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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5016088 - 01/13/12 07:44 PM

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

Edited by MrKrink (01/13/12 07:48 PM)


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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: MrKrink]
      #5016460 - 01/14/12 12:25 AM

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

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Galaxyhunter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/02/06

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5016674 - 01/14/12 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?

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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #5016744 - 01/14/12 08:53 AM

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

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #5017192 - 01/14/12 01:43 PM

Quote:

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.................



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



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









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






Additional info at my website....


SpaceRocks!

Edited by MrKrink (01/14/12 01:53 PM)


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germana1
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: New Jersey
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5017644 - 01/14/12 06:21 PM

Those gold things are 500 ohm heavy duty resistors more than likely heaters of some sort looks also like a timer? Very nicely made.After looking at the pic again looks like temp regulator with the resistors supplying heat.
Pete

Edited by germana1 (01/14/12 06:25 PM)


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: germana1]
      #5018058 - 01/14/12 11:08 PM

OK, that makes sense.

I caught another big one last night. Man you never know what is going on overhead when your in the bed!!



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skinnyonce
super member
*****

Reged: 03/23/11

Loc: ohio
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5018176 - 01/15/12 12:57 AM

Do the domes need to be glass or acrylic and what about a rain-x coating of sorts, any ideas

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5018616 - 01/15/12 10:44 AM

Wow! I so wish I had a computer able to handle this; mine's only a couple of years old, so can't buy a new one. But, I sure do want to get an all-sky cam; as my skies are very dark, & it would really be interesting!

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: skinnyonce]
      #5018831 - 01/15/12 12:38 PM

Quote:

Do the domes need to be glass or acrylic and what about a rain-x coating of sorts, any ideas




I would go with acrylic for durability and I did coat mine with Rain-x but I couldn't tell it did anything as the acrylic is already pretty slick. The RX wouldn't even haze up so it could be buffed off. But hey, it can't hurt!!

Carol.....the comp I have mine on is 2.5 years old. As long as you have a minimum of 4GB RAM and 750GB of available HD you should be good to go. Doesn't take hardly anything to run it just mega-space for storage. You can get an external HD for around a $100, that is what I did to dedicate just to the camera. The thing is you need to leave the comp on all the time with no screen saver and no power off.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5018950 - 01/15/12 01:50 PM

Quote:

minimum of 4GB RAM and 750GB




That's the problem; mine is 3GB RAM and 320 GB HD. I know I can add more RAM, & get another external HD (already have one for backups), but hate to go thru all that. I'll try to find a skycam that I can afford somewhere.


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5018982 - 01/15/12 02:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

minimum of 4GB RAM and 750GB




That's the problem; mine is 3GB RAM and 320 GB HD. I know I can add more RAM, & get another external HD (already have one for backups), but hate to go thru all that. I'll try to find a skycam that I can afford somewhere.




You could do all that upgrading for less than $200.00. You won't find a camera system that cheap. The cheapest one I have found was the MoonGlow one for $400.

TigerDirect - you can get all you need for cheap!! Installing memory is just a matter of plugging it in.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5019453 - 01/15/12 07:34 PM

Thanks Stuart; I'll just have to do without an all-sky cam then.

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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5020278 - 01/16/12 09:36 AM

Quote:

OK, that makes sense.

I caught another big one last night. Man you never know what is going on overhead when your in the bed!!






Man that is an AWESOME one!!!


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Galaxyhunter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/02/06

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5020730 - 01/16/12 01:08 PM

Quote:

Carol.....the comp I have mine on is 2.5 years old. As long as you have a minimum of 4GB RAM and 750GB of available HD you should be good to go.




So you need to be running a 64 bit OS to use the 4mb Ram.


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #5020750 - 01/16/12 01:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Carol.....the comp I have mine on is 2.5 years old. As long as you have a minimum of 4GB RAM and 750GB of available HD you should be good to go.




So you need to be running a 64 bit OS to use the 4mb Ram.




Oops, I guess that was an oversight on my part. No you don't need 64 bit. You only need Win XP it will not run on Win7 yet. So I guess you DON'T need 4GB.


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5020984 - 01/16/12 03:06 PM

Caught something real interesting the other night..........

<See Here>


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5022373 - 01/17/12 09:22 AM

Found out something new about my camera this weekend.

The camera actually records every 1 second from the time you have it set to come on until it is set to go off. It records each second into a seperate file and stores them in the archive in case it fales to trigger on an event. That way you can go back and recreate the event. PRETTY COOL!!
You can even put in the time, or any period of time, play that video segment and make an mp4 or jpg out of it.

Here is a photo of the interface...........



Edited by MrKrink (01/17/12 09:28 AM)


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5026321 - 01/19/12 08:33 AM

Woohoo! My Allsky camera arrived!!

It came yesterday nicely packaged. It's like Christmas all over again. I will make a couple of tweaks to it before I get it installed:

  • Flock the walls of the camera bay - currently untreated
  • Sand and paint the exterior
  • Replace the extension cord with a longer heavier unit
  • make a mount to attach to an old chimney

Once that is done the rest should be a snap.


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? [Re: mrramsey]
      #5026573 - 01/19/12 11:09 AM

Quote:

Woohoo! My Allsky camera arrived!!

It came yesterday nicely packaged. It's like Christmas all over again. I will make a couple of tweaks to it before I get it installed:

  • Flock the walls of the camera bay - currently untreated
  • Sand and paint the exterior
  • Replace the extension cord with a longer heavier unit
  • make a mount to attach to an old chimney

Once that is done the rest should be a snap.




Wow! That was quick!!

Mine had flocking already in it. I don't think it is necessary, the camera doesn't see it. It was a piece of velvet feeling stuff with adhesive backing stuck around the sides. I didn't do anything else to mine except add a couple more zip ties to keep it from possibly coming upplugged from the drop cord. And add an index mark so I would know I got it back in the housing in the same place because my coincidently positioned with N up and S down.

I left mine white for that "NASA" look!

I also had to take it off the house about a dozen times to adjust the AGC (Auto Gain Control) and LEVEL adj. to remove some noise in the video. That was a real PIA!!

Don't know if you will have to do that but I found the AGC should be just above "black" and the level should be adjusted to have a clear picture in the day time of the sky. The camera has an auto iris so it opens wide open at night regardless of where it is set. I LEARNED ALL THIS THE HARD WAY!! They don't have the clearest picture to begin with, and I guess I was expecting HD quality video!

Another little trick for adjusting the AGC was to put a lens cap on the camera ( tin foil over cloth) and adjust it to the point the noise/sparkles stop. You can make additional adjustments to brightness and contrast in the software under video.

Hope this helps.


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