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iskywatch

SCB-2000 First light, not great

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I decided to have a go with the SCB-2000 video camera. I used a GSO 0.5 focal reducer in front of the CCD to make the C8 a bit faster for imaging and had C8 mounted to the Atlas.

After a very accurate polar alignment I attached my telrad and camera to the C8 and rebalanced everything. The first issue I encountered was that the Dazzle capture device decided not not work! I uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers, rebooted, killed 2 chickens but to no avail... blank screen! The temperature was about 41 degrees with a nice stiff wind at my back.

I had an older LCD tv with me as well and decided to use that. Success! That SCB menu was on the screen and I went about applying the recommended settings from the growing group of SCB user on the net.

After everything was completed I performed my 3 start alignment for the Atlas utilizing the camera and LCD screen. I used Sirius as my first alignment star noticed that the background was quickly becoming overexposed. Sirius was visible as a very bright star on the screen but as the frame integration progressed the background became washed out and grainy. I reset the integration and a few other settings and things became more tolerable. I continued my alignment and was ready to begin.

The first object, although low on the horizon, was M42. As the camera began to resolve the field the trapezium popped into view. After a few seconds the screen became grainy, bright white like before. The nebula was visible but it seemed impossible to find the correct setting combination to keep the contrast dark and allow M42 to be shown. I have watched a few videos of this on youtube and these folks did not seem to have the same issues I was encountering. Perhaps a light pollution filter would have been appropriate at the time? My location wasn't the darkest and I suspect that had a lot to do with problem I encountered.

I began looking for something a bit higher in the atmosphere. I found NGC 2244 ( Rosette Nebula ) around 29 degrees above the horizon and slewed the mount to it. Once again I began resolving the core stars and just as some detail began to emerge the screen began to white out as before. I set the frame integration from 8 seconds to 3 seconds and the screen became darker but i lost the emerging detail.

I began toying with the settings on the LCD itself to see if I could compensate but the menu system was horrendous and I think I actually did more damage.

I reset the LCD and SCB camera settings to default and began again. The wind was blowing harder and it was getting much colder. The final object was the double cluster. I slewed the Atlas and the Double was centered perfectly on the screen. I adjusted a couple of setting on the camera and the double popped out on the screen! The frame integration was set lower so the screen was darker. Still not what I was expecting to see but getting a bit better.

I ordered a Baader Planetarium IR/UV cut filter to see if that will help it out a bit. I also ordered a new USB dongle type frame grabber that has proper drivers for Windows 7.

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i got mine almost a week ago, but it was too damn cloudy to give a try...cant wait !!!!

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i still didnt figure out what i am doing wrong ! so frustating !! the first thing that crossed my mind is probably an bad alignament..i assume. still managing to browse amoung the settings...hope next time i can figure out. did you removed the built in IR filter??

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Yes I removed the filter. I now have a Baader IR/Uv cut filter screwed into the nosepiece. Im hoping to get outside this evening as it is supposed to be nice weather. My setup now consists of this ( un-tested ) . scb-2000 ---> nosepiece ---> ir/uv cut filter ---> gso .5 reducer ---> orion imaging filter. Hopefully these are in the correct order

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Yes, please, someone say he's had luck with the SCB2000 and share your experience! I'm on the verge of investing in one.

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I have the SDC-435 (AFAIK the same as the SCB-2000). A Baader Neodymiun filer helps get rid of some of the skyglow and increases contrast a bit.
Edited by michaelmorris
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I have the SDC435 - I use manual exposure and gradually increase the exposure once I have found the target. (AGC set to high).

I also disable the noise reduction - using this effectively increases the exposure time so best to start out with it off and increase once you have found the target. with an AZ mount field rotation will become a problem.

The Baader Skyglow filter helps a lot - mine is an old one without the IR block.

Hope this helps

Paul

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ok im a bit of a noob with this camera for videoing space. i removed my ir filter and now everythings pinky red.  how do i fix this problem??  i dont have any ir blocking filter because i thought the reason to remove the filter in the first place was to let ir in??? am i missing something??? 

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ok im a bit of a noob with this camera for videoing space. i removed my ir filter and now everythings pinky red.  how do i fix this problem??  i dont have any ir blocking filter because i thought the reason to remove the filter in the first place was to let ir in??? am i missing something??? 

Ant, the factory fitted IR filters in Video cameras are no good for Astro work. They cut off at the wrong places in the Spectrum cutting off a lot of what you are trying to see.

Whereas, a special high quality Astronomy IR or IR/UV filter is designed to cut off at the correct places in the spectrum.

Do your self a favour and DONT buy a cheap IR filter as they are nearly as bad as the ones that the factory puts in the cameras.

Get either a Baader or an Astronomiks 'L' filter.

Personally, I use Astronomiks 'L' UV/IR cut filter when I bother to use a filter.

http://www.astronomik.com/en/photographic-filters/l-filter.html

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When you remove the factory ir filter you will have to manually set white balance during the day when the sun is out. I use the scb 2000.

My settings:

Agc on low

Manuel exposure

Ssnr half way up

Ssdr half way up

I play around with brightness, ssdr, and ssnr to try to achieve a better a better image, but most of the time i don't.

I have posted some images on here and on astro video forum.

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