Observatory Control 3.0
This new software and hardware package boasts many features not found in other observatory automation packages. One main feature is to be able to control either remotely or in the observatory itself, our height adjustable telescope pier. You will be able to raise or lower the pier as part of your observing session automation routine. Our controller hosts stored configuration settings and a microprocessor that can automatically open (or close) the observatory at a specific time or signal (e.g.: cloud sensor) – enabling unattended-automated control of your roll off roof observatory without the need of a pc. The cloud sensor can execute an automated routine consisting of pier down, close roof or open roof, pier up, all with feedback from the position limit switches on the roof and pier. This routine can also be activated from popular observatory control packages such as ACP
A deposit will be taken at the time of your order
Pier-Tech Inc. has developed two observatory automation packages. The first PTROR System is for a roll off roof observatory and the second PTDOME System is for dome observatories. The PTROR system includes the motor and gearbox package, drive gear and gear rack and color touch screen controller. Our system was developed for Pier-Tech’s Tele-Station ROR’s but can be retrofitted to any roll off roof observatory. Our PTROR system can be controlled remotely with our software or any ASCOM compatible software. It can also be controlled with Software Bisque’s Automadome software which is a add on to the Sky X and Sky6 software. In this case, the shutter controls in the Automadome screen panel that normally operate a dome’s shutter will open and close the roll off roof. Our controller can also park your telescope mount to insure that the telescope is not in the path of the closing roof. It can also take a input from a cloud sensor to close the roof in case on incoming clouds. It can also control Pier-Tech’s height adjustable telescope piers.
The PTDOME control system that we have developed is for operating a dome. Our color touch screen controller will slave the dome to your telescope mount. It keeps track of the dome position, can park the dome to a user defined location and also park your telescope mount. It was developed to operate on Software Bisque’s Sky X and Sky6 software platform with the Automadome add on software package. When using the Sky X or Sky 6 software, you simply select a target in the night sky on your computer screen, and the dome and telescope will both slew to put the target in the center of the telescope and center of the dome shutter. From that point on, the dome will move whenever your telescope mount moves, and stay locked on to your telescope. Our controller will control the azimuth rotation, upper shutter and lower shutter. It will also control Pier-Tech’s height adjustable piers and take an input from a cloud sensor to close the shutters in case of incoming clouds. This system was developed for use with Pier-Tech domes, but it can be also retrofitted to any professional motor driven dome.
Roll-Off Roof Automation
A Roll-Off Roof Automation control system like no other.
Our system enables the user to control the dome’s azimuth rotation, upper and lower shutter open and close functions and set cloud sensor feedback easily thru our color touch screen controller.
It has built in firmware allowing sequences that open and close the shutter, rotate the dome in azimuth, open and close the lower shutter and park the telescope mount to the users preferred orientation. Our controller operates on 120 volt or 220 volt AC. It can also be powered by a solar panel.
The controller keeps track of the dome’s azimuth position via a reflective photo eye sensor that looks at the dome’s azimuth drive rack tooth for accurate dome position feedback. The color touch screen controller also allows connection to all the popular automation control software packages such as The Sky, CCD Autopilot, ACP just to name a few.
Our new dome automation software and hardware package boasts many features not found in other observatory automation packages.
Our controller hosts stored configuration settings and a microprocessor that can automatically open or close the observatory at a specific time or signal (e.g.: cloud sensor and/or SBIG seeing monitor) – enabling unattended-automated control of your roll off roof observatory without the need of a pc. The cloud sensor can execute an automated routine consisting of park telescope, close roof or open roof, all with feedback from the roof position limit switches and mount parked switch. If used with our height adjustable piers, you will be able to raise or lower the pier as part of your observing session automation routine. In this scenario, the cloud sensor and/or seeing monitor can execute an automated routine consisting of pier down, park telescope, close roof or open roof, pier up, all with feedback from the position limit switches on the roof, pier and mount.
Features of the advanced observatory control Software and Hardware
• Microprocessor-based control board.
• Stored configuration and logic control for unattended operation of the observatory.
• Positional feedback switches for confirmation of pier and roof locations.
• Telescope/Mount parked position input included
• ActiveX control for easy integration into other software packages.
• Manual push-button controls. Pier Up / Down, Roof Open / Close
• USB connectivity.
• Real-time indicators of feedback devices. Pier lowered, roof open.
• Observatory scheduler, program a time when to open and when to close the observatory roof.
• Redeveloped using Microsoft .NET Framework®.
• Provides the latest and greatest in software technology.
• Boltwood Cloud sensor configuration. Parameters available for reaction to the cloud sensor input.
• Ethernet connectivity.
• ASCOM compatibility.
• Optional Wi-Fi controller connectivity.
• Optional cellular tower connectivity
• Can be incorporated into any roll off roof observatory