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One of the  'joys'  of letting it run whilst you get the zeds in, is to work out what went wrong in the morning !!! Most instances you'll find are obvious and could have been avoided.   That's as

Agreed. I just do my best to make sure it not catastrophic. Yes, my imaging session sometimes fail for one reason or another (usually something I have done), but hopefully nothing to cause major damag

I leave the rig going all night and get up early in the morning to put the lens cap on. I don't fancy clearing guano from the front element. My sequencing software takes care of meridian flips an

Depends where you’re setting up? I regularly leave my rig going while I head off to bed, I wouldn’t be able to do the hobby otherwise due to work commitments. Never had any issues. Of course I check for possible cable snags, if a meridian flip is needed etc before leaving it but my garden is pretty secure so I don’t have concerns regarding theft. 

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Personally, I wouldn’t consider it as there is the risk of collision with the mount as the target moves overnight.

I’d want tracking mount, with sequencing software and even then, only after watching for a few nights on the same target.

 

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8 minutes ago, Newforestgimp said:

What’s the consensus regarding setting up and leaving gear snapping away whilst retiring for the night ?

I'm pretty certain I would not have any kit left by morning if I did that! I'm not so sure the insurance company would be willing to pay out on something left unattended and unsecured in the garden. Worth checking your cover first.

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One of the  'joys'  of letting it run whilst you get the zeds in, is to work out what went wrong in the morning !!!

Most instances you'll find are obvious and could have been avoided.   That's astrophotography for ya !!!

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56 minutes ago, Newforestgimp said:

setting up and leaving gear snapping

All our sessions are as such. If we had to sit by the mount all night, we'd soon lose interest and so obtain little data.

We use the EKOS scheduler which automates the process from start to finish; over Internet on your 'phone if you're not planning on being on site.

 

Cheers

 

Edited by alacant
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I do that a lot, especially when it doesn't get dark until stupid o/c. I do have an automated obsy though with weather monitoring, and the software I use will schedule the meridian flip if needed plus the shut down sequence when a run is finished. I have left the little rig running overnight but only if the forecast is for it to stay dry until I surface.

I do, however live in a fairly low-crime rural location, with a well secured garden.

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28 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

I'm pretty certain I would not have any kit left by morning if I did that!

Snap! I'm looking for a house move soon and one of the potential candidates looks better than here though.

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The consequences of a flip collision vary from catastrophic to insignificant depending on your installation. My own mounts simply cut off when they sense an overload. An EQ6 will clack away noisily without doing itself much damage, in my experience, but seek further opinions. The other thing is that focus will drift. If you have a robotic focus then that isn't an issue. If  you don't, it is. And then there's rain. You can buy rain sensing alarms easily enough so I wouldn't let that be an issue.

My own situation is split down the middle. I host six entirely robotic instruments managed by their owners and I have two imaging installations of my own which are non-robotic. Essentially I'm a dinosaur...

Olly

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55 minutes ago, alacant said:

Meridian flips are included in the automation process.

When it works and balance does not need correcting :)

Also, as OP didn’t indicate what, if any, software was in use. 

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Just leave it going and go to bed.

Software (NINA for me) will take care of the meridian flip and if you set up mount limits in (eqmod?) you can negate the possibility of clashes.

Good idead to force a few flips from various scope positions in the daytime to check for any possible cable snags. 

Unexpected rain is the main issue so I don't leave it going and go to bed if there's the slightest chance of rain. 

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I haven’t done it yet but I am planning on leaving my equipment running over night. As already said, I’ll make sure the cables are clear from snagging, no rain and everything is safe. I’m sure it will all be fine though. 

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90% of my imaging sessions are unattended. I'm lucky that I have a secure garden. Rain is a slight risk but I use a rain alarm which notifies me if there is rain within 25km. Fortunately I have a rain radar within sight of the house so it should be quite accurate. So far I have had no issues with cables but it has failed to flip due to duff plate solving. (Platesolving globular clusters does not work very well).

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I use APT to run a lights plan so would fixed duration even if not quite as full on as a NINA style shutdown etc, not managed to get NINA to work yet.

I've bottled it tonight, & ordered a longer active usb extension so I can set laptop up in the shed, will see how that works out 👍

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Another NINA user here. A have a semi-remote setup at the moment, in that once I get everything aligned and a sequence programmed I walk away and let it do it's thing, meridian flip and all. Usually quickly rotate the mount around a bit when setting up to make sure there's plenty of slack in the cables so the mount can go wherever it wants without issue.

Only fairly recently moved to new area, so haven't quite built up the courage to leave everything out while I sleep, but garden's pretty secure so would be fine, I'm sure. 

Going to be implementing guiding and remote access to the scope-side PC in the next couple of months, so once polar aligned I can do the rest indoors - I get cold very quickly in the winter just sat at a laptop when setting up! (soft southerner 😁)

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All the time. I doubt it's be possible for me to do this hobby if the equipment had to be manned. Not many overnights yet as it's rare that it's been guaranteed to be dry but in the winter there were lots of 6 hour+ sessions where I set if off and checked in rarely.

I've found meridian flips in EKOS to be  a little hit and miss, but it's often possible to choose a target that won't require a flip, and just automate the mount parking at the end. Others appear to get flips to work well, but in any case, it's only been an issue with alignment failing so the data being poor. Ditto with focusing - it's great most of the time, but all it's gonna cost is data.

My EQ6 is old so I'm not too precious about it - it crashed in to itself once and made a pretty nasty noise, but doesn't appear to have caused any lasting harm.

 

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I got to bed at 04:00 this morning. After deciding I was going to leave it taking subs of M52 and go to bed but just as I made one last check the clouds rolled in. No rain forecast but you just never know. There were denser bands in the cloud layer and it only takes a light shower to spoil your tomorrow!

I have done it once, but I couldn't settle and ended up monitoring it remotely on my tablet in bed!! :) 

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12 hours ago, CraigT82 said:

Just leave it going and go to bed.

Software (NINA for me) will take care of the meridian flip and if you set up mount limits in (eqmod?) you can negate the possibility of clashes.

Good idead to force a few flips from various scope positions in the daytime to check for any possible cable snags. 

Unexpected rain is the main issue so I don't leave it going and go to bed if there's the slightest chance of rain. 

Power cuts? Cable connections? PC shut-downs? Eventually, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. Some people, for instance, would robotize a roof which required the scope to 'park' first and some would not. I certainly would not. One day it will happen...

Olly

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I leave the rig going all night and get up early in the morning to put the lens cap on. I don't fancy clearing guano from the front element.

My sequencing software takes care of meridian flips and I have decent cable management which, in my view, is a must to prevent snags. I have a pier extension so clouting the camera on the tripod is impossible.

Edited by TerryMcK
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30 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Power cuts? Cable connections? PC shut-downs? Eventually, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. Some people, for instance, would robotize a roof which required the scope to 'park' first and some would not. I certainly would not. One day it will happen...

Agreed. I just do my best to make sure it not catastrophic. Yes, my imaging session sometimes fail for one reason or another (usually something I have done), but hopefully nothing to cause major damage. If I did not set it up to run in auto I would never get any imaging done. Working 8-4 every day and having a 7 and 9 year old is no good with no sleep! If only I could arrange for clear nights on a Friday and Saturday....... Oh yeah - and no moon!! 😁

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3 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Power cuts? Cable connections? PC shut-downs? Eventually, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. Some people, for instance, would robotize a roof which required the scope to 'park' first and some would not. I certainly would not. One day it will happen...

Olly

I have a UPS in the obsy. My Talon roof automation has two mains leads, one is connected to the UPS, the other monitors the mains. In the event of a power cut it will stop the sequence, set the 'scope to park and close the roof, as it will in the event of cloud / rain/ high wind.

The PCs have "Active Hours" set for daylight so unlikely to be a Win-Dross restart.

Cable issues are the big bug-bear, though my USB connection run through the hub in the mount. The mount itself is connected to the obsy PC through RS232 for mount control.

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An interesting topic for me as I had the same question. 

I've only been imaging since new year and so far I only do so in waking hours, so I can attend.

After 2 late nights and feeling less than alert for work, I was considering leaving overnight. My main concern is the weather.

Is there equipment you can get, or maybe Apps, to alert you to impending rain?

Edited by Mr Thingy
Terrible handwriting
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