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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5412960 - 09/10/12 09:58 AM

Wow those look great. That looks like a fantastic camera.

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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5413033 - 09/10/12 10:41 AM

Yep, with it's nice big (well relatively big) smooth (class 0) and sensitive sensor, low noise high gain amplifiers, and deep cooling the camera is going to give folks lots of good signal to work with.

Can't wait to see some longer exposure stacked shots from dark sites (displayed in another forum of course ... )

Nice tweaks Maurice.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5413606 - 09/10/12 03:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Also, what I have been hoping for personally is the ability to digitally produce 1080p "video". While it doesn't seem to be the main use for this camera I'm curious how it will perform for such output.



Curtis,

The Universe doesn't have any video out capability, it's a single shot CCD camera with a USB interface. With it's software it can take a series of 5s, 10s, 30s or however long exposures you want and continue to do so until stopped. The software will display the image as it's downloaded from the camera and then update it when the next image is available. With the download times factored in you could see a continuous series of images every 5s or so (and maybe a little less), this would look something like really high resolution (higher than HD) video with a very very slow frame rate (12 frames/minute).

Real HD video with low noise and enough sensitivity to view anything but the brightest DSOs currently seems to be impossible with commercial cameras. It's not a problem on brighter stuff (witness the number of great solar system HD cameras for example). But with the constant improvements in sensors, amplifiers, and channels I think we're getting closer to your goal.





The binning modes of the new software will make visual/video a little more interesting.

Full resolution is 3032 x 2018 pixels. 2x2 bin is 1516 x 1008. 4 x 4 bin images are 756 x 504 pixels. Exposure and image download times are significantly reduced in 2 x 2 and even more in 4 x 4.

I view on a screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. A full resolution image is too big to fit on the screen. For practical purposes I'll probably leave the camera on 2 x 2 in use.

The cameras software is doing this anyway. Full resolution and 2 x 2 images are shown in the same sized window which takes up about 3/4 of the screen. 4 x 4 images appear to display as actual size, comparable to the image size of an Xtreme with the software I use.

Clear skies forecast tonight. I'll be able to do a bit more testing. I am particularly interested in the 4 x 4 mode and comparing the Universe sensitivity and image download times with Long Exposure Xtreme times. I already have a fair idea of what to expect based on what I've done so far but a fair idea may be far from what I will find from actually using the camera. Better to wait for the results than to post without really knowing.


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Teabagger
member


Reged: 08/18/12

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Lorence]
      #5414045 - 09/10/12 08:31 PM

I wonder if the software will work with other ccd's......

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A. Viegas
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Lorence]
      #5414068 - 09/10/12 08:44 PM

Lorence,

Please post some side x side comparisons of Universe + Extreme at similar integration times, it will be very interesting to see the difference...

Al


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5414160 - 09/10/12 09:32 PM

I appreciate it thanks again!

Chris A


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Lorence]
      #5414166 - 09/10/12 09:35 PM

Lorence you do not have to always use the 2 x 2 bin mode and might not want to esp. when your using a focal reducer or very short focal length telescope. What you can do also is use the MC Universes software cropping tool which crops to any size you choose and maintains that crop even upon the next refresh.

Cheers,

Chris A
Astrogate


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Teabagger]
      #5414168 - 09/10/12 09:35 PM

No it will not it is strickly made for the MC Universe.

Chris A


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Teabagger
member


Reged: 08/18/12

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5414347 - 09/10/12 11:39 PM

Quote:

No it will not it is strickly made for the MC Universe.

Chris A




yes it might be made "strickly" for the universe.That does not mean it wont work with other ccd's.


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jgraham
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Teabagger]
      #5414389 - 09/11/12 12:10 AM

The software is key to making something like this work for observing. I've described before how useful Envisage is for observing (at least for me). If someone could only write a generic program that could work with any camera that would be a huge step forward for camera assisted observing. In the mean time Envisage serves me well. I just came in from a session exploring planetary nebula from Aquarius up through Aquila and over to Andromeda.

Neat stuff.


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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Teabagger]
      #5414552 - 09/11/12 03:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

No it will not it is strickly made for the MC Universe. Chris A


yes it might be made "strickly" for the universe.That does not mean it wont work with other ccd's.


TB - where did you get that idea Specific s/w 'reads' a specific sensors in a set pixel array and RGBG on-chip filter placement etc etc and every sensor is different and thus the odds the Universe s/w working with other [unspecified] sensors is highly unlikely and would be of little or no interest to Mallincam in this launch

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Teabagger
member


Reged: 08/18/12

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: nytecam]
      #5415104 - 09/11/12 12:20 PM

I was unaware of that, it makes more sense to me now, thank you.

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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Lorence]
      #5415285 - 09/11/12 01:37 PM

Chris,

The software seems to make quite a difference. It's an interesting product to say the least!

Chris


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5415417 - 09/11/12 02:35 PM

Quote:

Lorence you do not have to always use the 2 x 2 bin mode and might not want to esp. when your using a focal reducer or very short focal length telescope. What you can do also is use the MC Universes software cropping tool which crops to any size you choose and maintains that crop even upon the next refresh.

Cheers,

Chris A
Astrogate




I'm just taking things one step at a time, in the general direction of how I intend to use the camera which will primarily be visual. At this point I have only used the camera with the focal reducer. I prefer the wider fields and will probably keep the reducer on.

My screen resolution won't display the full sized image but 2x2 fits nicely. The camera's software puts the full resolution image in the same sized window as 2x2. That's the reason for saying I will likely use 2x2.

4x4 resolution is an interesting mode. Exposure times are much shorter in that mode.

I uploaded three images to the Mallincam site. You can see that full size and 2x2 are very similar as displayed on the website screen unless you look at the images at full size.

I think I'm going to like full resolution for lunar viewing. That mode displays about 95% of the Moon in an image but the Cut Picture feature lets you pick a smaller section to view.

I have yet to determine if the Cut Picture feature image is displaying at actual pixel resolution or at some other chosen by the software. If it does display at actual pixel resolution it will helpful in focusing the telescope.

I rarely save images and don't really have any Xtreme or VSS photos to compare with the Universe. The exposure times are listed with the new images, SQM readings were around 21.45.


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Lorence]
      #5415430 - 09/11/12 02:40 PM

Lorence, I also love the big FOV with this since, however, there will be times when you will want to use the "cut area tab" for e.g. when viewing those very small planetary nebulas. M57 or those much smaller galaxies. Give a try some night you will fine it very nice along with the full resolution of that cropped area.

Chris A


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5415437 - 09/11/12 02:46 PM

Lorence I forgot to mention also that yes the 4 x 4 bin mode is very nice for super sensitivity, but you will dramatically decrease your resolution and will now be way under sampled for the average typical seeing condition which is 2 arcsec/pix unless you are going to now use a very long focal length of F10 to F20 which will reduce the beneifits (extra sensitivity) of using 4 x 4 binning. Just a thought!

Chris A
Astrogate


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5415579 - 09/11/12 03:54 PM

It will be very interesting to see the Universe running effectively as a 756 x 504 resolution camera with 30µ pixels and a USB interface. Who cares what the sampling ratio will be, this type of setup would be for near live viewing and probably broadcasting on NSN which would negate virtually any concern about pixel resolution. I'd love to see that capability compared side by side with an Xtreme.

I think Rock will practically go out of his mind explaining to everyone that these two cameras were never designed to be used in the same way.



Edited by mclewis1 (09/11/12 04:30 PM)


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ngchunter
super member


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Sarasota, FL
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5415703 - 09/11/12 04:49 PM

Personally I could never part with my traditional mallincam if for no other reason than the ability to hook it up to a normal TV monitor for sidewalk astronomy and public outreach events, but I am wiping the drool off my chin at these images. 4x4 binning while retaining color? Nice! Maybe I missed it, but does it give you the option to save the images in a 16 bit format?

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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: ngchunter]
      #5415743 - 09/11/12 05:13 PM

Yes you can automatically save images as tiffs in 16 bit format with the touch of a button using the MC Universe software.

Chris A


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working [Re: mclewis1]
      #5415746 - 09/11/12 05:15 PM

Well Mark, I will have both cameras (X2 Class 0 & MC Universe) to test on NSN, but I will not test the MC Universe on NSN until the patch is available for direct connection. I really do not want to use WebcamMax for this purpose and I hope the patch will be out in the next couple of weeks.

Chris A


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