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marktownley
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Reged: 08/19/08

Loc: West Midlands, UK
New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging?
      #3743010 - 04/13/10 04:18 PM

Has anybody had any experience of the Opticstar PL-131M Coolair? http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Imagers-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_0_50_88

At 22fps it delivers a 1280x1024 pixel fov. That would be plenty for a full disk from quite a few of the smaller Ha scopes...

The best bit - it costs 199 which is pretty much half the price of a DMK41, with a larger field and faster frame rate. I'm kinda tempted by one


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pjr200
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Reged: 08/29/07

Loc: Staffordshire, UK
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: marktownley]
      #3743020 - 04/13/10 04:26 PM

I think CMOS chips (rather than ccd chips) have lower sensitivty although this is not much of an issue on the sun as long as the noise is low. Not heard anything about about it.

Edited by pjr200 (04/13/10 04:31 PM)


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zjc26138
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Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: pjr200]
      #3743505 - 04/13/10 08:38 PM

It looks pretty interesting for the price at 270.00 US.

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Oldfield
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Reged: 03/20/02

Loc: Hong Kong
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: zjc26138]
      #3743779 - 04/13/10 11:01 PM

Worth to try.

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marktownley
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Reged: 08/19/08

Loc: West Midlands, UK
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: Oldfield]
      #3744037 - 04/14/10 04:11 AM

They have an intersting range. Look at this one though http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Imagers-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_0_50_81 - same resolution, 12fps but 10 bit resolution... Oh, the price 149 is even more tempting still. I'm sooooo tempted to give one a go...

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pjr200
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Reged: 08/29/07

Loc: Staffordshire, UK
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: marktownley]
      #3744102 - 04/14/10 06:06 AM

Stop that! Your getting me tempted as well
I'm toying with the idea of getting a camera with the new icx618 ccd chipset (although still 640x480) which has much more sensitivty than the DMK cameras.

Edited by pjr200 (04/14/10 07:28 AM)


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Montana
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Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Cheshire, UK
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: pjr200]
      #3744149 - 04/14/10 07:18 AM

Hi Mark,
In January I was seriously considering this camera, but all of you lot persuaded me to get the DMK41 (which is great) !!!. No one seems to have used this camera and it made me nervous. I only found one review on the web and they said that the software was a bit dodgy and difficult to get working. However they have just updated the software and camera a few weeks ago. Another thing at the time was that the software didn't work with Windows 7 64 bit and that would be coming in mid 2010, in January I was just not that patient to wait!
If you do get it I would be very interested in hearing a review.
Regards
Alexandra


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stephenramsden
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Reged: 08/17/07

Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: Montana]
      #5524789 - 11/17/12 05:54 PM

Im reviewing it now...

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sullij1
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Reged: 11/08/08

Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: stephenramsden]
      #5524879 - 11/17/12 06:51 PM

Stephen, please link us to the review when you are done.

I almost bought one of these before I got the software to let the SSAG work as a QHY5. Once I had the QHY5 working I thought this one might be redundant.

It will be interesting to see the review.


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aposunwatch
member


Reged: 11/15/12

Loc: Naperville, IL
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: sullij1]
      #5524984 - 11/17/12 07:49 PM

This camera looks like it is begging to be taken apart and modified with a TEC. It already has a built in fan controller which is rare for such a cheap camera.

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PiotrM
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: aposunwatch]
      #5525996 - 11/18/12 12:08 PM

1. Do not use a Micron CMOS for solar imaging. Either rolling shutter or usually strong Newton rings will kill the imaging.

2. Opticstar isn't a good brand In Europe you have Basler, IDS Imaging, TIS or also Point Grey cameras with better sensors and usually a good group of users.

If you want a big diagonal - 1/1.8" like in DMK51 but faster, cheaper and with better sensitivity - try e2v CMOS based camera. Either cheaper Sapphire (Ximea USB3, IDS Imaging USB2... PGR Blackfly GigE) or more expensive and newer Ruby line sensor. There are also very big sensors (1" CMV4000) but they cost much more. There are also good Sony CCDs like ICX445 - but those are smaller and bit slower.

You can find more on:
http://airylab.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&am...
or http://astrochonum.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1...

And on my blog.


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sullij1
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Reged: 11/08/08

Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5526604 - 11/18/12 06:42 PM

Thats all well and good Piotr but how much do those cost in US dollars?

I have used the QHY 5 with good success and no newton rings.

Edited by sullij1 (11/18/12 06:47 PM)


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Trevor Durity
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Reged: 12/01/05

Loc: Galway, Ireland
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: sullij1]
      #5526747 - 11/18/12 08:03 PM

I've been eyeing this one up as well. Opticstar keep trying to temp me in with their offer emails. ;-)

The sensor held me back in this case as there was no wealth of sample shots out there. Can't wait to see Stephen's review.


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drksky
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: Trevor Durity]
      #5526797 - 11/18/12 08:38 PM

The Blackfly is an e2v that's posted at a price of $395, but I don't think any have actually been sold yet. Point Grey site says the 1.2MP availability is Q4 2012, but they're rapidly running out of 2012.

They also have the currently available e2v Flea3 USB 3.0 claiming 60FPS and a global shutter. I've been eyeing that one pretty closely. Even moreso now that I can't get the stupid DMK51 to run full speed on my new laptop.


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sullij1
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Reged: 11/08/08

Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: drksky]
      #5526840 - 11/18/12 08:59 PM

Tony,

Thanks, good to know. Let us know if you see a release date.Good luck with the 51. In my experience with the 51 it is an awesome solar machine.


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drksky
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Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: sullij1]
      #5526863 - 11/18/12 09:10 PM

I have no problem with the 51 itself, other than the fact that the driver doesn't seem to get along with USB 3.0 ports and the manufacture seems very disinterested in fixing it.

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*skyguy*
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5526986 - 11/18/12 10:39 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

Quote:

1. Do not use a Micron CMOS for solar imaging. Either rolling shutter or usually strong Newton rings will kill the imaging.





I have the Micron 1280x1024 chip in my SSAG and I use it for solar imaging when it's setup as a QHY5. I've been very happy with its performance ... see image:


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PiotrM
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #5527253 - 11/19/12 01:47 AM

Quote:

I have the Micron 1280x1024 chip in my SSAG and I use it for solar imaging when it's setup as a QHY5. I've been very happy with its performance ... see image:




The Newton rings show up quite randomly. One sensor will give them, another will not. That's the risk with getting a Micron based camera.

Here is one example (no tilting or rotating will help):



At the moment best thing would be PGR Chameleon from ebay.

e2v based cameras sell in Europe - quite cheap when compared to other cameras (cheaper than big DMK).


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WahHK
professor emeritus
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Reged: 02/24/06

Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5527293 - 11/19/12 03:28 AM

These Newton rings should be from the optical window of the sensor.
If there is no anti-reflection coating there, the rings should be obvious.


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sullij1
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Reged: 11/08/08

Re: New CCD Camera For Solar Imaging? new [Re: WahHK]
      #5527712 - 11/19/12 11:10 AM

Piotr,

You said,

cheap when compared to other cameras (cheaper than big DMK).
The PGR's are good cams no doubt but it is a 1/3 inch chip compared to the QHY 1/2 inch and the DMK 51's 1 / 1.8 chip. These are big size differences.
You won't get full disks on larger scopes with that 1/3 inch chip.
So shure there will be price differences. All 3 of these cams have about the same frame rate. And all 3 "ARE" delivering good results on solar objects.

We all want a big 1/1.8 chip delivering 80 fps with the highest res, unfortunately it is not in the budget for many of us.


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