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  1. #1

    Default Flawless Photometry

    I'm not going to pretend it has been a simple road, and the problems have rarely been ACP or Scheduler issues - but I've arrived at a long dreamed about point. A 100% reliable, 100% automated remote observatory. I build my lists of targets, mostly photometry work with a few images thrown in for fun - and my observatory does it's thing. Some of the special forms in the scheduler are really useful for building photometry project schedules too.

    Thanks to Bob (and a few others who have chipped in on the forum here)

    My power system is totally integrated with my observatory startup and shutdown scripts (including things like smart dehumidification once the observatory closes in the mornings)
    My flats are 100% automated for the filters and rotator angles used each night.
    My photometry lights are automatically calibrated as part of the capture process to speed up processing.
    My local weather station, cloud forecasts and internal dome camera are all integrated into the web interface.
    The web interface is simple enough that family and the odd friend can log straight in and make images if they fancy.
    I have MPC and Comet databases automatically maintained through simple scripts.

    The ACP / Scheduler suite is powerful - yes there are a few quirks to get your head around with the way things are stored, or where particular scripts, config or logs are located. But it's all accurately documented, and Bob alway quick to help when required.

    So there is my plug. If you're reading this and you're on the fence about jumping down the ACP automation rabbit hole - do it. Anything is possible with a little effort. But be prepared to spend 6-12 months ironing all the small kinks out of your system, automation is an unforgiving task master for anything a little flakey in your setup (And again, 9 times out of 10 the problems were not ACP, but were exposed by ACP).

    Thanks Bob!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    30,442

    Default

    James, thank you so much for writing this up. I really appreciate it. A programmer's life is mostly "no news is good news" (poor English, the "no news" here means "lack of news", but it's colloquial).
    -- Bob

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denny View Post
    "no news is good news"
    This is so true, and the reason I logged into the forum yesterday. I realised I hadn't had a reason to for so long, I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on something cool, or another great idea. Many of the customisation and tweaks I've made have been inspired or made possible through the content on the private forums here.

 

 

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