"Many have bought and seem quite happy with the Rising Tech version of the 224MC camera which can be purchased on line for less than $200. There are lots of threads on CN about this camera."
Thanks Curtis. I'll read up on that camera as well as the link you provided. While I've read both of your "low cost setups" threads, I hadn't seen that R2 vs. 224 thread and that might be exactly the info I needed.
Your post #243 had me thinking that you want a low-cost setup that your kids can enjoy. But then you mentioned you are interested in a sub-$100 webcam of sort, because of budget. However, your latest post implies you got enough wiggle room for maybe somewhere between $100 to $200. You can then get a bit creative.
If the goal is the same, i.e. something that is capable, yet simple enough for them to use themselves - after you setup the equipment, you can't go wrong with RI2. You have the option of using it with just a monitor (more kid-friendly) or with a computer (dad-friendly). I'm not sure how computer-savvy you little ones are, but they just might not have the patience to deal with using software controls to obtain the right mix for whatever object they are looking at. In contrast, the built in OSD menu in the camera has only few controls that they have to deal with when doing EAA.
The RT224, is a very promising camera, that there is now an RI packaged for it marketed as the advanced version. Well, advance means added level of complication. For one, you have to have a computer to use it. If if this is not going to be an issue with the little ones, this might be what you are looking for. But if it's an issue, and you have a budget of, say $200...
Give OCT a call and see if they can sell you just the camera and the remote control. Not sure if they are doing it still, but they've done it before. I would ask for a video grabber so you can use it with your computer. For the video monitor, you can buy a 7" monitor on eBay for around $30. Or you can even use a small TV for this. To connect to your camera, get video/power twin cable, around $25 for a 100' in Walmart. A great advantage of this is the viewing area can be away from your scope setup, so less accident of kids bumping on to it. A focal reducer is great have but you can buy this elsewhere later. Same goes with the IR filter - but get the reducer first.
To stay under $200 takes creativity, but it will get you started with the bare minimum requirement. If you can push the budget to score an RI2 package, I'd say go for it.
Edited by Kaikul, 25 April 2017 - 09:43 AM.