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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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akjudge
member


Reged: 02/25/08

Loc: Western NY, USA
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5775076 - 04/03/13 09:49 AM

While NSN is a great site (I visit it often), it is not necessarily one "that anyone can use". I am not knocking the site. Originally, I posted on NSN with my Stellacam3 and DMK (lunar). However, Adobe Flash updates eventually made it impossible for me to connect to NSN. In spite of the fact that Jim tried hard to help me fix my problem (going back to older versions of Adobe Flash, etc.), we were unable to get me "on-line" anymore. This is not a criticism of NSN, but rather Adobe Flash and potential conflicts with other installed software. Apparently after reading posts on the NSN Yahoo group, I am not the only one unable to get on line. My point is that there probably are a fair number of other types of live-view camera owners that can't broadcast their images on NSN for technical reasons.

Jim


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: akjudge]
      #5775124 - 04/03/13 10:06 AM

Sorry, 1/2" Sony CCD sensors are 8mm in diagonal and not 12mm like I wrote previously but my judgment remains unchanged regarding focal redutcion factor.

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budman1961
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Moromete]
      #5775331 - 04/03/13 11:26 AM

I purchased the DBK 21AU618.AS from OPT when they cam out, over a year ago. It is no doubt a solid camera, with fair to fiddly software.

Back then I had a Meade LX200 Classic 10, f6.3, and the DBK was a good match. I was able to capture planets like Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, with aplomb, even though I did struggle with the software. The Moon was always a good time too. I did try the camera on brighter DSO's, M42 to be specific.

The results were nothing more than fair, I could capture the central bright area, and even some color. When I extended the time, thats where the camera lost its "shine" to me. It just wasnt sensitive enough to capture anything more than the brightest of bright objects.

I had hoped that this camera might be a real sleeper.....almost a something for nothing proposition. I mean that It was known the camera did well on Luna and Planets, but if I could eek-out DSO's, that would be a plus, and making it a keeper. After some thought, I ended up selling the camera off, I couldnt justify $450.00 for a super-planetary camera....so away it went.

I have had for some time Mallincam Hyper Plus Color, and thoroughly enjoy
it. I would compare the M42 view an the DBK camera to a 2 second integration at AGC 1 or 2 on the Mallincam.

I hope this helps!

Andy

Edited by budman1961 (04/03/13 11:28 AM)


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bunyon
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: budman1961]
      #5775378 - 04/03/13 11:45 AM

I had a 618 chip, Moromete. The software that came with it was a little clunky - I like FireCapture better. SharpCap is good for single images.

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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Chris A]
      #5775520 - 04/03/13 01:01 PM

Quote:

Hi Travis

I am not going to get into a big debate over what I said, but I still believe (and have tested several cameras) what I previously said. We have a fantastic tool for 3 years now that anyone can use and it's called Night Skies Network (NSN) open to ALL!

To this day I have not seen hardly any people and I am on NSN a lot showing their results live with their particular camera. I have always believed in actions speak louder than words. Lets start seeing some broadcast of DSO's and that will provide us the best idea of what can be expected under certain conditions.

Chris A
Astrogate




I just bought a capture device for my computer. I will try NSN out next week from my house. If that works then I can try it with my phone's 4G hotspot where it is darker.


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jimthompson
member


Reged: 10/06/09

Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Moromete]
      #5775529 - 04/03/13 01:11 PM

I just clued into this discussion when chasing down links on the Sony ICX828, so I apologise for hopping in late. Some of the basic assumptions regarding similarities between the DBK21AU618 and Mallincam are incorrect. The ICX618 and ICX428 are not all that similar. An easy mistake to make considering how difficult it is to understand the information on these devices that is available from Sony. I looked at this problem a while back, and wrote a paper on it. You can view the paper from my website:

http://karmalimbo.com/aro/reports/Astrovideo%20Camera%20CCD%20Survey.pdf

The gyst is the following:

1. Sony quoted sensitivity values are 100% misleading. The method used to measure and reduce the data for a sensitivity value is different from one CCD model to another. This information can be found in the Sony spec sheets but it is easy to miss. Sneaky marketing dogs.
2. One shot colour CCD's are very different from monochrome. The colour matrix that is applied to achieve colour images has a profound impact on the resulting sensitivity of the detector. This information is barried in the Sony specs as well, once you figure it out.
3. RGBG colour matrix chips (eg. ICX618) suffer a significantly larger penalty from their colour matrix than CMYG matrix chips. This is a result of the net transmissivity you get from a colour filter that gives Red Green and Blue versus Cyan Magenta and Yellow.
4. When you roll up points #1 to #3 above, the full sensor band sensitivity of the ICX618 is 64% that of the ICX428. If you are using a light pollution filter the ICX618 sensitivity is affectively 52% that of the ICX428.
5. The Dark Current noise of the ICX618 is quoted by Sony to be 4 mV. This is twice that quoted for the ICX428. Even if the DBK21 had cooling equal to the Mallincam, it would still be noisier due to the very nature of the CCD.

It is too bad we are not looking for cameras to do security or general consumer type stuff. If we were we'd be riding the wave of demand that is driving the industry. Unfortunately we are amateur astronomers, and the best we can do is scrounge for scraps from an industry that has no real commercial reason to pay attention to us. There are more sensitive chips being developed, sure, but they are designed to serve the mass market who has different requirements than we do. Camera companies like Flea, Imaging Source, and others are producing some very nice cameras (I own a DBK51 that I love), but they are stuck using what is available for sensors. Good camera developers have actually tested all these different sensors and picked what was the best fit for the particular camera they are making. I know for a fact that the current configuration of the Mallincam came about in this way, after years of trial and error with numerous sensors. All we as users can do is ask questions, test, compare. Don't forget that we are still at the beginning of this field of astronomy, not the middle, the beginning.

Regarding the prospect of reducing a scope down to f/1.5...I am very doubtful this would ever be possible. I have tried many variations of stacked multiple reducers, and have never been able to achieve focus on my refractors below about f/3, and below about f/2.5 on my 8" SCT. To create such a fast scope would require custom designed optics, tube and focuser. Think about it, the focus plane for an f/1.5 8" aperture would be only 12" from the objective/primary! Even just dealing with the field curvature would be a big challenge. In my own testing I have also found that narrow band filters for light pollution or imaging perform poorly below f/2, a result of the difference in the incident light angle from center to edge of the light cone.

Regards,

Jim Thompson
AbbeyRoadObservatory


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: jimthompson]
      #5775555 - 04/03/13 01:21 PM

Jim,

Nice to see you posting ... instead of "just" lurking for all these years



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jimthompson
member


Reged: 10/06/09

Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5775599 - 04/03/13 01:38 PM

Heh heh, to be honest Mark I just don't have the time for all these different forum discussions. I think I need to retire or something.

Cheers,

Jim T.


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GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: jimthompson]
      #5775656 - 04/03/13 01:56 PM

Moromete,
Jim has stolen some of my thunder. The Meade f/3.3 reducer *just* comfortably covers a Mallincam's 1/2" format (8mm) diagonal. I once tried it on a mono CCD of 15mm diagonal and only the central circle was good; the outer field was horrible!

As Jim imtimated, obtaining something approaching f/1.5 performance from a focal reducer will almost certainly require a specialized design using several elements.

One saving grace of the video chip's small size; it enables to employ a reducer whose clear aperture is not larger than a 2" filter, allowing a narrow-band filter to be placed ahead of the reducer, where the light cone is not too steeply converging.


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Moromete]
      #5775812 - 04/03/13 03:27 PM

I hate to brake the news to you Luc (think this is your name from glancing at your NSN broadcast), but these CCD sensors as of March 8th 2013 are still not available to the consumer yet. Trust me, when available Rock Mallin will be looking into these sensors as he always keeps up with the times.

Chris A
Astrogate


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5775816 - 04/03/13 03:30 PM

Hey great Travis and I am looking forward to your 1st light broadcast. If there is any help you need getting going/connected just let me know.

Clear skies,

Chris A
Astrogate


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5775824 - 04/03/13 03:34 PM

You have a good point Travis, but I cannot think of a better way to show your views to a huge audience for instant feedback from them regarding the views.

Chris A


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: akjudge]
      #5775853 - 04/03/13 03:46 PM

Hi Jim

You have a point and sorry to hear that you have issues with Flash Player and I do wished that there was a better way to show the live feed. Many (including myself) have used Manycam or WebcamMax to display their video feed from the desktop directly into NSN.

My only issue is finding a better true way to show ones image/show then NSN. Yes one can post images here but it is way too easy to apply post processing to them prior to posting them here. At least you can just use say the Mallincam and only it's camera control software software (MC Control) and just use the video sliders to tweak live. Yes you can apply live stacking using DSSLive & VirtualDub filters to further enhance the object being viewed but the audience can easily pick up on that. However keep in mind that these programs DSSLive & VirtualDub are applied to the video stream on the fly and not post processed using PS or any other program and a later time when not connected to NSN - This is a big difference.

Chris A
Astrogate


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: jimthompson]
      #5775869 - 04/03/13 03:56 PM

Hey Jim are you now getting caught in the CN Spiders web LOL?

On the serious side I am glad to see you here and what great valuble information you have just provided.

Clear skies,

Chris A
Astrogate


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5775874 - 04/03/13 03:58 PM

Glenn wait until you have to deal with the big CCD sensor in the MC Universe like I am dealing with now LOL!

Chris A
Astrogate


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GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Chris A]
      #5776140 - 04/03/13 06:27 PM

Chris,
In a fashion I'm already dealing with the Universe, as I'm helping a friend get up and running with his. Started in the late summer/fall, and about to get back at it after the winter shut-down.


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jchaller
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/29/08

Loc: Tenino, WA.
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: jimthompson]
      #5776206 - 04/03/13 07:02 PM

Hah, kind of funny seeing newbie under that name. I've been to your site and read your work - loved the survey.

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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Lorence]
      #5778123 - 04/04/13 04:49 PM

I kind of jumped in because of the questions about the DMK21 and did not want to get into a discussion of AP versus "live viewing" since I don't do "live viewing" in the sense in which the original question was posed. I have visited folks on the field who do "live view" and peeked at their screens and I do visit NSN web site to see what the Mallincam folks are broadcasting (impressive). I have done some "live viewing" on Luna and Jupiter with the DMK21 to show neighbors who drop by my backyard observatory from time to time and the DMK21 is great for that, you can show 5-6 people a nice live image on the computer screen. But it is not, IMHO, a tool for DSO "live viewing."

It was my impression, perhaps incorrect, that those who do "live viewing" are substituting the video camera for an eyepiece. This gives the experience of "at the eyepiece" but the ability to go deeper and even see some colors in some DSOs that cannot be captured with oculars for that particular aperture. In other words, its a visual not photographic experience.

Naturally one can capture frames and its AP. Of course, I could be completely off-base and uninformed.

Ed


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Ed Wiley]
      #5779436 - 04/05/13 11:31 AM

To this day the only true live view(1/30th of a second or less duration) electronic image I have seen of a deep space object was with an image intensifier.

Near real-time live view just depends on your definition of near-real time.

For me 1 minute or less is near real time.

Also I don't believe "video camera" is a relevant term with anything but the image intensifier because that is the only camera that is truly capturing a real time 30 FPS or faster image.

All of the others are just cameras that output their signal to a display device. They either output 1 image only or a sequence of the same image over and over.

The LCD screen on a camera is technically the exact same thing as a monitor or TV. It is attached to the camera via a cable and it outputs a real time NTSC or PAL signal. However, the content that you are capturing is only a true real-time or "video" capture in the case of the image intensifier.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (04/05/13 11:32 AM)


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: DBK 21AU618.AS vs Mallincam new [Re: Ed Wiley]
      #5779944 - 04/05/13 03:41 PM

Quote:

It was my impression, perhaps incorrect, that those who do "live viewing" are substituting the video camera for an eyepiece. This gives the experience of "at the eyepiece" but the ability to go deeper and even see some colors in some DSOs that cannot be captured with oculars for that particular aperture. In other words, its a visual not photographic experience.

Ed




Rather than thinking that a video camera replaces an eyepiece, think of it as a better eyepiece.

I use video cameras and a CCD camera. Sometimes I look at live images sometimes they are delayed images. The delay can be a few seconds or a few minutes but essentially the image is viewed as it is as made by the camera.

Astronomy is not an action sport. When an object is in the eyepiece it is usually there for quite some time. Hopefully it will remain still and allow the viewer to see as much detail as possible. The simple reality is that even in an eyepiece the image is just a picture.

The "Improved Electronic Eyepiece" takes the picture from the little round hole in the old eyepiece and displays it on a screen. There are pros and cons to either kind of viewing but as the saying goes "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

The magic word is "Eye". All that is important is what goes into that eye. Who cares how it gets in there.

PS. (Sort of) I did run into a few rather narrow minded individuals over in the Deep Sky Observing Forum recently. According to them you can only see an object buy viewing the actual photons that it emits. That struck me as being rather odd until I realized they do see things differently than I do. They are so narrow minded they can see through an eyepiece with both eyes at the same time.


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