Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:15 PM
I talked with all involved (dealers and manufacturers of cameras and DSP) and the short answer is NO.
The reason is that for the customised menu, there are options already implemented in the DSP software and they have a sort of configuration jig to configure the various options that are active in the cameras DSP.
But for anything that is not already in the predesigned DSP options , such as manual gain control, it would require the manufacturer to go back to the engineering design company that supplied to them the camera design and the DSP software. That is always a different company than the manufacturer and it always costs money .
Even if all the astro video cam buyers in the world would pool up and only buy Lntech, the volume would be too small to justify the engineering change cost and managing a separate item/part number for the astro modified DSP .
As I posted here , I did manage to get around that limitation by using a separate small microcontroller to take over the analog front end and CCD power and drive signals (that is required to achieve amp glow elimination, lower power dissipation and significantly lower noise) .
Unfortunately my solution is not really doable for the typical DIY because it involves access to a microprocessor programmer, surface mount soldering skills, owning oscilloscopes and/or other troubleshooting tools and more electronics knowledge than the average astronomer.
I also made a remote handbox for the cameras, which is not just a 5 button thingy duplicating the back panel (back panel uses the resistors chain scheme to encode 5 keys onto one analog line) .
My remote has a micro USB connector for pc remote control, a RS485 for long distance remote control , and some dedicated buttons for the manual gain control and FREEZE function in addition to the 5 menu buttons .
All commands from remote to cam are transmitted digitally .
If there's a group interest in this (we already know it's not meant to be a mallincam) I could have an extra number of these remotes and auxilliary boards made (the board that installs inside the camera and has the extra microcontroller plus all the power and CCD drive circuits).
Anybody who is interested could contact me and we'll see if a small production run is justified.
Anybody interested would get them at cost from me , don't want to make any profit from such a retrofit kit. Just want to help people get access to a simple technology that makes video astro more affordable , the way it should be .
I deal with circuit board design , fabrication , programming and testing and local contract manufacturers (for PCB fabrication and pick and place of SMD parts) for my day job all the time anyway .
The fact that the camera DSP can't be modified for manual gain control and the additional board is needed is actually a great advantage .
Additional control and circuitry is needed anyway to reduce noise, dark current and eliminate amp glow , so even if the DSP could've been modified, all the additional stuff would still require an extra board .
Because this modification doesn't rely at all on the camera DSP and has all functionality inside its own microcontroller , it would work with all cameras that use Exview 2 or Superhad 2 and have an Analog Devices front end .
IT must be also said that most camera manufacturers don't allow even the AGC to increase the gain to the max value that the analog front end is capable of , because of fears of customers complaining about noise . But if the camera has its circuits for noise reduction, the gain can be increased to the max AND with less noise .
Samsung cams for example work with this mod and would benefit from amp glow and noise reduction plus higher gain and manual gain control , pc control without using Coaxitron and using USB .