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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: 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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

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

Reged: 02/20/09

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Pooh-Bah


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
Pooh-Bah


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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
Pooh-Bah


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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
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
sage
*****

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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

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

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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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