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DIY Camera for EAA: Better Than LN300?

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#51 photo444

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 07:38 PM

I communicate to the micro-ex with an arduino board (serial), I read that this board does not have the serial chip, but... there is allways a way...

 

Mario

Mario,

 

I assume that an Arduino board is controlling camera via RS485 line.  There are several Arduino board that have serial ports.

 

Paul



#52 ccs_hello

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:53 PM

Asking the vendor to add an official RS485 module (an add-on daughter board) just for $10 is a good deal.

After that you can go to fleabay to buy a USB-RS485 dongle.

 

 

<< DIY   Adding PC control to RJ10-10638 board >>

 

Use post #1, the linked picture as the reference:

http://www.cloudynig...-1421693489.jpg

 

On its top side, you'll find Rx and Gnd contact points.

 

Use my earlier thread as the reference  http://www.cloudynig...-for-5-buttons/

1. Solder a 3.3K ohm resistor to Rx  lead.  The other side of 3.3K resistor goes to to TTL_Serial side of the dongle.

2. Solder a second wire on Gnd which will connect to TTL_Serial dongle's Ground.

 

Please note this board has different revisions and the soldering pad arrangements can be different than what I've described.

Just pick RX and GND for this purpose.

 

BTW, RJ10 is also known as EOSHD 802D, the AD converter used in that cam is also a 10-bit AD9943, like LN300's.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello


Edited by ccs_hello, 20 January 2015 - 10:06 PM.


#53 photo444

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:08 PM

Thank you ccs.

Good information as always.

 

Here is a better picture of the board.

RX and GND are on the left side of the board.

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  • Board Layout.jpg


#54 KarlL

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:45 PM

David -

 

I was referring to the output to a monitor. I just answered my own question.

 

I'm about to pull the trigger on this one.

 

Regards,

 

Karl


Edited by KarlL, 20 January 2015 - 10:48 PM.


#55 David B in NM

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:48 PM

Karl,

 

Yes.  It's composite output (RCA jack or BNC jack).

 

It is a nice camera and a cheap way to get your feet wet in EAA.

 

David B in NM



#56 photo444

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:13 PM

I just took this M42.  X64, AGC Low, DNR Low, Gamma 0.9, Sens-up off.

Vivitar 135mm @F2.8, unguided.

 

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  • Capture 2015-01-22T20_39_24CCa.png

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#57 David B in NM

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:48 PM

Paul,

 

That's a pretty good 1 second exposure.  If you put the DNR on high, the image will have less noise and a little more detail might be more visible.

 

Was your Brightness Level set at 100?

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 22 January 2015 - 11:12 PM.


#58 photo444

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 06:50 AM

David,

 

Brightness was 100. I set to this value all the time according to your suggestion. Actually brightness level changes little.

The lens I use is old achromat so chromatic aberration on blue side stands out.

Here is another shot: x64, AGC Low, DNR Low, Sens-up Off, Gamma 0.3.  It is untouched frame. Previous frame was slightly touched to blacken the background.

 

Thanks

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Capture 2015-01-22T20_29_29.jpg


#59 photo444

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 09:49 AM

These 1 sec exposed shots are so good to replace EP for me cause I live in a heavily LP region.  I never had this detail through any EP. I will bring a simple setup with me to an American Indian Reservation on a high mountain in Panama in February where I would go for Christian Mission Trips.  I think this will be a good show piece for drawing crowds.



#60 *skyguy*

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 02:47 PM

My board came in today (after getting lost in the mail for 24 hours) ... hoping to get the camera running and tested by tonight. Question .... What does the red/black connection on the joystick cable do? Thanks ...



#61 David B in NM

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 03:20 PM

Are you talking about the pair that isn't plugged in to the camera?

 

If so, they are for an IR feed (LEDs).  I use them for powering my fan.

 

Two important settings (IMHO):

 

As you move around the menus you will find:

 

C-Sup

A-Sup

 

C-Sup is color suppression.  If you move it up to 100 your image will be mono.  I set my C-Sup on 000.

 

A-Sup is Aperture.  The lower the setting more grain (or noise).  I set my to 100 and the images are smooth. 

 

If anyone would like the color settings I use, please ask for them in a post.  The settings I provided above are the most important IMHO.

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 23 January 2015 - 03:20 PM.

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#62 *skyguy*

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 03:59 PM

Are you talking about the pair that isn't plugged in to the camera?

 

If so, they are for an IR feed (LEDs).  I use them for powering my fan.

 

David B in NM

 

Thanks, Dave.

 

BTW, If you could post some of the color settings and/or general settings you find useful ... that would be great!



#63 David B in NM

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 04:16 PM

The settings I use are:

 

In Manual "Color" Menu area:

 

Red 41

Blue 71

RY Gain 190

BY Gain 110

In Day/Night Menu area:

C-Sup 000  (you don't want to Sup(press) the C(olor)

A-Sup 100 (you want to have full illumination of each pixel because it reduces the noise)

 

Brightness 100

 

In the Day/Night you want "COLOR"

 

In the Function Menu:

 

Sharpness can be set to whatever you desire (I use 20 to 30)

 

I use Gamma as "User" if you press it, you will have .05 adjustments

 

Monitor:  See if you prefer 1 or 2

 

LSC Off

 

Motion  and Privacy Menus Off in both

 

Setup

 

Manual DPC (87, 80, 69)

Auto DPC Auto (press then DPC level is 20)

OLPF set to 850 (this is IR)

 

The rest of your settings don't really matter.

 

David


Edited by David B in NM, 23 January 2015 - 04:16 PM.

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#64 David B in NM

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 04:23 PM

I use "MANUAL" for the color (not ATW, etc).  The settings above are what I feel works best in Manual color since gain tends to reduce color.

 

Hopefully those who purchased the camera are aware there is a manual (link was in the camera's description).  If not, here's a link to the manual.  It's better than nothing.

 

http://www.securityc...-OSD-Manual.pdf

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 23 January 2015 - 04:24 PM.


#65 photo444

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:02 PM

Impressed by the performance of the SC2000 board camera, I decided to modify LN300 by replacing the video board.  It is very simple.  All is needed is to trim the edge of SC2000 board with a diagonal cutter, then open the LN300, and replace the video board with SC2000.  No cutting of wires, and no soldering! 

1. Open LN300 on the head side

2. Remove the video board by removing 4 screws

3. Remove carefully the heat shield (this will be used again, so do not destroy)

4. Unplug wires (2-pin and 3-pin)

5. Trim SC2000 using a diagonal cutter

6. Attach the heat shield

7. Plug the wires (2-pin and 3-pin)

8. Remove the 4-pin wire harness

9. Unplug the back end of the 2-pin wire then plug it to the MIDDLE (pin numbers 2 and 3) of the 4-pin socket (see Post#33 of http://www.cloudynig...rol-pad/page-2)

10. Reconstruct the housing and it is finished

11. The two pins of the 4-pin connector on the rear panel now became the two terminals for the 5-resister switch control box.

 

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#66 photo444

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:14 PM

Finished SC2000 box camera and a DIY control box.

 

ADD: This way of modification will disable the 5 switches on the rear panel. In order to enable the 5 switches two jumpers are needed (cut and soldering).

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  • ln300-16.jpg

Edited by photo444, 24 January 2015 - 08:33 AM.


#67 KarlL

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 11:23 PM

Got the camera today. Tomorrow, a case from RS and a spade bit. The nosepiece is on its way from ScopeStuff. Removing the filter sounds a little intimidating, but I have the soldering iron.

 

Hope to be up and running by next weekend.

 

Very exciting.



#68 photo444

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 11:40 PM

I had the same feeling at first, but David's instruction is very simple to do. You will be surprised how easy it is.

 

I am looking forward to seeing your results. 



#69 TropixSky

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 10:34 AM

Paul,

 

How do you feel the speed of this new camera (SC2000) is compared to the stock LN300?

 

Dou you feel any difference by having a RJ10 processor instead of a RJ11? besides of color of course

 

Mario



#70 photo444

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 10:54 AM

Paul,

 

How do you feel the speed of this new camera (SC2000) is compared to the stock LN300?

 

Dou you feel any difference by having a RJ10 processor instead of a RJ11? besides of color of course

 

Mario

Mario,

 

By ignoring color they are similar.  David can answer better, I think.

 

Paul



#71 David B in NM

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:11 AM

Mario,

 

If a person would like color images "faster" the SC2000 board cam is far beyond the LN300.  Paul's first three images in this thread (x1024 vs x128 with gain) illustrate this.

 

If a person doesn't mind mono images, the LN300 with the RJ11 DSP is faster than the SC2000 board cam.  Paul would have been able to obtain the same image the SC2000 (did in color at x128) in mono with the LN300 at x64.  This has nothing to do with the different ccds used by the cameras, it's all due to the DSP being more powerful (RJ10 vs RJ11).

 

The DNR (noise reduction) seems to be about the same in both cameras.  Both do well if the DNR is on High.

 

The AGR (gain) has to be controlled on both so the noise isn't overwhelming.  DNR will not be able to enhance the image if the gain is too high on either camera.

 

The Gamma adjustment is much better on the SC2000 too.  In the user mode you have .05 steps.  In the LN300, you have much steeper steps.

 

The biggest difference as you already noted in your post, is the SC2000 can obtain color images faster than the LN300.  If an individual wishes to have color images faster, the SC2000 is the clear winner.  This makes the SC2000 board cam much more useful for those with motorized Alt/AZ mounts and even goto EQ mounts that may not track well (unguided).

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 26 January 2015 - 11:12 AM.

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#72 David B in NM

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:12 AM

It appears as though the US warehouse is now out-of-stock.  If anyone still wishes to order this board cam they'll have to order it from China.  When I ordered mine from them in the past, it took a little over 3 weeks to arrive.  The China warehouse normally stocks both NTSC and PAL versions.

 

The link for the China warehouse is below.

 

http://www.securityc...Menu-Cable.html

 

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 27 January 2015 - 11:14 AM.


#73 photo444

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:06 AM

David,

 

I wonder how may stocks of SC2000 they had before our post.  Do you think PAL version has definite advantage over NTSC?

 

I have checked AGC gain last night for low light situation, when the signal is not saturated.

 

OFF to LOW: ~3 STOPS

LOW to MID:  ~2 STOPS

MID to HIGH:  ~1.5 STOPS

 

I feel some degrees of saturation is when gain is higher.  A total of 6 STOPS (~18dB) is not bad at all. Of course it is a very rough estimate by eyeballing.

 

Paul


Edited by photo444, 28 January 2015 - 10:09 AM.


#74 David B in NM

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:24 AM

Paul,

 

I have both NTSC and PAL versions of this camera.  Other than a few more pixels (smaller slight increase in resolution) the PAL version doesn't have an advantage over the NTSC.  The 20 sec integration (vs 17 for NTSC) is needed to allow photons to collect on the slightly smaller pixels in the PAL version.

 

http://www.sony.net/...icx638_9aka.pdf

 

I believe about 30 board cams were sold from the US Warehouse since you initiated the thread.  I'm not sure if this is correct though.

 

Yes, I agree.  This board cam is pretty good.  Good enough to begin one's journey in EAA.

 

David B in NM



#75 photo444

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:41 AM

David,

 

The improvement over 408/409 is substantial, a solid 7dB!  I am in technical area so I know what it means.  I like NTSC version because the pixcel size is larger by 16% which cannot be compensated by 20sec over 17 sec integration time.  

 

I wonder if anybody had worked for long exposure for this camera.

 

It's good to deplete their stock.

 

Paul




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