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The new Universe is in and working

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#51 nytecam

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:18 AM

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 :question: 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 :rainbow:

#52 Teabagger

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

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

#53 Raginar

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:37 PM

Chris,

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

Chris

#54 Lorence

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:35 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
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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.

#55 Chris A

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:40 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

#56 Chris A

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:46 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
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#57 mclewis1

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:54 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.



#58 ngchunter

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:49 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?

#59 Chris A

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:13 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

#60 Chris A

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:15 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

#61 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

Now that we're in a dark moon period, I'd like to see an image of a target having rather lower surface brightness than M57 and M27. Parts of the Veil nebula will be an improvement, if the goal is to ascertain sensitivity and degree of noise reduction. Better yet would be NGC6888 or the North America nebula.

Brighter planetaries do not make a camera 'break a sweat.'

#62 mclewis1

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:59 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

I agree Chris, screen capture to a video stream isn't going to show the camera's true capabilities, so that's really not an appropriate vehicle for a comparison (as much fun as that might be to do).

You know my position on comparisons (that they have to be done very carefully if anyone is going to be able to draw any useful conclusions) ... and for all the fun and interest in the camera waiting for good examples of it's capabilities is what's really important.

#63 Chris A

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:13 PM

Glenn I just sent the original MC Universe today back to Rocks work and he will be sending me the latest model with the hyper circuitry and deeper cooling along with the new .5 focal reducer. Yes I agree with you and do plan on doing some very high intense ccd imaging of those faint objects you mentioned (Hey the California nebula comes to mine) and also do a live NSN broadcast showing several different types of objects in near real-time when the NSN patch is ready. Hope you all will please be patient and I promise to show some incredible images/views.

Chris A
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#64 ngchunter

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:59 PM

Will the NSN patch also allow the camera to talk to other streaming providers, such as Justin.tv, ustream, etc (without the need for webcammax)?

#65 A. Viegas

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:48 PM

Chris & Lorence,

I know everyone is going gaga over the wider FOV, but I would be interested to see some barlowed images, I realize the Universe is not meant to be a planetary imager, but still it would be interesting to see if the higher resolution can handle brighter targets at very high effective magnification and maintain the sharpness and image quality of some of what has been posted on Yahoo and here so far.

Al

#66 Lorence

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:23 PM

Chris & Lorence,

I know everyone is going gaga over the wider FOV, but I would be interested to see some barlowed images, I realize the Universe is not meant to be a planetary imager, but still it would be interesting to see if the higher resolution can handle brighter targets at very high effective magnification and maintain the sharpness and image quality of some of what has been posted on Yahoo and here so far.
Al


For what it's worth I initially set up on a bright sunny afternoon. The terrestrial view was "WOW". The camera was set to full resolution (3032 x 2018) but at the time I didn't realize I was only seeing half of that resolution on the monitor (1920 x 1080). That covers two out of three. One brief look at the Moon when it was very low and seeing was poor was enough to convince me Lunar viewing will be impressive. Buy the way the Moon is just slightly larger than my field of view with the .5 reducer.

#67 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:15 PM

Chris,

I am on the way home from ECVAR where I did have the chance to use a Universe in a 12" VRC on CGE PRO and a 30" StarStructure. I failed to save any of the captures with the 12" as I forgot to specify the file name - DUH! But I did learn how to properly use the software and on Thursday night, I did grab some frame on Duane Smith's 30". On the 12" I was using 2x2 binning and mainly 60 second exposures to get fantastic images on the 17.3" screen of my Toshiba laptop. With the 30", shorter exposures and no binning was generally the case. Here is a 30 second capture of M8:

Posted Image

The scope is Alt-Az and after looking at the captures, Duane felt that using a ParaCor would have cleaned up some of the corner artifacts.

Jack Huerkamp

#68 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:18 PM

Here is a 45 second capture of M16:

Posted Image

I really wish I had successfully saved the ones with the 12" on the GEM as they did not show the effects of field rotation.

Jack

#69 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:25 PM

And here is a 15 second of M22:

Posted Image

Jack

#70 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:47 AM

Those images look like they have all of the benefit of the Malincam's high sensitivity with the resolution of a DSLR. That is a really good thing.

#71 Chris A

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

Hi Jack

Wow those are some very nice unprocessed captures using the MC Universe Jack! I also recieved the latest MC Universe model along with the 0.5x reducer and will be testing this camera completely. Again very nice captures and thank you for sharing them with us here.

Chris A

#72 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:24 PM

Chris,
Have you decided on the distance at which the reducer will be placed ahead of the sensor? To work at 0.5X, the chip must be located at 1/2 the reducer's focal length behind the approximate mid-point in the lens. When helping a friend test his Universe a couple nights ago, with this reducer I very crudely checked its focal length and determined that some extra spacing was needed in order to obtain sufficient separation to work at 0.5X. The only spacer we had on hand was a 15mm job. Checking image scale showed that the result was near 0.6X, but this is a non-rigorous 'measurement'; we had bigger concerns to deal with at the time. Additionally, there was notable vignetting toward the corners.

#73 Chris A

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:32 PM

Glen I tried last night the 0.5x focal reducer threaded directly to the MC Universe followed by the supplied 2" adapter. This provided roughly a .6x reduction and there was only a very small amount of vignetting at the corners with no coma using my C9.25. Rock said that I should not use the supplied spacer unless the sct opening is 3 to 4 inches. The C9.25 has a 2" opening only and the spacer would have provided a more reduction but way too much vignetting and maybe even some coma.

Chris A

#74 Chris A

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:38 PM

Requests to see some fainter objects with the MC Universe

I recieved the updated version of the MC Universe from Rock last Friday (thank
you Rock) and had rain and partly cloudy skies for a couple of day's until last
night the sky cleared up. It was not a night that I was hoping for to do some
longer exposure stacked ccd imaging. Oh well, I wanted to show you a couple of
fainter objects that I captured with this beast of a camera under hazy skies. I
took a single (adjusted image using the MC Universe software)captures of both
M16 & M17 before they get too low in the south for me and uploaded them on my
flicker site along with full details below the images. Please check them out and
I would love to hear what you all think of them as for as in near real-time
observation goes. Serious ccd imaging will be coming in the near future and **I
need to buy a 2" IDAS P2 filter in order to achieve the best results in my light
polluted location**. M16 please read the information below.

I used my C9.25 @ full native F10 and the MC Universe with hyper circuitry. This was a single 2 x 2 bin mode at 240 sec using gain set to 19 and the histogram set to auto. Using the MC Universe software I set the contrast set to -20 and gamma set to -5. Used the one push WB tab and then lower the red to 91 to reduce the red cast again using the MC Universe SW. I had no filters on and would have achieved even better results by using and IDAS P2 LP filter. Adjustments all done on the fly with MX Universe software with NO post processing.

Conditions were average transparency, below average seeing, temperature was about 68F with a high 83% humidity level causing a lot of moisture in the air. No moon was present during the time of viewing.



Chris A
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Attached Thumbnails

  • 5426493-M16  1 x 240 sec C9.25 @ F10 2 x 2 bin mode MC Universe (1137 x 757).jpg


#75 Chris A

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

Here is M17. Please read the details below

I used my C9.25 @ full native F10 and the MC Universe with hyper circuitry. This was a single 2 x 2 bin mode at 180 sec using gain set to 21 and the histogram set to auto. Using the MC Universe software I set the contrast set to -20 and gamma set to -5. Used the one push WB tab and then lower the red to 92 to reduce the red cast again using the MC Universe SW. I had no filters on and would have achieved even better results by using and IDAS P2 LP filter. Adjustments all done on the fly with MX Universe software with NO post processing

Conditions were average transparency, below average seeing, temperature was about 68F with a high 83% humidity level causing a lot of moisture in the air. No moon was present during the time of viewing.

Chris A
Astrogate

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5426496-M17  1 x 180  sec C9.25 @ F10 2 x 2 bin mode MC Universe (1137 x 757).jpg



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