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All-sky camera

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#1 WalterG

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:12 PM

I poked around on the forums but I was not able to find a discussion about DIY All-sky cameras, specifically ones that use Thomas Jacquin software for Raspberry PI available at GitHub https://github.com/t...sjacquin/allsky  can any one with more coding experience than me ( I have none!) point me to the directory where the images are stored?  I did my best poking around but I could not figure this out.

 

Thank's so much or any help you can offer

 

Walter 



#2 iwannabswiss

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 05:03 PM

I searched "thomas jacquin" and got 7 topics, not including yours:

 

https://www.cloudyni...thomas jacquin"

https://www.cloudyni...thomas jacquin"

https://www.cloudyni...thomas jacquin"

https://www.cloudyni...thomas jacquin"

https://www.cloudyni...thomas jacquin"

https://www.cloudyni...thomas jacquin"

 

You'll probably have the most luck in the observatories section.


Edited by iwannabswiss, 17 September 2020 - 05:06 PM.


#3 HxPI

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 11:43 PM

I put together an all sky capture kit consisting of a RPi3 running Astroberry and FireCapture, a ASI290MC, 64GB USB memory stick, and USB battery pack. It currently has to be assembled each time for use but it’s quite compact and easy to set up and get running. I may put it in an enclosure at some point. It provides control and monitoring via the RPI3 built in hotspot wireless connectivity using a tablet and lasts all night. The only thing to improve is get angled USB cables to clean up the cabling. Otherwise, the setup works well for what it is and repurposed well several items that were otherwise laying around not being used!
 

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by HxPI, 18 September 2020 - 12:05 AM.

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#4 dswtan

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 12:42 AM

point me to the directory where the images are stored? 

Assuming you're in the "allsky" directory where the software is installed, the images are stored in ./images/<date>. Where <date> today would be 20200917. So it would be ./images/20200917. 

 

In that per-day directory (aka folder) you will see all the images taken in that run, plus subfolders/directories for the keogram, startrails, and thumbnails (you can generally ignore the latter). 

 

"./" just means "here", i.e. the allsky directory. 

 

You don't need programming knowledge, but you do need some Raspberry Pi Linux command line knowledge to use this software. You can't do it from the GUI alone. 


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#5 WalterG

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 09:07 AM

Thank you for taking the time to send me all of the relevant links.  None of them however have any mention as where to find the images folder. However, I may have missed something ... that could be


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#6 WalterG

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 09:24 AM

Assuming you're in the "allsky" directory where the software is installed, the images are stored in ./images/<date>. Where <date> today would be 20200917. So it would be ./images/20200917. 

 

In that per-day directory (aka folder) you will see all the images taken in that run, plus subfolders/directories for the keogram, startrails, and thumbnails (you can generally ignore the latter). 

 

"./" just means "here", i.e. the allsky directory. 

 

You don't need programming knowledge, but you do need some Raspberry Pi Linux command line knowledge to use this software. You can't do it from the GUI alone. 

Thank you for your help.  

 

I have attached two screen grabs. I still don't see the image directory.  I used the PI's file explorer and the terminal to try to find the directory.  Right now, I'm just experimenting with camera settings and I want to take a look at the images I have taken to get a feel for what to do but I can't find the images. 

 

I did try per the instructions on the GitHub site "when you are using the desktop environment (I am using Pixel) you can add the preview argument in order to show the images the program is currently saving. When I do this I get the error message:

 

cp: Cannot create regular file 'live view-image.jpg' : permission denied 

 

fileExplorer.jpg

 

terminal.jpg

 

permission denied.jpg

 

 

Walter  


Edited by WalterG, 18 September 2020 - 09:39 AM.


#7 iwannabswiss

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 09:39 AM

Thank you for taking the time to send me all of the relevant links.  None of them however have any mention as where to find the images folder. However, I may have missed something ... that could be

Darn, sorry. I wish I could be of more help.

 

I don't use the software, but are the images saved as .jpg?
The only other thing I can recommend would be to run the following command: sudo find / -name *.jpg

 

A best practice is, don't run a command unless you understand it's meaning because someone could be trying to cause mischief and destroy your data, so let me explain what the command means/does.

 

sudo = gives you superuser privilege
find / = starting at root path, search all folders from here
-name *.jpg = for any filename ending in .jpg

 

This will give you the full path to where any images are stored. Hopefully, that may help steer you in the right direction.


Edited by iwannabswiss, 18 September 2020 - 09:43 AM.

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#8 HxPI

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:30 AM

I set FireCapture capture folder to the USB thumb drive, which is usually mounted in the /media/astroberry/$$$$ folder, where $$$$ is the name of the thumbdrive. No need to use Terminal!

 

I guess you are using a different setup than mine; providing info just in case you decide to use a astroberry instead. YMMV.


Edited by HxPI, 18 September 2020 - 10:32 AM.

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#9 WalterG

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 01:08 PM

I set FireCapture capture folder to the USB thumb drive, which is usually mounted in the /media/astroberry/$$$$ folder, where $$$$ is the name of the thumbdrive. No need to use Terminal!

 

I guess you are using a different setup than mine; providing info just in case you decide to use a astroberry instead. YMMV.

Sorry, I'm so lost with what you suggested... I just followed the directions on the GitHub site, but thank you for your response. I did just look up astroberry and it's a server for remote connections?  Here is what I have done so far: 

 

 

Previous to all this I copied NOOBS to my microSD card, fired up the Raspberry PI and selected auto install Raspberry and waited until it was finished.  I have zero programming experience... I do understand how to issue command line prompts but that's it.  When I opened Allsky I was pleased that the camera connected and I had a live image. It was not until this morning when I tried to find the image per the instructions from iwannabswiss that I noticed the error message that permission was denied to save the image.  I assume that's why I don't have a image folder and any images. 

 

If you have the time, how will astroberry help me? 

 

Walter 


Edited by WalterG, 18 September 2020 - 03:40 PM.


#10 HxPI

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 04:25 PM

I suppose the only usefulness of my previous post to your situation was to suggest setting up AllSky to save the images to an external thumb drive instead of any of the home directory folders. Sorry if this is not being very useful to your inquiry.

 

I use Astroberry specifically to avoid having to get into the weeds of Linux. I understand the frustration of using Linux! Although sometimes it’s easier to get things done than going through the GUI, like getting updates using the apt commands.

 

I’ve tried various RPi disk image Linux builds and Astroberry has been the easiest to setup and use so far. Astroberry is a complete turnkey Linux on RPI solution with full GUI interface using only a web browser. Just copy the disk image to an microSD card and put it in the RPi. Connect to the RPi hotspot, select a few settings, and it’s up and running. It uses a VNC web interface (which is brilliant), so any web browser will work. I only use Astroberry for an all sky camera solution, mainly due to the ease of setup and convenience of use. Otherwise, it’s a full complete Linux distribution and can be used for other things as well, i.e. INDI server. It could be an alternative solution for setting up your all sky camera.

 

I tried using my Intel Compute stick with the Windows AllSkEye app because that software is feature rich for all sky image capture and processing. However, there were numerous challenges with hardware I did not overcome with satisfaction. So, I decided to build a solution using the RPi instead.

 

The AllSky solution looks interesting and feature rich, similar to the AllSkEye app I previously mentioned. However it seems more like a specific purpose built solution for all sky cameras than the general purpose Linux OS environment of Astroberry. Specific purpose vs general purpose each have their pros and cons.

 

Whatever you choose hope it works out well for you.

 

Ciao,

Mel


Edited by HxPI, 18 September 2020 - 04:41 PM.

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#11 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 04:31 PM

 . I still don't see the image directory. 

 

Have you run the system at night? In the day it doesn't save images. So maybe that folder isn't created until needed.  The time when it starts saving images is related to a setting about "sun degrees below horizon" IIRC

 

I have an AllSkyCamera running that software. It works. I have a few quibbles, but it definitely works right out of the box.  And it is a nice feature that in the morning it puts together a video of the night's activity.  I am using a color camera which makes weird artifacts:  stars change color as they move across the RGGB Bayer matrix. 

 

The "Gamma" feature doesn't work any more due to ZWO removing support for it.  The pic below was processed after the fact to bring out the Milky Way.  BONUS you can see Comet NEOWISE in the bottom right corner. IMHO that is cool cool.gif

 

9gvcWh2.jpg


Edited by t-ara-fan, 18 September 2020 - 04:32 PM.

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#12 HxPI

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 04:45 PM

Have you run the system at night? In the day it doesn't save images. So maybe that folder isn't created until needed.  The time when it starts saving images is related to a setting about "sun degrees below horizon" IIRC

 

I have an AllSkyCamera running that software. It works. I have a few quibbles, but it definitely works right out of the box.  And it is a nice feature that in the morning it puts together a video of the night's activity.  I am using a color camera which makes weird artifacts:  stars change color as they move across the RGGB Bayer matrix. 

 

The "Gamma" feature doesn't work any more due to ZWO removing support for it.  The pic below was processed after the fact to bring out the Milky Way.  BONUS you can see Comet NEOWISE in the bottom right corner. IMHO that is cool cool.gif

 

attachicon.gif9gvcWh2.jpg

I may give this a try and see what it has to offer. It does look very feature rich! Can’t hurt since it’s just a simple microSD swap. Thanks for sharing.

 

P.S. Is there a way to setup the software to save images to an external thumbdrive? Also does it require a VNC viewer app or can it be setup to use a web VNC interface? It looks like there is no convenient way to save files to external thumbdrive, at the moment. However the GitHub page does show a web interface is available. So this is amazing and worth a try!


Edited by HxPI, 18 September 2020 - 05:06 PM.

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#13 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 05:19 PM

I may give this a try and see what it has to offer. It does look very feature rich! Can’t hurt since it’s just a simple microSD swap. Thanks for sharing.

 

P.S. Is there a way to setup the software to save images to an external thumbdrive? Also does it require a VNC viewer app or can it be setup to use a web VNC interface? It looks like there is no convenient way to save files to external thumbdrive, at the moment. However the GitHub page does show a web interface is available. So this is amazing and worth a try!

The Pi should have no problem mounting the thumb drive.  I could ask my Linux expert how to do it. Something like "mount an images folder on the thumbdrive as /home/pi/allsky/images".  Then the system would think images are going into the expected place, but they are actually on the thumb drive. 

 

My camera runs with PowerOverEthernet (POE) so a single CAT5 cable goes outside to the camera.  48V is run through some unused conductors in the CAT5 cable, and turned back into +5V at the RPi.   The camera is on my LAN, so I just use my FireFox browser to look at the pics and administer the setup.   I can watch live updates of the images, and also grab the images, video and startrail files using my browser.  Don't need VNC.
 


Edited by t-ara-fan, 18 September 2020 - 05:22 PM.

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#14 HxPI

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 06:21 PM

The Pi should have no problem mounting the thumb drive.  I could ask my Linux expert how to do it. Something like "mount an images folder on the thumbdrive as /home/pi/allsky/images".  Then the system would think images are going into the expected place, but they are actually on the thumb drive. 

 

My camera runs with PowerOverEthernet (POE) so a single CAT5 cable goes outside to the camera.  48V is run through some unused conductors in the CAT5 cable, and turned back into +5V at the RPi.   The camera is on my LAN, so I just use my FireFox browser to look at the pics and administer the setup.   I can watch live updates of the images, and also grab the images, video and startrail files using my browser.  Don't need VNC.
 

I figured the thumbdrive mounting would require some kind of alias assignment. Still good to know it’s possible. Thanks for sharing.


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#15 WalterG

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 08:22 PM

Have you run the system at night? In the day it doesn't save images. So maybe that folder isn't created until needed.  The time when it starts saving images is related to a setting about "sun degrees below horizon" IIRC

 

I have an AllSkyCamera running that software. It works. I have a few quibbles, but it definitely works right out of the box.  And it is a nice feature that in the morning it puts together a video of the night's activity.  I am using a color camera which makes weird artifacts:  stars change color as they move across the RGGB Bayer matrix. 

 

The "Gamma" feature doesn't work any more due to ZWO removing support for it.  The pic below was processed after the fact to bring out the Milky Way.  BONUS you can see Comet NEOWISE in the bottom right corner. IMHO that is cool cool.gif

 

attachicon.gif9gvcWh2.jpg

Genius!  You are 100% correct. I tried it tonight and the folder is created and the images stored!  When you mentioned this I went back to the GitHub page and noticed that it does say images are not saved during the day... I feel a dumb for not noticing that.  

 

Thank you again for your advice

 

Walter


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#16 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:36 PM

I am still deciding whether a color or monochrome camera is better.  Color looks really nice with the sky is blue. And if there is a big aurora it would look cool.

 

I use an ASI224MC right now. I have an ASI178MM on the way.

 

But color has all kinds of artifacts.   In the pic below, some stars are green and red, or green/red/blue. I think this is because the star size on the sensor with a 1.55mm (!) focal length is so small, it doesn't fill a bayer pattern for one pixel.  It might hit the red for one pixel, and green for adjacent one.

 

The pic below was taken last night with TERRIBLE smoke conditions. It is a 200% crop to show detail.  In Bortle 2 I could see about 6 stars.  Anyway, the satellite trail has red and green stripes.  Weird.

 

diff1_G30_L22 crop.jpg

 

 


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#17 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:49 PM

I put a GIF up on Astrobin.  This is six 60sec sequential images. A nice fireball appears, and also a pretty decent meteor on roughly the same bearing.

 

Note how the star colors change from frame to frame as only portions of each pixel's Bayer pattern capture photons.

 

I use this 1.5mm lens, based on talk that it was better than the free lens that comes with some ZWO cameras.


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#18 WalterG

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:27 AM

I put a GIF up on Astrobin.  This is six 60sec sequential images. A nice fireball appears, and also a pretty decent meteor on roughly the same bearing.

 

Note how the star colors change from frame to frame as only portions of each pixel's Bayer pattern capture photons.

 

I use this 1.5mm lens, based on talk that it was better than the free lens that comes with some ZWO cameras.

Thank you for the link to the 1.5mm lens!  

 

Walter 



#19 Konkelo

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 01:11 PM

Hi! Here's some videos i have made with raspberry pi + raspberry pi HQ camera + Meteotux PI stacked images. Light pollution is high here but still got some nice results smile.gif

Lens used with Raspberry pi HQ camera is https://www.modernas...f-inch-cameras/

 

Remember to check 1080p quality ;)

 

Normal video 

 

Star trails video

 

Meteotux PI can do even 20000s exposures and don't lose any frames capturing images like others do. And with pro version you get amazing 4064x3040 pixels stacked images. You can find Meteotux PI from https://www.meteotuxpi.com

 

Cheers!

Konkelo


Edited by Konkelo, 19 September 2020 - 01:13 PM.

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#20 WalterG

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 01:20 PM

Hi! Here's some videos i have made with raspberry pi + raspberry pi HQ camera + Meteotux PI stacked images. Light pollution is high here but still got some nice results smile.gif

Lens used with Raspberry pi HQ camera is https://www.modernas...f-inch-cameras/

 

Normal video 

 

Star trails video

 

Meteotux PI can do even 20000s exposures and don't lose any frames capturing images like others do. You can find Meteotux PI from https://www.meteotuxpi.com

 

Cheers!

Konkelo

After only one night of fiddling with the stock ZWO fisheye lens I was disappointed.  The direction of travel to get the lens in focus is absolutely at the limit of the threads that are machined onto the lens.  For the price of a new lens I think I will be purchasing one. Wow, I'm so new to this PI stuff I did not even realize that there is a dedicated PI camera and also a stacking program.  Both of your videos are amazing. Thank you so much for the information and the links.

 

Walter 



#21 t-ara-fan

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:39 PM

Hi! Here's some videos i have made with raspberry pi 

Nice. I like that growing star trail image. You should do it again on a clear night ;)

 

Do you do dark image subtraction?  I don't see any hot pixels in your video.  My ASI224MC has a lot of hot pixels with 60sec exposures.



#22 Konkelo

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 01:48 AM

Nice. I like that growing star trail image. You should do it again on a clear night wink.gif

 

Do you do dark image subtraction?  I don't see any hot pixels in your video.  My ASI224MC has a lot of hot pixels with 60sec exposures.

Hi!

 

Yes i use dark image subtraction. I use imagemagick command line tools from www.imagemagick.org and then ffmpeg to put time-lapse together. The camera is this https://www.raspberr...quality-camera/ it has 12.3 megapixel Sony IMX477 sensor and its cheap only 50$.

 

My plan is to automate whole process, so the camera+raspberry pi will do everything and i get a time-lapse and star trails videos + images  ready at the morning smile.gif

 

Cheers!

Konkelo


Edited by Konkelo, 20 September 2020 - 01:49 AM.

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#23 t-ara-fan

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 02:30 AM

  I use imagemagick command line tools from www.imagemagick.org and then ffmpeg to put time-lapse together. 

That is exactly how I am doing it.  A work in progress right now.  magick is very powerful.
 


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