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Astrowl Project : Highly portable EEA

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#51 Astrowl

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 05:17 AM

Questions:

 

1. Does it work on non-tracking scope (of course with very short exposures and obvious limitations) 

2. What are the sensor specs: pixel size, resolution, sensor size?

3. What is the weight of the device?

 

Very cool project! I was looking for something like at.

Hi Artik,

1- Depends on your target and your exposure time. But the Astrowl box integrate a frame auto alignment function (like you have in Siril or other astrophoto software). However it has some limitation, especially if you have a great distance between two frames. So it can compensate tracking errors, but it won't do miracle on big distance,

2- Sony IMX462, very sensitive sensor and impressive on IR.

3- Should be around 300g (probably less) I must check.


Edited by Astrowl, 07 July 2022 - 06:30 AM.

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#52 Astrowl

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Posted 08 July 2022 - 05:56 AM

Just to complete my answer. There are two modes available on the Astrowl Box, Live View and Stack View. Live View does not need any tracking, it is like looking a live video of the sky with camera parameters you have set (exposure, contrast, gain, ...). So view of nebulae, galaxies, clusters... are already impressive in Live View because of the high sensor sensitivity.

In the other hand, Stack View that stack several snapshots will give best results with tracking, even if it auto align the snapshots. Final stack image is more detailed and precise than Live View image.

And saving the image displays on the screen is also possible on both modes.

I just add also a magnify option to zoom on the screen to see details and help focusing.

Edited by Astrowl, 08 July 2022 - 05:57 AM.

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#53 Astrowl

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 02:34 PM

New night with the Astrowl Box, with an apo refractor of 130mm diameter and F7.

Targets this night were M13, its neighbour M92, Dumbell nebulae and Lyra nebulae.

 

If some of you are interested to get one sample of the Astrowl box, please contact me.

Attached Thumbnails

  • stackpic0705_222841_2.jpg
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  • stackpic0705_230116_3.jpg
  • stackpic0705_225018_2.jpg

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#54 terrain_inconnu

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Posted 23 July 2022 - 09:13 AM

The idea to have an all in one, out of the box solution is a really good one. Especially not having to deal with any postprocessing and instead get the image directly on the screen is a huge plus for the user experience.



#55 Astrowl

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Posted 21 August 2022 - 08:41 AM

Hi everybody, just to let you know that I have greatly improve the auto align frames algorithm. The previous algorithm was not tolerant enough on tracking error. First results are great even on planetary with very poor seeing.

Attached are pictures of M13, Jupiter and core of Andromeda galaxy. Purpose is not astrophotography but enhanced vision and see what you cannot see with your eyyes behind your scope.

Attached Thumbnails

  • stackpic0705_224919~3.jpg
  • .trashed-1663680674-stackpic0705_222909~2.jpg
  • stackpic0705_230938~2.jpg


#56 Astrowl

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 05:53 AM

New live stacking pictures taken from the EAA astrowl box, seeing was better on Jupiter and two other pictures of Dumbell and M72. Jupiter shows details that were not seen with simple eyepiece. I used a 130mm apo refractor. 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • stackpic0706_012122~2.jpg
  • stackpic0705_234223~3.jpg
  • stackpic0706_005417~2.jpg

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#57 wykbbb

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 04:12 AM

Can you talk more about the software that runs Astrowl? Is it based on open source software or are you writing everything yourself? Will the software be open sourced? 


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#58 Astrowl

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Posted 02 September 2022 - 07:47 AM

The software is not open source and won't be open source in near future. I still work actively on it to improve functionalities and automatic processing. It is still a beta version and I am still looking for beta testers. I have already sent nearly 10 astrowl boxes in France and US. I am expecting to reach a community of 20 users before deciding what is next step.

#59 Astrowl

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 12:10 PM

Again if some of you are interested to receive one astrowl box, you can contact me.

#60 Bullwinkles

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 10:19 PM

Good luck! I'd love my nonprofit to have one!



#61 The Ardent

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Posted 13 September 2022 - 11:34 PM

My first night with Astrowl box. Cool, variable clouds, rising moon blocked by house. 
60mm refractor on Eq mount, star diagonal. 
The box and controls are easy to use. 
 
Image was downloaded to my phone from the Astrowl control screen. I had it set in 8 seconds . Cropped a little to reduce from 600 kb to post here. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 92B19DEC-8FF0-4E38-8E25-787F83F2F5B8.jpeg

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#62 The Ardent

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Posted 13 September 2022 - 11:36 PM

My question: The nebula shows color but the stars don’t. The sensitivity makes red stars appear brighter than visually. If I add an IR blocking filter, Will this allow stars to appear with the same colors seen visually? 



#63 Astrowl

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 06:51 AM

Hi Ardent, thanks for your feedback. There is an adapter provided with the astrowl box you can use to screw filters. On my side I use an IR filter if getting IR photons is not necessary and it provided more natural colors on stars. You can also try to slightly modified red, green or blue stack proportion.

And don't hesitate to post your comments in the CN EAA forum 😊.

Have you tried stack or live mode for this picture?

Edited by Astrowl, 14 September 2022 - 06:54 AM.


#64 The Ardent

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 08:07 AM

Thatis live mode.
There was thin layer of cloud , unavoidable last night.

I was so excited to finally use the Astrowl Box that I forgot the adapter that was included.

#65 Astrowl

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 05:18 AM

Use of stack view will greatly improve your pictures, by reducing noise and increasing weight of real signal. Don't hesitate to switch to this mode.

#66 steveincolo

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 11:10 AM

It would be interesting to see some galaxies viewed with an IR pass filter, which works well with the IMX462 sensor in light polluted areas.  What Bortle are the sample images taken from?



#67 Astrowl

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 05:20 PM

Hi Steve, just to let you know that The Ardent has started a new topic in EEA forum with other great pictures done with the astrowl box :

https://www.cloudyni...strowl-box-eaa/

 

I will try to catch by myself some galaxies pictures or post some from other astrowl users if I get ones.

 

Just also to let you know that a french astro newspaper made an article about the Astrowl box in Sept/Oct issue :

http://www.astrosurf...magazine-n°118/


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#68 wykbbb

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 05:54 PM

Is  computer-assisted amateur astronomy popular in France?  It sounds like Unistellar, Vaonis, and Astrowl are all based in France. smile.gif



#69 Astrowl

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 11:06 AM

I have made new tests on Jupiter to test improvement of auto align frame algorithm, and results are not disappointing. Small Jupiter was done with a 100mm apo refractor and big one done with a 180mm Takahashi Mewlon. No post treatment of pictures others than one already applied by Astrowl box. The third pictures of Jupiter receives a color balance post treatment.

Attached Thumbnails

  • stackpic0706_035126~2.jpg
  • stackpic0706_031733.jpg
  • stackpic0706_032829.jpg

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#70 UB_Astro

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 09:00 AM

Hi Astrowl,

 

Great project.  I have been thinking about ways to do low cost "night vision" astronomical observation.  I looked at the Sony Starvis sensors spec and think this might be a solution.  Apparently you did it.

 

I understand that your setup essentially is a Raspberry Pi with the sensor and LCD connected as a standalone unit.  Just a technical question, do you set up the IMX462 as a webcam or you connect it to the CSI port of Pi?  I currently use a Raspberry Pi HQ camera for astrophotography.  My original plan is to explore EAA using the HQ camera but the sensitivity is too low.

 

I really like your Live View feature as even stacking will take time.  A simple Live VIew setup will make a straight electronics NV type solution.



#71 Astrowl

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Posted 01 October 2022 - 07:09 AM

Hi Astrowl,

 

Great project.  I have been thinking about ways to do low cost "night vision" astronomical observation.  I looked at the Sony Starvis sensors spec and think this might be a solution.  Apparently you did it.

 

I understand that your setup essentially is a Raspberry Pi with the sensor and LCD connected as a standalone unit.  Just a technical question, do you set up the IMX462 as a webcam or you connect it to the CSI port of Pi?  I currently use a Raspberry Pi HQ camera for astrophotography.  My original plan is to explore EAA using the HQ camera but the sensitivity is too low.

 

I really like your Live View feature as even stacking will take time.  A simple Live VIew setup will make a straight electronics NV type solution.

Hi UB_Astro, sensor is connected to CSI, but it does not make a big difference to connect it to USB. I already test the Raspberry Pi HQ for EAA and it does not deliver interesting result. The IMX462 is far more light sensitive on nearly all visible spectrum and also on IR. The live view is really interesting because you get a direct view of the target, like looking the sky with unaided eyes, but using the high senstivity of the sensor. That's the way The Ardent (who makes a post on CN EAA forum) use this box in live view and he gets really nice results.

 

In my opinion the value added of such system is the stacking view, because all the clever part of the software is there.

But I am happy to see that there is not only one way to use the Astrowl Box.



#72 Astrowl

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Posted 01 October 2022 - 07:13 AM

I will soonly release the 1.08 version of the software, which will bring a new DSO auto align frames algorithm for the stack view.

Parameters that you can set from user interfaces, will also have a normalize value (from 0 to 100) rather than their own range of values. Which far more convenient and simplify user inputs. And also lot of more small technical improvments.


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#73 Astrowl

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Posted 01 October 2022 - 07:16 AM

And also one more Jupiter pictures caught few days ago using Stack View.

I will soonly come back to DSO to catch galaxies and nebulae and will post some snapshot 

 

Below picture was done with a Takahashi Mewlon 180mm, so imagine what you could do with a 200 or 250mm scope...

This is a nearly 300 stack frames of Jupiter using internal Sharpen and Gauss Blur filters.

 

I was really doubtful about what this system could deliver on planetary targets, but I am happy to see that I can catch more details that unaided eyes. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20220918_105137.jpg.82724ea4e81fcbd23eb358e0d66492f4.jpg

Edited by Astrowl, 01 October 2022 - 07:19 AM.


#74 UB_Astro

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Posted 06 October 2022 - 02:55 AM

I read the other post in EAA on this Astrowl Box.  The live images from Ardent are really good.  This however raises more questions.

 

I am using a Raspberry PI HQ Camera for astrophotography.  I normally use 10s as the sub exposure time.  Here is one sample sub of NGC7789 I took a couple of days ago.

NGC7789_10s_org.jpg

 

The background is rather bright when compared to those post by Ardent.  Maybe the light pollution is much worse in my case (I live in Hong Kong).

 

I took the image and move the black point up and get this.

NGC7789_10s_bp.jpg

 

My question is do you process the live images in the Astrowl Box to get an optimal contrast?


Edited by UB_Astro, 06 October 2022 - 02:59 AM.


#75 Astrowl

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Posted 06 October 2022 - 06:42 AM

Hi UB Astro, yes you can adjust parameters of live view and darken the background if you want.

But I also guess that The Ardent switch to Expert Mode and adjust some other parameters.




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