Greetings Bob (and other experts),

I would like to query the telescope positions and dome status with a python program and send it off to another monitoring program for our site (we have multiple telescopes here). I have been using the win32com.client in my python program to communicate with the various ASCOM devices. I can successfully talk to ACPDome.Telescope to retrieve the azimuth and altitude of the telescope and send that information via socket to another machine. Where I am having trouble is trying to get the dome ShutterStatus. I see in the documentation that there is not really a "Dome Hub" nor is dome information available through the ACP hub. There is also the blurb in the programmers manual that dome control is buried deep in ACP and that ASCOM for the dome is not really used to talk to the MaxDome II controller. I've tried, MaxDome.Dome, ASCOMDome.Telescope, TCS772.Dome and none work while ACP has control of the COM port. I'd rather not disable ACP dome control to make this work. I'm curious if there may be another sneaky (or less obvious) way to query the status of the dome shutter without say modifying asystemstatus.asp to send the information on to where I want it to go. I do not have a need to control (open/close/rotate) the dome. Just query the status of the shutter.

Some additional background: This is a 0.5-m DFM telescope running the newest TCS for windows 7. We are running MaxIm, MaxDome II, FocusMax and ACP.

Thanks for listening! I look forward to any advice,

Bill Ketzeback
Chief Telescope Engineer
Apache Point Observatory