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abhoriel

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Everything posted by abhoriel

  1. Nice, looks very good. Did you have any problems with condensation? What did you use for the mount and cold finger?
  2. 1) Nope, you use existing software called INDI. No programming required. 2) You dont need a screen in the field. You leave the raspberry outside with your scope and connect it to your home network somehow (WiFi, or better, network cable). You generally install Kstars (with INDI) on your computer in the warmth of your house, and then use it to connect to over the network to INDI running on the raspberry pi. 3) look online to see if there is an INDI driver for your focuser hardware (https://www.indilib.org/devices/focusers.html) 4) I use a raspberry pi 3B, not the 3B+. I use Ubuntu Mate as the OS. I think Ubuntu Mate doesnt work "out of box" on the 3B+, but I may be wrong. I think you can get it to work with some extra work, but read about it online first. You will want to follow some kind of tutorial to set up the raspberry pi. It runs Linux based operating systems, which you may not be familiar with (takes a bit of learning!). Enjoy.
  3. I'm not sure, I was going to take test images to check orthogonality of the sensor. I'm going to use rubber washers under the circuit board to pad it out and allow it's tilt to be adjusted.
  4. Good question! Well cameras like the QHY8pro use the same sensor, and are still worth a lot of money (new or on the second hand market).. Which is because you can still take excellent shots with the sensor. I'd say that you really need cooling for this project to be worthwhile. Otherwise, you should just astromod a DSLR instead. I'd say that M42 probably isn't the best target for comparison shots - its such a bright target that it doesn't need very long exposure times and wont benefit as much from cooling.. as you say, a DSLR should be able to take quite comparable shots. CCDs have more read noise than modern CMOS sensors, so they will be at a disadvantage on bright targets for which you take lots of shorter exposures. In general though I'm of the opinion that astrophotography will switch completely over to CMOS. I'd like to see a DIY CMOS camera using a modern CMOS sensor. In theory, it could be less hassle as you wouldn't have to worry about analogue-to-digital conversion (and its associated noise issues). If you need anything do ask. I do have spare PCBs I'm happy to send out (for free)
  5. Yeah PM me your address and I'll send one. The schema I've used is that which is found here: http://astroccd.org/2016/10/cam86/ There are older versions on the Ukrainian forums, and there is an Iceinspace topic on the cam86 -- they have modified the schema and PCB somewhat I believe. I used a bill of materials for Mouser which I found on this page: https://www.diycam.fr/index.php/fr/9-all/construction/5-cam86-fournitures-part-i-la-carte I think as far as the PCB is concerned, the list is generally complete (except for the CXD1267AN, and the optional DHT22), but some components weren't in stock on mouser (and would only be in stock after several months), so I had to substitute some components for equivalents (and get one or two that I didn't want to substitute on eBay). As for using a cam86 as a guider, you can by all means, but I don't think it plays to its strengths. Buying a second hand guider/planetary cam will probably be cheaper than building a cam86! The advantages of the cam86 (cooling, large sensor, low noise) aren't really important for guiders. And the cam86 will generally be larger/heavier and also requires external power (rather than being powered purely from USB like most guiders).
  6. I can send you a PCB if you like! M42 is a great target indeed. And of course, you can just go with lenses rather than a telescope.
  7. Most images are scattered around forums and therefore difficult to find, but here you go: https://www.astrobin.com/gear/60809/cam86/ http://astroccd.org/gallery/ (this doesn't have any actual cam86 images, but loads of images from older 'cams' like cam83/cam85.. the cam86 is supposed to be an improvement on these anyway. note also that I would imagine that many of these weren't taken with cooling!) http://jonathanedgecombe.com/ If you're thinking of starting the build in over a month or so, you can order some components (eg the CXD1267AN ... mouser doesnt have this) from China early. It costs a lot less and the slow delivery might be worth it. Let me know if you have any questions about anything anyway!
  8. I started a topic about the cam86 a few weeks ago, just to see if anyone else had made one. Its essentially a DIY OSC camera which uses a Sony ICX453AQ CCD (the same as that used in the QHY8 pro) ripped out of Nikon SLRs on a custom low-noise circuit (designed by Rome, one of our Ukrainian counterparts!) and with provisions for adding peltier cooling. I've since started work on mine anyway, and the first stage (consisting of building the electronics of the camera itself) is now complete and it seems to be taking images ok... I'll test it more extensively (with some kind of lens I suppose) at some point. I had some very limited soldering experience with "through-the-hole" soldering, but not with surface mount stuff. This camera uses larger surface mount components, so its really not too daunting though. I bought some practice SMT PCBs on eBay (for around £1 each) to practise with first! I've even decided since that SMT soldering is much nicer than through-the-hole.. techniques such as drag-soldering which I used for most of the ICs are really very quick and simple. Anyway, the costs of the build so far are: Components including enclosure box (from Mouser mostly, with a couple from eBay!): £100 PCBs from Elecrow: £8.03 (I paid for 5 PCBs which is the minimum, but they sent me 7 anyway!) Broken Nikon D40 SLR on eBay (to get the sensor): £25 DMSO solvent to help with extracting the sensor: £8 I've attached some pictures at the bottom. The legs for some of the through-the-hole components that are poking through the PCB could do with a much closer trim - I'm still waiting for the cutters that I ordered from China to arrive! Further information on cam86 (in Russian, but google translate works well): http://astroccd.org/2016/10/cam86/ Also my previous topic, which has links to various websites and forums on this camera: The next thing I need to do is cut holes in the enclosure and build some kind of a nose piece for the camera. I'm not entirely sure how i'm going to do this as yet - any advice would be great! I have neither the ability nor the equipment to machine a nice piece. My current plan is to buy something like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-m42-adapter-UK-fast-delivery/202110844744?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 and then use a holesaw on my electric drill to cut the right sized hole in the enclosure and then push the "canon" side of the adapter into it. I'd then drill smaller screw holes in the adapter's flange and into the enclosure so that I can screw it on. I can then use an m42 to T2 adapter to connect it to my telescope. I've attached a picture of the aluminium enclosure for which the PCB has been designed anyway! Later on, I'm going to add a peltier cooler - the cam86 PCB is designed for this and the peltier (along with temp and humidity sensors) can be controlled by the onboard microcontroller. I'm not sure if the little transistor is up to the task though, but I can replace that if it burns out I suppose! There's also the concern of frosting/condensation on the sensor due to it being cooled below the dew point. I'm either going to try to seal the box as best as I can (which will require the use of a glass window in the nose piece amongst other measures) and then use some kind of desiccant (or even purging it with argon, as some people have used) or use resistors/nichrome wire around the edge of the sensor glass to keep that a little warmer.. or some combination of the two! Anyway, if anyone is interested in giving this a shot, I have spare PCBs and a few other spare bits and pieces which might be helpful. I'm happy to post them for free. The information regarding this camera is mostly in Russian (in the site I linked above). There is also lots of information scattered on various forums (I linked them in my last topic). If anyone is interested in building this, or want me to go into any details, let me know.
  9. As promised, updates.. Atik looked at the camera, they tried changing the motherboard but it did not fix the problem and they decided that the sensor is dead and that repairing it was not worthwhile. I asked them if I should bother looking for an old sensor on eBay and try and fix it myself and they said no as changes may need to be made to the motherboard for a new sensor and that the motherboard may also be broken. So it's pretty useless! They only charged me for return delivery though, I'm impressed with Atik's service. I've come to an amicable arrangement with the seller that I got it from (who was not aware of it being defective).
  10. Ah yes, I should have included that topic here!
  11. Sure. But nikon sensors are all sony made and are different from the canon ones. Also, this project uses a sensor from an older SLR which uses a CCD rather than a CMOS sensor. The same CCD is used in the qhy8pro, in which the cooler presumably helps!
  12. Our Ukrainian counterparts have designed some DIY CCD cameras based on the 6MP colour Sony ICX453AQ CCD (also used in QHY8Pro). The CCD can be obtained from old defective Nikon SLRs on ebay very cheaply. It should presumably be well known about here, but I don't really see any topics on it! They have been progressive improving the design cam10, cam81, cam83, cam84, cam86 etc They provide instructions, components lists, gerber format PCB diagrams. Here is the info on the older cam84 (which is in English) http://astroccd.org/2015/04/cam84/ Here is the newer cam86 which uses a microcontroller and can handle TEC cooling etc. Its in Russian, but google translate does a good job: http://astroccd.org/2016/10/cam86/ Theres even a cam90 which uses a newer, higher resolution CCD.. the schematics/PCBs are on the Ukrainian forums but I think its kind of under testing. Here's the Ukrainian language forum topic (full of useful info, but use google translate): http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=28929.0 There's also a cloudynights topic, which seems to focus on the older cam84 much more: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/497530-diy-astro-ccd-16-bit-color-6mpx-camera/ And a French topic on it (focusing much more on the cam86), in which pagpatrice have done a great job of organising everything (again, google translate!): http://www.webastro.net/forum/showthread.php?t=141764 https://www.diycam.fr/index.php/fr/9-all/construction/5-cam86-fournitures-part-i-la-carte I don't know if anyone is interested in this here, just wanted to see. I'm considering giving it a shot for the learning experience primarily I suppose!
  13. Thanks very much Merlin66 for your suggestions. I've tried different exposures. If I lose the filter wheel then I won't have enough back focus though! Atik have said to send the CCD in for investigations/repairs. I don't know how much this will cost. I think I'm going to do one last test on the night sky before its clear.. The camera was sold to me as working, and it seems an odd way for it to malfunction. I'll keep you updated
  14. No the filter wheel isn't in place when using the DSLR. It's got no filters in it, and I can see the sensor if looking through the front of the telescope..
  15. Ok I've attached photos of the layout. There are no filters in the layout. Also I've attached a photo of a distant tree taken with the set up. Its not possible to focus it, but I focused it with my Nikon DSLR on the tree, measured how far out the focuser was racked, added the Nikon flange focal distance to that (46.5mm), subtracted the Atik 314e flange focal distance (12mm) and then attached the Atik camera and set the focuser to that calculated distance. I just get the smudge of light, adjusting focus doesn't work, but rotating the telescope moves the smudge of light across the image. I've attached a dark too. I'm asking Atik what they think, the think the dark is fine at least. Sorry for the delay and thanks so much for your input! tree.fit dark300s3.fit
  16. It's connected to a usb2 port. as for power, its connected to a 12v battery (with a measured voltage of around 12.3v with the camera on and cooling). The sensor looks fine though!
  17. Thanks, I'll take a photo. I can capture images fine, I just cant get the images to show anything useful. Everything appears smudged wildly towards the top of the image.
  18. I was using the software that comes with it (artemis capture) to take those images. I've also used indi on a raspberry pi to control it. I'll attach a dark later Thanks for your reply!
  19. Old camera, I know.. purchased second hand. I think its broken though, but I'm finding it difficult to test. I cant get any stars to show up, the best I managed was to get the moon as a very elongated blur (elongated upwards always). I cant get anything meaningful when trying it out with the telescope during the day, but I may be struggling to find focus. The CCD is certainly sensitive to light as taking an exposure of a light yields a white frame. I've tried taking some shots of a torch with a pinhole lens made out of tinfoil and have attached the results. Are these upward smudges normal? I'm not using any filters or anything (as I dont have any yet). Does this camera seem broken to you? Do you think Atik will be able to repair it? Does anyone have any suggestions! I'm not really sure where to go next with this.. test1.tif test2.tif test3.tif I have a previous thread here:
  20. I tried the pinhole technique, with a few exposures and different sized holes. I just get noise or gradients. I'm getting fairly sure that the camera is defective.. It is sensitive to light, in that shining a torch at it will give you a white exposure, but that seems to be extent of it. Thanks so much for the help guys.
  21. Yeah I've tried during the day. I aimed at a corner between the roofs of two houses. I measured the distance between the back of the scope and the DSLR sensor and then tried with the CCD at the same distance, changing the focus a little around this point. I still get an image which just looks like a gradient between white at the bottom and black at the time. Even if its badly out of focus, the image should look like V shaped. I've never managed to get any meaningful images from this camera.. I'm wondering if it may be defective. Its sensitive to light, in that shining a torch at it makes the entire exposure white, but aside from that, it doesn't seem to work. Does anyone know of some other way of testing these cameras?
  22. Do you use the field flattener? because I this reduces the focal length and must therefore reduce the back focus you need! Thanks for the replies everyone, I will try focusing during the day.
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