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Al.Grant

All Sky Cam: 29 Dec 2019

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Al.Grant

Having a few days break over New Year in the southern part of Snowdonia National Park.

Hoping for some clear skies I took my All-Sky camera with me and set it up hoping to catch something.

I'm not totally happy with the camera settings yet, this camera has a lot of noise, but it's a good starting point.

 

Luckily we got some nice clear skies and early in the evening I caught Elon Musk's Starlink chain passing over .....  lots more of Mr Musk's astro-interference to come ☹️

 

I also caught a nice bright meteor

DJs3FAN.png

 

And in the early hours I got what I think was an Iridium flare.  It was split over 2 images but started dim, brightened up and then dimmed again.

I put the 2 imges together in an animated gif and this was the result

W3wwXsb.gif

I plan on properly merging the 2 images when I get home but for now the gif is all I could manage.

 

 

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful, but (apart from the noise) I'm happy that the camera and software are working in a 'portable' set up with the Stick PC.

Centre/Right is NE  -  Centre/Left is SW

Orion can be seen moving anti-clockwise to the left of the screen

 

 

Al

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brady

The more i see posts from you and Graham the more im getting drawn into this, the wife was wondering yesterday why one of our security cameras was pointing skyward....i didnt answer...i can count on one hand the clear nights ive had this year and nearly all of those are on work nights so this could be an alternative to keep my hand in, as this diy hobby has picked up some pace ive noticed there are more and more sites offering their "advice" on what to buy and construct, starts getting confusing when they dont agree, can any of you two recommend a place/site to start on which cameras/enclosures/software to look into?

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Al.Grant

Hi,

I first set up my radio meteor detector partly due to reasons you mention - clear skies always seem to be on nights I can't stay up due to work etc.

Also I've got an interest in that side of things having spent half my life in the Navy listening in to radio siganls.

 

You're right on the amount of info on the best way to build these things and I've probably taken info onboard from a few of them without following any one in particular.

 

There is an article here from Sky at Night that covers the basics.  Although they don't use an enclosure. 

https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/advice/how-to-make-a-simple-all-sky-camera/

I wouldn't be putting my camera out all night unattended without some form of enclosure/dome in case it rained.

But if you have a suitable camera and want to do a test run for a few hours then it should be fine for a quick go and will give you an idea on if it's something you want to do without spending too much time or ££ on it.

 

For the all-sky camera I use an ASI120mm, it seems to be a very popular choice for these cameras but my main reason was that I already had one and the lens that came with my 120mm works fine for all-sky viewing.  That said I have now changed mine for a 1.55mm f2  lens with a 200 degree FoV

 

I was looking at a few software options for recording the images when I found AllSkEye , which is free and although officially still beta software, I'm pretty happy with the way it works.  It's not perfect by any means and the meteor detection option needs more work but so far it connects to the camera without any issue and records without fail and I like a number of the features it has, so for now I'll stick with it.

 

Without wanting to sound like one of those 'do it this way' types 😁  One thing I would certainly include is some form of dew heater!

The first night I tried it I didn't include a heater and although the sky was clear I got about an hours worth of recording before the dome fogged up. 

Since adding a heater it will run all night without any fogging at all.  A normal dew band worked fine, but I ended up ordering one of these as it fits around the

ASI120mm and inside the dome really well.   https://www.dewcontrol.com/Dew_Heater_Module_-_All_Sky_Camera/p3099125_19045496.aspx

 

In the end it comes down to getting a suitable camera looking at the sky and recording what it sees .......  lots of ways that can be achieved.

I think the choice of camera probably dictates what sort of build you need. 

Many CCTV enclosures already include heater elements - I think Graham uses one of these.

I want to be able to take my camera with us to remote/dark sites, so it needs to be fairly small and mobile and I built one from a waterproof electrical junction box, cut a hole in the top and dropped a dome on top and have it running on a Stick PC rather than a laptop.  If I do another camera to run at home all the time I'll probably do it differently.

 

Al

 

 

 

 

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Brady

Cheers Al, just joined AllSkyEye, going to filter through the site when im approved, look forward to delving a bit deeper into this and thanks for all the info..much appreciated...

Wayne

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