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Ships and Stars

Nearly there! Watec 902H2 set-up

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Hi all,

Note - think I've everything I need now for it to work - please see photos below.

 

I just picked up a Watec 902H2 Supreme for a good price (I think) - my first proper step into EEVA to see if I like it.

For all intents and purposes, I honestly know very, very little about adapting this type of camera to either of my scopes (300p and 500p SW dobs) for near-live viewing, other than I'll need stable 12V power in and some kind of composite output cable to my laptop I'll be 'near-live' viewing on. 

Sorry for all the questions, but may I please ask:

1. How do I connect this to my scope, and where might I find an adaptor? Can I run it through a 2x Powermate or eyepiece, or is it best (and brightest) just use the OTA at prime focus?

2. What kind of cable will I need to connect to my laptop for viewing? Composite to USB? Is there some kind of analogue to digital converter I'll need as well?

3. Do I need some kind of 'frame grabber software' and is stacking software involved? I have never used either of these programmes. If yes, which software would you recommend? (hint - free and simple is good!)

Is that it? Once it's connected to my laptop, I hope I'll be able to have near-live views of fainter objects that I could see through the scope alone, yes? 

Thanks for any help here with any of the above questions. Time is a bit limited at the moment for extensive online research, though I briefly saw the NEMETODE meteor observation group uses these with fast primes lenses, not through a scope as far as I know...

Cheers all 👍

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ships and Stars
update title to reflect progress

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8 hours ago, jetstream said:

so, how are the views?

Ah, I've only managed to figure out what cables and converter to order so far. Cvbs to VGA converter/upscaler, RC59 coaxial cable, and a USB frame grabber device (which might replace upscaler/converter, not sure on that yet) and a C-mount to 1.25" adapter with a detachable 0.5x focal reducer of dubious quality. Who knows, might surprise me.  All in, I'm still well under £100 and the watec camera is new. Still need to sort 12v power supply, but that should be fairly easy picking through my mountain of cables. Busy week work-wise next week, so will be the weekend before I can play around with it. Not expecting a great deal, to be honest, but if it shows more than I can normally see, then fair enough. Still prefer looking through the eyepiece but who knows, maybe this will provide a significant boost?

Edited by Ships and Stars
clarify
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Unless I am mistaken you might not  achieve focus on your dobs with the camera unless they have low profile focusers otherwise a Barlow should do it although that will reduce fov. It would help if the dobs are the tracking type cos it can get very fiddly trying to keep an object centred. I use VirtualDub capture software, which is free and quite easy to use but can look quite complicated to start with. Once you are set up it can be great fun seeing how deep you can go with faint galaxies etc. 

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On 31/01/2020 at 19:11, Phil Fargaze said:

Unless I am mistaken you might not  achieve focus on your dobs with the camera unless they have low profile focusers otherwise a Barlow should do it although that will reduce fov. It would help if the dobs are the tracking type cos it can get very fiddly trying to keep an object centred. I use VirtualDub capture software, which is free and quite easy to use but can look quite complicated to start with. Once you are set up it can be great fun seeing how deep you can go with faint galaxies etc. 

Thanks Phil! Camera arrived today - it's tiny! That's a good thing actually. Sorry for the slow reply - didn't show up in my notifications, will change setting.

Here's what I have so far:

-Watec 902H2 Supreme

- If I want to use it - Yamano Japan 3.5mm f1.4 lens and auto-iris plug

-C-mount to 1.25" adaptor with (removable) 0.5x focal reducer

- 10m of shotgun RC59 coaxial cable/DC power cable (handy!)

- CVBS to USB converter/capture device

Waiting on BNC to RCA adapter, then should be able to fire it up.

I was wondering about reaching focus - I have a 300p non-tracking but it is flextube, so could always drop trusses for binoviewer mode if all else fails but would prefer not to for max light gathering. I've a Baader quick lock low profile 1.25-2" that fits flush with the drawtube, or could screw on 1.6x glass path corrector. My bigger dob has tracking, so we will see what a 20" dob under dark skies can pull out with this little camera.

Should be interesting! 

PS thanks for the tip on Virtual Dub 👍

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Edited by Ships and Stars
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Looks like you`ve got all the gear to get up and running. However I`m not familiar with the 902H2 supreme but I`ve had a look at the specs here and it looks like the camera does not do long integration, which is desirable for deep sky. For comparison, my current Watec is a 910HX/RC specs here and looking at the `shutter speeds` the 902 has 1/50 to 1/100000 which is fast. The camera is noted for being suitable for meteor and occultation work. Looking at the 910 `shutter speeds` it ranges from 1/50 to 1/100000 plus up to 256 fields. Which means it integrates the image up to a maximum of 5 seconds, which is good for building up an image of a faint target. Anyway give it a try and see what you think.

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32 minutes ago, Phil Fargaze said:

Looks like you`ve got all the gear to get up and running. However I`m not familiar with the 902H2 supreme but I`ve had a look at the specs here and it looks like the camera does not do long integration, which is desirable for deep sky. For comparison, my current Watec is a 910HX/RC specs here and looking at the `shutter speeds` the 902 has 1/50 to 1/100000 which is fast. The camera is noted for being suitable for meteor and occultation work. Looking at the 910 `shutter speeds` it ranges from 1/50 to 1/100000 plus up to 256 fields. Which means it integrates the image up to a maximum of 5 seconds, which is good for building up an image of a faint target. Anyway give it a try and see what you think.

Yes I'd prefer the 910 but bought the 902 for next to nothing so will give it a bash. I'll report back soon, hoping sheer aperture and good conditions will make the 902 perform. Not really into stacking photos, so if it doesn't work I'll save up and go the NV route someday. I do note there seems to be quite a few astronomers using the 902 on the forums over the years, so must be something in it?

Edited by Ships and Stars
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Got an update for you! I`ve had a clear sky this eve with a well placed Moon so I went out to double check if I could get focus with the Watec.

I used my 10" F4.7 dob with a standard focuser and had VirtualDub running on the laptop. I connected my old Watec 120N+ and I could not get focus with a 0.4 focal reducer in place.  I removed the focal reducer and used a short nose and I achieved focus! I then connected my Watec 910HX and got no focus with reducer but manged to get focus without reducer as well.  I had it in the back of my mind that I tried the Watec with my dob  without success but obviously I am mistaken.  This was quite a while ago and I think back then I might have been trying to get a DSLR to focus on the dob instead. Anyway, I must express sincere apologies for my mis information, and hopefully the Watec 902 should be OK to focus on a dob as well. 

The F.O.V could not contain the whole of the Moon, more like about 3/4 of a Moon width. I did a bit of drift timing and got a time of 1 min 21s for a point to drift from edge to edge of the F.O.V. on the laptop monitor. It was a bit fiddly keeping the Moon in view and I need to get the dob bearings running smoother because it was a bit sticky tonight. I`ll give it another try soon on some faint targets when the Moon is out of the way. 

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11 minutes ago, Phil Fargaze said:

Got an update for you! I`ve had a clear sky this eve with a well placed Moon so I went out to double check if I could get focus with the Watec.

I used my 10" F4.7 dob with a standard focuser and had VirtualDub running on the laptop. I connected my old Watec 120N+ and I could not get focus with a 0.4 focal reducer in place.  I removed the focal reducer and used a short nose and I achieved focus! I then connected my Watec 910HX and got no focus with reducer but manged to get focus without reducer as well.  I had it in the back of my mind that I tried the Watec with my dob  without success but obviously I am mistaken.  This was quite a while ago and I think back then I might have been trying to get a DSLR to focus on the dob instead. Anyway, I must express sincere apologies for my mis information, and hopefully the Watec 902 should be OK to focus on a dob as well. 

The F.O.V could not contain the whole of the Moon, more like about 3/4 of a Moon width. I did a bit of drift timing and got a time of 1 min 21s for a point to drift from edge to edge of the F.O.V. on the laptop monitor. It was a bit fiddly keeping the Moon in view and I need to get the dob bearings running smoother because it was a bit sticky tonight. I`ll give it another try soon on some faint targets when the Moon is out of the way. 

Excellent Phil! My BNC to RCA adapter arrived today, so all the pieces are there but called away to work. Can't wait to try it out. With my binoviewers, I took the 1.25 adapter and unscrewed it from the 2" collar, ground down the screw heads so they would clear the drawtube, and inverted it. That will allow closer placement (that was for my old 200p, now sold). Didn't think the focal reducer would work with the watec, but ever the optimist. I can drop the trusses on the flextube dob for binoviewer mode, that might work? Can't wait to give the watec a trial. Thanks Phil for the info, constantly learning here!

Edited by Ships and Stars
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