This release is an alpha-quality pre-release that is not production quality. It most likely contains bugs and may crash. Please only install this software if you are willing to test it, expect to find issues and report them here on GitHub. Do not use the observatory unattended with this release.
This software gathers diagnostic data and posts it to our logging service in the cloud, where we may further analyze problems and perform statistical analysis. By default, the log data posted contains your machine name and Windows login name (so we can correlate errors to specific installations). By downloading and installing this software, you are consenting to our use of that information for diagnostic purposes only. Log data is kept for up to 90 days and then permanently deleted and will not be shared with any third party. This feature is enabled by default in pre-release builds.
Logging is performed very efficiently and as long as you have reasonable Internet bandwidth, you should not notice any effect. Log data that cannot be sent within a reasonable time is simply discarded and should not impact performance. If you prefer not to allow the software to send log data to our logging service for any reason, you may disable this feature by editing the NLog.config file in the program directory end following the instructions there. You can disable all logging by deleting the NLog.config file. However, we ask that you do not do this for pre-release builds as the express purpose of such builds is to allow us to diagnose any problems.
The main changes in this release are:
Includes Firmware 3.4.0-alpha
Adds low battery detection logic
Adds commands for configuring low battery detection
Adds notifications about the low battery status
Adds the ability to autonomously auto-close the shutter when low battery is detected.
Please see the FAQ for information on upgrading the firmware, and details of the firmware protocol.
Setup screen updated to include controls to configure the auto-close feature
Improved status display with 'battery low' annunciator
Introduced a new logging engine that allows us to collect detailed log data directly into a cloud server. This is controlled via the NLog.config file.
Download and run the installer as usual. This will overwrite the previous version.
Upgrade both rotator and shutter units to the alpha firmware build included with this release. The previous firmware version is also included in case you need to roll back.
Note on Updating the Firmware
We have had several instances where the shutter firmware has been installed on the rotator and then the user has contacted us to report that "nothing works". Please remember that both units must be upgraded seperately, using a USB cable connected directly to the unit with the appropriate firmware image. The shutter firmware cannot be updated via the rotator, you must plug in a separate USB cable to update the firmware. You can remove the cable once the update has completed.
We suggest only connecting one unit at a time, so that there is no confusion about which serial port should be used. Suggested sequence:
Open the firmware update screen
Select the Rotator firmware image and the COM port that corresponds to the rotator.
Perform the firmware upgrade.
Power off the rotator and disconnect the USB cable.
Quit out of the firmware update screen completely.
Attach a USB cable to the shutter controller and power it on if not already on.
Open the firmware update screen
Select the shutter firmware image and the COM port associated with the shutter.
Perform the firmware update.
Remove the USB cable and power off the shutter.
Reconnect the USB cable to the rotator and power it on.
Wait about 30 seconds and power on the shutter.
After a minute or two, the system should be full functional.
Note: don't be alarmed if you see the firmware updater using different COM ports than the ones you selected - this is a normal (if slightly odd) Arduino behavior.