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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: njrusty]
      #5107827 - 03/06/12 06:35 AM

Looks good. Looking forward to seeing the video.

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StarmanDan
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/27/07

Loc: Deep in the heart of Texas
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
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: New Jersey
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
member


Reged: 03/13/08

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
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
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
member


Reged: 03/13/08

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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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
*****

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
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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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