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  #1  
Old 30-05-2018, 08:27 PM
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TraKtorman (Peter)
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Remote power switch for observatory

Hi all, I am moving my observatory in the next few months. At its next location it will be about 400m from the house. The view is better. See happy snap. It will have a Wi-Fi connection but not a wired ethernet connection to the house (control room). I would like to install a remotely controlled power switch for the equipment so I can have a remote start up and shut down. I am looking at using something from digital loggers, either www.digital-loggers.com/prospec.pdf or www.digital-loggers.com/220.html
Does anyone have experience with these products? Or is there another solution that anyone can recommend. Grateful any comments or suggestions.
Thanks in advance. Peter
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  #2  
Old 30-05-2018, 10:40 PM
glend (Glen)
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I need a solution too. I want to be able to turn on the dew heaters controller before I start a session. Will watch with interest.
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  #3  
Old 31-05-2018, 12:56 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Not sure if it's in the right category for you, but what about something from lunatico, e.g. Dragonfly - https://www.lunaticastronomical.com/...ry-control-box
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Old 31-05-2018, 02:34 PM
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The WiFi RigRunner units are mainly for 12V DC controls
http://www.westmountainradio.com/pro...ts_id=rr_4005i

but one channel could always be set to energise the remote 240V supply relay. That way you only need a small 12V battery backup supply online at the remote site to keep it alive.

Andrew
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Old 31-05-2018, 02:56 PM
glend (Glen)
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Why does it have to be some dedicated astro product ( which means expensive)? There are plenty of wifi AC switch units on the market. One unit can switch on a power board. As he is powerung a home observatory it probably has AC anyway.

Something like this,

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=w...TkRDOsQgjYI-gQ

Or this from Jaycar


https://www.ebay.com.au/p/240v-Mains...9451e8fffd11af
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  #6  
Old 31-05-2018, 03:15 PM
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Gday Glen
Quote:
Why does it have to be some dedicated astro product
The RigRunners actually appear to have come out of the Ham Radio world, but were picked up because they worked natively at 12V, which suited Astro installations.

If you want to these days, you could get a simple Arduino based kit and put your own together ( incl WiFi ), based on exactly what you want.
Lots of options.
Andrew
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  #7  
Old 31-05-2018, 07:35 PM
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I use a digital loggers unit in my Observatory. Very reliable...its been going strong for well over a decade. The price is hardly expensive, given its versatility and build quality.
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Old 31-05-2018, 09:09 PM
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I use these at my remote observatories. They have their own Web Page so you can remote in.

https://www.scorptec.com.au/product/...r/60300-9858DX
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Old 31-05-2018, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Why does it have to be some dedicated astro product ( which means expensive)? There are plenty of wifi AC switch units on the market. One unit can switch on a power board. As he is powerung a home observatory it probably has AC anyway.
The reason I made my suggestion was because of the astro related support in the product - ASCOM integration - which might be useful to help control things with the power, etc.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:37 AM
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Hi Chris,

One thing to consider is the 400 mtr distance you want to cover.
Might pay to do a couple of wifi tests, unless you already have.

Here is a different approach with some variations listed down the page:
https://electronics.stackexchange.co...data-2000-feet


Cheers,
Damien.

Last edited by redbeard; 01-06-2018 at 01:23 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:21 AM
glend (Glen)
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I have decided to try one of these:

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/...SAAEgIvJ_D_BwE

I don't think I will need a WiFi extender, but I might get one anyway because they are so cheap now.

If my research is correct these little things can be voice controlled via Alexa, etc. " Alexa turn the observatory power on". I imagine a future where we can just say "Alexa, Park the scope and close the roof."
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2018, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
Hi Chris,

One thing to consider is the 400 mtr distance you want to cover.
Might pay to do a couple of wifi tests, unless you already have.

Here is a different approach with some variations listed down the page:
https://electronics.stackexchange.co...data-2000-feet.
Damien, I'm not the OP with the 400 feet requirement. But your point is still valid.

For me, I'm planning to run a trench for power + network cable to my new setup. Not sure of the distance, but it'll be a lot less than 400 feet.
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazjen View Post
Damien, I'm not the OP with the 400 feet requirement. But your point is still valid.

For me, I'm planning to run a trench for power + network cable to my new setup. Not sure of the distance, but it'll be a lot less than 400 feet.
Oops my bad, I meant Peter. Cheers

400 mtrs is too long for Ethernet as max distance is 100 mtrs

Even 400 feet is too far.

Wifi repeaters may work but you have to power them along the way.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2018, 05:29 PM
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Now why the heck did I say feet? I'm more metric then imperial.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:31 PM
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diegocolonnello (Diego)
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i use a Dragonfly from Lunatico, it drives relays over the web and also has 8 inputs that i use to know the status of my power supplies and the roof, it drives relays that control from 12v to 240v..... one of them to power on the computer, another for focuser, heaters, mount, roof open and close, etc

they also have a mobile app to control it and the unit logs in on the cloud so it is easy to connect remotely to it.
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  #16  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:18 PM
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All, thanks for the comments and discussion, its very helpful. Peter Ward, thanks, it's comforting to know the Digital loggers stuff works! Paul Haese I will check those AViosys IP power controllers too. . . they look good. Redbeard, I currently have a wifi extender working over 70m , I will have line of sight from the observatory to the house at Krawarree. I expect/hope that the current setup will be adequate for that distance. I do not plan to run ethernet cable (or power) 400m from the house. One 70m trench for the current setup was enough! Diego thanks for the Dragonfly info. I will look at that too. Though I am not that technically oriented, so the Digital Loggers and the Aviosys boxes are more attractive to me for their simplicity. cheers.
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