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I'm afraid this will be yet another DIY all sky camera build! 😂 Hopefully interesting though... While developing my all sky software (shameless plug, see signature) one of the biggest problems is that I don't actually have a permanent all sky camera setup myself. I live in the middle of a big city with massive light pollution where the summer temperatures are just creeping up to 40C+, not ideal... So for a while I have been thinking about setting up a remote all sky camera to help with the testing of the AllSkEye app. Initially the idea was to mount it at a relatives house but then once I looked into what would be required to make it fully remote controllable I was thinking that if I go to all that trouble, I might as well look for a location with great weather and dark skies.
After a few inquiries I got a really great response from Jose at the E-Eye remote hosting facility in Spain. This was fantastic news because not only will the camera have nice weather and dark skies but the facility also has fibre broadband which is almost a must for what I have in mind further down the road (I am also planning to transfer some image data to cloud storage for archiving and further processing and that could potentially be a lot of data). So this is where it is going to go (all being well and my 3D printer not packing up!
I'll try to follow my progress here, maybe it will be helpful for someone. The basic idea is pretty simple:
Setup a completely autonomous and remotely controllable all sky camera Sounds easy enough... Well, let me tell you, it is not! To anyone having setup your own remotely hosted scope setup, my hat off to you, it's not an easy task! Initially I split this project into two parts:
The camera, lens, housing and everything that goes with it The control box that will control the above Unfortunately I don't have time just now to go into any details but will hopefully be able to do so soon. I just though if I don't start this thread soon I never will 😀. The state of play at the moment is that the control box is pretty complete and the camera housing is nearing completion (3D printer is very busy, not a fast manufacturing process unfortunately).
Here are a few pictures of what it looks like at the moment:
I'm still new to astronomy in general, my setup is explained in my previous post. I am trying to get plate solving working.
I can get results from Astrometry.net, and I can get All Sky Plate Solver to solve when given an image file, but I am trying to get it to work with my ZWO ASI224MC direct.
When I try "Click, Solve & Sync" I get an error "Camera array data unsupported."
I have my camera connected with ASCOM as ASI Camera (1). The Image Type options are Raw8, Raw16 and Y8. Raw16 is selected and seems to be the default. I have tried the others and they all produce the same error. I've tried it with and without MonoBin. Binning is set to 1 and Subframe to 100% (50% tried). Filter is blank.
I can connect to the camera in SharpCap via ASCOM (although it warns that it prefers native drivers). I've also tried the SharpCap native Plate solver with the astrometrics install from ASPS, it tries to solve takes a while, but can't find a solution. I also tried AstroTortilla, that reads from the camera but just returns "No solution in 0.0s".
I've tried a Google search for the ASPS error but it doesn't find anything. I have checked only one application has the ASCOM camera at once. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Allsky camera and weather station is very important parts of the modern observatory.
Here I wanna describe project that I build for my observatory.
I started a new topic because I believe that this project is unique and I hope this description may be useful because project is open source/open hardware.
This device contains two cameras, one is for beautiful daytime shots (over the horizon) and second for useful night shots. Also there is a lot of sensors: clouds, ir, light, temperature and humidity.
Heart of the device is Raspberry PI 2 microcomputer.
Everything is built in waterproof electrical box which can be found in hardware stores.
Yep this exterior is not very nice looking due to silicone sealant. But nice looking is not most important part, especially when mounting device somewhere on a roof
Acrylic dome is from CCTV camera.
Inside the box I glued a thermal insulation and copper foil which acts like a EMI shield. This foil is connected to the building grounding circuits.
All devices inside the box:
- Raspberry PI 2
- internal temperature/humidity sensor
- powering system (+3.3, +5, +12 volts)
- ethernet lightning protection
- tsl2561 ir/luminosity sensor
- mlx90614 cloud sensor
- cooling system
- rtc with a back-up baterry
External temperature/humidity sensor is mounted in separate aluminium can.
Cameras module is mounted on the bronze pcb stands and will be described below.
Raspberry PI runs all device software except database and long-time storage of the images.
Camera can be accessed through simple web interface which running on nginx server.
All data collecting and generation software is wrote on C, Python and Bash.
All processes is starting by the CRON.
Database is working on the remote server with reliable storage system and can be accessed through network. I'm using Mysql in this project.
I found that this solution is more reliable and convenient rather than local storage on the SD card.
All images are postprocessed by the software. Dark frames is extracted (only for night camera) and generated some text information on the bottom of the image.
Setting up all the software on my win10 laptop and getting things to talk to one another is a nightmare.
I'm starting a new thread, so I can post all the problems I am having, one at a time, so issues don't get confused. This will also hopefully help anyone coming to similar situations later, as the problems and answers will not be interlaced.
First issue: APT does not detect ZWO camera.
I have got the camera (ZWO) drivers installed and sharpcap can see it and will connect to it properly. However, when I try to connect the camera in APT, the only CCD options it gives me are SBIG (which it isn't), QSI (which it isn't) and ASCOM. Now it shouldn't need to use an ascom driver, because the proper driver is installed, but I give it a go anyway, and this just offers me 2 simulators and 3 QHY cameras (I have one qhy driver installed for the guidecam .... I'll get to that later!). I have disconnected both the filterwheel and guide camera from the camera hub, so they cannot be interefering with the process.
I am at a total loss ... any suggestions?