Re: Equipment for an observatory

Dale Ghent

The sensor is quite sensitive enough to produce very nice sky images at night. The IMX462 is based on Sony's 6th gen sensor tech, which includes back-illuminated thick silicon. This enables particularly high QE in the NIR compared to older CMOS designs. I'm interested in seeing how well it does elucidating clouds and dust that might be too faint to pick up using sensors that are not as sensitive in NIR. If not, I can easily switch the camera out for something more pedestrian, such as one based on the IMX290.

On Aug 22, 2020, at 8:36 PM, Greg Salyer <> wrote:

sounds good but I do question using a color sensor for an All Sky camera. Why? A mono will yield more stars and higher resolution (which isn’t great). I’m not sure you’d actually see any star color anyway. Have you tried it?


On Aug 22, 2020, at 7:58 PM, Dale Ghent <> wrote:

I'm currently building my own all-sky camera that incorporates a camera that uses the IMX462 color sensor (1920x1080, 2.9um pixels) and uses the same 1.55mm CS-mount lens made by Arecont Vision that the Oculus has. Inside the same housing will be a SQM from Unihedron, internal and ambient temperature, air pressure, and humidity sensors.

It's all wired into a single Rapsberry Pi 3 - USB for the camera (QHY5-III-462C) and Unihedron, and the GPIO pins for the various sensors. The software stack is a combination of Thomas Jacquin's all-sky management software ( and stuff that I'm writing in Python. The sensor data will be exposed via ASCOM ObservingConditions Alpaca driver over the RPi's wireless network connection. I'm debating adding a GPS/GNSS receiver so that the RPi can also act as a stratum 0 time server.

I figure around $600 in bits and parts by the time I'm done, with the bulk of the cost being the camera and SQM.


On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:56 PM, Greg Salyer <> wrote:

I'm using an Oculus All Sky camera by Starlight Xpress. It’s been active 24/7 for several years now without any problem.


On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:47 PM, Worsel via <> wrote:
CW works by measuring the temperature upwards via an IR sensor. Clouds will be 'warmer' than clear sky. The CW can also measure relative humidity, ambinet temp, presence of rain, and sky brightness, but it is not nearly as sensitive as an SQM. You can only fit so much on a small package.

Mine has been reliable at measurement; whether or not its predictions of clouds, etc are reliable as a different issue. Not been a problem so far.

Greg: What brand all-sky are you using? Thanks!


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