SGPro+AAG Cloudwatcher (Safety option)


#1

Hi guys.

When using the AAG CloudWatcher, can a sequence in SGPro be paused and the dome closed when ‘’ UNSAFE ‘’ conditions are detected by the AAG CloudWatcher and then be reopened and the sequence resumed automatically if the AAG CloudWatcher detects that sky conditions have become “SAFE” again?.So far I just saw documentation talking about closing the dome if it detects UNSAFE condition but not resuming a session as soon as SAFE conditions are detected again. I saw the Script Section but that doesn’t sounds super user-friendly for me

It would be great if after the skies is clear for a specified period of time, SGPro could automatically open the dome (if it was closed), unpark the mount and bring it back to the original target (if it was parked) and resume the action list at the next action in the list!

This capability is available in CCD Commander but I would rather have the chance to do this in SGPro as I really like your Software. That should not be too complex to achieve in SGPro I believe, What to you think?

This capability makes a lot of sense when you want to automate your sessions and be able to fully benefit from each hour of clear skies available during a session. I don’t see why CCD Commander could do it and not SGPro :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance for your help & support!

André


SGP Restart after Abort
#2

I agree - I’d be pleased to see this update. There could be a band a clouds that passes and the sequence could continue.


#3

+1 for that option


#4

24 posts were split to a new topic: SGP Restart after Abort


#5

+1 for this request


#6

I’d love to see this option too, it will be a great step for SGP towards full automation


#7

+1 HERE TOO, It would make things way more easy than getting ACP or commander


#8

Yes, this is something we’ve been planning on adding for a while. But we need some other pieces in place first. To be able to do this we need more “intelligence” when picking a target. Currently we rely on the user to make sure the sequence is setup correctly and the stop/start times are all valid. But when you have an error condition that throws things off the rail that decision making process becomes a little more difficult and needs to be automated. We might not be able to just pickup on the last target, we could be at a state where we’re waiting for the next target to rise.

Thanks,
Jared


#10

Hi guys :blush:

It is true, that if we want to cover all potential use cases to make this feature 99% bullet proof it could represent a lot of work for you and take a while to complete.

Do you think there could be ways you could start working on this more quickly by identifying a minimum viable product (MVP) first, iterate on it & then deal with more complex scenario later-on? What would be the most simple scenario that could bring immediate value without covering every aspect in v1?

As an example the initial Scenario (MVP) could be:

  • SGPro detects one of the non-clear conditions selected in the configuration screen by the user.
  • SGPro pause the Sequence & park the mount (as per selected options in the configuration screen)
  • SGPro close the dome to protect the equipment (as per selected options in the configuration screen)
  • SGPro detects that the SAFE condition is back for the specified period of time define in the config.
  • SGPro then automatically opens the dome (if it was closed),
  • SGPro unpark the mount and bring it back to the original target (if it was parked)
  • Realign it and resume the sequence where its stopped (and automatically restart the auto guiding)

That would be an awesome step in the right direction :blush: even if it doesn’t cover all potential errors and more complex scenarios initially. I would see a lot of value in achieving this first step.

A simple roadmap for this feature would allow you to deliver value progressively and more robust versions in subsequent iterations…

Please also find below the configuration screen and sets of parameters I found in the AAG CloudWatcher online help. It is the example for CCD Commander they are providing. That could maybe help creating a new set of option in SGPro for this feature…

CCD Commander Weather Monitor

Also see Chris Rowland’s ASCOM safety monitor driver: Boltwood Weather Monitor (V6.2 January 2016)

http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ObservingConditionsDrivers.htm

This is just an idea from a new enthusiastic customer of SGPro, hoping to see this feature materialise more rapidly because it is going to be so awesome!

Thanks guys!

André :blush:


#28

Back on the original request, we have an automated shed with AAG Cloudwatcher, today this features is not being used as we losse all nighters due to cloud bands passing by, so we use recovery mode which is not optimal and fails on as many occasions as it succeeds (we have 3 rigs in the same shed).
Although one can imagine all possible border line issues with just pause and resume, like an object passed imaging time, the reality is that most imagers choose objects that will run the whole night …
Yes ideally there should be more intelligence, but for know a simple pauze and resume would be god sent! Now it just breaks off the imaging run making sure we capture nothing the rest of the night.
So for us +1 +1 +1 (we are 3 people :smiley: )


#29

Finally back to the initial topic! :slight_smile:

I couldn’t agree more with Yves. Don’t try to solve every potential Scenario right away. Make an MVP, build this iteratively and deliver value progressively. Start small,make a first step and then iterate again on it.

Honestly, CCD Commander is already doing all this very well and Chris Rowland’s ASCOM safety monitor driver (Boltwood Weather Monitor) already exist. This is an opportunity for the SGP team to provide great value to its customers & get an edge on it’s competitors.

More and more people are buying small domes e.g Nexdome and fixed base observatory sheds because it just make sense and full automation is the next logical step.

We don’t have much time to do this hobby and clear skies are often rare when we finally have time. So customers like me needs to make the most out of each night and each session available. And since we all have to work to pay all these nice equipments we need to go to bed and sleep too :slight_smile: Automation is key!

I would rather use SGP because it is a great and promissing software but I will spend the extra $$$ and go with CCD Commander and the SkyX if there is no real commitment from SGP to make some progressive advancement towards this goal.

There is great value & efficiency for every backyard astrophotographer in this feature. We are not complaining. We have a need and we will purchase the product that can respond to what we need. Can you help us with this…or not…That is your business call. I am simply asking because I like your product and believe in your team! :slight_smile: All the best! :slight_smile:


#30

FYI http://ccdcommander.com/CCDCommanderHelp/Setup/Cloud_Sensor_Setup.htm


#31

In a sense, this would be a step backwards and two forwards, in so much that SGP relinquishes control over any roof to an external application/hardware but what it does do is pause and resume a sequence using the safety monitor. Sounds simple but it has a few gotchas in so much that the mount has to be made safe to avoid potential clashes for RORs. It requires a systems approach, for example SGP parks the mount and the external application has to check the mount is in a safe position before closing a roof. Similarly - upon the return of favorable conditions SGP would need to confirm the roof was open before unparking and slewing back to the target, to continue the sequence. At end of sequence it would park the mount but not close the roof.

This approach would still fit within the SGP gamut but each user will need to carefully check that all the failure modes are covered.


#32

Hence the MVP, start small with the minimum, decide if we stop tracking or park the mount when a weather unsafe enters the room. Resume the sequence when a safe signal is given … if that means the target is already past no problem, it fails or goes to the next and so on …
So for me the minimal to avoid and accident is to stop tracking or parking the mount … and resume when safe. Now it just breaks off the sequence and we loose an entire imaging night …


#37

A post was split to a new topic: SGP Update Problem


#39

Oufff…I agree with Buzz now…We should close this topic…
I opened this topic with alot of excitement and with just good intentions and suggestions to improve this product. This was and is still a good idea & legitimate need.

This being said, the conversation on both side SGP and Users is not going in the right way. The need is still there but I understand that for SGP it is not something trivial to do and that can’t be offered to its customers anytime soon and if that is the official answer then that is perfectly fine and that is OK.

I now feel practically sorry to have posted this need on this forum by seeing how things turned out. That was not the spirit and the intention of the initial post,

I also suggest we close this thread that I should never had posted.

I will quit this conversation & this forum that is not what I was expecting from a customer and user standpoint.

I will simply go with another solution and that is just fine like that and wish all the best to the SGP team.

Sorry again for posting this need. Clear sky everyone!

Life is short, let’s be happy| :slight_smile:


#40

Agreed, this has gone very off topic. I should have moved out the offending posts, that’s my bad. But, as I said in my first reply, this is something we plan on adding:

I don’t mind taking an interative approach here. Maybe initially it just goes something like this:

  • Abort Sequence - Shuts down observatory, parks mount, etc.
  • Restart Sequence and wait for safe condition to be met.
  • When safe, pick the next event using the existing logic.

I don’t think that would be too difficult. I would HIGHLY recommend in that you also have some sort of hardware enabled “unsafe” watcher that handles things outside of SGP for something like this.

Thanks,
Jared


#41

Thank you Jared


#42

24 posts were split to a new topic: SGPro+AAG Cloudwatcher (Semi OT)


#43

Well I attempted to comb through this thread and I think I made things somewhat worse by confusing the original topic with the OT conversations. So my appologies on that. Everything else can be found here:

Anyways, back onto the restart. I’ll spend some time and see what it would take to make this possible without a lot of feature creep.

Thanks,
Jared


www.mainsequencesoftware.com