signal to the shutter controller and keep doing so until the condition is cleared (input is driven hight/disconnected).

 

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Posts 26

That sounds very useful.

just three questions.

im assuming it is something standardized but is that control signal something standard for the different cloud sensors, that grounded / high voltage? (Mine specifically AAG CloudWatcher)

Is it possible to determine if the arduino controller I have is compatible or is it simple enough to buy a new motherboard from amazon?

can the overwatch program on the PC notify a script or other program that shutter state has changed so that program can pause a series? 

 

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 2,158

Last I knew the AAG system had a hardware input. No matter what I would strongly advise you to depend ONLY on the hardware input. Scripts choke computers lock up. I’ve been doing this a long time and hard experience has shown that hardware direct input is by a very long way the most effective and reliable 

HTH

Peter 

 

www.astrometrics.com Dome Controllers

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Posts 26

I'll have to look at the Arduino program and the firmware/ hardware I'm running. If it takes a rain sensor input, closes the dome and reports that back to the driver on the PC, then I'm sure I'll be in business.

During a long 'take series' I guess I would just then monitor the shutter state, and if it is anything other than PseudoOpen, place the series on pause.

I'm sure that with all the Java and VBS examples, I could set up a long series to shut down gracefully or wait until the clouds clear up before attempting to resume.

Thanks everybody for helping me get an idea of what to do.

I'll try a safe fail in the following order

1) hardware closure first via hard wire connection to the dome controller, 

2) monitor the safety via AAG's software second and issue a close shutter script if it says unsafe but reports shutter open

3) and pause the imaging session third if shutter state is anything other than open.

Do those sound like safe priorities?

I think SGP or CCDAutopilot have some of this built in, but I'm not sure I want to learn another layer on top of TSX for something possibly so simple.

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