MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:30 pm

Hi,

I'm in the (slow !) process of setting up; you can get a suitable ILQ74 from Maplins (I know ... but RS are expensive for these for some daft reason :roll: ) - Gordon quoted the Maplins code some pages back (unless you get the component expert of the shop, don't ask for an ILQ74 - you'll only confuse them terribly :twisted: ).

Re the connectivity to Celestron - ST4 is ST4 is ST4 ;) That's why it's the standard we use.

Re connectivity to a scope - unless you can get an adapter of some description to couple afocally the Pi camera to the scope, don't bother. You can source cheaply a M12 adapter with 21mm spacing (eBay, Amazon, etc); add that then add on the webcam adapter Gordon mentions and use instead of an eyepiece. The key is the right adapter ...

Mike

Jetstar49
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:19 am

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:04 am

Thanks Mike and Gordon. The photocoupler circuit doesn't look too complicated. I should be able to make it work. Thanks for confirming that it will work with the Celestron mount. I was worried the voltages might be different or something. Guess I'm just being a worry wort.

Looking forward to getting started on the project. I need a guide scope to improve my spectroscopy results.

- Andrew

bprats99
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:54 am
Location: Southern California USA

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:27 am

Sure is a surprise to find so much on Astrophotography here, I made my PiCam months ago, 3 cameras, one stock lens, one using a M12 security camera telephoto and then a modified 35mm camera with 35mm to 500mm Super Takamar lenses. Everything is battery powered and built for the field, WiFi controlled from my laptop, FTP to transfer files. Various shells with variations of Raspistill parameters for the moon and stars. -ex auto or -ss 6000000 for stars or -ss 10000 for the moon . F stop is F11 for the moon and F2 to F4 for stars. I am just now learning how to use deepskystacker and registax on the PC.

When using anything greater than 50mm lens an accurate locator scope is necessary, a hunters pocket scope and custom camera mount seem to work well. $6 on ebay,orange tinted lens.

A pair of Lithium 4 amp battery packs power a separate USB 4 amp power supply for the PiCam and the Linksys WRT-54 router running DD-WRT firmware as a repeater so I can use the Pi WiFi network on the main home WiFi network, taking it all to the field is seamless but of course no internet when camped in the boondocks.

Raspistill parameter DRC prevents annotation display on the png file photo frame and also found that annotation text size is not reliable, 42 seems the largest possible text size. I can display date/time/shutter speed but cannot display the ISO value on the frame annotation only on the verbose status output but it always shows ISO at zero so either I am using the wrong annotation display parameter format or annotation and ISO needs debugging. If ISO is manually set -ISO 600 then the verbose status output will show 600.

A 500mm lense with Pi senser is an effective 3500mm the best I figure, the field of view is less than 1 degree. If anyone knows the math for the ratio of the Pi sensor to a 35mm film slide that ratio times the lens focal length is the effective length. A moon photo fills the 5mp png frame so the moon craters are very clear. Aiming the lens is a bear, the locator scope must be dead on the spot or set raspistill and crontab to takes continuous frames while manually aiming the lens.

A wittyPi real time clock and power board and crontab (crontab -e and crontab -l (el) add a lot of flexibility for interval shooting and to turn the Pi off and on to save battery power for over night captures.

In order to improve the photo I tried AWB on and off in combination with DRC low to high and cannot see a difference.

How is raw output mode selected ? My camera firmware is something like 1.3.8 .

Anyway, I just wanted to help the community, its my 2 cents worth. If anyone wants the shell scripts I can post them here and if you know how to display ISO on the annotation I would appreciate your script. BTW I know nothing about astronomy except for the few brightest stars, this project began as a security cam project until I aimed the camera straight up one night and got a perfect meteor photo by chance. I'll learn more when if ever this project is fully automated with a motor drive mount. Tnx .....

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:56 am

MikeDunn wrote:Hi,

I'm in the (slow !) process of setting up; you can get a suitable ILQ74 from Maplins (I know ... but RS are expensive for these for some daft reason :roll: ) - Gordon quoted the Maplins code some pages back (unless you get the component expert of the shop, don't ask for an ILQ74 - you'll only confuse them terribly :twisted: ).

Re the connectivity to Celestron - ST4 is ST4 is ST4 ;) That's why it's the standard we use.

Re connectivity to a scope - unless you can get an adapter of some description to couple afocally the Pi camera to the scope, don't bother. You can source cheaply a M12 adapter with 21mm spacing (eBay, Amazon, etc); add that then add on the webcam adapter Gordon mentions and use instead of an eyepiece. The key is the right adapter ...

Mike
Mike,

To answer your questions..

The GPIO numbers in the opto-coupler schematic are physical pin numbers, there is a picture of them in the top right hand corner of the schematic above.

They are set starting at line 65 in the script

#Telescope control GPIO pins
N_OP = 22
S_OP = 18
E_OP = 24
W_OP = 16
# External camera control GPIO pin, eg DSLR
C_OP = 26
# Alternative camera control GPIO pin if C_OP = 26 and using SPI
AC_OP = 13

Note AC_OP which is an alternative output to trigger a DSLR, only used if you use the PiFace Relay Plus using SPI. SPI uses pins 24 and 26.

This shows the connections on the pcb I use. viewtopic.php?f=43&t=45246&start=195 , and the Maplin order numbers for the chips.

Gordon

JohnCollis
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:07 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:04 pm

How would I connect the Pi camera to the T-adapter? The PT-LH020RPM is relatively cheap except the package costs far outweigh the price of the device itself.

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:41 pm

JohnCollis wrote:How would I connect the Pi camera to the T-adapter? The PT-LH020RPM is relatively cheap except the package costs far outweigh the price of the device itself.
I am not sure where the t-adaptor comes into it.

You could possibly make something cheaper.

Gordon

JohnCollis
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:07 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:45 pm

I got the wrong end of the stick and made things far too complicated for myself! I've identified a suitable webcam adapter on Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Webcam-adapter- ... apter+1.25
If I understand correctly, I need to do the following steps:
a) remove the lens from the Pi camera
b) attach the camera to the adapter somehow, which is where the device from the US would be ideal; however I assume it's a simple case of attaching the camera board to the adapter by any mechanical means available.

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:00 pm

Does this photo help ?

I mounted the camera on the pi case with 4 2mm bolts, 2 with nuts the other 2 screw into the adaptor.

Gordon
Attachments
Image2.jpg
mount2
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mount.jpg
mount
mount.jpg (54.41 KiB) Viewed 3512 times
Last edited by gordon77 on Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JohnCollis
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:07 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:09 pm

Many thanks, it makes sense now.

MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:46 pm

John,

Check eBay or Amazon for the connector I was on about above ... they're about £4; any more 7 you're being ripped off ;) The webcam adapter screws into that.

Mike

MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:50 pm

Gordon,

Physical pin numbers for the 5 in my scope; gotcha :D

As I'm not triggering a DSLR, I don't need the other options on my board.

Mike

bprats99
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:54 am
Location: Southern California USA

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:35 pm

RPi 2B, WiFi FTP, 100mm Pentax Super Takamar lens
nohup Raspiyuv -rgb -ISO 800 -ex night -o test
The file extension was added once I found it on google

It was a clear night last night so I rushed to gather more moon photos using a 100mm lens and raspistill then switched to raspiyuv
A few mistakes, I didn't know the file type till later .yuv or .rgb
I used the Windows 7 program yuvplayer for yuv files and xnview for .rgb files but failed to get results so I need to get new photos before trying again.
Is there other software other than yuvplayer and xnview that I should use on Windows 7 ?
I have not tried viewing yuv on the Pi at this time.

In raspistill I use -dt to append the date to PNG files but got errors in the log showing script errors for -dt for yuv and rgb files so I had to remove -dt and -fb , I hope it was my mistake.

Any comments appreciated. Bill




FTP or streaming yuv output over WiFi takes a while

bprats99
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:54 am
Location: Southern California USA

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:57 pm

I just realized some folks don't know there are longer ribbon cables available for the PiCam, Adafruit.com offers PiCam ribbon cables up to 1 meter long. I am using the 24 inch cable from the Pentax body on the top of the tripod to the Pi electronics velcroed to one leg of the tripod. This has not given me any trouble in the 2 months I've used this setup in the field where things do get abused.

I tried to post a photo but the size is always too large, oh well ....

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:20 pm

bprats99 wrote:I just realized some folks don't know there are longer ribbon cables available for the PiCam, Adafruit.com offers PiCam ribbon cables up to 1 meter long. I am using the 24 inch cable from the Pentax body on the top of the tripod to the Pi electronics velcroed to one leg of the tripod. This has not given me any trouble in the 2 months I've used this setup in the field where things do get abused.

I tried to post a photo but the size is always too large, oh well ....
Try reducing / cropping photos to 640*480 then compressing as jpgs to less than 60k.

Gordon

MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:08 pm

bprats99 wrote:there are longer ribbon cables available for the PiCam
Rather than risk damaging a long ribbon cable, I'm using an HDMI cable with adapters at either end ... seems safer to me.

Mike

bprats99
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:54 am
Location: Southern California USA

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:59 am

I am sure your HDMI replacement for the flat ribbon cable is strong, apparently the compression ribbon connector is strong enough to carry the weight of the heavier cable. I did pull mine loose one night and it is a bugger to insert in the dark. A clamp will be fashioned in the future. Thanks for the idea.

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:17 pm

Update.

A few minor fixes, mainly webcam related.

Max window will now use the full window, not just a cropped window. Still goes at a reasonable speed on a Pi2B, especially if you don't have all the options on eg Thres, Graph etc.

All at your own risk ! . Let me know any errrors.

Gordon
Last edited by gordon77 on Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:17 pm

:D

Just sorted my ST4 cable (replaced one end with header pins), and will see if I can do a test on the 'scope this week-end ... Last week-end saw a successful stand-alone test to light LEDs :roll: Well, it's cheaper to replace them than a 10" SCT :lol:

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:21 pm

Mike,

Are you using the pi touchscreen? How does it work with the program, can you operate the buttons with the touch screen OK?

Gordon

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:25 pm

I've managed to reduce the size of the ST-4 interface, and DSLR opto coupler, board. So now I can fit the sockets in the case, and the RTC. reducing the cables and reliability of the connections
The ST-4 socket sits proud of the case lid so I need to work on that. In the meantime the liberal use of insulation tape holds it !!

Gordon
Attachments
PiAG_s.jpg
PiAG
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MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:13 pm

gordon77 wrote:Are you using the pi touchscreen? How does it work with the program, can you operate the buttons with the touch screen OK?
Yeah; works ok. Only awkward bit is using the + - functionality, as my fingers are too large ;) But that's why I have an RF keyboard/touchpad ! :lol:

One aspect that's not so good is the config buttons at the bottom of the screen; but that's because I don't have the header bar in "hide when unused" mode. However, if you're thinking of adding more user functionality, you may need to fully redesign the interface ... If not, it's OK as it is.

BTW - like your RJ12 adapter ! Wish I'd known this was available before I lopped off the end of my ST4 cable & soldered header pins to it :roll: Oh well ... that'll teach me not to ask ;) Just received my miniature breadboards today; I'll see about moving my setup onto one of them tonight (seems to be just big enough) & recover my larger one. Might post a pic of the result; will just need the Coupe top then !

Mike

gordon77
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:43 pm

Thanks Mike,

Any stylus's (stylii ?) like this... http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Capa ... B008HJGPVO work with the pi screen ?

Any particular reason you don't use the "hide when unused" mode ?, it will be easier than re-writing the program ;)

Gordon

MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:11 pm

Yeah, I have one of those (somewhere), they're a bit better than my finger ;) But I still prefer my RF touchpad :lol:

As to why I don't use "hide when unused" - it's because I'm an awkward beggar :lol: :roll: !!! As & when I get more into using this, I'll probably turn it on.

Mike

MikeDunn
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:26 am

Here's the image of my setup ...
Attachments
RasPi-BB.jpg
RasPi + Breadboard
RasPi-BB.jpg (58.79 KiB) Viewed 2840 times

scotty101
Posts: 2713
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:46 pm

gordon77,

Is your source code on GitHub?
Electronic and Computer Engineer
Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

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