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Old 10-04-2009, 12:02 PM
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MrB (Simon)
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DIY CCD camera?

Hello all,
Looking for any names/links etc for DIY cams that are NOT based on webcams.
With time and money I could design one myself, but I don't have that much time to spare and besides, the PC side of it (driver/interface software) is where I would fall down.

Many years ago I remember seeing a mature design for a DIY CCD camera that had a name like Dauphine of Daphne or Delphin or something like that, can anyone recall the name?
I've searched low and high and I'm getting nowhere! Grrr.

If my memory is not shot, it was a re-designed/modernised(a few years ago!) version of Richard Berry's TC-245 Cookbook camera, which is now obviously obsolete.

Many thanks,
Simo
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2009, 12:26 PM
DeanoNZL (Adrian)
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Hi Simon,
Are you thinking of "Audine"
Not sure if it has been updated in a while.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:36 PM
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You may want to review building one Simon.
Once you add up the cost for building it, especially the cost of the sensor, you will end up paying the same or more for a camera already available.
An example, the cost for a Sony sensor (Mono), like on the SXV-H9, QHY-2 Pro etc, costs approx $1000 in single price purchase. The larger Sony is around the $800.00 mark, and the Kodaks, well, look over $2000 each.

Then of course you have issues with compatability with O/S plus capturing software, support and on and on.
A second hand camera is cheaper, comes complete, and works out of the box.

Theo
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:54 PM
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Deano! your a legend mate, Cheers!
Dunno why I thought it started with a D?

Theo, thanks.
Have been toying with the idea for many many years(since Berry's Cookbook cam was 'new'!), so have looked heavily into the pro's and cons....I'm still not comitted to the idea, just revisiting.
The biggest winning pro in my mind is the joy that us DIY types get from using something we built ourselves.... just ask someone that has gound their own mirror(which I've done) or built their own dob(observatory,pier/mount etc etc), when they could have bought one cheaper.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:56 PM
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Oh, and I'm still open to suggestions of alternative designs if anyone can think of one.
Cheers.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2009, 02:21 PM
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I built my CCD many years ago. At the time it was much cheaper than buying an eqivalent one. Mine is a genesis CCD with a KAF0401E chip. This is the same as in an ST7E. The parts are no longer available for my camera but it was just a clone of the Audine camera made by a guy in the US.
I had a great time making it and the experience was well worth it. I am now very happy pulling electronic equipment to bits knowing I can put it back together again.
I don't know if the audine kits are still available but email them and see at
http://www.astrosurf.com/audine/English/index0.htm
The people that originally designed it are still very much active.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post
Oh, and I'm still open to suggestions of alternative designs if anyone can think of one.
Cheers.
Hi Simon,
I actually build one couple of years ago..
The design was similar to Audine, but with somewhat different approach.
It had two pieces, the on-board controller (to generate timing for CCD, it was TC237 - still available from Texas Instruments) and PC-based application.
The communication was via RS232, at highest possible speed available on Fujitsu Stylistic 1000.
It was also cooled with Peltier.
Well, if you are interested, I have all the documentation available - schematics, layout.. source code.. even couple of bare PCB's.. you name it. Even working prototype.

I still want to use this design as a stand-alone guider, when I find some time for this - right now I am very busy, trying to find a new job as I was retrenched from NEC Australia, together with 250 other staff/management in the recent restructure.

Also, I am trying to find someone who will be able to help with guiding algorithm. I am not skilled enough in those things - I can make them work somehow but it will take too much time and effort fromby side only to complete it.

Last edited by bojan; 15-04-2009 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:40 PM
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My first CCD camera was DYI and a lot of fun (but you need a lot of spare time!) I had a small amount of experience in electronics and programming, enough that with some technical books like Richard Berry's Cookbook camera and Christian Buil's CCD Astronomy I was able to design and build a camera around a Kodak KAF-400 CCD in 1994. All the electronics were soldered onto Veroboard. By using a PIC microcontroller to do all the clocking and communication with a parallel port the design could be simplified.

I remembered first light I was really dissappointed with the sensitivity. A week later I discovered that I'd missed a requirement in the Kodak Datasheet that required that the CCD output need to be activated by grounding it through a resister. When I did that, wow! Here is an image I got with this camera:

http://www.pbase.com/terrylovejoy/image/32822669

The second camera was the Genesis G16 (as Terry B points out an Audine Clone). Another DYI, but the design was already done. This was a nice camera and I still have it.

I've since been using DSLR's recently mainly because of the wide field of view and low cost but I think thats going to change soon now thanks to people like QHY . And as Gama said its not really worth going the DYI route these days.

Terry
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:45 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys.
Re-reading as much as I can on the Audine.... lots to read.
Thinking something along the lines of a Modded Audine with a KAF-1603 or 3200


Terry, nice first light shot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan
Also, I am trying to find someone who will be able to help with guiding algorithm. I am not skilled enough in those things - I can make them work somehow but it will take too much time and effort fromby side only to complete it.
Hi bojan, I'm afraid I'm with you on this one.. not skilled enough.
I'm fine when it comes to machining things and soldering things... even coding for a microcontroller... but a guiding algorithm?
glug glug glu....... thats the sound of me drowning
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:43 AM
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Bojan/MrB,

Maybe one solution is to write a simplified ascom driver for the camera, that way you could use existing guiding software. Or perhaps you could design the hardware to look like an existing camera.

Terry
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Old 14-04-2009, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometGuy View Post
Bojan/MrB,

Maybe one solution is to write a simplified ascom driver for the camera, that way you could use existing guiding software. Or perhaps you could design the hardware to look like an existing camera.

Terry
What I really want is to have stand-alone guider (less hardware in the field, the better..), and since my camera has it's own processor (LPC P-2148, 100MHz ARM core) RS232 and couple of output ports, it should not be too hard to convert somehow the existing software (for example, Marti Niemi BASIC routines) into C code.
Perhaps I should contact him... Anyone knows his current email address? (the one on his website is not active any more).

Last edited by bojan; 14-04-2009 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 14-04-2009, 08:39 AM
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Simon,

If you are really game - why not buy a second hand DSLR and get a big chip ?

The Olympus E300 cameras use an 8mp KAF8300c chip - 3326x2504 x 5.4Ám pixels in a 4/3rds format.
This is the same chip used by all the big name astro cameras in their cameras - either as the mono version or colour.

Best thing is you can buy these things for well under US$300 these days
cheapest I have seen recentlly was US$175, but that came with a lens as well !

So you either scavenge the chip and build your own controller or you just use the camera as is after doing an IR mod.

Where can you buy a one shot colour astro camera for a few hundred bucks ?

Chilling - well thats another issue and I am unsure if its been done to this camera.

Of course we all expect you to publish your DIY project now !!!

Good luck
Rally
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Old 14-04-2009, 08:46 PM
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Thanks Rally,
I had been thinking along those lines, was going to start searching info on which chips were in which of the cheaper point-and-shoot cams.
I would prefer a mono cam with a high QE chip, but if all else fails, a scavenged colour chip is passable
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Old 15-04-2009, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post
I would prefer a mono cam with a high QE chip, but if all else fails, a scavenged colour chip is passable
Provided you can get hold of full data sheet.. which may be quite challenging in some cases.

BTW, I have couple of Japanese CCD's even with some data sheet. If you are interested, you can have them :-)

BW CCD surveillance cameras may be a good source for CCD's (small pixel number again, but VERY sensitive, especially in IR).

TC237 from Texas Instruments is still available (it is small though.. but very sensitive, with large pixels).
It is US$25 or so. They also have a range of specialised chips for scientific applications, some of them with integrated peltier (expensive though).

Last edited by bojan; 15-04-2009 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 25-04-2009, 08:56 AM
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Wasn't there a self build called Artemis. I believe these were sold in the assembled state as Atik.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:54 PM
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I would like some advice on what to do with a Cookbook CCD Camera.
My parents were avid amateur astronomers, volunteering at McDonald Observatory, and founding the Big Bed Astonomical Society. My father and two other gentlemen built a Cookbook Camera, which operated successfully for several years. Sadly, all three are now deceased and the camera has passed to me. I am also an amateur astronomer and telescope maker, but have no interest in imaging. The camera has no value to me except for some components that can be used for other purposes, and scrap. I would much prefer that it go to someone who can use it for its intended purpose, even if that's only to be caniballized to keep another Cookbook Camera running.
Can you give any advice on how best to accomplish this? eBay? AstroMart? I would most appreciate any help you can give.
Bob Walker
314-209-1515
tac@i1.net
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:57 PM
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Correction: that's Big Bend Astonomical Society.
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Old 20-04-2015, 09:56 AM
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Astro CCD 16-bit Color 6Mpx Camera on CN

Digging up old thread.....As title says...a DIY 16bit camera using CCD Sensor Sony ICX453AQ from not working Nikon D40/D50/D70/D70s.

These guys have been at this for some time and looks to be exciting and progressive project, some github files on his projects here.

I've jumped onboard...just purchased a cheap Nikon D70s body from fleabay (lets hope it arrives) and are gearing up.

I believe they are looking for others to join.

Brendan
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:02 AM
clive milne
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Well, if I was going to roll my own,
I couldn't go past this:
http://www.raptorphotonics.com/produ...her-ccd-oem-39

1.5e- of readout noise is substantially better than the very best professional CCD's on the market, irrespective of price.
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:07 AM
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Eden (Brett)
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This is an interesting project and looks like it could very well be the next Artemis kit. The ICX453 is a decent entry-level CCD and is the same chip used in the proven QHY8 camera.

A fellow from Germany has done something similar with the ICX453 and even went as far as making a complete stand-alone peltier-cooled imager with integrated 8 position filter wheel, OLED screen and compact flash storage.

http://www.astroselbstbau.homepage.t...e.de/index.htm
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