Odd behavior for dome/roof slave settings


#1

I have been creating equipment profiles that include my roll-off roof now that I have that working
and have noted some odd behavior in the setup.

I go into equipment profile manager under the [Other] [Dome Options], select my “dome” (Maxdome II) and then check “Slave to Telescope” and proceed to “slave settings”. I select “Roll-Off Roof” and then check all of the option boxes to get it to behave as wished. I click OK and then save the profile (either overwrite or new name, behavior is the same - I have tried both).

Closing and then reopening the equipment manager/dome options and going back to slave options I now see that it is set back to “Dome” and the “Open Shutter First” box is no longer ticked, the other boxes are still ticked.

To add to the confusion, if I now create a new sequence from that profile and then go to slave settings under control panel, it DOES say roll-off roof but the “Open Shutter First” box is still not ticked.

Is this normal behavior?


Profile Save Roof Options Question
#2

No, looks like there’s a bug there. However if you set the options like you want them in the sequence and then use the “Save Sequence as Profile” option from the file menu then things get saved correctly. We’ll look into fixing the equipment profile here.

Also you likely DON’T want to “Park Observatory with Mount”, but you may.

Also keep in mind that these settings only work when the commands are issued from within SGP. So if you have the “Mount Unpark Opens Roof”. If you manually unpark the mount SGP will not open your roof. You’ll need to unpark the mount from the telescope tab to get SGP to open/close the roof for you. Likewise if you try to close the roof and your scope is NOT parked SGP will still close the roof for you. I would highly recommend you have some safety interlocks in place that don’t allow your roof to be opened/closed when your scope is in an unsafe position, you may already have this…but just mentioning it to help prevent equipment damage.

Thanks,
Jared


#3

No, looks like there’s a bug there. However if you set the options like you want them in the sequence and then use the “Save Sequence as Profile” option from the file menu then things get saved correctly. We’ll look into fixing the equipment profile here.

OK, I will do that at least until the bug can be squashed.

Also you likely DON’T want to “Park Observatory with Mount”, but you may

OK, I see that “park observatory” is mainly just for domes to rotate the azimuth into the park position. I remember that from ORION now.

Also keep in mind that these settings only work when the commands are issued from within SGP. So if you have the “Mount Unpark Opens Roof”. If you manually unpark the mount SGP will not open your roof. You’ll need to unpark the mount from the telescope tab to get SGP to open/close the roof for you. Likewise if you try to close the roof and your scope is NOT parked SGP will still close the roof for you. I would highly recommend you have some safety interlocks in place that don’t allow your roof to be opened/closed when your scope is in an unsafe position, you may already have this…but just mentioning it to help prevent equipment damage.

OK, good information. My roll-off is designed so that I can close the roof in any scope position with no danger to the mount or scopes so that is not an issue.

Thanks.


#4

Sorry to bring an old thread back from the great beyond, but I’m having the same issues with saving my observatory settings. I set the correct options for my Seletek system, including Roll Off Roof, Mount Park Closes Roof and Park Mount First. The settings don’t stick, and always revert to Dome in the Equipment Profile.

I’ve saved this in the Equipment Profile section and tried the above suggestion of Save Sequence as Profile. Neither will permanently alter the Equipment Profile, and it always reports that it’s a Dome. Even more peculiar is that occasionally, say one in five times, when I open SGPro it will hang with an “Invalid Dome Parameter” error message that is stuck behind the loading logo and can’t be cleared without an ALT-CTRL-DEL and ending the process.

None of this is too troublesome, but it’d be nice if it didn’t happen. Any suggestions?


#5

I have the same issue.
I save the equipment profile with my “room off roof”,
but always get a “Dome” type observatory in each new session.
I have to change every time manually the observatory type…
Last beta. 3.8


#6

I’m probably going to use this feature - but have to park mount before moving the roof. I have found, however, a hardware fail-safe. My motor system is borrowed from domestic sliding entrance gate and has an input for a beam breaker. I will mount the sender and receiver on the shed wall next to each other and put a small mirror on the end of the Losmandy plate. The roof will only operate if the beam is reflected back from the mount when it is in a horozontal position…crunch.


#7

I’m a bit closer to getting an obsy. I have a hole in the ground now and tired limbs.

I started to experiment with the ASCOM simulators to get the feel of how SGP runs the ROR/Park

I set up the slave settings and chose a ROR option. Manual open and close shutter work the simulator but I could not get the sequence to trigger the roof opening (or closing) The park/unpark on the scope works on the simulator but nothing seems to que up the roof, either from park/unpark within SGP or with a sequence. I was using the .net simulator and watched the traffic. It was not receiving the command. The sequence went ahead with the shutter closed and telescope parked regardless.

Any idea what I’m doing wrong?


#8

After you have connected everything have you checked if the slave to scope is ticked still, you need to tick that after you connect scope and roof/dome - the act of connecting the scope will force an untick of the box - mentioned it before on a different thread, can set it be ticked in the profile and you think all is ok but it is not, right pain and could easily lead to a wet obs if you forget to double check it is still set.

Have a reminder to to check now when I start a sequence and a note on the bedside cabinet to remind to check.

I was hoping it may have been sorted in one of the recent betas…

Trevor


#9

I am guessing you use Tools/Options/General Options to display a popup when starting a sequence to do the same.


#10

Exactly, need to ensure I check - love SGP but the whole slave to part is not really fit for purpose as it stands.


#11

Hey Buzz,

I have a ROR and I have to park my mount in order for it to close. I have a Foster Roof Controller (it’s OK, mostly because of the software sometimes not working after updates).

I can tell you that slaving your roof to the scope works. I dunno why the simulator isn’t working… but my shed works so I can tell you SGP will do what it’s supposed to do :).

You do need to tick that darn box every time… like everyone else, I have a reminder to check my focus and to make sure the roof is slaved to the mount.


#12

cheers guys - that would be it. I’m going to write a simple driver for the ROR and have a hardware lockout that prevents the roof from moving if the mount is not in the park position. It will consist of a tiny mirror on the end of the dovetail, which reflects a beam back on itself at the park position. If the mount is not parked, the beam is broken and its relay stops the roof moving.


#13

This is an issue specific to the .NET Dome Simulator which was discussed a while back on this forum Bug Report - Dome & Scope Slaving

It appears that the .NET Dome Sim runs in the same memory space as SGP rather than it’s own process. So SGP and the .NET Dome Sim get in a tug-o-war with each other because of some threading weirdness. If you use the old Dome Simulator it will likely work just fine.

Thanks,
Jared


#14

It should be fixed in the next ASCOM platform release.

Chris


#15

Buzz, I have a sensor I bought online for about 20 bucks. I’ll post a link in about 24 hours or so…

It integrates really well with my foster controller.


#16

thanks - it could be useful - the motor kit comes with a photo sensor, used to stop a gate crushing your car - but it is rather big. The motor controller has a number of convenient inputs - open, close and an interrupter, that I would plan to use with SGP. If for whatever reason the mount did not park, the interrupter pauses the roof movement until the beam is made, i.e. the mount is parked. I just need to write a simple dome shutter ASCOM driver for a USB controlled set of relays to have full computer control.
If the slave settings are made persistent in SGP and Ken/Jared consider pausing a sequence start until the ASCOM safety monitor says the skies are clear, I should be able to do fully automatic sequences on the off-chance of good weather. happy days (or nights)


#17

http://fostersys.websitetoolbox.com/post/cheaper-sensors-7376952?pid=1286923827

Here is the thread I posted on it over at Foster Systems. I was using two of them. One failed after about 3 months. You can get them on eBay or on Amazon. They work really well!

Chris


#18

Thanks - that is perfect - and I can plug and play that into the existing motor controller too. I just have to put the mirror on the end of the dovetail plate.

I was going through all the error states and also figured that I need to do a safety lockout to prevent the mount homing when the roof is closed. If one does not set it up right, the act of connecting to TSX can home the mount before the roof opens. This is where the ASCOM driver developers earn their keep!


#19

@mads0100

I have been thinking about the architecture of SGP working with weather, mount and obsy systems without making it device specific.
In the case of the PMX, upon connection and power up, the mount needs to home. In my case, that must only occur with the roof open. It is going to get very complicated very quickly as not all mounts need to home when they power up.
This is my current thinking, feel free to chime in:
SGP assumes the roof is in a safe position to start an image sequence and currently uses ASCOM safety monitor to park the scope, or park at the end of sequence and close the roof. With a hardware failsafe - the roof will not close until the mount is parked.

For opening - this is more tricky, since SGP will want to connect to all the equipment and in the case of a Paramount trigger the mount homing, which could bang into the roof. (Unparking a Paramount has nothing to do with homing.)

I think I’m looking at a stand-alone roof controller, with its own separate rain detector, which opens the roof based on rain, rather than cloud and uses the previously mentioned hardware safety lockout for the mount position. It will be written as an ASCOM dome controller. Since rain will cease before cloud disappears, when SGP decides to go for it, the roof will already be open, which its ASCOM interface will confirm. SGP will then connect to the mount and it will home itself ready for the slew and center. If I need to provide a safety lockout in case SGP does not sense the roof position prior to imaging- I can have my roof controller interrupt the power to the mount if the roof is shut.
Does that make sense?

PS - I’m checking out the rain sensor RG11 from Hydreon.


#20

Could this be where the option of two safety sensors could be useful?
SafeToOpen and SafeToImage.

SafeToOpen is used to open the observatory, connect everything, home the mount etc.
Then imaging starts when SafeToImage says it’s OK.

Chris


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