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Jupiter but not sure what's going wrong....

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The image at the bottom of this post is of jupiter i'm not sure what the problem is.

I look through my scope and see all the detail of the planet.

When hooked up to cam all i get is a ball of light. :)

Am using my Skywatcher Sky Hawk 1145p as my scope and know that that works perfectly as it should do.

Cam is Philips Toucam SPC900 (Highly recommended) using the Software provided (Philips Vlounge) and then tried to clear up through registax (103 images)

The end result is as follows......


Hope someone can help or understand why i'm just getting a ball of light instead of detail.


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Exposure too high or out of focus (you have to refocus when you put the cam in). Also, make sure that all the settings (exposure etc...) are set to manual. If you set it to automatic, the system will push the exposure up to try and get some detail out of the black, causing the planet to wash out...

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I'd guess you had the gain setting on the webcam too high or in autoexposure mode. The camera will not get the exposure settings right on it's own... it's see's all that darkness and assumes that it had better boost the settings as high as possible. You need to set to manual exposure and make the view on the screen look a bit darker than you want, especially if you are running on a lappy on batteries, don't make it bright enough to see the image (except to focus) as the lappy will be running dark to save power.

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Knock down the frame rate to 5/10-fps, then set your gain low, or none at all, then reduce the shutter speed (in exposure) to the lowest setting.

As you increase the shutter speed and the gain you will start to see detail, if, big if, you have it in focus.

To get focus set the camera to auto, and let it do its thing, then focus so you can see one or more of the moons, they should be tiny spots of light. Take your time, and don't rush, then when you start re-adjusting the settings above you should start to see banding (the moons may disappear, but thats another discussion).

Ideally you want as many frames as possible, and make more than one movie (i generally do about 8, so i can guarantee at least one will look god) - but jupiter rotates quickly, so in actual fact you can really only record for around 2 minutes. Keep an eye on the time you've recorded and don't let it go over 2 minutes.

Then when you stack your images you should see some results appearing (using registax), also a worthwhile purchase is the book:

Lunar and Planetary Webcam Users Guide, by Martin Mobberley - there is a nice chapter on getting quick results, and its reads pretty easily - although there is a lot of info for the advanced imager as well, so it will last...


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Very fast replies thanks guy.

I had expose at Maximum but gain at Minimum so that might have been my problem,

As for FPS i was running at 5 fps as ith was giving a better image than 30 or 60.

Things are looking clear so far today so will try again tonight.

Matt you mentioned about doing movies... I've just been doing image capture. Would a movie be better?


P.S. Will look on Amazon for the book mentioned.

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Scot, yes you want to record a movie, registax then takes all the frames and stacks these on top of each other (after you've chosen an alignment point) then it will create on image from many frames in a movie. Its fairly simple, but you will spend a lot of time tweaking the settings on the camera before you're happy with a result - hence why i say you will be taking many movies in a single night.

Take your time, and experiment with the camera settings, eventually the penny will drop, eventually you'll get an eye for what registax will do to your movie before you do it (at this point you'll be able to find focus easily, and you will understand most of the camera settings).

My rule of thumb is that registax (and following that a bit of tweaking in photoshop) will brighten and increase the detail in the shot so you almost underexpose it to get the result you want.

Also have a try at the moon if you haven't already, the next week or so will be difficult, new moon and all that, but keep your eyes peeled and give it a go, you may well suss more with the moon that you can then use on Jupiter.


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