Live image on my PC?
Posted 05 March 2013 - 05:09 PM
Posted 05 March 2013 - 07:55 PM
The AUX port is the same as the port that your handset is plugged into. Many of us use it instead of the one buried deep in the handset socket area, just because it's easier to get at.
The Camera port is supposed to be used to control your camera. The idea is to set up a routine, using the handset where the scope will move from target to target and the camera will take a picture at each one. The Camera port is used as a camera remote control to snap the picture if it's connected to an appropriate connector on the camera.
However, the scope is not really accurate enough to use it for that purpose unless you're using a low magnification, such as using a focal reducer. Even so, modern AP (astrophotography) involves taking a series of short exposures (for planetary or lunar) and stacking them. Or, for DSOs, taking much longer exposures and stacking them. Neither of these scenarios is particularly useful with the camera connector.
Bottom line - ignore the camera connector and use the AUX for the handset if you find it convenient.
To see the images from the scope on a PC, you'll need a camera attached to the scope and to the PC. Note that "live viewing" of objects in real time is only possible for the brightest objects, and even then only when using a very sensitive camera designed for the purpose, such as a malincam (ka-ching! $$$). However, if you're willing to wait several seconds for a normal camera to take a photo, you can get pretty good images with a DSLR that is capturing images every 5 or 10 seconds.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:17 AM
You might want to check out the video astronomy forum. you can use a cheap security camera ~$100 to achieve decent results
Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:36 AM
Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:09 AM
The camera port really isn't used by most people now days. It was there to allow some computer apps to remotely control an attached camera to take an image. Most modern cameras allow you to directly control them from the computer (using a USB cable) instead of needing the camera port.
Depending on the type of digital camera you have, there are several different ways of connecting it to your telescope. If you have a Digital SLR (DSLR) there's what's called a "T mount" (tube that connects to the telescope) that then uses a camera model specific ring adapter (connects to the camera instead of a lens) to allow you to connect your camera to the telescope. If you have a point and shoot camera (one of the pocket sized digital cameras that most people have now days) its a bit more complicated as you'd need an external mount to aim the lens of the camera into an eyepiece.
Below are some links to the T mount, rings for various DSLRs and the last is for using a point and shoot with you telescope.
Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:22 AM
If you use a point and shoot you can only do EP projection and will need a special bracket to hold the camera.
Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:33 PM
Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:51 PM
Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:52 PM
Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:31 PM
Most people attach the camera directly to the scope without using either an eyepiece or the camera lens. This is referred to as prime focus imaging and is the highest quality. In this case, you use a T-ring at the camera, which is an adapter that fits the camera on one side and has T-thread on the other. You then need a T-to-SCT adapter, which has T-threads on one side and an SCT-threaded ring on the other. You screw the two parts together using the T-thread and you have an adapter from the camera to the SCT. To attach it to the SCT, you remove the visual back and put your T-adapter in its place.
What you are describing with your spotting scope sounds like "eyepiece projection". In this case you use the camera body without the lens, and attach it to an eyepiece. This allow you to use various eyepieces to get different magnifications, but is not as high a quality as prime focus. With eyepiece projection, you first need eyepieces that have threads around the eye lens so you can attach the adapter. I don't think the included Celestron eyepiece has those threads. Baader Hyperion eyepieces are designed with eyepiece projection in mind and they also sell adapters that go from a T-thread to their eyepieces. But without threads around the eyepiece, and the correct adapter for those threads, you can't easily attach a camera in eyepiece projection mode.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:11 AM
OTA: Optical Tube Assembly (the orange thing)
AP: Astrophotography (not associated press or advanced placement in this context :-)
CPC: A recent (within past 10 years?) line of computerized Celestron telescopes with two fork arms; the Nexstar i and SE's (single fork arms) are evolutionary (some would say revolutionary) descendants of the CPC--one arm was taken away, but the computer control remained.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:23 AM
My 8SE does not have a "camera" connector--it has a AUX and a "AUTO GUIDE" connector (both phone-style jacks). The AUX is for an auxiliary PC serial connector (RS-232-to-phone-style jack). The GUIDE is for a very specific type of electronic controller for AP, and should not be used without that brand of controller (I think SBIG, but don't quote me).
I don't know if the 5SE has a SCT-type visual back. If it does, then, yes, you can buy a T-ring for your Nikon DSLR, and a T-adapter for the SCT visual back. Now, the 5SE would look like a gigantic telephoto lens. If your Nikon's software supports it, you could send live images from the Nikon to your PC. Otherwise, as other posters suggests, try a camera in the eyepiece.
As a newcomer to the Nexstars, welcome aboard! I recommend you look at Mike Swanson's book about the Nexstars (see www.nexstarsite.com)
Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:40 AM
Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:34 AM
The camera port on the base is to control only the camera shutter. Unfortunately, the camera cable that comes with the scope is not going to work well with the Nikon even if you get a cable (which you can get from Shoestring Astronomy (http://www.store.sho...products_ds.htm). They have an adapter that will fix that.
Because of the weight of the camera and the design of the mount, you'll be better off mounting it at the top using an eyepiece adapter. You'll want to use this:
Replace your eyepiece with the T-adapter, screw the t-ring into the adapter and then mount your camera to the t-ring as if you were mounting a lens.
If you mount the camera with a t-adapter at the back of the scope it will be almost impossible to balance it correctly on the mount. Even mounted at the top you'll have to use something like an exercise ankle weight to balance the scope on the mount.
Now, that said, a much easier way to do this on a budget and be able to see bright objects on a computer as well as take limited digital pics is this:
You remove the eyepiece on top and slide this in, hook it up to your computer via USB and you've got what you want. They're $199.95 retail but you can find them cheaper on eBay.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:02 PM
Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:22 PM
Thanks flyBD5 you understand my learning level Will definitely look into it and prices and everything.
My pleasure. I just passed your learning level so I can definitely relate, plus I teach adult professional classes for a living, makes it easier to explain things.
Good luck, let me know how it works out and do share pics!
Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:48 PM
Also, I don't know that the 5SE is a SCT, it may be a MCT (Maksutov Cassegrain). I'm pretty sure the 4 is a Maksutov type, but for your purposes, that's a minor detail.
For your info, only the NexStar 4SE (of the SE series of scopes) is a Maksutov-Cassegrain (aka Mak). The 5SE, 6SE and 8SE are all SCTs (Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes).
Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:58 PM
If you want to see live images to your PC from your camera (attached to the scope using t-ring etc.) use this free software. http://www.digicamcontrol.com/
This is quite useful for bright objects (like planets) as well as faint objects (like galaxies etc.) because when your attach your camera (dslr) directly on scope (no diagonal) it's quite difficult to see the lcd (withouth swiveling lcd), also the software allows you to easily adjust parameters like exposure, ISO etc. (Adjusting it on camera every time is cumbersome.
Another important advantage is that you don't have to move all the time to adjust settings on camera thereby reducing vibrations. I take pictures from my balcony and vibrations take really long time to dampen. This is critical if you are planning to stack your photos to get a good image.
Note: the software above is for windows only. There are some linux versions available freely as well, but so far I have found above software to be most useful.