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Craney

Is there a bluetooth CCD imaging camera ??

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Evening everybody.  

Looking at the jumble of wires hanging off my  HEQ5 the other night I was wondering if you could buy a dongle type accessory that would eliminate the need for my  ZWO 120mc to be hard-wired to the laptop when imaging or even for guiding. ie a bluetooth link ?

It is not a massive inconvenience , but it all does tend to become Knitting when I decide to swap an image of a setting Venus to one of a rising Leo.

Am I being very naive in terms of data transmission and bandwiths ??     It would make a great accessory.

 

Cheers for any info.

 

Sean.

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You could use an USB hub and a power hub attached to the dovetail with Velcro. Then you would have only two cables going down. Use double shielded USB cables to prevent interferences and induction from the power cables.

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Thanks  Waldemar ,

Yes,  I think the future does lie in the direction of  ' systemic simplification'.    I was initially looking at an dongle device that plugs into the Skywatcher Handset port on the mount and allows EQMOD to aim the scope from a remote laptop or phone.  I am liking the idea of that.

Alas.... I would still be tethered to the ZWO120MC  to image and the laptop would still be outside, next to the scope.    Unless I got a seriously long USB cable..... which invites even more tangling.   So your suggestion is a good one.

I  am not an expert on data transmission, but I could well imagine that a high-res image at 70 fps would ask alot of the dongle anyway.

 

Hope the skies are better in the Netherlands than they are here !!

Regards,

Sean.

 

 

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Thanks Atreta,   that looks interesting.   .... and possibly a cheap solution to an AP issue.......  no, surely not, there needs to be at least another 2 zero's on that price tag !!

Just as an after thought..... where would the camera get its power from?  I think the ZWO 120MC gets it from the direct USB connection.  So I might need a camera with a separate power lead,...... which probably means those two extra zero's appear in the price tag again   !!!

Sean.

Edited by Craney

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For remote wired control, I use an Icron Ranger, which is attached to the mount as well.  Could use it as an USB hub too...though the cat cable is a bit rigid when the Icron Ranger is attached to a dovetail and has to go down from the mount.
 It can handle 100 meters over a cat5 ethernet cable.
I have no problems with my camera's, mount, autofocus or whatever. You will have to check if the ZWO may cause problems. Mine did, but all other cameras run perfectly.
A cheaper solution would be : http://www.silexeurope.com/2293a709701afef188c311e2ef38128e/en/home/products/usb-device-servers/ds-600.html

Personally I do not like wireless solutions because of connection problems. On top of that wired is a lot faster.

For power I made my own hub, not a difficult job at all. Just need some soldering skill. (and be carefull to use the connectors with positive on the right terminal)

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Coming from an IT background I'm amazed that these dedicated imaging cameras don't have the option to run untethered and just record to an SD card. Should be technically feasible, particularly with high-capacity fast cards designed for HD video.

As to Bluetooth I think you simply wouldn't have the bandwidth for video imaging of solar system objects. Perfectly straightforward for DSOs though.

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10 hours ago, kiloran said:

Coming from an IT background I'm amazed that these dedicated imaging cameras don't have the option to run untethered and just record to an SD card. Should be technically feasible, particularly with high-capacity fast cards designed for HD video.

As to Bluetooth I think you simply wouldn't have the bandwidth for video imaging of solar system objects. Perfectly straightforward for DSOs though.

While imaging you want a computer at hand to run several programs, needed for controlling the mount through planetarium software, run a filterwheel,  a sequence program for imaging and a few others, so making the camera's even more expensive by adding rather huge filing facilities would not be appreciated by most astro photographers. Some camera's do have a small internal  memory to smoothen the download of the subs to a pc while imaging, but they rarely exceed 32Mb.

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Unless you propose that the CCDs are battery powered, then there will be a cable anyway. There are all in one type CCDs available, which are great for hyperstar type configs to avoid cable spikes. http://www.365astronomy.com/Astrel-Instruments-AST8300-A-C-FW-Stand-Alone-Cooled-Colour-CCD-Camera-with-7-position-Filter-Wheel-with-KAF-8300-Sensor.html

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Appreciate the need for running auxiliary programs but wonder if there is a "good enough" sweet-spot for minimising the number of peripherals. For example, a GoPro has a battery and built-in storage good enough for 2 hours of HD video. I can see a future where Celestron upgrade Starsense to enable use as a guide camera. Telescope control is already possible from smartphone and likewise you can also control an intervalometer with a smartphone. If the camera had built-in storage then potentially you could make the whole setup wireless and run it from the scope power supply.

I think my IT background just makes me nervous about trailing cables and having laptop electronics in an often damp and muddy environment :)

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4 hours ago, MattJenko said:

Unless you propose that the CCDs are battery powered, then there will be a cable anyway. There are all in one type CCDs available, which are great for hyperstar type configs to avoid cable spikes. http://www.365astronomy.com/Astrel-Instruments-AST8300-A-C-FW-Stand-Alone-Cooled-Colour-CCD-Camera-with-7-position-Filter-Wheel-with-KAF-8300-Sensor.html

there still is a power cable needed... Not easy to draw 2.2 Amps from a battery in a camera for an extended period of time

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3 hours ago, kiloran said:

Appreciate the need for running auxiliary programs but wonder if there is a "good enough" sweet-spot for minimising the number of peripherals. For example, a GoPro has a battery and built-in storage good enough for 2 hours of HD video. I can see a future where Celestron upgrade Starsense to enable use as a guide camera. Telescope control is already possible from smartphone and likewise you can also control an intervalometer with a smartphone. If the camera had built-in storage then potentially you could make the whole setup wireless and run it from the scope power supply.

I think my IT background just makes me nervous about trailing cables and having laptop electronics in an often damp and muddy environment :)

Humidity is no problem at all for electronics anymore:  NanoProtech Electric does a perfect job. You even can throw your equipment in a bucket of water and it just keeps working. I tried it!!!
and use it on all my electric and electronic equipment. You have to take things apart though, to get a real good coverage.
Really nice wired solutions are available as well, so you can stay in a dry and warm environment with your PC or laptop. Personally I prefer the wired solutions over wireless because of transfer speed and connection issues.

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