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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5455287 - 10/04/12 03:39 PM

I wonder how the universe compares to the Opticstar DS-616C and Farpoints Opticstar version. Is the $600 extra for the mallincam worth it? It appears the mallincam does higher gain and cooler than the Opticstar but the farpoint version has the same cooling as the mallincam.. maybe the engineering in the cooling is different too?

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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: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5455725 - 10/04/12 09:03 PM

Dave,

I think the Opticstar's are just variations on the same camera ... with the case and cooling being some of the evolutionary changes. The change from -30 to -45 below ambient is probably the change to direct cooling on the sensor as opposed to the cold finger approach.

Rock uses a great version of the sensor, that class 0 sensor produces really nice smooth images. That's worth something extra.

His "Hyper" circuitry provides extra gain but sounds similar in functionality to the "hardware gain" in the other cameras. Is one better than the other? Don't know, but Rock does build his Hyper circuitry for all his cameras out of very high grade components.

The other two cameras come with drivers for the most popular camera control/imaging applications. With the Universe you don't have any choices ... yet.

The hardware includes like USB cables and power supply are a non issue. Rock's f5 focal reducer for the Universe is likely to be usable on the Opticstars as well.

$600 can buy a lot of useful extras (filters, etc.) but I think as has been previously mentioned the real ability to justify the difference in price will only come when the Opticstar's are compared to the Universe side by side.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5455957 - 10/05/12 12:05 AM

Thanks Mark..

That $300 focal reducer (good lord! does it also make straw into gold?) appears to have vignetting issues with certain scopes.

I've never dealt with optic star.. I do know that Rock's customer service is great..


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GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5456063 - 10/05/12 03:03 AM

Because of the large sensor in this camera, focal reducer requirements are stringent. With tiny video chips one can get away with simple reducers on any scope type. But no one reducer can work equally well for all scope types when this size field is covered; the ideal is a reducer designed for the specific scope type.

A friend's 14" SCT delivers overall better results for his Universe when the Meade f/6.3 reducer is used, because this reducer has been specifically designed to correct the field curvature and coma the SCT produces. The MC reducer seems to require a not so strongly curved field as the SCT generates. And it does introduce a bit more vignetting than the Meade f/6.3 produces due to insufficient clear aperture. I should add that this assessment was made with a 15mm spacer between reducer and camera, resulting an estimated reduction of somewhere between 0.6-0.7X. (More spacing is required to obtain 0.5X, which is expected to somewhat 'soften' the rapidity of illumination fall-off near the field edge, yet likely reducing the size of the fully illuminated circle.)

It would be interesting to see how Rock's reducer performs on a system faster than f/10 (and which, as noted above, has a near to flat field.) With a faster scope, for any given degree of reduction the vignetting will be more gradual, although the circle of full illumination will shrink. I should think that from a field curvature standpoint especially, and system speed secondarily, an f/8 R-C would be a better match for the MC reducer than the f/10 SCT.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5456192 - 10/05/12 08:09 AM

Quote:

I wonder how the universe compares to the Opticstar DS-616C and Farpoints Opticstar version. Is the $600 extra for the mallincam worth it? It appears the mallincam does higher gain and cooler than the Opticstar but the farpoint version has the same cooling as the mallincam.. maybe the engineering in the cooling is different too?




I can guarantee it does not have the same cooling, and that that will make a difference.


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mallin
Vendor - Mallincam Video


Reged: 01/27/11

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5456620 - 10/05/12 01:57 PM

Hi,

There is a huge difference from the other company and MallinCam Universe. First, we put the exact same Hyper circuit in each cameras along with a Holtek preamp section of extremely high gain. Peltier is not the same and is direct mounted to the rear of the METAL ccd sensor for a -45C performance needed to the continuous live view mode not through a cold finger where you loose some heat pump transfer effect.

All components are grade 1 industrial / medical grade with tolerance of 0.5% no exception, to ensure top quality and very low noise while we use a extremely high amount of gain. A MallinCam unique.

Ccd sensor is of class 0 all the way and is a ICX413AQS scientific grade. Metal housing inside is machined differently to adapter our own circuits in them. Front glass is made of BK 7 1/4" thick to provide maximum separation from ccd sensor to outside element and is multi coated for any reflection. Other company do not have near the same thing. Ours is a real astronomical ccd camera with a different twist to it.

The MallinCam Universe contain 85% our own design, and own circuit, the remaining 15% include the external cabinet and main USB board made in Taiwan by a scientific ccd camera manufacturer which makes several other astronomical cameras for other astronomical companies as well. Our camera external cabinet is BLACK which is the color to use for long exposure without any refection of any kind. Not Blue. Obviously some can't tell the difference here.

Other company offer a short little USB cable. We supply it with a top grade large wire 5 meters USB cable. That's 16.5 feet long not a short little 2 feet as provided by other.
We supply the camera with a 2" barrel for 2" type eyepiece AND we also supply adapter to fit a optional 1.25" barrel adapter too that act as a front cover made of aluminum.

We been working on this for the past 3 years and are the first to use this new platform. Taiwan company has made some other type of camera that has a similar outside frame to ours and are sold in the UK but are far to be the same.

Our 0.5X focal reducer for the Universe must be used with a telescope of 3" or above output to avoid vignetting. Our lens is from our own design and made in Germany where they are shipped back to us and are assembled by hand one at a time in our shop right here in Ottawa Ontario Canada where the final measurements are done on a optical bench to ensure the final 0.5X reduction.

Even our own MFR-5 focal reducer made for our other MallinCams video ccd cameras were engineered 3 years before everyone else to work on any Ritchey Chretien, ACF from Meade, Edge from Celestron and more. We use the same design in our 2" format for the MallinCam Universe. We were the first in the industry to come up with a universal focal reducer and still have the same design. Hope this to rest any doubting individuals who question the integrity of this company maker of the MallinCam product. We have been in business for close to 36 years with experience to back it up.

Our unique software is designed 100% by us in Canada and made by a FEMALE engineer in Taiwan. other features are too numerous to post here but let me assure you the extra cost is well justified especially for a handcrafted unit one a t at time. You want the best, its the price to pay fore a high performance camera. Beside, Do a research and you'll find a camera with some of the feature with the same size sensor by a US company sells for well over 4,000.00.

Hope this put a rest to those who are not well informed about the MallinCam. Any doubting my post, simply send me a e mail direct to mallincam @ gmail .com
Remember, were are astronomers not salesmen, we are into it for the advancement of astronomy not the money. Try that with other companies.. You call our shop, its me that you talk to in person Not a answering system or a salesman / saleslady trained to say anything.

Regards,
Rock Mallin
President,
Pricipal Designer
MallinCam
Ottawa Canada


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mallin]
      #5456681 - 10/05/12 02:37 PM

Thanks for the post Rock!

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Teabagger
member


Reged: 08/18/12

Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5456961 - 10/05/12 06:29 PM

Just received my xtreme back today(hence its cloudy) that I had sent in to get upgraded, during this time I had direct correspondence with Rock the whole time... There's a price on components and hardware, but the level of customer service and communication that comes with a Mallincam> product gear is priceless. He stands behind his products whole heatedly.

Edited by Teabagger (10/05/12 06:31 PM)


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Teabagger]
      #5457139 - 10/05/12 09:44 PM

"Our 0.5X focal reducer for the Universe must be used with a telescope of 3" or above output to avoid vignetting."

Huh? The geometry of the convergence cone is determined by the f/ratio, not the size of the primary.

I'm not sure what the gender and country of origin of the programmer has to do with anything.

Sounds like a lot of pride and hard work went into this camera. Congratulations on producing such a fine product and on being able to share your dreams and passions with others.


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: Chris A]
      #5457176 - 10/05/12 10:43 PM

Is this camera based on the same Sony CCD sensor that was used in 2008 Orion, Nikon, Starlight Xpress, etc. cameras?

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5457293 - 10/06/12 12:31 AM

It was used in the older SXV"F"-M25C's.. not sure about the nikon.. Orion came out with a camera with this chip in 2008. It is an interlaced CCD with a a two-frame readout sensor. The first QHY8's had this chip.

Everyone pretty much changed over to the ICX453 chip with progressive scan. Hense the SXV"R"-25C


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: jgraham]
      #5457380 - 10/06/12 02:07 AM

John,

What I believe Rock was talking about was a 3" opening at the rear of the scope, not the objective size. When I read Rock's responses I find I sometimes need to take into account some minor language issues (French into English). What clearly comes through though is his passion for his products.

I know from his previous comments on the Yahoo group that he's very sensitive to vignetting issues with the focal reducer. I find that the overall optical geometry of the imaging scope is more important than any one dimension ... for example comparing an f8 scope with a 3" opening and the camera 9" back to an f10 scope with a 2" opening and the camera positioned 5" back.

In Rock's response he also hasn't referenced the black Farpoints Opticstar camera mentioned earlier in the thread (thus the negative color comments). My earlier comments about the cooling differences were about the two different Opticstar cameras (Farpoints and DS-616C) and not between the Opticstar and Mallincam but that distinction also seems to have been missed.

Overall though it sure is nice to see him occasionally post here on CN.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5458594 - 10/06/12 11:06 PM

Farpoint said they are no longer carrying Opticstar products.

From Farpoint:

"Unfortunately, we no longer carry any Opticstar products. I hadnít seen that the items had not yet been removed from our website, and I apologize for that.
They will be removed, shortly."


The picture of the camera farpoint has/had on their website was probably a prototype picture.

I also received an e-mail from Opticstar about the Mallincam Universe and the DS-616C. Let's just say it was not too friendly.


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greg
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/25/05

Loc: Central Ca.
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: jgraham]
      #5459157 - 10/07/12 11:36 AM

Quote:

"Our 0.5X focal reducer for the Universe must be used with a telescope of 3" or above output to avoid vignetting."

Huh? The geometry of the convergence cone is determined by the f/ratio, not the size of the primary.





Pretty sure Rock is talking about focusser size here. Like my 14.5" 3.3 Newt uses a 3" focuser. I thinking the Universe would make a nice fit for my Fast scope.

GregW


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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: greg]
      #5459285 - 10/07/12 01:18 PM

Quote:

Like my 14.5" 3.3 Newt uses a 3" focuser. I thinking the Universe would make a nice fit for my Fast scope. GregW



I'd say so ... but with that big sensor I'd probably also consider correcting the field a bit with something like a TeleVue Paracorr or Baader 2" Rowe Coma Corrector.


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greg
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/25/05

Loc: Central Ca.
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5459674 - 10/07/12 06:09 PM

I use a Badder 2" Coma corrector with my 6.1 Mega pixel StarShoot Pro. Nice big chip and the stars are good to the edge but there is a little Vignetting... Not sure about the spelling but you get the point.

GregW


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: greg]
      #5459796 - 10/07/12 08:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

"Our 0.5X focal reducer for the Universe must be used with a telescope of 3" or above output to avoid vignetting."

Huh? The geometry of the convergence cone is determined by the f/ratio, not the size of the primary.





Pretty sure Rock is talking about focusser size here. Like my 14.5" 3.3 Newt uses a 3" focuser. I thinking the Universe would make a nice fit for my Fast scope.

GregW




No he is not.. He is talking about the objective. The focal reducer is 2" anyways. Everything is t-thread too.

It's and APS sized sensor..


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mallin
Vendor - Mallincam Video


Reged: 01/27/11

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: jgraham]
      #5460981 - 10/08/12 05:21 PM

John,

You misunderstood my post. A output of 3" or more is required to avoid vignetting. When I tested on a SCT, the baffled draw tube where the mirror rides on is simply too small and too long in some case thus creating vignetting. But when I tried on on a Ritchey-Chretien optical tube (VRC 10), it has a 3"+ output at the rear where no vignetting were present. We tested the same on a TeleVueis and results were spectacular to say the least.

Hope this clear the misunderstanding.

Regards,
Rock Mallin


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mallin
Vendor - Mallincam Video


Reged: 01/27/11

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5460987 - 10/08/12 05:26 PM

Hi,

The ccd sensor used is a Sony ICX413AQS scientific grade class 0 only. Nothing else is used. Standard ICX413AQ is fine but does not have the sensitivity and low noise of the ICX413AQS. These sensors are very difficult to obtained.

Rock M.


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mallin
Vendor - Mallincam Video


Reged: 01/27/11

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: The new Universe is in and working new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5460991 - 10/08/12 05:33 PM

"Our 0.5X focal reducer for the Universe must be used with a telescope of 3" or above output to avoid vignetting."

This is from my earlier post. It clearly state: "used with a TELESCOPE of 3" or above output."

Rock M.


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