So Thanks to Rudolphe who pointed me in this direction...
the Arduino Leonardo dome controller has an input for the rain sensor right?
And if driver low, it will close the shutter for safety?
so with the AAG CloudWatcher I just purchased I see that it has a terminal block lead. It is meant to provide an input to the controller for directing it to close.
so is the signal from the CloudWatcher the same as rain sensor/ driven Low if cloudy or “unsafe”? I presume you set the unsafe condition in the program on the PC, which sets when the CloudWatcher will trigger the unsafe signal?
Looks like those conditions are set by the user.
so if it sends a valid close signal like the rain sensor, the dome will send a shutter close command?
And back on the PC the shutter state will report as ‘closed’ in the driver (ascom or x2)?
Sorry to be so thick. I just want to get this right for something so important that protects my gear.
Regarding the AAG rain sensor. It is critical to make sure the edges around the rain sensor are well-sealed. IF not after long soaker days water can get under it and it will not ever say things are dry again until you bring it inside and dry well. Eventually the water underneath will destroy the sensor. I used a thin bead of DAP rapidfuse (light blue cap) and let it age a few hours to seal.
I have the AAG and SOLO. Rain sensor from nexdome isn't needed with these. Mine closes upon clouds OR the tiniest drop of drizzle or even as dawn starts and the sky gets slightly lit before sun rise. The drawback is you need a PC (I use a nuc) running in the dome. Which is usually the case when imagine anyway. You run the cloudwatcher software on teh PC. (in addition to the solo option which isn't needed really but I like the fancy display). The little cloudwatcher util will run a script at the sign of unsafe. dim dome
set dome = CreateObject( "POTH.dome" )
set dome = nothing
set dome = CreateObject( "POTH.dome" )
set dome = nothing
I WOULD like to hard wire (I have no idea how) if possible so that when the solo says it's unsafe it closes. you can view my solo here. http://kramers.mynetgear.com:10443/ I trust it 100%.
Sorry to be late to the party.
pin7 is indeed the input for the rain sensor signal. Depending on the shield you have there might already be a block header to connect it with both+12V and GND available in addition to the signal itself.
You should only need to run a signal+ground par of wire to the shield and let whatever sensor you're using control the signal to bring it to ground when rain (or whatever event you're detecting) is detected.
This is a bit sad to hear because without weather safety it really cannot even be thought of as a viable automation client. I did not even consider X2 for my dome because dome automation in TSX is yet another $ upgrade. In the end I just personally considered ACP to be a better value because it is so solid, well-supported, and fully functional both for science and pretty picture imaging. You might look into Voyager which I've heard great things about.
Regarding partly clouded is unsafe! Great idea. you really do not to image with clouds messing with things. If, on he other hand I'm engineering I turn weather safety off. In that situation the NexDome rain sensor is still insurance against surprise rain or sprinkler madness.
Oh yeah.. closed is closed and both ASCOM and X2 would know. The point is that if my ACP automation client sees that and did not issue the command to close it will rightly assume a major situation has happened and abort everything and email me to intervene. If on the other hand closure happened because AAG CW told ACP conditions were bad and ACP itself managed the closure no issue at all and if it clears up session will resume.
Hello! I have both a AAG Cloudwatcher and the NexDome Rainsensor. That terminal block in Cloudwatcher is just a switch which can be enabled or not to change state when "unsafe" (as defined in the AAG software or little companion PI Solo). It can turn things on/off (sinks fair amount of voltage) or just ground that rain-sensor pin in the rotator. Normally you use another piece of automation software which reads the AAG output text file.. such things as CCD Autopilot or ACP (what I use) will then send the commands to do things like move the dome to park charging tabs over terminals, close dome park scope etc. To take good advantage of the AAG CW a good automation client really helps because that can have smarts and know how to resume if things clear.
The NexDome rain sensor I use purely as insurance. If a wee bit of rain hits that shutter closes. Period. If that happens (rain sensor closure) my ACP automation sees the shutter closing, stops everything but aborts the session sending me an email for "Operator Intervention". If on other hand closure originated from the AAG CW ACP would do an orderly park dome close park scope and sit and wait for clearing. Things start right up when all is well as judged by AAG parameters.
On most nights I would consider imaging clouds would roll in and trigger closure long before rain. If it was a night with bad storms likely I would simply choose not to image. Even if I'm 2000 miles away it is easy to look at radar and get the general picture. The nexdome rain sensor also protects me if something like lawn sprinklers fire up. Like I said.. good insurance.
Bare in mind that the AAG does much more than sense rain. If you happen to use ACP I could share my startup/shutdown/weather scripts. They have been quite robust with 2.11 for a long time with many completely unattended night of imaging with me both home or far away.