I have a new observatory with a roll off roof in Gold Canyon, AZ. Dave Miller helped me with system design install of a Planewave CDK 20 and Diffraction Limited AC4040 camera on a Paramount MEII. I have a planewave rotator to install on the telescope when I get a part to adapt the camera. The system also has an AOX. This is all installed on a lift built by Piertech who also built the Roll off roof and controller. I have SkyAlert from Jim Collins on the way as well. I also have an automated power switch. I am sure that all this equipment is compatible with ACP.
I would like to move to a system like ACP and love the planning features and automatic operation it offers. I am a long time user of SGP with my portable telescopes and learned to love the ability to go to bed and allow the system to control movement to targets while I sleep. Now that I have an observatory and more complex equipment, I am looking for the same thing. I wanted to get all my equipment shaken out before downloading the 60 day trial copy, so I have not tried ACP yet but have watched the videos.
Long introduction to ask a few questions.
1) I want to add a second telescope and camera to the system for dual imaging. The camera is a Color camera with no filter wheel, and a focuser. Can ACP readily handle simultaneous acquisition and focus control of two camera and two focusers? Is this through Maxim software or can other package be used?
2) I have been allowing Maxim to close down my observatory that works well most nights. However, last week I awoke in the AM to find the Roll Off roof open. Good news is that the Piertech roof controller has a proximity switch to detect the telescope in park position, which worked to prevent a roof crash. Bad news is that the reason the mount did not park is that the SkyX crashed on the control computer. This generates the question, how does ACP detect program hangs and crashes, power failures, etc and restart the system to assure control, particularly to stow the system? Maxim DL can also hang and occasionally needs to be power cycled. Does ACP have alerting and/or can it run recovery routines? Since I have a ROR and lift, I do need a working control computer system and power to make the telescope safe.
3) AOX guiding. I have finally gotten the AOX guiding to work with dithering for my system. Some of the recent Maxim revisions have had my input and testing to get the AOX system working with their new AC4040 CMOS camera and Starchaser guider. Some nights, I can get 4-5 hours of continuous AO guiding. Other nights, the “bump” system loses the guide star and as you know Maxim’s built in logic doesn’t recover the star. Does ACP handle these situations so a guide star can be reacquired. As an operator, I simply do a locate and then start AO tracking and guiding is restored. Unfortunately Maxim doesn’t do this simple reset.
Thanks for any insight you can give me.