Neil was recently visiting my observatory and he thought I had a very cool set up and I had all kinds of automation in the observatory that it was worth to share in MOAJ, so here it's.
I'm recovering from an astrophotography accident that I had about 3 months ago now. This is what happened: "I finished reading my book at night, I put the book inside the drawer of the night table & turn off the light to go to sleep. What I did not know is that the book click the remote opener of my observatory roof and left the roof opened all night...and this is Oregon, so a storm came early in the morning and soaked all of my equipment, computers, everything for 90 min."
You can imagine my reaction when I saw the rain & the roof open. I was ready to explode. Well, I let everything dry for 2 months and I turned it on recently and everything works. The good news is that when I caught rain, everything was off, so nothing fried.
In the last 2-3 months, I've spend a lot of time with electronics, sensors, etc. I've built a rain sensor that works independently of computers and it has a battery backup, so when it detects rain, it automatically closes the roof of observatory. Also, I've installed a sensor to detect power outages and it'll shut down the roof when it happens, and all kinds of battery backups, and protections are build in. For instance, you have to enable to digital gates to open the roof and the roof is lock with a low-tech locks when it's rain time, so like I said, it's much better protected.
Additionally, I have installed two motor-focusers for my wide-field telescope (WO Lomo Megrez FL=480 f6 with the TV-85 then the FL is 408 f5) and for my deep-field telescope (Maksutov FL=1800mm f12). The wide filed has a QHY9 with a motorized filter wheel that I'm just starting to test and my Mak has Canon 40D from Hutech with astronomy filter and LPS filter.
Here you have some pictures of the whole thing:
- The relays
to actuate in case of rain, power outage, with the battery back up
- The computers
with battery backup & layer of wood to protect from rain