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Action Cam with LCD and WiFi a good idea?

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#1 MacAver

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:47 AM

Hi!

Just getting started. Got the first telescope for the family yesterday. Sky-Watcher Explorer 130/900M Newtonian on a EQ2 with tracking motor (no GoTo). I Added a cheap Svbony SV105 USB CCD to the deal but had an idea. Hope I post this in the right forum.

We have this SJCam 4K action cam my oldest stepson wanted but have never really used. We have loads of cameras, me being a photo geek. "Killing" this one for a "higher" purpose would not be a problem. There is 2 ways to do it I think. Detach the cameras optic and make a lathe machined aluminum adapter for use without eye piece or just 3D-print a adapter to use like with a smartphone. Does it make any sense? It would be a 2" LCD eye piece for 2-3 kids to look at at the same time instead of fighting to be the one to watch. It would add features like remote control snap shooting, video recording and via WiFi live streaming. So my questions are:

1. Is this a waste of time project?

2. What way to it is the best?
3. Would any video recorded like this be useful when stacking?

 

/Mac



#2 Stevegeo

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:00 AM

I have used a cheap webcam  glued to a piece of PVC that would fit over an eyepiece with a thumbscrew  to lock it down.

It works...

 

I did this photograph daytime objects, and it works... and used it for the moon and planets ( Jupiter,  Saturn)  at outreach plugged into a pad so everyone could look and not bump the scope.   HOWEVER many here will tell you as I am now it has limits. They are not sensitive enough for anything  else in my experience.. for that a ccd camera , stacking images ect would be in store.  And I don't have one or ever used one.. that I cant tell you about.

There is also a setup where your cell phone can be clamped to the eyepiece,  that works as well. Available on Amazon or maybe Astronomics  not sure... mine is a Celestron,  works well enough for almost any phone... and cheap.

 

Stevegeo Area3751 observatory otisco lake ny 


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#3 MacAver

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:49 AM

Hi Stevegeo!

It is most likely to become more a prof of concept project than a high-end solution any how. Any quality would be a bonus. But your words encourage me. smile.gif
I like the cable-free remote control features and the possibilities to photograph, video record and live view on a phone or tablet. Also to have a light weight 2" LCD viewfinder seams bit useful? The little guy that loves the night sky will have problems reaching the eyepiece and handling the EQ mount. With him able to follow on the tablet, take snapshots and record videos live while I or one of the older boys and girls drive the telescope I think will add more of a team work feel to it.
I made a first CAD-model for a eyepiece mount that I will test print. Lets see where this leads. If it is rubbish I will dissect the camera further.


Edited by MacAver, 26 February 2020 - 07:54 AM.


#4 Stevegeo

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 04:24 PM

My first attempt at mounting my phone was a piece if plexiglass , with a countersunk  1/4_20 flathead,  and a electrical clamp that fit around an eyepiece  ,, this I wrapped with tape to prevent scratching  . A rubber band held the phone, it was crude and flopped around sometimes but it worked .

At NEAF last year , I came across a vender selling a universal fit cell phone holder , made by Celestron,  you can adjust up  or down, in  or out , and left right .. and best yet attaches to either a 1 1/4 or 2 in eyepieces .   The action to adjust any direction is smooth  holds the largest or smallest phone secure . 

AND ITS CHEAP ..  $20   most cellphones have exceptional cameras and using one to use on  the night, and share with others a plus to the hobby .

 

Stevegeo Area3751 observatory otisco lake ny 


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#5 ccs_hello

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 06:25 PM

@ OP

 

Most likely a waste of time since most of the action cam/sport cams are tuned for short exposure and high frame rate video shooting with fairly high compression ratio.

I.e., not capable of doing long exposure single shot, e.g., 2 seconds/shot or longer.


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#6 MacAver

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 10:18 AM

I agree there  CCS. After I read your coment above I realized the CCD is not of the kind for a night sky telescope project. I was about to take the SJCam back to the work shop and it's main purpose to collect dust. I'm glad I did not do this.
I repurposed the camera for the telescope use with removed optics any ways against all the wisdom of wiser ones. It is super awesome!!!

BUT with a big flaw. It totally sucks for night skies! lol.gif

 

Working on it. wink.gif
 




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