Date   

Re: Equipment for an observatory

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Very True, but manageable: I operated my remote observatory for 10 years and had a CW. I had two models , one for winter and one for summer.
It is good with heavy clouds, it is tricky with low clouds.
During summer, I decided for a model that was a little bit too permissive, and usually had to eliminate a number of frames due to low clouds. Cross matching fwhm and CW values in ccdap  helps in finding the right parameters. If you add an all sky camera it should be even easier.
Andrea

Il giorno dom 23 ago 2020 alle 18:59 Greg Salyer <astronutcase@...> ha scritto:
I find the CloudWatcher to NOT be reliable (at least for cloud detection). The problem is you have to setup various temperatures that imply when clouds are present - and those values change throughout the year. When you get the settings right the device works well but you never know what the settings should be.

Greg

On Aug 23, 2020, at 11:13 AM, Eric Claeys <AstroEric@...> wrote:













Greg,




If your CloudWatcher is reliable,  why are you using an all sky camera instead?




Or did you mean to say the CW is UNreliable?





















Re: Equipment for an observatory

Greg Salyer
 

I find the CloudWatcher to NOT be reliable (at least for cloud detection). The problem is you have to setup various temperatures that imply when clouds are present - and those values change throughout the year. When you get the settings right the device works well but you never know what the settings should be.

Greg

On Aug 23, 2020, at 11:13 AM, Eric Claeys <AstroEric@...> wrote:


Greg,
If your CloudWatcher is reliable,  why are you using an all sky camera instead?
Or did you mean to say the CW is UNreliable?


Re: Equipment for an observatory

Eric Claeys
 

Greg,
If your CloudWatcher is reliable,  why are you using an all sky camera instead?
Or did you mean to say the CW is UNreliable?


Re: Equipment for an observatory

Worsel
 

Dale

I am trying to do the same, but more pedestrian, compared to yours, for my feeble brain.  ZWO 290 with the same lens in the Unihedron enclosure.  Let us know how yours goes!!  Always looking for better options.

Would you be willing, once operational, to share your wiring diagrams for those of us who can solder but not design?!

Bryan


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 <astronutcase@gmail.com> 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?

Greg

On Aug 22, 2020, at 7:58 PM, Dale Ghent <daleg@elemental.org> 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 (https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky/blob/master/README.md) 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.

/dale

On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:56 PM, Greg Salyer <astronutcase@gmail.com> 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.

Gre

On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:47 PM, Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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!

Bryan




Re: Equipment for an observatory

Greg Salyer
 

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?

Greg

On Aug 22, 2020, at 7:58 PM, Dale Ghent <daleg@elemental.org> 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 (https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky/blob/master/README.md) 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.

/dale

On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:56 PM, Greg Salyer <astronutcase@gmail.com> 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.

Gre

On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:47 PM, Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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!

Bryan



Re: Equipment for an observatory

Dale Ghent
 

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 (https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky/blob/master/README.md) 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.

/dale

On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:56 PM, Greg Salyer <astronutcase@gmail.com> 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.

Gre

On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:47 PM, Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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!

Bryan


1100 Action Tonight

Bill Long
 

Loving this combo with the full frame CMOS chip.

 


Re: Equipment for an observatory

Greg Salyer
 

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


Gre


On Aug 22, 2020, at 5:47 PM, Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion@...> 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!

Bryan


Re: Equipment for an observatory

Worsel
 

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!

Bryan


Re: Spiderwebs in the sky

REDIGER-LIZLOV Didier
 

Hello
Don't forger Moravian, a corps from central Europe

Didier

Le 22 août 2020 18:04, Bill Long <bill@...> a écrit :
In Finger Lakes, no less. 😉 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Greg Salyer <astronutcase@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 7:06 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spiderwebs in the sky
 

I believe FLI cameras are made in New York

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Michael Hambrick via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 10:03 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spiderwebs in the sky

 

Thanks Dean That's good to know. I thought that with the sole exception of the SBIG cameras from Diffraction Limited (which are made in Canada), almost all the others came from China.


Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO

TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...



Re: Equipment for an observatory

Greg Salyer
 

I also have a Cloud Watcher but I’ve found it to reliable - instead I use an AllSky camera

On Aug 22, 2020, at 1:53 PM, Eric Claeys <AstroEric@...> wrote:


Ron 
I have a couple Digital Loggers - one for each scope.
Thanks for the tip on the CloudWatcher.  Do you find it to be accurate with respect to clouds?

Eric


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

Karen Christen
 

Oooooo you guys are finding my weak spots.  If Moose needs a home, send him on over.

Karen

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Harley Davidson
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 12:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Notification Question

 

Karen

Would you take a well trained dog in trade to expedite my Mach2 order :)

tony

On 8/22/2020 12:47 PM, Karen Christen wrote:

Hey Astronuts,

 

You’ve been very patient waiting on notification for the Mach2GTO.  Michael is correct that we are quite busy with notifications for the 92mm Stowaway and 130GTX scopes.  We exhausted the old Mach1 notification list so we will be notifying folks who signed up on the Mach2 list beginning April 4, 2019.  Be assured that, although we have not begun Mach2 notification, production of the second run of mounts is steadily progressing.  We are still forecasting shipment of the first mounts in late Fall / early Winter.  I’m sorry to deprive some of you of the anticipation, but once you order you won’t have to wait long to get your brand-spanking new Mach2!

 

Wishing you clear skies,

Karen Christen

AP

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Larry Phillips
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 9:12 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 Notification Question

 

How about a status update on Mach2 notifications?  Anything you can share?
Larry


--

_._,_._

 


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Equipment for an observatory

Eric Claeys
 

Ron 
I have a couple Digital Loggers - one for each scope.
Thanks for the tip on the CloudWatcher.  Do you find it to be accurate with respect to clouds?

Eric


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

Harley Davidson
 

Karen

Would you take a well trained dog in trade to expedite my Mach2 order :)

tony

On 8/22/2020 12:47 PM, Karen Christen wrote:

Hey Astronuts,

 

You’ve been very patient waiting on notification for the Mach2GTO.  Michael is correct that we are quite busy with notifications for the 92mm Stowaway and 130GTX scopes.  We exhausted the old Mach1 notification list so we will be notifying folks who signed up on the Mach2 list beginning April 4, 2019.  Be assured that, although we have not begun Mach2 notification, production of the second run of mounts is steadily progressing.  We are still forecasting shipment of the first mounts in late Fall / early Winter.  I’m sorry to deprive some of you of the anticipation, but once you order you won’t have to wait long to get your brand-spanking new Mach2!

 

Wishing you clear skies,

Karen Christen

AP

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Larry Phillips
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 9:12 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 Notification Question

 

How about a status update on Mach2 notifications?  Anything you can share?
Larry


--

_._,_._


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

Karen Christen
 

Hey Astronuts,

 

You’ve been very patient waiting on notification for the Mach2GTO.  Michael is correct that we are quite busy with notifications for the 92mm Stowaway and 130GTX scopes.  We exhausted the old Mach1 notification list so we will be notifying folks who signed up on the Mach2 list beginning April 4, 2019.  Be assured that, although we have not begun Mach2 notification, production of the second run of mounts is steadily progressing.  We are still forecasting shipment of the first mounts in late Fall / early Winter.  I’m sorry to deprive some of you of the anticipation, but once you order you won’t have to wait long to get your brand-spanking new Mach2!

 

Wishing you clear skies,

Karen Christen

AP

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Larry Phillips
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 9:12 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 Notification Question

 

How about a status update on Mach2 notifications?  Anything you can share?
Larry


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Spiderwebs in the sky

Bill Long
 

In Finger Lakes, no less. 😉 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Greg Salyer <astronutcase@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 7:06 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spiderwebs in the sky
 

I believe FLI cameras are made in New York

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Michael Hambrick via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 10:03 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spiderwebs in the sky

 

Thanks Dean That's good to know. I thought that with the sole exception of the SBIG cameras from Diffraction Limited (which are made in Canada), almost all the others came from China.


Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO

TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...


Re: Spiderwebs in the sky

Bill Long
 

Starlight XPress cameras are made in the UK and service is available in the US. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Michael Hambrick via groups.io <mike.hambrick@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 7:14 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spiderwebs in the sky
 
Thanks Greg. Even better to know that there is a domestic source.


Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...


Re: Equipment for an observatory

Rob Torrey
 

I use this bug zapper:
https://smile.amazon.com/Aspectek-Upgraded-Electronic-Zapper-Insect/dp/B07F3NH96Q
You can turn it on and off via a digital timer or remotely via a Digital Loggers switch. You can also use Visual Basic scripts to control the DL outlets. 

My DL switches control many devices, including a red LED spotlight aimed on the scope. Using USB cameras I can make sure the roof opens, the scope slews correctly, and everything is properly closed after imaging. (I tried a full time day/night security camera inside the observatory but the infrared tended to fog my images).
The astronomers at New Mexico Skies (just east  of Cloudcroft!) should be a wealth of good information. 

On Aug 21, 2020, at 7:22 PM, Ron Kramer <ronkramer1957@...> wrote:


Digital loggers SWITCH so you don't need to leave everything powered on all the time. 
I also love my CloudWatcher solo system. 
IP cameras if you don't already have them inside. 


On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 8:09 PM Eric Claeys <AstroEric@...> wrote:
Thanks everyone for suggesting mice/rat equipment.  I'll check what critters are common where the observatory is (unfortunately, rattler snakes are one of them).

SeismicGeo,
Bees/wasps are also a problem where my observatory will be.  A bug zapper is a good idea.  Do you have one you particularly like?

Christopher, thanks for the suggestions.

I have two 1500 VA APC UPS (one for each PC/scope) and can remotely access them to determine health.  The roof motor has its own UPS.

I like the idea of something to monitor the front door.  I'll already be able to monitor the roof.

There will be two remote-controlled cameras.  I need to ask if they have IR.

Spare parts and tools are already on my list, as well as waterproof boxes.

Good idea on periodic maintenance schedule, and laminated emergency contact list.

There will be a couple rain sensors that can close the roof.  The guy that built the observatory doesn't like cloud sensors, but I'd feel more comfortable with one that can close the roof.

The roof can close regardless of where the scopes are pointed.

The door has a key and the guy that built the observatory will have a copy.

The observatory is in an astronomical village - New Mexico Skies Enclave, so there are several other observatories and people nearby that can help in an emergency.



--


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

Michael Hambrick <mike.hambrick@...>
 

I know that the A-P folks have been busy. I was notified on the 19th that they have a 92mm Stowaway for me.


Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...

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