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1.25" electronic eyepiece with live view


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I need some help over this. I have a colleague in my local astro society who has had a stroke and is unable to manage his scope. He has ask me whether there is an inexpensive standard fitting electronic eyepiece that will give him a live view onto his laptop. By inexpensive he is thinking of £100 ish.

I know that the quality EEVA equipment is expensive but is there a cheaper option.

Any opinions/advice would be appreciated

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I think the answer might depend on whether your friend is interested in planetary/lunar, deep sky or really large stuff like emission nebs? There is a useful guide to ZWO cameras for EEVA here.  They seem to recommend the ASI290 or ASI224 which are in the low £200‘s but have small sensors which limit the object size and can also make finding the object a pain! Hoping other “EEVA’ers” can chip in here as I’m not up to date with current CMOS cameras.
 

He would also need a reducer of some sort if the scope is F6 or more. 
 

Without wishing to discourage anyone, the process of aligning accurately, focussing and finding the object and then stacking using software makes this less like visual and more like imaging! Having a permanent setup can really help though.

There is also the Revolution imager, which is not within budget but is a nice simple solution. 

Edited by RobertI
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The only live eyepiece option  for deep sky and nebulae would be night vision and that is somewhat put of the budget. For planets, moon a simple low cost camera would work fine, though tracking would make this easier. Hope you find a solution.

Peter

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I wonder if something like a Samsung SCB2000 would do the trick? Whilst not true live viewing like NV, they will integrate up to 512 frames which will show some deep sky objects. You would need a frame grabber for the laptop to accept the video input, and a tracking mount to avoid trailing. Also, a 1.25” nose piece for the camera.

 

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Posted (edited)

As mentioned, perhaps a Revolution Imager?  

I've read mixed reviews though - they're close to realtime video, but the user interface is supposedly pretty clumsy since they're basically repurposed security cams.  However, they do come with a 7-inch monitor, hand controller, etc., so they're a one-and-done set-up.

 

 

Edited by jjohnson3803
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Many years ago, one option I found that worked quite well was to use the 'modded' Phillips PCVC840K webcam connected my Apple iBook G4 and a third party webcam app.

The end result was not to bad for viewing the Moon or planets at public out-reach/star party events.

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Posted (edited)

Nowadays, with various purpose-made astro cameras available, I think the idea of converting webcams is becoming obsolete. I have only tried repurposing a  planetary video camera for EEVA, but I think you get what you pay for... An ASI224MC works well, but the sensor is small, and a camera with a bigger sensor would cost even more money.

The problem with this scheme, which those who have not tried it may not appreciate, is the size of the sensor, typically 5mm across, or the equivalent of a high-powered eyepiece, which poses severe problems in finding the target, even with a GoTo mount.   If the appearance of the target does not make it a no-brainer, there is also the problem of knowing whether you have acquired the target or not...  which is where plate-solving comes in useful.

Then there is the problem of focusing. with the camera and eyepiece focus points effectively separated by several mm, if one swaps the eyepiece for a camera, the target is likely to remain invisible. (I once wasted an early-morning hour trying to get Jupiter on screen - it was merely out of focus).  A flip mirror diagonal assembly (another 100 GBP or so) will help with target-finding and focusing.

If you want a large sensor, you might already have one in the form of a DSLR - but this may not be as easy to use as a dedicated large chip astro camera. Recent DSLRs have a 'live view' screen attached.

In principle it is possible to remote control the kit, as a disability aid, but technically this is likely to prove very challenging and to require a permanent setup. 

A powered observing chair might be an easier option. 🙂

 

Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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