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EAA with a Raspberry HQ camera and an old lens

EAA DIY beginner
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#1 Doctor0710

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 07:31 AM

Hi! First post here. 
 
I've been lurking around the EAA forums for a while now, trying to find out what the equipment I already have might be capable of. Not finding much about this exact setup I went ahead and found out for myself. Turns out, it's pretty neat!
 
What the setup consits of:

  • Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • Raspberry High Quality camera module with the C/CS mount
  • Fujinon TV Zoom 14-84 f/1.6 lens
  • Celestron Nexstar SLT
  • Some half baked Python code

What I've done is fitted the camera module with the lens to the mount, connected it up to the Pi, hooked the mount up to the Pi with a USB-Serial adapter, plugged in a long LAN cable, did some coding in Python, and I have a setup that follows what I tell it to follow, and takes 16 bit DNG pictures of it with any custom settings, indefinitely. I also hose clamped a RDS from the scope to the lens, this way I can set up alignment without having to bust out a laptop. 
 
SncdgjL.jpg
 
Since I have the long LAN cable going up to a PC, I mounted the PCs SSD to the Pi over the network. This allows me to save the DNGs directly to the PC. And that allows me to use Astrotoaster to do some live stacking. The camera is surprisingly sensitive even with the lens stopped down a bit. With all this done, I finally have my dream EAA setup that allows me to take a look at what's out there, all from the comfort of my couch.
 
(Target: M31 / Andromeda)
WWrL9y8.jpg
 
A long night after I got to stacking those frames properly. 582 30 second frames later I got the best DSO picture I've ever taken. That is probably because I didn't need to worry about batteries dying, freezing to death or bumping the tripod, so the camera could just chug along with the capture.
 
(Target: M31 / Andromeda)
rlG3gx2.jpg
 
HIGH RES ALBUM HERE


Edited by Doctor0710, 23 October 2020 - 07:58 AM.

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#2 mclewis1

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 08:57 AM

Welcome to CN.

 

Nice work. It looks like for low light EAA work the Raspberry high quality camera module really is a substantial improvement over their original camera. The original was pretty nasty.

 

Can you also post one of your individual subs? Maybe along with any other info on the settings used for the camera (gain, etc.).


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#3 Doctor0710

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 09:02 AM

Sure, here's the first 50 subs as DNGs along with the stacked TIF off of DSS (after rotating and flipping the image to match what the camera should see). 

The settings for each frame are as follows: 

  • Exposure time: 30 seconds
  • ISO: 1600
  • Aperture: f/4
  • Focal length: 84mm (~470mm full frame equiv.)

I agree it is a night and day difference between this and the V2 camera, but a big part of that for me is the interchangeable lens. I hadn't had the guts to modify the older sensor to a bigger lens mount and the original lens was neither fast nor good quality. And it was hard to focus because of that drop of glue they shipped with. The new one is also considerably larger in size too, both the sensor and the board.


Edited by Doctor0710, 23 October 2020 - 09:09 AM.


#4 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 09:14 AM

I'm impressed by the lens performance. Was this a partial crop of the full field of view?



#5 Doctor0710

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 09:19 AM

The one I posted in the original post is a crop, the included TIF in the zip should be around the same as the raw frames. The frames themselves are not modified at all, so it should be the full field of what the sensor sees. I think this particular lens can cover a larger sensor though, some people are using it with m43 cameras on youtube.


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