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I tried last night using my webcam (Toucam 840k) for the first time. I've made myself a Bhanitov (sp?) mask.

Now, the image was quite blurry. I COULD use the mask, but it wasn't very clear. This could be one of two reasons (as far as I can tell...).

Firstly, I don't have any ir/uv filter. Would this possibly help? Secondly, I have never collimated my scope (which to be fair I've only used maybe a dozen times...).

So my next purchase... Should it be a filter, or a collimating cap/cheshire?

-eli

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Can you see stars as nice points of light visually? If you can I suspect it is not collimation but the challenge of getting focus with a web cam. Sometimes you cannot focus in enough. If so put your barlow in with no eyepeice and put the cam on and try again. Best to try with the moon first, when it is next up and this seems to be easier to use as its big!

Mark

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I think I can get stars to fairly good points. The seeing is rubbish off my balcony (right in the middle of Bournemouth/Poole). Do I need to use the Bahnitov mask on a star, or would it work with the moon or planets?

-eli

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Hi.

Being a pin point of light only a star can give you sharp "diffraction?" points. Once you have it focussed using a star it is then moved to your target object of choice.

Dave.

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The webcam field of view is very similar to the visual when using a 6mm eyepiece. I see from your sig you have a 6mm pl.

Try this eyepiece and see what the images look like; that's what you'll get with the webcam.

The Bat mask only works with stars...

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I have the same webcam and I'm struggling as well with it. I tried to capture saturn again this weekend and it was a really small image nothing like what I could see with a lens and I couldn't get focus with a barlow and the webcam, also the image I had on the screen was rubbish, I tried changing the settings arround but to no avail.

Cheers

Neil

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Ah, I was thinking maybe you can't use the Bahn mask on Saturn, as it's not a POINT, but a very small disk? Would that make the diffraction spikes kinda blurry? Every image of Bahn mask diffraction spikes I've seen have been really sharp.

To be fair, I may just have all the settings on my cam wrong. I haven't really done this properly, and read any of the guides. My images also looked very, very over-exposed... I will see if I can find where I saved them, and post one.

-eli

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As mentioned, the Bat mask ONLY works with stars.

99% of novice problems with webcams is focus... takes practise, practise.....

The local seeing conditions can also make things difficult!

Registax V5 is a good software program for processing AVI's

BTW you'll need something other than the Philips webcam software to get good usable images, try Craterlet, HandyAvi or the freeware version of K3CCD tools.

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I use WXAstro capture, took about 100 frames, and registaxed them. Came up with these two. (first one without barlow, second one barlowed up)

Now that I look at them, the focus doesn't look TOO far off... But the exposure is horrible.

What would getting an ir/uv filter do?

-eli

post-16105-133877374552_thumb.jpg

post-16105-133877374555_thumb.jpg

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Those images are very similar to what I get from the same webcam using the same software. I did download K3CCDtools a while ago so might try and use that next time.

does K3CCDtools make it easier to focus the image and play arround with the brightness and gain etc ??

Cheers

Neil

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The second image, particularly, is very similar to what I see when observing Saturn lately.

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