Observing Conditions vs. Safety Monitor


Hey all, I am in the process of building a weather station around Arduino (Arduino + Sparkfun weather sheild + MLX90614 + Weather meters. Gives Temp, Sky Temp and hence Clouds, Rain, humidity and hence dew point and pressure). More to come on this as soon as I am done and can share the code, build etc.

And I am also writing the Arduino sketch and an ascom driver around it.

My question is the following:

My primary goal is to use it to close the observatory if rain or excessive clouds are detected. The rest of the data is nice to have and maybe of future use.

For this purpose, should I be writing a Safety monitor driver? Or an observing conditions driver? Everything I have read seems to indicate Safety Monitor, but observing conditions is newer and a lot bigger in scope and I would want to write this instead. But I don’t think SGP uses observing conditions to trigger any sort of safety related operations, does it?



You could build your weather station to output a Boltwood 2-compatible text file that could be read by Chris Rowland’s safety monitor.


You could implement a Safety Monitor driver, or an Observing Conditions driver, or both.

The detail of this really belongs on the ASCOM-Talk group.

But, as @mads0100 says, if all you want to do is close the dome just before it starts raining implementing the Boltwood one line file may be good enough.

Chris R


thanks for the feedback guys. For the immediate future I will implement the observing conditions driver, in which I will provide an option to output boltwood oneline.

Future direction can be taken based on discussions on Ascom-Talk.