Help on fully automating an observatory!

I already have a motorized roll roof backyard observatory. I have a Raspberry PI that controls a relay of a garage motor to open close the roof, very basic. My current acquisition workflow is like this:

  1. manually (via ssh raspberry pi) open the roof
  2. start voyager
  3. manually (via ssh raspberry pi) close the roof in the morning.

I would like to add some hardware to fully control my ROR via voyager, and I want to hear from your experiences.

Some soft requirements:

  • Reuse as much as possible.
  • Open the roof at the begining of the session via Voyager
  • Close the roof at the end of the session via Voyager
  • If the weather conditions are unsafe close the roof automatically

I have experience coding, soldering, 3D designing etc, so a DIY project is also an option.




You seem to have most of the hardware necessary already. Do you have a cloud/rain detection instrument like an IR thermometer? You will need a device to detect unsafe conditions.
From there and for Voyager to work with your hardware you need ASCOM drivers for your roof and safety monitor. Since you are able to program those, you are very close!

Adding something to what correctly write Roberto, Voyager have a companion called VIking:

If you dont want to write code and if your RPI have an external way to be managed (I/O relay) we can import in Viking like I/O card. If one or two of this I/O output coming from a sensor recognize weather status you have also the weather system ready to use in Voyager.

All the best

Jose, do you still need a help with that? I have the same setup so I can share how I’ve done the integration :wink:

Hi Beny, I manage to fully automate my observatory. Still I need to find a way to reliably detects clouds, I have an AAG and it is hit and miss regarding cloud coverage.

What are you using for cloud detection?



I do use MLX sensor that measure temperature of the sky and the ambient one. And then I look at difference between these temps and when it’s high, around -20 deg it means clear sky.

Thanks, I am using an AAG, and basically is the same concept, however, just relaying in the temp difference is not enough in my location.



Hmmm, why is that? Does it mean that you could have big difference in temp but there will be clouds anyway?