At a recent society night Keith described how he has built an all-sky camera, mainly from parts he had laying around, the camera is capable of producing a live view of the sky, time laps video summary of the night, can upload the images to a website for public viewing and can be used as an ASCOM compliant sky sensor.

This short article provides some notes to help others wishing to do the same.


Parts needed:

  • PC/Laptop (windows)
  • A CCD/CMOS Astronomy camera (with ASCOM drivers)
  • Fish eye lens (Keith use a 2.1mm CCTV Cmount lens)
  • Long USB cable 
  • Rechargeable dehumidifier 
  • Water proof electrical junction box 
  • 3.5″ Acrylic dome (from
  • Plumbers Mate putty (to seal the dome to the junction box)
  • AllSkEye software 
  • Tektite Skies software (ASCOM cloud sensor software based on all sky camera)
  • 1 Ohm resistors (to make dew heater – although make them if you don’t want to make your own)
  • Rain-X Plastic – to reduce raindrops and dew on the dome.
  • USB female panel mount connector
  • 12v power supply – for the dew heater


Key Features provided by AllSkEye 

  • Can run 24/7 automonously
  • Acquire images during pre-set or calculated (e.g. night) times
  • Place latest image on the Internet (FTP)
  • Can automatically creates video files of saved images
  • Add overlay on images (e.g. timestamp, compass, text)
  • Can save files in FITS format
  • Detects meteor trails

Key Features provided by Tektite Skies

  • Able to detect stars and clouds
  • Can send an email or sound an alert when sky is clear
  • Start and stop times
  • Optional free ASCOM interface


All sky camera built by Keith Rickard

More information can be found in Keith’s Original Presentation.

Have you made one? Have other ideas on how to make an all sky camera? Leave a comment below