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Below is a point by point recap of the CloudWatcher hardware and software features. This site has been published as a "work in progress" in order to meet our tight timeframes, and as such is staying will basic facts. Check back for updated pages which will include screen shots and graphical displays of the system features and functions. We will also have an online instruction manual. 

SYSTEM FEATURES

Cloud coverage is determined as a function of sky infrared temperature. An Infrared sensor is used to make these measurements. Clear skies emit very low infrared radiation (i.e. low infrared temperature) and vice versa.

A very sensitive rain detection pad identifies the very first drops with immediate data reporting. This allows observatory auto shut features to engage without parameter analysis or interlock levels. The unit has adjustable heating elements to clear the pad and prevent false signals

Sky lightness is measured with a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR). The unit has the ability to report not only approaching darkness but pre-dawn light conditions   

The software is ASCOM compliant and ddls provide direct interface to Technical Innovations DDW, ACP and CCDAutoPilot

Software displays four user graphs of ongoing data collection: "Cloud Condition"; "Rain Condition"; "Daylight Condition"; and "Ambient Temperature"

User defined parameters:

·         Clouds – From “Clear” (less than -8 degrees C); to “Cloudy” (0 to 5 degrees C); to “Overcast” (0-30 degrees C)

·         Rain – From “Dry” (values greater than 2,000 cycles); to “Wet” (2,000 to 1,700 cycles); to “Rain” (1,700 to 400 cycles)

·         Light – From “Dark” (greater than 2100k ohms); to “Light” (between 2,000k and 6k ohms); to “Very Light” (between 6k and 0 ohms)    

Alarm system is built in with different audible alarms for each condition. Add-ons will include alarm transmissions to phones and PDAs

The CloudWatcher software allows different PCs on the same local area network to share the information of the same CloudWatcher Device. The program runs in "Master" mode (physically connected PC) and "Remote" mode on any other PC in the network

Cleaning is the only maintenance required. Use a clean cotton rag and alcohol to clean the sensor surfaces

The software is open source and add-on features are invited. There will never be a charge for software enhancements, upgrades and add-ons.    

We are happy to address questions you may have

 

 

 
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