Environment device


Continuing the discussion from SQM Data integration:

Just tried the new environment device with the openweather interface and it works!!
Great Job thank you very much!!
Just want to remind, that an integration with the common device from unihedron
would be great. Should’nt be a great hassle since APT integrated it as well.
One benefit could be that CCD users can make a correlation between the SQM reading and when the background reaches some ADC level.



The values it delivers are in the ObservingConditions specification already (SkyQuality and SkyBrightness), so just tickle them to crank out an ASCOM driver and you’re all set from the interface standpoint.



Hi perfrej

i dont get what you mean.
In the openweather settings dialog is a possibility to get sqm values. Do you mean that?
afaik there is no ascom driver for unihedron devices. the client software has to query the device.
the sqm readings out of the openweather interface are not very meaningful, because
they dont give me the readings at my current location. pls give me a hint, so i can understand the meaning of your post.




What I mean is that the Unihedron device needs an ASCOM driver and the values would end up in SGP. Openweather does not support SQM readings, only these values:

Wind direction, Wind speed, Wind gust speed, Temperature, Relative humidity, Atmospheric pressure, Rain in the last hour, Rain in the last 24 hours, Rain since midnight, Snow in the last 24 hours, Brightness, Radiation, Dew point, UV index.

It is weather related, not astro.

What value are you trying to use as SQM? Is it through the new Observing Conditions interface?



The Unihedron sky quality meter seems to be a hand held device that measures the sky quality in magnitudes per square arc second. It doesn’t have a PC interface so the user would have to read the value from the SQM display and set it in some sort of driver that accepts manual input.

Such a device exists - the ASCOM ObservingConditions Simulator.
There is also an ObservingConditions hub that allows properties from multiple devices to be amalgamated into a combined OC device.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions Hub is selected in SGP.
In the ObservingConditions Hub the appropriate driver is selected for each property. Things such as pressure and temperature could come from an OpenWeatherMap driver.
The SkyQuality could come from the ASCOM simulator.
RainRate and SkyTemperature or CloudCover could come from a local device.

Connect in SGP and the data from all these devices is read and supplied.

For the SkyQualityMeter there is a window that can be displayed. Select override for the SkyQuality, read the value from the SQM, set it in the simulator and press Enable Changes.



Hi Chris,
a close look to the Unihedron site shows that there are three types of devices with communication
to a PC. The SQM-LU with USB connection, the SQM-LE with ethernet connection and the SQM-LR
with a RS232 interface. All of them have a detailed documentation with appropriate programmers api
The device is widely spread among astronomers an is also used in projects like Dark Skies Awareness
and GLOBE at Night campaign. Take a look http://unihedron.com/projects/sqm-le/



Then you need to find a programmer who is prepared to write a ObservingConditions driver for this.
Or persuade Unihedron to provide the driver.

I’ve worked with manufacturers to do ASCOM drivers for them but would need paying.



Just want to give an update to the discussion:

Hello Robert,

Thank you for your suggestion. I do agree that an SQM ASCOM driver would

I’ll check into what is actually required to develop such a driver and
will also contact the Main Sequence Software people to ask how much extra
work they would have to do to add the SQM ASCOM driver to their software.

On a related note, you might be interested in looking at the APT (Astro
Photography Tool) which supports SQM-LE, SQM-LU:

Best regards,

Anthony Tekatch
4 Lawrence Ave.
Grimsby, ON L3M 2L9
Tel: (905) 945-1197
Fax: (905) 945-6770

Sounds like a good starting point.



Please inform them that SGP doesn’t have to do squat… ASCOM is already there.



So I take it that nothing ever developed on this front? It would be nice to have my SQM-LU (USB interface) report sky quality in SGP. Did Unihedron ever follow up with investigation of an ASCOM driver?



Not sure if an ASCOM driver was ever written, but the BEST way to go, by far, is to use the “Observing Conditions Hub” to mix and match as many devices as you want. Because of this it is unlikely that we will ever support any type of environmental equipment natively.


OK, Environmental Data seems slick so far - got API Key from OpenWeatherMap, but unfortunately playing with the Observing Conditions Hub seems to have corrupted all of my profiles. I can open SGP but if I try to Open a New Sequence with Profile, I get an error message:

(same error message appears in my logfile, but I can post it if you like).
and then the profile name disappears from my list (actually, it is blanked to “”.sgp). Happens with all of my profiles.
Hmmm, any ideas what’s going on?


Here is my logfile. I’m using the latest beta version

Although some of my profiles have disappeared, it looks like most of them are still there if I open a new copy of SGP - it’s just that I can’t open any profiles without getting the error message above.



I don’t think you did anything to corrupt sequences or profiles. This is a known bug and has been fixed, but not released.


Thanks Ken. Yes, found the bug thread and responded there.


I had also posted to the Unihedron forum in May of last year regarding this. Anthony’s positive response was needing to find the time and resources, etc. I realize that these can be in short supply in the best of times. That said it would be great to have the usb and ethernet versions of these devices supported somehow.


I agree! Any news about this?
Would love to see the usb SQM reading at SGP!


Already available. Check out this link:

Hooks in via the Observing Conditions hub:



Thanks for the info!