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Messages - Wes

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1
SkyAlert Board / SkyAlert 1.20 Released
« on: November 28, 2015, 08:13:27 AM »
The latest version of SkyAlert is available. You can update the application fro the Help menu or download the new version through your web browser at this link:
http://interactiveastronomy.com/SkyAlert/SkyAlert/SkyAlert.zip

2
SkyAlert Board / Sky Alert Remote Tips
« on: April 08, 2015, 03:28:13 PM »
When using SkyAlert Remote, always make sure that the clocks on both computers are set to the correct time. Because SkyAlert uses the time stamp of the file that SkyAlert Remote creates to determine if the remote data file is being generated, a file that is a few minutes old can cause an alert to be issued.

3
SkyRoof Board / SkyRoof Tips
« on: January 11, 2015, 01:19:28 PM »
 You can add custom scripts to SkyRoof to control various operations of your observatory. Scripts that are set to run when the roof "Open" command is issued will run as soon as the "Open" button is clicked while scripts that are set to run when the roof "Close" button is clicked will run before the roof closes. The roof will not close until the roof closure script has completed. This can be beneficial to users to park mounts that are not ASCOM compliant or for custom control of other devices. The following sample scripts are shown as examples of the type of operations that scripting can perform with SkyRoof. Remember that no matter how the roof is controlled, there must be a means to park the telescope before the roof can close. This can be done by either connecting to the mount through the ASCOM interface in the SkyRoof program or through a custom script that is run when the roof "Close" command is issued.


'************************************Start up Script--runs when roof is opened******************************

Set myCamera = CreateObject("MaxIm.CCDCamera") 'The camera and guide camera object
Set myActiveHome = CreateObject("x10.ActiveHome") 'The X-10 object for controlling X-10 power modules
Set myScope = CreateObject("POTH.Telescope") 'The telescope hub object
Set MyMaximScope = CreateObject("Maxim.Application") 'Maxim Telescope Object
Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell") 'Shell object to execute other applications
Set Speech = CreateObject("SAPI.SpVoice") 'Speech API Object
Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") 'Scripting Object

'*******************************************Speech Subroutines****************************************

Dim sText 'Set the variable sText
Sub Talk 'Speech subroutine 1 invokes subroutine 2   
       SpeakText sText
End Sub

Sub SpeakText(sText) 'Speech subroutine 2
   On Error Resume Next
   Speech.Speak sText, SVSFlagsAsync + SVSFPurgeBeforeSpeak
   Do
      Sleep 100
   Loop Until Speech.WaitUntilDone(10)
End Sub

'*******************************************Script Starts Here********************************************

sText="Initializing observatory systems"
Talk
wscript.Sleep 500
sText="Powering mount on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a3,on" 'Turn mount on
wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Observatory lamp on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a1,on" 'Turn observatory light On
wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Radio on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a8,on" 'Turn radio On
wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Scope fans on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a6,on" 'Turn scope fans on
wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Focuser on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a5,on" 'Turn Optec focuser on
wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Camera on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a4,on" 'Turn Camera on
wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Guide camera on"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a7,on" 'Turn Guide camera on
wscript.Sleep 10000 ' 31 seconds mount boot up time

sText="Initializing mount"
Talk
If myScope.Connected = False Then 'Connect to scope through POTH
myScope.Connected = True
End If
wscript.Sleep 20000 'wait for POTH to set Autostar2 date and time 24 seconds

sText="Linking to cameras"
Talk
myCamera.DisableAutoShutdown = True 'Keep camera from unlinking automatically
myCamera.LinkEnabled = True 'Connect to camera in Maxim

wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Camera cooler on"
Talk
myCamera.CoolerOn = True

wscript.Sleep 4000
sText="Linking computer to mount"
Talk
MyMaximScope.LockApp = True
wscript.Sleep 3000
If MyMaximScope.TelescopeConnected = False Then 'Connect telescope to Maxim
MyMaximScope.TelescopeConnected = True
End If
wscript.Sleep 3000
WshShell.Exec "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Setup Files\GPS2.exe "
wscript.Sleep 2000
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "k1,off" 'Turn dew lamp off
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a1,off" 'Turn observatory light Off
sText="Observatory start up complete"
Talk





'*******************************Shut Down Script--runs when roof closure is issued before roof closes*************************

' The first 4 lines initialize the OLE objects

Set myCamera = CreateObject("MaxIm.CCDCamera")       'The CCD camera object (and guider) in Maxim
Set myActiveHome = CreateObject("x10.ActiveHome")    'The X-10 object
Set myScope = CreateObject("POTH.Telescope")         'The telescope hub object ASCOM POTH
Set myMaximScope = CreateObject("Maxim.Application") 'Maxim Telescope Object
Set Speech = CreateObject("SAPI.SpVoice")
Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Dim sText

Sub Talk       
       SpeakText sText
End Sub

Sub SpeakText(sText)
   On Error Resume Next
   Speech.Speak sText, SVSFlagsAsync + SVSFPurgeBeforeSpeak
   Do
      Sleep 100
   Loop Until Speech.WaitUntilDone(10)
End Sub
'****************************Script starts here****************************************

myCamera.LinkEnabled() = True    'Link CCD camera to Maxim

sText="Initializing observatory shutdown"
Talk

myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a6,off"    'Turn Scope Fans off
wscript.Sleep 3000

myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a1,on"    'Turn observatory light on
wscript.Sleep 3000

sText="Halting guider"
Talk
If myCamera.LinkEnabled Then
myCamera.GuiderStop()        'Stop the guider
wscript.Sleep 5000           'wait 5 seconds
sText="Camera cooler off"
Talk
myCamera.CoolerOn = False    'Turn the cooler off
End If

wscript.Sleep 3000

sText="Unlinking cameras"
Talk
If myCamera.LinkEnabled Then
MyCamera.LinkEnabled = False    'Disconnect the camera from Maxim (if connected)
End If

wscript.Sleep 3000

sText="Unlinking mount"
Talk
If myMaximScope.TelescopeConnected = True Then    'Disconnect telescope from Maxim (if connected)
myMaximScope.TelescopeConnected = False
End If

wscript.Sleep 3000

sText="parking telescope, please wait"
Talk
If myscope.Connected Then
myscope.Park()    'Park the telescope using ASCOM POTH
End If

wscript.Sleep 60000 'wait for scope to park

sText="telescope parked"
Talk
wscript.Sleep 1000

sText="Powering systems down"
Talk
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a5,off"    'Turn Focuser off
wscript.Sleep 3000
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a7,off"    'Turn Guide Camera off
wscript.Sleep 3000
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a3,off"    'Turn Mount off
wscript.Sleep 3000

myMaximScope.LockApp = False
wscript.Sleep 2000
myScope.Connected = False    'Disconnect the scope from ASCOM POTH
sText="waiting for roof closure"
Talk
Set myCamera = Nothing
Set MyMaximScope = Nothing
Set MyScope = Nothing
wscript.Sleep 180000
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a4,off"    'Turn Camera off
wscript.Sleep 3000
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "k1,on"     'Turn Dew Lamp on
wscript.Sleep 3000   
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a1,off"    'Turn Observatory Lamp off
wscript.Sleep 1000
myActiveHome.SendAction "sendplc", "a8,off" 'Turn radio Off
sText="shutdown routine complete, good night"
Talk

4
SkyAlert Board / SkyAlert Tech Tips
« on: January 11, 2015, 12:09:26 PM »
While we make every effort to prevent errors from occurring, sometimes it is unavoidable. SkyAlert keeps track of errors for you and logs them in a file that contains the type of error that occurred and the time that it happened. You can examine the error file by navigating to: Documents>Interactiveastronomy>skyalert>skyalert_error.txt

Common error problems:
  • Timeout error: An excessively long USB can cause connection problems with the SkyAlert module. If you are seeing timeout errors, this may be the cause.
  • Unable to connect to the remote server: This can be caused by a web host not responding to a web request. Check that your LAN connection is working and the computer is able to connect to the internet with a web browser.

5
Sightings / Geminids
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:02:22 PM »
Lots of meteor activity during the Geminids meteor shower this year. Even though the Moon was near full, after it set, quite a few fairly bright meteors passed over our area. Here's a couple of the brighter ones...









6
Sightings / Fragmenting Fireball
« on: November 09, 2013, 07:43:58 AM »
A fairly bright fireball shot over the San Francisco Bay Area on Oct. 23. Several people witnessed the event and described the meteor fragmenting as it moved across the sky.

NASA used a SkyEye camera image to assist in calculating the trajectory of the meteor which unfortunately did not capture the break-up. cams.seti.org


7
Sightings / Late Perseid
« on: August 21, 2013, 07:51:17 PM »
Caught this one early Tuesday, August 13 the day after the peak of this year's Perseid meteor shower.

8
General Discussion / Re: Meteor Catch
« on: June 03, 2013, 09:07:49 PM »
Nice one. Looks like it burned for a long time too!  ;D ;D ;D

9
Sightings / Fireballs
« on: June 02, 2013, 08:46:54 PM »
Caught three major fireballs last Winter in three consecutive months. Since then, haven't had any major catches.

http://astrobytes.net/sept_fireball.html
http://astrobytes.net/october_fireball.html
http://astrobytes.net/nov12_fireball.html

Overdue for some new activity here   ;)

10
Announcements / Latest SkyEye software released
« on: June 02, 2013, 01:12:36 PM »
 An all new software package for the SkyEye camera has been released which consolidates all drivers and programs into one installation package. The new software version includes several updates and new features. The installation packages are available on the "Support" page.
http://interactiveastronomy.com/support.html

 Individual program updates can be found here: http://interactiveastronomy.com/update.html

 SkyEye software is constantly evolving. Always use the latest application versions to get the most out of your SkyEye camera.  ;D

 

11
Announcements / SkyEye in the news!
« on: June 02, 2013, 01:00:41 PM »
SkyEye cameras featured in the national news.
Link here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/49465270/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.Uauj5NIp_h7

12
General Discussion / Re: Meteor
« on: June 02, 2013, 12:25:14 PM »
Cool. How about a link?  :-\

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