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New All Sky camera management software: indi-allsky

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#776 gordtulloch

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 03:56 PM

Because I'm in Lapland, in the coldest area in Europe, and it could be better to have the Pi inside the house.

 

Thank you smile.gif

I'm in Winnipeg, in the top 10 coldest cities in the world (it's often warmer on the surface of Mars than in Winnipeg, I'm sure you're in the same boat!) and my allskycam has been outdoors for 4 years smile.gif

 

post-7922-0-12496300-1670424652.jpg

 

It started out as a Raspberry Pi 3B+ in a PVC pipe and is now running on an HP EliteDesk but the heat generated by the computers has always kept them warm enough to operate. In the case of the 3B+ it kept the case warm enough not to need to turn on my dew heater ever, although now that the HP is running the camera from 10 feet away in my micro-observatory I do need to turn on the dew heater in the winter to keep frost at bay and melt now on the dome.
 

Good luck with your project!


Edited by gordtulloch, 26 May 2024 - 04:00 PM.


#777 JeyC

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:12 PM

ahah :D

 

We had -48°c this winter :D What is your record?

I'm afraid for the SSD...

 

I will add a ring dew heater, and I have too some 12v heater blocs that I will "glue" between 2 aluminium heater dissapator + fan.

 

But I need to have the Pi on a remote place mostly, because the place where I will install the camera (on the roof) is very difficult to access, mostly in winter time. If there is a problem on the Pi, I can't fix the problem easily. If it is inside, it will be easier.



#778 JeyC

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:22 PM

You would be able to upload every image (or every 2nd or 3rd image) to a remote SFTP site.  The Keogram would be uploaded twice a day, when they are generated.

 

10 meters is way too long for a normal passive USB cable.  You can purchase an Active USB cable up to 12m.  There is another option for you... INDI is a client/server system.  You could connect the camera to another cheaper Raspberry Pi (Pi Zero or Pi3) and only run the indiserver component on that system.  indi-allsky can connect and manage the camera over the network.  The indiserver only takes the pictures and transfers them over the network.  Your main indi-allsky system would store and process the images.

 

Just a warning about the NVMe card.  A normal PoE connection (802.11af) with 15.4W of power may not be sufficient with the NVMe card.  Other people have had stability problems with this configuration.  If you get a hat that is PoE+ (802.11at) with 25W and your switch supports this, it may be sufficient.

Thanks a lot for all this advices and informations.

 

About the Keogram, I really need to have it in continuous (during the night only).

Is it just a CRON to modify to execute it every or couple of minutes ?

 

I checked, I need 9/10 meters for the USB cable. I have read lot of this. An active cable seems to don't be enough. Enough for the data, but not to transmit enough electricity/power to the cam.

I can't easily bring electrcity to power a power supply to inject electricity on a active+powered USB cable (on the camera side).

 

So, I have to decide between use your idea, INDI as client/server, or put the PI 5 in the box with the camera. In a VERY cold environment, and crossing finger to don't have to access to the Pi (to high on the roof).

 

Thank for the POE advice. If I remeber well I have anough power, but I will check.



#779 JeyC

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:24 PM

I forgot one question.

 

Is it possible to start the AllSky activity just before the darkness, and stop it when the day is coming.

 

I just need to follow northern light, so the rest is useless for me.



#780 gordtulloch

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 01:07 PM

ahah laugh.gif

 

We had -48°c this winter laugh.gif What is your record?

I'm afraid for the SSD...

 

I will add a ring dew heater, and I have too some 12v heater blocs that I will "glue" between 2 aluminium heater dissapator + fan.

 

But I need to have the Pi on a remote place mostly, because the place where I will install the camera (on the roof) is very difficult to access, mostly in winter time. If there is a problem on the Pi, I can't fix the problem easily. If it is inside, it will be easier.

 

Recent is -52C with windchill a couple of years ago, which was about -42C ambient, the record is -48C ambient.  Dunno why you're afraid for the SSD, which is solid state, most vulnerable are moving parts ,especially plastic parts and cables sheathed in plastic. For cables make sure you have silicon or mesh sheathes or they tend to crack in low temps when you move the mount. Obviously a cold weather lubricant (I use lithium) is required. Considering mounts like mine are in use in Antarctica, they tolerate cold pretty well.

 

EDIT: Sorry forgot this was about Allskycams ignore the mount comments :)


Edited by gordtulloch, 27 May 2024 - 01:38 PM.


#781 decep

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 06:21 PM

I forgot one question.

 

Is it possible to start the AllSky activity just before the darkness, and stop it when the day is coming.

 

I just need to follow northern light, so the rest is useless for me.

Yes, you would disable Daytime Timelapse and Daytime Capture on the Image tab.  The system would effectively be idle during the day and only take pictures at night.



#782 JeyC

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 02:49 AM

Thank you.

 

And about the Keogram?

 

 

About the Keogram, I really need to have it in continuous (during the night only).

Is it just a CRON to modify to execute it every or couple of minutes ?



#783 decep

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 10:24 PM

Thank you.

 

And about the Keogram?

Generating the Keogram requires a lot of processing power and is not performed dynamically.  I would estimate it requires ~0.1-0.2s per image in the series, if you have 2000 images in a given day or night, it takes 5-10 minutes go generate the keogram.  Every image has to be read into memory, rotated, and the center line extracted.

 

One of the very early optimizations I did was combining the star trails and keogram processing into a single action.  I found that out of the 10 minutes it requires to build both the keogram and the startrails, approximately 50% of the time was spent just opening and decoding the image files.  By merging both keogram and star trails, there was a 25% time savings... 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes.



#784 JeyC

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Posted Yesterday, 12:39 AM

On which machine it took so much time?
I will have a pi 5 with 8go.

The IRF in Kiruna is managing to do it in continuous, since years and years.
https://www.irf.se/e.../allsky-camera/

Technically, how to change the period?
is it a Cron to modify?

#785 gordtulloch

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Posted Yesterday, 08:48 AM

On which machine it took so much time?
I will have a pi 5 with 8go.

The IRF in Kiruna is managing to do it in continuous, since years and years.
https://www.irf.se/e.../allsky-camera/

Technically, how to change the period?
is it a Cron to modify?

I think the answer here is, given this is open source software, you're perfectly free to add a keeogram function thats updated continuously. What Aaron has described is, by it's nature, a twice a day process that reads in every image for the day or night and produces star trail and keeogram information from hundreds of images at once.

 

Processing one image at a time would need to be implemented and would delay enhancements that everyone else who uses the software would like.  Perhaps if you could provide a use case for a live keeogram it might be more compelling to support as a new feature in the software? I am also interested in aurora but I don't see any use for a live keeogram for that application.



#786 JeyC

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Posted Yesterday, 11:02 AM

I just asked if it's possible, and asked if it's just a cron to modify.

 

I didn"t ask to Aaron to work to add a feature.

 

 

I absolutely understand that the majority of people don't need more that twice a day, and don't feel why.

 

 

I'm living just under northern lights. I want to follow the evolution of the auroral activity because I'm each night outside to find and see it.

I have a big website about aurora, and visitors like to see how it's going (when it's starting, when it moved to the south, etc).

 

If the IFR in Kiruna can do it since, at least, 10 years, I could maybe do it too.


Edited by JeyC, Yesterday, 11:05 AM.



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