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Philips SPC900 webcam - settings

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I've acquired a Philips SPC880 which I have flashed to SPC900 (quite easily!). I have used it on my Skymax 127 during the day and its works fine. However, when I try viewing Jupiter all I can see is a bright white orb. I've tried adjusting the settings and focus but with no luck (to be honest, after a while I got a bit cheesed off as Jupiter disappeared behind my house). Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

PS. Read about lots of people paying large sums for SPC900s - got mine off eBay for £25 incl p&p! The adapter cost a tenner - also via eBay.

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Are you using the SPC900 software from Philips? If so (and the same applies for the likes of SharpCap) - you should have sliders that allow you to adjust the exposure/gamma/gain/frame rate. You need a frame rate of 10fps, but reduce the gain/exposure until you can see something recognisable! I've found the most difficult bit is focus.

Sorry to tell you this but Morgan computers sell the camera and adapter for about £20 total.


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There are usually a couple of things which cause the bright orb when capturing the images of bright planets with a webcam -

1. Using auto settings

2. Using any value of Gamma apart from 0 !

K3CCD in conjunction with WcCtrl gives you plenty of control over your settings and allows you to remember them - which is always helpful

K3's Astronomy Home Page

WcCtrl - Description

Settings vary for different telescope and barlow combinations.

You need to experiment.

For focusing its OK to use auto settings but for the images you

want to turn down the gamma to zero and keep the gain at around 40% - you should be able to see the belts easily without overblowing the image locally.

Use 10 fps and exposure of about 1/100 to 1/50

Capture a minimum of 1000 images and stack them in Registax

RegiStax- Free image processing software

Some clear skies is also helpful


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Firstly get yourself some solar film or a solar filter !!! ;):glasses1:

Probably best to use your guidescope if you have one (smallish diameter)- unless you can afford a PST

Don't forget to leave the caps ON your finder.

Use the shadow of the finder as a finder - if that makes sense ??

I've not had that much luck with solar imaging - trying to do it on the cheap - did get some sunspots but its very difficult to see the laptop screen - I tried with a box and a blanket over my head - but then you can't see what your hand is doing on the focuser !

For prominences you will also need a Hydrogen Alpha filter and they're verrrrryyyy expensive and I do mean VERY

Good luck


ps the box is over the laptop - not your head :)

- although perhaps I should have tried it that way round !!!

Edited by StarlightKnight
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