Jump to content


Photo

SCB 2000 Settings for DSO

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 CA Curtis 17

CA Curtis 17

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 53
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2012
  • Loc: California

Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:17 PM

I just borrowed a Samsung SCB 2000 to test out and am looking for some suggestions on settings for DSO to get me started.   Here is where I think I should start, but please chime in if you think differently, and please explain why.  I know I will have to make adjustments as I go along but just want to get started quickly.

 

Lens:   Set to Manual and put brightness all the way up

 

Exposure:  

                      Brightness to max

                      Shutter to ????

                      AGC      start with OFF, but then try low

                      Sens Up to Auto and then adjust integration time to x512 for 8.5sec exposure

 

White Balance:   Set to ATW and the fine tune in Manual

 

SSDR:   Not sure

 

Backlight:   Off

 

SSNR3:      When AGC is on, set this to the mid value.

 

Day/Night:  Color

 

I won't worry about the special functions for now.

 

Regards,

Curtis



#2 Dom543

Dom543

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 282
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2011

Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:51 PM

Curtis,

Here are the settings that I use to start with. I am not sure if I can explain why, except for trial and error. The CN site is going down in a few minutes, so please be content with the settings for now.

Lens: - Manual

Exposure:
BRIGHTNESS = 1
SHUTTER = MANUAL
for DSO's stat at x64 and go upwards from there
(my most used settings are x128 and x256. I rarely use the max x512.)
AGC = LOW (for DSO's)
= OFF for Moon and planets)
SENS_UP = OFF

White balance = MANUAL
RGAIN = 400
BGAIN = 500

SSDR = ON (Level = 10)

Backlight = OFF

SSNR = ON (= 20 or max)

DAY/NIGHT = COLOR

SPECIAL
... Image adjust / Sharpness between 1-5


Clear Skies!
--Dom

#3 CA Curtis 17

CA Curtis 17

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 53
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2012
  • Loc: California

Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:35 AM

Dom,

 

thanks for the quick reply.  I'll give them a try and go from there.

 

Regards,

Curtis



#4 Dom543

Dom543

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 282
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2011

Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:25 AM

Curtis,

Sorry for the messy appearance of my previous message. I was in a hurry with a looming network shutdown.

The settings that I gave are for a focal ratio around f/3 and no filters. Obviously, slower optics or the use of filters requires longer exposures. For DSO's I always use AGC=LOW and modify only the exposure length.

SSDR and SSNR are Samsung's proprietary dynamic range stretching and noise reduction routines respectively. They are not as well documented as those of the LN300, which using a third party image processing chip. In other words, I don't know how they exactly do their magic. But I find the images of the SCB-2000 less noisy than those made with an LN300 and its branded variants.

Recently I have also used AstroLive to capture and post-process the images. I find the AstroLive routines useful. Dark subtraction and histogram stretching can make a big difference, when sky glow overwhelms the background. The SCB-2000 cannot be controlled from AstroLive. But it is not anissue as the camera can be controlled through the video cable using a small handset. This is subject to current discussion on another CN thread.

Good luck and Clear Skies!
--Dom

#5 patrizioitalian

patrizioitalian

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2013
  • Loc: ITALY

Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:13 AM

Hi to all.

 

I would like to ask you which windows 7 /8 compatible program do you suggest for SCB 2000 to get me started, so easy to use but in the same time a good value.

 

I saw on the net, ASTROLIVE but it's very expensive for my first tests.

 

what about SharpCap or  wxastrocapture or there are better and easier to use software for windows?

 

I want to use my PCI Pinnacle capture board inside my Desktop PC, but maybe if it's not good, I will go with an USB EZCAP or EasyCAP, maybe the first original red package one.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Best

 

Pat



#6 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 11081
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 23 August 2014 - 11:19 AM

Pat,

 

The answer depends on what you want to do.

 

Amcap, SharpCap, WxAstrocapture, Craterlet (and a few others) are all freeware and all work with webcam like video streams (from a wide variety of video capture products). SharpCap2 is my favourite and where I would start to get going with your video camera. It's very easy to use for both displaying live video and capturing/saving both single images and videos. Once you save images you can work on them with a variety of simple image programs (Paint, Fotor, etc. etc.).

 

Your Pinnacle capture board will likely be just fine. There's not very much difference in optical quality between most of the popular video capture products (boards, USB, etc.). The software bundled with these various products is quite different and most of it is not appropriate for managing astronomy images and videos.

 

You can certainly stay with the freeware mentioned and add stacking (Deepskystacker) and other video filtering tools (VirtualDub). They are all separate applications and would require you to manage a more complex workflow, but with them you could certainly capture and create great images.

 

 I would however after initially getting some experience with something basic like SharpCap step up to a more complete program such as AstroLive. Even though it is not free it will save you time and frustration from working with separate apps. The small investment in AstroLive will also help if in the future you get a different video camera and will likely offer the ability to directly control the camera in addition to creating great images.


Edited by mclewis1, 23 August 2014 - 11:21 AM.


#7 Dom543

Dom543

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 282
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2011

Posted 23 August 2014 - 12:09 PM

Pat,

 

I have used my SCB-2000 without any computer for 3 years. That's the beauty of the video cameras: You control with the handcontoller though the video cable and all you need is a small monitor to see the images. To capture images I used an Orion StarShoot recording and display device that is barely larger than a matchbox.

 

More recently I have used AsroLive, when I was observing from a location with power access. (My large-screen laptop is rather power hungry.) I still have to control the camera through the hand controller but the post-processing capabilities (histogram, dark subtraction and stacking) of AstroLive can make a substantial difference to the final image quality Especially under moon-glow or light pollution. In my opinion AstroLive is worth the $69 price. If you compare to the $99 that you paid for the camera, then everything will seem terribly expensive. But that's because you got an extraordinary deal on the camera.

 

For completeness of the picture, I believe that Miloslick can also post process live images captured by the SCB-2000. But I don't have Miloslick so you should check first. As far as I know, Miloslick doesn't have a working registered stacking routine at this point but the author is working on one.

 

Before AstroLive I have also tried to connect .the camera to the computer but did not find sufficient benefit to justify the extra hassle. As said, the SCB-2000 cannot be contolled through the computer, the hand controller is still needed. The only benefit could be to save the images in some loss-less format and then post-process them in other software, as Mark has suggested. I don't have the patience and time to do that. No post processing will make a capture from a small sensor, large pixel video camera anything like an astro photo. (By the way, both the Orion Starshoot and AstroLive can save images only in highly lossy and compressed JPG format. They are not sutable for further processing.)

 

--Dom



#8 patrizioitalian

patrizioitalian

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2013
  • Loc: ITALY

Posted 24 August 2014 - 07:46 AM

Hi Dom and Mark and thanks for prompt answers and suggestions.

 

Yes I found Astrolive on the net and many good reviews on it, but now I don't want to do what I can't do. I have to start with easy sofware and make my own experiences of course. Otherwise I will face problems that could stop me on this fantastic hobby.

 

So I think to start as your suggestions with SharpCap. Later I will go with Astrolive that I suppose and read as a very good (maybe the best one) and interesting software fro about $69 price, that I could buy also from Italy without any custom duties as for hardware do.

Nice idea is also to use an external LCV DVR to capture images like Orion StarShoot recording and display device

It's a little bit expensive for now for me. I have one tablet, I have to find a way to use it as a video monitor display of course and maybe to save images and videos. I know also about some cheap DVR Carcam with SD memory card and "Full HD"... that goes less than $50 and can be used for different purpose, I don't know if there are very far from the Orion dedicate for Astrovideophotography device. but at the same time useful for the purpose in order to avoid a laptop bigger computer. In this case there is no software to use but only to see on lcd from RCA/Jack  AV IN and maybe save what seen to take home for later processing.

 

Ok thanks for all suggestions friends.

 

Best

 

Pat



#9 CA Curtis 17

CA Curtis 17

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 53
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2012
  • Loc: California

Posted 01 September 2014 - 01:58 PM

I was able to try out a Samsung SCB 2000 last night which I borrowed from a friend.  I had this mounted on my C14 in Hyperstar mode at f/2.  I also used an Astromik UHC filter and observed before the quarter moon set from my back yard in a fairly light polluted town east of Oakland, CA.  I captured images with a Pinnacle Dazzle 100 on my PC and used Miloslick SW to view the image and adjust the brightness and contrast.  I started with the settings suggested above and then played around.  I looked at M13 and the Dumbbell Nebula for easy/bright targets and then the Coccoon Nebula for something a little harder.  I found the following to be the case for me and would like some feedback and what others have found or what one would suggest I try differently.  I will be taking the camera to a dark site at new moon later this month.  Here are my observations for feedback:

 

1.  I did not see any improvement in the image detail when I switched from color to B&W.  

2.  With AGC off, the images had much too little detail/brightness to be of any interest.  Also, there appeared to be a lot of colored pixels which were not there when I set AGC to Low.  Not sure if these were hot/warm pixels or not.  They appeared to be in the same location as stars when I used AGC Low.

3.  With AGC high, there was way too much noise in the background to be useful.  Don't know if this will change at the dark site.

4.  Except for very bright objects like M13 or the Dumbbell, exposure settings < 512X (the max) did not show enough detail.  I need to go the the max to see anything significant for the Coccoon.

5.  Brightness  ... there are two settings.  One under Lens and one under Exposures.  I did not see any difference changing these from their extremes to their minimums.  I am likely missing something here.

6. When I turned on Sharpness as suggested above it mad the background noisey.  I preferred it off.

 

Do others have the same observations as mine or other suggestions?

 

Best Regards,

Curtis



#10 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 11081
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 01 September 2014 - 02:17 PM

Curtis,

 

Your experiences sound about right. What was your nightime temperture?

 

At a dark site and with lower temperatures I think you'll find quite a difference in performance (lower noise).



#11 Dom543

Dom543

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 282
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2011

Posted 01 September 2014 - 04:06 PM

Curtis,

I agree with Mark that what you experienced was about what to expect.

UHC is a strong filter, it requires about two notches higher exposure setting. What you saw at x512 is about what x128 would give under darker skies.
I rarely fuss with my settings, except for the shutter. AGC is always in LOW, Brightness=1 (at both menu locations), Sharpness=1.
I have not tried B/W and wouldn't expect much from it. It is not like switching between a mono and a color sensor. I don't even know what B/W does to an image coming from a color sensor.

One thing to keep in mind is that even x512 is only 8 sec. On the other day one of the most experienced video-astro masters said that he would try 45 sec on Cocoon during his broadcast. That's a whole lot longer than 8 sec and requires a very well tracking equatorial mount or preferably autoguiding.

Using a computer takes some of the simplicity out of video. But if you have power and a computer around, you should try out AstroLive. (It has a free 30 day trial.) Subtracting darks and pushing up the black level sliders to where the spike of the histogram begins has a similar effect on the background as using filters. You will get darker backgrounds but without the loss of light to the actual object. You will be able to, and will have to, use shorter exposures than with the UHC filter.

Good luck and clear skies!
--Dom

#12 CA Curtis 17

CA Curtis 17

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 53
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2012
  • Loc: California

Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:36 PM

Mark and Dom,

 

Thanks for your replies.  That is what I expected, but just wanted to make sure that I was getting the best I could out of the camera under my conditions.

 

Mark - temperature was in the 70s.   For certain noise will drop as we move into the cooler season and I move to a dark site.

 

Dom - One of these days I will try AstroLive.  Right now I am busy testing a number of different cameras like this Samsung and my MC Micro and a DSO, along with a couple of mid-price cameras as well.  I have had and used an Xtreme for 4 years and am very happy with that, but would like to know first hand what the other cameras can do.  I bought the Micro for my 14 year old son who was getting tired of faint fuzzies in his 6" Astro Blast in comparison to my images with the Xtreme on my 9.25" SCT.  But I have gotten more use out of it than he has so far.  I will write up a summary at some point and make it available as I have the presentation I gave at our local astronomy club earlier this year.

 

Best Regards,

Curtis



#13 submission

submission

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 194
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2011
  • Loc: NJ , USA

Posted 08 September 2014 - 08:23 PM

When first slewing around looking for targets this is how I usually set up the camera .

It will allow for almost real time viewing with the ability to see or detect some faint DSOs

( you really need to look carefully for them though )

 

I adjust the brightness as high as I can ( starting at 1 and moving upwards ) till the image seems to stabilize ( going from dark to bright )

this number seems to vary on the viewing conditions , Mainly how dark the skys are .

 

Also the shutter control in the SHUTTER  / AGC  menu might need adjusting ... I usally start with 512( MAX )

... If I can't seem to get a stable image with adjusting the brightness then I turn it down to 256.

 

Like I said these settings work well if your goto is a little off ... It will give some decent light gathering ability

with real time video so you can slew around till you find your target .

 

 

Lens: - Manual

 

Exposure:
BRIGHTNESS = 10 +/- < good starting point
SHUTTER =AGC> / 256 or 512
AGC = HIGH
SENS_UP = Null < this cannot be set when SHUTTER is in AGC mode  .

 

White balance = MANUAL
RGAIN = 400
BGAIN = 500

 

SSDR = ON / OFF < I normally keep this off

Backlight = OFF

SSNR = ON (= 20 or max)

DAY/NIGHT = COLOR

SPECIAL
Image adjust / Sharpness between 1-5 ( Lower numbers stop the black halo effect you see around stars ) 

 

.... After I find my target , I just change the SHUTTER from AGC to MANUAL  ....

Then I set the SENS_UP and BRIGHTNESS to taste , and just like above ... I adjust till I can get the best Image as these

settings will vary according to seeing conditions that can vary from one night to the next .

Exposure:
BRIGHTNESS = 10 +/- < good starting point
SHUTTER =MANUAL
AGC = LOW
SENS_UP = 64 +++ 512 < adjust till it looks right :)

..... In the long run , it just takes some fiddling around with the settings to see what dose what , then after a while you

will find your own routine that works for you .

 

 

here is an example of the difference in both settings .

 

Attached File  SCB settings.jpg   200.71KB   19 downloads

Hope this helps .


Edited by submission, 08 September 2014 - 08:44 PM.







Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics