I am looking to automate my imaging sessions. I just installed a garage door opener in my ROR and I want to be able to sleep and not worry about the weather. I came across Tektite Skies and I was wondering if anyone has used it successfully with SGP. I imagine that some sort of roof control (SkyRoof, Foster’s) is still required but it seems as if an all sky camera would look after the closing of the roof due to weather conditions. That is quite the savings over a dedicated cloud monitor.
I bought Tektite Skies for use with a SX Superstar camera and wide angle lens (e.g. Oculus). I have had frequent issues with the Tektite software and although the developer has tried hard to help, I cannot get it to work and have removed it from my computer.
I now use two systems - a physical rain detector, the Hydreon HG11 that connects directly to my roof controller and a cloud detector (AAG CloudWatcher) and ASCOM safety monitor, through SGP. This combination is dependable and has some redundancy too - so that the HG11 operates outside Win10 and will still control the roof if the imaging computer crashes.
The Hydreon rain detector is a simple relay output which represents wet/dry state. My own roof motor needs a pulsed input to its electrical inputs to open / close the roof. You will need to check what your controller needs.
In my case, I cannot move the roof unless the mount is parked. I have a controller with optical sensors that ensures this happens and translates the Hydreon relay output into a pulse if there is no obstruction. Since this is a SGP forum - SGP has a slave mode, which ensures the mount is in a parked state when the roof closes and conversely, that the roof is open before slewing. In this case, I have the cloudwatcher via the ASCOM safety monitor wired into SGP. If SGP deems it is unsafe, the mount is parked and the roof closes. That should occur with heavy cloud but before the onset of rain. The Hydreon unit detects rain and is my backstop, so, if the mount is parked, it can independently close the roof.
Before I start a sequence, I open the roof, home my mount and park it, allowing it to cool down. SGP notes it is parked and only unparks it when it hits the timer event. If rain comes along before SGP has kicked things off, the mount is already in a safe position for instant roof closure.