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neximager adaptions


Demonperformer
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I've been looking at the Astronomiser website, with a view to possibly considering getting my neximage adapted at some point in the future. It seems there are a lot of possibilities and, if I were to do this, I would want to get all that I need to get done in one go. Also, I need to say at this point that, although I know some people have done these themselves, I would not feel confident taking apart a camera I hoped to continue using and being able to still use it after I had adapted it and put it [almost?] back together again. In other words, in my case, I would consider this to be a false economy.

I understand what the long exposure mod does, but then I get rather lost. Presumably air cooling is all about reducing noise - is this something that becomes more of a problem with longer exposures, as presumably I don't have it on the basic neximager?

Presumably also the change to the BW chip would open up the world of pictures with Ha Hb and OIII filters [like real astronomical images] and so would be a good thing.

The amp-off mod means nothing to me and I don't understand why, if the parallel connector can be converted to a usb connector by purchasing a cable, it can't be wired up to the usb connector in the first place?

Before starting to enquire about the total price of all this [the chip and long exposure mods are listed as totalling £155 for the neximager, never mind the air cooling, amp off and serial-usb cable if I include them too] I am interested in gathering some views on [a] can any of these conversions be ignored as totally superfluous? and might I not be better off just going for a second hand Meade DSI camera or similar?

Nothing is likely to happen this year, but I like to mull over all the possibilities/implications well in advance.

Thank you for any input you can give.

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How about getting a second hand LX webcam with the mod(s) done and selling your neximage? Just spotted one in the For Sale board.

Long exposures generate heat that causes noise in the image, the cooler you can keep the chip the less noise you'll get in your images. I found the difference between air-cooled and non-cooled to be minimal, although this was in the winter so the difference may be more apparent at higher ambient temperatures.

The amp runs all the time by default in these cameras, this again causes a build up of heat but it's more localised and causes a glow in one corner of the image. The amp off mod allows you to er.... turn off the amp, or in some cases leave it running but limit the voltage to it when taking long exposures. Either method will remove the hot spot caused by the amp running.

Hope this helps and whichever way you go I look forward to seeing your images,

Ian

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Glad to help. Find out if the long exposure control is parallel or serial on that camera and whether it comes with the adapters or not. If not you can get the appropriate adapters here; parallel to serial and/or serial to usb

You'll also need some capture software, I used to use K3CCD, I had to get the paid for version to be able to control via usb with the above adapters. The picture doesn't show a UV/IR Cut Filter, so you should also get one of these. You could always post a wanted ad for these bits - you never know someone may have the bits lying in a drawer somewhere.

IMHO it's a good way to start deep sky imaging and by buying second hand you should be able to sell the bits on, and not loose too much money, when the time comes (as it will ;)) to upgrade to a bigger/better CCD.

Ian

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