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Pi Solar Camera - Astronomy with the Raspberry Pi

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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
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@codecage What is that Steve?

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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Posted by: @zander

. I am waiting to hear what you think of the tripod (tracking Saturn would be a good test)

My initial impression is that it is very well made. Certainly, it would have no issue supporting the 5 Kg they claim it holds. It's aluminum construction, except for the accessory tray. It comes with a solid aluminum center column, which is optional; I have it installed. I'm not sure how tall it gets as I have it in its lowest position and only extended two of the legs slightly to balance it.  It weighs a bit, so hiking somewhere with it would be challenging.

The drive unit is just as solid, if you press your ear against it, you can just hear it working.  I had a bit of an issue figuring out which way was "up" when I installed the telescope, and I think it could have come with more instructions, but I watched two videos and read the manuals before taking it outside (paired it with my phone last night) and I didn't need any further instructions to get it to work with the Sun.

The app was a bit confusing at first, probably because I hadn't used software like this before. After a while, it was pretty intuitive. I also downloaded a compass app, but I didn't need it for the simple tracking mode I used.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@zander

My first picture of the sun through my solar telescope.  Captured from a VLC recording of the stream from the Raspberry Pi

SteveG


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
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@codecage Something doesn't look right. Did you use any kind of filter? Which camera are you using, the CS or M12. If using the CS, did you add the extra ring. See attached pic. If you did, then try it again without.

Screenshot 2024 04 07 at 15.03.14

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@zander

I've been unable to pick up the sun again in my scope.  Just the HQ camera with the adapter for the scope eye piece screwed into the back focus ring of the camera.  The scope is the lens and has a solar filter built into it.

SteveG


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7410
 

@codecage So you did NOT add the CS adapter? The CS adapter changes the focus point, if you need it (likely) and didn't install it you can NEVER achieve focus. If you did install it, then you may have the reverse situation.

I had a large collection of rings and tubes to cover every situation I had with several scopes, cameras and eye pieces. Each combo needs to place either the sensor or the eye at the exact spot where the light rays converge.

The size of the image will also be affected.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7410
 

@codecage Here is a picture of the camera, cs adapter, telescope to C tube. To try it, just aim at the farthest tree you can see or a mountain after you remove the solar filter.

Screenshot 2024 04 07 at 16.25.55

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@zander 

On this scope the solar filter isn't removable.

SteveG


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7410
 

@codecage Ok, but that isn't the important part, do you have the parts assembled as pictured, your description as I understood it was missing the CS adapter. It is needed to correct the back focus so the images will be sharp.

I am not sure if you get one or two of them or if it's one that comes apart. The point is you have to make the point of focus from the optics coincide with what we call the focal plane but in this case it might be better called sensor plane. Does your scope have a focuser?

Maybe send me a couple pictures, some overall, some close up.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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Here is a rather boring test video made with the DSLR on the Sky-Watcher mount.

The quick movement at the beginning was me playing with the alignment controls. Otherwise, the tracker is keeping the Sun centered.

What is significant about this particular video is that it was taken exactly 24 hours before the eclipse. I'm hoping the weather will be as good in 24 hours as it is now!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@zander 

The CS adapter is in place.  It wasn't to begin with but it is now!

SteveG


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7410
 

@codecage That should do the trick.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@dronebot-workshop 

Is that using the sky tracker?

SteveG


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@zander 

We'll try again in the morning.  Shut down for the day.  My issue now is training the scope on the sun and not empty sky!

SteveG


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7410
 

@codecage I take it you don't have the solar scope that Bill has. That has a nifty aiming device. If you have eclipse glasses, you should be able to sight the scope the old fashioned way of just placing your head next to the back of the tube and getting a rough alignment. Then use the camera to get it centered. If you don't have any sort of motorized tracking, the math is every 4 min the sun moves 1 degree. I am attaching a picture we use for visual astronomy. Multiply the degrees by 4 to get the minutes. This will allow you to move the scope in order to keep the image in frame.

IMPORTANT: Keep the vertical axis locked and only move the scope horizontally. Eventually the vertical centering will start to go out of view, so then manually adjust it to take it to the extreme in the opposite direction.

I am unsure about your equipment, but if you have video mode and a display tracking will be a lot easier, if not what about a preview feature.

Maybe if there is enough interest designing and building a guider might be a good project. It feeds into the tracking motors small adjustments to keep the object centered.

PS, the cost to convert the AZ to an EQ is as low as $125.

Good luck tomorrow.

Screenshot 2024 04 07 at 19.20.01

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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