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V-Gear TalkCam Tracer CCD Webcam as alternative to SPC900NC


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I had no joy buying a SPC900NC at a reasonable price but I managed to buy a V-Gear TalkCam Tracer CCD webcam on eBay for £5. It uses the same same 1/4" Sony CCD chip (ICX098BQ). It even says so on the front of the box.

I was wondering if anyone had converted it to use with their telescope. It uses USB 2.0 and there is a Windows 7 driver so wondering if it may be even better than the SPC900NC. Here are the full specs:

Interface: USB 2.0

Sensor: 1/4" SONY ICX098BQ CCD Sensor

Sensitivity: <1 lux

Effective pixels:1.3 Mega Pixels

Max Resolution:1280x 960

Colour depth: 24-bit (16.7 million colours)

Max Frame Rate: 30fps (640 x 480: 30fps, 1280 x 960: 15fps)

Lens view angle: 52

Focus range: 4.3mm to infinity

White Balance: Auto

Auto Exposure (AE): Auto

USB cable length:150cm

Weight: 65g (USB cable included)

Dimension: 70mm x 80mm x 68mm

Clipper width: 5mm~25mm.

Working temperature: 5~40C

Working humidity: 20~80

Rating voltage: 5V

Rating power consumption:1050mW

Rating input current: 210mA

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ordered one of these after too failing to get a SPC900 at a decent price. It arrived today and it installed ok with Windows Vista.

Tried it with Sharpcap although on the settings there is no gain slider. Will this be a problem when it comes to imaging? Aslo on the Colour Space/Compression option you can select either RGB24 or 1420. Again anybody know what the difference is?

I have an adaptor and the thread looks same size once you've unscrewed the lens but there is a raised silver collar on the webcam so this looks like it needs to be trimmed down flush before the adaptor will fit.

Radders

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  • 2 weeks later...

lol yeah probably not the neatest job ever! I took it apart (there is some tiny screws on the casing) and undid the pcb board leaving me with just the front bit with the collar. I used a junior hacksaw and tried to cut it as flush as possible. This means the centre piece with the thread came loose so i pushed it back through from the inside of the front case and attached it all back together. I thought about gluing it but that could get messy.

It seems to ok. Just waiting for some clear weather to try it out!

Radders

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Thanks for posting Radders. I was hoping when I bought it the lens would just unscrew and I could screw the webcam adaptor in. I was hoping that it would look nice and neat but I don't thnk it will by when I finally get round to doing mine.

Hope to hear about your experiences of using it and seeing some pics soon.

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You mean the centre piece with the thread? I know it comes loose so i put mine back through the front from the inside of the housing if that makes any sense :). Then put the whole lot back together and screwed the adaptor in.

Radders

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Well I've finally managed to get out and try this webcam tonight. This was with a x2 barlow. Captured with SharpCap,pre-processed with PIPP (hadn't a clue what I was doing) and stacked with Registax 6.

If anyone would like to give me any pointers on how to make this better, please do.

Radders

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