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Source for cheap all-sky cam?

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#326 John Wunderlin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:41 PM

I also got a note on their forums that they are looking into adding data from non-nmsu cameras so people with their own all-sky cams may be able to share data with the rest of us. I was trying to nag them to get in all the states because there are a lot of holes in their network and also several states with lots of cameras. Seems like they should have limited the free give-away to 2 per state if they wanted coverage... Oh well they forgot to check with me first again ;)

#327 petemumbower

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 11:02 AM

My patience has finally paid off! I inquired back in March and was contacted earlier this week by Mr.Alvarez that they got enough parts to make a few more cameras for the last time. The only catch was they ran out of funding for the frame capture device, so I would have to purchase that. That is no big deal and my camera is on its way to me. Looking forward to get a node going in Michigan! This thread is a treasure trove of tips and I will be working through it again for mounting tips now.

#328 WirelessDude

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:16 AM

Pete --

I'm in the same boat! I was given confirmation for my AllSky from Larry. I already have a composite video-to-USB in hand...

Clear skies!

#329 johne

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:56 AM

Congrats guys. You'll find its very easy to work with the All-Sky project people from NMSU. They respond pretty quickly to any questions that you might have... especially Richard Spaulding. I've had mine since Jan. of this year. Just keep an eye on the Archive folder. It has a tendency to grow in size by about +25GB a day (approx. 100,000 files each day.) I have it only recording during nighttime hours.
This thread also contains a wealth of information.

#330 csa/montana

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:42 AM

I would dearly love to have one; but I don't think my computer is up to snuff to handle it; memory 3GB, Hard drive 320GB :bawling:

#331 Mary B

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:58 PM

Same here Carol but my internet isn't up to large data transfers.

#332 csa/montana

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:33 PM

Mary, sorry you're in about the same position as me. An all-sky cam would be so cool!

#333 WirelessDude

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:31 PM

Thanks, John! We're neighbors in this network!!! :cool:

I just got mine today. I'm looking forward to getting it set up and comparing events!

Clear skies!

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#334 John Wunderlin

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

I would dearly love to have one; but I don't think my computer is up to snuff to handle it; memory 3GB, Hard drive 320GB :bawling:


Hey Carol, I think you should get one anyway. My PC has only 2.5G RAM and a 160GB hard drive- runs fine, though I shut it off temporarily when I'm imaging while I'm using Stellarium- too much CPU needed for both of those combined. Been running great for a year now. It would be great to have a cam Northwest of me- right now I'm pretty much it in this neck of the woods.

#335 John Wunderlin

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

It DOES need a pretty fast upstream for the sending the data though- I'd say at least 700k or your pc will be spending all day uploading files.

#336 johne

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:37 AM

Thanks, John! We're neighbors in this network!!! :cool:


He he... that looks familiar. :) The folks at NMSU are great to work with. Let me know if you need any help with the settings.

The only issues I've had after initial installation was to take it down and re-orient the camera to the north (one of the NMSU poeple told me how much I needed to rotate it to the correct orientation) and to fine tune the focus. (Make sure its focused well at night.)
The only other trouble I had was when a spider set up camp on the outside of the dome cover last spring and it kept triggering the recording again and again everytime it scurried around. I finally had to take it down and evict him and his webs. :lol:

I'll help any way I can. If you PM me, I'll send you my email address which I monitor throughout the day.

Best regards.

#337 Bob Moore

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:47 PM

John, do you think they are still looking for sites? We just completed our new school observatory and would love to get into the progrom. here is a link to the project. " http://www.cloudynig...at.php/Cat/0... " an help you can give would be great!!

Bob

#338 johne

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:09 AM

Sorry Bob. I don't know if they are still looking for volunteer sites. I've been following your project thread from the beginning and I think it turned out better than great.
If you PM me your contact information, I will be glad to pass it on to Richard Spaulding.

#339 John Wunderlin

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

I see someone has been added to the network just down the road from me in Platteville. No data yet. If that person is reading the list and has any questions, I'm only 20 minutes from there. It will be fantastic to have a secondary camera in the area for overlap!

#340 John Wunderlin

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

Technical question for other users- how do you attach video cables? I just used male-female connector, but now I'm getting some interference from time to time and I think it's moisture. Can you open up the base to attach a new BNC connector directly to the camera so it's not exposed to the elements?

#341 johne

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:29 AM

Technical question for other users- how do you attach video cables? I just used male-female connector, but now I'm getting some interference from time to time and I think it's moisture. Can you open up the base to attach a new BNC connector directly to the camera so it's not exposed to the elements?


I just used a male-female BNC connector and wrapped it in black electrical tape. So far, no problems.

#342 scubaanddreams

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:11 AM

Bought and received the Moonglow allsky cam from OPT. Pretty cheap, and it took me all of 20 minutes to install on my ghetto cheap shed observatory, and another 5 minutes to integrate it to my website. Love it! Http://astrosherm.com for feed.

#343 John Wunderlin

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:11 AM

Bought and received the Moonglow allsky cam from OPT. Pretty cheap, and it took me all of 20 minutes to install on my ghetto cheap shed observatory, and another 5 minutes to integrate it to my website. Love it! Http://astrosherm.com for feed.


Wow- almost 1/2 the price of the Orion unit, and looks far more sensitive than the NMSU cams and even color! I think this just made my Christmas list.

#344 csa/montana

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

Good price! I'm curious about this however:

With no software to install, and no controls of any kind, all you need to do is mount the camera outside and plug it into your television's video input.



5 minutes to integrate it to my website.



Could you give us details how you integrated it to your website?

#345 retina boy

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:23 AM

There are several solutions for waterproofing connectors placed in the elements. Electrical tape is certainly one solution. Will work for a few years. A product called Coax-Seal has been around for years. Has many fans in the Ham radio community. Moonglow technologies supplies it with their all sky cameras. Is sticky but will provide an effective seal. If directly exposed to the elements, it may be neater to overwrap with electrical tape.

The liquid electrical tape products have been gaining more and more support over the years. Very durable and waterproof. Neater and easier to remove if needed. Contains some potent volatiles and is best used outside.

#346 John Wunderlin

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

I did some more reading just now- you must purchase a $100 add-on package to hook it up to your PC instead of directly to a monitor. Also, it does 1-4 second integrations which is why it is so sensitive. The NMSU cams capture rate is much faster to allow video of the meteors. It appears this camera would not show meteor motion, but only still shots. Still very cool, though. I wish you could easily do longer integration with the NMSU cams so you could see constellations and the milky way, but it's really designed to capture the direction of brighter meteors.

#347 csa/montana

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

Thanks for that info, John.

#348 retina boy

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

Good price! I'm curious about this however:

With no software to install, and no controls of any kind, all you need to do is mount the camera outside and plug it into your television's video input.



5 minutes to integrate it to my website.



Could you give us details how you integrated it to your website?


I will chime in here. The Moonglow camera is a very well developed and mature camera system. The camera is bombproof and works very nicely. If you mount it on a metal pole in a moist environment, it can dew up. Moonglow sells an external heater for this purpose. Its best application is to check for sky clarity/cloudiness. You an purchase it without the $100 uploader option but I think you would be silly to do so. The uploader makes the camera a plug and play appliance. The uploader will transmit pictures at the interval you request to the website you wish. Moonglow has their own which is a built in option. It is here: http://www.allskycam.com/

It can capture meteors. It will recognize motion and create a stacked image showing the meteor. The uploader software will not save a video feed as far as I can tell.

Mooonglow provides the html scripts to insert the sky cam images into your signature or website. It is merely a matter of cutting and pasting.

I am running two of the Moonglow cameras and a NMSU camera. They have different strengths and are really meant for different purposes.

#349 csa/montana

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

Derek, thanks for your post explaining further about this all-sky cam!

#350 petemumbower

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

Thought I would report in with my NMSU camera progress. Unfortunately, I do not have pics of it installed (will tomorrow!). But I am in the testing phase and it is going pretty well. The camera seems to be a bit out of focus, so I need work on that over the holiday.

But I did manage to capture several meteors. The biggest surprise going through all the record event of the last couple of days was a transformer explosion in my neighborhood!

Explosion

Meteor 1

Meteor 2

This pretty cool stuff! Plus it is nice while imaging from indoors to see if any faint clouds are passing overhead.






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