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A New Camera Offering

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#51 David B in NM

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:06 AM

During a Solar broadcast on NSN over the weekend, Rock stated the software for the Sky Raider wasn't ready.  He felt it would be ready in May.

 

If the camera is a Touptek or Omax, it will be interesting to see if any of the No's in the chart below become Yes.

 

David B in NM

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#52 will w

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 09:37 AM

Hello, Why is it that people here all ways go threw the same old thing when a new mallincam comes out? It doesn't make any sense to me.The cam is not even out to the public yet, but its ben analyzed and compared  to ever camera out. Is it really to hard to wait and see the cam in action and see what it can do? As far the facts about the cam of how it was made and what it can and will do. You might get in contact with the engineer that designed it. I'm sure he or she can give you all the facts about the cam. Not from speculation or conjecturing. I guess when another new mallincam comes out we will go threw all of this again.Will w    



#53 Relativist

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:58 AM

Dave,

Saying something is in the works for three years as Rock did in his post does not mean that something is wrong if a newer sensor is used. The conceptual design for a USB camera can be applied to just about any sensor once it's selected. Reading the post you linked it sounded to me Rock was working on the basic problem of what a satisfactory USB camera would look like to him for that amount of time. It would make sense to me that would be the case. Myself I don't really care what he does and doesn't take credit for, and I don't mind that he charges more or less, what I do care about is the support given for his products.

Edited by Relativist, 27 April 2015 - 11:05 AM.


#54 David B in NM

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 11:29 AM

Curtis,

 

I guess we can agree to disagree on what a conceptual design is. 

 

Normally, it is the actual production of a prototype for testing purposes. 

 

Rock has stated time and time again the 828/9 sensor is/was not a drop in replacement for the 428/9.  Hence, he can't upgrade an MCX to an Xterminator. 

 

With this in mind, your statement (quoted from above): "The conceptual design for a USB camera can be applied to just about any sensor once it's selected.", would not be plausible in this case.

 

David B in NM



#55 jimthompson

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 02:56 PM

Greetings all,

 

For what it is worth, I have been around both this forum and the Mallincam forum for a while and have a pretty good recollection of the history of this camera's development.  Rock is also a member of our local astronomy club so he has shared info along the way about what he has been working on.  Development of a USB based DSO camera did begin about 3 or so years ago, and predates the rise of the Lodestar and Lodestar X2 to EAA popularity.  Early prototypes used the 428 and 285 chips.  A number of these prototypes have been loaned out to other users for testing, all going on behind the scenes.  It is only now, with the culmination of many prototypes and the recent maturing of the 828 chip that a USB DSO camera has come to fruition with performance which Rock is happy enough with to actually release as a product.  The casing may look like other Touptek cameras, but the internals are indeed different. 

 

Suggesting that this new camera is being released to compete with the Lodestar assumes that they are designed to serve the same purpose, which is clearly not true.  The Lodestar is designed to be an autoguider.  The Skyraider is designed to be an EAA DSO camera.  The Mallincam autoguider that is soon to be released, now that you can feel free to compare to the Lodestar...but that is another story.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.



#56 Relativist

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:26 PM

Jim, I'd really be interested in a comparison between this new camera and the traditional MC cameras that utilize analog output & need a frame grabber. In theory, the 12 bit camera has the potential for higher dynamic range.

#57 Dom543

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:32 PM

I am excited about seeing how this camera performs.  Our club is about to buy an Exterminator but I think we should hold off and see how this one does and what else Mr. Mallin has coming, especially at the price point given how much the Canadian dollar has slid.  This allows us to also look at getting a Universe to use in the piggyback refractor.  A 70" LED TV will be utilized for outreach.  At least the TV is relatively cheap.  For my personal camera I will continue to plod along with an Extreme.  And Charles, sooner or later every one will consider a Mallincam for astrovideo, maybe even you.  

Dwight,

 

I wish you dropped your opposition and let your club buy an Exterminator. I personally, and I am sure also many others on this forum, would like to see images made with that camera posted here. With your long track record, skills and experience with the Xtreme, you would be the ideal person to make such images. That would be a perfect way to see how the Exterminator compares to the Xtreme.

 

Not everyone's schedule is compatible with watching broadcasts on the East Coast schedule of MSN. In addition, it is a low bandwidth channel that, by its very nature, suppresses detail and noise. It tilts the playing field in favor of cheaper, lower quality cameras run with max gain and is not suitable to properly assess and compare top of the line products.

 

As you have also implied in your post, the Raider will not be the last camera that Mallincam will bring to the North-American EAA market in this year. By the time the Raider will become available, there will be others pre-announced and the electronics commodity cycle takes over the EAA camera world. A passing glance at the manufacturers websites reveals several that are ready, already in stock at the Russian and French distributors and poised to also be marketed to astro hobbyists with $$$ in their pockets. My bet is that the ICX285 based one will be next as MC Scavenger...

 

To make the long story short, please let your club buy the Exterminator and post images made with it here. We want to see how the last of the TEC cooled analog asto-video cams performs in your hands.

 

Clear Skies!

--Dom


Edited by Dom543, 27 April 2015 - 03:32 PM.


#58 David B in NM

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:41 PM

Jim,

 

I believe you made an error in your post above.

 

Maurice started posting LS Images here on CN nearly 5 yrs ago in 2010. 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=3waXmnJrsb0

 

http://home.freeuk.c...lodestar-c.html

 

Please magnify the image and look at the title at the top:

 

http://www.cloudynig...lx100811gxz.jpg

 

It will be interesting to see if the camera is indeed a purpose built EAA camera or a repurposed Microscope camera.  Touptek still offers the 285 for sale.

 

http://www.touptek.c...?lang=en&id=216

 

As I said, I have nothing but respect for Rock and what he does.  IMHO it's far more difficult to modify an existing design offered by another manufacturer and re-purpose a camera.  You have to work with what you have available which normally takes much more time. 

 

If one designs the camera from the beginning, it's a far easier task.

 

IMHO the EAA population is quite small and it would cost far more to manufacture a new design than the suggested price the SR is selling for.

 

David B in NM



#59 David B in NM

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:52 PM

Jim, I'd really be interested in a comparison between this new camera and the traditional MC cameras that utilize analog output & need a frame grabber. In theory, the 12 bit camera has the potential for higher dynamic range.

 

Curtis,

 

I agree with you.  I'd place my money on the Sky Raider.  Reading Rock's posts in the MC Group seem to state this "if you read between the lines".

 

Rock did state the Sky Raider presented imager type images.  Normally, when an EAA screen grab is compared to an "image" from an imager, the imager image is of higher quality.

 

David B in NM



#60 jimthompson

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:56 PM

Hi David,

 

I was referring more to the time when things came to a head here on CNN over what constituted "live video" and all the debate over image processing resulted in some ugly discussions.  I know Maurice has done some great stuff with the Lodestar well before Lodestar Live was around, but I think the popularity of this camera has really spiked in the last year or so with the release of the X2.

 

BTW, I have tested that 285 based Touptek camera and found it to be unusable for deepsky.  The way the sensor is implemented in the camera seems to make it terribly noisy (both random noise and warm/hot pixels).  The range of available gain control was also lacking.  Apparently a TEC version is available but the price more than doubles.

 

I agree that the small market for EAA cameras poses challenges for the few dedicated developers that there are.  Re-purposing existing products, optimizing where possible, seems like the only way to do it and come up with a camera in the right price range for this community which is made up primarily of amateurs.

 

cheers,

 

Jim T.



#61 budman1961

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:20 PM

Exterminator screen captures are in a separate thread.

 

Andy



#62 David B in NM

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:24 PM

Jim,

 

Yes, I do remember the "discussions" of Maurice's images.  However, not too long after he started posting there were 3 or 4 others were users of the LS XC.  They were chased off the forum.

 

Despite some claiming the LS is a only guider, it is dual purpose whether people would like to admit it or not.  It may be marketed as a guider but Paul's software (Lodestar Live) has enabled the X2 to be very useful for EAA.

 

I thought the 285 you referenced above would be incapable of DSOs (without mods).  I've tried other microscope cameras and found them only useful for Lunar and Planetary.

 

As I said before.  It takes far more skill to repurpose a camera.  I take my hat off to Rock and his achievements.  In addition to skill, it takes money to find the hidden treasure you "might" be able to use.  I've spend a lot of money searching for gems.  The return rate isn't high.  I think Rock would agree with this.

 

 

David B in NM



#63 A. Viegas

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:29 PM

Plenty of new choices is just excellent news for all of us here on this forum and who enjoy NRT video/EAA. It's kin of funny how when I first got back into this hobby I collected OTAs and mounts. And now it seems I am collecting astro EAA cameras!!! :) Next I have to rig all my scopes and cameras together for simultaneous broadcasting on NSN. Of course that means I need a much better and faster computer now!!

Al

#64 Herr Ointment

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:39 PM

I miss the photo of the pile of cables on a shelf next to the old drill press in the assembly facility.

 

I don't have a horse in this, but something is odoriferous about the whole retail part of this niche.

 

Call me when it gets straightened out.



#65 Dwight J

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 05:44 PM

 

I am excited about seeing how this camera performs.  Our club is about to buy an Exterminator but I think we should hold off and see how this one does and what else Mr. Mallin has coming, especially at the price point given how much the Canadian dollar has slid.  This allows us to also look at getting a Universe to use in the piggyback refractor.  A 70" LED TV will be utilized for outreach.  At least the TV is relatively cheap.  For my personal camera I will continue to plod along with an Extreme.  And Charles, sooner or later every one will consider a Mallincam for astrovideo, maybe even you.  

Dwight,

 

I wish you dropped your opposition and let your club buy an Exterminator. I personally, and I am sure also many others on this forum, would like to see images made with that camera posted here. With your long track record, skills and experience with the Xtreme, you would be the ideal person to make such images. That would be a perfect way to see how the Exterminator compares to the Xtreme.

 

Not everyone's schedule is compatible with watching broadcasts on the East Coast schedule of MSN. In addition, it is a low bandwidth channel that, by its very nature, suppresses detail and noise. It tilts the playing field in favor of cheaper, lower quality cameras run with max gain and is not suitable to properly assess and compare top of the line products.

 

As you have also implied in your post, the Raider will not be the last camera that Mallincam will bring to the North-American EAA market in this year. By the time the Raider will become available, there will be others pre-announced and the electronics commodity cycle takes over the EAA camera world. A passing glance at the manufacturers websites reveals several that are ready, already in stock at the Russian and French distributors and poised to also be marketed to astro hobbyists with $$$ in their pockets. My bet is that the ICX285 based one will be next as MC Scavenger...

 

To make the long story short, please let your club buy the Exterminator and post images made with it here. We want to see how the last of the TEC cooled analog asto-video cams performs in your hands.

 

Clear Skies!

--Dom

 

Well Dom, I had to rethink the USB connection as our warm room is 30' away from the scope so it would be simpler to run cables to operate the Exterminator just by using what we have already for the Extreme so Exterminator it is.  I hope to have it by the time I attend the Saskatchewan Star Party early August so I can grab some things in a dark sky.



#66 budman1961

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 06:47 PM

Herr-whatever,

 

Great contribution to the thread, keep them coming........ :bangbang:



#67 David B in NM

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 07:37 PM

Jim, I'd really be interested in a comparison between this new camera and the traditional MC cameras that utilize analog output & need a frame grabber. In theory, the 12 bit camera has the potential for higher dynamic range.

 

Curtis,

 

I found the post I was referring to ("read between the lines").  Rock stated the following in the second sentence:

 

"One has a  smoother image resembling a dedicated ccd imager while operating live and that's the SkyRaider-DS."

 

In this post:

 

https://groups.yahoo.../messages/64338

 

I believe most people would say an image resembling a ccd imager will be better than a screen grab.

 

David B in NM



#68 Herr Ointment

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 05:19 AM

Herr-whatever,

 

Great contribution to the thread, keep them coming........ :bangbang:

 

Hey. I keep trying to convince myself to buy one of these cameras and this forum puts me off it most every time.

 

Have fun down here.



#69 Alex Parker

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 06:54 AM

 

 

Suggesting that this new camera is being released to compete with the Lodestar assumes that they are designed to serve the same purpose, which is clearly not true.  The Lodestar is designed to be an autoguider.  The Skyraider is designed to be an EAA DSO camera.  The Mallincam autoguider that is soon to be released, now that you can feel free to compare to the Lodestar...but that is another story.

 

 

 

 

 

I think this is exactly why it has been so widely adopted for EAA.  If you consider the design requirements for a good guide camera:

 

1. It should be lightweight since it's going on a small guide scope.

2. It should offer high sensitivity to be able to always capture a good guide star

     2a. Therefore you need to prioritize a high QE sensor

     2b. And you also favor large pixels

3. It should offer rapid downloads so you can quickly refresh the guide image for continuous accurate guiding

     3a.  So you want a high speed USB connection

     3b.  And you want a small sensor to minimize the amount of data to be transferred per image

 

These are also the requirements for a good EAA camera - hence the Lodestar.



#70 ccs_hello

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:46 AM

For forum viewers

 

Have multiple flavors (with analog baseband video or just pure digital "image head" with PC software assist) and multiple vendors in the EAA field is a good thing.

Let's embrace them.  I thank these designers/vendors for their courage and dedication.

 

Please bear with me on this observation:

this is a public/open forum, not vendor specific.  We really have to respect each other.  

Speaking like a so proud a person or a bruised one does not help the cause and certainly spoil the party.

This is especially true that the person just paraphrase the vendor's statements and just blindly believe them.  <-- I am not finger out any specific one.

 

One more point:

if a vendor publicly announced a product, with or without the product on the market, there can be various reasons.

Some marketing oriented (save more money, don't buy theirs because I am about to come out an even better one),

some to get early market reception/feedback/critiques.

IMHO it's going a fair game (view similar situations in camera world.)

If don't like it or want to only get positive feedback, then don't announce it in the first place.

 

This is a tiny field so why should we jump in to voice so loudly such that a false sense of "world domination" is obtained. <-- trust me, silent majority just doesn't want to bother.

 

Peace and Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello


Edited by ccs_hello, 28 April 2015 - 07:46 AM.


#71 Richard Whalen

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 09:30 AM

I wish all vendors would stop announcing products that are not available and ready for prime time. This seems to be a growing trend perhaps intended to "freeze" the market. I see this in scopes, camera's etc. I liked the old days where you first heard about something new when it was being reviewed in actual use by a magazine or online by an independant objective source and available for sale. I'm not knocking any one vendor, many are doing it. All it does is create a lot of speculation and no hard facts. This started years ago with one of the big scope manufacturerers and seems to have become common business practice.



#72 David B in NM

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 09:50 AM

Richard,

 

IMHO, I see nothing wrong with the advance notice of a new product announcement that may not be ready to ship immediately.

 

I see nothing wrong with a vendor accepting names of those interested to be placed on a wait list for "free" or a small non-refundable down payment (say $25 to $50).

 

I do see something wrong when a vendor seeks full payment "upfront" to be placed on a wait list and when the purchaser seeks a refund after a long wait, the vendor refuses to process the refund.  Especially when a vendor states the delivery time frame and that time frame is not met or is exceeded beyond what the consumer considers as reasonable.

 

IMHO, advance notices may be very helpful for those individuals interested in purchasing a product.  It should be up to the consumer to decide if they want it now, or are willing to wait for it.  It assists them in making an informed decision.

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 28 April 2015 - 10:03 AM.


#73 budman1961

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 10:05 AM

Richard,

 

I too see nothing wrong with announcing an upcoming product, just as long as a clear and concise announcement date is given.  The webpage clearly states that the Skyraider DS will be available on June 27, at the same time as the AstroCats show.

 

I do however take exception to a vendor offering up nothing more than an idea for a camera, accepting payments, and over 2 years later, still no product.  

 

Andy



#74 Relativist

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 10:09 AM

I wonder if a version with the ICX825 is in the works or if it didn't make the cut.



#75 sparkyht

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 12:45 PM

 

 

I do however take exception to a vendor offering up nothing more than an idea for a camera, accepting payments, and over 2 years later, still no product.  

 

Andy

 

I take exception as well. Fortunately Paypal resolved things.
I'm sure Rock will actually deliver a fine product come June and I for one am looking forward to it!




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