Introduction

What is Meteotux PI?

Program to record continuous high resolution images of night time fireballs, aeroplanes, satellite flashes etc.

Why program exists?

Program was made for astronomy research. Program records continuous long exposure stream from camera ensuring that there is no missing frames between exposures and even between produced jpg files. (Please see the "Satellite fly by" samples.)

What you need to run software?

Raspberry Pi + USB-power supply.

Camera module like this or this one without IR-filter.

SD-card Raspberry Pi OS installed on it (others may work too, not tested).

The program Meteotux PI itself.

What's new

Version "1.5.18"

Bug fix: Maximum exposure limit 10s removed.

Raspberry PI:s with old firmware reports HQ camera as "testc" instead of "imx477". Accepting "testc" camera as HQ temporaly. Please update your firmware (rpi-update) in case of "testc" camera.

Minor internal changes.

Version "1.5.13"

Workaround on 1.x camera gain control.

--removelogo did not work on version 1.5.2. fixed.

Internal changes on program.

Version "1.5.2"

Added manual gain control to all cameras to overdrive camera automatic gain control (AGC).

Specially to fix V2 camera AGC problems on long exposure (dark pictures).

UPDATE: Old version 1.x camera seems to not respect manual gain settings over time, we are researching the problem.

UPDATE: Found workaround, will be included in next version for 1.x cameras.

Version "1.4.15"

Tested Raspberry Pi Model A+, camera V1. Memory split 92M, overclocking high 950MHz ARM, 250MHz SDRAM, 6 over voltage.

UPDATE: There has been report that process get stuck on Model A+, so this setup is not recommended until tested more closely.

UPDATE: Freezing caused most probably due over clocking on individual motherboard.

Version "1.4.14"

Tested and now working on Raspberry PI Zero, v3 and v4 with all camera modules V1, V2 and Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera

Getting started

  • Start terminal and create folder 'meteotux'

mkdir meteotux

  • Download Meteotux PI



  • Copy it to meteotux folder

cp ~/Downloads/meteotux_pi ~/meteotux/

  • Go to folder 'meteotux'

cd meteotux

  • Set the execute flag for it

chmod +x meteotux_pi

  • Raspbian OS with desktop here's a short video how to install Meteotux PI Link to video



Start taking images

(At start first images are over exposured due long camera gain settling time. This will be corrected on future versions. )

  • Example 1:

Test taking 2 minute (120s) captures with exposure of 2s with gain 4

./meteotux_pi -d 120 -e 2000 -g 4 --verbose

Now after 2 minutes 1st image is ready (ctrl-c will exit)

  • Example 2

Leave running on background for nights between 16:00-07:00 UTC

nohup ./meteotux_pi -d 300 -e 6000 -g 4 --drc high -t 16:00-07:00 &

note: Remember if you use the command above the meteotux_pi will run

infinite on background until manually stopped.

To end meteotux_pi process and type

sudo killall meteotux_pi

This will stop meteotux_pi and save last image to disk.

Have fun :)

Sample images taken with Meteotux PI

Click images to see them full sized

Bright meteor

Satellite fly by

Another satellite fly by

A meteor

A plane

FAQ

  • Where i can buy Raspberry PI hardware?

: Check your nearest reseller from https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/

  • What equipment i need to get started ?

: You need a Raspberry PI board you choose ie. Raspberry PI 3+, camera module V2 , Micro SD card with Raspberry PI OS.

: Tested and working with Raspberry PI versions B+, 2, 3 and 4

  • Where i get Raspberry PI OS?

: Latest version can be found from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-os/

or you can buy Micro SD card from Raspberry PI resellers

  • Does Meteotux PI need access to internet when running?

: No it doesn't need internet access to run . However you might need it to keep your Raspberry PI clock synchronized. Or you can use a hardware RTC module sold by Raspberry pi resellers.

  • Can i run Meteotux PI with windows?

: No you can't

  • Is Meteotux PI free to use?

: Yes the basic version of Meteotux PI is free to use.

  • What camera modules work with Meteotux PI

: All official Raspberry PI camera modules V1 , V2 and HQ

  • What difference is between basic version of Meteotux PI and PRO version?

: Free version has limited max output image size to 2592x1952 pixels. See chart below.

: Options to remove logo and image flipping.

  • Can i remove Meteotux PI logo from images?

: Yes you can with PRO version .

  • How much PRO version of Meteotux PI cost?

: For private use and nonprofit organizations and schools its 30 euros, For commercial use contact author.

: With PRO licence you can install it as many raspberry pi's you want and get lifetime upgrades free.

  • Where i can buy a PRO version of Meteotux PI?

: Click button below

  • What other options meteotux pi have?

: You can see all options when you run meteotux pi without any options. At this time here are list of them.

./meteotux_pi


Tips

  • Remember to enable camera interface . From command line run raspi-config

sudo raspi-config and check under interfaces that camera is enabled

  • Remember to disable Raspberry PI camera LED! You can do it adding the following text to /boot/config.txt file .

disable_camera_led=1

You can use normal text editor or command line you can do this with commands

sudo su

echo "disable_camera_led=1" >> /boot/config.txt

sudo reboot

  • If you don't get any images check your camera cable connectors and use raspistill to verify your camera is ok with command

raspistill -o test.jpg

  • If user receive errors like 'mmalipc: mmal_vc_init_fd: failed to initialise vchiq', allow user to access camera with command

sudo usermod -aG video USERNAME

  • If you get ENOSPC errors like:

mmal: mmal_vc_component_enable: failed to enable component: ENOSPC

mmal: mmal_vc_port_enable: failed to enable port vc.ril.camera:out:1(RGBA): ENOSPC

mmal: mmal_port_enable: failed to enable port vc.ril.camera:out:1(RGBA)(0x78a1f0) (ENOSPC)

Error enabling port

You need to add more GPU memory, do the following:

  1. sudo raspi-config

  2. Select Advanced Options

  3. Select Memory Split

  4. Change value to 196 or 256

  5. Save changes and reboot

  • Another reason might be that you got Meteotux PI running in the background

Check that with command

sudo px -ax|grep meteotux

if it is running use following command to stop it

sudo killall meteotux_pi or if you have PRO versio sudo killall meteotux_pi_pro

  • If you get dark images, overdrive camera automatic gain control (AGC) with switch -g. Try using value -g 4.0


Image gallery. Some images are from beta version

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Sample videos made from Meteotux PI stacked images

Auroras

Star trails

Camera with wide angle lens

Meteotux PI install guide for with Raspberry PI OS with desktop


If you like the software and want to support future development of Meteotux PI click the PayPal button below or scan QR code to use bitcoin