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INDI Library v1.8.3 Released (02 Jan 2020)

Minor monthly bugfix release with a new RainbowAstro mount driver and improved pier side simulation.

Script building my Observatory

2 months 1 week ago
kamisan
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Script building my Observatory #46758
For about a year I've used Ekos and Astroberry with great success but since I don't have an observatory I miss a lot of imaging opportunities by only accepting those that have 100% chance of success due to the effort involved with lugging the scope outdoors, leveling it, polar alignment, etc. My finished image throughput is lackluster, only about 10 images per year. The other day I got hold of yearly sky quality data for my site, broken down by hour, and I discovered that my throughput could be closer to 50 images per year. The central problem is that I am currently rejecting opportunities in cases where the sky clears after midnight. So I've started thinking about an observatory.

I've watched YouTube videos at Jasem's "Kuwait Astronomy" channel, specifically those about the Ekos Scheduler module. The videos are about 4 years old so I am fairly certain that improvements have been made since then. I don't know if the following is possible but it seems to maximize image throughput due to my intermittent clear skies. My plan is to make the observatory autonomous and environmentally-aware. I'll give it a long list of objects that spans 24 hours of RA and then click the "Start" button. The system waits for nighttime hours and then utilizes Unihedron's Sky Quality Meter to sense the beginning of a period of cloud-free, moonless skies. The dome opens. Now, given the time (which might be 2am) it searches through the list of targets. The choice it makes depends on a number of factors but if there are two or more targets, it favors that which is in a partially completed state. The telescope slews to that position, focuses, plate solves, and then starts the image sequence or resumes a partially completed sequence. No need to explain further.

I do program in C++ but I was wondering if anyone knows if KStar's Script Builder tool is comprehensive enough to achieve this?

Thank you.
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2 months 1 week ago
Kaczorek
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Script building my Observatory #46795
Isn't it the case that Ekos Scheduler does everything you need? I believe so.

--
Radek Kaczorek
Astroberry Server | NEQ6 | Atik 460EX | Atik EFW2 | ASI 120MM

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2 months 1 week ago
kamisan
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Script building my Observatory #46798
"Isn't it the case that Ekos Scheduler does everything you need?"

It appears to be so.

Since posting this topic I've played with Ekos Scheduler for the first time using simulators. So far so good, save for a quirk or two that is probably my fault. Next step is to add a weather simulator if one is available.

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2 months 1 week ago
sterne-jaeger
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Script building my Observatory #46829
The scheduler can do a lot of things that you described: unpark dome and mount, slew to a target, focus, align, start guiding and capture a sequence - and this for several targets in a row. There is also some functionality for weather observation and reactions upon weather warnings and alerts.

The scheduler is meanwhile quite robust so that it can recover from passing clouds etc. So having EKOS control an entire night fully automated should be possible. But currently the scheduler algorithm is not so flexible so that you give a shopping list and come back after a month or so without ever watching. Maybe somewhen in the future...

TSA-120 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | Moravian G2-8300 + ASI 1600mm pro + ASI 294mc pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian 10
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2 months 1 week ago
kamisan
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Script building my Observatory #46830
Wolfgang said: "The scheduler is meanwhile quite robust so that it can recover from passing clouds etc."

That's my next nut to crack: weather sensing. I've had my eye on Unihedron's SQM-LU but at this time I don't know if I need to write a custom driver in order to perform cloud detection. There may be better products out there for that purpose.

Right now, I am make a clone of an Ubuntu 18.04 VM for the purpose of INDI development. I'll see if I can make that change to a line of code in the Weather Simulator that you pointed out to me in another thread.

Thanks for help, Wolfgang!
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2 months 1 week ago
sterne-jaeger
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Script building my Observatory #46831
I'm working on the same topic, but I'm building my own weather station based on the induino WeatherStation . It is quite nice, since it includes many sensors for temperature, humidity, air pressure and even cloud coverage and sky quality.

If you have some basic experience in soldering, it's quite easy to build and you get a fully fledged weather station for less than 50€

- Wolfgang

TSA-120 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | Moravian G2-8300 + ASI 1600mm pro + ASI 294mc pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian 10
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2 months 1 week ago
kamisan
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Script building my Observatory #46832
Smart! I think I'll do that too. I've got a spare Adafruit MetroMini. I may also have some sensors. Good idea!

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