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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: Source for cheap all-sky cam? new [Re: 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
Pooh-Bah


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
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

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
super member


Reged: 11/19/11

Loc: Hudson, Oh
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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
member


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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Pooh-Bah


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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Pooh-Bah


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
sage
*****

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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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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