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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Default Roof Safety With Power Outage and Alternative Power Source

    Bob, put this where you think best:

    There has been some discussion of alternative power sources and the need to close the roof if they are used and then they lose power with the roof open.

    The People at AAG Cloudwatcher have come up with a free piece of software that has a solution:

    You can check it out here

    It is designed for non ACP systems, but it monitors the internet connection, and if it goes down, the roof closes. Thus, if your router is not on the backup power line, roof will close when the power goes out... the roof is powered but the router is not.

    The AAG people note that if you just put the Cloudwatcher on a line separate from the alternative power source, the same thing will happen. ACP gets an unsafe message while power from the APS and closes down.

    You do not need to execute a script to do this nor do you need the expensive APS system that execute scripts on power failure. I guess the same principles would work with other cloudwatchers.

    JY

    PS I have no commercial interests with AAG. They do have a smartphone app that upsells a monitoring system from their free program, but you do not need the app.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    1,280

    Default

    Astrometric controllers have this feature too. Its saved my bacon numerous times. When power is lost, the UPS kicks in, and the astrometric controller shuts the dome. That
    causes ACP to crash but that's OK, the gear is safe. I don't know what happens if a Boltwood goes away, but, if it does, I think ACP loses weather, which create unsafe weather which also would
    close things down in an orderly way. The Astrometic controller sends me an email so I know their is a problem and can intervene.
    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Prendergast View Post
    Astrometric controllers have this feature too. Its saved my bacon numerous times. When power is lost, the UPS kicks in, and the astrometric controller shuts the dome. That
    causes ACP to crash but that's OK, the gear is safe. I don't know what happens if a Boltwood goes away, but, if it does, I think ACP loses weather, which create unsafe weather which also would
    close things down in an orderly way. The Astrometic controller sends me an email so I know their is a problem and can intervene.
    Peter
    This new software is a bit buggy Betaware, but this weekend i will take the cloud sensor off the backup power... I am sure it goes unsafe when power is off and then ACP will do the job. If the software proves reliable it will be belt and suspenders.

    I think the smartphone app might be designed to sit under your pillow and vibrate if there is a disaster brewing... will look into it once I get the main software working.

    I suspect the Boltwood works the same way as AAG.

    Thinking this through a bit, I assume the power off situation is that the switch is open (no current passes), which is the unsafe position. When power is on and there are no clouds detected by the cloudsensor, then actively the switch is closed by the electronics (current passes) and the relevant software can detect this. I do not know how this might relate to "0" and "1" in the control files, but I suspect 0 is open and 1 is closed.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Yesavage View Post
    Bob, put this where you think best:

    There has been some discussion of alternative power sources and the need to close the roof if they are used and then they lose power with the roof open.

    The People at AAG Cloudwatcher have come up with a free piece of software that has a solution:

    You can check it out here

    It is designed for non ACP systems, but it monitors the internet connection, and if it goes down, the roof closes. Thus, if your router is not on the backup power line, roof will close when the power goes out... the roof is powered but the router is not.

    The AAG people note that if you just put the Cloudwatcher on a line separate from the alternative power source, the same thing will happen. ACP gets an unsafe message while power from the APS and closes down.

    You do not need to execute a script to do this nor do you need the expensive APS system that execute scripts on power failure. I guess the same principles would work with other cloudwatchers.

    JY

    PS I have no commercial interests with AAG. They do have a smartphone app that upsells a monitoring system from their free program, but you do not need the app.

    The Boltwood creates a file that ACP reads, if its not updated then ACPS calls weather unsafe.
    Pretty slick and I hadn't thought about using that as a power safe detector. Well, I"m all set for the moment.
    Been a fantastic year here with all the hardware and software playing nice. Most productive in a decade.
    PEter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    662

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Prendergast View Post
    The Boltwood creates a file that ACP reads, if its not updated then ACPS calls weather unsafe.
    Pretty slick and I hadn't thought about using that as a power safe detector. Well, I"m all set for the moment.
    Been a fantastic year here with all the hardware and software playing nice. Most productive in a decade.
    PEter
    Well, it turns out the programs seems incompatible with ACP. I ran it last night and while it was attached to the roof, and ACP could not connect correctly to the rood... thew an error.

    I think this is one of those situations that would require an ASCOM hub (POTH?). Anyway, I uninstalled it. ACP does what is required, but now I know that if I put the AAG cloudsensor on a circuit that is not supplied by the backup power, if the main power goes out, ACP should be powered up and close the roof when the weather goes unsafe without power. Will have to test this operationally.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    27,953

    Default

    Better to have a separate non-computer system to close the roof on a power outage.
    -- Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    662

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denny View Post
    Better to have a separate non-computer system to close the roof on a power outage.
    Yes, I thought there was a way to wire the Cloud Sensor directly to the Roof Controller such that if the switch opened, i.e. unsafe or power died somewhere, the roof closed as long as the controller was powered. When I first set up the system many years ago I put the wires in to do this but I recall there was some conflict with ACP and I dropped it. Now that the system is more stable I should look into that again.

    Well I did a search and i ran into all my old posts on this.... maybe better let sleeping dogs lie.

 

 

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