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Revolution Imager R2

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#51 Censustaker

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:32 AM



Max gain is music to my ears, can't wait to try it!


Yep the max gain is pretty awesome. The R2 manual points it out. Place the camera in FIX mode and then it applies the amount of gain specified (you'll notice it says "AGC" instead of "AGC MAX" like the other settings.) this, to me, really makes a big difference.

I have an image of the sensor from my microscope, I'll find and post it.

 

Edit; and here it is:

 

811 id.jpg


Edited by Censustaker, 19 May 2016 - 11:47 AM.

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#52 Rich_B

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:25 PM

correctme if I'm wrong but wasn't everybody here avoiding high gain as it's boosting both signal and noise equally ? 

Most people's  LN300 posted images were at low AGC . The sensor is the same in all these cameras. Integration is only 4 seconds??? Orion was selling a 4 second integration camera years ago and wasn't the hottest thing . The Mallincam Junior old version had 4 seconds integration and it wasn't that great either . Effio has been around for years and nobody was able or eager to use it for astro, now it suddenly becamse the greatest thing ? What's the catch, I'm obviously missing something .  Before anybody jumps to say I'm negative , no, I'm not , simply very curious and hope the new cam turns out good . Just don't see how . 4 seconds isn't enough integration for even moderately light polluted sites. Not enough signal to overcome sky glow .

Another totally puzzling this to me is why would I want to pay $300 for a $30 cam, a $25 screen, a $20 battery , a $10 focal reducer and a $7 filter? Yes and about $5 worth of spaghetti wires . I'm not cheap or against spending money and the $300 isn't a large amount but it's enough to leave a bad taste for a beginner who buys the equivalent of a x1200 magnification department store telescope . I mean really, can't we do better in the year 2016 ? Buy a $100 Windows tablet, a $120 Aptina AR0130 USB camera from Touptek and a $70 car jump start pack and the total is the same $300 just no spaghetti , the computer is included , there's only one wire - the USB from camera to tablet . Resolution is much better and it doesn't take fiddling with those antiquated CCTV cam menus . Just IMHO YMMV etc and so on .


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#53 Censustaker

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:55 PM

Just IMHO YMMV, etc, my own experience with the LN300 was that I could not use anything higher than AGC low without the image blowing out at anything higher than x64 or x128 depending on what scope i was using. I could use the higher exposures but with 0 gain. I'm personally finding that having fixed control around the gain is allowing me to use the x256 (5.12 seconds) exposure time with some gain applied.

 

As for the tablet, and aptina comparison, i have a skyraider agm that I've used on a windows tablet and i've personally found that it's performance does not compare to either the R2 or an LN300-PAL.

 

But let's face it, the revolution imager is not marketed towards us, we all have the cameras we want and like, we have all the laptops, lcds, batteries, cables, filters and focal reducers.. but it certainly is fun to discuss!


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#54 ccs_hello

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:56 PM

Rich,

 

It is the suitability problem...

The magic of some selected analog video cameras are the stars got aligned :)

- proper image sensor (low noise and fairly high voltage output under the same incoming photon flux condition)

- proper DSP supporting long (enough) exposure, reasonably high gain, while having very good noise suppression algorithms

- and the most important of all, it has the proper 3A (Auto Exposure, Auto White Balance, and Auto Gain Control) plus Day-Night switching curve scenario that is beneficial to EAA

 

Many cameras have the first two characteristics (these are necessary conditions) but not having the suitable working scenario for (Deep space) EAA.

Without that, it may turn into B&W, long exp but never a high gain, gain bouncing all over, exp time bouncing all over,   <-- I.e., too smart the camera that is not helpful for EAA

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#55 octobass

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:57 PM

correctme if I'm wrong but wasn't everybody here avoiding high gain as it's boosting both signal and noise equally ? 

Most people's  LN300 posted images were at low AGC . The sensor is the same in all these cameras. Integration is only 4 seconds??? Orion was selling a 4 second integration camera years ago and wasn't the hottest thing . The Mallincam Junior old version had 4 seconds integration and it wasn't that great either . Effio has been around for years and nobody was able or eager to use it for astro, now it suddenly becamse the greatest thing ? What's the catch, I'm obviously missing something .  Before anybody jumps to say I'm negative , no, I'm not , simply very curious and hope the new cam turns out good . Just don't see how . 4 seconds isn't enough integration for even moderately light polluted sites. Not enough signal to overcome sky glow .

Another totally puzzling this to me is why would I want to pay $300 for a $30 cam, a $25 screen, a $20 battery , a $10 focal reducer and a $7 filter? Yes and about $5 worth of spaghetti wires . I'm not cheap or against spending money and the $300 isn't a large amount but it's enough to leave a bad taste for a beginner who buys the equivalent of a x1200 magnification department store telescope . I mean really, can't we do better in the year 2016 ? Buy a $100 Windows tablet, a $120 Aptina AR0130 USB camera from Touptek and a $70 car jump start pack and the total is the same $300 just no spaghetti , the computer is included , there's only one wire - the USB from camera to tablet . Resolution is much better and it doesn't take fiddling with those antiquated CCTV cam menus . Just IMHO YMMV etc and so on .

 

No need to be puzzled about someone paying $300 for the Revolution Imager concept. Clearly Mike at OCTelescope is targeting customers like me--novices with sketchy tech skills looking for a complete idiot-proof entry-level video astronomy setup. 

 

I don't consider the RI kit comparable at all to cheap department store telescopes.

 

I got the first RI camera kit and it did the trick. It totally rejuvenated my 30 year backyard astronomy life (which was becoming more and more demoralized due to increasing LP.)  Now I want to learn more and get better at this.  And I'm eagerly devouring any and all info from the CN veterans such as yourself about this segment of observing. And yes, you're right, I probably overpaid and may have not bought the most optimum equipment for the money...but it was an entry to this cool thing and it works great and allows me to go deep again. So, I'm happy. 


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#56 Censustaker

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:09 PM

I remember showing a few guys at RTMC my ln300 setup at RTMC last year which was pretty similar to an RI setup, and there were few "Glazy eyes" as I explained that I got the camera on aliexpress and I had to melt off the IR filter because they forgot to, I ordered the lithium ion battery on Amazon, the focal reducer on eBay, the c mount nose piece on eBay, the easycap on eBay, etc and cobbled the thing together.. Not to mention I paid shipping costs on like 6 items..
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#57 mclewis1

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:22 PM

Not to mention Mike standing behind the product, answering questions and providing a website with guidelines. That's worth only a little to some folks and a much more to others.

 

There's a whole lot more to the product than the sum of the individual parts.


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#58 Kaikul

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:35 PM

correctme if I'm wrong but wasn't everybody here avoiding high gain as it's boosting both signal and noise equally ? 

Most people's  LN300 posted images were at low AGC . The sensor is the same in all these cameras...

 

...Effio has been around for years and nobody was able or eager to use it for astro, now it suddenly becamse the greatest thing ? What's the catch, I'm obviously missing something .  

 

 

You do raise a valid point about R1 low gain vs. R2 high gain Rich, and like you I am at a loss for explanation. It does seem that there's contradiction here.  :scratchhead: As for the Effio, if what you say is accurate, then definitely there's something that we're not understanding.

 

Since I don't have access to an R2 to play, test, and compare with an R1 (which I could borrow from somebody), I am left with no other choice but wait for comparative side-by-side images from those who have access to both cameras. Presently the people who (will) have both these cameras - Curtis (the OP), Curtis (the mod), and Jon (the taker of census :grin: ) - are awaiting clear skies to do some testing. I do hope at least one, or maybe all of them would post side by side comparison images. 

 

The proof will be in the pudding. Questions will be answered. We shall soon see if this R2 is a worthy replacement. Now, grab some  :gotpopcorn:



#59 OleCuss

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:54 PM

OK, but I remember a thread in which the Revolution in combination with SharpCap was supposed to be exterminating the Xterminator.  The idea at that time sure seemed to be that you didn't need a better camera than the initial version of the Revolution.  You do some stacking and the quality of the camera just didn't matter or (as the title of that thread suggested:  http://www.cloudynig...es-xterminator/ ) that it was actually superior.

 

Now I'm reading that the LN300 version of the Revolution actually was inferior and needed to be replaced with a camera which apparently does not have an improved sensor and which has an extremely limited ability to do integrations (technically not 4 seconds or 5 seconds but 5.12 seconds)?

 

So far it feels like I was being told that the Revolution was as good as anyone needed and there was no need to use anything better.  Now people seem to be replacing the Revolution with another version because you actually do need a better camera.  But the camera doesn't really seem to have a new and improved sensor and it doesn't have the same integration capacity?

 

To say that I am puzzled at the twists is a bit of an understatement and I hope someone can explain it cogently to me.  So far it is making less sense to me than the guy I was working with earlier today who was recently released from a psych ward and was manic, paranoid, and wouldn't complete the task he came to me to work on today.

 

So maybe someone will explain to me just how this is consistent with what was posted in the past?  Maybe explain how a camera which appears to be more hampered than its predecessor is superior?

 

And if that all makes sense, why was the LN300 being used initially when the Effio-A version of the ICX811 was out for a long time before the change from the LN300 camera?  It seems unlikely that this camera is new-build at this time since at least here in the USA the ICX811 doesn't even seem to be available so far as I can tell (the USA Sony distributor no longer lists the sensor)?

 

And as noted, there is another kit at that price point.  The Mallincam kit is being sold for $300.  If you argue you need an added reducer (wouldn't need it with my Comet Catcher, Comet Hunter, or NP101is with the reducer I already have, or with my XX12g).  But I've gotten the reducer for $15 so even if you want one it doesn't add much to the cost.  And in any case the point which Rich_B made was that you can easily put together a kit which he believes is a much better value for that $300 selling point.

 

You can also get an ASI224 for $350, hook up a USB cable to run between it and your computer and you are rocking with HD!  Add the $15 reducer if you need it and for $65 more than the Revolution you are doing HD work with a very simple system.

 

 

All that said, if the R2 fits what someone wants, my blessing upon them.  If they want to simply buy a kit and don't want to do the little extra to put together exactly what they need then I'll be delighted that they get to try out the R2.  Better that they get something which works than that they don't even try.


Edited by OleCuss, 19 May 2016 - 09:55 PM.


#60 Censustaker

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:10 PM

The reality of the situation is, as almost everyone knows, that the LN300 in it's RJ11 or RJ10 + ICX811 PAL configuration no longer exists, and Revolution had to find a replacement, and it turns out the replacement has some nice features over the the original despite it having shorter integrations which for most of us (or at least, me and CharlesC) were longer than we were able to use with the original anyway. I think you're reading too much into it.


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#61 Relativist

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:49 PM

So my comment about gain is because I myself like using cameras with high gain settings sometimes at the expense of aesthetics. One thing that was nice about the MCX2 with the 418 sensor was the retention of nice color at high gain. Here with the R1 camera as mentioned earlier in the thread the gain was controlled by an auto circuit and had coarse settings compared to the new camera. That in itself needs to be tested by us to see how things compare.

The other stuff about these packaged cameras with accessories has already been discussed quite extensively.

#62 OleCuss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 04:08 AM

The ASI224 may require longer integrations, but even if it needs an integration twice as long the maximum available with the R2 that is still only 10 seconds.  Field rotation is generally not an issue at less than 20 seconds so for any reasonable tracking mount that really shouldn't be a problem.

 

Well, it is all quite interesting.  But given that folk seem to have been happy with the original Revolution mostly when used with stacking in the computer and I don't remember anyone saying that they were delighted using it in analog mode (they may have but I don't remember it) then I would think it would make more sense to go with a higher resolution camera which is designed for digital use in the first place.

 

Oh, well.  I hope people thoroughly enjoy the R2!



#63 David B in NM

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 06:44 AM

Olecuss,

 

You seem to be very anti RI cameras.  I honestly don't understand why.

 

You always seem to praise Astro Video Systems here in this forum.  You claim to have a DSO and MK.  If you actually have them, you should be aware Matt "sells them" as high gain, short integration.  One doesn't need over 5 seconds integration with these.  I have them.

 

Have you ever tried an Effio?  Do you think Sony is a capable manufacturer?  Do you realize they do make the Effio DSPs?  Are you saying only AVS has the ability to "sell" CCTV cams as high gain?

 

As to who uses an RI in analog mode...Ken James has posted unprocessed images here with the R1.

 

As to markup, every company that resells (rebadges) Chinese products marks them up.  Even AVS.  For example this item and the link below it are both the same item.  I have them both.  Same package, same disc, same driver.  AVS also charges shipping.  This ebay seller doesn't:

 

http://www.astro-vid...eo-capture.html

 

or

 

http://www.ebay.com/...AoAAOxyaTxTRnKw

 

IMHO I think you need to purchase an "SONY" Effio camera.  Perhaps you may be surprised if you take the time to learn how to use it.

 

David B in NM


Edited by David B in NM, 20 May 2016 - 06:46 AM.


#64 mclewis1

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:00 AM

And nobody seriously suggested in that thread that the Revolution was actually a better camera than the Xterminator (despite the tongue in cheek thread title). The thread did highlight ...

 

- that the Revolution (the R1) was a very capable analogue video camera for EAA

- that external live stacking really enhanced the camera's capabilities

- that the Revolution kit provided virtually everything someone starting out in EAA would require

- that overall the kit was a good choice for those getting into EAA

 

Reading between the lines one could also question that for many folks whether the high end analogue video cameras were worth 3 to 5 times that of the Revolution.

 

The Sony CCD sensors are indeed no longer being produced but there appears to be a significant volume of sensors (and particularly those in the type 1/3" size) still available for new camera production. How long this situation will last is anyone's guess but for now it doesn't appear that there's any restriction on getting CCD cameras which are suitable for EAA.


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#65 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:09 AM

Using the frame capture device do you still get egg shape stars using it in alt AZ. I thought maybe given that it is a video camera it would not have egg shape stars??? I'd be using it with an 8-inch evolution scope

#66 divers

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 08:10 AM

Is the included display screen "up to par" with the resolution the camera can provide?



#67 OleCuss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 08:23 AM

Olecuss,

 

You seem to be very anti RI cameras.  I honestly don't understand why.

 

You always seem to praise Astro Video Systems here in this forum.  You claim to have a DSO and MK.  If you actually have them, you should be aware Matt "sells them" as high gain, short integration.  One doesn't need over 5 seconds integration with these.  I have them.

 

Have you ever tried an Effio?  Do you think Sony is a capable manufacturer?  Do you realize they do make the Effio DSPs?  Are you saying only AVS has the ability to "sell" CCTV cams as high gain?

 

As to who uses an RI in analog mode...Ken James has posted unprocessed images here with the R1.

 

As to markup, every company that resells (rebadges) Chinese products marks them up.  Even AVS.  For example this item and the link below it are both the same item.  I have them both.  Same package, same disc, same driver.  AVS also charges shipping.  This ebay seller doesn't:

 

http://www.astro-vid...eo-capture.html

 

or

 

http://www.ebay.com/...AoAAOxyaTxTRnKw

 

IMHO I think you need to purchase an "SONY" Effio camera.  Perhaps you may be surprised if you take the time to learn how to use it.

 

David B in NM

 

Not sure it is accurate to say that I am anti-RI.  The camera itself may not be too bad but it is intriguing that the seller doesn't put up specification on the sales site.  And I think the bundle is over-priced and poorly suited to a whole lot of systems.

 

I did not say (and will not say) that I have a DSO-1.  I do not and likely never will.  I have an LN300.  I also have a MkIV.

 

And so far as being pro-AVS?  If they will sell me the camera I want I am very pro-whatever that is.  Next camera I buy may be a ZWO.  Thinking about a QHY and I'd really like to have the a7S for some purposes.  If the pre-production Watec blows me away that might be my next.  I don't believe in brand loyalty as that doesn't foster competition and tends to lock you into the offerings of a particular vendor.

 

I personally do not at all understand why people would want to buy a Revolution Imager.  I consider the system to be over-priced and often unsuitable.  But that does not mean that I'm not very happy for others who may buy one because they find the system to meet their desires.  I just want them to make sure they do the research and know the specifications of the components they are buying and what the alternatives are.  If they are fully informed and then buy an RI I will be genuinely happy for them.

 

Oh, and I might point out that I have no intention of ever buying a whole lot of other cameras.  Doesn't mean I am "anti-" it means they don't suit my purposes.

 

So far as Sony making Effio DSPs?  I'm really not so sure that they do.  They certainly did but I'm not at all sure that they still do - I've not researched to see what all they put those in and whether those sensors are still being produced.  It doesn't look like the ICX811 is still being produced so it seems that Sony is not making ICX811 with an Effio DSP.

 

So far as a mark-up being charged by sellers?  Sure, no problem with that as long as it is not excessive.

 

And your showing the two links to equivalent items is really a fun one!  Guess which one I bought?  And guess how much Mallincam has sold it for?  And I can't use it because I've got a software conflict so I use the Diamond unit when I actually mess with the computer.

 

The other thing?  Using the method you showed of searching eBay and such for cheaper sources would be an argument against getting that RI kit.  You can source much of the same stuff much more cheaply elsewhere.  The advantage of the kit is that you don't have to buy from separate sources.

 

I don't like kits.  There is no one system which works for everyone and with everything.  People need to understand this and do the research to know exactly what is likely to work best for them give their priorities and existing equipment.  Then if the RI kit fits I'd encourage them to get that.  If the Mallincam kit fits then get that - but for some reason the other (Mallincam) kit gets almost no attention around here.

 

The fact that you don't need a kit with something like the ASI224 doesn't seem to attract attention.

 

Intriguing!  But people should like what they like and dislike what they dislike.  In the case of the RI cameras I'd actually rather like to fiddle with the R2 to see what it can do but I'd never buy the kit because I literally have no use for anything else in the kit.



#68 mclewis1

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:25 AM

The idea of bundles or kits is an interesting one. On the one hand they greatly help beginners and on the other they often don't make much sense to those with more experience (and gear) and so for most folks the interest in bundles or kits tends to fall somewhere in the middle.

 

Mallincam offers some additional items with their analogue video cameras (power supplies, video cables, 1.25" nosepieces, etc.), but doesn't offer what some might consider "complete" kits with focal reducers, filters, and video monitors although they offer all of those items separately. An exception to this is the SkyRaider AG bundle or kit which includes an entry level laptop with the USB camera so it effectively offers the equivalent of a power supply, video cable, control cable, remote control, and video display.

 

I don't think Mallincam has sold many of the SkyRaider AG bundles and like OleCuss I wonder why it doesn't get more visibility (from a pure monetary value point of view it sure looks pretty attractive to me). 

 

Bundles and kits offer many things to many people. Vendors can benefit from selling more products, reduce support questions, and reduce the complexity in ordering or of a price list. Buyers can save time and sometimes money (but as mentioned a few times can also pay more for a bundle, especially if they don't need all the items included in it). A bundle or kit usually means a buyer can enjoy a camera sooner and often with less aggravation which should lead to better product reviews (an increasingly important part of any sales effort).

 

Some vendors offer a lot of bundles, some don't use the method very much at all. Bundling can sometimes also be used to hide product prices, or to push un popular products so transparency is important as is buyer awareness.

 

In general the more experienced the end user the less value they usually see in a bundle or kit, so whenever someone is questioning the value of a bundle consider the target audience.


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#69 wrpspeed16

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:34 AM

just having bought the revolution imager kit last month and with the knowledge of some of the people here, i have found it to be very helpful to me . i never could have figured out what to buy, where to buy and how to put it all together. granted, i bought it mainly as a way to see deep sky objects that i visually couldn't see and it has been very successful at that and the proof is that i am staying out later and later each night. all said, yes it was a great introduction and i am thinking about how to connect it to a laptop (when i buy a laptop) and using it with a stacking program. I am pretty happy with it so far.


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#70 Relativist

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:36 AM

Still no reply in the old CN special, maybe I should have emailed Mike, although I was hoping he would have chimed in if he saw the question. The bundle has saved observing sessions for me when, for example, I could not locate my frame grabbed. For those starting out its the way to go since it has everything to start observing and you can move on from there. Personally I think the best feature is te case so I haven't yet lost anything lol.
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#71 divers

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:45 AM

Still no reply in the old CN special, maybe I should have emailed Mike, although I was hoping he would have chimed in if he saw the question. The bundle has saved observing sessions for me when, for example, I could not locate my frame grabbed. For those starting out its the way to go since it has everything to start observing and you can move on from there. Personally I think the best feature is te case so I haven't yet lost anything lol.

I am waiting to buy this package based on the answer....think I will just email directly :) 



#72 Dragon Man

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:54 AM

I suppose the simplest answer is in results.

 

Did the Revolution Kits sell well?
- Yes, they sold out. And the new R2 is already selling like hot cakes.

 

Has anyone given any bad reports from them?
- None that I have ever seen.

 

Are they fun to use?
- Oh yeah!!!

 

So, no matter what any of us think about 'Kit' vs 'single camera', quality of sensor, what DSP does it have, etc etc, the fact is that they sell and they sell well.
They entertain, they are easy to use for Outreach, needing just the included battery and monitor(I have proven this many times already), and for a few hundred bucks people have fun with them.

 

So, no matter how much members in this Forum nit-pick and technically dissect the product, it works and it works well.

OldCuss says he has doesn't understand why anyone would want to buy the Revolution Imager. 

 

 

 

.  .  .  .  . 

 

I personally do not at all understand why people would want to buy a Revolution Imager. 

 

Well, sales have answered that. Because they are easy, self-contained, and fun.

 

I am truly amazed at the amount of investigation and attention this little beginners kit gets from seasoned EAA'ers.  :lol: 
Get over it. Beginners love it.
If you don't like the 'Kit' form, don't buy it.

 

I guess all this fuss and quibbling over a little beginner kit is more advertising for the vendor   :lol:  so carry on. I'm sure Mike at OC Telescopes is loving the publicity.


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#73 OleCuss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:46 AM

Sales do not indicate the value of a product.

 

People used to sell pet rocks.  I was trying to pick them out of fields - we'd have been happy for them to come and get as many as they wanted.

 

Sometimes sales have more to do with marketing than it does the value of the product.

 

That is, by the way, not intended to say that the RI is without value.  You just can't judge the utility and value of the product to the consumer based on sales.

 

But again, if people are happy with the kit then I'm happy for them.  Some day I might be interested in knowing whether most people who bought the one kit had heard about the other - or realized that if they want to always use a computer they could go to a very simple-to-use digital camera and they may not even require a kit (the camera and a USB cable may be all they need) and can go HD!


Edited by OleCuss, 20 May 2016 - 10:47 AM.


#74 Dragon Man

Dragon Man

    Gemini

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

Sales do not indicate the value of a product.

 

People used to sell pet rocks.  I was trying to pick them out of fields - we'd have been happy for them to come and get as many as they wanted.

 

Sometimes sales have more to do with marketing than it does the value of the product.

 

Did those people enjoy their Pet Rocks?

Millions were sold worldwide so they couldn't have been too bad  :grin:

 

and believe it or not, they still sell them! http://www.petrock.com/

 

The original Pet Rocks are now collectors items worth more now than they were back then   :lol:

 

I bet you were the person standing outside the toy shop telling people that they can get rocks from your paddock for a lot less, and without the need for the included display box, the instruction sheet, membership card to the Worldwide Pet Rock Club, or the display stand for their Pet Rock to sit on.  :lol:


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#75 Censustaker

Censustaker

    Apollo

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  • Loc: Utah

Posted 20 May 2016 - 11:15 AM

Don't be ridiculous - his rocks were HD and only had a single cable.
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