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First fully remote image


dmahon
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OK, so this is the first image taken entirely remotely with my new observatory. I noticed I had a couple of hours window between the clouds and thought I'd make the most of it - that was the point of the observatory, after all.

This is the process:

1) Logon to APC masterswitch

2) Turn on power to all observatory equipment

3) Send WOL (wake on LAN) signal to observatory PC

4) Take control of observatory PC from my office using VNC

5) Load up relevant software

6) Open dome

7) Watch dome opening using IP webcam

8) Turn off dehumidifier

9) Sync dome with scope

10) Watch dome start to move with IP webcam

10) Turn off webcam (don't want its IR light interfering with image)

11) Autofocus

12) Run PHD2 guiding

13) Set SGP off imaging

14) Copy images to network attached storage device

15) Process images on office PC

As promised, here is the first fully "remote control" image (1 frame each of Ha, OIII and SII):

d95a81451c86afec77e383b34a828ee3.620x0_q

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The killer for an automated all-sky camera seems to be preventing the sensor being damaged by the Sun.  There are systems that restrict the aperture to do that, but I don't think they're exactly cheap.  I guess it would be possible for someone with more skill with electronics than me to just rig a shutter in front of the camera that closed when light levels were too high, or between sunrise and sunset.

James

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Really good effort, well done.

I would see some sort of cloud and rain detector to be essential, especially in the UK.

Could an all sky camera be protected from the sun by fitting a ring at the right angle to occult the sun?  It might need adjusting as the seasons changed.

Chris

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I think all sky cameras can be placed outside permanently. I just want one that is IP accessible rather than USB connected.

To be fair, my remote imaging is done from 100m away so I can use the met office forecast for cloud and look out the window to check for rain. It's only remote to prevent me having to put shoes and a coat on, not because I want some much darker skies.

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