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Would you advise putting a surveilance cam on a 10' pole?

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#1 EmeraldHills

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 02:33 PM

Planning the site around the dome I hope to build in the coming weeks. I operate remotely (200 feet or so away inside a building. So I can't see the dome from where I operate.) In my situation, would you put one of those Wyze 3 surveillance cameras on a 10-foot pole out in front of your observatory, maybe 4 feet or so away, so you could observe dome rotation and look at the outside of the dome? Or is that overkill. (Those wyze 3 cameras see in the dark with their infrared lights.) That's a tiny piece of the sky that I would be giving up -- the height of the pole -- and the width of the surveillance camera -- which is about a 2-inch block. Maybe it's not worth the interruption in the sky?

 

rasa-at-night-2021-08-05-500.jpg



#2 Couder

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 02:55 PM

I use a lot of outdoor cams, several types. I have some Wyze. Had a lot of trouble with the outdoor cam, if interested I can fill you in. The regular cameras seem to be a lot better. I took a plastic container, cut a hole in the back for a screw and it keeps the rain/snow off, no problems. I have other types, I have them mounted on poles, buildings, etc. I use old satellite dishes - take the dish off, the pipe is adjustable and sturdy. You may not need this: I have several cameras operating at one time. I feed them into video modulators, which turns the signal into different channels. I then send that to a combiner. A single coax cable then runs to the house, and goes to the TVs. During commercials or when there is nothing on we watch the deer channel, Bluebird channel, Purple Martin Camera, Observatory channels, overall view, etc. You can get a feed out from the DVR but to change the feed you almost need to be at the unit, with TV channels you just switch the channel. 

Attached are a few of the scenes from the TV screen.

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#3 MikiSJ

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 02:57 PM

I do not see any reason not to put a camera in a location such as you describe.

 

I image from my backyard and pilot from my family room. Even though the kit is less than 20' from my patio door, having a camera pointed at the kit would solve a lot of anxiety regarding where is my kit pointed.

 

Go for it.


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#4 kathyastro

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:08 PM

Just be aware that most astro cameras are sensitive to infrared.  They are likely to see the IR illumination from the camera as a bright light aimed right at the scope, as though it were your own personal backyard street light.

 

By all means set up an external surveillance camera for security, but either make it one with proper passive night vision or else be sure to turn off the illumination when imaging.

 

I have a cheap webcam set up  inside the dome, pointing at the home position where I can see the shutter.  It can't see in the dark, but if there is any question about dome operation prior to starting the imaging run, I can remotely turn on the interior lights and check it.  During a session, I use PHD2 to monitor dome operation.  If it can see stars, all is well. ;)


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#5 EmeraldHills

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:09 PM

Couder, that's hilarious. : )

 

MikiSJ, ok. Thanks.

 

So my plan will be to make a pole approximately 8-feet tall with the surveillance camera in a covered box on top of it, pointing so it can see the observatory.



#6 EmeraldHills

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:10 PM

Great point, KathyAstro. Thanks. I'll double-check that ability to deactivate the infra-red.

 

 

Just be aware that most astro cameras are sensitive to infrared.  They are likely to see the IR illumination from the camera as a bright light aimed right at the scope, as though it were your own personal backyard street light.

 

By all means set up an external surveillance camera for security, but either make it one with proper passive night vision or else be sure to turn off the illumination when imaging.

 

I have a cheap webcam set up  inside the dome, pointing at the home position where I can see the shutter.  It can't see in the dark, but if there is any question about dome operation prior to starting the imaging run, I can remotely turn on the interior lights and check it.  During a session, I use PHD2 to monitor dome operation.  If it can see stars, all is well. wink.gif



#7 TeslaTrek

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:53 PM

You might consider an All Sky Camera, which uses no red LEDs.  This would obviously be still images and not video so the real time image is delayed by the exposure, typically around 30 seconds or what ever it is set to.  Just situate the ASC to include your observatory.

 

ZWO ASI 178MC 2021 02 04T17 43 25 Smaller
 
I should have noted, my observatory is visible in the upper right corner and on the observatory wall is a night vision LED camera which appears as a very bright light.

Edited by TeslaTrek, 18 August 2021 - 04:16 PM.

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#8 Couder

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:54 PM

It was a lot of work, but it works fine. I didn't have a picture, so I just went down and took one. This is about 1/3 of the video modulators.

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#9 EmeraldHills

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:58 PM

[sorry to be off-topic but, Wow ... a 14-inch planewave. That must be an amazing telescope.]

 

 

You might consider an All Sky Camera, which uses no red LEDs.  This would obviously be still images and not video so the real time image is delayed by the exposure, typically around 30 seconds or what ever it is set to.  Just situate the ASC to include your observatory.

 


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#10 mark77

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 04:03 PM

I looked into the Wyze cameras but from the best that I could tell, they REQUIRE that you create an account on there server and access the images via the server.

 

This has the advantage that you can access them from anywhere, but the disadvantage that you cant use it at all if the internet is down, or slow.

 

Also, I consider it an invasion of privacy, theoretically they could access all of your cameras.


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#11 EmeraldHills

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 04:18 PM

Hi Mark.

Actually, as long as the Wyze 3 cam and your laptop are on the same wi-fi router, you're good. You don't have to stream them to the public. I use them regularly without buying an account with them and they work great. See my scope views at:

 

https://youtu.be/L06K1nSepcY

 

The view of my scope at night is ALL via a Wyze 3 cam using the infra-red light built in. My scope site is completely pitch-black in those videos.

 

I looked into the Wyze cameras but from the best that I could tell, they REQUIRE that you create an account on there server and access the images via the server.

 

This has the advantage that you can access them from anywhere, but the disadvantage that you cant use it at all if the internet is down, or slow.

 

Also, I consider it an invasion of privacy, theoretically they could access all of your cameras.


Edited by EmeraldHills, 18 August 2021 - 04:55 PM.


#12 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 04:49 PM

Hi Mark.

Actually, they don't (require the internet). They don't require accessing images via their server. 

You don't need to buy an account, the free one works. But the Wyze 3 won't work without Internet access.   On the upside all the imagery can pass through Beijing so they can make a list of all your friends via facial recognition lol.gif .   It was only $25 and I can give mine to a friend. But it is pretty annoying that the darn thing is on the Wifi at my remote site, but I can't access it unless I go through the Internet.  There is something nefarious about that.

 

The Wyze 3 has amazing low light capability, but at my off-grid location it won't work.

 

As far as the 10' pole goes, why not put it below the level of the observatory dome - or in line with some obstruction on the horizon so it doesn't block the sky.


Edited by t-ara-fan, 18 August 2021 - 04:52 PM.


#13 mark77

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 05:19 PM

OK, conflicting statements.

 

EmeraldHills says you can use them on the same network without streaming to the public

 

t-ara-fan says they dont work without internet access.  Which is what I was saying.

 

So which is it.

 

Its not the issue of free account vs paying for account.  I don't want EITHER.

 

I use a simple web cam to view my setup.  I have lights that I can turn on if needed. 

 

I do need to find a web cam that turn off the IR.  I think that is the primary advantage to the Wyze cameras.

 

I know first hand of a case where china got some code into a major brand printer used by big companies that reported back to China what was printed.

 

And early on Zoom routed everything through China.

 

So I stay clear of anything that requires network connection to the outside world.

 

just my $0.02


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#14 GaryShaw

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 07:02 PM

 

I know first hand of a case where china got some code into a major brand printer used by big companies that reported back to China what was printed.

Unfortunately, this is the case with nearly any tech being shipped from, or through china, to the West. It’s pervasive - not just the camera and microphone in Lenovo computers and large volume corporate/ government copiers and printers. We’re naive to believe otherwise.



#15 EmeraldHills

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 08:31 PM

About the Wyze 3... for what it's worth:

 

https://learncctv.co...-data-to-china/


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#16 Tiago Ferreira

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 05:50 PM

I have loads of security cameras and i never disconnect the IR from them. the ones that point to my observing site are blocked during observations but others i just have them pointing downside so they can't reach directly the scope which 4 or 5 meters is higher. Is this enough in your opinion or should i really disconnect the IR during sessions? I'm afraid to forget to reconnect them. I can fully disconnect the cameras with Alexa but not only the IR.
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#17 mark77

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 09:45 PM

Tiago

 

I need to do some more testing, but I have a single web cam with IR inside of my dome.  It appears that when I do DSO images, I get some bleed.  I just figured out where the setting is to enable/disable the IR.  The next time I do any DSO, I will take some pictures with and without the IR turned on.  Then I will have proof one way or the other.

 

Mark



#18 t-ara-fan

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 10:16 PM

I gave away my Wyze cam DJ I can't test it further.

This link says you need Internet.

https://support.wyze...n-without-WiFi-

#19 EmeraldHills

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 10:32 PM

For what it's worth, keep in mind, the Wyze camera I use (and recommend) is the Wyze Cam *3* -- not the 2. The Wyze Cam 3 is incredibly improved. I think this article explains that it's possible to use the Wyzecam 3 without internet, once it's set up correctly.

 

https://support.wyze...3-without-WiFi-



#20 Tiago Ferreira

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 05:46 AM

Tiago

 

I need to do some more testing, but I have a single web cam with IR inside of my dome.  It appears that when I do DSO images, I get some bleed.  I just figured out where the setting is to enable/disable the IR.  The next time I do any DSO, I will take some pictures with and without the IR turned on.  Then I will have proof one way or the other.

 

Mark

Thanks Mark. It's a theme that i could never figure very well. When that happen i search everywhere for information and in this case i never could reach a solid conclusion because the information differs so my knowledge about that still very limited. My actual thoughts are near what Kathy said because it's what always made sense to me. The thing is, i have a Baader IR/UV cut L filter always attached in both of my cameras. Always. So i kind of forgot that IR doubt. But then i started using my allsky original ASI224 camera which has no IR cut. Then the doubt popped again in my head. Then i've managed to put a simple IR filter to than lens and the image changed for better. Less light pollution glow. Now i've bought a new ZWO lens but it's IR corrected. It's hard for me to distinguish the real source of lights, specially from lights i can't see by my human state and also because i'm using IR cut filters in all my cameras. If you confirm those leak changes please share them. I'll do the same.

 

Doug: It's a theme i would like to throw in the next EAA meeting :) to see what other EAA fellows have to say about.


Edited by Tiago Ferreira, 20 August 2021 - 06:03 AM.


#21 jcj380

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 08:02 AM

Ok, basic question - I was under the impression that the Wyze 3 did not use IR, aside from passive IR to detect motion.  Rather, it had a more sensitive chip for low light.  Maybe I'm confusing different models?  Thanks.



#22 EmeraldHills

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 08:44 AM

Hi JCJ380. The WyzeCam 3 DOES use IR.

 

https://support.wyze...11-Night-Vision


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#23 t-ara-fan

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 10:43 AM

For what it's worth, keep in mind, the Wyze camera I use (and recommend) is the Wyze Cam *3* -- not the 2. The Wyze Cam 3 is incredibly improved. I think this article explains that it's possible to use the Wyzecam 3 without internet, once it's set up correctly.

 

https://support.wyze...3-without-WiFi-

It can record to a uSD card without Internet. But you can't see the images live without the Internet. Too bad, because it has an amazing low light capability.  I tried to find a different webcam with the same sensor chip but I was unable to do so.



#24 EmeraldHills

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 10:44 AM

In my case, T-ara-fan, it's just sending a boring picture of my telescope (which I'm then streaming publicly to the web anyway). So for me, there's really not an invasion of privacy. But each user will have to decide.




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