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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    167

    Default Leave Computer Running All the Time?

    Hi all.....sorry in advance for the newbie questions. I'm setting up a remote observatory and will be using Expert Scheduler.

    Here's are the first of what I'm sure will be many questions.
    Do I have to leave my remote computer on all the time?? I'm missing something I think. It seems to me that I would want my computer to start up about sunset and then start monitoring things...make a decision to proceed, etc. Obviously the computer has to be on for this decision to be made...and I can see having it run through the night.....then shutting down after morning flats, etc.

    How is this done??

    W

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,273

    Default

    Most people leave the computer running 24/7 and some leave everything else (camera, mount, etc) running 24/7. It mostly depends on the temperature extremes, mostly how hot it gets. Professionals usually leave their gear running 24/7 as they have found (like computer users) that power cycling is risky. Without the computer you have no access to anything except maybe an IP controlled power switch, and you won't have that unless your router is running (unless you want your power switch on an expensive and vulnerable public IP address).

    I'm going to move this to the General section since we're talking about observatory design/operation issues. When you get to specific issues/questions about Scheduler, start threads for them in the Scheduler section. That will make them easier to answer and easier to search by others. I hope that's OK.
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Hi W,

    Some suggestions:
    1) Make sure your preferences for Windows updates is set so Automatic Update Installation is turned off. Automatic download is ok, but choose to do Updates manually.
    2) My system doesnt have a monitor, keyboard or mouse attached.I control the PC with VNC. from my office. I use TightVNC, but there are others. Why do I run this way? fewer things to cause problems.
    3) I reboot the entire system every Saturday afternoon. Why? I don't know about Win7 and Win10, but older versions of windows seem to age. Possibly memory leaks. I would get odd failures after a few weeks. I also take this time to install windows and other software updates. I'm running Win7, but I still reboot weekly.
    4) If you are running remote and the remote site has a router, invest in an IP controlled power switch. I've had many nights saved because I can reboot the PC or the mount or the camera or the focuser or the rotator. I use TelNet light on my iPhone to remotely control the power switch
    5) There is software available that will let you write simple scripts to power off and power on the mount, camera, etc. thru the IP controlled power switch. These scripts can be run from the ACP Startup and Shutdown scripts. I feel it is particularly important to power off the camera.

    Good luck

    G

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    167

    Default

    That's good information, thank you. How do I write the scripts to power on camera, etc??

    Also....running ACP now, I start SkyX, connect to the mount (Paramount), which causes it to go to home position... I connect it to MaximDL....take a photo and then do a image link in SkyX and sync into the current model with that image. How would I do that through a script?? Any idea??

    Thanks for your help.

    W

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,273

    Default

    You could experiment with ACP's new "single sync" feature (save your T-Point model before this, obviously, in case it gets toasted).


    1. In the TheSky Driver, turn OFF the "Inhibit sync to protect T-Point model". Now ACP would ordinarily do a sync-reslew for every pointing update, which would turn your T-Point model into dust, but....
    2. In ACP, Preferences, Telescope tab, turn on "Enable single sync". This was designed for mounts with encoders. I wasn't aware that people might do a single sync into their T-Point models at the beginning of every night. This option would do that.
    3. Now just "go observe" and the startup sync should be taken care of...


    If it does what you need, you just avoided an error-prone manual operation at the beginning of a night, and are now a step closer to 24/7 hands off :-)
    -- Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
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    Default

    Agreed. It is interesting to me that using the Paramount mounts basically means I can not update pointing with ACP. I build the model in SkyX and then I use ACP to fine-tune the pointing from one image to the next during the night...but I can not update the model in SkyX that way.

    I always, always, always start my imaging session with a couple of 15 second, Bin2, Clear images just to give ACP the change to update everything for the night before I go off on 15-20 minute exposures. I don't know of any other way to use this setup. ACP has this wonderful ability to continue to update pointing...but SkyX will not use it.

    W

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,273

    Default

    Well ACP will always center the object (given coordinates actually) with TheSky under the usual setup by doing a pointing update and jogging the scope instead of doing a sync/reslew. Are we maybe having a communication issue?
    -- Bob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Hello again

    I use Autoit. this is the website:

    https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/

    I will attach the scripts I use for startup and shutdown. I created them years ago - under XP. When I moved to Win7 they just ran. I didnt need to recompile them.

    Im afraid I dont understand what your wanting to do, but I see Bob has replied.

    Let me know if I can be of further help.

    ..g
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    167

    Default

    I'm just trying to understand it all!!! I need to get into the details a little more, then I may be able to ask more appropriate questions.

    Thanks for help, I appreciate it.

    W

 

 

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