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happy-kat

Yet Another AllSkyCamera Build

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On 05/06/2018 at 12:01, Gina said:

That lens works rather well with a ZWO ASI185MC camera.  Just slight cropping of the full view at top and bottom but unless you really have views to the horizon all round it won't bother you.  That is what I am using in my ASC.  The camera will work in the daytime as well as at night except in full sunlight when it does overload at minimum exposure.  A DSLR has far too larger a sensor.

You don't have any problems with the sun destroying the sensor? Well, obvisouly not, but that is my main worry about having mine out all day. No problems there?

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No.  It's fine.  Here's an image from last year in full sunlight.  Exposure of 32 microseconds.  I'm just about to put my ASC back out having been doing a few upgrades.

1839300120_Screenshotfrom2017-10-3009-19-38.png.a238d60607fd4c6523fd47fa8c2c50ba.png

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Just now, Gina said:

No.  It's fine.  Here's an image from last year in full sunlight.  Exposure of 32 microseconds.  I'm just about to put my ASC back out having been doing a few upgrades.

1839300120_Screenshotfrom2017-10-3009-19-38.png.a238d60607fd4c6523fd47fa8c2c50ba.png

Nice ^_^ That has been my main fear with my setup. 

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It does overload and could do with some way of reducing the brightness during bright daytime.  Fine if cloudy.  Unfortunately, the lens doesn't have an aperture control.  Some sort of arrangement to introduce a neutral filter into the light path would be good but I haven't been able to devise anything (yet). 

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I still think my idea of putting the lens out of some light reacting sunglasses over the lens would work :grin:

Dave

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That would limit your view of the sky.  An optical dome with reactive coating would work though.  Or maybe an optically flat piece between lens and sensor.  OR...  Get the lens coated with a reactive coating as long as it doesn't affect the anti-reflective coating.

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The reactive coating may only affect the visible spectrum however, whilst the camera may also be sensitive to IR and UV, unless those are blocked by additional filters.

James

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I am not intending to use my all sky camera build during daylight.

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In that case the camera shutter will be closed during daytime and the sensor is safe anyway.  I find clouds fascinating during daylight and an ASC may be useful to watch out for clouds during solar imaging.

Regarding photo-reactive coatings, I gather these respond to UV but I don't know what the pass spectrum is like except that the grey coatings look neutral.  I have photo-reactive coatings (grey) on my glasses as I have over-sensitive eyes.

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I see that some use SharpCap for recording and a mention of something called "allskyeye" but when I look for the latter I get a reference to SkyEye but no software. I have rolled my own which is not exactly optimal, so what experiences so the rest of you have with regard to software?

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Posted (edited)

I too have used SharpCap but now use KStars/Ekos/INDI.  KStars/Ekos on my Linux Mint desktop and INDI drivers and image capture with Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 on the camera and WiFi.  So I only need power to the remote setup atop a 2.5m and soon a 5m mast.

Edited by Gina
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@gentlebear76 if you need to know more Gina has threads covering the all sky camera builds Gina has done with lots of info. I am not going to be using linux on my all sky camera build.

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I have my latest all sky camera on the table to put back together and test.  I think if you don't use a Raspberry Pi, the alternative is a long USB cable for the camera and other wires for the focussing, dew heater, etc.  The focussing and dew heater could be controlled by an Arduino but you'll need to write your own code.

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9 hours ago, gentlebear76 said:

I see that some use SharpCap for recording and a mention of something called "allskyeye" but when I look for the latter I get a reference to SkyEye but no software. I have rolled my own which is not exactly optimal, so what experiences so the rest of you have with regard to software?

You can get access to AllSkEye here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/allskeye-ascom/info

Just click the 'Join Group' button and I'll approve you as soon as I get the Yahoo message. If you have any questions just leave a message in the group or you can also contact me here.

Mike

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@happy-kat @Gina @AngryDonkey Thank you all for your input. I am running a Raspberry pi and wrote my own software using OpenCV. It's clunky and total overkill but the API of the ASI cameras dictated that at the time. I'll take a look at both the INDI stack and at allskyeye. Thanks again 🙂

Michael

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On ‎12‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 11:17, Gina said:

It does overload and could do with some way of reducing the brightness during bright daytime.  Fine if cloudy.  Unfortunately, the lens doesn't have an aperture control.  Some sort of arrangement to introduce a neutral filter into the light path would be good but I haven't been able to devise anything (yet). 

How about a 2 part polarising filter e.g. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Opticstar-1-25-Variable-Polarising-Moon-Filter-UK/322452114002?hash=item4b13a4ca52:g:U0MAAOSwWxNYyA3D 

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Trouble is there isn't enough room between lens and the camera window.

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My 1mm spacer arrived today, although the hole is slightly bigger than a C mount it will work fine for the job in hand. Next I'll cut a few disc spacers from a stiff acetate to pack any remaining space needed for infinity focus.

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It's looking like I won't be using the neximage 5 as whilst it can do long exposure up to 30 seconds the noise is pretty bad.

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On 14/06/2018 at 18:08, Gina said:

Trouble is there isn't enough room between lens and the camera window.

Take the camera window out? I did that and replaced it with a cheap LP filter as it's only held in with the section that unscrews. It sits on an o-ring.

I had to dremmel the LP filter so the diamater was small enough to fit.

I also looked at self dimming material for the dome, but didn't find anything suitable. Admittedly I didn't look that hard!

Unles of course this could go on the LP filter in the camera, rather than the dome? That's an idea...

Also, I don't think there is, but is there a IMX185 mono camera around? If not, why only colour?

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I don't want to modify the camera just to get a bit better daytime image.  Yes, there's (was) a mono version but I want colour.  I used a mono camera earlier but this has disadvantages, principally that you can't tell the difference between black cloud and blue sky.  OK so a mono view is mostly alright for night viewing but it is nice to see the colour of the stars.  The ASI178MM I used earlier is more sensitive and higher resolution but I do prefer colour.

This image was taken a couple of hours ago with full sun.  I am satisfied with this.

Light_001a.thumb.png.2e52c7f6f31d960236e34775ad578486.png

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I suppose it comes down to what the ASC is going to be used for, everyone is different of course. I made mine as a 'something to do', and think I already referenced your builds in the past? I still haven't finished it however!

I currently usethe ASI290 mono, but would consider an 'upgrade' to the 385 colour like yours. Bigger sensor, colour for daytime and star colour at night. Maybe even pick up some colour in the MW on a good night? I can then use the ASI290 for its original intended purpose, high frame rate lunar, solar and planetary.

Your image above has probably made my mind up, thanks!

Apart from more money to spend, booo.

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