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Use of Video Astro Cameras by CN Members??

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#101 Sky Captain

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:37 PM

Hi Kerry,
I have been using a SAC mintron for several years. It's a great camera. Always draws a crowd at star parties.


Thanks Bill, and welcome to CN. :)

#102 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:34 AM

Brad,

I did use my C-8 with a wedge while at Chiefland. I have attached a photo showing a comparison of a stack of 5 56 second frames of NGC 1365 taken with the C-8 to a similar number of 28 second frames made with Bob Schilling's 20" Starmaster. The C-8 was running at about f/4 and the 20" was at about f/2.5.

All were amazed at how similar the 56 second C-8 live view as to the 28 second 20".

Jack Huerkamp

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1454520-NGC 1365 Comparison.jpg


#103 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:47 AM

Brad,

I forgot to mention the amp glow. When using the longer exposure modes, the AGC should be set to OFF. I did have the AGC ON and set to about the mid-point. This resulted in the glow seen in the image taken witht he C-8. Bob had the AGC OFF on his camera. Also, Rock mentioned tome that the batch of CCD sensors he received for my camera were more sensitive than the ones in Bob's camera. That's another reason why I should have turned the AGC OFF. I will experiment some more at the Kisatchie Starparty in 2 weeks.

Jack Huerkamp

#104 BradH

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 12:30 PM

Jack I would be interested in seeing PLUS vs HYPER in you 6" refractor. That would give some idea of how it would look in my 5"

It amazing how close the 8" is to the 20".

Thanks
Brad

#105 BradH

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 01:39 PM

Last night I went out and here is a single image on M42 2 seconds no processing and, wind gusts near 30-35.

Brad

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1459261-orion 3-2-07 2 sec.jpg


#106 BradH

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 01:41 PM

Here is one at 6 seconds single frame M42 no processing.

Brad

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  • 1459264-orion 3-2-07 6 sec.jpg


#107 BradH

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 01:42 PM

Moon single frame no processing.

Brad

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  • 1459267-moon 3-2-07.jpg


#108 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 10:42 AM

SkyCaptain,

If you are looking for a more sensitive camera, you may want to consider the MallinCam Color HYPER PLUS. It offers 2,7,14,28 and 56 second exposures and produces full color images on your monitor. I have posted some images to this thread from my recent visit to Chiefland Astronomy Village in Florida last month. A lot of the people who got a chance to see these cameras in use on scopes of various sizes (8", 20" and 28") were amazed with how much detail a 26 year old C-8 could reveal.

For info on this product, check out:

http://mallincam.tripod.com/


Jack Huerkamp

#109 Sky Captain

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 02:04 PM

Thanks Jack, I have been following it for a while now...very interesting. :)

#110 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 03:09 PM

Here is another comparison of the same object taken at the same time with two different telescopes. The image on the left was taken with a C-8 on a wedge running at about f/4 through the use of a series of focal reducers. The MallinCam Color HYPER PLUS was set to 56 second mode with the gain set too high - causing the amp glow. The image on the right was take with a ServoCAT driven 20" Starmaster running at about f/2.5 and a second MallinCam Color HYPER PLUS set to 28 second mode with the gain set much lower.

Jack Huerkamp

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1461518-MGC 1232 (Arp 41) Comparison.jpg


#111 MikeML

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 04:25 PM


Received a Watec 120N for Christmas. It finally saw first light a couple of weeks ago. Here's the result. Not bad for basically an eight and a half second exposure.
Mike

Details:
Taken Friday February 16, 2007 from Cedar Key Florida. William Optics 66SD 66mm @F5.9, Watec 120N video camera and Baader color filters. Composite of exposures of 256, 128 and 64 frames (8.5, 4.27 and 2.13 seconds ). Aligned in Registar, processed in Photoshop CS2. Diffraction spikes added with Noel Carboni's Astronomy Tools.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1461725-Orion Nebula 2-16-07 LR.jpg


#112 BradH

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 04:49 PM

Mike thats a great shot, lots of detail.

By chance can you post a single frame like what you see on a TV or computer monitor.


Brad

#113 MikeML

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:19 PM

Brad, here's a single frame of 8.5 seconds (256).
Mike

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1461845-M42011-single up.jpg


#114 JAT Observatory

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:53 PM

That is a great image.

#115 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 06:25 PM

Mike,

Did you take separate 256, 128 and 64 integration images with each colored filter and then add them to a non-filtered image to create the final one posted?

Jack Huerkamp

#116 MikeML

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 05:27 PM

Mike,

Did you take separate 256, 128 and 64 integration images with each colored filter and then add them to a non-filtered image to create the final one posted?

Jack Huerkamp


Jack I took seperate 256, 128 and 64 for the luminance. If I remember correctly I averaged 16 frames each @ 256 integrations for RGB color. I've attached the tri-color only image.

Mike

BTW, Seems somewhere, one of my programs is flipping the image.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1463917-Merge1 tricolor.jpg


#117 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 06:10 PM

Mike,

Thanks for the info on your image of M42.

Jack

#118 BradH

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 07:50 PM

Thanks again Mike.

Your pics are great.

Brad

#119 BradH

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:16 AM

I think Iam getting better. This image is a single 6 sec shot of M42 no processing.

Brad

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1469123-m42 reg 2.jpg


#120 BradH

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:17 AM

Here is M65 & M66 single 12sec image no processing.

Brad

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1469124-m65 66 no processing.JPG


#121 BradH

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:19 AM

Same as above only 18 frames stacked in Registax-4

Brad

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1469126-m65 m66 reg.jpg


#122 JAT Observatory

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 10:02 PM

Marcus,

Your setup is really neat. I can see why you need to be able to remotely adjust the parameters on your MallinCam. I am sure that eventually Rock will develop a way to both change the camera settings using a PC and also turn the Peltier cooler and HYPER switches on and off remotely.

Jack Huerkamp



Jack,
I am pleased to finally say I have my Mallincam working remotely. There where 2 issues. One is the camera interface is an RS-485 and not a RS-232 as shown in the diagrams that Rock emailled me.

I had originally tried the RS-485 connection but it didn't work. It didn't work on my GStar-EX either. But then I read somewhere that the GStar software only worked on COM1.

Well my test PC (a laptop) had COM1 flagged as "in Use". After playing some games and freeing up COM1 I attached a USB to serial port converter, then connected my RS-232 to RS-485 converter, and finally the cable to Aux port on the MallinCam and bingo. I have control of all the functions except the TEC and Hyper control. Those are an issue is since they are simple switch I can build a wireless interface to control them.

It is soooo nice to be able to control the camera settings via a PC instead of having to use those silly little buttons on the back while looking at that menu on the monitor. Color balance, ALC level, zoom ...it all works :jump:

#123 BradH

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:46 PM

Marcus

Will you trying out the Mallicam in you scopes now that you have most of controlled remotely.

I read your having problems with you doom I hope its not to serious.

Brad

#124 BradH

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:55 PM

Well I was to lazy to take out the laptop tonight so this image of m82 was taken from the TV screen handheld.
It nice to see color on DSO's in a 5" scope.

Brad

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1470994-3-8-07 M82.jpg


#125 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 08:08 AM

Marcus,

I just got off of the telephone with Rock, and I passed along to him your success with using the MallinCam HYPER remotely, except for the HYPER and TEC switches. He said that as long as you don't adjust ALC or AGC, you can leave the TEC and HYPER on, call up the menu and make changes to anything else. Its only the above two menu functions that require the turning off of the 2 switches while making changes to them. This has to do with the re-building of the image and then the re-synchronization of the image with the HYPER mode.

I will try experimenting with this next week as I want to be able to FREEZE the monitor image at times and using the menu is required for this.

Jack Huerkamp


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