I have a ongoing rainy day project I've been working on the last 2+ years (as money comes around). It's more of a Night Vision project than actual astronomy project. You guys certainly have more complex cameras than I have. I was hoping for some opinions that may help the performance of my project.
Back in the day, I took great pleasure in laying down in the desert with a pair of PVS-14s on, and just staring off into the skies an watching space junk float by, until my eyes burned, and it was time to sleep. I'd like to emulate that with a digital setup, not to mention the added benefit of taking a few still shots or videos of what I see.
I currently have a 100% analog 750 setup. My cam specs are as follows;
I'm running a Sony Effio-E CXD4140GG cam chip and D5148GG processor on a 1/3" imager. I'm running MTV mount 2.1 MEGA/IR lenses ranging from 12mm, 16mm, and 25mm in handfuls of different apertures. I wanted to stay with low mag/high FOV to emulate the human eye, rather than go for big, big optics that let me see the rings of Saturn. I realize I need to take the jump to C or CS mount lenses, where I can get mechanical apertures and electronic focus.
Signal System NTSC
Image Sensor 1/3” 960H SONY EXview HAD CCD II
Scanning System 2:1 Interlace
Horizontal Resolution 750TV Lines
Scanning Frequency (H) 15.734 KHz
Scanning Frequency (V) 59.94 Hz
Total Pixels (H x V) 1020 x 508
Effective Pixels (H x V) 976 x 494
S/N More than 50dB (AGC: Off)
Gamma r = 0.45
Min. Illumination 0.1 Lux
Shutter Speed 1/60 ~ 1/100,000sec
Day & Night Digital Day & Night (Optional)
Day & Night Function Auto, Color, B/W
Video Output Level 1 Vp-p Composite (75 Ω)
On-Screen Display (OSD) Built-in (Inner Key / Joystick)
BLC Off, BLC, HLC
DNR 2D DNR
ATR On / Off (Level Adjustable)
White Balance ATW, Push, User1, User2, Anti CR, Manual, Push-lock
Privacy Masking 4 Zones
Mirror On / Off
Motion Detection 4 Zones
Other Function Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, HUE, Gain
Language Option English, Japanese, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese
Operating Temperature 14 °F ~ 122 °F (-10 °C ~ 50 °C)
Storage Temperature -4 °F ~ 140 °F (-20 °C ~ 60 °C)
Humidity Less than 80% RH
Power Supply DC 12V (±10%), Max. 70mA
Dimension 1.2 x 1.2 inch (30 x 30 mm)
Weight 0.2 lbs (81 g)
I currently have the cam hard wired to a 5" 720, TFT screen, that I was hoping to do a "google cardboard" conversion to. I originally choose this specific camera as it's considered a benchmark cam for NV projects in the Maker world. I'm at the point where I've ran out of resolution on a composite video feed. I'm also getting noise. I need to step up to SDI or HDMI to get in to the nicer cams. The cam has an internal OSD that can be ran through USB, on an RS-485 emulator that allows me to make all the frame rate, and pic adjustments as needed. The RS-485 emulator allow me to control any focus/zoom/aperture controls.
In my application, the big difference from you guys is, I'm concerned about live video. You're obviously stacking stills through software. I need to stick to CCD and away from CMOS to avoid "jello picture". From what I understand, I'm at the point where I'm stretching Sony's 1/3" CCD chip to it's maximum. In the Maker/kit basher world, the next step up is the Watec 901/902 series, running on 1/2" CMOS..which has bigger pixel size that grabs more light, but I lose resolution, gain noise, and jello pic.
Do you guys have anything else available in your world that would be an upgrade to my setup? I'd like to keep the budget below $600. I don't need color filters, or fancy software, as it's not applicable to my situation.
I don't know if this can be done with an astro cam, but in my "less-than-highly-educated-on-the-technology" mind's eye is saying; obtain nice astro cam with better performance that what I have. Machine ocular housing to accept C/CS mount lenses. Set-and-forget software settings via PC, plumb HDMI thru USB feed into a nice pair of personal video googles/tablet/Rasberry Pi. Hook to 12VDC and enjoy.
I'm really new at this....how far off am I?
I see that Doug Culberston brought up a similar idea here...
...I'm trying to avoid the inclusion of a $3000+ PVS unit.