Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | (show all)
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]
      #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!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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]
      #5063984 - 02/09/12 03:05 PM

Quote:

What software version do you have?




1.1.19


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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]
      #5065227 - 02/10/12 10:34 AM Attachment (100 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...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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]
      #5065332 - 02/10/12 11:43 AM

Oops

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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]
      #5065437 - 02/10/12 01:09 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

Cool- thanks!

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
njrusty
member


Reged: 03/17/06

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!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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]
      #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)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | (show all)


Extra information
12 registered and 5 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Christopher Erickson, Mitchell Duke 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 24931

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics