Use of Video Astro Cameras by CN Members??
Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:55 AM
M13 - Celestron C9.25 @ f/10 (no focal reducer!) and only 2.1 second integration time on a Mallincam Hyper Color camera. 2.1 seconds is the minimum exposure time. It also integrates at 6 and 12 seconds which are way over exposed on M13 in a scope this size.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:06 AM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:02 AM
You can go less than 2 seconds with the MallinCam's, and I often do, especially on the brighter objects. Your M13 is a perfect example. It's way burned out at the core. I find with my 10" newt, I really have to use 1 sec, or 0.5 sec to really see any details in the cluster. Or, pull the FL out much longer so that the cluster (or just the core) fills the screen and then go for a longer exposure. The camera is just so sensitive, it sees to much light.
I find I do the "take a picture of the screen" thing too! Easy way to get a quick pic of what you are seeing. But you are absolutely correct, it doesn't look anything like this when you are seeing it on the screen.
To further Jack's experience about seeing the Hickson 50 galaxies, one of the guys in Ottawa was able to capture them with an 8" SCT and the new MallinCam Hyper B&W. It was on an outing to a dark sky site at a higher altitude (1800') and there wasn't any detail like in the bigger scopes, but they were seen.
The view of this group that night was pretty good through Rock's 16" SCT:
I think the biggest advantage from all of these types of systems (MallinCam, StellaCam, etc.) is the simplicity. You don't even need the monitors that people are talking about. All you need is a TV (one that can take an RCA video input). And the learning curve is as steep as plugging the cables between the camera and TV and inserting the camera in the focuser. That's it.
From the time you first get your hands on one to the time you get amazing images is a few minutes. 10 min tops.
Now if it would only stop raining so I could actually get to use mine again...
Clear skies (Please!),
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:52 AM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:52 AM
Hour after hour I sit beside the scope watching the Canon 300D take 5 minute exposures of stuff. I still want to do that but there is a real potential for added enjoyment here.
Some of us use a Dual Dovetail clamping plate to put more than one scope on an EQ mount. On mine is a Meade LX200R 10", Orion ED 80 and I can find room for a Tak 60C using duct tape and nail gun. I can see a nice widefield view being displayed using the Tak or ED80 while the Meade/Cannon combination is going deep and long and the other small scope is autoguiding. I thought at one time observing through one scope while photographing through the other was the way to go. Learned real quick no can do because of vibration. This just might be the trick.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:23 AM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:26 PM
Some of us use a Dual Dovetail clamping plate to put more than one scope on an EQ mount. On mine is a Meade LX200R 10", Orion ED 80 and I can find room for a Tak 60C using duct tape and nail gun.
Isnt that a Federal Offense mentioning a Tak , duct tape, and a nail gun in the same sentence.
Congratulations on the new camera Brad! I guess another case of the scope curse. Seems as if anytime you purchase something for a scope the clouds and rain come in a seperate box right behind yours. Hope the cloud/rain clears up for you soon so you can enjoy the new camera.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:04 PM
I've been using a mintron (SAC) for a couple of years. Our Astronomy Club (Prescott, AZ) does about 25 outreach programs a year, (public and school star parties). At these group events, we can observe and discuss eight or ten objects in an hour, pointing out details in nebulae, seeing hundreds of well-resolved stars in globulars clusters that fill the screen of a 13 inch TV, seeing sattelites crossing the screen (particularly in the neighborhood of M42), on a good dark night, making out the structure of a few galaxies (M51, M 33, NGC 1365), and seeing the central star in M57. No standing in line, no viewing ill focused targets, and far more detail than you can see in an EP. In general, the camera provides a different and far more intensive experience for a group of casual observers.
There are some negatives. The TV produces more light than other observers would like to see (I need to provide light shielding). Switching camera settings and optics to move between planets and DSOs takes too long - I tend to stick to DSOs. And nothing complares with the elegance of a well focused EP view of the dark sky.
Aside from the public programs, the fact that I can see far more detail than can be seen in an EP makes my personal observing more rewarding.
Fedex just delivered my new Mallincam Hyper Color camera. I'm going to turn a fan on to drive the cloud cover away before sunset.
Celestron 8 in asgt
.5, .3 FR
Mallincam color Hyper
Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:43 PM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:23 PM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:31 PM
I wish I could be with you at Chiefland's this weekend. The views through that 28" will be spectacular. Grab some frames with your AverTV Card and post them for all to see.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:48 PM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:58 PM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:05 PM
For those who read and have experience, please post. Tom Trusock wants to know how much interest there is as well. Roland
Posted 20 November 2006 - 07:33 AM
Posted 20 November 2006 - 06:57 PM
My SAC 8 is pretty much a modified video camera and shares a lot of their idiosyncrasies, though it is for designed primarily for still imaging. I have thought pretty seriously about getting a PC164EX but have never followed through with it, since my SAC can basically function as one in live mode.
Posted 20 November 2006 - 08:42 PM
Posted 20 November 2006 - 08:47 PM
Posted 20 November 2006 - 10:47 PM
Posted 21 November 2006 - 10:15 AM
Yes, this is how I do all my imaging. It's really the same as using a regular astro CCD camera, it's just that the exposures are a lot shorter. This however is the real advantage to using a video camera and a not so high-end mount, or a scope that is pushing the mounts capabilities.
Since the exposure is so short (2 - 12 sec), it's really not a huge problem for even the most basic mount to handle it. That or like my setup where I have a C10N-GT which is really pushing the limits of the mount. I can easily use this setup to get great shots where it just wouldn't be possible with a normal CCD.
I would equate video imaging with visual observing in terms of the demands that it places on the setup. Certainly much more forgiving than having to image 30 sec, or 5 minutes, etc.
Posted 22 November 2006 - 02:59 PM
Posted 23 November 2006 - 12:17 AM
Posted 23 November 2006 - 02:34 PM
I had to change the format to a GIF image so it doesn't look all that nice but it gives you a general idea. The on-screen image is much more clear.
Posted 14 December 2006 - 12:02 AM
Posted 14 December 2006 - 06:07 PM