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Xbox Livecam Mod (Cliff)


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OK, as promised, two images of Jupiter, one from the Xbox cam, the other from the Toucam Pro II. You can see the Toucam is more sensitive as it picked up two moons and there is more detail on Jupiter

I went off Cliff's instructions and figured I would take pictures and explain in a bit more detail...Thanks for the initial mod Cliff. Here is the beginning...Materials used: 1. livecam 2. Plastic ru

Found another bit of film from last night which gives a little more detail from the xboxcam...

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Some sample images would help people work out if there is any further advice to give. Blow out is a common problem to all photography. As such it's fairly well understood, and so is fixing it most of the time.

Drat - I don't have registax on this PC but I have the raw video so uploaded to Youtube here but unfortunately even at 480p their compression removes most of the detail.

I've linked to a reasonable section 50% of the way through - change quality to 480p then press the keyboard shortcut '5' whilst playing to return to that point.

That said, what I have is the same colour, just a good deal sharper. Registax didn't manage to improve at all on the colour information either, just the sharpness.

I should add that a 2x barlow was also used. Again, the non-barlowed image was smaller and sharper but with no colour at all. With the lens on used as a webcam (or with it removed but pointing at a sodium streetlamp) colour shows up fine so I don't think it's a dud camera.

Edited by vince1976
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I think you have too much exposure. Either change that in the webcam setup window if you can or use a neutral density filter to reduce the light. Or maybe put the cap on the scope with the small aperture uncovered.

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Lower exposure is probably worth a try I think. I've seen it said that one notch lower than you would think quite often gets the result! Not sure if it works for planets but I've noticed something like that in a lot of photo situations. I guess the main thing to stress here is that you can almost always dig out some extra brightness after the event, but once an image is blown by the over exposure, there's no getting the detail to return.

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Seems to be that it may be several stops overexposed. Webcams have quite a reasonable dynamic range. BTW don't use auto-exposure or you're bound to be overexposed with all that black around the planet. I've generally found with webcams that the exposure needs to be near the minimum (or at it). Jupiter is very bright. It's being small that stops it almost blinding you (like the moon).

Edited by Gina
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hi just doing the mod on my xbox livecam, all is going well but one point i'm not sure about. the little black IR lens holder inside the front cover this is to come off but what about the IR lens, don't we need this anymore or can we put the black IR lens holder back on with the IR lens in place. not sure about wether we need the IR lens or not. total novice just starting out into astro photography so excuse my ignorence.

cheers chris.

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hi just doing the mod on my xbox livecam, all is going well but one point i'm not sure about. the little black IR lens holder inside the front cover this is to come off but what about the IR lens, don't we need this anymore or can we put the black IR lens holder back on with the IR lens in place. not sure about wether we need the IR lens or not. total novice just starting out into astro photography so excuse my ignorence.

cheers chris.

I put the lens holder and adjuster back on again as otherwise I wouldn't be able to focus the webcam. And I'll inevitably use it for afocal photos, so kinda need the focusing widget.

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I did this one a but different than my previous Jupiter attempt. I used autostakkert 2 to align and stack, then registax 6 for RGB align, RGB balance, and wavelets, that was about it. I originally just used RS6 but it didn't bring out nearly as much detail. Autostakkert2 is really easy to use, there doesn't seem to be many options (which is good for me as I haven't got a clue what I'm doing :p), I think I only clicked 3 buttons!

Give it a try.

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I havent tryed using stacker imager software's yet with my collection cams

i just used simple software to take snap shot images i mite try stacker software sometime take some raw images mind you i havent got much gb space only have about 2gb on me old laptop installed saluki linux on that thing and mini laptop got couple gb's left and me pc think only got about 8gb lol does using stacker software use lots space ?

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i mite try stacker software sometime take some raw images

Wooooah, are we saying there is a way to get raw image output from these cams? Sounds very interesting if it is so. Could be very useful at times could that. How does that work then? :p

Edited by Flying Eye
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I havent tryed using stacker imager software's yet with my collection cams

i just used simple software to take snap shot images i mite try stacker software sometime take some raw images mind you i havent got much gb space only have about 2gb on me old laptop installed saluki linux on that thing and mini laptop got couple gb's left and me pc think only got about 8gb lol does using stacker software use lots space ?

I think the mars avi I used was about 1.25gb just for the video, I think you'll need a bit more space. To get the best out of these cams I'd say you want at least 1000 frames stacked together.

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I use sharpcap to capture the video, I can't remember the settings off the old dome, but I don't use the highest image size. It wouldn't capture at 10fps at that setting so I dropped it down a couple. I have the gain at virtually nothing then get the exposure until its just too dim, I then push the gain up a fraction until I'm happy with it (total guesswork, I don't know if that's the right way to do it) I leave white balance on auto and most of the others are around the mid position. Hope this helps.

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Did mod successfully, and have adapted it to fit into the finder-scope (50mm f5) from my 200P.

I was able to find stars some of the brighter stars (between the clouds!). Next clear night I'm going to have a got at trying to use it to as a manual guiding aid - I'll let you know how it goes...

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I've noticed in SharpCap that you can control the "gain" of the sensor. I'm not 100% sure, but I think this is only possible with a CCD sensor- suggesting that the chip is in fact CCD!!

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