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All Sky Camera

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Finally got some time to put this all together.

Uses a Raspberry pi 4 and Thomas Jacquin's software. The environment data is captured using an esp32 since it is remote to the pi allowing them to connect over wifi.

Data from the remote sensor is processed by the pi, which controls the dew heaters and sends alarms if it clouds over. The data is also recorded so that I can draw pretty graphs ;-)


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Of course :-)

The camera is an ASI 178MM in a pretty standard enclosure mounted 15 feet up a pole. The camera housing is mounted to the pole using a custom designed and printed bracket.



The camera housing bracket.

The camera has two connections, one USB and the other power for the dew eater. Both cables run back to the Pi.

Since I did not want the the dew heater to run 24x7 I elected to build a sensor to calculate the dew point and only enable the heater when needed. Again this sensor plugs into the Pi.

I had issues running the temperature/humidity sensor over any distance so instead elected to just run power to the sensor from the Pi and use an ESP32. The remote sensors are connected to the ESP32 with software running on it that allows the Pi to poll it over WiFi to get the required data. The data returned is fairly simple.


The remote sensor consist of two sensors

A DHT22 to record the temperature and humidity. The code on the esp32 calculates the dew point

A MLX90614 to record the ambient ans sky temperature, used to work out if there is any cloud cover.

Since ths Pi is controlling power to the sensor it can reboot it if it were to lose contact.

To prevent the dew heater turning on and off rapidly as the temperate approaches the dew point a moving, averaged, sample window is used over a 5 minute period.

There All Sky camera software us running on the PI, I have modified this to allow extra data to be displayed on the camera images. There is also software running that polls the remote sensor for data, writes this to a local influxdb instance and displays a load of useful info on the small oled screen.

Daily Keogram and startrail images are generated and uploaded to a remote server. A timelapse vide of the night is also created and uploaded to a remote server.

I am running the camera in raw mode so it generates a lot of data, circa 6Gb per night. I keep 10 days of data on the Pi and automatically archive it to an ssd attached to the Pi.

All Sky Camera Controller

The Pi Controller in its enclosure

Pi All Sky Camera Controller

The Pi Controller running

All Sky Camera Remote Sensor

The remote sensor - Doesnt show the MLX90614 which is in the top of the case

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Posted by: @Gina

Thank you ? 

Pleasure :-)


I am now redesigning the cloud sensor around a Pi Zero and adding a rain sensor and various heaters. I have noticed that when it rains the cloud sensor misreads as the water blocks IR light.


Found a neat rain sensor with built in heater to help deal with false positives on Amazon.

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