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Introducing SpiralCam

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#51 Yong54321

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 11:50 AM

Hi 

 

Here is a Orion Nebula on my android phone. Stack on phone for 4 seconds using only one star tracking. More than 4 sec, the stars start to grow tails. I am going to image using 2 stars tracking when the huge clouds appear. 

 

1572017348549.jpg

 

Will be able to image 25 seconds with 2 stars tracking and compare to that of iPhone image in previous post. Guess it will be another day!

 

Best


Edited by Yong54321, 25 October 2019 - 11:53 AM.

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#52 Yong54321

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 09:20 AM

Release of SpiralCam version 3.2 for Android

 

Already half a month, but I still do not have clear sky. I guess it is now monsoon season over here. It is cloudy every night and rain on and off. So instead of waiting any longer, I release the new version of spiralCam. If you have clear sky at your site, you can help to test it and let me know if you have encounter any problem. I could then work on it. It is better than waiting forever for me to have clear sky.

 

For the previous version, I have managed to image 4 sec of Orion Nebula with one tracking star. This version should be able to image much longer as it uses 3 tracking stars. Download at 

 

https://play.google....spiralcam&hl=en

 

How it works? 

 

1. Download and install from above link.

2. Point to sky with stars and press Start. 

3. After 1 shot (which is 1 second exposure), you should see a bright image with invisible stars. Then spiralCam is work right on your phone. Have fun!

4. If after 1 shot, you could hardly see any stars, then it is not working right. The reason is that android camera has different parameter names. The app will only works if it knows the right name. What you can help is to post your phone model here and your attachment file. The file is named support.txt. It is located in your spiralCam folder in your phone storage.  This file is generated by spiralCam and contains all your camera parameter names. I will look into the file and find the correct parameter name and provide an update version. 

5. Please post here is you have other issues.

 

I will post information on new iOS version soon. 

 

PS. It takes about 7-10 seconds to generate a 1 second exposure on my Android 6 phone.


Edited by Yong54321, 10 November 2019 - 09:34 AM.

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#53 Yong54321

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:35 PM

Hi, here are some releases for spiralCam Android and iPhone

 

Manage to release android version 3.3. I have tested the 3 stars tracking on distant ship lights. It works well. If spiralCam long exposure is working right for your phone, you can do as followed.

 

1. After press start, the long exposure is stacking.

2. As the target object move to the edge of the eyepiece view, press pause. 

3. Move the telescope to center the object again.

4. Then press unpause. The app will find the stars, track and track them again. 

 

As for iOS version 3.04, here are some updates

 

1. Auto save exposure every 1 min by default. You can change it to 0 to 10min. 0 means no auto saving. After save, you can load it with the load button. It saves to its private folder in your iPhone. It means you can load the exposure some other days to edit. The auto save slider only appear in landscape mode. You can change it and return to portrait mode.

2. If you want to image galaxy, recommend to use the skyglow removal (sky slider). It is set to recalculate skyglow every 3 min by default. If you are imaging bright object, then set it to 0. It can be set in landscape mode only and will affect portrait mode use. 

 

Do contact me if you encounter any problems! 


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#54 Yong54321

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 02:56 PM

Hi

 

Tonight I have a chance to use SpiralCam (Both Android and iPhone version) to image Orion Nebula. It is clear sky after rain but very windy. It affects my light weight FirstScope 76mm on camera tripod. Android image is taken at 12am using OPPO A77 android 6.0 while iPhone image is taken at 2am using iPhone 7 Plus iOS 12. Both are 30 sec exposure. Location is Singapore. Here you can compare the result .

 

Android version 3.6 at https://play.google....pspot.spiralcam

 

m42 android 30sec.jpeg

 

iPhone version 3.06 at https://apps.apple.c...am/id1446490348

 

m42 ios 30sec.jpeg

 

SpiralCam is designed initially for imaging galaxies. Now I have tried it on bright Orion Nebula, it tends to be over bright. Use SpiralCam bright sliders to simulate different "exposures" and save them to different files. Then combine them to get a wider range of data. 

 

m42 combine iphone 30 sec.jpeg


Edited by Yong54321, 29 November 2019 - 03:15 PM.


#55 Yong54321

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 01:21 PM

MilkyCam for Android Phone

https://play.google....ppspot.milkycam

I have just ported over MilkyCam iOS to Android.
- It is good for imaging the stars without a telescope.
- You will still need a tripod and phone holder.
- It will automatically align and stack the stars.

Here is a 30 seconds image of the night sky from my balcony. If you are able to use SpiralCam Android, you will be able to use MilkyCam. My android phone (Oppo A77) is rather slow in producing image compared to iPhone 7. It takes about 5 min to produce a 1 min exposure. Anyway, it is better than no long exposure.

1577470176182.jpg

And the app user interface.

Screenshot_2019-12-22-03-07-12-56 copy.png

After the first shot, you should get a bright image with stars. If you get a dark image instead, MilkyCam is not working for your phone. As different manufacturers use different camera parameter, post and attach your support.txt file here. The support.txt is found in milkyCam folder in your phone storage. Then, I may be able to provide an update that works with your phone. smile.gif

Edited by Yong54321, 27 December 2019 - 09:39 PM.


#56 Yong54321

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 11:34 AM

Review on iTune for MilkyCam by John Cekala.

 

IMG_2147.JPG

 

"I have been using this app for 30 plus nights. After some practice I have pleasing and measured results. I live 1677M above sea level with level 3 to 4 viewing conditions. On the same night I took two 900 second exposures of the constellation Taurus , one with the front 7mp camera and the other with the rear 12mp dual camera. A tripod is a must as is post image processing using the iOS internal EDIT functions. The iPhone captured what is printed on Map 5 of the Norton Sky Atlas. Awesome work to the developer, thank you."


Edited by Yong54321, 19 February 2020 - 11:40 AM.


#57 Yong54321

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 10:38 AM

Hello

 

Here is a new photo from John Cekela. 

 

John Image small.jpeg

 

I have made a Facebook page for MilkyCam, SpiralCam and SaturnCam. It is at https://www.facebook.com/yong54321 It is easy to use Facebook to post my videos. Here is some screen captured video link on youTube and they are available in Facebook too. 

 

1. How to have both clear sky and foreground in MilkyCam? at https://youtu.be/JG0Rc3WB2Lo

2. How to manually select 2 tracking stars in MilkyCam? at https://youtu.be/YbjR4j2G3Sg

3. How to use MilkyCam with handhold? at https://youtu.be/CFXdyLum1Jo

 

and here is some more video form 3rd party view

1. Using MilkyCam with ear piece control for start and stop at https://youtu.be/ACvc3pRiCp8

2. Having clear foreground with stacked sky at https://youtu.be/ensyZJz0vX8

 

And here is some latest update on apps

MilkyCam:

 

1. Add artist name in saved image. Key in your name once and it appears for all your photos. 

2. Export as 16 bit Tiff file. iPhone only support 8 bit so having 16 bit gives you more data in editing on desktop. Do air drop to your MacBook. Takes about a second to transfer. 

 

SpiralCam:

1. Auto add Exif information such as ISO, shutter speed, exposure time, app setting etc in saved image.

2. Simplified user interface with a nebula button to image bright object. 

3. Use subpixel to determine centroid of stars. 

 

I often think of a new app where user can point to a sky and get the location of where phone or telescope is pointing at. I often get frustrated when I am "loss in space". So if I can have an app to tell me where am I and which direction to move my telescope and start stacking when I reach my object of interest, it will take away all the frustration. Do comment. And I am going to call it a GotoCam.  

 

That is all for now. Talk to you in Facebook. And like my Facebook page to keep in contact.  https://www.facebook.com/yong54321

 

Best


Edited by Yong54321, 10 March 2020 - 11:25 AM.


#58 Yong54321

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 03:33 AM

Orion Nebula by Mike Weasne. Report at http://www.weasner.c...3/05/index.html.

 

Cas_Obs_iPhone_030420-15.jpg

 

 



#59 Yong54321

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 01:18 PM

Orion Nebula by Mike Weasne using SpiralCam and Meade StarPro AZ 102mm refractor. It is a 20 seconds exposure on a manual scope. Report at http://www.weasner.c...3/20/index.html

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cas_Obs_iPhone_031920-14.jpg

Edited by Yong54321, 20 March 2020 - 01:19 PM.


#60 Yong54321

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 10:42 PM

Review of spiralCam, milkycam and SaturnCam iOS app by Mike Weasner at http://www.weasner.c...lCam/index.html
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#61 H.A.Treur

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 07:51 AM

Thank you for your app SpiralCAm.
This is the APP i have been looking for for years !!
My compliments for the efforts you have made to develop this.

Usually I do visual observation, and make drawings. But many times i tried to make simple pictures through the eyepiece.
And your app seems like a dream come true.bow.gif

 

But i have some trouble in the operation: Yesterday i tried the app behind my telescope.

It seems like the app does not stack.

First I press START;  the app starts taking pictures,  the image becomes smeared (startrails because of earth rotation). After 10 or 20 seconds I press stop.

Then a hazy picture appears on the screen. (I guess a stacked image, without movement-correction)

-Then i touch SAVE, but the image goes back to realtime: and then this realtime-picture is being saved. (Instead of a stacked picture).

 

(I tried enclosing two of my pictures of M 51 n this topic but I did not succeed; so you have to believe me on my word)

 

When looking at the EXIF data in the corner; the first picture says exposed 4 sec, the other picture 21seconds.
But as you can see there is no diffrence  visible  at all.

What do I do wrong?
Can you provide a step-by-step  explanation of the buttons? 

It seems  that the stacking does not work and that both pictures are a 1 second-single frame.

I am using IPhone XS Max, iOS.13.5.1
My telescope is big  (560mm diameter dobson). Therefore a 1 second expose already shows spiral arms.  BUt i would like to take this up to 10 or 20 seconds.

Best Regards
Harro Treur




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