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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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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: 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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/27/07

Loc: Deep in the heart of Texas
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
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

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

Reged: 02/20/09

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

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

Reged: 02/20/09

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
*****

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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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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