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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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UniversalMaster
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/20/08

Source for cheap all-sky cam?
      #4851656 - 10/09/11 06:52 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

Edited by UniversalMaster (10/09/11 12:11 PM)


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LoveChina61
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/20/09

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: UniversalMaster]
      #4852797 - 10/09/11 08:55 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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4382385/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/all/vc/1

(Link shortened by Moderator)

Edited by csa/montana (10/10/11 12:36 AM)


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grey bear
member


Reged: 04/16/11

Loc: Port Richey FL
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: LoveChina61]
      #4853457 - 10/10/11 08:28 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/itm/350429564868?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.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.moonglowtech.com/products/AllSkyCam/Software.shtml

since camera doesnt connect directly to computer you need video capture device like http://www.ebay.com/itm/Easycap-USB-2-0-Video-TV-DVD-VHS-Audio-Capture-Adapter-/170435042087?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=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

Edited by grey bear (10/10/11 08:35 AM)


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: UniversalMaster]
      #4853515 - 10/10/11 09:12 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.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #4853704 - 10/10/11 11:23 AM

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

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Roy Salisbury
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #4905069 - 11/08/11 06:56 PM

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

Thanks!

Roy


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #4919125 - 11/16/11 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.

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #4968112 - 12/15/11 02:19 PM

Quote:

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


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #4998993 - 01/03/12 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.

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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]
      #4999042 - 01/03/12 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.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5001812 - 01/04/12 11:22 PM

Quote:


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.


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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: mrramsey]
      #5006652 - 01/08/12 02:30 AM

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

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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5006744 - 01/08/12 06:55 AM

Quote:

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




Same here. No response.


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5007085 - 01/08/12 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

Edited by MrKrink (01/08/12 11:12 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]
      #5010882 - 01/10/12 03:19 PM

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

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skinnyonce
super member
*****

Reged: 03/23/11

Loc: ohio
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5011052 - 01/10/12 05:40 PM

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

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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]
      #5011210 - 01/10/12 07:47 PM

Quote:

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





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.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5015847 - 01/13/12 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

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


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germana1
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: New Jersey
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5015929 - 01/13/12 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


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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]
      #5016082 - 01/13/12 07:41 PM

Quote:

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

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..........


..........an MP4 3 second movie.....................



..........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!!

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.....


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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? new [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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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5026595 - 01/19/12 11:17 AM

Quote:

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.




I need to make a correction, I was wrong about this.

It will run on Win7 64x they just have to send you a different video card to install for Win7. Sorry.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5026658 - 01/19/12 11:49 AM

Thanks Stuart - I will keep those in mind. I will be mounting mine on the second story so I have to wait for decent weather however I should be able to make any necessary adjustments from a temp. location on the deck before permanently mounting it. I should get a fairly unobstructed view.

needless to say I have quite a bit of cable to run.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5026773 - 01/19/12 01:04 PM

Quote:

It will run on Win7 64x they just have to send you a different video card to install for Win7. Sorry.




What card did they send you Stuart?


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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]
      #5026791 - 01/19/12 01:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

It will run on Win7 64x they just have to send you a different video card to install for Win7. Sorry.




What card did they send you Stuart?




Mine is on an XP machine. Haupauge or something like that.

Also if the card has 4 ports on it, they told to use the one closest to the motherboard. That is the only one it will work on. Another one of those little tricks I learned the hard way!!


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
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Reged: 05/21/10

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5027099 - 01/19/12 04:10 PM

Wish I had the internet bandwidth to do this Verizon limits me to 5gb a month down and not sure on the up side.

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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Mary B]
      #5027125 - 01/19/12 04:24 PM

Quote:

Wish I had the internet bandwidth to do this Verizon limits me to 5gb a month down and not sure on the up side.




The biggest files are around 1-2mb amd that is the mp4s. The images are very small 10 - 15Kb. You can manually up load if you want but you would only have roughly 40-50mb a day (if I figure right) unless you deleted the junk captures before you upload.

Once your camera is set up you should only have 40-60 captures a night. Unless you live close to an airport approach path.


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BPO
sage


Reged: 02/23/10

Loc: South Island, NZ
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5027263 - 01/19/12 06:11 PM

A few days ago I installed one of Moonglow Tech's nice little All Sky Cams and have to say it was ridiculously simple to do and works very well.

The DIY route would have been fine if I had the time - which, alas, I don't - and nobody is offering "free" ASC's to those of us in non-US locations, so an off-the-shelf device was the only option.

In my opinion it is money well spent, although the camera's only been running for a couple of days so far.

If it catches fire or reformats my hard drive, I'll let you know, but to date it's performed absolutely flawlessly.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: BPO]
      #5028225 - 01/20/12 08:58 AM

Quote:

A few days ago I installed one of Moonglow Tech's nice little All Sky Cams and have to say it was ridiculously simple to do and works very well.

The DIY route would have been fine if I had the time - which, alas, I don't - and nobody is offering "free" ASC's to those of us in non-US locations, so an off-the-shelf device was the only option.

In my opinion it is money well spent, although the camera's only been running for a couple of days so far.

If it catches fire or reformats my hard drive, I'll let you know, but to date it's performed absolutely flawlessly.




I looked at those at NEAF last year and really liked them. They seemed to have really clear color video. I was trying to save my pennies to get one when this opportunity popped up, so hey, who can pass up FREE!


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RobbW
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5028764 - 01/20/12 02:22 PM

I had initially emailed Mr. Alvarez about joining the ASCN program back in early December. I never heard from him, but after reviewing this thread again, I forwarded my request on to Mr. Spalding yesterday. I just received word from Mr. Spalding today that my application for the program has been accepted, and the Sentinel system will be shipped out to me.

I can't wait to receive the all-sky camera and get it installed. I hope my setup will provide lots of contributions to the program. Only thing I want to figure out now is how to add the output to my astronomy outreach website. Does anyone have pointers on that?


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: RobbW]
      #5028910 - 01/20/12 03:34 PM

Received mine. I will be running my in win7 x64 on a Pentium 4 with HT. You don't need anything special to capture video.

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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5028934 - 01/20/12 03:49 PM

Except for the video capture card since these have a coax output...

What card did they send you Wolfman? The card I got is outdated... I will try it on win 7 to see if it works but the last driver that I can find was for XP

Just got done painting the inside of the dome area flat black.


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BPO
sage


Reged: 02/23/10

Loc: South Island, NZ
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5028961 - 01/20/12 04:03 PM

Quote:

I looked at those at NEAF last year and really liked them. They seemed to have really clear color video.




Yes, they do, I too am impressed by its abilities to deal with all light levels.

Quote:

I was trying to save my pennies to get one when this opportunity popped up, so hey, who can pass up FREE!




Not me!

But even though it's stated on the website that the network is world-wide, they appear to have no ASC's outside North America.

If that ever changes, let the record show that Benmore Peak Observatory in New Zealand is happy to join!


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BPO
sage


Reged: 02/23/10

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5028966 - 01/20/12 04:06 PM

Quote:

Except for the video capture card since these have a coax output...The card I got is outdated... I will try it on win 7 to see if it works but the last driver that I can find was for XP




My Matrox Meteor-II (non multi-channel variant) has coax-out, and driver support ended with WinXP. Is it one of those?


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: BPO]
      #5029005 - 01/20/12 04:31 PM

No I got a Hauppauge ImpactVCB 64900 - Hauppauge Website

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Roy Salisbury
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Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5029042 - 01/20/12 04:51 PM

I just got an email letting me know they were ready to ship my system. I have a few questions for anyone that has it.

1. Do they have a USB adapter that can be used? Even if they don't provide one, its not bound to a specific driver or anything is it? I can find a BNC to USB adapter that will work for Win7 x64.

2. Might just be a limitation of whatever driver I use, but I would like to also provide the video stream on my own web site as well. Anyone do that already?

3. Anyone know the power requirements of the camera? I'm sure its only a few watts (5-10), but would be nice to know exactly.

Roy


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #5030225 - 01/21/12 11:20 AM

I have been programming all morning - debugging etc. The video controller they ship fails under Win 7 and Vista. I also suspect that the Wsentinel program will likely run into issues as well.

I recommend you use WinXP. If you only have a Win 7 machine you could probably set it up and use VirtualBox or VMWare to run XP inside of Win 7. I do this on my development machine. As for adapters in my experience it is hit and miss as to weather they will function or not.

The power consumption is 12v 150mA.

The Setup I am attempting to do is as follows:

  • Standalone XP install
  • Remote administration via Remote Desktop - No monitor/ keyboard etc
  • captures are saved to a secondary 250gb internal drive
  • Utility script to run daily and move the captures from 250GB drive to 1TB drive on my linux server daily
  • Since rsync is a Linux application natively I will setup rsync on the server to automatically transmit the event data to NMSU's server
  • Another script will automatically run to purge old data from the server that is more than 2 weeks old


Simple automation tasks that will require little maintenance. I will also right a program to send me text messages for recorded events.

It should be simple enough to also right a post script to put an event on a website. I am sure that the NMSU website does it automatically when the data is received.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5033184 - 01/22/12 11:16 PM

Is there a reason why you have to use there video capture card?

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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5033210 - 01/22/12 11:28 PM

I assume they have drivers set up for it and it only has BNC connectors. It is the one they send so why not use it?

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5033215 - 01/22/12 11:30 PM

Quote:

I have been programming all morning - debugging etc. The video controller they ship fails under Win 7 and Vista. I also suspect that the Wsentinel program will likely run into issues as well.

I recommend you use WinXP. If you only have a Win 7 machine you could probably set it up and use VirtualBox or VMWare to run XP inside of Win 7. I do this on my development machine. As for adapters in my experience it is hit and miss as to weather they will function or not.

The power consumption is 12v 150mA.

The Setup I am attempting to do is as follows:

  • Standalone XP install
  • Remote administration via Remote Desktop - No monitor/ keyboard etc
  • captures are saved to a secondary 250gb internal drive
  • Utility script to run daily and move the captures from 250GB drive to 1TB drive on my linux server daily
  • Since rsync is a Linux application natively I will setup rsync on the server to automatically transmit the event data to NMSU's server
  • Another script will automatically run to purge old data from the server that is more than 2 weeks old


Simple automation tasks that will require little maintenance. I will also right a program to send me text messages for recorded events.

It should be simple enough to also right a post script to put an event on a website. I am sure that the NMSU website does it automatically when the data is received.




Did you get the new WSentinel program from me? It may just be for WinXP.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5033588 - 01/23/12 08:44 AM

Quote:

Is there a reason why you have to use there video capture card?




Not to say that it is required but in my experience when you are creating a custom application to meet a specific need especially in the case of research one typically focuses on building the program to run in a specific environment. I am sure the cameras and boards were chosen for their specs and cost in a mass quantity to fit the need.

Typically in R&D you are not going to go out and spend big dollars for top end equipment. Could you use a different capture card? Possibly but the reality is there would be a lot of debugging to be done by yourself since they clearly have noted the requirement for XP. The question is weather or not you have the ability to debug the issues or want to even spend the time doing so.

In my case I tested on win 7 first since I had a machine with that os installed. The drivers would not load at all for the capture card. I did not want to forgo the expense to try a different card since it is not clearly stated that that OS will even work with the rest of the software. I chose to reload winXP sp3 onto that machine an use it to their specification... Less Headaches


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5033593 - 01/23/12 08:48 AM

Quote:


Did you get the new WSentinel program from me? It may just be for WinXP.




I downloaded the latest from the NMSU site...WSentinel 1.1.15 dated November 11,2011.

I do get a message on opening "Creating video mixing renderer 9 failed"

I know that is part of the directx9 environment.... what version are you running?


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Roy Salisbury
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5034250 - 01/23/12 04:39 PM

Well, I guess I will be doing a lot of testing to get it working. The computer I planned on using does not even have slots for internal cards (its a Mac Mini). Running XP is not an issue if I have too (I already use Parallels for my Win7 x64 instance). I've sent email asking about the specs of the system and other than one email I got thee other day that it was "ready to ship", I have heard nothing about the requirements or software.

Roy


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #5034330 - 01/23/12 05:44 PM

Quote:

Well, I guess I will be doing a lot of testing to get it working. The computer I planned on using does not even have slots for internal cards (its a Mac Mini). Running XP is not an issue if I have too (I already use Parallels for my Win7 x64 instance). I've sent email asking about the specs of the system and other than one email I got thee other day that it was "ready to ship", I have heard nothing about the requirements or software.

Roy




hmmm... that could be problematic

I honestly don't think you will get that configuration to work for a multitude of reasons. You might be able to get the camera to function but I have not seen many analog to digital usb adapters that work real well. That itself brings another wrench into the mix... even in a windows system. Now couple that with the fact that you are running Windows7 in a Mac environment with software designed for Win XP and have them all play nice with one another. Let us know how it goes... I do have a couple of Mac programmers on staff here that I can bounce questions off of.


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #5034401 - 01/23/12 06:32 PM

Quote:

Well, I guess I will be doing a lot of testing to get it working. The computer I planned on using does not even have slots for internal cards (its a Mac Mini). Running XP is not an issue if I have too (I already use Parallels for my Win7 x64 instance). I've sent email asking about the specs of the system and other than one email I got thee other day that it was "ready to ship", I have heard nothing about the requirements or software.

Roy




I thought we had pretty much covered the system requirements here. You have to have a computer dedicated to the camera system with >500GB hard drive.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5034410 - 01/23/12 06:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Did you get the new WSentinel program from me? It may just be for WinXP.




I downloaded the latest from the NMSU site...WSentinel 1.1.15 dated November 11,2011.

I do get a message on opening "Creating video mixing renderer 9 failed"

I know that is part of the directx9 environment.... what version are you running?




I never got the software from the website to work. Joe Chavez sent me a different version and it worked find.


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Roy Salisbury
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Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5034416 - 01/23/12 06:41 PM

I'll try a few BNC to USB adapters that I have. If not, I'll look for others. Getting XP running under a virtual instance is a snap. And my Mac Mini has plenty of memory and CPU for it.

Roy


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Roy Salisbury
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Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5034421 - 01/23/12 06:46 PM

Quote:


I thought we had pretty much covered the system requirements here. You have to have a computer dedicated to the camera system with >500GB hard drive.




A dedicated computer with >500GB matches exactly what I have. But here is what your "requirements" miss:

* Must have a PCI slot for a capture device capable of connecting the camera via a BNC connector.
* Must run windows XP.

Roy


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #5034441 - 01/23/12 07:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I thought we had pretty much covered the system requirements here. You have to have a computer dedicated to the camera system with >500GB hard drive.




A dedicated computer with >500GB matches exactly what I have. But here is what your "requirements" miss:

* Must have a PCI slot for a capture device capable of connecting the camera via a BNC connector.
* Must run windows XP.

Roy




Thanks for pointing that out, I missed it. But one correction, you CAN run Win7, you just have to have a different video card.

I am not sure and I am skeptical it will work with out having the card. BECAUSE, the card had 4 ports on it and it HAD to be connected to the one closest to the motherboard.


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mrramsey
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Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Roy Salisbury]
      #5034453 - 01/23/12 07:14 PM

From the word doc sent to me by Richard Spaulding at Sandia.

"PC Requirements
The PC used to run the WSentinel must meet the minimum requirements:

1 GHz Processor
1 GB Ram
750 GB Disk
CDROM drive
1 Spare PCI slot available


The software currently runs only on Windows machines. XP is the preferred version to run with the software. "


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5034458 - 01/23/12 07:16 PM

Stuart -- if you click the 'Help' button in WSentinel then click 'About" it will tell you what version you have.

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MrKrink
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Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5034607 - 01/23/12 09:08 PM

Quote:

Stuart -- if you click the 'Help' button in WSentinel then click 'About" it will tell you what version you have.





They must have updated the website, mine is 1.1.15 too. He emailed me that one directly.


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Roy Salisbury
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5038110 - 01/25/12 10:30 PM

Quote:

From the word doc sent to me by Richard Spaulding at Sandia.

"PC Requirements
The PC used to run the WSentinel must meet the minimum requirements:

1 GHz Processor
1 GB Ram
750 GB Disk
CDROM drive
1 Spare PCI slot available


The software currently runs only on Windows machines. XP is the preferred version to run with the software. "





I never got anything like that when I inquired about the camera. So if it ever shows up I'll try my best to get it to work, but may just have to send it back and go for one of the commercial options.

Roy


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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5047923 - 01/31/12 01:12 PM

Great job on mounting. Could you please share your mounting parameters you used? I'd like to duplicate how you installed your system; 90 degree PVC pipe...etc.

I just received my camera system today, but with no instructions, documentation...etc. But, looking forward to installing the system this weekend.

Russ


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5048051 - 01/31/12 02:07 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I do get a message on opening "Creating video mixing renderer 9 failed"





I get this same error running on xp sp3 x32 running wsentinal 1.1.19 Any idea on how to fix this? I don't see anywhere in the program where to change the inputs for the coax either... AM i to guess which one I plug it into?


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5048149 - 01/31/12 03:01 PM

Nevermind. I got it..

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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5048419 - 01/31/12 05:28 PM

Quote:

Nevermind. I got it..




Do tell... What did you do differently?


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5048525 - 01/31/12 06:18 PM

I think the sentinal program is set for a certain port on the back. I ended up just pluging in the BNC connector on each port and starting the program until the video popped up. That error comes from not being able to detect data on the port. at least for me it was.

Edited by wolfman_4_ever (01/31/12 06:20 PM)


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5048637 - 01/31/12 07:26 PM

Quote:

I think the sentinal program is set for a certain port on the back. I ended up just pluging in the BNC connector on each port and starting the program until the video popped up. That error comes from not being able to detect data on the port. at least for me it was.




Hmmm. I get it on every port. I know there is a signal because the wintv application sees it.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5048914 - 01/31/12 10:14 PM

Quote:

Great job on mounting. Could you please share your mounting parameters you used? I'd like to duplicate how you installed your system; 90 degree PVC pipe...etc.

I just received my camera system today, but with no instructions, documentation...etc. But, looking forward to installing the system this weekend.

Russ




Not really much of anything. Two 4"closet flange, 90° 4"L, and enough 4" pipe to get it around the overhang. I used to bolts with wing-nuts to secure the 2 closet flanges together. Very simple. Make it easily removable, I have had to take mine down and put it back up about a dozen times until I got the gain and video level set. If you are in a very dark site, there won't be much visible if there are no other light until an event occurs.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5048915 - 01/31/12 10:16 PM

Attention: the BNC HAS to be connected to the port CLOSEST to the motherboard to work.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5048931 - 01/31/12 10:25 PM

Quote:

Great job on mounting. Could you please share your mounting parameters you used? I'd like to duplicate how you installed your system; 90 degree PVC pipe...etc.

I just received my camera system today, but with no instructions, documentation...etc. But, looking forward to installing the system this weekend.

Russ




Also everyone will need to contact Larry Alvarez or Richard Spalding to get access to the NMSU website (there is a hidden link) to get a username and password to download the software. There is 3 zip files and one is dedicated to your node specifically. There i also a forum ran by NMSU in there ONLY for actual users too.

I have a users manual which really helps with the settings and a settings highlight file I made if anyone is interested, email me at actionshooting @ carolina.rr.com


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RobbW
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5049044 - 01/31/12 11:55 PM

Those who have received their all-sky cams from NMSU, how long did it take to receive them?

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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: RobbW]
      #5049101 - 02/01/12 12:44 AM

I mounted mine the same way except on my roof attached to one of my chimneys. Since it is up that high my whole west shot is skies above the Pacific Ocean.

4" pipe from home depot. I used the thicker sewage drainage pipe. UV resistant too.

It took about a week to get mine.


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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5049950 - 02/01/12 02:37 PM

Thanks for the info Stuart, very much appreciated.

I noticed I'm going to have to extend the cable from the camera to the video card. Can you please let me know what type of coax cable supplied? I have no problems purchasing the appropriate connections but was not sure about the actual cable itself.


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mrramsey
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Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5049978 - 02/01/12 02:49 PM

Quote:

Thanks for the info Stuart, very much appreciated.

I noticed I'm going to have to extend the cable from the camera to the video card. Can you please let me know what type of coax cable supplied? I have no problems purchasing the appropriate connections but was not sure about the actual cable itself.



They will give you a short 3' BNC cable plus 2 adapters to connect to a pre made piece of RG6 coax like you would buy prepackaged from the store. You should be able to find ready made lengths of cable from any big box store in 25', 50', 75', and 100' lengths.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5049987 - 02/01/12 02:54 PM

Quote:

Thanks for the info Stuart, very much appreciated.

I noticed I'm going to have to extend the cable from the camera to the video card. Can you please let me know what type of coax cable supplied? I have no problems purchasing the appropriate connections but was not sure about the actual cable itself.




I just ordered a 50' section of pre-made RG-58 cable with the BNC ends attached and a BNC Coupler.
That is what was on my camera wwhen I got it.

BNC to BNC RG-58 cables can be had cheap, don't pay too much. There are actually cheaper places I found after I got that....... Like this.

Edited by MrKrink (02/01/12 02:59 PM)


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5050004 - 02/01/12 03:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks for the info Stuart, very much appreciated.

I noticed I'm going to have to extend the cable from the camera to the video card. Can you please let me know what type of coax cable supplied? I have no problems purchasing the appropriate connections but was not sure about the actual cable itself.



They will give you a short 3' BNC cable plus 2 adapters to connect to a pre made piece of RG6 coax like you would buy prepackaged from the store. You should be able to find ready made lengths of cable from any big box store in 25', 50', 75', and 100' lengths.




That sucks, I didn't get any adapters and mine had RG-58 cable on it.

Just read what is on your cable when you get it and get the same thing.


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mrramsey
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Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5050014 - 02/01/12 03:09 PM

I guess it just depends who packed your box of goodies on any given day! I got adapters and had a spare 100' of RG6 cable laying around. Crimped on a couple of connectors and good to go.

I am still having issues with the Wsentinel software and evidently am not the only one. I tried a couple of things that Richard Spalding forwarded to me from another chap. I rolled back to XP sp2 as it seems in some cases that there is an issue with SP3 that conflicts. At any rate sandia has shipped me a new card to try. Should get it on Saturday.

Drier weather is here so I am going to try to get it mounted this weekend.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5050168 - 02/01/12 04:38 PM

I have issues with the event triggering. Since I live next to LAX airport and my skies are a major thoroughfare in and out of the country, i am capturing almost live all the time! Still working with it though.

I have not had any issues running the hauupauge card in xp sp3. so far. I did have some video issue this morning. The video was kinda wacked out. I just unplugged the RG6 and hooked it back up and all was well.

This PC also runs my personal orion all sky cam with a second USB video capture device. I have had no issue with capturing or configuring with either device and they run at the same time.


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mrramsey
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5050246 - 02/01/12 05:35 PM

My pc is a unit that I did a fresh install of windows xp on. It's sole purpose is to be used for the AllSky Camera. I have done everything possible to make it run...

Hoping the new card will work.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5050450 - 02/01/12 07:51 PM

Quote:

I have issues with the event triggering. Since I live next to LAX airport and my skies are a major thoroughfare in and out of the country, i am capturing almost live all the time! Still working with it though.

I have not had any issues running the hauupauge card in xp sp3. so far. I did have some video issue this morning. The video was kinda wacked out. I just unplugged the RG6 and hooked it back up and all was well.

This PC also runs my personal orion all sky cam with a second USB video capture device. I have had no issue with capturing or configuring with either device and they run at the same time.




Try raising the threshold. Mine was doing that before I adjusted mine. Did you get the recommended settings from them? I think I had it in my operating summary.


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njrusty
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Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5051234 - 02/02/12 08:49 AM

Gents,

I run a fairly new computer system in my observatory to control my telescope/cameras (ACP & MaxIM DL). My question is this, in order to avoid running (2) separate computers; one for telescope/camera and one for the All Sky Camera; can I run everything on one computer??

For those of you doing this, does running the All Sky Camera interfer with your telescope imaging if all on one computer? On those clear nights when I am imaging through my telescope, I dont want to have any problems with that imaging process. I plan on having the All Sky Camera save its images to a seperate/internal hard drive.

Russ


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5051950 - 02/02/12 03:34 PM

Quote:

Gents,

I run a fairly new computer system in my observatory to control my telescope/cameras (ACP & MaxIM DL). My question is this, in order to avoid running (2) separate computers; one for telescope/camera and one for the All Sky Camera; can I run everything on one computer??

For those of you doing this, does running the All Sky Camera interfer with your telescope imaging if all on one computer? On those clear nights when I am imaging through my telescope, I dont want to have any problems with that imaging process. I plan on having the All Sky Camera save its images to a seperate/internal hard drive.

Russ




I don't see why it would not work as long as you have the memory to handle it (4GB+) It is just the camera interface and camera running all night and when an event is triggered it records a JPG, MP4, an Excel file and a Txt file and periodically a PNG file it also records EVERY 1 second and puts it in an archive file in case an event is missed, it can be recreated. I think the reason they want a "dedicated" computer is to have hard drive space available because of the large amount of data it saves. I use mine for other thins if I need to and have my WSentinel running from a 2TB external HD. Mine seems to run a lot slower when I have the camera running like it is eating alot of memory.

I don't see any problem with doing that though.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5052279 - 02/02/12 07:00 PM

I would suggest to have a multicore cpu as well. The meteor detection eats a lot of CPU cycles. Sentinel eats about 30% cpu just sitting there at 60%+ while detecting.

I run the NMSU cam and my own all-sky cam off the same pc. I have each cam using it own vid capture card so it does not interfere with the other. WHen both are running the cpu is around 90% usage.

I am only using a P4 with hyperthreading and 2 gigs of memory on win xp x32. 500gb hdd.

It much more CPU intensive than memory intensive. Of course windows will use as much memory as you can put into the PC and more memory does not hurt.

FYI. 32 bit versions of windows only see 4gig max of memory (may only use 3.5mb) and 64 bit sees 4 gig+ depending on the windows version (xp, vista, win 7)

Edited by wolfman_4_ever (02/02/12 07:06 PM)


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5052429 - 02/02/12 08:48 PM

I didn't realize XP would recognize 4gb+ memory.

Mine is a core duo T2300 1.6ghz 3GB ram and 500HDD


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5052620 - 02/02/12 10:59 PM

for the 32 bit version of xp, 4gb is the max it will use. the 64 bit version of xp can use 128gb. Your motherboard has to support it as well.

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johne
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Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5053013 - 02/03/12 08:37 AM

I received my box from them this week. It contained the camera housing/mounting and the Hauppauge ImpactVCB video card. Nothing else.

Thankfully, Stuart (MrKrink) has so thoughtfully provided his experiences with the software in written form and with his and other's experience here in this forum, it should be a fun weekend setting this up... if of course, I get an email response with the NMSU user site login information to be able to download the WSentinel software, that is.

Either way, I should still be able to get the camera mounted and the cables run into the Obs this weekend.

Thanks for all the tips and experiences.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5053023 - 02/03/12 08:41 AM

Hi Johne - Send an email to Laura Boucheron (lboucher @ nmsu.edu) She is actually the site administrator and has been very quick to reply to me.

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johne
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Reged: 11/10/06

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5053043 - 02/03/12 08:56 AM

Quote:

Hi Johne - Send an email to Laura Boucheron (lboucher @ nmsu.edu) She is actually the site administrator and has been very quick to reply to me.




Hi Mike. Yes, I did email Laura yesterday morning. Haven't yet heard back from her, yet. I'm hopeful that I'll hear from her today.

Thank you.
John


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5053115 - 02/03/12 09:46 AM

Thanks for the kind words. Glad I could be of assistance. It has been a steep learning curve for my little brain. I am still learning things too.

There is a bug in the software when you recreate a video from the archive WSentinel crashes when you try to save it. They are supposed to be working on it. It is a really cool feature and I hope they get it fixed.


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5053254 - 02/03/12 11:07 AM

Thanks for the heads up on the bug, Stuart.

I had an old HP Pavilion, Windows XP machine lying around with plenty of RAM and a working connection to a 5TB, RAID 5 drive NAS unit for image storage, so I'm cleaning that up as my dedicated machine for the all sky camera.

Still waiting on Laura from NMSU. How can I complain though. Its a great opportunity and a free all sky cam.

John


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5053264 - 02/03/12 11:12 AM

Well, no sooner had I hit the Continue button for my last post, the incoming mail dings and there's the email from Laura at NMSU.

Now were moving!

John

Edited by johne (02/03/12 11:13 AM)


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5053471 - 02/03/12 01:08 PM

Quote:

Well, no sooner had I hit the Continue button for my last post, the incoming mail dings and there's the email from Laura at NMSU.

Now were moving!

John




Cool, that reminds me, I need to email her too........


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5057949 - 02/06/12 07:07 AM

Well, the setup and configuration using Stuart's (MrKrink) installation & setup notes went incredibly smooth (Thank you!) I had to set up everything indoors on my workbench, since I was not able to locate RG-58 coax cable in the Prescott area over the weekend. I ordered 100 ft on line and it should be here on Wednesday. In the meantime, I figured out the best placement for it that would give the most unobstructed view. I picked up a 12' 4x4, cut out a 3/4" ply pedestal top to mount the camera assemble on it, sealed and painted it to match the trim of the house. I'll drill, mount and bolt the 4x4 vertically to one of the posts on my upper deck, which will allow the camera to reside just slightly above the peak of the roof and chimney.
The PC, running Windows XP, is tied into a 5TB, Raid 5 NAS for image archival. Now... just waiting for Wednesday.

Thanks Stuart for your great help in this. Truly a painless process.

John


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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5058411 - 02/06/12 12:46 PM

Physically installed the all-sky camera over the weekend and was able to succesfully test the software and computer systems. I'm also waiting on a RG-58 cable which will arrive this week. Hoping to have it fully up and running by the weekend. Which of course means stormy weather will be coming.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5058784 - 02/06/12 03:50 PM

Quote:

Well, the setup and configuration using Stuart's (MrKrink) installation & setup notes went incredibly smooth (Thank you!) I had to set up everything indoors on my workbench, since I was not able to locate RG-58 coax cable in the Prescott area over the weekend. I ordered 100 ft on line and it should be here on Wednesday. In the meantime, I figured out the best placement for it that would give the most unobstructed view. I picked up a 12' 4x4, cut out a 3/4" ply pedestal top to mount the camera assemble on it, sealed and painted it to match the trim of the house. I'll drill, mount and bolt the 4x4 vertically to one of the posts on my upper deck, which will allow the camera to reside just slightly above the peak of the roof and chimney.
The PC, running Windows XP, is tied into a 5TB, Raid 5 NAS for image archival. Now... just waiting for Wednesday.

Thanks Stuart for your great help in this. Truly a painless process.

John




That sounds awesome!! PLEASE post pics when you get it mounted. That sounds interesting.
My only questionis how do you get to the camera if it needs adjusting? I had to take mine down and put it up about 6 or 8 times to get the viseo adjusted right. I thought they would have sent it adjusted but not.

I would like to have mine up on a 30 ft pole!!


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5058789 - 02/06/12 03:52 PM

LOL, it seems to have been cloudy here for a dang week now!!

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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5058968 - 02/06/12 05:49 PM

Here is my mounting on my second story chimney.




Here is my first fireball over LA shot:



Here is the video link:

LA Fireball

I love this stuff!


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5058979 - 02/06/12 05:52 PM

The PC to control everything is in my attic. The other camera you see is my Orion All-Sky Cam.

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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5059014 - 02/06/12 06:18 PM

Nice catch Dave, and cool mount.
I guess you don't have too many fires??


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5059080 - 02/06/12 07:00 PM

Not on that side of the house. It's gas anyways. I'm going to put up a piece of sheet metal to deflect it to the other side.

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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5059831 - 02/07/12 07:34 AM

Quote:

That sounds awesome!! PLEASE post pics when you get it mounted. That sounds interesting.
My only questionis how do you get to the camera if it needs adjusting? I had to take mine down and put it up about 6 or 8 times to get the viseo adjusted right. I thought they would have sent it adjusted but not.




I plan on setting it up on the balcony railing to perform the adjustments and when the adjustments are done, put it up.

I'll add some photos when its set up.


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5059833 - 02/07/12 07:36 AM

Quote:







Wow! That's a nice clean looking setup. Great video capture as well.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5059940 - 02/07/12 09:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

That sounds awesome!! PLEASE post pics when you get it mounted. That sounds interesting.
My only questionis how do you get to the camera if it needs adjusting? I had to take mine down and put it up about 6 or 8 times to get the viseo adjusted right. I thought they would have sent it adjusted but not.




I plan on setting it up on the balcony railing to perform the adjustments and when the adjustments are done, put it up.

I'll add some photos when its set up.




Only problem with that is, the camera has to be COMPLETELY disassembled (like my photos above) to make any kind of adjustments. All that can be adjusted is the AGC (auto gain control) and the LEVEL (brightness) And the camera has to be hooked to the computer to do that. Adjusthem for a good daytime view because the iris opens wide open after dark. Then the brightness and contrast can be adjusted from the software.


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5061629 - 02/08/12 06:49 AM

Stuart, you may be right. Unfortunately, I've run into a show stopper. My system will only operate for about 60 to 90 minutes before the machine shuts itself down.
This machine has had nearly every piece of software and drivers that were installed on it after I received it, removed... just to make the setup as simple and as clean as possible. It runs really well and will run all day, until I start the WSentinel program. Once I start WSentinel, the system will shut down every time between 60 and 90 minutes.

I've checked everything I can think of...
1. There is only a video card and the Hauppauge video capture card installed on the machine.
2. The Hauppauge video drivers installed without a problem.
3. I have ensured that all screen savers and power saving options (both video and hibernation) are turned off.
4. The Windows Device Manager does not show any conflicts.
5. When I checked the Windows Event Viewer for Application, System and Security Event logs, there are no errors or entries at all between the time the machine starts up and its termination.
6. The Windows XP software is totally up to date and is current on updates and service packs.
7. Its got plenty of RAM and Hard Disk space.
8. The RG58 cable is plugged into the BNC slot closest to the motherboard.

The strange thing is that the machine will run without any problems until I start the WSentinel program.

Right now, I'm stumped. On one occassion yesterday, when it looked like the machine has shut down, I noticed that the CPU and Power Supply fans were running, but there was no video. I have a spare video card from another machine that I plan on swapping out and trying today and see if that has any effect.

Am I missing someting simple here? Suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you,
John


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Savio Fong
Vendor (Galaxy Scientific)


Reged: 10/05/09

Loc: Hong Kong
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: UniversalMaster]
      #5061679 - 02/08/12 07:56 AM

This is my self-built all sky cam used in my personal remote controlled observatory in Tibet, at 4300m, it's been running good since I setup it up in last Nov,

How I build it

I used a DFK41 camera with $10 CCTV lens, $10 adaptor ring and a used Nikon fisheye converter. I have friend get very sharp to the edge star with just one $20, 2.3mm fisheye CCTV lens.

This is my obervatory at Tibet

and you can see the real time image here, with Boltwood cloud sensor data also. The only issue is if I need to remote login the computer there, and manually set the setting for day and night time, the auto-exposure can't handle the big difference.

The color and resolution and contrast is good, it's 860pixel resolution diameter across 180 degree view. The lens is a bit off focus now and I will refocus it next time I go there, but I can still see winter milkyway across sky when the sky is clear, not too bad for a self build all sky cam

now this all sky cam serve as a powerful monitoring system together with my in-dome IP cam and boltwood cloud sensor, I can easily understand what's happen out there, several thousand miles away from Hong Kong my home.

Edited by Savio Fong (02/08/12 07:59 AM)


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johne
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Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Savio Fong]
      #5061728 - 02/08/12 08:49 AM

Very cool Savio. Nice job.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5061801 - 02/08/12 09:45 AM

Quote:

Stuart, you may be right. Unfortunately, I've run into a show stopper. My system will only operate for about 60 to 90 minutes before the machine shuts itself down.
This machine has had nearly every piece of software and drivers that were installed on it after I received it, removed... just to make the setup as simple and as clean as possible. It runs really well and will run all day, until I start the WSentinel program. Once I start WSentinel, the system will shut down every time between 60 and 90 minutes.

I've checked everything I can think of...
1. There is only a video card and the Hauppauge video capture card installed on the machine.
2. The Hauppauge video drivers installed without a problem.
3. I have ensured that all screen savers and power saving options (both video and hibernation) are turned off.
4. The Windows Device Manager does not show any conflicts.
5. When I checked the Windows Event Viewer for Application, System and Security Event logs, there are no errors or entries at all between the time the machine starts up and its termination.
6. The Windows XP software is totally up to date and is current on updates and service packs.
7. Its got plenty of RAM and Hard Disk space.
8. The RG58 cable is plugged into the BNC slot closest to the motherboard.

The strange thing is that the machine will run without any problems until I start the WSentinel program.

Right now, I'm stumped. On one occassion yesterday, when it looked like the machine has shut down, I noticed that the CPU and Power Supply fans were running, but there was no video. I have a spare video card from another machine that I plan on swapping out and trying today and see if that has any effect.

Am I missing someting simple here? Suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you,
John




Wow, aggrevating for sure. Which version of the WSentinel are you running? They had to send me a different version than what I downloaded from the website because mine would not recognize the camera. Maybe uninstalling everything and starting over with a different version of WSentinel might help. If not I would contact Joe Chavez, Steven Spence, or Richard Spalding for help. One of them will help figure it out.

Maybe try a registry cleaner like Glary Registry repair to put things back in place from all the moving stuff around. It seems to help mine sometimes. Just run it a couple times until it gets down to only a couple errors showing up consistantly.
Glary Registry Repair


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johne
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Reged: 11/10/06

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5062026 - 02/08/12 11:37 AM

Stuart, as usual thanks for jumping right in with suggestions. Its always appeciated.

I think it may be fixed now.

I replaced the video card with one I had lying around. I downloaded updated drivers from the ATI website and performed the install and configuration. Its been running for about 3 hours now and there have been no problems.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this fixes the problem permanently.

John


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5062045 - 02/08/12 11:50 AM

It's been a steep learning curve for me so I am happy to share anything to make it easier. I am not electronically inclined and this A/V stuff is all foreign to me. Especially when you mix it with computers!!

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5063976 - 02/09/12 02:58 PM

I just found this thread- I just got my NMSU cam operational last night. A few notes:

They just released a refresh of their software products about a week ago. I've been trying to get my cam operational for a couple of months and that software upgrade was key- it's now working on my XP machine with at least SP3.

I had to do some tweaking with permissions. I have a dedicated computer in my observatory without a password because I have some custom software that has to run (not as a service) so I need my PC to log in automatically. This caused a bit of an issue for the rsync application. I had to turn off sharing for just the .ssh folder under rsync.

My PC is reasonably powerful, but it is several years old and I think it only has 2 gig of RAM. WSentinel consumes about 50-60% of the CPU all the time. I haven't tried imaging while it's running yet- hopefully I'll do that in a few days. Typically I've noticed my acquisition software does not use much CPU at all, so I think it will be ok. I wouldn't want to try running photoshop while WSentinel is running!

The camera does have a focus adjustment, but it's very touchy- naturally I couldn't leave well enough alone, but I suggest you don't touch it. It's really hard to get just the right focus and the lever action to adjust is very rough.

They started a message forum on the NMSU website just for the all-sky cam users.

Good luck to everyone- hope you all get your cameras running- it's a great program!


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5063981 - 02/09/12 03:01 PM

BTW- if you don't get a response from them, keep nagging. Took me 3 tries I think- squeaky wheels, folks, squeaky wheels

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5063983 - 02/09/12 03:03 PM

Quote:

I just found this thread- I just got my NMSU cam operational last night. A few notes:

They just released a refresh of their software products about a week ago. I've been trying to get my cam operational for a couple of months and that software upgrade was key- it's now working on my XP machine with at least SP3.

I had to do some tweaking with permissions. I have a dedicated computer in my observatory without a password because I have some custom software that has to run (not as a service) so I need my PC to log in automatically. This caused a bit of an issue for the rsync application. I had to turn off sharing for just the .ssh folder under rsync.

My PC is reasonably powerful, but it is several years old and I think it only has 2 gig of RAM. WSentinel consumes about 50-60% of the CPU all the time. I haven't tried imaging while it's running yet- hopefully I'll do that in a few days. Typically I've noticed my acquisition software does not use much CPU at all, so I think it will be ok. I wouldn't want to try running photoshop while WSentinel is running!

The camera does have a focus adjustment, but it's very touchy- naturally I couldn't leave well enough alone, but I suggest you don't touch it. It's really hard to get just the right focus and the lever action to adjust is very rough.

They started a message forum on the NMSU website just for the all-sky cam users.

Good luck to everyone- hope you all get your cameras running- it's a great program!




What software version do you have?


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5063984 - 02/09/12 03:05 PM

Quote:

What software version do you have?




1.1.19


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5064026 - 02/09/12 03:34 PM

OK< that is the one I have.

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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065078 - 02/10/12 08:46 AM

I ran the WSentinel software last night on my fully installed and configured system. Followed the instructions (at least I thought I did) and was able to see a great preview screen of the sky and thought everything was working. Woke up this morning to check for events; nothing. Okay, figured it was a quite night, I then went to look at the hard drive to expecting to see hundreds of files but nothing, completely empty.

I was under the impression the software would bascially begin to fill the hard drive with images taken every second. Is that not the case or did I actually configure the system wrong.

Appreciate the help.


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5065131 - 02/10/12 09:30 AM

Quote:

I ran the WSentinel software last night on my fully installed and configured system. Followed the instructions (at least I thought I did) and was able to see a great preview screen of the sky and thought everything was working. Woke up this morning to check for events; nothing. Okay, figured it was a quite night, I then went to look at the hard drive to expecting to see hundreds of files but nothing, completely empty.

I was under the impression the software would bascially begin to fill the hard drive with images taken every second. Is that not the case or did I actually configure the system wrong.

Appreciate the help.




Do you have the "ENABLE" box ticked on the video display?

Do you have the start and stop times set on the video display? Date correct? Remember some of the settings are in UTC time.

Triggers set correctly? Here are the defaults for the trigger.
Trigger Gap 10
Trigger Sum Begin 12
Trigger Count Begin 2
Trigger Sum End 5
Trigger Count End 2
Max Event Time 30
I raised my Trigger gap because I have a lot of aircraft traffic and was getting literaly thousands a night and also the trigger count end.
**remember after you set everything go to the file menu and "save configuration"


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065139 - 02/10/12 09:34 AM

How The Software Operates:
WSentinel works by comparing each video frame with an earlier frame.
With the Trigger Gap of 10, each frame is compared with the earlier frame 10 frames back. Making this number larger makes it more sensitive to slower events.

WSentinel subtracts the earlier frame from the current frame, pixel by pixel, and then counts the number of pixels where the result is greater than the "Threshold" value. Basically, it is counting the pixels that are brightening. Areas that are masked out are not counted.
If the number of pixels is greater than "Trigger Sum Begin", then we have a potential trigger.
However, we require that there be "Trigger Count Begin" trigger frames in a row before we have a confirmed trigger.
Increasing "Trigger Count Begin" or "Trigger Sum Begin" makes it harder to trigger.

Once we have a confirmed trigger, WSentinel looks for the end of the event. It continues to subtract frames and count the number of pixels above "Threshold" as before.
If the pixel count falls below "Trigger Sum End" for "Trigger Count End" frames in a row, then the event is terminated.
However, an event is not allowed to last less than a few seconds or more than "Max Event Time" seconds.
Increasing "Trigger Count End" or decreasing "Trigger Sum End" makes it harder for an event to end.


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065227 - 02/10/12 10:34 AM Attachment (108 downloads)

I think they're forgetting to include the getting started doc for new users- I didn't receive one until Stewart sent it to me. I'll see if I can attach it to this post...

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5065229 - 02/10/12 10:35 AM

Yes- click on the 'attachment' link on my previous post to download it.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5065285 - 02/10/12 11:15 AM

That is me John.........MrKrink = Stuart McDaniel

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065332 - 02/10/12 11:43 AM

Oops

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5065336 - 02/10/12 11:45 AM

I didn't want to attach your document without your permission- it contains a lot of good information.

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5065416 - 02/10/12 12:53 PM

Quote:

I didn't want to attach your document without your permission- it contains a lot of good information.




No problem, it is just a summary of emails between us that has some good info.


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065437 - 02/10/12 01:09 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Cool- thanks!

Attached to this message is Stuart's Document with additional information about WSentinel


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065470 - 02/10/12 01:24 PM

Thanks All, the Enabled button was not checked under video so now that seems to work. New problem: Preview images looks great but when a picture/video is captured; only shows complete black. Seems strange the preview looks fine but the actual captured screenshots are completely black.

Anyone willing to explain that one!


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5065472 - 02/10/12 01:26 PM

Try it a couple of times. My first cap was also black for some reason, but then it started working. Check the file size of the MP4's created.

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5065562 - 02/10/12 02:16 PM

Hi all. Just a quick followup with my setup.

The camera/lens assembly has an issue. Richard noticed it first. The picture s running fine then all of a sudden it goes black and then ramps back up (about 2 seconds) to the correct image. We are not sure if it is the lens or the camera. I will be getting a replacement camera and lens in a few days. It could be the power supply dropping out but NMSU is handling the issue so just leaving it at that. Another trip onto the roof!

I have been playing with the triggers. I live in a high air traffic area (next to LAX airport) and the default values would trigger an event every few minutes. My settings are as follows:

Threshold 45
trigger gap 20
trigger count begin 5
trigger count end 5
trigger sum begin 65
trigger sum end 9
max event time 39


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5065600 - 02/10/12 02:39 PM

I have had 1 or 2 lately that were all black too.

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5065944 - 02/10/12 06:07 PM

Mine blackouts about 10-20 times a day.

Edited by wolfman_4_ever (02/12/12 03:05 AM)


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5068827 - 02/12/12 01:00 PM

Just when I thought everything was working I keep getting the following error when trying to run WSentinel: 'Creating Video Mixing Rendered 9 Failed'. This comes up whenever I start WSentinel. I don't keep the software running since here in the northeast we have had nothing but clouds and snowy weather.

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5068833 - 02/12/12 01:03 PM

Are you using version 1.1.19 from Jan 27, 2012? I was getting the same error you are until I upgraded to that version.

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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5068864 - 02/12/12 01:19 PM

Yes I am and I'm running XP SP3. I reinstalled all the software and I'm still getting that same error. Very strange.

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5069120 - 02/12/12 03:43 PM

If you remote to your PC via remote desktop that will happen when you try to launch sentinal. A Lot of video capture sotware will not work with remote desktop. You have to use VNC or some other remote desktop software.

I use to get that problem only because I had the BNC hooked to the wrong input on the vid capture card.


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mrramsey
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5069236 - 02/12/12 04:58 PM

Quote:

If you remote to your PC via remote desktop that will happen when you try to launch sentinal. A Lot of video capture sotware will not work with remote desktop. You have to use VNC or some other remote desktop software.

I use to get that problem only because I had the BNC hooked to the wrong input on the vid capture card.




yep... I had the same issue. VNC corrected it. Just got home from Florida in time for more snow. At this rate it will be spring before I get it mounted.


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5070766 - 02/13/12 04:08 PM

Unfortunately VNC doesn't support sound. I wish they'd add that- I can't tell when PHD looses star lock...

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5070800 - 02/13/12 04:33 PM

I caught a really big one last night!!!
Fireball in NC 2-13-12


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5070802 - 02/13/12 04:35 PM

SWEET! Great catch!

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5070817 - 02/13/12 04:51 PM

BTW- I wanted to post an update on my PC's performance. I have 2 gigs of ram and it's only a single 3 ghz processor with about 100 gigs free.

I'm imaging on the same PC and it works pretty well, but it slows everything down a bit. Right now I shut off WSentinel until my imaging run is started and then turn it back on while it's acquiring data. Running Stellarium and WSentinel on the same box really slows down the works. Doesn't seem to affect data acquisition or motion detection of the allsky cam.

I may install a 2nd dedicated all-sky computer in my observatory, but then I'll need a second keyboard, monitor and mouse or a KVM switch, plus I'll need an ethernet switch since I only have 1 Cat5 connection in the observatory.


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5070994 - 02/13/12 06:51 PM

Anyone been able to get the 'mask' to work correctly? I've created a mask and can overlay it in the 'preview'. But on all the mp4 videos, I still see car headlights where the mask should be blocking those out.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5071027 - 02/13/12 07:09 PM

Quote:

Anyone been able to get the 'mask' to work correctly? I've created a mask and can overlay it in the 'preview'. But on all the mp4 videos, I still see car headlights where the mask should be blocking those out.




Yes. you have done it right. It does not block out on the video and still, it only blocks out the lights from triggering an event. You will still be able to see the lights in the RT (real time) view.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5071320 - 02/13/12 10:34 PM

I use the mask all the time.. How do you have your mask setup? When you saved the image did it make it all red? If so you need to untick the pseduo colors box under video..

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5071371 - 02/13/12 11:10 PM

Oh ya and what Stuart said :P

The mask only blocks out the areas where you don't want a trigger to happen.


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5071632 - 02/14/12 07:23 AM

Quote:

I caught a really big one last night!!!
Fireball in NC 2-13-12




Wow! That's GREAT! Nice catch.

I'm still having problems with my setup. I overcame the machine shut-down problem by replacing the PC's video card and installing the lastest Windows XP video drivers.

Some of the problems I'm still sorting out...
- Occasional failure of the XP video driver (requires restarting the machine.)

- The mask does not seem to work at all. I took an image and loaded it into PS and painted the surrounding mountain area, everything except the sky, bright red. Doesn't seem to work. I still get an incredible amout of capture from the vehicles on the highway.

-Yesterday morning, after restarting the machine, WSentinel would crash upon startup. I had to uninstall WSentinel and erase everything WSentinel on the machine and reinstall WSentinel.

- I had WSentinel pointed to a 2.5 TB Raid 5 NAS box. One of the drives failed and the repair has not worked. I'll have to replace the drive and then allow it to rebuild itself. After I reinstalled WSentinel, I pointed it at another RAID unit I have, the 5TB RAID 5. Thinking about it. When WSentinel would crash at startup was pretty close to right after my 2.5TB RAID drive failed.

Its now been running without a problem for the last 16 hours. I am amazed at the amount of data that is captured. 13GB in 16 hours.

Keeping my fingers crossed.


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5071723 - 02/14/12 09:03 AM

I have to agree. Even though my mask is covering some areas where I have blocked, the software is still triggering events 'behind' the mask. Does not appear to be working.

I followed the instructions for creating a mask and it clearly is showing correctly in the 'preview' (real-time view) of the image.


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5071757 - 02/14/12 09:32 AM

Regarding the mask. Here are two of the masks that I have tried. Neither seem to work. Most of the images captured are from movement in the masked (red) area.





Am I doing something wrong that you can see?

Thanks,
John


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5071955 - 02/14/12 11:57 AM

Hi John- I think I see your problem. I'm not 100% positive, but I suspect the mask has to be pure red. In photoshop (or editor of your choice) make sure the color you are using is 255,0,0. Your image is 248,8,53.

My mask is definitely working as I have a cell tower that blinks all night long. It is not triggering the motion detection and I'm sure it would without the mask. I went from 12 events per hour down to a couple per night once I used the mask.


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5071999 - 02/14/12 12:28 PM

The mask I created is 'similiar' to Johne's second mask except a small amount of the 'white' blocks out what I don't want the camera to trigger on. The remaining area I can still see what the camera sees overhead. After playing back the .mp4 videos taken overnight (PA site), I still see events were triggered by what was supposed to be masked; ie.. porch lights, car headlights.

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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5072000 - 02/14/12 12:28 PM

The mask I created is 'similiar' to Johne's second mask except a small amount of the 'white' blocks out what I don't want the camera to trigger on. The remaining area I can still see what the camera sees overhead. After playing back the .mp4 videos taken overnight (PA site), I still see events were triggered by what was supposed to be masked; ie.. porch lights, car headlights.

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5072029 - 02/14/12 12:42 PM

Just because you can see the headlights, etc it doesn't necessarily mean it was triggered by that area of the display. I've found that headlights from cars will bounce off trees that are in my field and can trigger motion even though the headlights themselves are masked. Use the WSentinel playback option to confirm this. When playing back the video, WSentinel will place 4 dots around the area that triggered the motion.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5072099 - 02/14/12 01:15 PM

Quote:

Hi John- I think I see your problem. I'm not 100% positive, but I suspect the mask has to be pure red. In photoshop (or editor of your choice) make sure the color you are using is 255,0,0. Your image is 248,8,53.

My mask is definitely working as I have a cell tower that blinks all night long. It is not triggering the motion detection and I'm sure it would without the mask. I went from 12 events per hour down to a couple per night once I used the mask.




I used Paint, that was what they told me to use.

A question do you have the mask "applied" and then "save config" in the file menue?

I only have a small amount tof light problem but I have noticed this, like was pointed out above. My camera is mounted on the roof directly above my flood lights, and when I flip them on to look out across the back yard, it triggers an event when the light shines on the trees some 50-75 yard away. No way to mask that.

I have also noticed that when it is raining, the light glistening in the raindrops running down the globe from the neighbors street light also triggers an event. No way to mask the refraction of light in raindrops. I wish there was a way to eliminate all but legitaimate events but unfortunately we will have to live with a lot of falseys.

This is my mask..........



Edited by MrKrink (02/14/12 01:23 PM)


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5072125 - 02/14/12 01:24 PM

I only have the top masked because of raindrops refracting from the opposite side of the dome.

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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5072247 - 02/14/12 02:56 PM

Mr. Krink, my mask looks almost exactly like yours and almost every video I see of my triggers (except the obvious airplanes) I also see a flashing carlight in my masked areas. However; I'll look tonight at my playbacks and verify if WSentinel is 'marking' the trigger with dots and see if they are indeed inside the masked areas.

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5072289 - 02/14/12 03:24 PM

Stuart's mask has the correct red values of 255,0,0. njrusty if you can upload your mask I can double check the red values so we can at least rule that out.

I wish there was an option to at least manually delete the false positives after they are uploaded... I've thought about deleting them before they get uploaded but didn't want to break the software.

I'm sure in time I won't monitor it as closely as I do now either so it would be best to just be able to delete all the garbage on the NMSU site.


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5072317 - 02/14/12 03:36 PM

Thanks for the info John. I did verify the 'red' values last night on my mask and they are correct. However; I will double check the photos/videos to see if WSentinel is actually marking the image to see if the trigger is actually occurring inside or outside the mask.

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5072318 - 02/14/12 03:37 PM

I've been operational for a week now and have only had 1 'interesting' sighting:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/208624?page=39

The other 374 videos are all junk including this interesting shot of an alien messing with my camera:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/207177


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5072333 - 02/14/12 03:45 PM

Quote:

Stuart's mask has the correct red values of 255,0,0. njrusty if you can upload your mask I can double check the red values so we can at least rule that out.

I wish there was an option to at least manually delete the false positives after they are uploaded... I've thought about deleting them before they get uploaded but didn't want to break the software.

I'm sure in time I won't monitor it as closely as I do now either so it would be best to just be able to delete all the garbage on the NMSU site.




That may be why they specified to use Paint program.

Try to go through mine everdy day or at least after a clear night and delete the fodder but it is after upload, I then save all the true events to another folder and clear out the event folder. I have thought about going throught them before uploading them everyday.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5072362 - 02/14/12 04:02 PM

I have had a dry spell for a couple weeks too, except for the super nova Monday morning!! Have been getting a lot of satellite flares and one odd one I can't figure out.

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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5074617 - 02/15/12 10:03 PM

Quote:

Hi John- I think I see your problem. I'm not 100% positive, but I suspect the mask has to be pure red. In photoshop (or editor of your choice) make sure the color you are using is 255,0,0. Your image is 248,8,53.





Thank you John. I pulled the image into Photoshop and repainted the mask with the 255,0,0 that you recommended.

Many thanks,
John


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5077738 - 02/17/12 09:52 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Still getting dozens of false images every hour 'behind' the mask. Mask is not working and I'm about to give up on this. Any help would be appreciated.

Edited by njrusty (02/17/12 09:54 PM)


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5078617 - 02/18/12 02:17 PM

can you post a link of your uploads on the NMSU website? That may help with diagnostics.

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5078638 - 02/18/12 02:31 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Also, I see your mask values are not all 255,0,0. Looks like you may have used something that allowed 'blending' into the background. Some of the mask is 255,0,0 but most of it is not. I would also suggest blocking out everything to the outside of your mask- you can see some light bleeding through to the lower left. Here's a mask I made based on your cam image- give this a try.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5078680 - 02/18/12 02:51 PM

Have you tried changing the sensitivity of the settings on the triggers?

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5078793 - 02/18/12 04:04 PM

Hey- looks like I snagged a fireball last night- my first one http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/217299

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5078799 - 02/18/12 04:07 PM

WOW great catch, better go out in the front yard and look for that one, looks like it was coming straight down.

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BPO
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5081146 - 02/19/12 09:54 PM

Someone recently caught a strange object on their ASC.

http://www.observatory.org.nz/temp/asc_pic.html


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: BPO]
      #5081186 - 02/19/12 10:23 PM

Quote:

Someone recently caught a strange object on their ASC.

http://www.observatory.org.nz/temp/asc_pic.html





Funny I caught the same thing...............

6 Toed Alien


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5081306 - 02/19/12 11:47 PM

Upon further review, my cam takes too much processing power to work while imaging. It's possible, but my computer comes to a crawl. I'm going to set up a dedicated allsky computer as soon as I can. I have a spare, luckily.

Edit: I suspect a modern mult-core computer would work ok, but mine is several years old and just not up to the task.

Edited by John Wunderlin (02/19/12 11:48 PM)


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5081311 - 02/19/12 11:51 PM

I also managed to catch a tumbler last night. I noticed a couple of separate hits and replayed the video. I then used the WSentinel function to record the whole event. As a bonus, I got an iridium near the end... Kind of cool:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/218677


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5081605 - 02/20/12 09:07 AM

John, I have caught a few of those too. They are cool and make a cool composite. The iridiums are strange because of the flash, they don't really flash when you see then naked eye, it's more like a slow pulse.

Iridium Flare

Lightning and the ISS are interesting too!


I have started uploading my files at 11 pm, that gives me a chance to delete the junk if it was a clear night prior.

Edited by MrKrink (02/20/12 09:13 AM)


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: BPO]
      #5082940 - 02/20/12 11:40 PM

LOL.... That's funny.. Wait a second... HEY!!! THAT'S MY CAMERA!!!

Quote:

Someone recently caught a strange object on their ASC.

http://www.observatory.org.nz/temp/asc_pic.html




Edited by wolfman_4_ever (02/20/12 11:51 PM)


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5083300 - 02/21/12 08:27 AM

Picked up my first meteor last night here in PA. Video shows the meteor in my western sky moving SE-NW at 0406 UT. However; it appears my computer did not upload the movie/images from this morning (or their just not posted yet). Regardless, I'll doublecheck and upload tonight. I wanted to trim the video this morning but it appears we do not have 'movie maker' installed on my work pc (damn! lol). If it is posted, time stamp is: m210221_040605_828.mpg

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5083426 - 02/21/12 09:52 AM

Quote:

However; it appears my computer did not upload the movie/images from this morning (or their just not posted yet).




The videos don't seem to get processed/posted until the afternoon. Check after lunch.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5083483 - 02/21/12 10:25 AM

Quote:

Picked up my first meteor last night here in PA. Video shows the meteor in my western sky moving SE-NW at 0406 UT. However; it appears my computer did not upload the movie/images from this morning (or their just not posted yet). Regardless, I'll doublecheck and upload tonight. I wanted to trim the video this morning but it appears we do not have 'movie maker' installed on my work pc (damn! lol). If it is posted, time stamp is: m210221_040605_828.mpg




I also had a little trouble wih this. It seems you HAVE TO have a password set on your Windows user account (type a password when you log on) to get it to work for some reason. Then you have to run through the SkySentinel set up, then do the Windows scheduler in the Windows control panel. If you run SkySentinel more than once make sure you don't change anything from the previous or you IP will get locked as mine did. I used lower case letters in the "node" block and then used caps the next time and got locked. Richard Spalding had tounlock it.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5083737 - 02/21/12 12:52 PM

Quote:

It seems you HAVE TO have a password set on your Windows user account (type a password when you log on) to get it to work for some reason.




The task scheduler requires this unless you check the box 'Run only if logged on' Then it will let you schedule. I have to do it this way because I have some non-service applications that I need to run when the computer starts, which means I don't have a password set on my computer. If I have a power outage, my computer restarts, brings up windows and logs in without a password.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5083789 - 02/21/12 01:15 PM

I really don't like having the password myself. How do I work around that?

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5083804 - 02/21/12 01:23 PM

Quote:

I really don't like having the password myself. How do I work around that?




Check the 'Run only if logged in' checkbox when setting up the task.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5083896 - 02/21/12 02:09 PM

OK, thanks

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WirelessDude
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5085657 - 02/22/12 01:42 PM

Hello, everyone! Love the thread...

I have been trying to get a hold of Mr. Alvarez at New Mexico All Sky Network, but no answer. Does anyone know if they are taking new requests to become a node? I figure I'd be a good fit, covering the area centered at 33°14'34"N, 111°32'47"E. If there are alternative contacts, please provide?

Thanks much in advance...

Clear skies!


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5085673 - 02/22/12 01:48 PM

Here's the contact page:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/aboutus

Try one of the other people on that page.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5085772 - 02/22/12 03:00 PM

My tumbler that I posted about earlier has been identified by Sandia.gov as Yaogan 1 which malfunctioned in 2010 and is apparently rotating every 6.85 seconds, causing it to flash as it reflects sunlight. I'm going to have to try to catch this one visually. I've seen tumblers before but not with that fast of a rotational period.

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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5085782 - 02/22/12 03:04 PM

Darn, no tracking available from Heaven's Above...

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5086075 - 02/22/12 05:54 PM

WD, I would try Richard Spalding first at respald@sandia.gov he seems to get the ball rolling.Please tell him I referred you.


John, who did you get to ID your satellite? I have had some luck with Cal-Skys for sats that H-A does not show. But since I have got my camera I have got a lot of "flashers" that I can't ID. They don't correspond with any of the predictions. There used to be a guy on this board that would do it but I can't find him now.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5086082 - 02/22/12 05:59 PM

Quote:

WD, I would try Richard Spalding first at respald@sandia.gov he seems to get the ball rolling.Please tell him I referred you.


John, who did you get to ID your satellite? I have had some luck with Cal-Skys for sats that H-A does not show. But since I have got my camera I have got a lot of "flashers" that I can't ID. They don't correspond with any of the predictions. There used to be a guy on this board that would do it but I can't find him now.




Actually, it was Richard Spalding! LOL The flashing movie I posted apparently got their attention and they found multiple cameras that recorded the same event. Pretty cool when the system works the way they intended.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5086086 - 02/22/12 06:01 PM

And I get flashers all the time too. I'm going to try to replay the videos for a couple minutes before and after any flash events to see if they repeat like this. I've seen a lot of tumblers before, but usually the time between flashes are longer than 6 seconds.

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Kevin Bozard
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5088576 - 02/24/12 09:43 AM

I captured this on the 21st, what do you guys think? Rather fast to be a bird.

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/222084


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5088837 - 02/24/12 12:36 PM

Looks cool! I think it has to be something fairly low. If this were in the upper atmphosphere, my rough calculation has it traveling at about 720,000mph (assuming sky visibility to 400 miles across the frame, 2 seconds travel time). Too fast to be a meteor. I'd guess maybe a dragonfly right over the camera?

When I first set up my camera I caught what I suspect was a Cat chasing a rabbit (a very common occurrence here) and it has a similar appearance:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/203685


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5088961 - 02/24/12 01:50 PM

Quote:

I captured this on the 21st, what do you guys think? Rather fast to be a bird.

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/222084




Looks like maybe a duck. I caught a couple bats on mine the other day. And something big ( I suspect and owl) zipping by really fast.

This is the one I am trying to figure out. I suspect it is the ISS but the projected directions don't jive for that time and day unless I looked at it wrong.

***Something Strange***

Edited by MrKrink (02/24/12 04:34 PM)


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5091272 - 02/25/12 11:54 PM

I have a few of those..

It's the fabled Getto Bird.


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njrusty
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5107255 - 03/05/12 08:24 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Captured an awesome meteor tonight here in PA that moved across half the sky.

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/237401

Edited by njrusty (03/06/12 02:27 PM)


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johne
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5107827 - 03/06/12 06:35 AM

Looks good. Looking forward to seeing the video.

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StarmanDan
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5109136 - 03/06/12 08:00 PM

I put in a request for a camera to Mr. Spalding a few weeks ago but have had no response. Should I try contacting one of the other faculty members?

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germana1
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: StarmanDan]
      #5109801 - 03/07/12 01:00 PM

I too am waiting for a camera I emailed them Feb 22 Mr Spalding said NMSU was making up more cams. Ill let all know when I here back hopefully soon.
Pete


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Kevin Bozard
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: germana1]
      #5110815 - 03/07/12 10:19 PM

Since this thread is active, I will ask other node operators...

My files haven't uploaded since March 2nd. Last night I tried running a batch and the program wouldn't generate the file list. I uninstalled the programs, then reinstalled them, and set the task scheduler for 6:30 AM. This morning the batch started running. Its now 8:30PM and the files being generated are still in the 20120304 folder. I still have the 5th and 6th to go through yet. Should it be taking this long for the batch to run? My processor is only running at 40%, so its not maxing out the processor. Any ideas, anyone?


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petemumbower
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5111122 - 03/08/12 06:53 AM

Same question as Dan above, I emailed Richard Spalding a few weeks back inquiring about getting into this program, but have not heard back. Does anyone know if the program is full or maybe someone else to contact? Currently there is no one in my state(Michigan) that is hosting a camera, so I thought that would be a good reason to get in.

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Kevin Bozard
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: petemumbower]
      #5111268 - 03/08/12 09:01 AM

Quote:

Same question as Dan above, I emailed Richard Spalding a few weeks back inquiring about getting into this program, but have not heard back. Does anyone know if the program is full or maybe someone else to contact?




Hang in there Dan and Pete. I know Richard is very busy at the moment, and has had lots of hosting requests sent in. I'm sure he will get back to you eventually. At the end of February, I know they had ordered parts to build more cameras, and they had 12 operators waiting for cameras then. I'm not sure how big the list has grown since then.

I know they are also busy working on issues with existing nodes, mine is one of them. I think they are just slammed at the moment, so don't give up on them.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5111315 - 03/08/12 09:31 AM

Quote:

Since this thread is active, I will ask other node operators...

My files haven't uploaded since March 2nd. Last night I tried running a batch and the program wouldn't generate the file list. I uninstalled the programs, then reinstalled them, and set the task scheduler for 6:30 AM. This morning the batch started running. Its now 8:30PM and the files being generated are still in the 20120304 folder. I still have the 5th and 6th to go through yet. Should it be taking this long for the batch to run? My processor is only running at 40%, so its not maxing out the processor. Any ideas, anyone?




Kevin it should only take a few minutes to upload. It only uploads what is in the event folder. Once it uploads you can delete those files, that is what I have been doing. If you run it 24/7 there shouldn't be more than 350-400 files to upload. Upload does not clear out the folder, it leaves a copy behind.


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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5111323 - 03/08/12 09:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Same question as Dan above, I emailed Richard Spalding a few weeks back inquiring about getting into this program, but have not heard back. Does anyone know if the program is full or maybe someone else to contact?




Hang in there Dan and Pete. I know Richard is very busy at the moment, and has had lots of hosting requests sent in. I'm sure he will get back to you eventually. At the end of February, I know they had ordered parts to build more cameras, and they had 12 operators waiting for cameras then. I'm not sure how big the list has grown since then.

I know they are also busy working on issues with existing nodes, mine is one of them. I think they are just slammed at the moment, so don't give up on them.




Everyone who is waiting, just be patient. There is only about a dozen people working in this program I think and I imagine they are slammed. I to have had a few issues lately and they are in contact. This is not their main job I suspect, just a project for them.


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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Reged: 10/01/04

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5111437 - 03/08/12 10:36 AM

Quote:

Since this thread is active, I will ask other node operators...

My files haven't uploaded since March 2nd. Last night I tried running a batch and the program wouldn't generate the file list. I uninstalled the programs, then reinstalled them, and set the task scheduler for 6:30 AM. This morning the batch started running. Its now 8:30PM and the files being generated are still in the 20120304 folder. I still have the 5th and 6th to go through yet. Should it be taking this long for the batch to run? My processor is only running at 40%, so its not maxing out the processor. Any ideas, anyone?




The video files can get quite large and if your upstream internet connection speed is slow, it can take a while to upload, but an entire day seems excessive. Do you know what your upstream speed is?


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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]
      #5111682 - 03/08/12 12:56 PM

Thanks for the update on the situation Kevin and Stuart. I figured I would ask here first in case something like that was going on.

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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: petemumbower]
      #5111731 - 03/08/12 01:23 PM

The issue with my node is that it has been uploading a lot of files. There were 177,280 individual files in my online directory. They are in the process of cleaning out the older files, and looking into why WSentinel is creating so many
extraneous files.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5117079 - 03/11/12 04:15 PM

Howdy All - I have been out for a bit with work and finally am getting around to getting this cam going. I finally have resolved the video issues i initially had and have mounted the cam to its temporary location until it is all dialed in.

I have the wSentinel application running and currently have the system to their default settings. The time sync is set and the rsync package is ready to send every morning.

I assume I am to just let the wSentenal application run?
It still says disabled? How does everyone have their Sentinel Options configured?


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5117186 - 03/11/12 05:17 PM

Quote:

Howdy All - I have been out for a bit with work and finally am getting around to getting this cam going. I finally have resolved the video issues i initially had and have mounted the cam to its temporary location until it is all dialed in.

I have the wSentinel application running and currently have the system to their default settings. The time sync is set and the rsync package is ready to send every morning.

I assume I am to just let the wSentenal application run?
It still says disabled? How does everyone have their Sentinel Options configured?




Yep just let her fly. It will say disabled until the time you have it set to record occurs.

Had something odd happen last night. I was out shooting Jupiter and Venus then this bad boy zipped through . Wish I could have got the whole thing, it was a really pretty one. Had a little fragmenting as it burned out. Lasted about 3 seconds. Funny thing about it.............All sky didn't record it!!



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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5117199 - 03/11/12 05:23 PM

Also Joe Chavez sent me a new copy of WSentinel because I was having problems with mine suddenly shutting down for no reason. He found a couple bugs and fixed them and sent me a zip file of the newest version. I am not sure if it is on the website because my username a pwrd is not letting me in. If anyone wants it I can email it to you.

Something else I noticed, I have a pretty heavy mask applied to try an stop false events but when I turn on y outside lights it trips my camera. I took one of the composites and made the mask to try and mask out the light reflection but it still triggers the camera. Any suggestions?


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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5117521 - 03/11/12 10:24 PM

I've completely given up on the mask, never could get it to work and was getting dozens of false hits every night.

To solve the problem, I removed the housing and placed and 3/8" piece of black construction paper around the rim of the lense to make a shield. I was then able to adjust the shield to 'mask' the horizon and slightly above it. Instead of a software mask, I now have a paper mask. Works great for me.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5117958 - 03/12/12 08:04 AM

OK last night was the first night with the cam set up in the temp location. Events fired (all false of course). I am struggling a bit with the focus etc. What are you guys experiencing as far as sharp images?

Also What do you have your Brightness and Contrast settings set to?


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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5117965 - 03/12/12 08:12 AM

I pretty much left the default settings on the camera and did not have any problems with that. Couple of gents on here posted their trigger settings so you may want to try those.

Most of my original false alarms had to do with headlights/porchlights being picked up on the horizon. Once I was able to mask those out of my captured images the only false images I had were from the usual aircraft overhead.

In the morning, I just scroll through the images and look for something out of the ordinary. If I spot something, I look at the video and determine if it was a meteor. If no meteors, then I delete all the files before they are uploaded to the NM website.


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mrramsey
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Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5118006 - 03/12/12 08:57 AM

See my attached mp.4 file. It is of an aircraft under a cloudy sky. Still seems like the focus could be better to me.
http://video.casi.im/zvfJvxZ

Are there instructions on creating a mask somewhere? I have seen a few comments here and there but no real how to.


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5118514 - 03/12/12 01:00 PM

Quote:

OK last night was the first night with the cam set up in the temp location. Events fired (all false of course). I am struggling a bit with the focus etc. What are you guys experiencing as far as sharp images?

Also What do you have your Brightness and Contrast settings set to?




Your focus does look a bit off, though you never get pinpoint stars. I messed with mine- it's not easy to adjust focus. There is a slider bar on the camera (you have to remove the dome first) and it's not easy to move. You need a really bright star or planet so you can see it as you adjust. Also the dome distorts the image a bit, so after you get focus and put the dome back on, it won't be quite as good as it was without the dome.

Look at the NMSU Images site for examples of different cameras.

As for brightness & contrast, I adjusted mine a bit. Moved the brightness up to about 6000 and contrast a little less than that. You can play with your settings to see what looks good to you. Just watch out for adjusting contrast too much- it will pick up noise and cause your camera to have false motion detected- especially with a bright moon apparently- I'm getting a lot of false positives lately. Still tweaking here.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5118524 - 03/12/12 01:04 PM

Quote:

Are there instructions on creating a mask somewhere? I have seen a few comments here and there but no real how to.




I posted a manual in this thread back a few pages. To make the mask, just take one of the jpg files that your camera generates and bring it into an image editing program. Set your paint color to pure red- 255,0,0 RGB values and paint away. Then use the WSentinel functions to import the mask. Just make sure your paint program is not bleeding different colors in- the mask must be pure red or it won't work from what we've seen.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5118539 - 03/12/12 01:12 PM

Quote:

Had a little fragmenting as it burned out. Lasted about 3 seconds. Funny thing about it.............All sky didn't record it!!




Wow- seems like it should have caught that one! You can go back and replay that event if it hasn't been too long. I assume you know the time that happened- just go back and enter the time in wsentinel to replay that period. If you caught it, then use the save function.


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5118563 - 03/12/12 01:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Had a little fragmenting as it burned out. Lasted about 3 seconds. Funny thing about it.............All sky didn't record it!!




Wow- seems like it should have caught that one! You can go back and replay that event if it hasn't been too long. I assume you know the time that happened- just go back and enter the time in wsentinel to replay that period. If you caught it, then use the save function.




I did that and it was not in the archive either. I used the time off the photo I tood to get an exact time.


As far as focus goes. IIRC the little slider should be all the way to one side and locked down hard enough that you can't undo it from the factory. Your trees should definitely be in focus.

I had trouble with the AGC (auto gain - brightness of camera) and to adjust it, bring it inside to a very light room adjust it for that so daytime will be clear and it should be set for night. The auto-iris in the camera opens the apeture up all the way after dark so don't worry about the dark. Adjust it to the light. If you are in a real dark location you won't be able to make out much of anything after dark on the camera until a fireball lights it up.

Set the software brightness about 6600 and the contrast about 5700-6000.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5118590 - 03/12/12 01:45 PM

Ah thanks John - I found it and created a mask as you described.

On another note - Does one need to leave the wSentinel program running or does it automatically open and run at the time specified in the options?


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StarmanDan
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5118596 - 03/12/12 01:47 PM

Quote:

Had something odd happen last night. I was out shooting Jupiter and Venus then this bad boy zipped through . Wish I could have got the whole thing, it was a really pretty one. Had a little fragmenting as it burned out. Lasted about 3 seconds. Funny thing about it.............All sky didn't record it!!




I currently have a camera very similar to the one used with the Sentinel cameras and from my green zone I can just make out stars down to about 2nd magnitude on a clear moonless night. However, I've noticed that anything moving needs to be brighter than mag 1 to see clearly.


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mrramsey
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Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5118610 - 03/12/12 01:54 PM

Quote:

As far as focus goes. IIRC the little slider should be all the way to one side and locked down hard enough that you can't undo it from the factory. Your trees should definitely be in focus.

I had trouble with the AGC (auto gain - brightness of camera) and to adjust it, bring it inside to a very light room adjust it for that so daytime will be clear and it should be set for night. The auto-iris in the camera opens the aperture up all the way after dark so don't worry about the dark. Adjust it to the light. If you are in a real dark location you won't be able to make out much of anything after dark on the camera until a fireball lights it up.

Set the software brightness about 6600 and the contrast about 5700-6000.




Ok the IIRc (zoom) I think is where I screwed up. I advanced that a bit so as to keep some light out of the frame. I will set it back to the factory position where it was originally and re focus and make a new mask from there.

Brightness and contrast are about 6000 and 5000 respectively.

Thanks for the info


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John Wunderlin
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Reged: 10/01/04

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5118632 - 03/12/12 02:08 PM

Quote:

As far as focus goes. IIRC the little slider should be all the way to one side and locked down hard enough that you can't undo it from the factory. Your trees should definitely be in focus.




On my camera, the best focus was not quite all the way to the side, but just a bit back from that. All the way was a bit past optimum focus.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5118643 - 03/12/12 02:15 PM

Quote:

On another note - Does one need to leave the wSentinel program running or does it automatically open and run at the time specified in the options?




There is an option in the settings to specify the time of day when the camera runs. Some users like to leave it running all the time in case of a rare daytime sighting and others run it only at night. I wrote a custom program for my setup because I have a cloud sensor so in my case it starts WSentinel only when it's dark and clear and shuts it off anytime it's cloudy or light.


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5119230 - 03/12/12 09:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

As far as focus goes. IIRC the little slider should be all the way to one side and locked down hard enough that you can't undo it from the factory. Your trees should definitely be in focus.

I had trouble with the AGC (auto gain - brightness of camera) and to adjust it, bring it inside to a very light room adjust it for that so daytime will be clear and it should be set for night. The auto-iris in the camera opens the aperture up all the way after dark so don't worry about the dark. Adjust it to the light. If you are in a real dark location you won't be able to make out much of anything after dark on the camera until a fireball lights it up.

Set the software brightness about 6600 and the contrast about 5700-6000.




Ok the IIRc (zoom) I think is where I screwed up. I advanced that a bit so as to keep some light out of the frame. I will set it back to the factory position where it was originally and re focus and make a new mask from there.

Brightness and contrast are about 6000 and 5000 respectively.

Thanks for the info





IIRC =(If I Remember Correctly)

There is a gain control (AGC) and a LEVEL setting on the back of the camera adjustable. I had a horrible time adjusting them, I wouldn't advise it.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5119244 - 03/12/12 09:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

On another note - Does one need to leave the wSentinel program running or does it automatically open and run at the time specified in the options?




There is an option in the settings to specify the time of day when the camera runs. Some users like to leave it running all the time in case of a rare daytime sighting and others run it only at night. I wrote a custom program for my setup because I have a cloud sensor so in my case it starts WSentinel only when it's dark and clear and shuts it off anytime it's cloudy or light.




They told me that if you had the "always archive" checked it would record all the time regardless of the enable time setting.


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John Wunderlin
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5120283 - 03/13/12 01:59 PM

Quote:

Set the software brightness about 6600 and the contrast about 5700-6000.




Have you noticed that every time you restart your computer, those video settings go back to 5000/5000? I haven't found a way to have them set properly on restart yet. I don't restart very often but when there's a power outage, the camera is too dark afterwards...


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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5120285 - 03/13/12 02:00 PM

Quote:



Something else I noticed, I have a pretty heavy mask applied to try an stop false events but when I turn on my outside lights it trips my camera. I took one of the composites and made the mask to try and mask out the light reflection but it still triggers the camera. Any suggestions?




I'm having the same problem Stuart, and I guess the light isn't only reflecting off the trees. The glow must be extending past the edge of our masks, causing those false triggers. I don't know if we can stop that.

I got the WSentinel update you sent me too, Thanks!


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5120548 - 03/13/12 04:33 PM

I don't understand it, nothing is supposed to record under the mask.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5120549 - 03/13/12 04:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Set the software brightness about 6600 and the contrast about 5700-6000.




Have you noticed that every time you restart your computer, those video settings go back to 5000/5000? I haven't found a way to have them set properly on restart yet. I don't restart very often but when there's a power outage, the camera is too dark afterwards...




You do click the "save config" in the edit when you make changes don't you? That saves the settings if you shut WSent down but you do lose then on a reboot.


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5120560 - 03/13/12 04:39 PM

Right- it's ok between restarts of WSentinel, but not after restarting the computer. Just wondering if there's a workaround.

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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5121482 - 03/14/12 08:56 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Caught my first one!

Posted to my facebook

Let me know if it didn't work



Edited by mrramsey (03/14/12 09:02 AM)


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5121536 - 03/14/12 09:45 AM

Nice one Mike!!!

Hey I was trying to add you as a friend on FB but it won't display your page all the way, or give me the "friend" button.

I have noticed I am not getting any uploads since the 9th. I haven't changed anything except updating the WSentinel prog.

Edited by MrKrink (03/14/12 10:04 AM)


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5121569 - 03/14/12 10:07 AM

I was wondering..............would it be possible to hook up another camera to one of the other ports on the video card? I have a couple spare security cameras and thought about installing one as a weather camera.

What would be required??


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5121581 - 03/14/12 10:14 AM

I just sent you a friend request Stuart. Not sure why my page was not allowing you to request.

As for your rsync issue... you might try to create a new config script by running the SkySentinel application again. one misplaced character in the script and the whole thing fails.


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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5121667 - 03/14/12 10:57 AM

Same problem here Mike, no button for a friend request. Can you send me one? https://www.facebook.com/kevin.bozard

Nice catch on the fireball.

Stuart - I was wondering why you haven't had any file uploads. Hope you get it fixed soon!


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5121690 - 03/14/12 11:13 AM

Sent you a request Kevin... I figured out I had a setting wrong on FB.

I have been chatting with Richard Spaulding and he suggested I adjust my focus after dark. That's on tonight's list of todo's.


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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5121979 - 03/14/12 01:53 PM

Quote:

I just sent you a friend request Stuart. Not sure why my page was not allowing you to request.

As for your rsync issue... you might try to create a new config script by running the SkySentinel application again. one misplaced character in the script and the whole thing fails.




Done, thanks!

I might try that tonight when I get home.

Edited by MrKrink (03/14/12 02:03 PM)


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mrramsey
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Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5123358 - 03/15/12 09:00 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Caught a smaller one last night. Either straight on or a flare??
My Facebook Videos

Still working on focus but I think it is better. I did have a brain fart as far as mounting it to the roof on my house. Pretty ingenious if I do say so myself. I will post a sketch in a bit.


Edited by mrramsey (03/15/12 09:23 AM)


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Kevin Bozard
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Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5123677 - 03/15/12 12:03 PM

Quote:

I was wondering..............would it be possible to hook up another camera to one of the other ports on the video card? I have a couple spare security cameras and thought about installing one as a weather camera.

What would be required??




I was hoping someone would reply to this one, I would like to know the answer too. I guess we will have to Google the video card Stuart, and read up on it. I would think that you could, if the other ports run off of a different "channel", so to speak. I'm sure you would need to have a different program running it, but I don't know how that would work. When I first installed WSentinel, I had WinTV running. Which pulls a feed from that same card. I was getting a view through the camera in WinTv, but WSentinel wouldn't run, with WinTv running. It's going to take some research I guess. But I will be looking for an answer.


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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5123743 - 03/15/12 12:40 PM

I captured this one this morning (3/15 at 04:49 UT) from my site in Pa. I looked at the camera sites near me (OH/IN) and unfortunately they did not pickup this same object. Hoping to see same object recorded at multiple sites one day.

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/247544


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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5123756 - 03/15/12 12:47 PM

Nice catch Russ. I'm still waiting for my first capture. Something other than lightning and spiders, anyway.

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MrKrink
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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5123934 - 03/15/12 02:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I was wondering..............would it be possible to hook up another camera to one of the other ports on the video card? I have a couple spare security cameras and thought about installing one as a weather camera.

What would be required??




I was hoping someone would reply to this one, I would like to know the answer too. I guess we will have to Google the video card Stuart, and read up on it. I would think that you could, if the other ports run off of a different "channel", so to speak. I'm sure you would need to have a different program running it, but I don't know how that would work. When I first installed WSentinel, I had WinTV running. Which pulls a feed from that same card. I was getting a view through the camera in WinTv, but WSentinel wouldn't run, with WinTv running. It's going to take some research I guess. But I will be looking for an answer.




My dry spell ended last night, looks like I caught 2 tiny ones also. But still can't figue out why I didn't get the nice one the other night.

Anyway I know there are weather cams on the weather underground from personal weather stations you can access from the net but I think that requires a $115 software set up.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5123969 - 03/15/12 02:35 PM

Quote:

I captured this one this morning (3/15 at 04:49 UT) from my site in Pa. I looked at the camera sites near me (OH/IN) and unfortunately they did not pickup this same object. Hoping to see same object recorded at multiple sites one day.

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/247544




I had one of those in OH last night about 9:30PM.


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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5123989 - 03/15/12 02:51 PM

I had a damn spider running all over the dome. This weekend it gets a de-webbing, and washed down with poison. I'm thinking about attaching an open ended air hose and shooting air across the dome when something gets on it.

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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5124036 - 03/15/12 03:17 PM

Quote:

I had a damn spider running all over the dome. This weekend it gets a de-webbing, and washed down with poison. I'm thinking about attaching an open ended air hose and shooting air across the dome when something gets on it.




That's funny right there now, I don't care who you are!!!


Seriously, there is a gamma-Normids meteor shower going on right now, peak on 3-14 at 6/hr ZHR.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5124371 - 03/15/12 06:58 PM

Thats funny.... I saw a bunch of those videos!

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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5124927 - 03/16/12 06:39 AM

Well I think I finally caught something besides a critter. Satellite flare?

http://youtu.be/JopPvwv7_Qo


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johne
sage
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Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5124969 - 03/16/12 07:40 AM

I caught a couple last night from west-central Arizona...
Capture 2:58am 3/16/12
Capture 10:17pm 3/15/12


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5125035 - 03/16/12 08:37 AM

Kevin, that looks like the one I caught the other night. I think it is a flare.

Two in one night, and both are nice ones. Nice catch John!

I will have the new mount in place Saturday, This should eliminate most of the trees in my view, I hope. Pic's will follow.


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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5125065 - 03/16/12 09:11 AM

Nice ones John.

Thanks Mike, that's what I figured too since it occurred in one spot.


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johne
sage
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Reged: 11/10/06

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5125207 - 03/16/12 10:41 AM

Thanks guys. The mask I made with Stuart's advice has worked real well. When I made the first mask, the colors weren't 255,0,0, so I corrected that. After that I was still getting too many triggers from vehicles coming down from the pass to the west of my home. I fould that if I extened the mask a bit beyond the area of what I wanted to filter out, it got rid of ALL the eroneous captures from night time vehicle lights around the periphery.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5125384 - 03/16/12 12:11 PM

Now, that is officially cool! Dang; I'd love to have that setup!

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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5125411 - 03/16/12 12:24 PM

Quote:

I had a damn spider running all over the dome. This weekend it gets a de-webbing, and washed down with poison. I'm thinking about attaching an open ended air hose and shooting air across the dome when something gets on it.




When I first saw some people posting about spider issues, I thought it was kind of odd- why would spiders hang out on the camera? Now I know- I got a double feature- spider + meteor here:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/247593

Edited by John Wunderlin (03/16/12 12:25 PM)


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5125534 - 03/16/12 01:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I had a damn spider running all over the dome. This weekend it gets a de-webbing, and washed down with poison. I'm thinking about attaching an open ended air hose and shooting air across the dome when something gets on it.




When I first saw some people posting about spider issues, I thought it was kind of odd- why would spiders hang out on the camera? Now I know- I got a double feature- spider + meteor here:

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/247593






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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5126392 - 03/16/12 11:38 PM

Quote:

I captured this one this morning (3/15 at 04:49 UT) from my site in Pa. I looked at the camera sites near me (OH/IN) and unfortunately they did not pickup this same object. Hoping to see same object recorded at multiple sites one day.

http://skysentinel.nmsu.edu/allsky/viewer/247544




Hey Rus... check your logs and see if you caught something in the western sky at UTC 03/17/2012 00:08:26.996. I caught a big one here in Ohio.

Here is the capture - NMSU SkySentinel Node 44 Event

Edited by mrramsey (03/17/12 09:20 AM)


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5127342 - 03/17/12 05:07 PM

Made the final mount for the All Sky Camera today.


May need to add a few guy wires for stability but time will tell.


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johne
sage
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Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5127963 - 03/18/12 01:15 AM

Looks good Mike.

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5128870 - 03/18/12 04:08 PM

Caught a double flare last night. One was tumbling space junk..........
Double Flare

Edited by MrKrink (03/18/12 04:11 PM)


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MrKrink
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Reged: 02/20/09

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Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: MrKrink]
      #5128934 - 03/18/12 04:35 PM



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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5129890 - 03/19/12 08:17 AM

My system was up and running but did not pickup this event.

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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5130278 - 03/19/12 12:44 PM

Nice catch. We had 18" of snow over the weekend, so not much in the way of clear skies here.

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ErikRuud
member


Reged: 10/17/11

Loc: Saint Charles, IL
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: johne]
      #5133370 - 03/21/12 10:26 AM

I sent in my request yesterday and got an almost immediate reply.

They are apparently having an issue getting parts. Here is part of the reply.
Quote:

Thanks for your interest. We are currently out of cameras, but have parts on order to build a limited number of additional units. We have found difficulty in obtaining the necessary fisheye lenses, so it is uncertain how many units we’ll be able to build, or when. However, we will add your name to the growing list of requests.





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Kevin Bozard
member


Reged: 03/13/08

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: ErikRuud]
      #5142293 - 03/26/12 02:13 PM

There was a fireball over Sharon Georgia last night, at approximately 23:09 EDT. An all sky camera at Deerlick Astronomy Village captured the event, and I'm attaching a still shot. I don't have access to their video files, and no one from DAV has posted a video as of yet.

We were having a thunderstorm during this time, so my camera was only capturing lightning and clouds. I think the same was true for Stuart's camera in North Carolina.

http://wkateam.com/astronomy/davmeteormarch25th2012.PNG


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: Kevin Bozard]
      #5142506 - 03/26/12 03:52 PM

That's a nice one! I caught a couple small ones a few days ago and a flare last night. Still need to make some minor tweaks to the mask to get rid of some falsies.

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: mrramsey]
      #5143240 - 03/27/12 01:09 AM

This thread doesn't appear to be about cheap all-sky cameras at all. It appears to be about riding on an the back of an institutional program.

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njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5143471 - 03/27/12 07:48 AM

Watched the (5) rocket launches from VA this morning from my site in PA. Unfortunately, the All-Sky Camera was not sensative enough to pickup the rockets rise into the sky and dispersal of its 'clouds'. However; all the rockets and 'clouds' were clearly visible in the southern sky. Very spectacular!!

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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5143487 - 03/27/12 08:06 AM

Quote:

This thread doesn't appear to be about cheap all-sky cameras at all. It appears to be about freeloading on an the back of an institutional program.




Freeloading?? That would be living in your parents basement and being too lazy to get a job to help with the rent.

I can speak for a few others as well as myself that we have offered to take part in the program that NMSU is hosting. We have met their requirements by supplying a dedicated computer solely for this use, an internet connection and the power to run it at no cost to them.

The project is also being funded partially by the government of which I pay my taxes to. I also enjoy volunteering for what we are doing. The benefit to me is that I get to see events that I normally would not see.

Whether it was intended to be an insult or not I am a bit offended at being called a freeloader as that is hardly the case.


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mrramsey
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5143490 - 03/27/12 08:08 AM

That would have been cool to see Rus.

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5143687 - 03/27/12 10:35 AM

Quote:

This thread doesn't appear to be about cheap all-sky cameras at all. It appears to be about freeloading on an the back of an institutional program.




Freeloading, I certainly take offense to it. You obviously know nothing about the program and should do your research before you hijack someones thread and call them a freeloader. For your information the program ASKES for citizen volunteers to host the cameras to provide real time data to the university program which is funded by MY tax dollars. Someone asked for a 'cheap" source of all sky camera and if your willing to commit to this program for the betterment of science, nothing is better than FREE!!

I suggest you do your research next time before calling someone a freeloader, it's better to appear ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

This might help you............notice it says "VOLUNTEER"

Edited by MrKrink (03/27/12 10:36 AM)


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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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