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Mr TamiyaCowboy

MS lifecam HD-5000 converted

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You need:

HD-5000 lifecam (omnivision OV9712 Cmos chip ) 720p

1x 35mm film canister in black

a cheap/old project box ( maplins etc etc)

some glue and an hour or so in time

Pic 1:

this shows the webcam minus its flashy front covering, i removed this covering lifting a corner and peeling back. this uncovers two screws holding the cameras two parts together. take these out.

Pic 2:

now we have split the two halves. the front half holds the cameras mic and ground cable. the rear half holds the PCB, on the left side is the camera usb connection, to the right the mic's connection. to get the cable out from rear case, use a craft knife to scrape away the glue, then needle nose piers and twist/pull free ( remember to remove connections ) the cable and the clip type holder all comes away

Pic 3:

main board : here you can see i removed the lens after i forgot to photo it.

red ring: the blue SM l.e.d covered with artists black paint, a couple coats should do.

green ring : this is the + imput to the lens. if we de-solder/cut this the shoddy MS auto focus is disabled, (if used in a car )

green + blue ring: desolder both of these while lens is still fitted. we do not need these. unscrew the lens holding plate from the rearside of the board, slip off the rear chipset heatsink, to get to the two screws holding plate to pcb and place this into a container covered ( no dust on Cmos )

Now we pull the lens unit apart. pry of the metal cover from all four sides. pop this off. unclip the small plate holding lens in place, then pull out lens snipping coper wire connections.

Keep stripping down until you have a single plate like above picture with a large'ish center hole. screw this back onto the pcb.

mount your PCB board into your new camera housing. remember to cut out hole so light can hit the Cmos sensor. superglue and some plastic standoffs are ideal. plug in and test does the sensor see light and shadow.

Pic 4+5

take your container lid and in the center drill out a hole the same size as hole in the lens plate you just fitted back to the board. glue this over the hole in your project box where your sensor fits. like in pic 5

next cut the bottom of your film can like in pic 5 and slip this into the container lid like in pic 4. leave the box for a good 2hrs or so, this lets the glue set and everything settle.

Final product looks ugly, feels like a eggshell, but does the job just fine.

Do Not install the microsoft drivers, allow WDM to take over. i found sharpcap to be perfect. sorry no long exposure here, and gain control is tied with brightness.

thank you for viewing my BYW ( bash your webcam) conversion to astrocam

Tami

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Edited by Mr TamiyaCowboy

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I came across a problem, when trying camera in telescope focuser. i would find the view blurred, and unable to focus in enough.

if you are have this problem , not able to in focus enough with a webcam, you may wish to remove your eyepiece holder, and test camera you should find your telescope now allows camera to focus.

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What scope and f-ratio did you used? If you use f/15 or more - you get big overscaling and blurry image.

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What scope and f-ratio did you used? If you use f/15 or more - you get big overscaling and blurry image.

scope used was a SW heritage 76 (76mm / 300mm @f3.9 )

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Ah :) this one may have very low backfocus, but as it's f/4 it can use 2x Barlow to bump the focus point up.

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Ah :) this one may have very low backfocus, but as it's f/4 it can use 2x Barlow to bump the focus point up.

will a barlow make my photographs more bigger ie: more mag

without a webcam and using a 10mm eyepiece i am unable to get stars to pinpoint. and Googling has no hints on how to adjust mirror. i think it is glued into place so i cannot even adjust it forwards a half inch, and thus throw the focal plane out more

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That scope is just a starter scope. It's not something good or intended for imaging. You will need a motorised mount to make long enough recording :)

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Yes i understand the table top scope is just for starters. i did own a tasco thing but was so let down by it at a younger age.

i found the small 3' mirror good for the moon at primary focus, but getting the focus bang on was somewhat a hit and miss affair, a slight touch to the focuser would have picture way out of focus.

i am looking to upgrade scope for a larger version, maybe a dobson, or goto type design, and then maybe upgrade the camera to 1080P type. something around the £250 price mark, i think i could get an 8' for about that price if i haggle with the store owner.

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The brighter the scope is (like f/3.9) the harder is to focus (as the focus point is smaller). If you want to upgrade and do planetary/lunary images you will need something that is motorised and follows objects on its own - some did used motorized dobs for that, but usually it's motorised EQ type mount.

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ReHacked :

i rehacked the webcam's PCB into a more slimline box.

after coming out of the radio control hobby, i have lots of spares laying around.

after some digging i found two receivers housed in small plastic boxes. back then i used to de-house these receivers to gain a couple grams in weight on aircraft.

now i have fitted the pcb into a 3.5cm width x 5.5cm length box. but am unable to mount it in a standard 1.25" focuser, i have salvaged a metal 1.25" nosepiece from an old 10mm eyepiece but have no idea how to fix it to my box.

i know for sure hot glue will not hold and superglue will be to brittle for metal-plastic bond. does anyone have any clue how i can fix a nosepiece to this plastic box ?

if i can get this nosepiece fixed in place safely and strong i will be able to have prime focus without need to remove focuser ring.

Edited by Mr TamiyaCowboy

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took a hacksaw to the old 10mm eyepiece body and sawed off the nosepiece screw thread. this allows me to superglue it to the plastic case and screw on an eyepiece nosecone.

this mod also allows me to add a 1.25" UV-IR filter and/or other filters.

will trow some pictures up of the new box housing and the nosepiece/ring mod.

spent 20 mins trawling astroboot for a fix and it was right under my nose.

also have kept both lens from the 10mm eyepiece they could come in handy else where

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Pic 1 : this is the receiver box from an old RC aircraft. the new donor box for the webcam pcb.

pic 2 : this was a skywatcher 10mm eyepiece. i unscrewed the nose cone, then using a hacksaw i carefuly cut off the thread off the body.

pic 3 : now i had removed the plastic threaded ring from the eyepiece i dabbed superglue around the none cut side of the ring and placed this onto the box.

pic 4 : here you can see the threaded plastic ring profile. this allows the nose cone to screw right down to the boxes surface, bringing the pcb closer to focal point.

i knew one day i would have a purpose for the odds and ends i have laying around from my old hobby. this little box is just perfect as a camera housing. the nosecone idea came from seeing other cams able to use 1.25" filters, and hence my conversion to allow IR/UV blocking filters to be added, and also color filtering.

the second smaller box reciever i have a different camera added but is small enough to fit my finderscope

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have taken a hd moon avi and stacked to a single frame.

at the time cam had been hard to reach focus, and in need of a IR-UV block filter.

the shot was taken via the MS hd 5000 at prime focus, the camera had no IR-UV filtering installed.

telescope used was a skywatcher heritage 76 table dobson

at 300mm focal @ F4.

i hope to get more images as the weather and evenings warm up the shot was taken from my windowsill, seeing was medium to good, medium light pollution. trying to track the moon was the main problem, it sure does shift across the sensor. on my eq1 with tracking it should be 80% better resolution and more crisp focus with the 114mm newton i have

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Edited by Mr TamiyaCowboy

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have taken a hd moon avi and stacked to a single frame.

at the time cam had been hard to reach focus, and in need of a IR-UV block filter.

the shot was taken via the MS hd 5000 at prime focus, the camera had no IR-UV filtering installed.

telescope used was a skywatcher heritage 76 table dobson

at 300mm focal @ F4.

i hope to get more images as the weather and evenings warm up the shot was taken from my windowsill, seeing was medium to good, medium light pollution. trying to track the moon was the main problem, it sure does shift across the sensor. on my eq1 with tracking it should be 80% better resolution and more crisp focus with the 114mm newton i have

Wonder how this would compare to a lifecam ?

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the cinema is able to fit into only eyepiece extenders. this pcb is to big to fit inside a 1.25" eyepiece holder.

i think they are roughly the same. am not sure on what imaging chip the cinema runs on

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