First night success - and two minor suggestions

I jumped on board the beta campaign about two weeks back but I have been busily trying to finish a target before I started learning about Robotarget. I was able to finish capturing that target a couple of nights ago so I started using it last night, purposefully going in as blind as I could to see how I went working it all out.

Last night was my first night using it and after I worked out how the various constraints and priorities interacted, I called Robotarget in place of a sequence in my normal dragscript and as soon as it started the first exposure I went to bed. Perfect result this morning, the first target I expected to image was captured until it hit the requested hour angle after the meridian, then Voyager went on with the second target I expected it to pick and imaged that until morning.

What I was hoping advanced would be able to do for me (Until I have a mechanised rotator at least) was to automate selection between narrowband filters and between narrowband and LRGB for a small number of targets at once, based on moon phase, moon up or down, and the distance between the moon and my targets, it looks like it is going to be brilliant at exactly that.

I do have two minor suggestions, when Robotarget is either called in a dragscript or run manually before Astronomical, Nautical or Civil dark plus or minus any offset (Whichever the user has selected) could Robotarget go into a wait state for dark, rather than skipping all targets and exiting?

The second is very minor, my first target fell into the meridian no-go zone when I started and Robotarget waited for it to pass the meridian before beginning, with a wait message displayed (As expected) Could that message be expanded to read something like “Waiting for meridian, scheduled target is in meridian no-go zone”?

Hi Paul,

thank you so much for have joined the campaign.

About LRGB and narrow band is up to you create different target and different constraints based on the moon. Voyager will take in account about this but not in the same target, this is not possible and will generate only confusion.

Robotarget cannot wait the night for you, this is not the scope of this block in DragScript, so please use the Wait Safe or Wait Astronomical night before entering in RoboTarget block. You can find an example in Rowland posts and blog.

Running RoboTarget from a DragScript

For the message in meridian I will expande it now.
Thank you so much for your feedback.

All the best

Hi Leonardo, yes, I understand that about different targets in Robotarget for narrowband and RGB and so on, I worded that poorly. I should say I set up multiple targets for the same OBJECT for narrowband or RGB imaging, with constraints based on moon conditions to select what to shoot at what times.

The ability for Voyager to make intelligent selections on what to shoot and when is a game changer for me and will greatly simplify my dragsripts. I was using dragscripts to manage shooting of multiple objects in one night, or splitting the shooting time for narrowband and RGB on the same object in one night based on the moon rise or set time. Making the best of it required a lot of manual work editing the scripts night by night and Robotarget will do that for me automatically!

No problem if Robotarget will not be able to wait safe or wait for dark, if that is the case I will continue to manage it in the dragscript as I previously did for standard sequences.

Regards the wait message, that is great that you can expend on it easily. It probably will make little difference to most users (I was quite sure it was related to the meridian no-go zone and waited for the target to pass the meridian to confirm it) but it could save you getting questions from new or inexperienced users.

Here’s the relevant section from the blog post that Leo linked, showing how to handle the status returns from RoboTarget. The Wait Safe or Wait … Night statements would happen earlier in your script.

If SKIPPED: This status means the night start, with offset figured it, has not been reached yet. Your DragScript should wait a bit and then try again, as in this example.

If Error: RoboTarget returned an error and you should run your Emergency Exit routine which may include some form of notification and/or shutdown. This status is returned if there is a serious error with your PC, the OS or RoboTarget software such as the database was no longer accessible or corrupted. Before returning this error status, Voyager will retry the scheduling operation the number of times specified in Scheduler Soft Error Retry, which is in RoboTarget Settings. Sequence errors – the normal ones that can occur during the operation of a sequence, are managed by the value of “Sequence Max Retries in a single RoboTarget Run in Case of Error,” which is also in RoboTarget Settings. These errors do not stop RoboTarget’s scheduling.

If TIMEOUT: This status means the end of night including offset has been reached. The DragScript will continue from this point, which is typically your end of night routine.

Thanks Rowland, I am managing the wait at the start a little differently, how you have shown it there would probably be essential in a “Perpetual” script? I manually start the system each night as I do not have an observatory yet, so I often tear down and set up the equipment night by night.

I am managing the wait to begin the first sequence or to call Robotarget using “Wait astronomical dark” at the moment.

Yes, that’s fine. If you don’t have a weather or safety system, the wait until astronomical night action is a great choice.

I think you know this, but for anyone else reading, you should still handle the SKIPPED status in your DragScript in case your RoboTarget start of night settings cause an additional delay time: