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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:00 PM
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Moon Video

My moon video taken with an 8" scope and hacked webcam. But using the 808 #16 for this would be cool!
Moon up close video - Celestron NexStar 8 (4 min 44 sec)
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Well Well Well I live and I learn ! !
Thank you for posting that video, I'm impressed.
Mike
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 09:31 PM
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I'd like to see more details on how the camera was hacked to the telescope, and how to focus it other than by trial and error. With the #16 or #18 808 perhaps the video out could be used for this, but getting everything in proper alignment to focus sharply on the CMOS array seems like a formidable task. Not to mention keeping out dust, etc.

I have a different CMOS camera with 5MP CMOS array and a badly scratched lens I've not been able to replace that could see some new use for something like this if I can manage to make a proper mount to my Celestron Nextar reflector. It would also make for easier viewing of the images.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 10:32 PM
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Thanks... I took a Logitech c501 webcam and took it apart.. Then took a film container as it fits right in the eyepiece socket.. This plugs into the laptop and using a software called SharpCap, it will now play on the PC and you can manipulate the settings of the camera.. The trickiest part is getting the focal length.. A little trial and error and it can be done. Now I focus the scope and drop in the cam.. Then fine tune the focus of the camera using the focusing knob while watching the Laptop..
Also using another free software called RegiStax you can take a video clip and stack it to made a photo such as this first attempt at Jupiter..
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:14 AM
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Cool.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage 40 View Post
Thanks... I took a Logitech c501 webcam and took it apart.. Then took a film container as it fits right in the eyepiece socket.. This plugs into the laptop and using a software called SharpCap, it will now play on the PC and you can manipulate the settings of the camera.. The trickiest part is getting the focal length.. A little trial and error and it can be done. Now I focus the scope and drop in the cam.. Then fine tune the focus of the camera using the focusing knob while watching the Laptop..
Also using another free software called RegiStax you can take a video clip and stack it to made a photo such as this first attempt at Jupiter..
...
Thanks for the pics and details... one last question. Am I correct to assume you first removed the camera optics and focused the telescope image directly on the image sensor?

Thanks again.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Here's what I did.. Take the camera apart and remove the lens.. Then (daylight hours) I focused the scope on a distant location like an antenna or light pole.. Then remove the eyepiece from the scope.. Place the camera ove the eyepiece socket moving it in and out while watching the laptop screen.. When it came into focus I looked to see how far away the camera needed to be from the socket and then proceeded to construct the tube for it.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage 40 View Post
Here's what I did.. Take the camera apart and remove the lens.. Then (daylight hours) I focused the scope on a distant location like an antenna or light pole.. Then remove the eyepiece from the scope.. Place the camera ove the eyepiece socket moving it in and out while watching the laptop screen.. When it came into focus I looked to see how far away the camera needed to be from the socket and then proceeded to construct the tube for it.
Makes perfect sense... thanks. This is something I'll have to try. Any webcam program that will also record the images to a file will work for this, and I have several. My 5MP camera with scratched lens (a JAZZ HDV178) also has an LCD view screen that could be used for focusing, though maybe not as precise. I've stripped this camera down to nothing but the camera circuit board for AV use, so I'm half way there already!

I guess this loses any magnification that an eyepiece can provide, but it will still be a fun project
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Actually, you will see it increases the magnification by a bunch.. Google those softwares.. They are free.
With sharp cap you can change the frame rate, hues and saturation, zoom and all kinds of neat stuff
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Actually, you will see it increases the magnification by a bunch.. Google those softwares.. They are free.
With sharp cap you can change the frame rate, hues and saturation, zoom and all kinds of neat stuff
Thanks for the clarifications! Will do.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 02:20 PM
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I am impressed with the moon video.

I am itching to have a go, first clear night looks to be Wednesday here.

I have converted a No11 HD keychain camera to fit on my 8.5 inch reflector.

I removed the lens, easy as it just unscrewed on mine but some are fastened with glue and might be harder to remove. I had some thin brass tube that just fitted into the eyepiece holder on the scope. I cut a piece just long enough to fit into the eyepiece socket and then epoxied it onto the front of the No11 camera.

The tube is bigger in diameter than the No11 camera is thick. I just epoxied 2 thin pieces of wood onto the camera body to fill up the gap. You have to be careful not to cause a problem in getting to the buttons to work the camera. Pretty it isn't - functional it is.

The camera fits into place like a normal eyepiece. There is plenty of adjustment available on my focuser but it only needs a small amount of focus adjustment to bring the camera into focus. It's not a big amount and is fairly close to the position where a 40mm eyepiece is in focus.

I use the No11 in webcam mode. I also have a converted Logitech quickcam webcam.... modified nearly the same way as the No11.

I have only had chance to try the 2 cams on a small (and not very good) telescope but anticipate good results off my bigger reflector.

The No11 keychain camera is capable of giving a sharper image compared to the Logitech webcam. However, the image is pink tinged ! This is not a problem for still photos as they can easily be altered but could be a problem with video.

I use a couple of "normal" webcam programmes that are available in Linux. There are no proprietary drivers used for the 2 cameras, just what is provided by the Linux kernel.

I had some of the "dreaded" dust on the CMOS chip. Being a gentle soul who approaches everything very cautiously..... I just bunged the nozzle of an industrial vacuum cleaner over the tube that fits the camera into the eyepiece and give it a damned good going over !

My delicate approach seems to have got the sensor clean of dust.

Perhaps Tom will know if the pink colour can be got rid of ?
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 02:47 PM
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Yes, the cold clear winter nights are upon us.. No more heat radiating and bending the light rays as we look through out scopes... I'd love to see what you guys get.. Keep me posted please..
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by savage 40 View Post
Here's what I did.. Take the camera apart and remove the lens.. Then (daylight hours) I focused the scope on a distant location like an antenna or light pole.. Then remove the eyepiece from the scope.. Place the camera ove the eyepiece socket moving it in and out while watching the laptop screen.. When it came into focus I looked to see how far away the camera needed to be from the socket and then proceeded to construct the tube for it.
I tried this a while back. I hadn't got enough length on the focuser to be able to get an image. I wanted to set up a guide scope. The focuser was wound right out and I still couldn't get a focused image.

I anticipated problems when fitting a webcam. Would I have to have a bigger range of adjustment ?

It turned out that I only needed to fit the camera onto a tube that just fitted into the eyepiece holder. Focusing on stars, the moon and Jupiter were easy. The camera focuses at nearly the same setting as a 40mm eyepiece.

Terrestrial objects needed a much longer focus tube than I have on my scope.

Had to resort to setting the guide scope up in the dark !
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklet View Post
I am impressed with the moon video.

I am itching to have a go, first clear night looks to be Wednesday here.

I have converted a No11 HD keychain camera to fit on my 8.5 inch reflector.

I removed the lens, easy as it just unscrewed on mine but some are fastened with glue and might be harder to remove. I had some thin brass tube that just fitted into the eyepiece holder on the scope. I cut a piece just long enough to fit into the eyepiece socket and then epoxied it onto the front of the No11 camera.

The tube is bigger in diameter than the No11 camera is thick. I just epoxied 2 thin pieces of wood onto the camera body to fill up the gap. You have to be careful not to cause a problem in getting to the buttons to work the camera. Pretty it isn't - functional it is.

The camera fits into place like a normal eyepiece. There is plenty of adjustment available on my focuser but it only needs a small amount of focus adjustment to bring the camera into focus. It's not a big amount and is fairly close to the position where a 40mm eyepiece is in focus.

I use the No11 in webcam mode. I also have a converted Logitech quickcam webcam.... modified nearly the same way as the No11.

I have only had chance to try the 2 cams on a small (and not very good) telescope but anticipate good results off my bigger reflector.

The No11 keychain camera is capable of giving a sharper image compared to the Logitech webcam. However, the image is pink tinged ! This is not a problem for still photos as they can easily be altered but could be a problem with video.

I use a couple of "normal" webcam programmes that are available in Linux. There are no proprietary drivers used for the 2 cameras, just what is provided by the Linux kernel.

I had some of the "dreaded" dust on the CMOS chip. Being a gentle soul who approaches everything very cautiously..... I just bunged the nozzle of an industrial vacuum cleaner over the tube that fits the camera into the eyepiece and give it a damned good going over !

My delicate approach seems to have got the sensor clean of dust.

Perhaps Tom will know if the pink colour can be got rid of ?
The pink tint is because you no longer have the camera's infrared filter to block those wavelengths from reaching the CMOS array. The keychain cameras have the IR filter mounted on the lens elements. All are on the back of the last element (inside the CMOS module) except for the #16 B lens which has that filter on the front surface (which is why it has a distinct red appearance at certain light angles). You could try to get an IR filter for larger lens optics and place it on the front of the CMOS module. That would also keep out dust and debris. Finding one which has the same wavelength filter properties to match the original would be the trickiest part perhaps. I've never tried it.

I've used lens cleaning air brushes and cleaning solution to clean my CMOS arrays on a couple of my 808 HD key cams, with good results. Never tried a vacuum... I'd probably end up sucking it into the dust bag!

I think a critical part is to get the CMOS array exactly perpendicular to the axis of the eyepiece holder. This is necessary to have the entire array in sharp focus across the entire frame. I had forgotten about the IR filter, but would try to find a suitable larger lens filter that works, then cement it flat across the front of the plastic lens module. Then arrange to make a cut across the eyepiece tube that is exactly perpendicular to the axis, perhaps with an appropriate blade on my radial arm saw. That should get it pretty close.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:24 PM
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Hi Tom,
I thought it might be down to the infrared filter.
I will see how I go without one. On still photos of the moon it's not a problem as i can rectify the image afterwards.

I am interested to see how the Logitech webcam performs on my large scope. I can take video and capture colour with that for now.

The small scope I have used for initial tests is a pretty poor telescope really. It just gave me a chance to nip out and get some initial photos when there was a brief break in the cloud cover. The images from the big reflector will have far better resolution and also be far more magnified than these first, snatched attempts.

Getting the CMOS chip correctly aligned will pay dividends.
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