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20Instructables531,608Views191CommentsWhitehorse, YT, CanadaJoined November 13th, 2014
Most of the things I build usually relate to either astronomy, physics or woodworking in general.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera1 month ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Frankie, the documentation of the SDK mentions the auto exposure indeed but this hasn't been implemented in the current version of my code. Here are the available options:ASI_AUTO_MAX_GAIN,//maximum gain when auto adjustASI_AUTO_MAX_EXP,//maximum exposure time when auto adjust,unit is secondASI_AUTO_MAX_BRIGHTNESS,//target brightness when auto adjustI will probably try to include those in the future when I get a bit more time to focus on the code. In the meantime, If you are familiar with C++ development, you can modify capture.cpp to include these options.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree1 month ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Giant Sequoias, just like other trees grow by steps. it's true for adult trees and for seedlings. On the first year, your tree might only be 4 inches tall with 2 or 3 branches (it depends what time of year your planted them). Next year it will start growing again from the extremities.I find that my own trees start growing around April and stop around July.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree1 month ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    If there were no secondary roots, it's not very likely to survive. You will know soon if it worked or not. If the leaves turn dark green and soft, it's a bad sign.A general rule for conifers is that they hate being transplanted. That's why it's best to have one seed per pot, so that you don't have to separate to individuals at an early stage.Still, I hope your seedlings make it !

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera1 month ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Telescopator,I'm also french and a telescope builder ;)Long story short: I don't think you'll be able to swap the cameras because the code is based on the Software Development Kit provided by ZWO. So basically, in the code, there are functions such as: ASICameraInfo or ASIGetControlValue... which means that it will only make sense when you are trying to talk to a camera made by ZWO.However, I'm not saying the GP224C can't work with the Raspberry Pi. In order to get it to work, you would need to ask Altair Astro for their SDK and modify capture.cpp. Unfortunately, I don't own an Altair Camera so I can't tell you for sure it would work 100%.I hope that makes sense.Thomas

    Please don't hesitate to ask questions if you're having issues during the installation. I'm glad to help.Also, I forgot to mention that if you want to keep cost down, you can use an ASI120MC-S which is significantly cheaper than the ASI224MC. Maybe a bit less sensitive but if you only use it as an allsky camera, I don't think it would make much difference.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    The problem you'll encounter with the new Pi zero W is that there's no USB ports on it and you need to connect the camera somehow. I would chose a Pi 3 since it's more powerful, has more RAM and has onboard wifi.A lot of meteor survay cameras are using NTSC/PAL video format. Most of them use a high sensitivity camera such as the Sony Super HAD II. You will then need to convert the analog signal to digital. In that case you might be able to get away with the USB ports and use the Pi zero.You mentioned three of the attributes that are crucial to this kind of camera. the larger the pixels, the more signal to noise ratio you will get.Also for a larger resolution, you'll need a larger sensor... and then in turn a larger lens, which can get costly if you want one with a fast aperture (1.4 or ...see more »The problem you'll encounter with the new Pi zero W is that there's no USB ports on it and you need to connect the camera somehow. I would chose a Pi 3 since it's more powerful, has more RAM and has onboard wifi.A lot of meteor survay cameras are using NTSC/PAL video format. Most of them use a high sensitivity camera such as the Sony Super HAD II. You will then need to convert the analog signal to digital. In that case you might be able to get away with the USB ports and use the Pi zero.You mentioned three of the attributes that are crucial to this kind of camera. the larger the pixels, the more signal to noise ratio you will get.Also for a larger resolution, you'll need a larger sensor... and then in turn a larger lens, which can get costly if you want one with a fast aperture (1.4 or 1.8)Keep in mind also that a large sensor produces more data and the Raspberry Pi needs to keep up with it.For meteor, I think a standard Sony Super HAD II 768(H)×494(V) would be enough.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Andrea, I think you're using an old version of the code. There was no setting for gamma at the time. I will release a new version probably tomorrow which fixes a few things reported by users. You should check it out. I'll give you heads up when it's published.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Andrea,if you open allsky.sh, you will see a few arguments already there. You can add your own at the end, 1 per line, as long as you remember to end the line with a back slash (\). Then save the file and run it: ./allsky.shFor the frame rate, you'll have to open timelapse.sh and modifiy the value "25" in this line:avconv -y -f image2 -r 25Replace 25 by the desired frame rate, then save the file. You can run ./timelapse.sh again but you'll have to first remove the files with a number (0001, 0002, etc) because the script will recreate them.Let me know how it works.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hey Manuel,What camera do you use and what size are your images? I'm talking about the 0001.jpg. For example, I have an ASI224 and my 0001.jpg is 962x720 in size. The reason I'm asking is because cameras don't have exactly the same sensor ratio and we might need to adjust the script.Also, are the images valid? Can you open 0001.jpg?

    Ok so we'll try to run the command manually in the terminal in order to locate the error: from your allsky directory, type this:avconv -y -f image2 -r 25 -i current/%04d.jpg -vcodec libx264 -b:v 2000k current/allsky.mp4Let me know what errors you get.

    In your allsky.sh file, what's your filename? Does it end with jpg or png ?The timelapse script assumes that you're using .jpg extensions. if your original filename is "image.png" and gets converted to "0001.jpg" you might get errors when reading the image with avconv.To fix this, I would delete the 0001.jpg, 0002.jpg, etc images and replace .jpg by .png in the following scripts:upload.sh:convert "$1" -resize 962x720 -gravity East -chop 2x0 "$1-resize.png";timelapse.sh:gawk 'BEGIN{ a=1 }{ printf "mv -v ./current/%s current/%04d.png\n", $0, a++ }'andbash && avconv -y -f image2 -r 25 -i current/%04d.png .......I have a new version of the code to fix this and I'll update the github repo it in a few days.Let me know if that works for...see more »In your allsky.sh file, what's your filename? Does it end with jpg or png ?The timelapse script assumes that you're using .jpg extensions. if your original filename is "image.png" and gets converted to "0001.jpg" you might get errors when reading the image with avconv.To fix this, I would delete the 0001.jpg, 0002.jpg, etc images and replace .jpg by .png in the following scripts:upload.sh:convert "$1" -resize 962x720 -gravity East -chop 2x0 "$1-resize.png";timelapse.sh:gawk 'BEGIN{ a=1 }{ printf "mv -v ./current/%s current/%04d.png\n", $0, a++ }'andbash && avconv -y -f image2 -r 25 -i current/%04d.png .......I have a new version of the code to fix this and I'll update the github repo it in a few days.Let me know if that works for you.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Manuel,was there any errors in the terminal window?Make sure you remove all the files with a number (0001, 0002, 0003, etc) and the empty.mp4 (0 byte size) but keep all the images with a timestamp and run ./timelapse.sh again.Look for errors in the terminal and paste them here if you find any.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Just got your message. For other users who have the same issue, here's how to fix it:Open ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart and remove the duplicate lines.

    Hi,First, for the delay between images, you should try to add a -delay argument in allsky.sh. The value is in milliseconds so if you want 2 seconds between images, you need -delay 2000Then for the error "... are the same file". That would happen if there's already a file with the same name. To fix it, you should delete all files with a number (0001, 0002, 0003, etc) and keep the ones with a timestamp.Make sure to remove any .mp4 file too because they would cause an error when generating the new video file.Then you can run ./timelpase.sh againThis should work properly now.Thomas

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Minimalist Chess Set2 months ago
    Minimalist Chess Set

    You're welcome. I'm glad you saw my Instructable before re-doing it all over.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Just rename the allsky directory to something else (allsky-old for example) and run the git clone command in a terminal again:git clone https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky.gitYou won't have to run ./install.sh again because you already have all the dependencies installed.

    Hey Manuel, try replacing "mv" by "cp" for now (line 3 on timelapse.sh). That will copy instead of renaming. Then you can delete the files with the timestamp manually.I'll try to locate the source of the error.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hey Manuel,if you get the error when lauching ./timelapse.sh in the terminal, you can try to modify that line:gawk 'BEGIN{ a=1 }{ printf "mv -v ./current/%s current/%04d.jpg\n", $0, a++ }' | # build mv commandwith this one:gawk 'BEGIN{ a=1 }{ printf "mv -v ./current/%s ./current/%04d.jpg\n", $0, a++ }' |Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

    Hey Manuel.The convert and timelapse scripts need a little bit of tweaking since the last time I updated the binary. I will update them once I've tested my latest code.current.1234.jpg is not a valid name. It needs to be current/1234.jpgI'll need a little bit more info to debug this one. Can you paste the content of timelapse.sh here?Also, do you already have a "current" folder with all your images saved properly inside of it?

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera2 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I actually run my raspberry pi with the overclock option ON in order to generate a bit more heat in the enclosure.Once I add the thread to save images, It should fix the saving speed issue and make a better use of the cores.

    Glad you figured out the cable issue.I think saving as JPG would be faster because the file size is likely to be much smaller that PNG. You would lose a bit on quality but gain on speed.There is also an option in Raspbian to overclock the CPU from 900Mhz to 1Ghz.I know that a few options trigger a segmentation fault (exp under 1 second) and I know that I should create a new thread for saving the image. That's planned for the next update of the code. In the meantime, I hope this version is enough to get you started on your project.

    You're right. there seems to be an issue with the -quality option. Have you tried "image.jpg" as a filename?

    What settings are you using? Can you paste the allsky.sh content here?Also, do you have any error message in the terminal?If everything looks good, I would try a firmware upgrade.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Planets Photography Guide2 months ago
    Planets Photography Guide

    Hey.. not sure what you mean by "manipulate" but if you already have the data, you can skip the FireCapture step (which is only meant to capture data) and use the Pipp pre-processor. This will let you crop, rank, discard, center, offset, etc the frames and create a nice .avi or .ser before stacking them with AutoStakkert!Pipp supports these input files: AVI/SER/TIFF/BMP/FITS/JPEG/RAW

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera3 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I haven't tested the instructions but I believe you can do something like that: http://cagewebdev.com/raspberry-pi-connecting-to-a-network-drive/ Then, in upload.sh, you can modify the script to replace cp "$1" "current/$1-$(date +'%Y%m%d%H%M%S').jpg"; by cp "$1" "home/pi/mynetworkdrive/$1-$(date +'%Y%m%d%H%M%S').jpg";

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera4 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    The code was updated and it should now work fine on both Raspbian and Raspbian lite.

    Thanks a lot for the feedback... Glad you figured it out. I made some changes in the code and I haven't had time to fix the upload and timelapse scripts. I'll update them as soon as I can based on your remarks.

    Hofi77, did you figure it out? The current upload and timelapse scripts are not up to date with the latest capture code so they are likely to have minor issues. I will fix them soon. Have you tried ftp instead of sftp like technoplusnl mentioned?

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera4 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I'm glad it finally worked out for you! I have updated the readme on github so that others don't get stuck on the same issue. Have fun playing with your all sky camera.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera4 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hey,Don't worry with the autostart message. It's only supposed to work on a full Raspbian for now. I will look for a fix with Raspbian lite.From what I can see, you're having the same exact issue as a few other people. The thing in common is that you're using an ASI120MC.Caracol_uk posted that he managed to get it to work by upgrading the firmware of the camera. ZWO provides a tool to upgrade the firmware of ASI120 cameras to bring them up to date with other models. (That's because this model is not USB3.0). Here's the quote:"Ok, I've managed to fix my problem. It turns out that the ASI120MC was sending data over the USB line in 1024 byte chunks which the Pi doesn't permit. 512 bytes is apparently the maximum for USB2, though most devices will allow more. To resolve the problem I u...see more »Hey,Don't worry with the autostart message. It's only supposed to work on a full Raspbian for now. I will look for a fix with Raspbian lite.From what I can see, you're having the same exact issue as a few other people. The thing in common is that you're using an ASI120MC.Caracol_uk posted that he managed to get it to work by upgrading the firmware of the camera. ZWO provides a tool to upgrade the firmware of ASI120 cameras to bring them up to date with other models. (That's because this model is not USB3.0). Here's the quote:"Ok, I've managed to fix my problem. It turns out that the ASI120MC was sending data over the USB line in 1024 byte chunks which the Pi doesn't permit. 512 bytes is apparently the maximum for USB2, though most devices will allow more. To resolve the problem I used the firmware update tool from the ZWO website and installed the firmware labelled "ASI120MC compatible". That did the trick."Here's the link for the tool: http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/software/FWToo...I hope this works.

    You would have to use 6.5E.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera4 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    So I just re-installed Jessie Lite from scratch. I got the same error as you: "Open Camera ERROR, Check that you have root permissions!"You have to unplug and replug the camera for the asi devrules to kick in.Then using the latest code, it works fine.If you want to save all images and make a timelapse, uncomment line 11 in allsky.shI hope it works for you too.

    I will try on a fresh Jessie Lite and see if I can get the same errors. I will let you know how it works on my side.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera4 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Yes, that's where the files are supposed to go. You should end up with this structure: /home/pi/allsky

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera4 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I will take a look at that. In the meantime, you can just click on the green button in the top right corner and download the code. Just extract the archive and you'll get the same thing as if you cloned it.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree5 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Hi, I would probably wait until they have a few branches. You could put the pot in water for a few minutes and then slowly pull sideways on the base of each stem. Try to keep as much soil around the roots. It will reduce the stress for the plant.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Newspaper Stand6 months ago
    Newspaper Stand

    There is enough room in a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood to cut all panels. I have attached an SVG version if you want to move the panels around to optimize your cut.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera6 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Thanks for the feedback on the dark subtraction. I'll look at the SDK when I get a chance an try to get it to work. If it's in the headers file and the doc pdf, there must be a way to get it to work.As for the sun shield, that's also something I will need to work on for my next build. I believe a small servo/stepper would probably do the job indeed. Some stepper drivers are fairly small and can easily fit in the enclosure.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera6 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    That's excellent news. I will set up a github repo to keep all the latest instructions and so that everyone can contribute to the project.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera6 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Thank you guys for investigating the issue. Let me know if you find he source of this issue and I'll update the Instructable.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera6 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    The ASI120MC is using USB 2.0 and can be powered from any device including a Raspberry Pi (0.5A is the max output from a USB 2.0 port). Is there a possibility to check the camera on a Windows laptop with FireCapture? I just want to rule out the possibility that that camera is faulty.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera6 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi,Can you plug a monitor to the Pi and see what's being printed in the terminal? Is there any error when running allsky.sh?Also I supposed you tested that already but the exposure value is in milliseconds so 1 sec is actually 1 000 000.Please paste a screenshot in here if you see an error message.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera6 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Frankie, did you copy that file in /usr/local/lib ?

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Equatorial Platform for the North7 months ago
    Equatorial Platform for the North

    Hi,It depends what you are trying to achieve. If you want close-ups of the ISS for example, you'll need a telescope, a robust mount and a fairly high slew speed.Another thing to note is that satellites are not following the ecliptic, (except the geosynchronous ones of course), so you don't really need an equatorial platform for this task.I would go with an Alt-azimuthal mount (can be handmade) with high speed stepper motors.Then you'll need to use an arduino or raspberry pi or a computer to control the mount. A bit like this: https://www.instructables.com/id/Star-Track-Arduino-Powered-Star-Pointer-and-Tracke/I hope it help a bit.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera7 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    That's wonderful Peter! And a nice enclosure box too!Thanks for the detailed instructions. I am sure it will help others. I honestly tried a few things to get the whole project to work and I couldn't remember all the steps. I'll update the typos.Here's the doc for cvSaveImage. I haven't played with the compression myself but here's a Stackoverflow example on how to use it.Hope this helps.

    libopencv_calib3d.so is a symbolic link to libopencv_calib3d.so.2.4.11. You could try to delete libopencv_calib3d.so and rename libopencv_calib3d.so.2.4.11 to libopencv_calib3d.soIf that works, try to do that for the other files.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I'm using Raspbian, no IDE. Compiling directly on the Pi.

    Hi Peter,Make sure you have a file called opencv.conf. If not create it here:sudo nano /etc/ld.so.conf.d/opencv.confadd this line inside:/usr/local/libThen run:sudo ldconfigThat should tell your system where to find the opencv installation. Hopefully that fixes your OpenCV errors

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I'll try to build a binary that saves with lossless compression and without timestamp in the coming days. It might work better for your dark subtraction.Here's the link for ZWO software: http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/software/They have camera drivers, ASCOM, SDK and astronomy software. You might be able to use python with the ASCOM driver.

    Saving uncompressed images only requires to add a parameter in the C++.I think you need to fix the OpenCV errors first in order to get the compiler to work. I suppose you followed the instructions here so now you probably need to create/find opencv.pc

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Peter, We're not talking about really long exposure here. Somewhere around 5 seconds is the settings you would use. I don't expect the ASI120MC to produce a lot of noise for such a short exposure. However, if you need to subtract your dark frame, it can be achieved with the Raspberry Pi too. Luckily for you, you won't have to learn any C code and recompile the software, you can probably get around the issue by subtracting the frame using ImageMagick. You'll have to modify the convert.sh file. Here's a link that can help you: https://astrofloyd.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/astrophotography-with-imagemagick/

    FireCapture subtracts the dark and saves the image. In order to do that, you would have to modifiy the C code and recompile it. I would suggest to actually let the "capture" binary do it's work (i.e. save the image) and let ImageMagik subtract your dark file and save a new version of the image. That would be a 1 line change in "convert.sh".For example: composite image-full.jpg -compose subtract dark.jpgAnother thought: if you want to save some processing power on your pi during the night, you could instead subtract your dark frame to your list of photos at the end of the night, just before making your timelapse.

    Yes, in a terminal, navigate to the demo folder and type make test_gui2_snapThis should start the compilation and replace your "capture" binary in the allsky folder. You will probably get some errors because it's likely that you don't have all the -dev dependencies installed on the pi yet. For example, you might need libusb-dev which would be installed with:sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-devBasically, if you get some errors, add the dev dependencies until it compiles. Then you can play with the C++ file to remove the timestamp.My thought about the dark subtraction getting worse is that the sensor heat increases throughout your imaging session and the dark frame is not a good reference anymore.

    Try this one:sudo apt-get install libhighgui-devOpenCV doesn't do the subtraction. ImageMagik does it.Yes jpgs have artifacts and this might be the issue. Saving as BMP or PNG could help as these formats support lossless compression. The cvSaveImage function (in the C++ file) can take a third argument which is the compression level.

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  • ThomasJ1 entered Planets Photography Guide in the Makerspace Contest contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Newspaper Stand8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 entered Newspaper Stand in the Wood Contest 2016 contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 entered Newspaper Stand in the Makerspace Contest contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1's entry Wireless All Sky Camera is a winner in the Space Contest 2016 contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 followed mdavis198 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    You can ignore the first error. It only means that it can'y find the latest image. That's normal since you haven't taken one yet.For the second error, it means it can't find the shared library libASICamera2.so. When "./capture" runs, it needs to find all the libraries it needs in order to run. Since our lib directory is in a non-standard location, we need to tell the Pi to look into this directory too. First you'll need to export the path and then update the cache. Here's how:export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/pi/allsky/lib/armv7Then update the cache with:sudo ldconfig -vYou should now see a list of libraries paths including the allsky one.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Thanks for the feedback, I'll update the instructions for RP3 regarding the autostart.Here's a list of steps you can try in this order:- Make sure you are working with a monitor, keyboard and Ethernet cable. This will make things a lot easier to debug.- Connect the camera to one of the 4 USB ports.- Open a terminal to your "allsky" directory: cd /home/pi/allsky- Type: ./allsky.shThe output of this command should tell you if things are working or not. If it works, you can start working on the autostart part.Let me know if you have success.

    Not all SD cards work properly on RPis. Here's a list that can help: http://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards

    Most meteor tracking program currently rely on CCTV cameras which use PAL or NTSC video format. Once software get modified to take digital images, we'll be able to contribute to scientific data.

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  • ThomasJ1 followed woodumakeit8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree8 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    I would still keep them inside for a while. The windowsill with a curtain would be ideal. When they start making the first branches, they are old enough and strong enough to be outside during the day. You will have to put them in the shade of your house (or a tree) in order to keep a good moisture level in the soil. Then you can progressively give them in a sunnier spot each day. Seattle is a good place to grow Sequoia trees. They need moisture, moderate heat and a rich well drained soil. Here's a page with large specimens in your state: https://www.giant-sequoia.com/gallery/usa/washington/

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on tomatoskins's instructable Perfect Workbench8 months ago
    Perfect Workbench

    Thank you Troy for producing these detailed instructions. That's pretty much the workbench that my subconscious had in mind. I think it's time for me to get rid of that MDF board supported by a few 2x4.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I do have a lot of light pollution on these videos. When the clouds roll in, you can pretty much walk outside without a flash light. It also doesn't help that the deck is oriented towards the downtown area.On the videos, the pollution comes mostly by the clouds reflecting light from the high pressure sodium street lights so I would have to place the camera above the cloud layer which is impossible for my location.Placing the camera out of town is probably the best option. However, you need to get power and a fast internet connection in places that can be pretty remote.

    Absolutely, it would enable a lot of scientific opportunities. A program that can detect changes and movement between images (Open CV or ImageMagick for example) could be used to track the speed, direction and altitude of meteors. I would also be possible to estimate northern ligths altitude and produce stereoscopic vision of them using virtual reality headsets.

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  • ThomasJ1's entry Wireless All Sky Camera is a finalist in the Space Contest 2016 contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Thank you, I got the plans for the clock at this address. Clayton can send you either paper plans or DXF files to cut on a CNC.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    That's one of my future projects. I would like to detect meteors but also aurora altitude by using multiple all sky cameras.This would be possible on the Raspberry Pi itself using the Open CV or ImageMagick libraries if it wasn't for the CPU limitations. These tasks are quite intensive and it would be better to offload them to a faster computer.Since the images can be sent to a server or stored on a NAS every few seconds, an other more powerful computer can crunch the data without affecting the performance of the camera itself.

    Yes, the ASI120MC (USB 2) is a good option for this project since the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 only have USB 2 ports. However, I haven't tested it against the SDK so I can't tell for sure if the program would run without modifications. But I'm fairly positive it would.

    Yes, if you connect a NAS to your router and FTP the images there, you will have access to the pictures from any computer on your network. You could also get a server to do the job for you such as an Amazon EC2 instance. I believe they have free tiers. Here's a quick flow chart:

    Yes, the wireless aspect of it is great if you want to avoid drilling holes for cables or leave windows open. That's especially true in colder climates.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi, the exposure can be set in the configuration file from 32 microseconds to 1000 seconds. I could avoid overexposing the moon by setting a lower exposure value but I would lose the view of the aurora and the stars.I would also need a longer focal lens to see any details on the surface of the moon.A Fresnel lens is a good choice if you need to concentrate light but it would make a poor camera lens because of all the concentric rings.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable See Through Star Map8 months ago
    See Through Star Map

    I used the Epilog Fusion from my makerspace. It has a 60W laser and 32 x 20 working area. This is quite an expensive machine but I believe you can find entry level ones as low as $500. Here's a quick guide.

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  • ThomasJ1 entered See Through Star Map in the Space Contest 2016 contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 entered See Through Star Map in the Makerspace Contest contest 8 months ago
  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera8 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Yes, a Pi 3 should work. Version 3 came out around the same time I was building the prototype and I couldn't find any info about the range at that time. That's why I chose the Pi 2 + wifi dongle. The only advantage I can see to to the Pi2 + wifi adapter setup is that you could use a dongle with a directional antenna to possibly get more range.

    Any alternatives are welcome and encouraged. Thanks for mentioning it here.

    To tell the truth, I already had the camera at home (I use it on my telescope) so I didn't do much research for an alternative camera. However I am sure some of them have similar features for a lower price. You just need to make sure that they have a high sensitivity in the dark and can take exposures up to 5 seconds. Then you would have to find a software that can use the camera and generate the time lapse. A command based one without a GUI is preferable to lower the CPU consumption.This prototype is expensive but offers a lot of flexibility. For a simpler purpose, you might be able to cut the price in half.

    I feared it would be the case. That's why there's no extra components like a heater of a fan. It actually worked quite well. I couldn't find the electrical consumption of the camera but I believe it must not be too crazy.

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