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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
New video rig new
      #6140899 - 10/16/13 01:13 PM

So far I've got most of what I need to start doing video. I've acquired an AT8IN, a CGEM so far, the CGEM should arrive today. What I haven't decided on is what camera to use. I'm fairly certain I want to stick with all digital, USB output, specifically the Lodestar Color. Primarily I'd like to broadcast with it, and every now and then do an output to a projector.

The computer I will use for now will be a MacBook (2010 model) running parallels. Here at home if I want to display to my 60" HDTV, all I need to do is simply connect to my AppleTV via AirPlay. Note that I'll be upgrading to a pro after new MacBook announcements this month.

What I really could use some help with is figuring out the software I will need to do everything for broadcasting, including running the mount. Any help will be appreciated, since I'm starting from scratch here.


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6141172 - 10/16/13 03:33 PM

For Mac I believe you will need "Camtwist" to choose the area of your monitor to display on NSN. AFAIK this is what Mac users on NSN use.

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A. Viegas
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6141215 - 10/16/13 04:18 PM

Looking forward to seeing you on NSN. I have never seen anyone broadcasting with a Lodestar -- so I am particularly curious to see how it will look.

Al


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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6141549 - 10/16/13 06:49 PM

Quote:

Looking forward to seeing you on NSN. I have never seen anyone broadcasting with a Lodestar -- so I am particularly curious to see how it will look.

Al




That's exactly what has me worried!


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6141927 - 10/16/13 10:07 PM

I asked that question in another thread about broadcasting with the Lodestar and didn't receive an answer.

David


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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: New video rig new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6142070 - 10/16/13 11:47 PM

Dwight indicated what's required.

You can't broadcast on NSN with the camera and it's software on it's own. You need something to capture the image (all or part of the screen) and present it as a Windows WDM compatible streaming device so Flash in the browser can deal with it.


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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6142084 - 10/16/13 11:55 PM

Ah, ok, I'll contact them and try and work it in Windows 8 & parallels.

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JimT
sage
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Reged: 08/13/05

Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Re: New video rig new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6142371 - 10/17/13 07:34 AM

Quote:

Dwight indicated what's required.

You can't broadcast on NSN with the camera and it's software on it's own. You need something to capture the image




Not in all cases is that true. Flash was designed and works best with webcams using a USB connection. Unless the camera needs its own proprietary software to run he should have no need for a capture device. Doesn't the Loadstar use a USB connection ? if it does he could test it on any number of sites not just NSN.
Curtis there are site instructions on how to broadcast on NSN and they may help you understand a little better what you may need. If you need help contact me. I will be more than happy to help. All the many cameras on NSN now days and this is one of the few never used on the site. No idea why not. So I cant wait. From webcams to DSLR's to the Mallincam and many in between. This will be the first for a Loadstar. Welcome on board.


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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: New video rig new [Re: JimT]
      #6142606 - 10/17/13 10:19 AM

Jim,

It is true, but the confusion is that the term "capture" in my earlier post doesn't have anything to do with a physical capture device (USB video frame grabbers etc.). It only refers to selecting or "capturing" an image on the screen and piping that image to the WDM driver and on into Flash ... it's all software.

-----

If your camera and display/control software doesn't emulate a webcam or Windows WDM device Flash and therefore NSN will simply not see it. There must be an intermediate connection between the two and the most popular of those are the webcam redirect software products that also include the ability to select and pipe a particular area of the screen (in this case the display portion of the software controlling the camera) as a webcam/WDM compatible device.

With Windows some of these intermediate or redirect software products are WebCamMax, ManyCam, or SplitCam, and with a Mac CamTwist is a popular option.

There are two uses for this type of intermediate software. If you have a basic webcam/WDM compatible display application when you connect to NSN you usually loose the local display. Some camera display software has the ability to display the image and send the image to NSN at the same time. If you don't have that capability you can always just open another NSN session as a viewer to keep an eye on your broadcast. Where the intermediate or redirect software comes in is you can use it to create a second simultaneous stream so both your display software and NSN are happy.

The second use is what I was talking about above, where you can also select an area of your screen to turn that into a webcam/WDM compatible stream. It's this capability that virtually any CCD imaging camera (like the LodeStar with it's unique display software) will require.


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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6144814 - 10/18/13 12:44 PM

Well, first step to broadcasting will be just getting on NSN. Since I'm still hesitating a bit on picking a camera I'll first try and simply broadcast with my built in camera.

With any camera I get, I think I may want to invest in a MFR-3 to lower my f ratio to 2.56.


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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6146669 - 10/19/13 01:03 PM

Ok so, how about guiding? Should I assume I will need an autoguider? Not to sure since in ever ask that on NSN to the people that broadcast.

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mclewis1
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Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6146719 - 10/19/13 01:36 PM

Curtis,

Most folks I know don't use an autoguider for near live viewing. It can however be useful if you are regularly going with 1-2 or more minute exposures (say if you are using aggressive filters under lousy skies).

The decision to use an autoguider depends on how accurate you mount already is. The PE on many mounts is fine for folks doing video work. Many mounts also have a corrected PE capability (PEC) which is also very useful. If you're regularly going with longer exposures and PEC isn't doing it for you I would then consider the extra expense and complexity of an autoguider.

Don't dismiss the effect of the added complexity, you'll periodically need to have the autoguider recalibrate which adds time.

So if you are working with only a few objects, at longer focal lengths, and generally in the same area of the sky and you want the very best images possible then the autoguider will probably be a good choice. If however you're more interested in getting as much viewing in in an evening as possible and your mount is working out reasonably well then you probably won't want or need an autoguider.


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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6147228 - 10/19/13 06:28 PM

Ok I'll shelf the autoguider for now. I have a very small section of the sky to work with from my balcony.

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6147243 - 10/19/13 06:39 PM

Many use Alt/Az mounts. As already posted, unless you're going to do a ton of one plus minute exposures, I don't see the need.

David


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Relativist
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Reged: 10/11/03

Loc: OC, CA, USA
Re: New video rig [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6150978 - 10/22/13 01:38 AM

I put together the CGEM and unboxed the AT8IN. it turns out I will need a Dovetail adapter, that's on order. Still can't decide on a video camera, things are moving so quickly. I'm currently leaning back toward MC JR PRO, mainly because of the Miloslick software support upcoming.

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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: New video rig new [Re: Relativist]
      #6157583 - 10/25/13 02:43 PM

IMHO the MC jr pro is the right place to start....
Its a fine camera and the most supported.
With a well established group of people in the MC group ,there are so many users and information on The MC camera line.You just cant go wrong.


1.Get the scope to the lowest F# you can,,,the AT8IN is F4 and a .5x reducer will get you close to F2...that should be ok.
2.You will want to guide to get better stars and cleaner dso.(but you can do a lot with out guiding)
3.A fast camera (IMHO) is good so you can use filters and keep the times short..I us a EX chip in my Extream and a C14 at F2 for my Tampa LP skys...
The EX chip is a little harder to use,but when you get the hang of it,it works great..and at less than 1/2 the exposure time...vrs normal non ex chip..
In any case try to get the best grade sensor you can (less hot pictals)
The Miloslick software will let you do a lot...simply.
The standard camera can be software inhanced .

Good luck...."video will open up your eyes".

Edited by mega256 (10/25/13 02:45 PM)


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: New video rig new [Re: mega256]
      #6157675 - 10/25/13 03:27 PM

Hi Bob

The only issue I see is that if Curtis uses his AT8IN scope at a nice fast f2 the image scale is going to be way too small for a lot of the common objects. You can get by with f2 Bob because you are using a C14 at native f10 which is a good long focal length to work with by reducing it faster and keeping the image scale still good for most objects. Just though Curtis should know this.

Clear skies,

Chris A


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: New video rig new [Re: Chris A]
      #6158134 - 10/25/13 08:17 PM

Hi Chris,Actually the C14 is F11.....But yes the AT8in will yeald some small scale...but it will be fast....He than can use F4 whith a larger scale...But those wide fields at F2 will be fun..
I used a AT12IN at f2 and it was a nice fov ,,,,24" and his 8" at F4=32"..F2 will be 16" so I think it will be a nice setup..He may want to try a .63 reducer to have more flexability..that would be close to my 12" at f2...24"

The ATxxIN are very nice scopes...almost rc like...Great
mirrors.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: New video rig new [Re: Chris A]
      #6158382 - 10/25/13 10:53 PM

Quote:

Hi Bob

The only issue I see is that if Curtis uses his AT8IN scope at a nice fast f2 the image scale is going to be way too small for a lot of the common objects. You can get by with f2 Bob because you are using a C14 at native f10 which is a good long focal length to work with by reducing it faster and keeping the image scale still good for most objects. Just though Curtis should know this.

Clear skies,

Chris A




With what knowledge I have of the video realm, Chris's point is why Cassegrain type scopes work so well with video. You start with that LONG focal length and even getting down to f4 with an SC, you still have enough focal length the get some image scale.

I would think that using something like the AT8IN, you'd want to hold it right there. F4 is pretty fast and you still have a bit of scale to work with.

Edit: And that brings up another thought. Do you guys that are on the broadcast site a lot know of anyone that uses something like one of Astro Physics' older 6" f12 refractors? That might make for an interesting combination. Yea, you'd need a fairly stout mount, but it would be a pretty neat setup!

David

Edited by David Pavlich (10/25/13 10:56 PM)


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Chris A
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: New video rig new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6158427 - 10/25/13 11:19 PM

Very good points David and yes I think F4 is quite fast also esp. with a sensitive camera like the MCX.

Clear skies,

Chris


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