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Disappointed with DSO views? I have the answer!


Bazzaar
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Get a Samsung SCB 2001 camera and watch them on telly!

Get a dark sky and see the real thing. Only time I'm disappointed by DSO views is when I try to view in light-polluted places like my back garden.

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I bought a Samsung sdc435 off here, I haven't used anything else since...i'll only change it when I have enough cash for a watec....the best £75.00 i've ever spent on astronomy related gear....

ebay or alibaba?

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The Samsung SDC 435 (or SCB2000) is the ideal camera for entry into video astronomy.

Not only is it cheap, but it really is capable of extracting superb deep sky imagery from severely light polluted skies.

Heck, last night we were watching a full colour video feed of a deep sky object through thin cloud that seemed impenetrable to the eye.

With a little practice and experimentation, you'll be amazed at what can be seen in the most light polluted conditions.

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Why a CRT particularly?

Video displayed on a LCD screen can sometimes not look as good as it should.

For example a Video played on a PC screen can look pixelated but when streamed through a xbox 360 onto a CRT looks much better

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My thoughts here are the SCAG team, and using one of these in the dark site. Could be awsume!

Tim used a Mintron on his C11 from Turf Hill...very impressive results. :)

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Don't forget you'll need a good high capacity leisure battery and all the required bits. From memory that was another £90-100.

Plus can these video cameras stack on the fly? That's what makes the Mintron interesting. The live feed itself isn't that mind blowing. But once it started overlaying the images M51 really came alive.

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Its a very interesting field, and one I've been interested in for years. The thought of having your scope out in the cold and not you!.. that has a major plus for it!.

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Plus can these video cameras stack on the fly? That's what makes the Mintron interesting. The live feed itself isn't that mind blowing. But once it started overlaying the images M51 really came alive.

Thats what PhilJ's setup was doing next to my pitch at SGL6 although I think he was using a Watec which is probably more expensive (I don't know much about this stuff :)).

I'm firmly a visual observer but even I found seeing things like the Whale Galaxy, complete with it's "pup", live and coming via a 5" refractor pretty impressive :(

Mind you, Mark and I were seeing this direct, albeit in not so much detail, with our 6" scopes which was also pretty thrilling ;)

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Thats what PhilJ's setup was doing next to my pitch at SGL6 although I think he was using a Watec which is probably more expensive (I don't know much about this stuff :)).

I'm firmly a visual observer but even I found seeing things like the Whale Galaxy, complete with it's "pup", live and coming via a 5" refractor pretty impressive :(

Mind you, Mark and I were seeing this direct, albeit in not so much detail, with our 6" scopes which was also pretty thrilling ;)

I've seen a Watec, Mintron and Stellacam in action.....very impressive indeed. But i didn't realise these Samsung cameras were so capable for so little money.

Just don't know if i can be bothered with the flaff of a laptop, camera and cables (get a nervous twitch at the thought). I think i'll just let Rob do it and i'll watch the results.

Looks like this Samsung is quite the business for £80.

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Thats what PhilJ's setup was doing next to my pitch at SGL6 although I think he was using a Watec which is probably more expensive (I don't know much about this stuff :)).

I'm firmly a visual observer but even I found seeing things like the Whale Galaxy, complete with it's "pup", live and coming via a 5" refractor pretty impressive ;)

Mind you, Mark and I were seeing this direct, albeit in not so much detail, with our 6" scopes which was also pretty thrilling ;)

This is my thinking also John. I would feel like I'm two timing my EP's if I didn't use them :(

I think the problem is the solution. Yes it would be great to sit under LP skies but still get to view the cosmos but I feel it would soon become a slippery scope into imaging or watching a TV screen and leaving behind the true qualities of astronomical observing.

Watching a TV screen for me would detach me from the experience and not truly appreciate what it is I am looking at. BUT!!! I can't help thinking this would be a great idea for those nights when you finally get a break in the cloud only to find a high altitude haze is making visual observing impossible. Would I become an arm chair observer? Would it be like watching a program on TV? I don't know? Would the challenge of getting better images become more the interest than the actual observing itself maybe?

Edited by spaceboy
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Astronomy education and dealing with large groups when doing outreach is where video astronomy comes into its own.

In stead of having people take turns at an eyepiece (not knowing if they are, in fact seeing anything) and having to explain a million times what to look for and then hearing the "oh! You mean that little grey smudge is a nebula/galaxy?" we get to project the image on a screen in full colour (like in the books and on telescope brochures) and everyone then gets to see the thing as it should be seen.

It is then easy to point out features and stuff with a pointer.

It is also a vaulable aid in teaching people how to observe in that they would then try and spot the finer details that they were shown on the big screen next time they looked through the eyepiece.

Frankly, though, the last time I looked through an eyepiece was when aligning the piggybacked scope with an illuminated reticle eyepiece.

Prior to that........well........I can't remember when last I used an eyepiece for observing.

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Astronomy education and dealing with large groups when doing outreach is where video astronomy comes into its own.

In stead of having people take turns at an eyepiece (not knowing if they are, in fact seeing anything) and having to explain a million times what to look for and then hearing the "oh! You mean that little grey smudge is a nebula/galaxy?" we get to project the image on a screen in full colour (like in the books and on telescope brochures) and everyone then gets to see the thing as it should be seen.

It is then easy to point out features and stuff with a pointer.

It is also a vaulable aid in teaching people how to observe in that they would then try and spot the finer details that they were shown on the big screen next time they looked through the eyepiece.

Frankly, though, the last time I looked through an eyepiece was when aligning the piggybacked scope with an illuminated reticle eyepiece.

Prior to that........well........I can't remember when last I used an eyepiece for observing.

I can really see the appeal of this from the backgarden where my skies are pretty poor and visuals are limited. Plus i only get one night a month at the dark site. Hmm it's sounding more and more appealing. It would make it easier for my youngest to get more involved too. And my eldest could be in charge as it will be his scope that is best suited.

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I can really see the appeal of this from the backgarden where my skies are pretty poor and visuals are limited. Plus i only get one night a month at the dark site. Hmm it's sounding more and more appealing. It would make it easier for my youngest to get more involved too. And my eldest could be in charge as it will be his scope that is best suited.

My thoughts exactly Russ. But I can't help being a bit sceptical about performance on an alt-az mount. Bazzaar would you mind doing an experiment for all us Dob users? Try it with the tracking turned off and see if there is any image deterioration - maybe try this with different image integration times ? What is your 'scope's objective focal length as well?

great thread BTW. :)

Edited by Mutley
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Hi

I have the SDC435 PAL version as sold in the UK - higher resolution and longer integration times.

At max integration you are looking at an exposure time of just over 10 seconds. Without a focal reducer the camera gives a similar field of view to a 6mm eye piece. If you have no tracking you will see star trails (how

long does it take an object to drift across your field of view with a 6mm eyepiece depends upon the focal length of your scope and where in the sky it's pointed.

I use my camera on a SW Synscan AZ mount without problems - 10 second exposures do not show any noticeable field rotation.

The built in noise reduction effectively extends the integration time - it can take several minutes for the image to stabilise at max integration and max noise reduction.

However I can honestly say that from light polluted sites it got to be one of the best ways of seeing DSOs.

Some people might say that you may as well look at Hubble images on the Internet. But that's not the point - in the end with a video camera you have captured the photons with a modest scope and your own skill.

Just my 2d - that's old money!!

Cleat skies

Paul

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