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Introducing SpiralCam

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#1 Yong54321

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:20 AM

I am also using a manual dosonian 8", and tracking the galaxy manually.  The only difference is I use iPhone and SpiralCam iOS app insteads of a laptop and specialized camera. The app does all the tracking and stacking. 

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#2 Ubuntu

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:47 AM

Hi very happy to see your photos.  I am also using a manual dosonian 8", and tracking the galaxy manually.  The only difference is I use iPhone and SpiralCam iOS app insteads of a laptop and specialized camera. The app does all the tracking and stacking. 

Hi Yong, could you give us more details about this picture ??



#3 Yong54321

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:19 PM

Hi Ubuntu

 

Yes.  This picture is a pinwheel galaxy of M83. It is taken with iPhone 6 and skywatcher tradition 8" dob. Its integration time is 300sec.  Like you,  i am manually tracking the dso. So i have to shift the telescope so that the M83 comes back to view. 

 

I do find your pictures much more beautiful. And have shorter integration time. Will certainly try out the 0.5 reducer. Thanks. 



#4 SonDob

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 02:24 PM

Hi very happy to see your photos. I am also using a manual dosonian 8", and tracking the galaxy manually. The only difference is I use iPhone and SpiralCam iOS app insteads of a laptop and specialized camera. The app does all the tracking and stacking.

Hi, this is awesome. I guess you are the developer? I tried but the app doesnt start.

#5 Yong54321

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:08 PM

Yes. I am the developer. Could you provide some details about your phone? "app doesn't start" means you never see the user interface at all? May not be the interest of the rest of the astronomers here, guess you may want to message me. :)



#6 SonDob

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:51 AM

Ok will pm you, thanks

#7 Yong54321

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 04:34 PM

Hello

Think of having a general introduction. I am actually quite new to astronomy. My first purchase of telescope is in 2018 August. From looking at the moon to saturn, I come to a point where I want to see the spiral arm of a galaxy. Looking at all the options, using video seems to be the easiest. But it requires a laptop, specialised camera and goto telescope. I do not want to use laptop as I find myself quite clumsy to work on a laptop and a telescope at the same time. I have a manual 114mm telescope and do not want to buy a goto telescope. I find goto too noisy for my young family.

So I tried to develop an iOS app (will release also android version) to see the spiral arm of M83. I could not see the spiral arm no matter what I tried. So I think it may be easier to take baby step and do an app to capture the Milky Way. It turns out that it is possible to shoot the Milky Way with my iPhone 6. I use my bag as a holder for the phone instead of a tripod when I first shoot the Milky Way. I feel so alive when I capture my own Milky Way on the phone.

Then I got some help from stargazerslounge and continue to work on capturing M83 galaxy. Finally, I am able to see the spiral arms using on my phone. I am still testing my apps and will share them for free. These apps do not contain any advertisements as I find them degrading. Here is a summary of my astro apps. Previously, I have done some music apps to decode piano song.

SpiralCam - To capture galaxies. I have tested on M83, NGC 4945. I will capture Hamburger Galaxy next.
MilkyCam - To capture Milky Way. I will capture the Southern Crux next.
SaturnCam - To capture details of Saturn and Jupiter. I can see the 2 bands in Jupiter and color of Saturn. I will capture the ring division next.

Please do not hesitate to message me or post here if you encounter any problem using these apps. I will try to help.

Best Regards
Yong54321
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Edited by Yong54321, 21 April 2019 - 07:48 AM.

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#8 Yong54321

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 03:04 PM

Today I have done some testing on a smaller telescope. That is Meade Adventure 80mm refractor. It is basically the same scope as Celestron TravelScope 80mm. It has an aperture of 80mm with 400mm focal length. My intention is to capture 3 galaxies, Jupiter and Milky Way. 

 

The first photo is spiral galaxy M83. My favourite galaxy using SpiralCam.

C4661833-532A-4B44-A300-410908B8F120.jpeg

 

The second photo is galaxy NGC4945. It is very very subtle, just a line between 2 small stars at the center.

7EFA03E1-1BC3-470B-B060-5F81D37A2F4B.jpeg

 

The third photo is galaxy NGC5128. It is also called hamburger galaxy. Located at the top of the eyepiece view.

686DF591-4B00-4DC7-94EB-63D5F0C8D000.jpeg

 

Fourth is Jupiter with 2 bands using SaturnCam for about 20 seconds live. The 711 is actually shots. 

1786B13C-6168-470F-8EF3-EADFD9E5A132.jpeg

 

Last is Milky Way with only 1 min exposure using MilkyCam, right above the Sagittarius teapot.

9DFE82F5-5D5F-4CFB-8F16-D5736A7ED1CC.jpeg

 

Please note that these photos are capture on a very small manual telescope. So you can expect to have these results if you happen to have similar scope. I am using 18mm eyepiece and a smartphone adapter for my iPhone 6. These are shot in Singapore city from 9pm to 2am with a supper break in between. I have fun tonight!


Edited by Yong54321, 11 May 2019 - 03:16 PM.


#9 junomike

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 11:16 AM

Any plans for an Android version?



#10 Yong54321

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:27 AM

Hi junomike. Thanks for your post. I have thought about android version. Android has no standard sdk for camera. Eg. Only few phone has sdk to control ISO for 3rd party app. What phone are you using? What apps among my 3 apps do you want to use?

My plan is to release soon if there is demand for android.

Best
Yong54321

#11 Yong54321

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:18 PM

Here are 2 galaxies taken with spiralCam and DOB 8 inches. 

 

483B0AD5-448D-4B28-AA0C-C1CC16514F1A.jpeg

NGC 4945 - A slant line from center to bottom right

 

BAE9B30D-E660-4DF6-9A7C-FE70D220727C.jpeg

NGC 5128 - Hamburger galaxy at middle left side of image

 

And a stack of 150 Saturn shots with saturnCam and 80mm refractor tonight.

 

32AD332D-234A-482B-B528-D9C177297FEA.png

Saturn - 4mm eyepiece on Meade adventure scope.


Edited by Yong54321, 20 May 2019 - 04:24 PM.


#12 Yong54321

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:58 PM

I plan to work and release android version in july 2019. It will be a general app for milkycam, spiralcam, saturncam and gotocam.

Gotocam is a new app under development for goto telescope.

Edited by Yong54321, 21 May 2019 - 01:44 AM.


#13 Yong54321

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:54 PM

DEBEF529-7376-4EDE-BDD2-39ADCAA5DF48.png

 

Saturn with a hint of ring division using SpiralCam on dob 8 and 4mm eyepiece. Taken in cloudy Singapore 2am.



#14 Yong54321

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 11:34 AM

Here is southern crux with 4 min exposure using MilkyCam. It has the crux pointer, crux, running chicken nebula and eta nebula. The red color of eta nebula is very very subtle. Need to get at least 16 min exposure but the passing clouds are too many. Next time.

 

31DA779F-C2D1-4CBB-9FEB-4D57726D1FBF.jpeg

 

 


Edited by Yong54321, 24 May 2019 - 12:10 AM.


#15 Yong54321

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:26 PM

Here is tonight shot of the southern crux. There is some red colour for ETA nebula. I have use Sky Glow button and HD button in milkyCam. Exposure time is 8min. Look like it needs to be shot at 9pm with 16 min exposure to see more color. 

 

DA3D72CC-A80A-4827-A357-D079EE2F894D.jpeg

 

 

 


Edited by Yong54321, 24 May 2019 - 12:28 PM.


#16 Yong54321

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:58 AM

Update on my SpiralCam Android version:

It is already in the last stage of development. And with further testing, I should be able to release it very soon. Hopefully early July 2019.

And here is some information on phone adapter. As phone astrography is very simple to start, it only need a phone adapter. Below is 3 types of adapter that I have tried and common in the market. They are all under US$10 online.

IMG20190619214142.jpg

Left adapter: Grip Type. It is not good enough for my use. The circular grip on eyepiece is so ineffective that it comes out the moment I insert the adapter into the telescope focuser. I ended up using it for my camera tripod.

Center adapter: Screw Type. It is very useful and easy to use. The principe is to use the 3 screws which is common enough in telescope focuser. However it does not work well with low power eyepiece like the 20 and 25mm eyepiece. Due to the heavier weight of longer eyepiece, it tends to bend the eyepiece and produce dark patch in the view.

Right adapter: Clamp Type. It takes slightly longer time to use but it works well with all sizes of eyepieces. It can hold 25mm eyepiece firmly without bending them because it clamps right on the focuser tube. I would strongly recommended this adapter.

Edited by Yong54321, 19 June 2019 - 09:23 PM.


#17 Yong54321

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 08:30 AM

Release of SpiralCam Android Version

I am happy to announce the release of SpiralCam for android phone on Jun 21 2019.
The download link is https://play.google....pspot.spiralcam. Below is a screen shot of the android app.

Screenshot_2019-06-20-02-01-00-93 copy.png

The interface of it is very similar to that of iOS version so I have attached an iOS introduction video at https://www.youtube....h?v=oeMnA4v2Ejc.

Note that the app is tested only on OPPO 7 which is android version 6. It should work with any phone that has android 5 and above. Since I am having cloudy nights for past few days, I have yet to test on a galaxy. But the stacking of images on the phone is working well. If you want to try capture galaxies and nebula with your phone, give it a try and write to me the result. Please post here with your phone model and android version If you need support. You only need a manual telescope (should work on Goto too) and a cheap phone adapter (see previous post) to start phone astrophotography.

Direction
1. Aim telescope at galaxy
2. Attach phone to telescope
3. Adjust focus on telescope
4. Press start. It will stack.
5. Center the galaxy when it reaches the edge of view. Repeat step 5...
6. Press pause.
7. Adjust slider for brightness.
8. Tap save for picture.
9. Press pause to continue stacking.
10. Press stop to end.

Please do give leeway as this app is developed only by myself and I do not have many phones for testing. I can only test it on my own phones (iPhone 6 and android 6) and making the app free of charge. Do support me by writing to me so that I can continue develop it. And post your images here too.

Hope you image a galaxy soon!


Edited by Yong54321, 22 June 2019 - 03:02 AM.

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#18 Yong54321

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:45 AM

Hello

Just done some testing on spiralCam android. It works on star clusters but need better resolution for galaxy. My oppo a77 has only 1080p resolution. I would recommend android phone with 4k or 2160p video if you want to see galaxy.

Next, I will image andromeda galaxy with iPhone using MilkyCam. Then I will photo it again with cometron 76mm using SpiralCam.

At the same time, i will capture NGC 6744 with my new meade 130mm scope. The spiral galaxy is visual magnitude 8 so it will test the limit of SpiralCam. 

The sky starts to clear again!


Edited by Yong54321, 11 July 2019 - 08:09 AM.


#19 Yong54321

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 11:29 AM

A quick update of ngc 6744 captured on iPhone 6, meade 130mm polaris scope on dobsonian mount,  18 mm eyepiece with screw-type phone adapter. Exposure time is about 20 min. Quick process using snapseed structure feature.

 

The galaxy is very subtle. I think I need to try 25mm eyepiece and to try using EQ2 mount.

 

IMG_20190730_002444_263.jpg

 

 

 

 


Edited by Yong54321, 29 July 2019 - 01:45 PM.


#20 Yong54321

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 01:45 PM

Here is the result of using 25mm eyepiece with 130mm scope. Will be trying out the EQ2 mount with motor drive next. I find the screw type phone adapter is much faster and easier to use!

 

IMG_20190801_023259_403.jpg IMG20190801021003.jpg



#21 Yong54321

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 01:24 PM

Hi

After some time, it comes to me that certain iPhone will crash when it runs spiralCam and saturnCam.

- iPhone 6 and iPhone XR run smoothly.

- Some iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus users report crashes on opening the apps. Does this apply to all iPhone 8 users?

I would need your help to identify the bug. If your phone crashes after running spiralCam, please post here or email me at ustransit74@gmail.com your phone model. If you can send me a crash log, that will be certainly help me to remove the bug in the code.

As I do not have the resource to buy every model of iPhone for device testing, I will need your help to provide as much information as you can eg. When it crashes?

At the time being, I have guessed the cause of the iPhone 8 crash based on few messages but I may not be right. I have already upload the updates spiralCam 2.3 and saturnCam 1. 4 to Apple for approval. It will be available for download in 24 hours.

Thank you.

Edited by Yong54321, 08 August 2019 - 01:50 PM.


#22 Binoculator

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:37 AM

I thought I'd share a test photo. 

 

Spiralcam v2.1

Iphone XR

5x20 binocular

Regular photo tripod and head

25 x 10sec stack

No extra image processing

 

Altair and surrounding stars. 

Altair.JPG


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#23 Boom

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:10 AM

Release of SpiralCam Android Version

I am happy to announce the release of SpiralCam for android phone on Jun 21 2019.
The download link is https://play.google....pspot.spiralcam. Below is a screen shot of the android app.

attachicon.gif Screenshot_2019-06-20-02-01-00-93 copy.png

The interface of it is very similar to that of iOS version so I have attached an iOS introduction video at https://www.youtube....h?v=oeMnA4v2Ejc.

Note that the app is tested only on OPPO 7 which is android version 6. It should work with any phone that has android 5 and above. Since I am having cloudy nights for past few days, I have yet to test on a galaxy. But the stacking of images on the phone is working well. If you want to try capture galaxies and nebula with your phone, give it a try and write to me the result. Please post here with your phone model and android version If you need support. You only need a manual telescope (should work on Goto too) and a cheap phone adapter (see previous post) to start phone astrophotography.

Direction
1. Aim telescope at galaxy
2. Attach phone to telescope
3. Adjust focus on telescope
4. Press start. It will stack.
5. Center the galaxy when it reaches the edge of view. Repeat step 5...
6. Press pause.
7. Adjust slider for brightness.
8. Tap save for picture.
9. Press pause to continue stacking.
10. Press stop to end.

Please do give leeway as this app is developed only by myself and I do not have many phones for testing. I can only test it on my own phones (iPhone 6 and android 6) and making the app free of charge. Do support me by writing to me so that I can continue develop it. And post your images here too.

Hope you image a galaxy soon!

 

Hello, 

 

Thanks for taking the time to develop the Android version.  I installed SpiralCam, but the app cannot start and throws an error.  This is on a Pixel 3, Android 9.



#24 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:25 PM

I can not find this the AppStore.

 

Any plans to make it available there?



#25 tjay

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:05 PM

Hello, 
 
Thanks for taking the time to develop the Android version.  I installed SpiralCam, but the app cannot start and throws an error.  This is on a Pixel 3, Android 9.


Same issue on my LG V30 running Android 8


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