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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Davis, California
    Posts
    4

    Default Weather Station Information

    I am new to this forum & just trying to get started with ACP. Just completed repairs on 10' Home Dome and finished re-wiring everything. Got stuck on trying to slave the dome with the AP1200 mount, then had to take out the computer due to virus. Currently wiping disk to start over. Meanwhile, I do not have a cloud sensor or other type of weather station and was wondering if I could get some advise. I know Jim Colins in Chico, CA who is selling a complete weather station. Anyone have comments using this with ACP? In my climate, my primary issue is closing down before the humidity gets too high. Rain is pretty obvious most of the time. I think that interface and compatibility are my main concern with more sensors.

    Regards,
    John Obermeier

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    John-

    I'm not familiar with the Colins weather station. Also, I'm not sure humidity is a typical parameter for shutting down an observatory. I live in the East, and it's always humid. I run the fans on my RCOS telescope, and dew is seldom a problem inside the dome.

    I use the Technical Innovations AAG weather station, which works great with ACP, and costs about 1/3 of the Boltwood. ($495 plus $100 for the wind sensor vs. about $1800 for the Boltwood.)

    The key parameters I monitor are cloud cover, rain and wind. Wind is very important. I know a guy who's dome got blown off of his observatory and it did catastrophic damage, and he was lucky not to get injured. I have my wind safe limit set to 10 mph.

    Ne prepared to fiddle with the cloud safe limit. It's a function of the ambient temperature, so you have to fiddle with it seasonally.

    Hope this info is helpful.

    Best,

    Rob
    Rob Capon
    (Self-appointed) "Executive Director"
    Stillhouse Mountain Observatory
    Charlottesville, VA
    ----------------------------------
    RCOS 12.5 with SBIG STL11000M
    Televue NP101is with SBIG ST8300
    Paramount ME with SkyX
    Techn. Innovations PD10 with Digital Domeworks
    Robofocuser
    ACP with MaximDL and FocusMax

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    28,244

    Default

    Thanks Rob.

    John -- I am also unfamiliar with the Collins weather station. Somehow, ACP needs a weather input "safe/unsafe". ACP does not have logic to make decisions on what is/is not safe, that is relegated to the specific weather station. I would go along with Rob's AAG suggestion. It is designed for astronomical use and has a nice set of controls for telling it what is safe or not. It is compatible with ACP's weather input.
    -- Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    John-

    This thread is also very useful: (Peter has a lot of experience, and got me started with Scheduler!)

    http://forums.dc3.com/showthread.php...8188#post48188

    These sensors are not a set-and-forget thing. I tinker with my cloud safe limit all the time based on current temp and humidity. Sometimes it will be clear at -10, but I'm showing cloudy because the sensor is set to -12. So I'll just tweak the settings to -8, and let it go for the night. As the night chills down it might be -15 by sunrise.

    I think this is true of all sensors, and the AAG is well priced and the software infrastructure is already in place with ACP.

    By the way, I'm also using a Tech Innovations PD10 dome, and dew isn't almost never a problem. I use three fans on my RCOS but don't use/need dew heaters, even in Virginia.

    Best,

    Rob
    Rob Capon
    (Self-appointed) "Executive Director"
    Stillhouse Mountain Observatory
    Charlottesville, VA
    ----------------------------------
    RCOS 12.5 with SBIG STL11000M
    Televue NP101is with SBIG ST8300
    Paramount ME with SkyX
    Techn. Innovations PD10 with Digital Domeworks
    Robofocuser
    ACP with MaximDL and FocusMax

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Davis, California
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks to all for the suggestions and related links. My comment about humidity is based on my experience with a stand alone set up on the same deck -- completely exposed to the sky. Not the same conditions now with the dome in place. I will follow up with TI. For what its worth, the unit mentioned (www.jimstar11.com) is roughly the same price and uses a sonic anemometer.

 

 

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