Programming AllSky Software onto Pi4

Full disclosure: I am running a great AllSky software developed by Thomas Jacquin. I also watched a video by Patriot Astro many times who details how to install the script for AllSky onto your Pi.

Before building the housing and installing all the hardware I would recommend to program your Pi with the AllSky software and test its functions. This way if you had to rework it you don’t need to pull it all apart.

With an RPi4 running NOOBs or Debian or similar…open a script panel and run “sudo apt update”. Let the script run and then type in “sudo apt full-upgrade”.

You will need to have Github installed and to do so run; “sudo apt-get install git”. Now we can work on installing the AllSky software, camera installer and GUI.

AllSky Software: In the script window type in; “git clone –recursive https://github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky.git”. Let the script run and once finished you can take a look through the allsky directory by typing “cd allsky” then “ls -lsa”.

Camera Installer: Then type in “sudo ./install.sh” making sure you are in the allsky directory to run the camera installer. You will be asked to reboot. Choose yes.

GUI Install: Once back online you will open another script window and go to the allsky directory by entering “cd allsky” then “sudo gui/install.sh”. You will need to reboot again.

From here the GUI is now installed. From a browser window you can enter the IP of your PI and use the graphical interface to make some adjustments. You will want to go to Menu>Camera Settings and at a minimum enter the Lat/Long of your location. If you plan to push your images, timelapse, keograms and startrails to a webhost you will also want to open the script editor from the menu and input your specific ftp/sftp setting in the “ftp-settings.sh” file.

Now it gets interesting. You can absolutely run the AllSky from your local network and all would run smoothly. Thomas Jacquin has also developed a way to provide a public web interface so you can share your AllSky camera with friends, family or the world if you so choose. Read on if you would like to use a web interface like I do on a hosted web server.

After installing all the above and if you plan to push your images, timelapse, keograms and startrails to a webhost you will also want to open the script editor from the menu and input your specific ftp/sftp setting in the “ftp-settings.sh” file. On your webhost site directory create a folder called “allsky” with sub-folders called “keograms”, “startrails”, and “videos”. This is where the individual output files will be loaded at the end of the night or whenever else you choose.

You can also then install the AllSky-website files to share this with anyone. Here is what I did because my edits to the initial config.js file would not save and display so I hope this helps someone out there…

From a PC download the AllSky-website files from “GitHub – thomasjacquin/allsky-website: Web interface displaying an image from an allsky camera” click the green “Code” button and download the “allsky-website-master” zip file. Unzip this to a location on your PC.

With notepad++ open “config.sh” from the expanded “allsky-website-master” folder and fill in each area with your details. Save that file and open the “index.html” file in notepad++.

Once the “index.html” file is open in notepad++ edit row 3 with the title you want to display in the browser tab. Edit row 31 and 36 with the same title if you’d like. Rows 42 – 47 should be edited with similar details as you had entered in the “config.js” file. Lastly, edit row 65 as the source for the current image will be “image-resize.jpg”. Make sure you save your changes and test your configurations to make sure everything looks good by double clicking the “index.html” file. If all looks correct when the file launches get ready to ssh into your webhost.

Now ssh into your webhost directory and copy over all files from the “allsky-website-master” folder on your PC to the same “allsky” directory that you created the 3 sub-folders in from above. The folders will be overwritten but that is just fine unless you had files in there you wanted to keep. Back them up first them copy everything over.

Now open your AllSky Website in a browser window and check how it runs/looks. If all is well you can now share that URL with anyone you choose.

Should you run into any issues the links provided for Thomas Jacquin site and posts as well as the videos posted by Patriot Astro will be a great resource.

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