Interfacing with other programs
The SkyRoof and SkyRoofHub drivers are 100% compatible with all astronomy software that utilize an ASCOM dome driver.
The SkyRoof ASCOM drivers are 'local server' based drivers. This enables the drivers to serve several applications concurrently.
For example, one could have ACP, Starry Night Pro and Maxim all connected to the SkyRoof driver and able to control and monitor the roof
While it is not necessary to run the SkyRoof program when using the driver, it is recommended to do so as the SkyRoof program
contains many safeguard features and monitors along with messaging features that can keep the remote observatory user alert of
the current observatory status.
Connect the SkyRoof driver to the application you are using as you would with any other ASCOM driver.
Below are instructions to connect some of the more popular software applications to the SkyRoof driver.
Astronomers Control Panel: Click on the “ACP” drop down tool bar option and select “Preferences”. Click on the “Dome
Control” tab and click the “Select Dome” button. Proceed to use the ASCOM chooser to connect to the SkyRoof dome
CCD AutoPilot: From the Main setup page, select “ASCOM” in the “Dome” drop down box, tick the Change Driver
check box. When linking to the software, choose SkyRoof from the ASCOM Dome chooser as outlined in the 'Initial settings' section.
CCD Commander: From the main menu tool bar, select the “Setup” drop down option. Next, click on the Control/Device
tab. Select “ASCOM Driver” from the drop down box and click on the “Configure” button. Proceed to connect to the
SkyRoof driver as outlined in the 'Initial settings'
Maxim DL: From the “View” tool bar drop down option, choose “Observatory” to open the Observatory control panel. Click
on the “Setup” tab and click the “Options” button. Click “Setup” from the context menu that appears and proceed to connect
to the SkyRoof driver.
SGP: Click the “Tools” drop down item from the main dialog window then select “Equipment Profile Manager”. In the dialog
window that appears, select the “Other” tab then click on the “Observatory” drop down. Select the SkyRoof driver and then
follow the ASCOM driver connection procedure as outlined in the 'Initial settings' section.
The SkyX: A SkyX X2 plug-in is available for SkyRoof to control the roof directly through The SkyX interface.
The X2 plug-in is available at this url: https://rti-zone.org/macosx_x2dome_plugins.php
N.I.N A.: From the main GUI, click the icon shaped like an observatory. When the next window opens, select "SkyRoofHub" from the list of
Dome drivers. Click on the Icon shaped like a set of gears to open the ASCOM "Properties" dialog and select the appropriate COM port that the
SkyRoof controller is connected to. Now click the button to conect the N.I.N.A to the SkyRoof ASCOM driver.
Voyager: From the "Setup Form" tab, select the tab titled "Dome".
In the uppermost field titled "Dome", choose the ASCOM Dome entry. A button will appear titled ASCOM. Click the button to open the ASCOM Dome chooser.
From the Dome drivers drop-down list select the driver titled "ASCOM.SkyRoofHub". Click the "Properties" button and select the appropriate COM port number that the
SkyRoof control board is connected to and then click OK.
In the Voyager Startup section, the Dome entry should now appear and will connect when the Connect button is clicked.
If this is not clear to you, check the on-line tutorial at https://interactiveastronomy.com/voyager_driver_connect.mov
When using the 64-bit version of Voyager, you may encounter an error when attempting to connect the SkyRoof app
to the SktRooHub driver after the driver has been connected to Voyager. This is due to a "bitness" conflict between the SkyRoof Control Panel app
and Voyager. To resolve the issue, the SkyRoof Control Panel app needs to have it's permissions elevated to "Administrator".
Due to the nature of the Microsoft™ "Click Once" system that SkyRoof utilizes, this cannot be performed by the usual right clicking on the
shortcut and selecting "Run as Adminstrator". In order to allow the program to be run as an Adminstrator, a small batch file needs to be created which will launch
SkyRoof as an adminstrator.
How to Launch SkyRoof as an Administrator
Without getting in to too much of the details about how it works, one of the pitfalls to the "Click Once" scheme is that it will not allow the user to right click on the shortcut icon and launch the program as an Administrator.
As a workaround, in order to run SkyRoof (or any other Click Once program) as an Administrator it is necessary to create a small batch file to launch SkyRoof as an Administrator.
Here is how to create a batch file that will launch SkyRoof as an Administrator:
Open up the Notepad app on your PC and copy/paste the line below in to the Notepad app. (with the quotation marks).
"C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Interactive Astronomy\SkyRoof.appref-ms"
In the example shown, substitute the word username with the name of the current user as the case may be. (the name you use to log-in to the PC).
The text should all be on one line and include the quotation marks.
Next, use the “Save As…” menu item from the “File” drop down menu at the top of the Notepad app and save the file with a filename of your choosing and as a .bat file.
Save the .bat file to your Desktop. Now, to launch SkyRoof in the Administrator (64-bit compatible) mode, right click the file you just created and choose “Run as administrator”
If this is not clear, check out the video tutorial at this URL: https://interactiveastronomy.com/launch_skyroof_as_admin.mov
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