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"DOBCAM" - Astronomy Video Camera for Dobsonians

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#1 mattflastro

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:19 AM

Long integration Color , highest sensitivity new generation Sony ExviewHAD II CCD , from Astro-Video Systems , "DOBCAM" is the smallest astronomy video camera available today.

It fits inside any 2" focuser drawtube and comes to focus exactly in the same focuser position as regular eyepieces.

Ideal for dobsonian telescopes because you don't need a set of shorter truss tubes for it to come to focus. No scope modification needed at all!
Just slip it into the focuser and you're ready !

Highest gain , modern 32 bit camera DSP processor , comes complete with hand remote AND USB to RS485 computer control dongle and cable , 1.25" nosepiece adapter, 12VDC adapter , video and power cable, BNC to RCA adapter.
In stock now, both camera only ( DSO-1 ) and complete system DSO-S .

Extreme high gain , sensitivity , integration up to 85 sec for faint fuzzies.
Works also for planets/solar/lunar with shutter times from 1/60sec to 1/10,000 and 1/100,000 (yes, that is 10 MICROSECONDS) .
Adjustable Gamma, AGC , brightness, color balance, image sharpness, user switchable B&W mode for ultimate resolution and sensitivity .
All adjustments via on screen menu, user accessible thru the INCLUDED hand remote .

http://www.astro-vid...era-system.html

NOTE: "DOBCAM" is a trademark of Astro-Video Systems

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#2 Bob S.

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:06 AM

Matt, Your new DOBCAM seems extremely innovative! As you know, one of the big bug-a-boos has always been the infocus requirements of astrovideo cameras. It seems that you have engineered a fix for this. How is the overall performance of your new camera? At the intro price of $199, it seems like an incredible deal. Bob

#3 mattflastro

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:42 AM

Matt, Your new DOBCAM seems extremely innovative! As you know, one of the big bug-a-boos has always been the infocus requirements of astrovideo cameras. It seems that you have engineered a fix for this. How is the overall performance of your new camera? At the intro price of $199, it seems like an incredible deal. Bob


Thank you Bob , yes, you're absolutely right .
Lack of in focus travel is a big problem with larger cameras but the "DOBCAM" fixes it for any scope with a 2" focuser .

Performance is absolutely fantastic especially for this price range .
It includes the hand remote and USB to camera computer control cable , not separate expen$ive options .
This is the best option on the market today , it beats camera systems costing hundreds more .

It has both the advantages and disadvantages of uncooled cameras and is aimed at lightweight portable scopes.

The camera measures only 1.98" in diameter and 3" length including the BNC connector.
It weighs only 4.5 oz and will not require rebalancing the scope

One other major advantage is very low current consumption down to 0.1A . A small 7Ah 12V battery lasts for a whole week of every night use .

The disadvantage of lack of cooling is that it can only be used up to 85 sec integration with the in camera frame stacking for noise reduction .

For real budget restricted projects, the camera is available as body only + 1.25" to C-mount adapter for only $99 , still compatible with the hand remote and USB to RS485 computer control.
This camera only option would also work for people who enjoy DIY , I'm offering a free hand remote schematic .

#4 mattflastro

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:44 AM

Long integration Color , highest sensitivity new generation Sony ExviewHAD II CCD , from Astro-Video Systems , "DOBCAM" is the smallest astronomy video camera available today.

It fits inside any 2" focuser drawtube and comes to focus exactly in the same focuser position as regular eyepieces.

Ideal for dobsonian telescopes because you don't need a set of shorter truss tubes for it to come to focus. No scope modification needed at all!
Just slip it into the focuser and you're ready !

Highest gain , modern 32 bit camera DSP processor , comes complete with hand remote AND USB to RS485 computer control dongle and cable , 1.25" nosepiece adapter, 12VDC adapter , video and power cable, BNC to RCA adapter.
In stock now, both camera only ( DSO-1 ) and complete system DSO-S .

Extreme high gain , sensitivity , integration up to 85 sec for faint fuzzies.
Works also for planets/solar/lunar with shutter times from 1/60sec to 1/10,000 and 1/100,000 (yes, that is 10 MICROSECONDS) .
Adjustable Gamma, AGC , brightness, color balance, image sharpness, user switchable B&W mode for ultimate resolution and sensitivity .
All adjustments via on screen menu, user accessible thru the INCLUDED hand remote .

http://www.astro-vid...era-system.html

NOTE: "DOBCAM" is a trademark of Astro-Video Systems

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#5 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 08:52 AM


The disadvantage of lack of cooling is that it can only be used up to 85 sec integration with the in camera frame stacking for noise reduction .


Well beyond alt-az field rotation limits, so that doesn't sound like a limitation at all.

What is the camera resolution?

#6 mattflastro

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:07 AM



The disadvantage of lack of cooling is that it can only be used up to 85 sec integration with the in camera frame stacking for noise reduction .


Well beyond alt-az field rotation limits, so that doesn't sound like a limitation at all.

What is the camera resolution?

The camera output is standard NTSC resolution and can be used with any composite video input monitor or TV .

#7 Relativist

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:23 AM

Can we see a pic of the camera outside of the focuser? Is there any mechanical part on the body of the camera that helps it fit a 2" focuser? Lastly, is there a mechanism to prevent the camera from falling into the scope through the focuser?

#8 mattflastro

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:10 PM

Can we see a pic of the camera outside of the focuser? Is there any mechanical part on the body of the camera that helps it fit a 2" focuser? Lastly, is there a mechanism to prevent the camera from falling into the scope through the focuser?

Yes Curtis, the camera fits properly and doesn't fall inside either.

#9 ScottAz

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

Here's a link to a pic, Curtis: Link. Looks pretty cool ... and 85 seconds is great if your big Dob is riding a platform. :D

#10 Chris A

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 03:38 PM

Matt please don't get me wrong but it looks like the tripod adapter was remove so the camera will fit into a 2" focuser? If this is the case then I measured and found that there will be still some play with the camera inside the focuser since a. the camera is slightly about 1 mm smaller than a 2" eyepiece and b. the camera is not round like a 2" eyepiece. Since there will be some slack how can one obtain a squared (orthogonal) camera within the 2" focuser?. Also since the camera does not have a stop like an eyepiece what is preventing the camera from falling through and hitting ones diagonal mirror or even worse a primary mirror in a Dob? I did check the link that Scott provided and it does not show anything that adresses these issues. Thank you in advance for answering Curtis's and my questions.

Chris

#11 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 03:46 PM

Matt please don't get me wrong but it looks like the tripod adapter was remove so the camera will fit into a 2" focuser? If this is the case then I measured and found that there will be still some play with the camera inside the focuser since a. the camera is slightly about 1 mm smaller than a 2" eyepiece and b. the camera is not round like a 2" eyepiece. Since there will be some slack how can one obtain a squared (orthogonal) camera within the 2" focuser?. Also since the camera does not have a stop like an eyepiece what is preventing the camera from falling through and hitting ones diagonal mirror or even worse a primary mirror in a Dob?

Chris


Look at the first picture above. Connect the yellow cable to the camera before putting it into the focuser, and you can pretty much guarantee that the camera cannot slip in to strike the secondary and/or primary.

#12 Chris A

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 03:59 PM

Thank you Tom, but I think a little more secure system rather then a cable is needed esp. since Dob's can get quite $$. I would think that some kind of a metal stop would be required for safety like perhaps machining a wider 2" adapter and threading it onto the front of the camera would be more practical.

#13 herrointment

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 04:10 PM

I've been following Astro Videosystems products with interest, but come on. I expect better than this.

#14 moonbase1

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 04:53 PM

My first post here. I agree this is lame and dangerous.
This so called camera have forced me to be uncomfortable and realize its danger with my Obsession 25".

Albert E.

#15 mattflastro

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:09 PM

My first post here. I agree this is lame and dangerous.
This so called camera have forced me to be uncomfortable and realize its danger with my Obsession 25".

Albert E.

I apologize for my "so called camera" forcing you to feel uncomfortable and/or feel any danger for you or your belongings.
This hobby was supposed to be serene and offer us shelter from stress. Mea culpa.
I can solemnly assure you that my cameras will never attack your scope .

There is a carefully designed , using a very expensive aerospace grade FEA software , metal part that attaches the camera SECURELY to the 2" focuser tube .
It was not included in the pictures, either for clarity , to better illustrate how deep the camera could go into the focuser.

Because I am a pragmatic person and don't necessarily trust all software results, I ran my truck over it and it didn't budge !!! The camera stayed attached after my humble crash dummy test .
I wanted to reassure them that no camera falls out of the focuser are possible AT ALL.


#16 herrointment

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:48 PM

Very well then, appearances can be deceiving.



#17 mattflastro

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:54 PM

Very well then, appearances can be deceiving.


And in all seriousness, there IS a metal part, not pictured, that was tested and holds the camera as described . It didn't really need testing , being obviously able to perform its function but I always try to be as thorough as possible .

#18 Chris A

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:08 AM

Matt I was only asking a few straight forward questions and this being a vendors site, I think there should not be any issues with asking questions that are related to your product(s).

#19 herrointment

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:08 AM

Ok then......

#20 Chris A

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:11 AM

Okay fine there is a metal part which prevents the camera from sliding all the way through the focuser. Now I understand and thank you!

#21 mattflastro

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:40 AM

Ok then......when the tax return comes in I'm going to buy one of your cameras. You'll hear from me in a few weeks.....the name is Jim Egstad.

Jim, thanks for your interest. I'm looking forward to helping out.

#22 Relativist

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:14 AM

Can we see a pic of the camera outside of the focuser? Is there any mechanical part on the body of the camera that helps it fit a 2" focuser? Lastly, is there a mechanism to prevent the camera from falling into the scope through the focuser?

Yes Curtis, the camera fits properly and doesn't fall inside either.


Thanks Matt! I'm really interested in this since it has the potential of solving the in-focus problem for dobs when used with focal reducers. My preference has always been Newtonians, so this is great.

Have you any advice about what focal reducer/spacer combination I would be able to use with a dob like mine 10" f/5? I'm hoping to simply be able to directly use a low cost 0.5x focal reducer.

P.S. my question about the security of the camera was asked because of direct experience with things falling on a primary. :tonofbricks:

#23 mattflastro

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:31 PM

Can we see a pic of the camera outside of the focuser? Is there any mechanical part on the body of the camera that helps it fit a 2" focuser? Lastly, is there a mechanism to prevent the camera from falling into the scope through the focuser?

Yes Curtis, the camera fits properly and doesn't fall inside either.


Thanks Matt! I'm really interested in this since it has the potential of solving the in-focus problem for dobs when used with focal reducers. My preference has always been Newtonians, so this is great.

Have you any advice about what focal reducer/spacer combination I would be able to use with a dob like mine 10" f/5? I'm hoping to simply be able to directly use a low cost 0.5x focal reducer.

P.S. my question about the security of the camera was asked because of direct experience with things falling on a primary. :tonofbricks:

Curtis, you're welcome.
What reducer type can be used depends on several camera and scope parameters.
Sensor size is one of these parameters. 1/2" sensors being larger need a larger image circle and allow less reduction for a given scope . Reducers that work well for example with 1/3" sensors might vignette with larger sensors, again depending on specifics. Also, larger optical aberrations are present at the edge of the image circle, which might fall outside of a 1/3" sensor area but still be inside a 1/2" sensor .
For a typical Newtonian, lower cost 1.25" 0.5x reducers should work. However, I haven't tried any with 1/2" CCDs because I don't own such a camera now (sold my Stellacam 2 some time ago) . I can only speak of how they work with 1/3" sensors.

#24 Relativist

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:38 PM

I'm specifically interested in the dobcam, which I believe is a 1/3" sensor?

#25 mattflastro

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 07:17 PM

I'm specifically interested in the dobcam, which I believe is a 1/3" sensor?

Yes, you're correct. The "Dobcam" uses 1/3" ExviewHAD II sensors.
What dob and what focal reducers do you already own or have access to ? I saw you wrote about a 10" F/5 ? With these details I'd be able to suggest some simple tests for you to perform which would show you clearly what works and what doesn't , without having to spend money to buy anything.






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