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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5502018 - 11/03/12 07:29 AM

Quote:

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.


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scubaanddreams
super member


Reged: 11/24/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5502094 - 11/03/12 09:11 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.

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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: scubaanddreams]
      #5502309 - 11/03/12 12:11 PM

Quote:

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.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5502317 - 11/03/12 12:17 PM

Good price! I'm curious about this however:

Quote:

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.




Quote:

5 minutes to integrate it to my website.




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


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retina boy
sage
*****

Reged: 11/20/06

Loc: Bryan, Texas
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5502325 - 11/03/12 12:23 PM

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.


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5502336 - 11/03/12 12:27 PM

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.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5502346 - 11/03/12 12:35 PM

Thanks for that info, John.

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retina boy
sage
*****

Reged: 11/20/06

Loc: Bryan, Texas
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5502401 - 11/03/12 01:13 PM

Quote:

Good price! I'm curious about this however:

Quote:

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.




Quote:

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.

Edited by retina boy (11/03/12 04:31 PM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: retina boy]
      #5502490 - 11/03/12 02:33 PM

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

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petemumbower
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5532881 - 11/21/12 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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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: petemumbower]
      #5539458 - 11/25/12 09:39 PM

RG6 with RG6 cable TV ends... BNC ends don't hold up well.

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Tak North
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/28/07

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5558385 - 12/06/12 10:21 PM

Figured I might as well finally Chime in as well. Got my camera earlier this year. It's taken quite a while to get things finally tuned in, but it seems to be working quite well now. Here are a few of the most recent results:











My thanks to Dick Spalding for his help and extreme patience in getting me up to speed!


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Tak North]
      #5558655 - 12/07/12 03:17 AM

Much better product for connector sealing, make sure to cover with a layer of UV resistant electrical tape or it will deteriorate.

http://www.amazon.com/010476-Self-Vulcanizing-Super-Fire-Tape/dp/B000MY55F4


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WirelessDude
sage
*****

Reged: 01/02/08

Loc: San Tan Valley, AZ, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Mary B]
      #5561611 - 12/08/12 10:33 PM

I wanted to chime in as well regarding installation techniques...

I run 3/4" PVC under the eaves of my roof for all my astronomy-related runs and paint them accordingly to match the house. I plan to install PVC from the All Sky cam with a downward facing opening at the camera side. The PVC will run to a utility box that will cover the hole into the house that the power and video cable will enter. This alleviates any weather-proofing issues I may run into in extending any cabling...

Clear skies!


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: WirelessDude]
      #5575894 - 12/17/12 03:31 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Here are my composites from the Geminids last week. Dec 13/14 first.

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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5575895 - 12/17/12 03:32 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Dec 14/15

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petemumbower
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5575901 - 12/17/12 03:36 PM

Very nice Jon! I have been trying to figure out how to build those composites, but with only the meteors. I tried to delete the false alarms, but then the composite does not build.

BTW - I am across the Lake from you and the newest part of the Wisconsin node (Grandville).


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: petemumbower]
      #5575911 - 12/17/12 03:43 PM

Ya I wish I could delete all the airplane trails. If you figure that out please share and welcome to the club!

I keep hoping for a new node to my West for correlation events, but I'll bet our cameras will catch some together. I've had several hits with the Indiana cams.


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5587189 - 12/24/12 12:55 PM

I came across one of these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110748400290?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p39...

Granted this one is color, but I'm wondering if one of these units with the B&W sensor could be put to work. Mount this facing up, already in a weather enclosure...just hook up power and a BNC connection?

I have a TV-tuner in my HTPC that has the proper connector.
This tuner would facilitate images being available for a server.

Edited by Tom and Beth (12/24/12 01:07 PM)


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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5588131 - 12/25/12 06:25 AM

Quote:

I came across one of these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110748400290?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p39...

Granted this one is color, but I'm wondering if one of these units with the B&W sensor could be put to work. Mount this facing up, already in a weather enclosure...just hook up power and a BNC connection?

I have a TV-tuner in my HTPC that has the proper connector.
This tuner would facilitate images being available for a server.




A quick glance at the product description doesn't indicate whether it's heated to prevent dew or frost formation. That may be an issue (it would be in my neck of the woods.)


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