author
20Instructables574,580Views288CommentsWhitehorse, 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 Camera13 hours ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Thanks for the code. I started playing with it and it brings up the faint stars. I'll keep playing with the settings and I may add an option for stretching in a future release. I'll do some research to automate the brightness setting in order to stretch only the dark images.I'm only using the sdk provided by ZWO to save the image and the buffer size allocated to an image is already fixed. I'm not sure if there would be an easy workaround on the software side.

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

    Hi Eric. What camera are you using? Is it a USB2 camera such as the ASI120MC or ASI120MM. These cameras are not playing super nice on Linux so ZWO released a firmware patch tool that you can download in order to make the USB2 cameras compatible with Linux systems.I have never used a Synology server but I believe you can set up the FTP access like they do in this guide: https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/features/2643-how-to-access-files-on-a-synology-nas-device-via-ftp/For the ftp-settings.sh file, use the values you previously set in Synology:PROTOCOL='ftp or sftp (depends what you chose in synology)'USER='username'PASSWORD='password'HOST='IP address of your server'IMGDIR='/allsky/'MP4DIR='/allsky/videos/'

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

    For the second overlay, you have 2 options:- Get you hands dirty by editing capture.cpp and recompiling it. Look for this line and add another one:cvText(pRgb, ImgText, iTextX, iTextY, fontsize, linewidth, linetype[linenumber], fontname[fontnumber], fontcolor);You'll need to change ImgText, iTextX and iTextY.- Use ImageMagick to add an overlay: http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/annotating/You'll want to add this code in saveImage.sh after the following comment:# Save image in images/current directory

    Hi,There is no option to get it to work during the day. I may add one later but what I usually achieve focus by day by changing the longitude in settings.json. Take you longitude and subtract/add 180. If you test at noon, it will be midnight for the new setting. For example, I live at -135 longitude. I can set it to longitude 45 and the camera will think it's dark and start taking pictures.A sensor tends to accumulate heat and deliver noisier images overtime. When it is outside, it will be less sensitive to it. If you wait for the camera + enclosure to reach thermal equilibrium with outside temperature, you should be able to get a good dark frame.If the weather changes a lot and you get large temperature gradients during the night, you may get more noise even when using the dark frame s...

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    Hi,There is no option to get it to work during the day. I may add one later but what I usually achieve focus by day by changing the longitude in settings.json. Take you longitude and subtract/add 180. If you test at noon, it will be midnight for the new setting. For example, I live at -135 longitude. I can set it to longitude 45 and the camera will think it's dark and start taking pictures.A sensor tends to accumulate heat and deliver noisier images overtime. When it is outside, it will be less sensitive to it. If you wait for the camera + enclosure to reach thermal equilibrium with outside temperature, you should be able to get a good dark frame.If the weather changes a lot and you get large temperature gradients during the night, you may get more noise even when using the dark frame subtraction.A way to improve this feature would be to have a set of dark frames at different temperatures and use the camera's internal temperature sensor to automatically load the appropriate frame.

    I love to see new builds and hear success stories about this project. Thanks for sharing the picture.

    Sorry Dave, I'm only reading this now. For some reason Instructables failed to notify me about your message.- Regarding the cable, even though the camera is USB3.0, the Raspberry Pi only has USB2 ports so a standard right angle USB2 cable will do just fine.- Focus can be tricky but it you modify your longitude and run it by day, you can get a pretty good focus.- In summer, I take the camera off because it's not dark enough to see stars but that's a good point, it could by quite hot.- The focus seems to shift a bit when the nights are cold. I found my stars become blurry around -35C but they come back to pinpoint when it warms up.- If you're using the GUI, you shouldn't need to use a remote desktop solution. The web based interface should let you do most operations.- Auto-deletion is rea...

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    Sorry Dave, I'm only reading this now. For some reason Instructables failed to notify me about your message.- Regarding the cable, even though the camera is USB3.0, the Raspberry Pi only has USB2 ports so a standard right angle USB2 cable will do just fine.- Focus can be tricky but it you modify your longitude and run it by day, you can get a pretty good focus.- In summer, I take the camera off because it's not dark enough to see stars but that's a good point, it could by quite hot.- The focus seems to shift a bit when the nights are cold. I found my stars become blurry around -35C but they come back to pinpoint when it warms up.- If you're using the GUI, you shouldn't need to use a remote desktop solution. The web based interface should let you do most operations.- Auto-deletion is really something I should implement because it caught me a few times already.- Next update is about automatic startrails stacking but the one after should tackle meteor detection.- The capture.cpp file is specific to ASI cameras so it won't work with other brands. However, this is the only file specific to ZWO so it would be replaced in the future by another implementation.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wooden Telescope Part 2: Tube and Mount4 days ago
    Wooden Telescope Part 2: Tube and Mount

    You're welcome. Good luck with your build.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera5 days ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    So far, only northern lights,satellites, aeroplanes, clouds and meteors...

    Hi Ron, I like your results with the stretched image. Please keep me in the loop with your ImageMagick experimentation.You could get power from the power cord just before the RPi power adapter. That way you get 120/240V and you're not taking any watts from the 2.5A power supply. You'll need to find a way to plug a resistor (about 5W should do it) to the main 120V.I added you to the map.

    Hi Dave, I'm just seeing this now. Glad you figured it out. :)

    Depends where you live but GoDaddy is a popular hosting provider in the U.S. Once on the admin panel (cpanel for example), you'll have to create an FTP account. Then you can use it to upload the images and videos.I also use dlink's dynamic dns service because I have a dlink router. This let me access the camera's administration panel (live view, archives, timelapse, etc) from anywhere.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera18 days ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Sorry about that. I'm aware of that issue, just open gui/install.sh and replace php5-cgi by php7-cgi. Save the file and run sudo gui/install.sh again.That should fix it. I'll try to find an alias that works for everyone.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera22 days ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Nice Build Martin. I love to see how everyone uses available materials to build the enclosure.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera26 days ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Per,Have you updated your camera to the latest compatible firmware? It's available at this address: http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/software/FWToo...It only applied to USB2.0 cameras in order to fix a packet size on the USB protocol.

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

    sorry I meant line 5 in endOfNight.sh

    Hi Paul,I added postData.sh in the last release. You don't really need it. It's just a helper if you have a website and you want to send the next twilight time to know when to resume live view.You can add a # sign at the beginning of line 5 in postData.sh. Then it will stop trying to upload. I'll update the repo as well.

    Nice video... just have to wait for clear skies now. By the way, copy/paste from the terminal is CTRL+SHIFT+c and CTRL+SHIFT+v

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

    Thanks a lot Paul. I'm really happy to hear about positive results because I could only test it on my own camera which, at -20C has only 3 or 4 hot pixels, so I wasn't sure if it would work well for others too.

    Here's the new location for ZWO forum: http://bbs.astronomy-imaging-camera.com/viewtopic....Maybe a few resistors can keep the temperature above dew point.

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

    It was live yesterday. Try a gain in a bit. It may take them a few hours if they are migrating their forum to a new place.

    Until I make a fancy "update" button on the GUI, I believe the easiest is to copy settings.json and config.sh somewhere to keep track of your current settings, delete the allsky directory and clone the repo again.Then edit both settings.json and config.sh to add your camera settings and FTP info back in.I know it's a bit of work but that's the easiest until I figure out a 1-click solution.

    Alright, so if you have the fstab step figured out, you now need to create the symbolic link.First, delete (or rename if you want to keep the content) the /home/pi/allsky/images directory because we will replace it with a symlink.now, in the terminal:ln -s /mnt/usb /home/pi/allsky/imagesMake sure to replace "usb" by the directory you created earlier (the one listed in the line you added in fstab). Also, make sure that your are the owner of that directory: sudo chown -R pi:pi /mnt/usbThat should be all you need.

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

    Hi Per,Sorry for the delay, I've been thinking about it and the log looks fine. The only thing I can think of is maybe a dependency issue that wasn't installed properly during the install.sh script.Can you try deleting the allsky folder and got over the installation again? Look for any errors in the terminal.Thomas

    That's what I do too !

    Hi Picoranger (or is it Pico?) :)Thanks for confirming that the ASI1600MC works, I'll add it to the list in the README.The file you want to modify is saveImage.shhttps://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky/blob/maste...By default, the only image being uploaded is the preview (smaller image) and the full images and video stay on the RPi SD Card. Then you have to delete the old one manually to make some space.You can access all of this using filezilla.So if I understand correctly, you want to save all the pictures and videos on your local server instead of the RPi ?Thomas

    The darkframe subtraction code is done. I will test it tonight before releasing it to the master branch on gitHub.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera5 weeks ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hi Dave,Yes the ASI290 should work fine. It actually has a slightly larger sensor that the ASI224 so it will cover a little bit more sky.The blue extension cord is plugged directly to the Pi power adapter. See step 2 on that page: http://www.thomasjacquin.com/make-your-own-allsky-...

    It seems like it is writing the next image into the previous one. I use 64 GB because I use about 1 GB per night and the nights are 19 hrs long in winter. I use class 10 cards such as the Samsung Evo+.Does the segmentation happen in the image at the root of the project or in the "images/current" directory or both? I'm trying to rule out a speed issue with saveImage.sh

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera5 weeks ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    I'm just back from 1 month vacation without a computer. Today, I'm putting my head back in coding mode. I'll try to release the dark frame subtraction in the next couple of days. It should be fairly straightforward but I need to do some testing before I release it.

    Hi, it seems like the web pages are owned by root instead of www-data.In a terminal, go to /var/www/html and run ls -l to see the owner of the files.If some files are owned by root, you can correct that by running sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html

    I think the 10 ms exposure may cause the segmentation. I have never tried to go that low so it hasn't really been tested with such short exposure.Do you also get segmentation with longer exposure? 3 sec for example.

    You're not the only one with the segmented image problem. They seem to all come from an ASI120 camera. One user reported seeing the same issue using PHD Guiding so I think it may be related to the camera firmware.In order to get a preview, you could install the GUI. It will do the same thing as the display option except that it will show in your browser instead so you shouldn't see any segmented image.

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

    Yes, that should be the correct one. I believe you can also rollback to the original firmware later if you want so it's not a permanent change. It should work fine on the Rpi3.

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

    Hi David,That's a great project. On the software side, I'm not sure you could disable the camera but I think you could save some energy by throttling some processes such as avconv.There's a line in allsky.sh that you can enable by uncommenting it. It uses cpulimit to limit the amount of cpu power during the generation of the timelapse. It will take longer to build the video but it may use less power.Good luck with the off-grid setup.Thomas

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

    Hi Paul,I can see the hot pixels on your video. You probably don't have nights at -30C like I do :)I have started implementing the dark frame subtraction feature but I'm currently on vacation away from my computer. In the meantime, you can do a subtraction with image magick.You'll have to create a dark frame first and place it in /home/pi/allsky. Change saveImage.sh like so:[...]mkdir -p images/current; CLEANFILENAME="$FILENAME-$(date +'%Y%m%d%H%M%S')-CLEAN.$EXTENSION"convert "$FULL_FILENAME" dark.PNG -compose minus_src -composite "$CLEANFILENAME";cp "$CLEANFILENAME" "images/current/$FILENAME-$(date +'%Y%m%d%H%M%S').$EXTENSION";[...]replace $FULL_FILENAME by $CLEANFILENAME in the rest of the file.

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

    Hi Paul,What camera model do you have? There are some tweaks needed with the USB2 version of the ASI120.Have you restarted (system tab on the GUI) the camera after you changed the configuration? The new config is applied on restart. I'll need to make that part more user friendly.

    Did you chose RBG24, RAW8 or RAW16 ? It is set with the option called image type.

    Hi Per,Can you try deleting the binary file called "capture" and recompile it by running "make capture"?Then try to run allsky.sh again.If it doesn't solve the issue, can you post the last few lines from log.txt? There may be a problem with one of the arguments.

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

    That's right Juan. It takes photos all night and makes a video at the end of the night. I'm planning to add support for Astride to enable meteor detection. (https://github.com/dwkim78/ASTRiDE) but right now I'm away for the vacations without a computer :)

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

    Thanks for the update Roberto,Have you tried subtracting a dark frame using image magick? It's a 1 line command that you can add to saveImage.shI haven't added it yet to my code but you can take a look at that forked version: https://github.com/kukulin/allsky/blob/master/save...convert "$FILENAME" dark.PNG -compose minus_src -composite "$CLEANFILENAME";My code has evolved a bit but you should be able to add that line (line 15) in order to do dark subtraction. Let me know if you need help with the script.

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

    Hey Anis,Sounds like you have a slightly outdated version of the code. I fixed a few things regarding the timelpase this weekend. You should clone again and let me know if things are still breaking.For a website template, you could use my own as an example and start from there: https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky-websiteIt's a work in progress and I haven't made a "settings" page yet so you may have to edit a few pages such as index.html and controller.json. Let me know if you need help with it.

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

    Hey Roberto, I found the issue and I have updated the GitHub repository. There was a permission issue with settings.json and an incorrect package in the gui/install.sh script (php5-cgi changed to php-cgi).You can clone the repo and try again.

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

    Hey Roberto,Have you restarted the Pi after the installation? You can also try restarting lighttpd: sudo service lighttpd restartCan you also do an ls -l on the content of /var/www/html ? The files should be owned by www-data. If not, try sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/*Let me know how it goes.Thomas

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

    Yes Roberto, capturing the images in RAW should make the dark subtraction easier because there's no compression applied, therefore the pixel value is not averaged from neighbour photosites.You can set the "-type" option to 0 or 2 to capture in RAW. 0 is RAW8 and 2 is RAW16.I will put in place a dark frame subtraction feature in the software as soon as I'm done coding the GUI.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Equatorial Platform for the North3 months ago
    Equatorial Platform for the North

    Short answer: by hand :)I actually used this page to understand the geometry involved in equatorial platforms: http://www.reinervogel.net/index_e.html?/Plattform...He also has a PDF with all the dimensions that you can use to build your own if you don't feel like doing the maths.

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

    Hey Lars,looks like you've got some bad frames between 290.jpg and 300.jpg. Look for those , delete them and run ./timelapse again. You may have to rename the directory to "current" if it's already been archived.

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

    Hi Lars,I bought it on Amazon but the product is no longer available. You can get a similar one though: https://www.amazon.com/Acrylic-Dome-Plastic-Hemisphere-Pre-Drilled/dp/B01N29BQN6/

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

    Yes, I have seen this behaviour for short exposures. I haven't spent too much time investigating the issue because I use it at night exclusively but you could try playing with the -delay option. I believe there is a race condition between the capture and the "save" process. I think it's trying to save the current image to disk but the camera is already starting to record the next frame. That would cause the artefacts on the image. The "delay" option may help by adding delay between individual frames.

    You're very welcome !

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree4 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Hi Melissa,For young seedlings, you could probably keep them in a pot for the first winter in a cool place. But I wouldn't worry too much about the temperature because once they are covered in snow, they have a good protection against the cold. Here are some specimen growing in Ohio: https://www.giant-sequoia.com/gallery/usa/ohio/Sometimes the leaves turn to a reddish brown color when it gets cold but they turn back to green in the spring.

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

    Hey Rowan,You can use avconv. It's a 1 line command that creates a video from a list of images.I use it in this file (line 8): https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky/blob/maste...The next line is where I upload the video to my website.I'm sure you can get your project to work based on these 2 lines.

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

    Hi Randy,Can you try deleting the "capture" binary and run "make capture" again? I have a feeling that some libraries got updated since I've built "capture".Thomas

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

    Hi Gabriel,Yes, there is a way to do it. The SDK has a function for it. I haven't implemented it but I'm planning to. After 2 years in the cold Yukon winter and the 20+ hours of sunlight in summer, the camera is showing a few hot pixels. I'll take a look at the SDK, it shouldn't be too complicated.By the way, I love your gallery on Astrobin. Your milky way shots are surreal.Thomas

    Hi Gabriel,Yes, there is a way to do it. The SDK has a function for it. I haven't implemented it but I'm planning to. After 2 years in the cold Yukon winter and the 20+ hours of sunlight in summer, the camera is showing a few hot pixels. I'll take a look at the SDK, it shouldn't be too complicated.By the way, I love your gallery on Astrobin. Your milky way shots are surreal.Thomas

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on 1CM69's instructable Peltier Cooling for ZWO Astro Camera5 months ago
    Peltier Cooling for ZWO Astro Camera

    Excellent Instructable. I'll definitely have to try it now. The result speaks for itself.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera5 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Sure, take a look there: https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky-websiteI upload the videos with the time stamp already (timelapse.sh). They get uploaded to the "videos" folder on my website. I build the html using the mp4 filename. Have a look at index.php in the videos folder. Let me know how it goes.

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

    Hey Eric,You won't be able to run the program with your Orion camera because it is using ZWO's libraries to talk to ASI cameras. I'm sure there's a way to use your camera on a Raspberry Pi, but you will need a program that talks to the Orion camera. The one I wrote only talks to ASI cameras.Thomas

    Hey Gerald,Did you see any errors when you ran the install.sh script? Which version of Raspbian are you using?I would try compiling "capture" to make sure everything is installed properly. You just need to type: make captureLet me know if that works.Thomas

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

    Hi Gerald,I will try at home with your settings to see if I can reproduce the issue. In the mean time, try setting the delay to its default value (1000) and see if it happens again. That would be a good test to help me locate the problem.

    Hi,What are your settings in allsky.sh? I have seen that behavior when I tried to use short exposures (under a second). Also, what delay are you using?

    Glad it's working fine for you now. I will take a look at the delay option. I've also had strange behaviour when playing with this value so thanks for reporting the issue.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree6 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Hi,When you move a plant to a different spot, it may grow differently because it will receive more or less light. Your tree was growing towards the window. If you turn the pot by half a turn, it will straighten back up. The shape is not really an indicator of the health, it's just the plant looking for more light.As for the "drying" out of the bottom leaves, It could be a re-allocation of resources from the lower leaves to the top ones. It can also be that the plant is not receiving enough sunlight and is getting rid of its lower leaves in order to grow new ones towards the sun. Another thing that can cause this phenomenon is an excess of water in the soil. Make sure the first centimeter of soil is dry before watering again. I would also leave the plant in a bright spot to giv...

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    Hi,When you move a plant to a different spot, it may grow differently because it will receive more or less light. Your tree was growing towards the window. If you turn the pot by half a turn, it will straighten back up. The shape is not really an indicator of the health, it's just the plant looking for more light.As for the "drying" out of the bottom leaves, It could be a re-allocation of resources from the lower leaves to the top ones. It can also be that the plant is not receiving enough sunlight and is getting rid of its lower leaves in order to grow new ones towards the sun. Another thing that can cause this phenomenon is an excess of water in the soil. Make sure the first centimeter of soil is dry before watering again. I would also leave the plant in a bright spot to give it enough energy.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable See Through Star Map6 months ago
    See Through Star Map

    You can make 2 panels and hold them in front of each other. The SVG has 2 layers, one with the stars, the other one with the mythological drawing. If you look at the layers manager, you will see the 2 layers. They are called "Mythology" and "Star Map". You can toggle the visibility of layers using your vector program (Corel, Inkscape, etc)

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree7 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    I believe 1 inch is still reasonable. When you see the size of the seed, you can guess that there's not much reserve for the young seedling to start with. They can't grow a very long stem because that would use too much energy.I believe that at 2 inches, the cotyledons may be really close to the ground or even underground and that will limit the ability for the plant to receive the sunlight it needs to grow.

    Hi Rigo,You probably received seeds from a Sequoia sempervirens tree (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sequoia-se...). They are called Coastal Redwood and grow on the coast of northern California. They are beautiful trees that grow taller and faster than Sequoiadendron giganteum. Their trunk is not as wide, they have a different foliage (like a yew tree) and smaller cones.I have a specimen growing at home and I believe they are a bit more easy to grow. The other nice thing about this species is that when you cut an adult tree, it will make hundreds of new stems at the base and grow a new trunk which is not the case for a Giant Sequoia.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable See Through Star Map7 months ago
    See Through Star Map

    You can download all the maps on this page: https://www.iau.org/public/themes/constellations/

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree7 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    This is a long pot so it shouldn't be too much trouble to separate the trees, even if you break a few roots. You should definitely do that in the fall when the growth season is over. That way, it gives the plant the entire winter to recover from the stress. I usually transplant my trees in November.If you haven't done so yet, I would place the plants outside in a semi-bright spot and increase sunlight everyday until they can handle direct sunlight. Remember that UV radiation is blocked by glass so it will be a big shock for them if you plant them in the middle of summer without having exposed them to the sun before.One more tip about water: At this stage, only water when the first inch of soil is dry. The rest of the pot still has enough moisture for the plants.

    Hi Iuvigi,Watering is a critical part, especially when the plant is young (a few weeks old). From germination until the stage where it starts forming branches, you want to keep sufficient moisture in the pot. If the pot is small (3 or 4 inches), you may want to water every day. If it's larger, you'll want to water less often because it retains more moisture. Once the plants are planted outside, they will grow longer roots that will reach humidity deeper in the soil.Root rot occurs when drainage is poor and watering too frequent. A compact soil or a pot with no drainage holes can induce root rot. When it occurs, there's not much you can do to save the plant. You can still try to remove most of the soil around the roots, spray some fungicide and replant in dry soil. Potting soil from your...

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    Hi Iuvigi,Watering is a critical part, especially when the plant is young (a few weeks old). From germination until the stage where it starts forming branches, you want to keep sufficient moisture in the pot. If the pot is small (3 or 4 inches), you may want to water every day. If it's larger, you'll want to water less often because it retains more moisture. Once the plants are planted outside, they will grow longer roots that will reach humidity deeper in the soil.Root rot occurs when drainage is poor and watering too frequent. A compact soil or a pot with no drainage holes can induce root rot. When it occurs, there's not much you can do to save the plant. You can still try to remove most of the soil around the roots, spray some fungicide and replant in dry soil. Potting soil from your local gardening center is a good option.Another recommended practice would be to place the young seedlings outside in the sun for a few hours as soon as they have a few branches. It will increase their resistance to direct sunlight and wind, making the stem thicker. It will also dry the soil and make the foliage denser.If the plants have built that resistance to the sun, you can plant them outside in spring or summer as long as you water well during the first weeks. If they have always been inside, I recommend to plant them outside in the fall, when the sun is less bright and the growth season is over.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree7 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    At that stage, you can place them in a bright spot as long as they are not in direct sunlight. They will need the brightness for the photosynthesis process. That will give them enough resources to grow new leaves at the center. However, direct sunlight will probably roast them at that stage.Looking at your pictures, I would water them less. Your potting soil looks quite damp. If you had small plastic pots, I would give water once a day. With your larger pots, you will probably need to water them half as much. Maybe once every 2 days and not too much. The rule would be to water only when the soil looks dry (it won't actually be dry deeper).The leaves curling down is quite normal as they are looking for light. When the curl up that usually means too much water.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree7 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Hi Vladimir,That's a problem I had for a few of my seedlings. Basically, in the wild, the seed is in the ground and when it germinates, the envelope stays in the soil and the seedlings is pulling out of it towards the sun.In our case, there is nothing constantly pulling on the envelope. I would try adding a drop of water on the spot it is attached and slowly pull on it from time to time. If it doesn't move, try another time. It may drop the envelope at a later stage when the cotyledons become larger and stronger.If it still hasn't shed it when the new leaves start forming in the center, I would pull a little harder even if it breaks one of the 4 cotyledons. This will give more sunlight to the center of the seedling.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree7 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Hey Alex,After you put the seeds on the wet paper and inside the bag, the moisture shouldn't leave the bag so you don't need to add any more water.However, if you see a seed that sprouted, you can take this one out of the bag and put it in wet potting soil. The more you open the bag, the more the moisture will go out so you may need to add a tea spoon of water from time to time.When you take the bag out of the fridge and put it in a warm dark spot, the same rule applies. No need for additional water unless you open the bag frequently to take the newly sprouted individuals out.

    I ordered my seeds from J.L. Hudson (http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/SeedlistSA-SH.htm) from California. They were really good quality (about 50% germination rate). Giant Sequoia trees grow in altitude in the Sierra Nevada, they require a well drained humid soil. In the winter they get several feet of snow and in the summer they rely on that snow pack melting and keeping the ground moist.When I was in Australia, I remember seeing some Sequoia trees at Melbourne Botanical Garden and also in Tasmania. Ballarat has a huge specimen. I think Queensland may be too hot for the tree. South western Australia would actually work too (Perth, Albany, etc,). The Great Ocean Road and the Great Otway National Park is a good place for the tree too...There's even a small forest along a river.

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

    Hi Raymond,Glad you got it sorted out. I haven't used the auto exposure option yet. An alternative to that could be to change the content of this function like so:elseif (result == "DAY") { asiExposure = 50000; // 50 ms for example ASISetControlValue(CamNum, ASI_EXPOSURE, asiExposure, ASI_FALSE); cvSaveImage( fileName, pRgb );}I haven't tested it but that would take images at 50ms during the day. That's not auto exposure but that a quick way of getting it to work.You'll have to run: make capture again to compile the new code.

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

    Oh you're running VNC... I had reports about image artifacts and instability when running VNC. Try without VNC and -nodisplay 1. That should help debugging the issue.

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

    Hey Raymond, That's a really strange issue. I just received some Pi 3 and I compiled the code successfully. I runs without issues. Have you tried to add the -delay 1000 option? It is an option that will wait between shots (in ms). I use it for really short exposure. You should also try the -nodisplay 1 option. It saves the images but doesn't show a preview. It would be less CPU intensive. I'll let you know if I get similar behavior reported by users.

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

    Hey Jeremy,What happens if you run ./allsky.sh instead of capture? Also, if it works with the monitor, that's a good start. I have the same version of Raspbian. I will try the -nodisplay 1 option. Also, please note the - before the option and the absence of "equal" sign between the option and the value.

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

    Hi Raymond,I have a 64GB Samsung evo. It works great. The heat sink is a good idea. Here in the Yukon the nights are cold so I never worried about overheating but it may be a problem in your location. Especially if it is enclosed in a small container. You should check the temperature when it's running: https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-find-out-raspb...Also, since your image file is fairly large, I would increase the delay between images to give some time for the Pi to write the camera sensor data on file. You can use the option -delay 1000 to have a 1 second delay between shots (the default is 10ms).

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

    Hi Raymond, the fact that capture is still running is a good sign. That means the issue comes from one of the scripts.Just to make sure though, is your time set correctly on your Pi? I see from your GPS info that you are in Hong Kong. There's a binary called sunwait that return the civil twilight for your given GPS coordinates. Let's say that the civil twilight at sunrise happens at 5:30am, then the capture will stop capturing images at 5:30am but it will continue running in the background until it's dark again. So it's important that your Pi clock is set correctly.Can you also run a session where you are just saving images but not uploading? If it runs fine, we'll know it probably breaks during upload.Also, you could try adding -width 640 and -height 480 to reduce your image size by 4 ...

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    Hi Raymond, the fact that capture is still running is a good sign. That means the issue comes from one of the scripts.Just to make sure though, is your time set correctly on your Pi? I see from your GPS info that you are in Hong Kong. There's a binary called sunwait that return the civil twilight for your given GPS coordinates. Let's say that the civil twilight at sunrise happens at 5:30am, then the capture will stop capturing images at 5:30am but it will continue running in the background until it's dark again. So it's important that your Pi clock is set correctly.Can you also run a session where you are just saving images but not uploading? If it runs fine, we'll know it probably breaks during upload.Also, you could try adding -width 640 and -height 480 to reduce your image size by 4 and see if it works better.

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

    Hi Raymond,Regarding the file size, I have an ASI224MC and it's rare for me to upload files larger than 250kb. That's when I have lots of features on the image (clouds or aurora). For a black image that should be much less. What are your settings? Can you paste the content of allsky.sh?Try decreasing the size of the image before upload instead of decreasing the quality. Also make sure to use JPG instead of PNG to cut the size even more.This is what I use for example in saveImage.sh: convert "$1" -resize 962x720 -gravity East -chop 2x0 "$1-resize.jpg";Regarding the instability, I had the same kind of problem when my SD card started to fail. Like any computer, when there is a power cut or an improper shutdown, some blocks of memory can get corrupted during a write oper...

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    Hi Raymond,Regarding the file size, I have an ASI224MC and it's rare for me to upload files larger than 250kb. That's when I have lots of features on the image (clouds or aurora). For a black image that should be much less. What are your settings? Can you paste the content of allsky.sh?Try decreasing the size of the image before upload instead of decreasing the quality. Also make sure to use JPG instead of PNG to cut the size even more.This is what I use for example in saveImage.sh: convert "$1" -resize 962x720 -gravity East -chop 2x0 "$1-resize.jpg";Regarding the instability, I had the same kind of problem when my SD card started to fail. Like any computer, when there is a power cut or an improper shutdown, some blocks of memory can get corrupted during a write operation and lead to an unstable operating system. You said you swapped the micro SD so we can probably rule that out.When you say it stops working, does it crash? Is there any message in the console?Thomas

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera9 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Only the headers of the libraries are editable so I don't think I could add logging there. It might be worth looking at dmesg or syslog to see if there's anything there.

    Thanks Liam for the feedback. I updated the readme and I will update the repo once I get home. I'm glad it fixes the issue for the USB3 version of the ASI120.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera9 months ago
    Wireless All Sky Camera

    Hey Liam,I don't think you would need the firmware upgrade with the USB3 version of the ASI120MC. Most users reported a segmentation fault with the USB2 version and the firmware upgrade fixed it.I would suggest updating to the latest SDK: http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/software/ASI_l...There might be something specific to the USB3 version in their latest release.I haven't tested the USB3 version myself. I would try to use the camera with oacapture and make sure it works in order to rule out any camera or Raspberry Pi issue: http://www.openastroproject.org/downloads/Let me know if you make any progress on that issue.Thomas

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree9 months ago
    Grow Your Own Giant Sequoia Tree

    Hi Sandy, this is a good question. At that stage, you'll need a good moisture in the soil (but not too much because of the risk of root rot). Since your tray is fairly small, you will need to sprinkle every day. I would wait until I see the first leaves in the middle of the cotyledons. That is a sign that the main root has started to make secondary roots and the plant is more resistant to transplantation.If you fear the tray may dry up, you can prepare bigger pots with the exact same soil and moisture level (spray with fungicide to make sure), scoop the seedlings & soil from the ice cube tray and move them delicately to the new bigger pot.

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  • ThomasJ1 commented on ThomasJ1's instructable Wireless All Sky Camera10 months 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 Tree11 months 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 Tree11 months 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 Camera11 months 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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