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Source for cheap all-sky cam?

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#1 UniversalMaster

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 05:52 AM

Hi!

Are there any sources for cheap USB cams or lenses for webcams which captures (almost) the entire sky?
I need one for my new obs, since the "control room" is in my kitchen, so I am afraid that I do not notice if a quick shower shows up :)

Best Regards,
Søren

#2 LoveChina61

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:55 PM

There's a good thread for one here that uses the DSI camera. That's what I'm going to do:

Thread

There are also a few threads around elsewhere where others use a CCTV video camera to put together their All-Sky camera:
http://www.cloudynig.../fpart/all/vc/1

(Link shortened by Moderator)

#3 grey bear

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 07:28 AM

I built my camera mount as shown in picture using the following with a 2.1 mm wide angle lens. At home I use 12volt 500ma converter, in the field I use battery pack from camera supplier. I Also have 12 power inverter in my handicaped van to run 110 volt items for short periods as long as van is running. Laptop computer can run either on its own battery or the van.

Camera http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1438.l2649

Mount was made wth 4" pvc pipe flange, plug cap for side, camera mounts to top, I used plexiglass on top to mount to 4"t. 2" hole drilled thru plexiglass to run camera wires thru bottom. Plexiglass plate cut and mounted inside with 2" hole for wires to run thru and then also used for shelf to support battery pack( get camera with battery pack for field use, and also 12 converter for home use.

Software I use both UFO capture http://sonotaco.com/e_index.html

and also ASC uploader. http://www.moonglowt.../Software.shtml

since camera doesnt connect directly to computer you need video capture device like http://www.ebay.com/...=item27aeb85b27

The mount is as follows, bottom is pipe flange, then t then plexiglass then camera, inside has plexiglass mounted 2 inch's from bottom. If you have any more questions please feel free to send me a message.


I am unable to get pictures to load, send me email grey_bear36@hotmail.com for copy of pictures if you want.

Grey Bear

#4 MrKrink

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:12 AM

HOW'S FREE???

New Mexico State University offeres a FREE camera to join their network, All you have to have is a relatively powerful comouter to dedicate and run the capture software and upload the files to them. Preferably something with 750GB - 1TB of storage. They send it ready to mount and it includes the video capture card for your computer.

The project is funded through a grant from Sandia Nationa Laboratory and National Nuclear Security Administration. Nothing like a FREE camera from the gov't!!!

I just received mine last week and got it mounted this weekend. Got to get the softwared and adapter installed now.

Here is the link to New Mexico All Sky Network . Just contact Mr. Alvarez. Also I contacted Richard Spaulding first at Sandia NL, he got me hooked up with NMSU.

Sorry I can't post a pict from here at work.

#5 csa/montana

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:23 AM

Stuart; that's fantastic! I wish I had a computer that was powerful enough to meet their requirements.

#6 Roy Salisbury

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:56 PM

Wow.. thats cool. I'll have to see if its still available and get some details.

Thanks!

Roy

#7 Rick Woods

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 02:32 PM

I once saw one in S&T made from a highly-polished "moon" hubcap with a rod sticking up from the center; the rod was glued to a skylight filter on the other end, and the filter had a camera attached to it with (IIRC) a standard 35mm or 50mm lens on it. The image it produced was surprisingly good.

#8 MrKrink

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:19 PM

Wow.. thats cool. I'll have to see if its still available and get some details.

Thanks!

Roy


Here is what I got from them. I have finally got it installed and I am now trying to learn the software.

MY ALL SKY CAMERA

#9 mrramsey

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

I definitely have the computer power to dedicate. I just sent Mr Alvarez an email and am waiting for his reply. Thanks for the info MrKink.

#10 MrKrink

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:56 AM


I have already caught a couple big ones and since 12/19/11 when I went live I have recorded 22! It is pretty cool.

Big fireball.

#11 mrramsey

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:22 PM

I have already caught a couple big ones and since 12/19/11 when I went live I have recorded 22! It is pretty cool.

Big fireball.


Wow! That is wild. I have not heard anything back yet but some schools are not back in session yet. I have the perfect mounting location for one. I am optimistic about getting one since yours is the only one on the east side so far.

#12 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:30 AM

I emailed mr alvarez back in October and never received a response. :(

#13 johne

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:55 AM

I emailed mr alvarez back in October and never received a response. :(


Same here. No response. :(

#14 MrKrink

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:10 AM

Actually Richard Spalding as I said may need to be your first contact. He is pretty good at getting back with you. Mr. Alvarez is kinda slow sometimes. reach him at.......... respald at sandia. gov

#15 mrramsey

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:19 PM

I was contacted back from Richard Spaulding and have been accepted to participate. :jump:

#16 skinnyonce

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:40 PM

Good mike let us know when you are up and running I will tune in for sure

#17 MrKrink

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:47 PM

I was contacted back from Richard Spaulding and have been accepted to participate. :jump:



Your in a good place. The next closest one in in Indiana and then mine but there are no more Sandia's east of the Mississippi. NASA has 3 or 4 around Huntsville AL.

#18 mrramsey

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:19 PM

Just received an email from Richard that my camera has shipped and should arrive on 1/18. I have the perfect location picked out but now need to wait for the snow to stop :coldday:

MrKrink - what platform are you running the Sentinel program on? XP, Vista, or 7?

#19 germana1

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:07 PM

I also received an email from Richard but need to make some upgrades to the pc more ram bigger Hd told Him once its done
will get back to Him. Looking good so far.
Pete

#20 MrKrink

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:41 PM

Just received an email from Richard that my camera has shipped and should arrive on 1/18. I have the perfect location picked out but now need to wait for the snow to stop :coldday:

MrKrink - what platform are you running the Sentinel program on? XP, Vista, or 7?


They recommend it run on XP.

I have it running on a Quad-Core with 4GB ram and it is capturing to a 2TB clean external HD. It takes a tremendous amount of HD space so I bought a Seagate XHD solely for Sentinel storage. I figured 2TB would hold me for a while!! ;)

You can delete the captures that are junk but everything is still archived to another file. The software, when it captures something, makes a composite JPG of several frames,.........................like this..........
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..........an MP4 3 second movie.....................

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..........it also makes an Excel spread sheet with all the time and pixel info along with a notepad file of the start and stop time of the event. I also periodically records a PNG file for future star position and location. So see it records a lot of info. All times are recorded in UTC, so brush up.

If you have a real dark site as I do, getting the threshold for event triggering can be tricky. They recommended a 50 but I had to crank it up to 70 to not record every time a plane blinked!! The first time I got it going I think it recorded over 2000 files that first night. I let it run for a week or so and ended up spending about 5 hours deleting junk!! :foreheadslap:

I finally have it set so I am just waiting on that super bolide!!! It is like Christmas everyday opening the files to see what you got..... :jump:

#21 MrKrink

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:44 PM

Oh yeah I forgot to add this. Here is the New Mexico State Univ website.......... NMSU All Sky Camera Network

#22 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:25 AM

Ya. I recceived a reply and acceptance as well! My Camera will also arrive on the 18th.

#23 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:18 AM

I have a question, Are these USB or IP based cameras? Or do you need to run a coax cable for them?

#24 mrramsey

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:53 AM

These take a coax cable. They provide the video capture card for your computer.

#25 MrKrink

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:43 PM

I have a question, Are these USB or IP based cameras? Or do you need to run a coax cable for them?


This is the camera.................

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My mounting...............

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Inner workings.............

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NOT SURE WHAT THESE ARE OR WHAT THEY ARE FOR? ANYONE HAVE AN IDEA?
They are wired between the power supply and the heater.

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Additional info at my website....


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