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Webcam for solar mainly, but also planets and moon


Luke
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Any suggestions on the best webcam(s) for my needs?

My total budget is about £800 max, but if something is nearly as good for a fraction of the price, that might tempt!

I would like to do solar Ha, white light, planets and moon, ideally with the same camera, unless it makes sense to go for more than one webcam.

I'd prefer the cam to work best for solar Ha (Solar Max II 60 double stack BF10).

Not as important as solar Ha, I'd like to have a go at solar white light (100mm refractor), planets (Edge 8) and moon (Edge 8). Ideally the camera would be a step up on the SPC900, which I have tried on planets and the moon briefly. I've mainly done DSO with a DSLR before and want to switch my imaging to webcam mostly.

Also, would I be far better using the webcam on my C11 SCT instead of my Edge 8? I'm thinking of selling the C11 to free up funds - and storage space! I could sell an NEQ6 as well if the C11 goes, as the Edge 8 is fine I believe on my HEQ5. Or would I be mad to sell the C11 given the above?

Thank you for any help! Before I started looking into this, I was thinking it would be easy to choose a webcam! :eek::grin:

Luke

Edited by Luke
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I had a similar problem moving up from a SPC900 and wanting to do H-alpha (full disk on my LS35), lunar (full disk on 80mm F/6) and planetary (C8). Full disk lunar and solar requires 1/2" chip size (QH5, ASI130MM or DMK41). The DMK is more expensive, but has much lower background noise patterns (but a better quantum efficiency: 55%). The DMK41 has a rather slow frame rate for planetary however. The ASI130 is much better in that respect (and also allows you to take ROI images at massive frame rates). The noise of the ASI can be controlled by darks, but processing is a bit more of a hassle. By contrast, the ASI120MM (or MC if you want one shot colour) has a 1/3" chip, which is just a bit shy of full disk. It has much lower noise than the ASI130MM, and a QE of 75%: better than the DMK21-618. It also has a higher resolution, so is a really good camera. It is also comparatively cheap. It is on my shopping list for planetary, even though the ASI130MM is no slouch:

Jupiter with ASI130MM

post-5655-0-86765800-1366623456_thumb.pnpost-5655-0-12989800-1366623282_thumb.pn

The sun and the moon with ASI130MM

post-5655-0-69935400-1368435450_thumb.pnpost-5655-0-01088700-1358979205_thumb.jp

I think your budget would allow getting both these cameras: the ASI130 (or even a DMK41) for solar/lunar and the ASI120 for planets. You could also first get the ASI120 and use that for everything, until such time as you feel the need for a bigger chip.

Regarding the scopes: the C11 should be much better on planets than the Edge8. All the gain in quality is at the edges of the FOV, which are not used for planetary

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I'd agree that the ASI120 models would be worth a look for planetary. Many people are using them to produce fantastic images now. I think the choice for solar is more tricky really. Being able to get the full solar image on a single frame with the DMK41 is nice, but to me it seems like a lot of cash for an otherwise not particularly stunning camera.

James

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Thanks for the suggestions! :)

Another consideration is that my main visual scope is a 16 inch flextube goto, which seems to track well. Maybe I could use the webcam on that for moon and planets and let the C11 go after all?

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Thanks, Steve.

I've been going through riklaunim's posts and website, most informative! :smiley:

Best man to contact is ' riklaunim ' , nothing he doesn't know regarding planetary cameras and sensors.

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Thanks, James.

Wow, there are some amazing images here on SGL being done with dobs!

I was hoping to try the 400p flextube last night with the SPC900 to see if it tracks well enough for planetary imaging, but couldn't get the webcam to work. Should have tested the webcam indoors first! :BangHead:

There are plenty of people using goto dobs for planetary imaging quite successfully, certainly.

James

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I do have two powermates and a barlow, which I think/hope I can stack in various ways to get 2x, 2.5x, 4x and 5x.

Having checked out some images taken with a Solar Max 60, I'm now pulled more strongly to the solar imaging! I'm obviously not going to get anything like the image link below, by Paul Haese, but, wow, what an inspiration!

Mosaic%202%20September%202011%20thumb.jpg

You'll get fantastic footage with a 16" scope and an SPC , especially if you catch a bit of still air , save the camera cash for a top quality barlow/powermate.

Happy hunting ... :laugh:

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