The folks over at The Astro Imaging Channel invited me to present and I decided to talk about a recent project which was: building an all sky camera.
This is a project that anyone can handle with minimal tool abilities. You need to be able to drill some holes and apply silicone sealer and figure out how you will mount the camera but that’s the extent of the tool handy-entity skills you need. I’m not the tool belt lesbian in the relationship. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Really.
The total cost for my build was $655. The four biggest items were the camera ($349), the lens ($55), the Pi ($95), and the housing ($57). If you used a smaller housing your cost would be less than $20 for the housing. If you used the ASI224MC then your cost would be around $250 for the camera. Compare this to the cost of a commercial all sky camera of over $1,000 and that is without a computer to actually capture the images. If you have some of these parts already your out of pocket cost could be significantly less.
Here are links to the parts I used. Given that I was putting extra hardware inside the housing I used a larger box than would be needed for a camera and Pi alone. I’ll include links to some alternate hardware choices as well. Note that the links are affiliate links.
The following table provides links to some alternate choices. For example, if space permits on your housing, a dome larger than 80mm might be a better choice. And if you don’t need room for extra equipment a smaller housing might make sense. There are also some camera alternatives that make good choices.