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Pi Solar Camera - Astronomy with the Raspberry Pi

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codecage
(@codecage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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@zander 

I have the scope that Bill uses in his video, but I'm finding the aiming device doesn't work very well, at least for me.  I'll try the sight along the tube method in the morning.  I do have the proper solar glasses.

Thanks for the tip on locking the vertical axis.  Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow.

SteveG


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

@codecage Too bad you didn't get the AZ mount Bill got, that makes it easier. I am ready to order one myself plus I found out for an extra $125 I can turn it into a full EQ mount but for light loads which suits me fine, my days of hauling a 5ft long 10" diameter tube and almost 100lbs of tripod and mount are looooong over.

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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We have several hazy clouds today, nowhere as perfect as yesterday. Getting a good image of the Sun and the tracker is working beautifully. The moon contacts the sun in about 40 minutes.

😎

Bill

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


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

@dronebot-workshop We have been 100% overcast all day and we are well off the path of totality in any case.

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
 

@dronebot-workshop We finally got a little break in the clouds and can see about a 1/3 covered sun.

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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That was officially the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I wish we had the same clear day as yesterday. There were light clouds, but the view was spectacular nonetheless. I filmed the entire thing and removed the solar filter from the camera during totality.

I was totally impressed with the sky tracker; I moved the camera three times during the eclipse, and getting it to track again was simple.  I found that as long as you take a few minutes to make sure that the tripod is completely level (they have two levels you can read), the tracking is spot-on.

😎

Bill

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


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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The moment I took the solar filter off the camera:

vlcsnap 2024 04 08 19h11m42s667

😎

Bill

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


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

@dronebot-workshop Which camera is that? Did you also shoot video? What with?

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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JimG
 JimG
(@jimgilliland)
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@dronebot-workshop Ironically, since your forecast was so good all week, and mine was so iffy, I think we had much better weather than you did.   There were some thin wispy clouds overhead, but not enough to significantly impact the view of the sun.  It was pretty amazing!

As it turned out, my eclipse afternoon was completely low-tech.  I didn't even use any electricity!  But that was not by choice.  

I decided that I would not use my camera.  My son-in-law had his DSLR with a long lens, and it was clear that he would be able to get much better images than I would.  So I left that in his hands. 

I did plan to set up the telescope for visual viewing, and I left myself plenty of time.  But it did not go well.  Since we were in an open park, I brought fresh batteries for the mount and the Autostar.  But when I set it all up and turned it on, nothing happened.  Not even the LED on the mount itself.  I haven't yet tried to determine whether the problem was the batteries or the battery holder in the mount, but even after scraping the battery terminals, it simply didn't work.

So I hauled the scope to a new location where I could bring my car close and plugged it in to 12 volts.  That was better - everything booted up properly.  The Autostar worked to let me control the scope, but not for long.  It had worked perfectly in all my tests here at home (except with no display), but it did not work for long in the park, and after a few tries it quit working altogether.  At this point, it seems to be dead.  I can get a new (and improved) one for $220.  

That  left me with a telescope that was fully (FULLY!) manual.  I had to physically point it at the sun and then move it manually each time the sun moved out of view.  But it was OK.  I put in my 26mm Plossl, which basically filled its entire view with the sun.   I generally kept it slightly offset so we could see what was happening with the eclipse.  I was able to show it to our entire crew (6 adults and 6 kids), and then invited other groups over to look.  The image in the scope was excellent, and was well appreciated.

We only had a little over 2 minutes of totality in the park my daughters chose, but it was enough.


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@dronebot-workshop 

You can even Baily's beads!

My solar telescope adventure was a total bust.  I did get to see the partial eclipse at its fullest here in GA with my solar glasses.  There is supposed to be a total eclipse in northern GA in 2078.  Don't think many folks I know will be around to see that.  Maybe my grandkids or great grandkids!   Even if I get to see any of the one in 2045, I'd be around 99 years old.  ☹️ 😎 

SteveG


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

@codecage Not sure if you care to comment, but what part of the exercise gave you trouble that prevented getting some pictures?

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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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1040
 

@zander 

I was never able to get my telescope aimed correctly at the sun.  Not exactly why I was having the issue.

SteveG


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

@codecage It sounds like you either need to buy or fabricate some sort of aiming assistant. Use some removable sticky substance to affix a post (old piece of pencil) at the front and the back of the scope. With your eclipse glasses on, use your Mark one eyeball as the 3rd element in a line behind the 2 pencils. Now just maneuver the scope until the sticks block a part of the sun. LOCK the vertical adjustments, affix (glue) a white business card to the rear stick and to make those small horizontal adjustments just watch the shadow on the card.

NONE of that will work well if the scope is not first levelled. Use 2 or 3 levels to be sure.

Good luck

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
 

@dronebot-workshop I received an adapter from Amazon today that allows me to attach the Pi HQ camera to ALL my Canon EOS EF lenses. These adaptors are available in most Maker/lens flange styles such as Nikon (only one flange since forever), Minolta, Canon FD as well as EF etc.

I am particularly excited to see that FD (discontinued in 1992) is supported. There are a lot of old excellent glass and designs in the used market. They sell for much less and are a great way to build up a lens collection for the HQ.

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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JimG
 JimG
(@jimgilliland)
Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 39
 

I mentioned earlier that I deferred the photo taking to my son-in-law.  In hindsight, I wish I had taken at least a few - I'm sure I had time.  But the photos that I'm waiting to see are those taken by this camera:

image

   
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