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Author Topic: Webcams and the sun?  (Read 812 times)
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skyewright
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2008, 06:11:13 PM »

blow it....1645 and I've missed the dusk!!! Shocked...2 lights lower centre and blackness...I'll have to look again tomorrow... Wink
I have timestamped JPEG images at one minute intervals here...
Sunset was at 15:58. It was overcast and raining, so it got dark much quicker than yesterday.
16:05 image shows no degradation.
16:10 image just a little grainy.
16:15 low colour, distinctly grainy
16:20 more so.
16:25 Can still tell sky from earth, but little else.
16:30 Black (and it was indeed dark outside by then).

As unprocessed jpegs the images would exceeded the Forum limits - but 16:10, 16:15, 16:20 and 16:25 are in the attached zip.

I think the WD "daytime only" options  are based on sunrise/sunset?
If so it would be handy if instead they either worked from/to twilight or allowed for some user defined bracketing to extend the time to before sunrise & after sunset.

PS. Must remember to turn off the LED (which is what was producing the 2 lights...).
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2008, 07:08:22 PM »

Thanks for those piccies..it will be interesting to see how it copes with various levels of moonlight/cloud cover... Smiley

I've been using a remotely auto controlled old cannon digital camera to get reasonable night time shots...but unfortunately it was too late for the Noctilucent cloud season and the chance of getting aurora at the current solar min is a bit of a no no...grhh  You can perhaps get an idea of the capabilities here....but I am rarely switching it on for upload due to both camera age and bandwidth limitations.   Sad Sad

Yes, I'm sure that there was a request a little while back, for the webcam settings in WD to be shifted around the usual SS and SR (preferably to the users requirements)...I can't find the request at the mo' Sad
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 10:20:59 AM »

Essentially clear to the SE this morning. First hint of 'non-black' @ 0725, definite signs of sky/cloud near horizon by 0730 (attached), very grainy and still essentially mono but with clearly defined clouds by 0745 (attached), colour was creeping in by 0755, by 0800 (attached) there was the decent colour and the graininess was almost gone, somewhere between 0810 (attached) and 0815 'normal' lighting was achieved.

Nautical twilight 0702
Civil twilight 0752
Sunrise 0839

Overall I'd say the detail on the captured images is not far from what was visible to me looking out from a lighted room (i.e. not as clear/detailed as if I were stood outside or looking out from a room where the light was not on).

When the sun did come into the frame, there was / is considerable 'flare' around it (the camera is looking directly through a double glazed window).

« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 10:26:18 AM by skyewright » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2008, 10:58:28 AM »

Overall I'd say the detail on the captured images is not far from what was visible to me looking out from a lighted room (i.e. not as clear/detailed as if I were stood outside or looking out from a room where the light was not on).
While looking for the setting to turn off the 'indicator' LED (i.e. the point of light seen 'after dark') I discovered the "Color Night View" setting too (i.e. the facility to automatically reduce shutter speed as light levels decrease). I'd thought that would be the default, but it wasn't. Now set. Interesting to see what effect it has at dawn/dusk...
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 11:00:48 AM by skyewright » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2008, 01:26:37 PM »


While looking for the setting to turn off the 'indicator' LED (i.e. the point of light seen 'after dark') I discovered the "Color Night View" setting too (i.e. the facility to automatically reduce shutter speed as light levels decrease). I'd thought that would be the default, but it wasn't. Now set. Interesting to see what effect it has at dawn/dusk...

That may turn out to be quite a critical change...5 lux down to 3 lux?...Even so it looks as though the light gathering capabilities of the camera is very good...

Let's hope that the sky remains fairly cloud free this PM etc..
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« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2008, 05:43:12 PM »

Let's hope that the sky remains fairly cloud free this PM etc..
Full and almost even cloud cover in that direction (and mainly cloudy on the other 'sides' too), and of course a slightly shorter day,
but we squeezed an extra 10 minutes or so out of the camera compared to yesterday, not reaching fully black till just before 1640. Attached is 1629.
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2008, 06:12:21 PM »

Not 3 bad. Grin Grin.. I was watching the 5 min uploads from 1600 and was able to see the decline in light quite well right through to about the 1641 upload...I couldn't do a direct comparison with my Logitech webcam (difference in cloud cover and of course the difference in time of sunset).  However, I suspect the two are very similar.

As the moon is just a smidgin at the mo it will be interesting to see if moonlight has much of an affect on the view when it gets nearer to full moon...also the moon should show if there is reasonably clear sky.  We shall see. Wink Wink
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2008, 07:05:35 PM »

As the moon is just a smidgin at the mo it will be interesting to see if moonlight has much of an affect on the view when it gets nearer to full moon...also the moon should show if there is reasonably clear sky.  We shall see. Wink Wink
My thoughts too - I've decided to leave updating of website image on full time for the present at least.

I'm just trying to decide if the low energy PC that WD runs on is up to the job of compiling a once a day "full day" animation...

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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2008, 08:00:31 PM »

I'm just trying to decide if the low energy PC that WD runs on is up to the job of compiling a once a day "full day" animation...
I think that may have been a question very recently on the WD forum; as to whether it was possible without doing the hourlies as well....I have been doing a little experimentation with the swf format, but although they take little processor time (compared to wmv), the file size created is very much larger. Sad

I bought an Advent 4211 Atom Netbook PC (Win XP)a few months ago and so far have been mightily impressed...I have a strong impression that it would make a very good standalone WD Wx PC and I guess that it uses very little power....I must hook it up to my power consumption meter one day,
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 08:08:21 PM by munrobaggins » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2008, 08:49:56 PM »

It all looking good David.  Grin
You shouldn't have any problems with the moon, I recorded the passage of Venus on my Logitech in the early morning last year and the moon is quire interesting, although the actual moonlight doesn't light anything up in my cam. Once it's out of shot then it's just a normal black night again.
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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2008, 10:52:47 AM »

It all looking good David.  Grin
Even better now I've adjusted the colour balance from 'Standard' to 'Outdoor' - the blue sky now actually looks blue.  Wink

And the low energy PC seems happy enough producing .sfw video files (just for personal consumption at this stage) too.  Grin

I'd seen comments about SFW being 'blocky', but I noticed that the video on Martin's page was using sfw and that looks great to me.
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