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CCDAstro, Inc. Presents

Rolling Roof Computer Interface (RRCI)

provisional patent applied for

(Works with most brands of garage door openers including multi-button models)

Rolling Roof Computer Interface is a micro-controller powered device that will automate all aspects of a Roll-Off-Roof-Observatory (RORO).  This innovative device makes remote control of a RORO convenient and easy.  It does it all, including parking the mount, detecting rain events, opening/closing/stopping the roof, and more. 

RRCI is an electronic, computer controlled device based a PIC microcontroller (PIC16C56 from Microchip Technology Inc.).   

RRCI will actively control the operation of a roll off roof observatory via a computer interface.  Moreover, RRCI is capable of reacting to inclement weather events or programmed user scripts to open and close the roof and/or automate telescope actions. 

  • RS232 serial interface PC control, remote control capable
  • ASCOM driver, and standalone operation software
  • Up to four relay outputs, up to 10A each, for:
    • Closing the roof
    • Opening the roof
    • Stopping the roof's movement
    • auxiliary (spare)
  • Inputs for:
    • Open and Close detection switches
    • Detecting precipitation
    • Telescope safety interlock
    • Custom applications upon request

Buy now!

Send your questions to:


Minimum System Requirements

Required Software:

Required Hardware:

  • PC RS232 serial cable (supplied with RRCI).
  • One free serial port on your computer.
  • Roll-of-roof observatory with a compatible garage door opener
  • 12 volt power supply with female cigarette plug (1 amp minimum)

 

Optional Hardware:

  • Robotic Telescope
  • Rain sensor (Bolltwood, Technical Innovations, etc.)

 

Optional Software:

  • Astronomers Control Panel (ACP by DC3 Dreams highly recommended for advanced features of RRCI)
  • WeatherWatcher

 

Compatible Garage Door Openers:

  • Genie
  • Stanley
  • Chamberlain
  • Liftmaster
  • All similarly wired garage openers

Please contact us for custom installations using other types of automatic openers.


Typical Hardware Setup:

 

 

The 'open/close/stop button wire (2-leads) connect to lugs 1 and 2 on the motor panel, or directly to the manual button.

 

 


Software Setup:

Roof Controller Setup and Initialization Procedure

1.  Ensure that all cables are connected.

2.  Turn on the power to the telescope

3.  Turn the Roof Controller on.

4.  Start the Watcher/Roof Controller Software either as a stand-alone program or select it from an ASCOM program's 'Dome' chooser.

5.  If you receive an error during the Roof Controllers initialization process make sure you have select the correct serial port.

Roof Controller Setup dialog box:

 

Only available comm ports will be displayed in the drop-down box.

 

Port:

Select the port that is connected to the Roof Controller


Roof controller Main Window:

 

'Open/Close' Buttons:

Click this button to manually open/close the roof

Link:

Click to link the Roof Controller to the selected comm port

Exit:

 Close the Roof Controller setup window (note: this is disabled when connected via another ASCOM program)

Setup:

Displays the setup dialog box.

Override Sensor:

Check to allow moving of roof during bad weather, overriding the sensor and failsafe system.

Don't Auto Close:

Disables watcher that detects scripts have ended and begins shutdown sequence.