Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Deck Engineering (Backyard Observatory Part 2: Operations)

  • Please log in to reply
243 replies to this topic

#1 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 24 August 2023 - 09:20 AM

This is the continuation of the original thread..., this time the focus being operations, optimizations and enhancements since core build/setup is pretty much complete.

 

 

Dome (SkyShed Pod) and the Warming Shed are production now for the most part but the Secondary Pier hasn't had its light of day, solar being the primary goal. Regards

 

 

Question: I am in need of an all sky camera, ideas/suggestion welcome? I am finding out there are different types of all sky cameras, dedicated for the night or day; are there any that can encompass both?

 

 

 

.

post-205769-0-15558800-1691035041_thumb.


Edited by mmalik, 24 August 2023 - 09:27 AM.

  • skullpin, niteskystargazer and Spikey131 like this

#2 Gary Hug

Gary Hug

    Vendor - StarSync Trackers

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Kansas

Posted 24 August 2023 - 09:33 AM

Check out StarSync Trackers. There is an  an all-sky camera called Astra180.   Price is lower than most on the market.

 

https://starsynctrac...sky-camera-usb/

 

We've started shipping and will have an ad in Astronomy Technology Today. 

 

cheers

Gary


  • drprovi57 and mmalik like this

#3 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 26 August 2023 - 06:31 PM

Thanks Gary!

 

 

After much consideration...

 

 

...I am going to try Oculus PRO 180, Ordering straight from the vendor. Questions I have are what is the best way/place to mount such cameras? I hear they can be loud and vibrating. I get lot of snow and wouldn't want it covered in snow. Mounting in the dome would mean going on the pier and vibrations/noise could be the issue along with any blocking of the view by the CDK14 above.

 

 

If I connect it to the warming shed computer that would mean it would need to be installed somewhere on the (warming) shed. Are there any contraptions for such cameras where they could be articulated to be moved/pushed into action and then retracted once done. Again snow being the baggiest concern for a fully exposed mounting. Your insights welcome, and thanks in advance. Regards

 

 

.


Edited by mmalik, 26 August 2023 - 07:00 PM.


#4 ssa2294

ssa2294

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 319
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2018

Posted 27 August 2023 - 10:23 AM

.., this time the focus being operations, optimizations and enhancements since core build/setup is pretty much complete.

 

Were you aware that SkyShed is coming out with the Pod-S? Dome will be compatible with existing Pod walls. May end up being the most important optimization (it will for me in a couple of years). 



#5 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 28 August 2023 - 08:54 PM

Were you aware that SkyShed is coming out with the Pod-S? Dome will be compatible with existing Pod walls. May end up being the most important optimization (it will for me in a couple of years). 

POD-S...

 

 

...would be (totally) incompatible with CDK-14 since standard POD works with CDK-14 only in PZT mode. Plus I would recommend standard POD for one reason alone, open view of the vistas. I have extensively used S type domes (basically all standard observatories are that) and I find 'em bit limiting and claustrophobic. Regards

 

 

Standard POD shown with CDK-14 in Park Position 1 that requires a decent pier offset

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • POD-S.jpg
  • DSC05507.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 28 August 2023 - 08:56 PM.


#6 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 28 August 2023 - 09:48 PM

Right-angling things...

 

 

POD is such a tight fit for CDK-14 that I am trying to literally gain an inch with right-angled connectors, Especially on the ON side of of the offset, camera gets so close to the top edge of the wall (with dome pushed on to PZT) that I am an inch away from the wall.

 

 

Besides, right-angled connectors are preferred anyway. Don't take such optimizations lightly; besides physics, in the long run you'll have a system that just performs. Following is my recommendation for most such points. Regards

 

 

Note: Reds have been optimized; green (daisy chain) was decommissioned in favor of direct PC connection to CFW, yellow remains pending and will be completed soon.

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05626-.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 28 August 2023 - 10:01 PM.


#7 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 28 August 2023 - 10:34 PM

The System...

 

 

...is so perfect, so rigid and so flawless (...knock on the wood) that you can't get any better than this. You turn things ON, if sky is clear and the system is temp. equalized, all you get is a perfect guiding for exposures as long as you like, ZERO rejects, round stars corner to corner, and an image bursting with signal. Barring the unforeseen, I couldn't ask for more. Regards

 

 

IMPORTANT: All I am trying to say is that due diligence in designing, wiring, attention to detail, and optimizing has gains to be reaped in the performance on a daily basis. Only time I have run into problems was where system was just not temp. equalized, unbeknownst to me at the time and which I learned the hard way with special guidance by non one other than Roland of A-P. My special gratitude to him, along with the workmanship of the folks at Planewave!

 

 

Note: The image is a sample of the performance of the system and should be regarded as such, NOT a library of images to be posted in other forums. A short, Hydrogen and Oxygen integration of the Tulip in ASTAP with negligible post in Lightroom; no calibration other than dark.
 

 

Note: Take the orthogonality numbers with a grain of salt unless you are 100% sure what you are doing. There are anomalies unrelated to orthogonality, especially temp. changes that appear as tilt. If in doubt, run the fans of CDK14 to get the plumes out even in an equalized system.

 

 

Note: Most OAG anomalies will also be the results of temp. changes reeking havoc on the system. If in doubt, run the CDK14 fans to get the guiding corrected to perfection.

 

 

Too many optimizations to list here; more in coming posts.

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Ortho.jpg
  • no_object, 2023-08-26, 10x600R 8x600G 8x0L, (Slot5 Slot6), QHY600M_average_stacked-.jpg

Edited by mmalik, 28 August 2023 - 10:47 PM.

  • wachuko likes this

#8 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 02 September 2023 - 08:35 AM

Right-angling things...

 

 

POD is such a tight fit for CDK-14 that I am trying to literally gain an inch with right-angled connectors, Especially on the ON side of of the offset, camera gets so close to the top edge of the wall (with dome pushed on to PZT) that I am an inch away from the wall.

 

Gaining an inch...

 

 

On side of the offset cuts quite close to the POD walls. Pic shows the completed right-angled cables. Cable specifics in the coming posts.

 

 

Note: Daisy-chain cable form the camera to the CFW was decommissioned in favor of a direct PC connection to the CFW.

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05671-.JPG

  • wachuko likes this

#9 ozzyel

ozzyel

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Coahuila, Mexico

Posted 03 September 2023 - 08:17 PM

Here is the image you asked on my post

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

thanks



#10 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 07 September 2023 - 08:39 PM

Gaining an inch...

 

 

On side of the offset cuts quite close to the POD walls. Pic shows the completed right-angled cables. Cable specifics in the coming posts.

 

ON side of the offset...

 

 

...cuts pretty close to the top edge of the wall. Good thing is and all the testing I have done shows that camera clears wall with about an inch to spare. That's close but lucky nonetheless. Regards

 

 

Note: There are benefits of course on the OFF side and that's where I park the scope in 'Position 1'. Offset is important because you do need decent amount of space on one side but do factor in how close you may get on the other side.

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05714-.JPG


#11 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:46 PM

Ended up going with this (180º) sky cam...

 

 

...but is is in noisy and vibratroy as hell. Is it supposed to be that way? There is a noise suppression ring it comes with; details in the next post. Regards

 

 

Note: Comes with a spare dome.

 

 

.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05578.JPG
  • DSC05581.JPG


#12 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:54 PM

Ferrite Ring...

 

 

...I have yet to try this but is it supposed to suppress noise that much? What about the vibrations?

 

 

My initials thoughts are that such a system can't be near a mount/pier (...and definitely not on 'em). If that's the case where would you mount such a noisy and vibrating system? How would you protect it from the rain/hail/snow? Would you mount it outside or inside the observatory? If inside, how you are supposed to check for clouds; does that mean it is intended for outside mounting? Can it withstand harsh weather, the elements? Is it supposed to be waterproof? Curious, before I have a chance to test it myself.

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05798+.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 07 September 2023 - 10:56 PM.


#13 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:56 PM

LIttle stuff...

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05800.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 07 September 2023 - 11:02 PM.


#14 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 07 September 2023 - 11:07 PM

Question: I am in need of an all sky camera, ideas/suggestion welcome? I am finding out there are different types of all sky cameras, dedicated for the night or day; are there any that can encompass both?



Questions I have are what is the best way/place to mount such cameras? I hear they can be loud and vibrating. I get lot of snow and wouldn't want it covered in snow. Mounting in the dome would mean going on the pier and vibrations/noise could be the issue along with any blocking of the view by the CDK14 above.
 
 
If I connect it to the warming shed computer that would mean it would need to be installed somewhere on the (warming) shed. Are there any contraptions for such cameras where they could be articulated to be moved/pushed into action and then retracted once done. Again snow being the baggiest concern for a fully exposed mounting. Your insights welcome, and thanks in advance. Regards

 

With no insights...

 

 

  ...from any of you (just onlookers), I am   gonna have to improvise not having to have much in the knowhow of skycamming. So this is my contraption that I am going to try with the skycam. Details later. Regards
 
 
.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05719.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 07 September 2023 - 11:44 PM.


#15 archer1960

archer1960

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,709
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern New England

Posted 08 September 2023 - 05:26 AM

Ferrite Ring...

 

 

...I have yet to try this but is it supposed to suppress noise that much? What about the vibrations?

 

 

My initials thoughts are that such a system can't be near a mount/pier (...and definitely not on 'em). If that's the case where would you mount such a noisy and vibrating system? How would you protect it from the rain/hail/snow? Would you mount it outside or inside the observatory? If inside, how you are supposed to check for clouds; does that mean it is intended for outside mounting? Can it withstand harsh weather, the elements? Is it supposed to be waterproof? Curious, before I have a chance to test it myself.

 

 

.

The ferrite is for electrical noise. It will do nothing for audible noise or vibrations.



#16 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 08 September 2023 - 09:58 AM

The ferrite is for electrical noise. It will do nothing for audible noise or vibrations.

Thanks; I was wondering the same.

 

 

Regardless, why so much audible noise and vibrations on a premium offering like this one?

 

 

.



#17 archer1960

archer1960

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,709
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern New England

Posted 08 September 2023 - 10:06 AM

Thanks; I was wondering the same.

 

 

Regardless, why so much audible noise and vibrations on a premium offering like this one?

 

 

.

No idea; bad sample, maybe? I'd send it back for a replacement.



#18 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 08 September 2023 - 10:04 PM

Will check...

 

 

...but I highly doubt it is sampling; fan seems to gradually rev. up to its full speed and then just a constant humming of the fan running. Same would be the source of vibrations. Given the skycam and somewhat distant operations, they may not have paid much attention to noise. Annoying nonetheless; will update what I find out. Regards

 

 

.

 



#19 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 08 September 2023 - 10:19 PM

...I am   gonna have to improvise not having to have much in the knowhow of skycamming. So this is the contraption that I am going to try with the skycam. Details later. Regards



A preliminary test of the skycam...
 
 
...sky is just a small slit in the middle form its parked/retracted position of sort (...sandwiched between the warming shed and the dome). Production/extended position will have more view of the sky. More on the installation & mounting in coming posts. Regards

 

 

60 sec exposure

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • HomePosition+.jpg

Edited by mmalik, 09 September 2023 - 03:27 AM.


#20 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 09 September 2023 - 03:58 AM

Slit view...

 

 

...as clouds roll in. Regards

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • HomePosition_Cloudy.jpg

Edited by mmalik, 09 September 2023 - 03:58 AM.

  • wachuko likes this

#21 archer1960

archer1960

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,709
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern New England

Posted 09 September 2023 - 08:15 AM

Will check...

 

 

...but I highly doubt it is sampling; fan seems to gradually rev. up to its full speed and then just a constant humming of the fan running. Same would be the source of vibrations. Given the skycam and somewhat distant operations, they may not have paid much attention to noise. Annoying nonetheless; will update what I find out. Regards

 

 

.

By bad sample, I just mean that you happened to get a bad sample of the camera, and if you get it replaced, you would likely get a good one.



#22 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 09 September 2023 - 07:20 PM

I got your point...

 

 

...the first time around; my point is it is highly unlikely that is the case but will check. Regards

 

 

 

Note: Plus I am not the only one; I am sure there are many more who own this (well-known) camera who fail to chime in for whatever reason. And it shouldn't be this way; defeats the whole purpose of a dialogue if we all end up referring to the manufacturer. Just my take.

 

 

.


Edited by mmalik, 09 September 2023 - 08:57 PM.


#23 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 09 September 2023 - 10:42 PM

Improvising...

 

 

...the articulating arm for the skycam. Nut/bolt/washer are my contributions. Black bracket came with the Skycam. Red arrow points to a threaded hole. I had to create a captive bolt by marring first few threads (green arrow) so I could tighten it in the desired orientation (…otherwise wouldn’t have been able to). Regards

 

 

Note: Nut/bolt specs are the same used at the base of any DSLR/MILC. Articulating arm (monitor mount) is from B&H.

 

 

Note: I also used two-sided heavy-duty 3M tape for additional rigidity along with the bolting.

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05761+.JPG
  • DSC05770.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 09 September 2023 - 11:12 PM.


#24 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 09 September 2023 - 10:57 PM

How it mounts...

 

 

...to the warming shed. While parked, it remains protected under the porch roof. Will get extended for production after opening the dome.

 

 

 

Note: Open dome is required for the arm to fully extend under this implementation.

 

 

.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05771.JPG
  • DSC05778.JPG
  • DSC05782.JPG


#25 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,321
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 09 September 2023 - 10:59 PM

The wiring...

 

 

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC05797.JPG
  • DSC05792.JPG

Edited by mmalik, 10 September 2023 - 12:27 AM.

  • skullpin and wachuko like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics