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DIY Camera for EAA: Better Than LN300?

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#176 jimthompson

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:13 PM

My order of 2 cameras plus 2 metal cases just arrived today.  It came from Singapore.  It took about a week to get to Canada after I placed my order, and then it sat for 2 weeks in customs.  Once it cleared it took a day to get here from BC.

 

Nicely packaged units, with included warranty info and other user information.  So far I am pleased.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.



#177 David B in NM

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:23 PM

Jim,

 

Please don't forget to post a few images on your TEC cooling experiment.  It will be interesting to see your thoughts on this camera based on your experience with other EAA cameras.  Will you test one before you start tearing it apart for before/after TEC?

 

David B in NM



#178 jimthompson

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:33 AM

Hi all,

 

I was going to wait until the weekend to try the camera out, but I couldn't help myself.  It took me about 40min to remove the IR filter and assemble the board into the metal enclosure, including cutting the enclosure to fit the C-mount through it.  I had some trouble with the hole saw so my hole is not so pretty...nothing a little black silicone won't fix.  I also found that the crystal on the backside of the board (I think it is a crystal, if not then a capacitor) sticks up too much to fit the back cover on so I had to cut a slot for it.  No worries.  Pictures are on my Flickr site:

 

https://www.flickr.c...57650879843222/

 

I tried the camera quickly in my basement with the lights off.  I am quite impressed at its sensitivity and low noise.  I also like the camera's GUI, much easier to navigate than the LN300, plus no annoying camera reset when you "save and exit".  Changes to settings happen immediately, very slick.  Good colour, especially when I added my own IR cut filter.  Dark frame shows some ampglow but few if any hot pixels.

 

I'll tidy this one up, seal the holes to make it water resistant, and add a strain relief for the control cable, then leave it like that.  My second board and case will be used for the TEC experiment.  I still need to find a piece of copper sheeting for my cold finger.  I have an idea about what I want to do, I just have to try it and see if it works.  I'm thinking of not a lot of cooling, but some to keep the chip at least at ambient temperature...I noticed that even in the short time I was using it the casing was already at 15degC or more above ambient.

 

cheers,

 

Jim T.



#179 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:52 PM

Jim,

 

You did a good job on modifying the small enclosure.  I'm not surprised at the heat buildup you noted.  Maybe the small case will act as a heat sink to a certain degree and the temp won't increase much more.

 

Yes, the 638/9 do have nice color.  The 632/3 are a little better.  Too bad SC2000 doesn't sell a board cam with the 632/3.  aliexpress does though (with the same DSP).  But, the 638/9 do exhibit much better resolution when viewed on larger screens.

 

I hope you enjoy your test.  It'll be interesting to see how much difference TEC makes.  IMHO, my larger case and 30mm fan does control the heat.  TEC should do better.

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 18 February 2015 - 12:53 PM.


#180 vicolodo

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 01:51 PM

Hello,

i am Lodovico from Italy

I read all the posts of this thread

I am very interested to the DIY camera

I have an old orange tube Celestron 8, i would like to build the camera for live view deep sky objects with my C8, and to take some snapshots, with a frame grabber.

This new branch of astrophotography using high responsive sensors that allow short exposure times is very interesting for me because my old C8 has not drive correctors (i didnt bought them and is difficult to find them now), so is not possible for me to do long exposures.

And by the way, i have not a dsl digital camera, only an old manual canon AT-1  :) , that i used many years ago to do mostly planetary and lunar snapshots, not deep sky obj snaphots...

Now i would like to try to build the camera described in this thread

So, first of all, i need to buy all the stuff that is needed.

I see that sc2000 has european warehouse,

do you suggest to buy the module from there?

To be honest i would like to get all what i need early, dont like to wait for months..

 

Can you suggest me where to buy all what is needed, from my country?

 

I buy sometime from aliexpress, with dhl shipment the items do arrive in a week normally, but i am not able to find the same camera module on ali

 

Thank you!!



#181 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 02:42 PM

Since you've used ali before you have a couple choices.

 

1.  You can buy the same board cam in a camera body.  You'd have to remove the front board then remove the IR Filter.  This camera doesn't come with a control cable.  You'd have to buy one (ali sells them) or make a remote box.  This is the camera assembly:

 

http://www.aliexpres..._577800949.html

 

This is the DIY for the remote control box:

 

http://www.cloudynig...trol/?p=4988665

 

2. ali also sells the board alone. You want the 650TVL model.  It doesn't come with the remote (nor does it come with any wires).  In my opinion, I feel it may be best to order the SC2000 camera because it's cheaper and comes with everything you need for the DIY.

 

http://www.aliexpres..._581328074.html

 

In addition to the camera, you will need a nosepiece, reducer, power adapter and power/video cable.  The power adapter is 12v with the center positive (2.1mmx5.5mm plug).  Samples of the other items appear below.  People have purchased the nosepiece reducer combo on ebay for a Best Offer of $25 USD.  This is the same reducer Curtis used for the images he posted to this thread:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item339aa86b3f

 

Samples only.  Low prices often mean low quality for this cable.  I have had good luck with cheaper cables though:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item27f12b70d7

 

This plug connects to the camera and the video cable above and also from the cable to your monitor (RCA plug).  You need two (2) of these for the cable above:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item20f14641c8

 

Some video/power cables come with RCA adapters.  If you buy one of these, you only need 1 of the plug above.

 

This is a sample of the power supply:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item3ceebc3f2b

 

The reducer above will make it easier to capture DSO targets.  Your F10 will be under F4 for the ratio.  You wouldn't need it for lunar/planetary.

 

I "think" I covered everything.  If I missed something I hope others will identify what I missed.

 

David B in NM

 

 

 

 

 


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#182 vicolodo

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 02:58 PM

Thank you very much David!!



#183 XRinger

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 04:12 PM

David,

 

Is the camera board being discussed here use the same board as this waterproof 'Dome' camera? 

 

http://www.aliexpres..._601605354.html

(1/3" SONY SUPER HAD CCD II 650TVL 0.001Lux D-WDR OSD 3D-DNR Sens-Up(X512) Elegant Mini Dome Camera with 3.6mm/6.0mm Korean Lens)..

 

 

I saw a dome cam in this YouTube video http://youtu.be/zYmOcxFfBA4 that looks a lot like the Dome in the link above,

and it seems to be very water-tight.  Which is what I'm looking for.. Something that can stay out in the weather and not get water inside.

 

Cheers,

Rich


Edited by XRinger, 18 February 2015 - 06:24 PM.


#184 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 04:29 PM

Rich,

 

I've seen a youtube of the same All Sky Camera illustrating the menu it uses.  It's the same menu used on this DIY board cam.  The DSP in the board cam and in the dome camera are both RJ10. 

 

The part number for the dome camera you linked to in aliexpress is:  LN-926-10639.  LN signifies LNTech, 926 is the model, 10 is the RJ DSP number and 639 signifies ICX639 (PAL or 638 for NTSC). 

 

Mallincam states the ccd used in the All Sky Cam is ICX638BKA on page 5 of the manual.

 

http://www.mallincam...user_manual.pdf

 

The dome camera you linked to, and the All Sky Camera certainly appear to using the same enclosure.

 

Based on the above, IMHO the dome camera you linked to on ali, and the All Sky Camera in the youtube could very well be the same camera. 

 

Hopefully, this has answered your question.

 

Added:  I can't tell you if the enclosure in the ali link is metal or not.  The price tells me it is because dome cameras with a plastic enclosure are cheaper and are stated as "indoor", not "waterproof/weatherproof".

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 18 February 2015 - 04:50 PM.


#185 XRinger

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:40 PM

Great. Thanks for the info. I don't know how good the camera has to be for an all-sky, but it's nice to know this one is okay.

 

 

Also looking at this one.. It's a bit higher res. Model is LN-926-8673

http://www.aliexpres.../601593833.html

 

I don't see anything about the OSD or it's firmware features on top of the page,

but on the bottom of the page, below the pictures, it's shows sense-up x1024, 3D DNR etc..

Seems nice to me, and costs less... 

 

What's the drawback? 

 

Thanks,

Rich



#186 ccs_hello

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:55 PM

That one is using RJ8 DSP, not RJ10.

RJ10 based has a tracking record.



#187 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:56 PM

Rich,

 

That uses an RJ8 DSP.  I've never tried the RJ8. 

 

It's doubtful you'll actually receive the ICX672/3 ccd in it (as it says).  They'll probably sub in an ICX810/2 like they currently do on the ebay auctions for the LN300 and the board cam.  I was informed by Miracle Cottage (ebay Seller) the supply was running low on the 672/3 ccds. 

 

There's not much difference in them.  IMHO, the 810/1 are better for colors and are less prone to hot pixels.

 

Perhaps CCS has tried an RJ11 DSP-based camera.  Have you CCS?

 

David B in NM



#188 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:00 PM

Rich,

 

I should have added...as an All Sky Camera the 50 line difference in resolution is meaningless.  The increased resolution will not aid you in any manner due to the extremely wide-field view.

 

David B in NM



#189 XRinger

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:32 PM

Rich,

 

I should have added...as an All Sky Camera the 50 line difference in resolution is meaningless.  The increased resolution will not aid you in any manner due to the extremely wide-field view.

 

David B in NM

Two of my security cameras got hit by lightning, and one of the replacement cameras is a 700TVL .

It's got a wider FOV lens than my other (600TVL) cameras, and the picture is a little better.  But, maybe not by 50 lines.?.

 

 

What's the difference between the EXview HAD CCD II and the SUPER HAD CCD II  when used for AV?

 

I was just reading this, and the EX view seems really good..

http://www.hkvstar.c...cd-cameras.html

 

Thanks,

Rich



#190 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:53 PM

Rich,

 

This is a Sony spec sheet for this board cam.  The difference is mainly in the IR (not useful to us in EAA).

 

http://www.sony.net/...featuring52.pdf

 

In addition to my remarks above (Ex View color is lacking and more pone to hot pixels), Ex View pixels are also more prone to defects.  This link should be helpful to you.

 

http://www.mintron.c... CCD camera.htm

 

Although the article above doesn't address the Exview II, IMHO the ICX672/3 cameras I have are more prone to defects and the ICX810/1 ccds I have are better.  The ICX638/9 used in this board cam is not far behind the 810/1 ccd.

 

Did the colors in your Sammy disappoint you or the sensitivity it had?

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 18 February 2015 - 07:55 PM.


#191 XRinger

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:14 PM

It's not just the IR sensing. "The lux rating of the EX-View CCD is two times better than the premium SONY “Super HAD” CCD for both visible and near-infrared wavelengths."

 

The SCB-2000 has too much amp-glow and too many hot pixels. And, the DSO-1 seems to be more sensitive, allowing faster shudder speeds.

The amp-glow and extra 'stars' are a distraction when watching live..

 

 

Dark Frame (lens cap is on)

darkframe.jpg



#192 David B in NM

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:31 PM

Rich,

 

IMHO, a test with the lens cap on serves little purpose.  The camera needs something to image. 

 

My SDC-435s or SCC-B2331s (Both Sammy's) don't exhibit amp glow like that at x32, nor does this board cam. 

 

As to the lux rating you quoted from the Mintron link, lux is not stated by Sony.  Mintron is a manufacturer of security cameras and they made this statement based on their cameras.

 

Rather than highjack this thread, if you'd like to discuss this, it may be best to open a thread on the subject.  IMHO, this thread is about the DIY cam that uses an ICX638/9 ccd.  Not an Exview II.

 

Hopefully you understand why I'm suggesting you think about opening a new thread since this part of the discussion has nothing to do with the DIY camera.

 

David B in NM



#193 jimthompson

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:32 AM

I did a little more testing lastnight, just in my dark basement.  I compared relative brightness of a couple of different cameras using a fixed scene (dark corner in rec-room) with the same integration time and gain/brightness settings all to maximum.  Spit-ball sensitivity of the DIY is around 65% that of my LN300 EXview, but colours are still present even at full gain.  In my fiddlings I further confirmed my liking of the DIY interface over that of the LN300.  Adjustments to the "brightness" setting which controls the AGC were immediate with the DIY, but with the LN300 took 20 to 30 frame refreshes to stabilise.  When testing at 128x that means that I was waiting for at least a minute for the LN300 to stabilise at the new setting, where the DIY was stabilised after about 2-3 frame refreshes.  I also greatly dislike the camera restart and associated 3 to 4 frame refresh wait every time you "save and exit" from the menu on the LN300.  On the DIY "save and exit" just pops you out of the menu with a little message saying "done".  Much easier to use in practice.

 

cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#194 mclewis1

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:43 AM

Jim,

 

Thanks for the comparison and comments ... I have a feeling I'm going to have to spend a little money soon.

 

Years ago I banged my head against the wall suggesting to a camera vendor the negative impact of hard to understand menus (or the positive impact of changing to something easier). It's nice to see someone else's comments on this.



#195 David B in NM

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:56 AM

Jim,

 

It's too bad the Gamma wasn't in the Exposure Menu too.  If it was, nearly everything would be on the first screen.  Speaking of Gamma how do you like the User .0x adjustments you can make?

 

Your tests against the LN300 are in line with mine.  Earlier I stated the DSO was about 2x faster than this DIY cam (both with gain and DNR in color). 

 

All in all it is a very good camera for those thinking about EAA.

 

Mark, are you saying you STILL haven't purchased one?

 

David B in NM



#196 vicolodo

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:26 AM

Hello David,

i think i will buy both:

the

LN-300-10639 you told me

and the

LN-300-11673

(only the module, without case etc..)

 

Is it eventually possible (and easy) to replace the LN-300-10639 module with the LN-300-11673? 

 

In that way i can try two cameras, paying only one shipment fee (DHL is expensive... 32$)

 

And i would like also to buy some lens for these cameras (dont know which is the best ,2.8 mm 3.6 mm or whatever),

to check 'normal' behaviour of the camera on low light conditions

 

This because in my home i installed a video surveillance system (4 Dahua cameras), and i have a samsung monitor (and a Dahua NVR, that is ONVIF compatible) to see the cameras , that is always on.

I can see also the cameras on my phone/tablet, when connected to wifi network or to 3g network from remote location.

They are IP cameras, connected with network cable.

 

Now i wonder if there is something that can convert the cctv cameras to ip cameras:

in that way i could see the new ccd cameras in the same monitor i use to see the other Dahua cameras,

and, besides that, see the camera on my tablet/phone .

 

and, perhaps, i can use them for video surveillance, when not used for video astronomy...  :)


Edited by vicolodo, 19 February 2015 - 10:28 AM.


#197 David B in NM

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:36 AM

You may think hard about purchasing the 11-673.  The reason I say this is the LN300 cameras that use the RJ11 act differently at times.  It's normal for them to automatically turn in to a mono camera when you turn on the gain (AGC).  That's why this thread was started.

 

The LN300 uses the same DSP as the 11-673 board cam.  If you don't mind mono images, then I say you'll be fine.  If you want color images when you use the gain and DNR I wouldn't recommend it.  But yes, the module (board cam) would fit in to the case.  You'd have to trim the board and use the 4 inner holes.

 

When I test indoors I use a 16mm F1.2 cctv lens.  If you buy the 2.8 lens you could use it for an All Sky Cam in the future if you desired.

 

I wish I could help you about IP cameras.  I've never tried them or played with them.  Perhaps CCS can offer some advice or someone else.

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 19 February 2015 - 10:37 AM.


#198 vicolodo

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 12:33 PM

Thank you

 

Perhaps i could buy a mini dvr...

 

they have vga/hdmi output and some of them can record directly to sd card (or have usb output),

and have also an rj45 port, so i can connect it to my lan

 

I found some on aliexpress that are very cheap...

 

To be honest, 

perhaps should be better to buy an IP camera with same sensors (sony exview ccd or sony super had ccd),

but i am not able to find one.

 

In you opinion, why the cameras with these ccd sensors have almost all only analog output?

Do you know if there is a technical reason? (i am not electronic engineer, so i dont know ...)

 

Thank you!



#199 Relativist

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 01:58 PM

The IP camera uses compression of the video signal, that's the main reason that for EAA use we don't rely on IP cameras. If your ok with that it is your call, it is not a rule per se. In addition to clarify, EAA is not a subset of astrophotography in my opinion, people that try and take good astrophotos have much different goals than we do.

#200 David B in NM

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 05:48 PM

 

To be honest, 

perhaps should be better to buy an IP camera with same sensors (sony exview ccd or sony super had ccd),

but i am not able to find one.

 

In you opinion, why the cameras with these ccd sensors have almost all only analog output?

Do you know if there is a technical reason? (i am not electronic engineer, so i dont know ...)

 

Thank you!

 

Curtis, already addressed the compression of IP cameras.  I don't think there are any IP cams with the ccds (and the features) we find useful for EAA.  For EAA you need a camera that can integrate the image.  This DIY cam integrates up to 17 seconds for NTSC and 20 seconds for PAL.  For EAA this integration time is not great, but it can be used.  It would be great if security cameras integrated for twice that.  But, they don't.  If you find an IP camera be sure it has Sense up stated at a minimum of x1024 (like this board camera). 

 

I can't tell you why the "good" EAA video cameras are analog only.  Most IP cameras I've seen are CMOS, not ccd.  This may be due to the compression method (normally H.264).  The CMOS cameras do have higher resolution whereas the ccd are low resolution.  Perhaps too much resolution of the ccd is lost during the compression process.  This is only a guess on my part.

 

David B in NM




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