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Butchless1

Simple USB eyepiece camera

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Butchless1    7

Hi

 

I'm looking for a simple usb camera to view objects through a laptop to show my family what we can see on a bigger screen. I'm not aiming for something for DSO but just to show the various smudges, clusters and planets as I would see at the eyepiece 

I'm wondering what anyone uses for such a purpose?

Any advice appreciated 

Thanks

Nick

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RobertI    1,126

I recommmed you ask this question on the Video Astronomy forum, as this is exactly the kind of thing they do, and you'll get some good advice. There are numerous options from webcams for £10's to dedicated Video Astromomy (aka EAA or Electronically Assisted Astronomy) cameras like the Atik Infinity at nearly £1000. Personally I use a mono Lodestar camera which you can pick up used for around £280. Mono cameras are much more sensitive and show 'brighter' images than colour. Look at at my website in my signature for some examples, images mostly captured in 30 seconds. Good luck! 

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Butchless1    7

Thanks for the feedback

Decided to go with the Mono option as I'm also looking at using it as a possible guidescope in future so opted for the Altair GPCAM AR0130M as this looked to be a reasonable priced entry and allow me to view to show the children on the bigger screen

Appreciate the comments

Nick

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Geoff Lister    202

I started with a Philips SPC900nc modified with the lens/IR filter assembly replaced by a 1.25" eyepiece adaptor. It cost me about £50.

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RobertI    1,126
22 hours ago, Butchless1 said:

Thanks for the feedback

Decided to go with the Mono option as I'm also looking at using it as a possible guidescope in future so opted for the Altair GPCAM AR0130M as this looked to be a reasonable priced entry and allow me to view to show the children on the bigger screen

Appreciate the comments

Nick

Let us know how you get on. :smiley:

Edited by RobertI

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SilverAstro    2,368

Yes I will also be interested to read how you get on.

Nick @Butchless1 said "... not aiming for something for DSO but just to show the various smudges, clusters, ... "
and @shirva said "... zwo-asi120mc ... "

Having just froze some bits off, (again !), under a beautiful sky just outside a door to a room with a huge great log fire, I wonder,,, I think I too must plan (again) to join the EAAmob :) !!

So, 'smudges' and clusters sound to me like DSOs, and the 120MC or 120MM come within the dip-toe budget range, however both are described on FLOsite as "lunar and planetary imaging".  am I missing something ? with the live stacking software are these cameras contenders for brighter DSOs also ?

Thanks

Edited by SilverAstro

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Geoff Lister    202

This is the Philips SPC900nc on my Skywatcher Skymax 127 at my holiday home in France; I have the same setup at home in the UK. The photo gives an idea of the size of the 640 x 480 video window on the laptop's screen, although as it is a daytime shot, there is nothing useful in the window.

5a816d269cd4b_Skymax127MCTinFrance(R).jpg.dcfe8c3d821f79dc72782222549691fc.jpg

This is the sort of still image it gives:-

Image6384.jpg.556129379206fecd133bc1da59c5a7fa.jpg

and some stacked frames from a video:-

5a816fd0532ef_Video78stackedwave1.jpg.d78eb4def68b371edceafe1f39542c47.jpg

Geoff

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RobertI    1,126
2 hours ago, Geoff Lister said:

This is the Philips SPC900nc on my Skywatcher Skymax 127 at my holiday home in France; I have the same setup at home in the UK. The photo gives an idea of the size of the 640 x 480 video window on the laptop's screen, although as it is a daytime shot, there is nothing useful in the window

That's a lovely simple looking setup, and a very nice live view of Jupiter (the still shot). I assume that 'live' stacking of planetary frames is not yet achievable, but only a matter of time I guess? Do you use this setup for DSO's of any kind?

Rob

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Butchless1    7
2 hours ago, Geoff Lister said:

This is the Philips SPC900nc on my Skywatcher Skymax 127 at my holiday home in France; I have the same setup at home in the UK. The photo gives an idea of the size of the 640 x 480 video window on the laptop's screen, although as it is a daytime shot, there is nothing useful in the window.

That's the kind of idea, just a quick imaging setup, I know from quick trials with Sharpcap and the Altair Capture you can live stack the image, so I'm going to try this on some Nebula to see how I go on...though biggest issue is getting a clear night in the North of the UK at the moment (snowing outside)

Will let you know how I get on!

Nick

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Geoff Lister    202
2 hours ago, RobertI said:

Do you use this setup for DSO's of any kind?

Rob,

This is an unprocessed still from the Orion nebula, M42. Not much nebulosity

Image7082.jpg.6c3f72a50344096b0024ac1da50ab880.jpg

The Moon makes a more useful target

Image6670.jpg.0ad07771b29fd56b16342dee40cc1548.jpg

or stacked view of the Pleiades M45 from a video

5a81b0cec3342_Pleiadiesstacked2wave1.jpg.68c9acd1cd95dde91ff54695815a4381.jpg

This site has a few more photos that may be of interest

https://www.astrobin.com/gear/3641/philips-spc900nc/

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Lister
astrobin link added
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stash_old    200

I use an SWAZ goto for a "grab and go" - not used CCD/CMOS but these are some of M42 etc taken with Canon 100d and Canon zoom at 200mm F5.6 - so play with your camera settings .

The only difference is I use Synscan Pro with my own wifi adapter and APT for the DSLR - no stacking/post processing just exp and iso settings used.

So keep at it you will get there in the end.

M42_L_0011_ISO3200_20s__12C.JPG

M42_L_0052_ISO3200_20s__10C.JPG

M42_L_0008_ISO3200_20s__12C.JPG

M42_L_0009_ISO3200_20s__12C.JPG

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shirva    263

Still have my Philips webcam,, think it is the 880 or something got it when I first started,, from Morgan computers it was flashed to the 900,,looks the exact same..

I still have mine,, it's fitted on to my Orion finder guider scope,, still produces great results,, brilliant for the moon,, never tried it on anything else,, once I set up on the moon that's me hooked,, can sit all night just moving around it's features,, great camera

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Geoff Lister    202

This link implies that Philips stopped making the SPC900nc (& the earlier SPC880nc) in about 2009 :hmh:

https://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/topic/1015-philips-spc880nc-webcam/

Bresser do a "MikrOcular Full HD Eyepiece Camera" for about £50, & more pixels than the 900. I could not find any in-depth reviews or details of what could be achieved with compatible software.

A quick Google search for an astronomy webcam resulted in many, roughly 5-years-old, links to the SPC900nc, so there does not seem to be an obvious successor.

Geoff

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shirva    263

I believe you are right,, few folk raved about the x box camera, I got it and done the mod,, broke the led and modded the nose piece,, let's just say it passed away some time,,on scope once and binned,, the only other cameras standing the test of time in va is the Samsung scb200 and watec 902 CCTV cameras,, on analogue,, if connected straight to a monitor or TV,, but going through the usb grabber,, changed it to digital..

Yip it's good to have these cameras about,,but getting them second hand now,, phew some folk ask for funny money for them on the bay.

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Butchless1    7
On 13/02/2018 at 14:35, Geoff Lister said:

This link implies that Philips stopped making the SPC900nc (& the earlier SPC880nc) in about 2009 :hmh:

https://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/topic/1015-philips-spc880nc-webcam/

Bresser do a "MikrOcular Full HD Eyepiece Camera" for about £50, & more pixels than the 900. I could not find any in-depth reviews or details of what could be achieved with compatible software.

A quick Google search for an astronomy webcam resulted in many, roughly 5-years-old, links to the SPC900nc, so there does not seem to be an obvious successor.

Geoff

Thanks geoff

ive been looking at the bresser as a more grab and go option as it’s at a more ‘disposable’ price 

 

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