Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

What software do you use for your all-sky camera?

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 26 August 2017 - 12:14 AM

Hi All,

 

This topic is primarily directed to those who've made their own all-sky camera and are automating capture and/or upload to a website from their camera.  I'm tired of the rather poor performance and low resolution of the standard NTSC camera I'm using currently.  Given it feeds into my security DVR that uses their own proprietary format, I've never made any progress in getting it to a point where I could capture or upload from it to my website.  With the sale ZWO was running on some of their new cameras, I decided to spring for an ASI290MC camera that comes with a wide angle lens suitable for all-sky photography.  I was originally going to go for the ASI120MC, but since the 290 had a higher resolution and a wider field lens, I decided to go for the upgrade.  Unfortunately the USB 3.0 interface means the Cat 6 cable I have running up to the camera location won't work for an extender, and the scheme published elsewhere for using a Raspberry Pi doesn't give me USB 3.0 either.  I decided to go for an ASUS PC stick that had USB 3 and will support running the various PC based capture software, but I'm not seeing anything really designed for full unattended automation.  Thus my question as to what others are using.  

 

Of course this is all assuming that I'll be able to get a good enough Wi-Fi connection to the PC stick with the metal roof in the way.  I should have bought one with an Ethernet port, but didn't realize I'd missed that at the time.  Finding USB 3.0 was hard enough.

 

Thanks,

 

Beo



#2 HomerPepsi

HomerPepsi

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 17 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 26 August 2017 - 01:58 AM

Sharp Cap plus images that save to a folder in my google drive desktop folder. These folders are synced with google drive and I can view them as soon as they are sync'd (a few seconds after sharp cap down loads the image). Ghetto, but it works. Something with image compression would save more bandwidth though. 



#3 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 26 August 2017 - 08:39 AM

Is there a way to get Sharp Cap up and running automatically?

 

Thanks,

 

Beo



#4 roelb  Happy Birthday!

roelb

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,853
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2013
  • Loc: Belgium, Antwerp

Posted 26 August 2017 - 08:45 AM

SharpCap scripts?

#5 StarmanDan

StarmanDan

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,877
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Where the stars at night are big and bright...

Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:48 AM

I use a program called UFO Capture.  It's pricey, but is very capable.  With a second all sky camera linked to it at a distant location, it can calculate meteor orbits. 

 

http://sonotaco.com/e_index.html

 

You can see my prototype setup here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...cam-for-my-obs/


  • mclewis1 likes this

#6 Raginar

Raginar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,821
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Pensacola, FL

Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:24 PM

https://store3.esell...PageCatalog.htm

 

I love my all sky cam but it's not made any more.  The software is really awesome; I'd highly recommend it.

 

Chris


  • Mark Bailey likes this

#7 SonnyE

SonnyE

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,984
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Cali for ni a

Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:36 AM

Hi!

I have a suggestion for a possible different tact for you.

I belong to Weatherbug.com I feed my weather station up to the web.

But there are often folks with weather cams, and probably in your area.

This link takes you to Wearthbugs cameras in my area. But if you enter your zip code in the upper right area, you may find some great local coverage.

These are usually public feeds and free.

 

https://weather.weat...weather-camera/


  • Raginar likes this

#8 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 07 September 2017 - 08:34 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.  I looked at those and found that neither was quite as versatile for my current needs as what I found from another thread online.  There's a program called iSpy Connect that's pretty powerful (and free!).  Unfortunately, it appears that ZWO hasn't tested/updated their DirectShow drivers for the ASI290MC I bought, and it has a problem that crashed both iSpy and the MoonGlow software.  It may crash the others too, but I haven't tested enough.  At any rate, now I'm just hoping they'll fix it soon.

 

Sonny, I'm not looking for an alternative to an all-sky camera, I want to control the camera I have and post the data on my website, etc.  I appreciate the suggestion, but it's off-topic.

 

Thanks,

 

Beo



#9 Raginar

Raginar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,821
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Pensacola, FL

Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:27 AM

There's a ton of direct show programs. Go in the EAA forum and start looking.

#10 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 09 September 2017 - 09:50 PM

There's a ton of direct show programs. Go in the EAA forum and start looking.

It doesn't matter how many programs I use if the driver for the camera doesn't work.

 

Beo



#11 iwannabswiss

iwannabswiss

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,459
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Somewhere in Space

Posted 10 September 2017 - 08:48 PM

Here's an idea using a Raspberry Pi, if you're willing to do a little work.  I've thought about making something like this, but using a different camera.  We'll see, but may end up going this route myself.   http://www.instructa...All-Sky-Camera/



#12 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:17 PM

I started my original investigation looking at that (and most other items available from a Google search), but Raspberry Pi doesn't support USB 3.0.  I went a different route and am building around a stick PC.  A bit more expensive, but running full Windows, which gives me a wide array of possibilities.  I just need the driver for the camera to work reliably!  Or to find something with the capabilities of  iSpy that uses the native driver or ASCOM instead of the DirectShow driver and ideally for the same price!  (free)  grin.gif  I don't really have the spare time to waste with scripting (and the yearly cost for the option) in SharpCap or writing something at the API level.  I'm waiting for ZWO to confirm they intend to fix their driver for this camera or I need to send it back and look for another alternative.   

 

Beo



#13 iwannabswiss

iwannabswiss

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,459
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Somewhere in Space

Posted 11 September 2017 - 09:46 PM

I started my original investigation looking at that (and most other items available from a Google search), but Raspberry Pi doesn't support USB 3.0.  I went a different route and am building around a stick PC.  A bit more expensive, but running full Windows, which gives me a wide array of possibilities.  I just need the driver for the camera to work reliably!  Or to find something with the capabilities of  iSpy that uses the native driver or ASCOM instead of the DirectShow driver and ideally for the same price!  (free)  grin.gif  I don't really have the spare time to waste with scripting (and the yearly cost for the option) in SharpCap or writing something at the API level.  I'm waiting for ZWO to confirm they intend to fix their driver for this camera or I need to send it back and look for another alternative.   

 

Beo

Sorry, I didn't realize you said that in your first post.  I guess being sick is just as bad as drinking and replying.

 

I look forward to your build and see what you create.



#14 50N8O

50N8O

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2014

Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:39 PM

I use a Starlight Xpress Oculus with a software from Michael Poelzl called AllSkEye. Works great!

Recently he created a version that works with cameras with Ascom drivers.

There are two Yahoo groups where you find more information.

Friedhelm



#15 Raginar

Raginar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,821
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Pensacola, FL

Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:10 PM

Sounds like you have the wrong tool for the job.

#16 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 18 September 2017 - 12:03 AM

I use a Starlight Xpress Oculus with a software from Michael Poelzl called AllSkEye. Works great!

Recently he created a version that works with cameras with Ascom drivers.

There are two Yahoo groups where you find more information.

Friedhelm

Thanks for the suggestion.  That does seem to be working reasonably well with the ASCOM driver, but unfortunately it appears to only treat the images as B&W.  I don't see any option for color output.  It also appears to be a bit more manual than I'd hoped for.  I'm not giving up on it yet, but it's just not a perfect fit.  Still, might get me started.

 

Beo


  • iwols likes this

#17 iwols

iwols

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 703
  • Joined: 27 Jul 2016
  • Loc: doncaster uk

Posted 14 August 2021 - 09:45 AM

i know its an old threa

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  That does seem to be working reasonably well with the ASCOM driver, but unfortunately it appears to only treat the images as B&W.  I don't see any option for color output.  It also appears to be a bit more manual than I'd hoped for.  I'm not giving up on it yet, but it's just not a perfect fit.  Still, might get me started.

 

Beo

 

d but did you find anything?



#18 EmeraldHills

EmeraldHills

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,545
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Louisville, Kentucky

Posted 14 August 2021 - 12:19 PM

I'm just now considering this as well. I'm curious: Could we start a second instance of Sharpcap for this purpose?



#19 StarmanDan

StarmanDan

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,877
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Where the stars at night are big and bright...

Posted 14 August 2021 - 04:29 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. That does seem to be working reasonably well with the ASCOM driver, but unfortunately it appears to only treat the images as B&W. I don't see any option for color output. It also appears to be a bit more manual than I'd hoped for. I'm not giving up on it yet, but it's just not a perfect fit. Still, might get me started.

Beo


I had the same B&W issue with my zwo120 when I first started using AllSkyEye. The fix is to change the default Bayer pattern in the settings for ASE. Not at my computer atm so cant walk ya through it. But that fixed the issue for me.

#20 outofdark

outofdark

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 114
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2018
  • Loc: SLC

Posted 14 August 2021 - 11:06 PM

Reading. The spec on the pi4 shows support for 2 usb3.0 ports

 

https://www.raspberr...specifications/

 

2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports.

 

I started my original investigation looking at that (and most other items available from a Google search), but Raspberry Pi doesn't support USB 3.0.  I went a different route and am building around a stick PC.  A bit more expensive, but running full Windows, which gives me a wide array of possibilities.  I just need the driver for the camera to work reliably!  Or to find something with the capabilities of  iSpy that uses the native driver or ASCOM instead of the DirectShow driver and ideally for the same price!  (free)  grin.gif  I don't really have the spare time to waste with scripting (and the yearly cost for the option) in SharpCap or writing something at the API level.  I'm waiting for ZWO to confirm they intend to fix their driver for this camera or I need to send it back and look for another alternative.   

 

Beo



#21 Tiago Ferreira

Tiago Ferreira

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Algarve - Portugal

Posted 15 August 2021 - 03:27 PM

I'm just now considering this as well. I'm curious: Could we start a second instance of Sharpcap for this purpose?

Yes Doug. And it works fine!

Please don't forget to consider an allsky space in your future observatory ;)


  • EmeraldHills likes this

#22 EmeraldHills

EmeraldHills

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,545
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Louisville, Kentucky

Posted 15 August 2021 - 07:31 PM

I'll do it, Tiago!

 

Yes Doug. And it works fine!

Please don't forget to consider an allsky space in your future observatory wink.gif


  • Tiago Ferreira likes this

#23 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Vendor - Orion Ranch Observatory

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,252
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 23 September 2021 - 07:43 AM

i know its an old threa

 

 

d but did you find anything?

Hi iwols,

 

Actually I worked with Michael Poelzl debugging AllSkEye for quite a while and he made great strides on it.  He got it working quite well and while I know he's made more updates that I haven't upgraded to as I haven't had time to mess with it in a long time, I'd highly recommend it.  

 

FYI, here's a thread on the build of my all-sky camera, and here's the link from my website with more detail.  

 

Thanks,

 

Beo


Edited by Lord Beowulf, 23 September 2021 - 07:46 AM.


#24 Viventius

Viventius

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2020
  • Loc: Saint Charles, MO

Posted 24 September 2021 - 06:15 AM

I have been running Thomas Jacquin AllSky for close to 5 months now. It is running 24/7 outside and I have an sftp to my website where you can see the images taken every 10sec or so, startrails, keograms and timelapse. Running this to eventually add onto a RoR and help with automation. I like Thomas Jacquin AllSky because I can run it 100% remotely. 

 

I had run Michael Poelzl AllSkeye for a little while but that one seems to be better if you are connected to a computer via ethernet. If you run PoE or are connected straight into a computer then AllSkeye is a good one to go with. If you arent Thomas Jacquin is pretty solid. Still, AllSkeye is a great software and awesome interface but wasn't a good fit for me and my needs. 

 

Link to my AllSky - https://www.photonpup.com/allsky/

Link to my build - https://www.photonpu...y-allsky-build/

Link to programming - https://www.photonpu...tware-onto-pi4/


  • xthestreams likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics