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EIZO wrote:I admire people who try different things but i don't think I will bother
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:19 pm
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Aratus wrote:I haven't got a web site or anything that describes building an All Sky Camera from scratch. As you can see , it is mostly from bits of scrap. Using a Raspberry Pi and a PiCamera does have its limitations, but I've recently used image manipulation in Python to add 5 images together which brings out all the 1st magnitude stars.
Basically it uses a Raspberry Pi - and an adapted PiCamera. The one I used eventually was this one
The temperature in the transparent plastic dome is measured by the simple DS18B20 Temperature Sensor.
To provide control of the heating element (to stop dew formation), and to give the poor enclosed Raspberry Pi some cooling with a fan, I use the PiFace https://www.modmypi.com/raspberry-pi/relays-and-home-automation-1032/relay-boards-1033/piface-digital-2-io-expansion-board-model-b-plus There are other boards with relays which would do just as well.
Eventually I fed a 12v supply to the housing, and used a cheap car USB socket which gives out 5v for the Raspberry Pi, and 12v for the fan and heater. The latest Raspberry Pi 3 uses a little bit too much power for the USB socket, so I use an old Raspberry Pi 2. Another alternative is to use a Raspberry Pi Zero, which as well as using less power is cheaper and smaller. The images it produces are kept on the Pi memory and read by a PC on the same wifi network.
The housing is an inverted plastic paint container. The dome is a cheap one used for an underwater camera.
I just use Python to program a routine to take the photo, control the fan, and heater. I'm just learning to use it as I go along. All the documentation for the camera is here, along with examples of python code. https://picamera.readthedocs.io/en/release-1.13/install.html
If you would like to build something similar then start with getting the Raspberry Pi (zero?) and the camera, and learn to take photos using python. Then you can build it into a container fitting the temperature probe, heater and fan. You need some kind of relay board for the fan and heater, but the probe connects straight to the Pi. Some nichrome wire on a piece of oven seal cloth for the heater.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Your questions and my answers will help others who want to give it a go. The chances are that you could come up with different or better solutions than me.