Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.



  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

297 Excellent

About AngryDonkey

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  1. Hi Gina, I printed my housing with 4mm wall thickness and 100% infill in PETG. Did extensive testing on waterproofness (i.e. drown in bucket for numerous days) and all was well
  2. Hello! A new preview version is now available on the AllSkEye website. The main additions are: Multiple ‘Latest Images’ Multiple Text Overlays Native support for Altair Cameras Output Video Scaling Full details are here: AllSkEye New Preview - Details Mike
  3. Love the images. This thing is a monster!!!
  4. ... or you could buy that Avalon Linear that's been on ABS for a while now (not mine, I just feel a bit sorry fo it...). Second hand, slightly over budget but not by much. Excellent mount, well mine certainly is.
  5. You've obviously got your heart set on something already but don't let that cloud your judgement. 'Confirmation bias' is a dangerous thing, I've been there The big question really is, what else can you get for the same money? From your posts I can't tell if you have fully investigated that avenue but I am sure there are mount and (multiple) scope combinations that could give you similar or even better results (at a similar price) and also provide more flexibility for the future. As has been mentioned above, to start with I would invest in a really good equatorial mount with decent capacity. Once you have that you can build things up slowly and change things around without too much frustration and financial outlay.
  6. Been following your thread with interest!
  7. Thank you! Yes for now I'm pretty happy, working on the next project Sorry no spare housings, I had planned to have a spare but due to user error (turned off the bed heating on my 3D printer during the print by mistake) it came loose and was knocked off the printer. Of course the 3D printer does not realise this and happily continues to print into thin air.... plastic spaghetti... . It takes about 40h to print it so I decided one was enough...
  8. After some fiddling with settings and focus the results were really amazing (compared to what I managed to produce before): Here is a sample video of an entire night: I’ve also managed to capture a few nice meteors since. Here is a big one:
  9. Location / Installation I was really happy that I got such a positive response from Jose Luis at the e-EyE remote hosting facility in Extremadura, Spain! The location is perfect for my needs with low light pollution, clear skies and a fast, fibreoptic connected internet connection. It’s also pretty easy to get to from the main hubs in Europe, which was another consideration as I wanted to go there personally to install it. After all the preparations were completed, I booked a little ‘holiday’ directly at e-Eye. They do have some fantastic facilities with really nice Bungalows, a swimming pool and beautiful surroundings so I decided to stay for three nights to relax! I was really glad I did as it was very peaceful and quiet (no kids - mine I mean ), just what I needed! Once I got there, the team was extremely helpful in getting me up and running and we manage to fix the housing to the control room roof of the new remote hosting complex in no time. The control box was stationed inside the control room and from there it was pretty much plug and play.
  10. I am hoping that the combined heat from the camera and dew heater will keep the top part dew and moisture free. To be on the safe side I've also treated all connections with CorrosionX HD so in theory everything should work underwater . It feels odd though to spray that stuff into the USB ports but apparently it's an excellent conductor (on touching metals) as well as a very strong insulator. Figure that one out, clever stuff!
  11. And onwards to the control box: Control Box For my control box I reused an old PC housing which I still had kicking around, probably from the last century… Here I needed to find space for: The Intel NUC PC A 12V Power supply A 12V to 19V converter to supply the NUC with 19V A relay control box to do all the switching (heater, fan ,focus, reset NUC, reset network switch) – for this I selected a Lunatico Dragonfly controller A network switch to distribute the LAN network A USB switch to allow physical on/off switching of the USB cable to the camera (to reset the camera should it lock up) External connections: USB hub to connect cameras Ethernet port to connect LAN 9 core cable connector for camera housing supply and switching 220V Power supply This was the final layout: I also decided to add a small UPS which supplies the power for the control box and gives around 5 to 10 minutes of operation. It’s also linked to the NUC via a USB cable and will trigger a shutdown if the battery runs out. Dragonfly The Dragonfly control box was a bit of a ‘luxury item’ as I could have done the same with a much cheaper USB or UDP relay board (eventually I think I will swap the Dragonfly out and put it to better use, hopefully for my own remote scope setup ). It is very convenient though as you can reach it directly from anywhere with an internet connection which is of great help if there are issues with the other components (PC, IP Switch, etc.). Already I’ve used it a couple of times to reboot the PC after some dubious Windows updates where the PC would not respond to Teamviewer anymore. The Dragonfly is also becoming much smarter with every update. You can run internal scripts as well as internal macros which are ideal for watcher functions such as reboot the switch or PC if no internet connection for x seconds and such like. Clever piece of kit! PC / Software The PC is a small form factor Intel NUC i5 machine which is more than capable of running the whole setup and has plenty of connectivity to make everything work. On the USB side I also included a Yepkit USB switchable hub which basically allows you to remotely switch a USB connection as if you had physically unplugged the cable. I though this might come in useful if the camera/USB connection locks up which mostly requires unplugging of the device. In practice I’ve not ever actually needed it so far which I guess is a good thing! Better safe than sorry. For PC remote control I am using Teamviewer which seems to work pretty well and is reasonably fast (as well as free!). The camera is of course run by the latest preview build of AllSkEye ! Luckily the internet connection is fast, so uploading the latest images to my, as well as the e-Eye website via ftp is no problem at all. All other files are kept locally at the moment but I do have plans to export original fits files for further processing and archiving at some point. AllSkEye is also controlling the fan and heater inside the camera. This is done via the AllSkEye trigger mechanism and scripts that are called when certain conditions occur. At the time of writing only the cooling fan is seeing some action. It’s pretty hot during the day and with the greenhouse effect the camera sometimes reaches close to 60 degrees C… Once the winter and/or bad weather arrives I will need to find good trigger points in temperature and humidity to hopefully keep the camera dome dew and frost free. Time will tell!
  12. Not far from the truth, I did consider something like this! But turned out too complex and I was worried that it would leave streaks. A skilled worker with a cloth seems more reliable...
  13. A bit more : Lens and Camera Assembly / Heater / Focus Mechanism In the final design the camera is screwed into a bottom assembly plate which also encloses the camera with four pillars. On top of these pillars sits the heating element holder. The lens is loosely screwed into the camera end thread which allows the focus motor to move it. The camera (ASI 178MC) and lens (Fujinon 1.8mm f/1.8 Fisheye) combination produces a good field of view. It doesn’t quite give a full 180-degree circle but uses the available sensor area pretty well (and leaves some space for the text and logo overlay). Heating / Cooling / De-Misting The heating element was purchased from dewcontrol.com. Having a heating circle seems like a good idea as the heat is dissipated evenly to the dome. I wanted to get the heating element as close as possible, preferably into the dome but discovered that the Fujinon lens was just a little bit too big and it wouldn’t slide over it. So I had to come up with a heating element holder to position the heater in between the camera and the lens. As the dome is fairly small I think this will work well and also ensure that the lens is warmed as well. I wasn’t sure whether I needed any cooling or de-misting mechanism but to be on the safe side I decided to install a small 12V PC fan in any case. The fan draws air from the bottom of the housing and blows it through a small duct past the heating element towards the dome. The housing has small ventilation holes at the very top which will hopefully allow some of the air to escape and produce a small airflow through the dome. Focus Mechanism I was really in two minds whether to include a remote focus mechanism or not i.e. functionality vs. complexity. With hindsight both came true… It is super convenient to focus the lens and works really well but unfortunately it also seems to have a slight problem in that very occasionally it seems to drift just a tiny bit and needs refocusing. It didn’t do that during testing… Anyhow, I’m sure I will get to the bottom of it eventually, certainly on my next visit to e-Eye The focus mechanism consists of two 3D printed gears, one around the lend shaft, the other on a vertical DC motor shaft. There is also a small spring mechanism to push the gears together and prevent the lens from being too loose. This introduces a slight bit of tilt which isn’t very noticeable though. The control mechanism is a very simple turn this way, turn the other way mechanism by changing the polarity of the 12V supply. Connections On the camera side there are two waterproof connectors: USB 9 Core Cable To further protect the connectors from the elements and to prevent bug ingress through the ventilation slits I also added a mesh and bottom lid:
  14. Yes, I know exactly what you mean! It the same in the middle east... Problem here is you get a fine for a dirty car . Yes it will definitely need some elbow grease to keep it clean, I will beg the guys at e-EyE to do it once a month.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.