Monday, September 19, 2016

All Sky camera project

okay, not an old toy.  Notes on building a raspberry pi supported all sky camera.

Camera, lens, dome:
ASI224MC camera from ZWO
wide angle lens Arecont 1.55
Acrylic dome



In order to capture images with the camera, we need to run a program in the terminal. ZWO provides an SDK in order for developers to communicate with the camera. Using this SDK, I modified one of their C++ example and compiled it for the raspberry pi. Here's a list of dependencies that need to be installed in order to get the program running.
  • OpenCV to capture the image of the sky (You can get a compiled version here)
  • Sunwait to calculate the civil twilight of your location. There is a compiled version in the archive
  • libusb, avconv, gawk, lftp, entr
To make things easy, I have attached an archive. All you need to do is to extract it at /home/pi/allsky.
From the lib folder, you will need to run sudo install asi.rules /lib/udev/rules.d in order to use the camera without being root.
Another thing you will need to do in order to automate everything is to run the main program on startup of the Pi. You can add this line in ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart: @xterm -e /home/pi/allsky/
Remember to set your wifi connection in order for the Pi to upload videos. contains all the parameters you might want to play with: GPS coordinate, white balance, exposure and gain.


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