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Inexpensive security cameras

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#1 lspring

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:29 PM

Hello All. I am new to this forum and am wondering if anyone has used one of the security cameras listed on E-Bay for less than 100 dollars? Many have sens up to 512 and adjustable AGC. They are board cameras so an enclosure would be necessary for a permanent setup. I have used a 1/4 inch sony RV side view color camera with mediocre results. My camera has no adjustments of any kind and looks good on the moon but gets washed out on most everything else. I would be interested to hear from anyone that has used one of the above cameras. Thanks.

#2 Atl

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:36 PM

The Samsung SCB2000 is available off eBay for $120. It has sens up 512x. There are many threads on it's use.

#3 Tom and Beth

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:48 PM

FWIW, I bought my Sammy off Amazon for just a tad over $100.
Now if only I could find some plans for a DIY outdoor pan and tilt.

#4 mclewis1

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

Ispring,

Welcome to CN.

There are indeed a number of interesting inexpensive security oriented low light video cameras. As mentioned the Samsung's have been very popular for quite a while. You could also have a look at a few recent threads here about the interesting LNTech (sometimes incorrectly called Ntech or lintech) cameras (low cost, 1024x, great Sony CCD).

One thing that became very apparent about the LNTech camera is that it was difficult to use on faint deep space objects (but good on the brighter solar system objects) due to some inflexibility with the automatic gain (AGC). This appears to be an issue with many of the newer security cameras as well ... they want to control the gain and for very faint objects it's usually better that you are able to do this manually.

In general you're looking for a nice sensitive camera with preferably manual gain controls. You'll need to provide a 12v 500ma power source, a 1.25" to C mount nose piece, and sometimes a focal reducer to get the f ratio of your telescope down a bit. On many cameras folks will also remove the factory installed IR filter over the CCD to further improve the low light sensitivity.

Then either a separate video monitor with a composite input or an inexpensive USB frame grabber and your PC and you're all set to go video viewing.

#5 guyinthesky

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

i think you are better off saving for the samsung, maybe a used one? its proven and works great. i have a feeling that camera does not do deep sky well, and if you bought the cheaper one a week later you'd be wondering what the samsung could do.

#6 jchaller

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:50 PM

I have the Samsung SDC-435 (predecessor to the SCB-2000) and have been pleased with it. You can get the SCB-2000 for $97.00 at: http://www.surveillance-video.com/.

See the threads about the SDC-435 in: Best of Q&A from this Forum.

#7 rkayakr

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:49 AM

I second the vote for a SCB-2000. I also have a SDC-435 that I am very happy with.
Bob

#8 Tom and Beth

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

Is it true that the wireless version (SCN2000, IIRC) is similar to the hard wired SCB2000?

#9 barbarosa

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:09 PM

Let me complicate matters by saying that I have an SBC-2000 and a LN-300 and after several months, I find that I use the LN-300 far more than the SCB-2000.

Everything already said about its quirks and shortcomings is true, but there is a range of DSOs, that the LN-300 can usefully capture that are just too dim for the SCB-2000. I guess that I would rather see a poorly imaged galaxy rather than nothing or just the core.
The difference is not great vs. good but slightly better vs. not good or not at all.

I don’t know if the Samsung is a better planetary camera. My best (and worst) Jupiter captures were with the LN-300 (CPC1100 and 2x Barlow). Seeing is such a large factor though that I do not know if that validates one camera being better. It may only be that the seeing was very good on a few nights earlier this year.

Menu and usefulness of camera functions--Samsung wins

Warranty—Samsung has one.

In summary, my impression remains that the LN-300 beats the Samsung for faint targets and is likely as good or better for planetary targets. However, it is an unrefined camera hampered by the limited range useful menu choices at least under my bright suburban sky.
The LN-300 does not seem to have a manufacturer’s warranty, but aliexpress.com “escrow” does protect you against receiving a mal or non-functioning camera.

Either camera will have you looking at Mallincams eventually, or either will give you enjoyment in the meantime.

#10 mattflastro

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:00 AM

Let me complicate matters by saying that I have an SBC-2000 and a LN-300 and after several months, I find that I use the LN-300 far more than the SCB-2000.
................
The LN-300 does not seem to have a manufacturer’s warranty, but aliexpress.com “escrow” does protect you against receiving a mal or non-functioning camera.

A word of caution regarding the aliexpress "escrow" . I had an instance when the escrow turned out to be simply bogus . I ordered a small item (fortunately it wasn't anything expensive) and received it broken . Contacted the seller who told me that it wasn't his fault that it broke in shipping. I asked for a refund . He refused to receive the item if I'd had shipped it . I contacted aliexpress "escrow" and opened a dispute. Aliexpress asked me in chinglish to send them PROOF that the item was broken. I took pics and emailed them to Aliexpress. Aliexpress proceeded to close the case and denied my refund citing their regulations that pictures were not evidence enough and I should've sent video , because allegedly video can't be photoshopped . Then they immediately released the payment from escrow to seller. I tried to leave negative feedback for that seller but he REFUSED the feedback and aliexpress deleted it because the seller didn't agree with my feedback. So buyer beware :foreheadslap:

#11 warbird

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:52 PM

Well, I broke my video card and mailed some pictures to Aliexpress to prove that it did not work.
Aliexpress gave me the choise to send my whole camera back and get a new one for free, or for a small fee I could get a new video card (my choise) in a few days.
For me, Aliexpress service worked very well!

#12 mattflastro

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:28 AM

Well, I broke my video card and mailed some pictures to Aliexpress to prove that it did not work.
Aliexpress gave me the choise to send my whole camera back and get a new one for free, or for a small fee I could get a new video card (my choise) in a few days.
For me, Aliexpress service worked very well!

it worked well for me many times too. Does that mean I trust it 100%? Take a guess. I bet in your case it was your particular vendor who actually offered the new card option or accepted the broken item return. Aliexpress escrow doesn't stock items sold by vendors nor do they receive broken items in return.

#13 Moromete

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:01 PM

All positive and negative experiences with Aliexpres are valuable and help us make better decisions when buying from China by assessing the risks (which certainly exist) better.
Mattflastro, thanks for letting us know the possible risks with Aliexpres and sharing your experiences with us.

#14 Jetmo

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:48 PM

I purchased this camera from Aliexpress my first foray into Video Astronomy.

http://www.aliexpres...0H-EXview-HA...

Cost $73.80

When I ordered it I specified I wanted NTSB and to not install the IR filter, what arrived 15 days later was a PAL camera with an IR filter. I contacted Elaine via E-mail and she confirmed that my camera had went to Iraq by mistake. She then asked me to find out how much it would cost me to send the wrong one back and she would ship my new one immediately. That was Feb 21st Mar 4th the correct camera arrived on the same day I received another e-mail from Elaine with this offer. I could keep both cameras for an additional $30.00 I now have two working cameras. And as it turns out the frame grabber I ordered

EasyCAP DC60 - USB 2.0 Audio/video Creator Capture High-quality Analog Video

does both NTSB and PAL, my plan is to use one camera as a guider on my Orion Atlas CGEM and the other for the scope. All in all I can't really complain.

Clear Skies, Vince

PS: 1) Are there any threads on here pertaining to adapting 35mm camera lenses to these cameras via "C" thread adapters?

2) Anyone have a link to plans for a wired remote for the RS435 inputs for remote menu control?

#15 mclewis1

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:16 PM

Vince,

Great news on getting two cameras.

You'll find that a PAL camera is no longer much of a problem in our NTSC part of the world. You have to watch video monitors as many of them can't auto adjust to a PAL video stream but certainly just about any USB frame grabber I've ever seen can handle both formats.

1) Yeah, we've talked about these adapters in a few threads, I think most recently last summer. Baader Planetarium has them (sold through Agena Astro and Alpine Astro) as well as Stellar Technologies - http://www.stellar-i...national.com/).

#16 cozmicray

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:51 PM

I have a
Starlight Super WDR 600TVL 3D-DNR Dual PCB Board Camera 0.0002Lux

http://www.securityc...600TVL-3D%2d...

I printed a case and have used it in the daylight on 70mm ETX.
Any information on using this board camera for astro imaging would
be greatly appreciated. What is it equvilent to, mods, settings, other

Tnx

#17 ccs_hello

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:58 PM

cozmicray,

Your is a CNB Technology BBB-20F type of camera capable of doing 512x integration. The sensor is SuperHAD-II double-scan fine-resolution type-1/3". The controller is CNB's proprietary one and menu system is unknown to us. You may have to play with it to see how flexible the control is. E.g., full manual control without AGC kicks in and starts to override many settings, etc.
(Unfortunately, many do :( :( .)

I would not recommend turning on WDR for night-time astro. Half of the shooting time will be a waste (not too many bright subjects around.)

The pitfall of picking a different one is by default, you are the guineapig/pioneer and you have to figure it out the details that a user manual won't tell you :) :).

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

#18 cozmicray

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 01:45 PM

Thanks ccs_Hello

It has extensive menu controlled by joybutton in bulge of video cable,
or RS485 interface.
Does it have to be modified for long exposure?
Does it have filters over the sensor that have to be removed?
Looks like just a bare sensor on the board.

What sub $100 camera board would you recommend? :question:

#19 ccs_hello

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:14 PM

512x for long exposure is fine.
The board camera pic shows it has the standard daylight UV/IR-cut filter. Suggest to remove for astro, if removable.

sub $100 board cam suggestion: none
(SDC-435/SBC-2000 has a small sensor board and a support PCB, thus a 2 board solution.)
(LN-300 is decent, but with "advanced mod" would be marvelous. But that combo will exceed your $100 cap.)

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

#20 cozmicray

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:27 PM

I have removed filters that are mechanically attached with frame
and screws -- but this one doesn't have that type of filter.
How does one remove the filter that is attached otherwise.

Tnx

#21 mattflastro

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:23 PM

I have removed filters that are mechanically attached with frame
and screws -- but this one doesn't have that type of filter.
How does one remove the filter that is attached otherwise.

Tnx

Without proper technique , tools and plenty of practice it's a little risky.
If you want it removed , you may mail the camera to me and I'll remove the filter for free, then ship the camera back to you . You only cover the actual shipping cost.






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