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Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:56 pm
by Bikeman
Indeed, that would be a good idea. Anyway I think the video mode (for later stacking with Registax etc) is the best justification for using the camera in a astrophotography context.

I did some shots of the sun today (with the aperture covered by a solar filter, of course!!!), and it wasn't too convincing. Finding the right focus is really tricky. Once the moon is in a more convenient phase I'll try that, plus maybe Jupiter with a "real", driven 6" Newtonian. The FOV with that one should be about 0.2 deg, or less than 0.1 deg with a Barlow lens, so Jupiter would be several dozens of pixels across. Might be enough to recognize it as Jupiter... we will see. But probably the Moon would be the best target for this kind of sensor.

CS
HBE

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:29 pm
by rcpettengill
Glad to see other's working on this. The Raspberry Pi with wireless and camera adapters is less expensive than a webcam. My notion is to achieve is laptop-free astrophotography with:

* Raspberry Pi + camera module + wireless network
* small USB rechargeable battery pack
* iPhone or iPad using the browser for camera/telescope control interface, focus, and image display

I started prototyping my own system. So far:

* I removed the fixed lens from my RPi camera.
* I've build a stable adapter for the RPi camera module to the Questar rear port camera adapter for prime focus.
* I'm controlling the the RPi through a ssh shell connection for still photos and to stream video via VLC to my laptop (should work on my iPad as well) for focussing.

There are lots of things still to do:
* a better case for the RPi that will attach more securely to the Questar.
* the Web interface to control the camera.
* configure a peer to peer WiFi connection on the RPi for my iPad (the house WiFi is a bit week out in the yard).
* killing the red video recording LED, ...

The RPi should also be capable of driving high end webcams using USB as well as chips better suited to astrophotography that use it's dedicated camera bus. Goto scope control should be possible as well (not a priority for me now with the push-to Questar).

Last night I finally got a chance for some astro photos which turned out relatively well. I haven't written up any documentation yet, but I have a flickr photo set that shows my setup and an example shot:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/robpetteng ... 483690850/

As soon as I have more of the pending issues resolved, I'll try some deep sky stuff with longer exposures using the clock drive.

;rob

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:54 pm
by gordon77
I've been working on a autoguide system for my LX10, still in development !

I've mounted the RPi camera by expanding the RPi case with a second box, I thought the ribbon cable would be very vulnerable. I removed the lens and replaced it with the 1.25" adaptor to the telescope.

I'm also working on a python autoguiding programme. It uses the pictures from the RPI camera, or can use a USB webcam, and sends Meade ASCII commands, eg #Mgn1000, via USB to an Arduino Uno which then controls my LX10 via relays. I suppose it maybe able to drive an LX200 via serial on USB.

The screen shot below is using a 80mm guide scope on a target, not a star, for testing.
I'm not sure of the sensitivity of the camera yet.

It's still in the workshop but will hopefully make it outdoors this winter !!.

Gordon77

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:26 pm
by thsBavR10
Hi Gordon 77,

I'm very interested in your project and your autoguide program.
The screenshots look very impressive.
Are you planning to make your program open source/freeware?

Thomas

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:38 pm
by gordon77
thsBavR10 wrote:Hi Gordon 77,

I'm very interested in your project and your autoguide program.
The screenshots look very impressive.
Are you planning to make your program open source/freeware?

Thomas
Yes no problem. It's not finished but you can have a version to try.
It's getting a bit big to paste on here, and I don't have a clue about using github etc !

I'll try to upload the code on here.

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:16 pm
by thsBavR10
Hi,
my telecope is a Meade ETX 125 PE.
I'll try to find the yahoo-group you are posting.
Many thanks for your help,
Thomas

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:55 pm
by gordon77
You will need the latest version of Raspistill in /home/pi as my program calls ./raspistill....

Code: Select all

wget https://www.dropbox.com/s/7g3ps83a2rrxtp0/raspistill
chmod a+x raspistill

You will need python-serial installing, using 'sudo apt-get install python-serial'

Run the python program with IDLE, not IDLE3

It will start in demo mode where you will see a star and can click on it and start the autoguide simulation etc.

To enable a camera set 'camera_connected = 1', if using a USB camera rather than a RPI camera set 'use_RPicamera = 0'
When you have an Arduino Uno etc on the serial port set 'serial_connected = 1'

Gordon 77

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:18 pm
by jamesh
I've got a Celestron C8 on an goto equatorial mount that I really don't use enough. This looks like a good excuse to get it out on the lawn!

Good job on the pics above.

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:23 pm
by gordon77
jamesh wrote:I've got a Celestron C8 on an goto equatorial mount that I really don't use enough. This looks like a good excuse to get it out on the lawn!

Good job on the pics above.
Hopefully you can modify the code (which I agree isn't very pretty !) for the Celestron, its written for Meade LX200 ASCII commands. I use it to an Arduino Uno, via USB, which drives relays.

The pics so far have all been test cards no stars yet.

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:25 pm
by thsBavR10
gordon77 wrote:Hopefully you can unzip the .py attached.
You will need the latest version of Raspistill in /home/pi as my program calls ./raspistill....

Code: Select all

wget https://www.dropbox.com/s/7g3ps83a2rrxtp0/raspistill
chmod a+x raspistill
You will need python-serial installing, using 'sudo apt-get install python-serial'
Run the python program with IDLE, not IDLE3. It will start in demo mode where you will see a star and can click on it and start the autoguide simulation etc.
To enable a camera set 'camera_connected = 1', if using a USB camera rather than a RPI camera set 'use_RPicamera = 0'
When you have an Arduino Uno etc on the serial port set 'serial_connected = 1'
Gordon 77
Hello Gordon 77,
unzip did as expected, I installed python-serial, running in IDLE also worked.
At the moment the demo mode is perfect for me! (I have no Arduino at the moment. First I need
to understand your concept, the components and the code. )
Thank you very much for sharing!
Hopefully in the near future the Raspberry Cam will satisfy your (and others) requirements.
Maybe the "Pi-Noir - Night vision camera" will be interesting..

Greetings from germany, Thomas

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:10 pm
by gordon77
Heres the connections to the Arduino Uno, and the relay board by 'seeed' I use to wire to the LX10.

You'd need to check out any connections to your, or other, scopes to avoid any damage.

http://seeedstudio.com/wiki/Relay_Shield_V1.0

If you need to use the Arduino Uno I can let you have the program for that but if your scope has a serial connection and can accept LX200 ASCII commands that may work. I don't have experience of that so can't advise.

Gordon77

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:48 pm
by gordon77
Anyone trying astrophotography should try the New version of raspistill. Take a look at the New version of raspistill thread.
It lets you set exposure time manually upto 345mS.

If you want to try it you can install it by using
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get update
sudo rpi-update

git clone https://github.com/raspberrypi/userland.git
cd userland
git checkout master
./buildme

Then use the -SS option

raspistill -ss 300000 -t 200 -o test.jpg

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:58 am
by gordon77
jamesh wrote:I've got a Celestron C8 on an goto equatorial mount that I really don't use enough. This looks like a good excuse to get it out on the lawn!

Good job on the pics above.
Does your c8 have a ST-4 autoguide port? If so l can give you details on how to connect to that.

I am currently working on a version using the GPIO outputs so won't need the arduino uno.

Gordon77

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:01 am
by gordon77
New version of my python autoguider to try.

I can't guarantee the USB camera option , not fully tested (the USB serial option should work OK just the GPIO output timing may not be correct), RPI camera should work OK. Let me know any issues.

You'll need to run it with 'sudo idle', not the idle icon on the gui

You will need to use the latest raspistill, and do an rpi-update etc

$ cd
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential git cmake
$ git clone https://github.com/raspberrypi/userland.git
$ cd userland
$ git checkout master
$ ./buildme

It can now use GPIO outputs (see photo for connections). These go HIGH to drive, you'll need to provide the relay design etc. Note connections for W-West, S-South, O=gnd, N-North, E-East.

sudo apt-get install pyhton-serial. if you want to use the serial USB output, and set serial_connected =1 in the program

It uses the -ss option for manual exp time when exp mode = off. To get maxm sensitvity use exp mode = off, exp time to max and ISO up to 800.
'pc' = picture capture, 'sc' = screen capture , all saved in /home/pi. Will overwrite the same names when you restart the programme so move if you want to keep them.

use SAVE config options BEFORE trying to use RELOAD config options !

I'll leave the ZIP on here for a couple of days

As usual all at your own risk !

Gordon77

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:57 pm
by Bikeman
Hi!

Here's an impression what you can do with a Raspi Cam after removing the lens on a modest 6 inch Newtonian telescope.

This is a 5 second video, out of the box (I just wrapped the H264 file with n MP4 container using MP4Box), of the moon, on a day with not so good seeing. Actually it started raining shortly afterwards, so I couldn't make further tests, like playing with exposure and white balance settings etc. At the lower left corner you can see the edge of the "disk", giving you a hint about the FOV.

http://www.ehea-obs.org/astro/moon-test1-raspivid.mp4 (ca 9MB)


As you can see at this pixel scale, the atmospheric disturbances are the limiting factor, but I guess by using the usual tools for stacking videos like Registax, Giotto etc , nice results could be achieved.

The pixels resolution is probably exceeds the diffraction limit of a 6 inch telescope, it would be interesting to see results on telescopes with larger apertures.

CS
HB

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:46 pm
by gordon77
Nice video. What settings did you use on the camera?

Gordon77

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:28 pm
by Bikeman
All default. By the time I had managed to convert the thing into MP4 for inspection, rain had started :( . I guess it would be a good idea to set the white balance to a fixed value and other exposure settings as well, but the weather report looks like this will have to wait ...

CS
HB

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:36 pm
by gordon77
Bikeman wrote:All default. By the time I had managed to convert the thing into MP4 for inspection, rain had started :( . I guess it would be a good idea to set the white balance to a fixed value and other exposure settings as well, but the weather report looks like this will have to wait ...

CS
HB
Thanks. Better luck next time :D

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:45 pm
by gordon77
I've managed to squeeze the relay board for ST-4 (4 solid state relays) and a L293DNE (for focus motor) into my pi case :D

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:54 pm
by Ravenous
gordon77 wrote:...L293DNE (for focus motor)...
We are not worthy! :D

Does this bit of it work by driving a motor that's already on the scope's own focuser?

This is getting close to a DIY auto-focus Pi camera, by a somewhat roundabout route, by the sound of it!

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:32 pm
by gordon77
Ravenous wrote:
gordon77 wrote:...L293DNE (for focus motor)...
We are not worthy! :D

Does this bit of it work by driving a motor that's already on the scope's own focuser?

This is getting close to a DIY auto-focus Pi camera, by a somewhat roundabout route, by the sound of it!
I have one of the Meade #1209 focusers, and if you remove the hancontroller for it you can drive it with PWM, and the L293DNE will do that. I have a similar system I built using an Arduino Uno (which the pi can also send LX200 ASCII commands to)

http://www.opticsplanet.com/meade-zero- ... cuser.html

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:00 am
by dmpalmer
I have made a 3D printable telescope adaptor for the Pi camera module. It is available at
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:181310
and
https://github.com/dmopalmer/PiPiece

It's OpenSCAD if you have a weird telescope draw tube diameter, but I have made STLs for 0.965", 1.25" and 2.00".

I realize that the intersection of (Telescope ∩ Pi ∩ 3D printer) is significantly smaller than (Telescope ∩ Pi), but it is not empty.

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:20 pm
by thsBavR10
Hello dmpalmer, thank you very much!
Great idea, good documentation.
I'll have a look at the local fablab (at university, open also for non-students), there are 3D printers available sometimes at weekend.

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:46 pm
by gordon77
Finally got the telescope, 80mm and EQ6, dragged out to try out the Pi camera and guiding.
Managed to find a star OK, seeing wasn't good. pleased with Pi camera sensitivity.

(note this is the Pi camera, not tried the PiNoIR yet)

Software not working as expected yet, guiding worked but star circled around the required target but this maybe just a matter of tweaking the software timings to suit the EQ6, and I hadn't done any alignment just pointed roughly North.

Pleased so far :D

Re: RaspberryPi Camera for Astrophotography

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:11 pm
by gordon77
Fixed a few bugs and made a few improvements and its working a lot better and tracking well.

Gordon77