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Chipped TouCams


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I am thinking about getting a TouCam and have been looking on the Modern Astronomy web site. They are selling the standard colour cam or for a hefty amount extra a rechipped monochrome version which has a better resolution. Am I right in thinking that to get colour images I will have to shoot the object 3 times using a different colour filter for each shot then add colour in an image editor and finally recombine using registax. Have I got the jist ? This will take up all my cloudy nights :shock:

Martin

BTW before I try this out I am going to try my compact digital camera out on a little mount gizmo for sale at Stockport binoculars and telescopes. It's not a bad camera which allows 16 second exposures and faster film settings so guess it's worth a try. Unless anyone thinks this is a really bad idea.

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Hi Martin,

I was visiting a friend last night who has an 8" Meade, he was messing around with a camera which sounds similar to yours in that it could do 15 second exposures. I'm not entirely sure how he was doing it but he was using the meades mount and piggy backing the camera on the scope to take some awesome shots, amazing what you can get from 15 seconds really so I definitely think it's worth a try.

With regards to the Toucam, you could always get the cheaper version, see how you get on with it and always have it modified later on, I know a few of the guys on the forum have taken this route and swear by coxellis who can do the modifications required for you. His a member of the forums so you could always try contacting him for some advice regarding mods....

Cheers,

Grant

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Hi Martin, having experienced the colour camera,s Yes they do require longer exposures, even the expensive ones need that compared to the mono ones, some colour ones work a lot better with ultra fast F ratios, like the hyper star or fast star system, but to be honest if it quality then take the mono route and later do lrgb imaging which will give you a far better colour response , i had the Atik 2c and found it useless, up against the Atik 2hs which is the mono version and a far better camera, digital camera.s however are alittle better ,like say the 300d which can give you lovely wide field images , unmodded ones do tend to be on the blue side which is not good for emission nebula which is seen as red , but for reflection nebula its spot on , like the running man or the pleaides, so its a hard thing to decide on really, whatever route you take its not an easy one to get good images you will have alot of learning to do and a lot of patience , believe me , its not just point and snap GOT YA , be prepared to spend a couple of hours on each object , of deep sky imaging , its a fascinating hobby.

Rog

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Hi Martin,

       I was visiting a friend last night who has an 8" Meade, he was messing around with a camera which sounds similar to yours in that it could do 15 second exposures. I'm not entirely sure how he was doing it but he was using the meades mount and piggy backing the camera on the scope to take some awesome shots, amazing what you can get from 15 seconds really so I definitely think it's worth a try.

      With regards to the Toucam, you could always get the cheaper version, see how you get on with it and always have it modified later on, I know a few of the guys on the forum have taken this route and swear by coxellis who can do the modifications required for you. His a member of the forums so you could always try contacting him for some advice regarding mods....

         Cheers,

                 Grant

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      With regards to the Toucam, you could always get the cheaper version, see how you get on with it and always have it modified later on, I know a few of the guys on the forum have taken this route and swear by coxellis

Thanks for the contact Grant. Will definitely consider that

Martin

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Thanks for that Roger.

It all sounds very complex which is part of the attraction. I am trying to keep the actual imaging as easy as possible esp given may limited gear - a borrowed 70mm undriven Lidl scope. Also I don't want to spend much on imaging gear until I am a little more advanced and know what I am doing. I am planning on starting with the moon and "easy" planets. The thing is, I can't get excited about taking an image of saturn or jupiter in B+W. I might be a dumbo with a scope but I can find my way around photoshop. I just want to check that I am on the right track re use of 3 shots using separate primary colour filters then adding in the primaries using photoshop.

Martin

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Martin

The SC1 modification on the ToU just enables it for long exposure. Coxellis charges £40 + £5 delivery for this (not including the camera!). He does a top quality job and a fast turnaround. However, many people (as Rog has said) take that one stage further and upgrade to a black and white chip version. This is more sensitive than the colour version, but either requires 4 separate exposures or adding colour in something like PS (four exposures are needed, Luminance, Reg, Green, Blue - although some people just do Reg and Blue and mix the two for the green layer).

If you see my lunar, Mars and Saturn images, they were taken with the colour ToU. There is also a thread where coxellis has posted comparison images of the B&W and Colour cameras.

I have just sent mine to Andy for upgraded to B&W (and extra cooling for really long exposures) and will also be running the camera in RAW mode. This then removes an additional layer of processing from the camera, but gives you more to do in Photoshop.

And as Rog has already said, you will need tonnes of patience - and a reticule eyepiece!!!!

Let us know what you decide :clouds2:

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Thanks Daz.

Is a luminance filter the same as an IR blocking filter? I can't find them. Scopesnskies have some affordable filters but can't find this.

Also how do you use a reticle eyepiece if the TouCam is inserted. Sorry to be so ignorant!

Martin

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Martin

I think luminance is usually unfiltered, but I believe that many people now use a Ha filter to act as the luminance layer. Rog might be able to clarify this a bit more... Luminence gives the overall brigytness and the colours then build up the details.

The reticule is used to centre the object within the FOV, so that when you put the camera in, you stand 1/2 a chance of getting the thing on the chip!!

The advice I got as was to start with the reticule in, centre it and focus, add a barlow, centre and focus and then swap for the camera and refocus

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Hmmm. I had this naive idea that I would be able to see the image from the webcam on my laptop. Without a motorized drive by the time I have put in the webcam it will be way off! I have seen some sort of side tube used for guiding which I guess would be an alternative.

Martin

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OK, the answer is yes, you will be able to see the image on the laptop, but you need to get the object on the chip first!

You can do it manually, but will take a little perserverence!

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It is the Lidl scope which I believe has an EQ2 clone mount except that (according to the popular astronomy forum) it is a mirror of this mount. It is possible fit a drive with a bit of engineering however the scope is only on loan to me until I get my new scope for my birthday in March - not decided on that yet but it will be driven!

Martin

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luminance as i do it is just with the HA filter for deep sky imaging mainly used for emission nebula and dark nebula, other filters can be used like the CLS filter or IR filter, luminance is the core image the main image that attracts the highest possible detail, for example when imaging the planets you will note most of all the excellent results come from a simple Atik 1hs this give super detail in lum , then they image in red green and blue filters . once that is done the processing colour is added to the main lum image , this is by far the best method for planets and deep sky imaging , not saying that good images cant be achieved through the normal Toucam , i still use that , and still hope one day to get that good seeing to nab a good image , you are getting a lot of info here Martin hope you are writing it all down lol , good thing really to get this before you splash out to much money .

on my last reply i was mainly talking about dso imaging , the Toucam pro or nex -imager are excellent for planets being as you are only using fast frame capture so the colour aspect does not come into it really , they will give you good colour , hope that helps a bit , keep firing the questions Martin thats what we are here for

Rog

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Sorry Rog I never got round to thanking you for your reply - I have been busy digesting it :lol: Have made notes :lol: Have bought the basic colour toucam to start off with. Have also had a chat with your mate Bern who was amazingly helpful. Thanks for you help Rog - I will PM you if I get stuck.

Martin

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No probs Martin , as i,m sure you will , i remember when i started using it for the first time , on the phone to Bern lol , i must say he has been a huge help back all those years ago now , never to much trouble for him, but yes, when you get started just shout if you want any help .

Rog

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