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Kyuzumaki

My toucam is broken... replacement suggestions

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I had a pcvc740k flashed with 900ncp firmware which has now stopped working despite a few revival attempts. 

Im looking for some recommendations for a replacement camera I've been considering the ZWO ASI120MC USB 2.0 (I can't see a real reason to go for USB 3.0?) but am open to suggestions. Already have an un-modified cannon D450 which has been quite good for a bit of deep sky imaging. My budget is about £200 at maximum.

Scope is an explorer 200p and a Skymax 180

Edited by Kyuzumaki

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The higher frame rates of usb3 are very useful when planetary imaging, it increases your chances of capturing good frames and more of them. You will also increase the signal to noise ratio of your final image by being able to stack more frames. That being said I don't know of any usb3 camera's for under £200.

The Altair GPCAM V2 IMX224 is £189.00. That chip is a lot more sensitive than the 120MC.

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It will depend on what you want to use it for, guiding, imaging? Do you need colour? Mono will be much more sensitive for guiding and is fine for most lunar/solar imaging.

You might want to consider the Altair GPCAM range. I have just upgraded from a ASI120MM to a GPCAMv2 130 and is is significantly more sensitive for Ha solar imaging.

Then there are the QHY5 range of cameras also to consider.

The ASI120 USB2.0 cameras are getting a bit old now and there are a few known problems with them.

 

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2 hours ago, james_screech said:

It will depend on what you want to use it for, guiding, imaging? Do you need colour? Mono will be much more sensitive for guiding and is fine for most lunar/solar imaging.

You might want to consider the Altair GPCAM range. I have just upgraded from a ASI120MM to a GPCAMv2 130 and is is significantly more sensitive for Ha solar imaging.

Then there are the QHY5 range of cameras also to consider.

The ASI120 USB2.0 cameras are getting a bit old now and there are a few known problems with them.

 

I was going to say it's the same sensor in both, which it is as far as I can tell, the data sheets and specs are identical - except for the spectral responses are different so maybe there is a different coating process on one vs the other - here I've overlayed the QE%'s

59c90a13d9f25_MT9M034vsAR0130QE.thumb.png.aa78110999fceed0a5cacd30179a38d9.png 

The AR0130CS mono sensor is more sensitive right at h-alpha like 75% QE vs 54% of the MT9M034.

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Great animation of jupiter!

I was planning to get a colour camera for ease of use. I did some research and it seems the ZWO  ASI120MC uses the AR0130 CMOS sensor which is the same one used by the mono version of the Altair Astro GPCAM v2. Seems alot cheaper for the same sensor. I found the datasheet for the sensor here.

https://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/AR0130CS-D.PDF

Worth noting the bayer filter on the colour version means some of the effective resolution is lost but I can live with that as I don't have a filter wheel and buying one would cut too much from my budget.

So far i'm still thinking the ZWO is the winner. Hard to beat at £140

In terms of capture software compatibility, drivers and reliability/bugs are there any known issues?

 

Edited by Kyuzumaki

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13 hours ago, Kyuzumaki said:

Great animation of jupiter!

I was planning to get a colour camera for ease of use. I did some research and it seems the ZWO  ASI120MC uses the AR0130 CMOS sensor which is the same one used by the mono version of the Altair Astro GPCAM v2. Seems alot cheaper for the same sensor. I found the datasheet for the sensor here.


https://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/AR0130CS-D.PDF

Worth noting the bayer filter on the colour version means some of the effective resolution is lost but I can live with that as I don't have a filter wheel and buying one would cut too much from my budget.

So far i'm still thinking the ZWO is the winner. Hard to beat at £140

In terms of capture software compatibility, drivers and reliability/bugs are there any known issues?

 

I've never had an issue with the drivers or any bugs - I use sharpcap for capturing images from it and polar alignment, then PHD for guiding.

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Thanks everyone for the input, I've opted to go for the 120MC from FLO :happy11: on the basis that its quite cheap, will be a decent planetary imager, is an upgrade from the toucam and a good guide camera for deep space imaging with my DSLR. If i decide to upgrade and go mono I think I'd go for the 178MM.

@TareqPhoto Are you asking about factory repair of the camera? If so I doubt it as they are well out of manufacturing. The camera worked the last time I imaged Jupiter but when I connected it recently it complained device descriptor not found, lots of computers drivers google searches occured to no avail. As a last attempt I tried wiring in a new usb cable case it was just a loose connection but it didn't help. I suspect something inside has broken, if i could put the CCD into something else it would be nice but I honestly don't have the first clue about where to start on that kind of project. 

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