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Old 17-03-2010, 02:01 PM
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ExView HAD Colour CCD Camera - Pro Style

does anyone have any experience with this camera for Astro photography. I just bought one on special for $169
I also have a Kworld dvd maker usb adapter to plug it into the PC.

the specs seem fine to me but I am new to this realm apart from using webcams for the task.


here is a link to the specs.
http://www1.jaycar.com.au/productVie...T&SUBCATID=547

any help would be appreciated.
Ritchie
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Old 17-03-2010, 02:37 PM
bird (Anthony Wesley)
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A lot depends on exactly what ccd is in this camera... it doesn't say too much on the Jaycar site.

Bird
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Old 17-03-2010, 02:52 PM
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this about all i know on the ccd chip.

Sensor: 1/3" Sony ExView HAD CCD
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  #4  
Old 17-03-2010, 03:02 PM
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this link is an astrocam that sounds much the same.

http://www.astro-optical.com.au/view...ype=&x=54&y=18
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  #5  
Old 17-03-2010, 03:11 PM
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Gday Ritchie, here's an old thread which shows one of my cameras, uses the same Sony 1/3" HAD chip. Not too bad on lunar and some bright deep sky (M42) various clusters, etc, I just haven't had the time to properly dedicate to testing or using properly I've used it also prime focus on a 200mm reflector as well as 80mm refractor apart from that old camera lens.
I purchased a very similar camera to yours to use as a video finder and found that as you boost the gain as well as integration time, there's a lot of hot pixels, easily mistaken for stars so watch out for that Not a bad price but don't expect fantastic results.
If you haven't already, download VirtualDub as it's a great opensource video capture software. Here's a small sample of something I captured a while back:moon
cheers
Adam
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  #6  
Old 17-03-2010, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for that Adam, I have been scouring round the net, and I have got close but not exact to a mod for these style cameras that enables long exposure times. will keep looking but if anyone else knows of a link, let me know.

Ritchie.
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Old 17-03-2010, 03:49 PM
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Judging by what it says on the Jaycar site, It looks like its either an ICX255AL or an ICX405AL sensor.. These two sensors are both the same physical dimensions, same pixel resolution, and equal sensitivity. To that end, they are equal 2nd most sensitive Sony ICX sensor...

I'd say for astro imaging it would work, it might be a real killer planetary imaging camera? who knows.. The sensors small size might make it a little tight for deep sky imaging..
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Old 17-03-2010, 10:08 PM
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was itching to give it a try tonight but, as luck would have it, we are overcast.
DRAT, DARN FANDANGLE>
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  #9  
Old 17-03-2010, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
Judging by what it says on the Jaycar site, It looks like its either an ICX255AL or an ICX405AL sensor.. These two sensors are both the same physical dimensions, same pixel resolution, and equal sensitivity. To that end, they are equal 2nd most sensitive Sony ICX sensor...

I'd say for astro imaging it would work, it might be a real killer planetary imaging camera? who knows.. The sensors small size might make it a little tight for deep sky imaging..

that would be nice for the price, i pushed it in darkness tonight and found a stuck pixel at the centre bottom of the screen. don't think it would cause me any griefe as it is at the far bottom. little bit of noise when i pushed the brightness up above 8/10ths. does appear to adapt to the IR spectrum in darkness from the appearance.

all i can do is wait for a clear night.

Last edited by Ritchie-l; 18-03-2010 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 19-03-2010, 11:03 PM
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less clouds tonight and tried the new cam.
I tried this in daylight on a tree about 600 metres away and the results were exciting.

when I tried it tonight I could not focus on a star, the star was in the telescopes view field but on the screen it was way to large, anyone got a suggestion.

Ritchie.
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  #11  
Old 20-03-2010, 06:19 AM
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If its a refractor, you will likely need an extension tube to bring it to focus... something between 50 and 80mm should do the trick...
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Old 20-03-2010, 08:51 AM
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Hi Ritchie,
You appear to have the QC3298 which Jaycar says has a 0.05 lux light limit; I have the QC 3289 which is stated to have a 0.001 lux limit. It does this by frame accumulation - my camera will accumulate 160 individual TV frames to produce a composite picture output every 3.2 seconds.

If your camera also does frame accumulation (DSS Max, or Sense-UP in some camera languages), then it should perform reasonably well (for a colour camera) on astro photo work.

Bear in mind that it won't be as good as a monochrome camera (think GStar-EX) simply because the Bayer mask that creates the colour image also subtracts light to some extent.

Last night I was using both cameras (GStar-Ex and QC3289) to record some images of M104 from my light-polluted Sydney skies. M104 is the Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo and has an apparent magnitude of about 9. The scope is an LX90-8" GPS (not ACF) with a f/6.3 focal reducer, unguided, on Alt-Az mount. I attach the raw feeds here (before dark subtraction and stacking), and the semi-final stacking (167 subs for the GStar, 68 for the QC3289), but no post processing such as the gurus here are able to do.

Note that the grey image from the GStar was Drizzle stacked rather than a plain stack so the end result is larger. I did not have enough raw frames of the colour feed to do the same thing. However Drizzle requires many more images than what I had to get good results - you will note the fine silk-screen effect on the Drizzle stack.

Regards,
Tony Barry
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (M104colour.JPEG)
164.7 KB42 views
Click for full-size image (M104gStar.JPEG)
92.4 KB35 views
Click for full-size image (M104 colour final crop.jpg)
81.0 KB51 views
Click for full-size image (M104greyStacked.jpg)
134.0 KB61 views

Last edited by tonybarry; 20-03-2010 at 08:56 AM. Reason: -added details of Drizzle stack.
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Old 20-03-2010, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
If its a refractor, you will likely need an extension tube to bring it to focus... something between 50 and 80mm should do the trick...
I am using a 8" reflecter. I also tried an extension by using a barlow with the lens taken out, also tried with the 1.25 adapter taken out to go the other way. the strange thing I found was in daylight I could focus easily.
it does have me stumped at this point.
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Old 20-03-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybarry View Post
Hi Ritchie,
You appear to have the QC3298 which Jaycar says has a 0.05 lux light limit; I have the QC 3289 which is stated to have a 0.001 lux limit. It does this by frame accumulation - my camera will accumulate 160 individual TV frames to produce a composite picture output every 3.2 seconds.

If your camera also does frame accumulation (DSS Max, or Sense-UP in some camera languages), then it should perform reasonably well (for a colour camera) on astro photo work.

Bear in mind that it won't be as good as a monochrome camera (think GStar-EX) simply because the Bayer mask that creates the colour image also subtracts light to some extent.

Last night I was using both cameras (GStar-Ex and QC3289) to record some images of M104 from my light-polluted Sydney skies. M104 is the Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo and has an apparent magnitude of about 9. The scope is an LX90-8" GPS (not ACF) with a f/6.3 focal reducer, unguided, on Alt-Az mount. I attach the raw feeds here (before dark subtraction and stacking), and the semi-final stacking (167 subs for the GStar, 68 for the QC3289), but no post processing such as the gurus here are able to do.

Note that the grey image from the GStar was Drizzle stacked rather than a plain stack so the end result is larger. I did not have enough raw frames of the colour feed to do the same thing. However Drizzle requires many more images than what I had to get good results - you will note the fine silk-screen effect on the Drizzle stack.

Regards,
Tony Barry
I am starting to think that this camera maybe a good planetary camera, although any image would have given me a bit more confidence.
there are also some mods for cameras using the same ccd chip. which I will look into a little further as I do have an electronics background to be able to do this.
the unit has AGC low and AGC Hi switches also flicker on/off, back light compensation on/off, auto/manual white balance.
still got me stumped why i can't focus.

Last edited by Ritchie-l; 20-03-2010 at 11:59 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 20-03-2010, 11:57 AM
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http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/...pace/orion.jpg

the scope is capable of it, this is with my canon a590is with the front lens removed, the image is not stacked.
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Old 20-03-2010, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
the strange thing I found was in daylight I could focus easily.
This most likely indicates you don't have enough inward focus travel. Objects which are close create a focal plane further away from the mirror; objects at infinity move the focal zone closer to the mirror. The difference might only be a few mm. You might be able to squeeze a few drops of inward travel by remodelling the focuser; but sadly most people appear to need to move the primary mirror up the tube a cm or two.

SCT telescopes do not have this issue; they have sufficient travel for almost anything.

Regards,
Tony Barry
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Old 20-03-2010, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybarry View Post
This most likely indicates you don't have enough inward focus travel. Objects which are close create a focal plane further away from the mirror; objects at infinity move the focal zone closer to the mirror. The difference might only be a few mm. You might be able to squeeze a few drops of inward travel by remodelling the focuser; but sadly most people appear to need to move the primary mirror up the tube a cm or two.

SCT telescopes do not have this issue; they have sufficient travel for almost anything.

Regards,
Tony Barry
thanks Tony,
I Thought that last night, but it still knags me that in daylight it still focus's well.
I did remove the adapters and held by hand but, still no luck.
i did read where focal reducer could work but i am not confident with that either.
Ritchie
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Old 22-03-2010, 09:57 PM
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OK wr have an image, I started on the moon which had way to much flare, (forgot about the moon adaptor for the front of the scope)
focused in between running from my room out to the scope and back in again.
as soon as i got it close I turned to the right at which i thought was mars, but it was a orangie star, but none the less fine tuned the focus some more then turned it to the orion nebula ran back in and started recording fot about 30 seconds regstax'd it and we have an image, not as clear as i wanted but its a start.
packedit all up and now back inside. looked at the settings on the ccd and i had it on lo agc, cant wait till tomorrow night to try it on hi agc.

Now i have a reasonable image I will reformat the laptop so i don't have to run so much.
and yes i will post up what i do when its to my liking.

FOCUS :- found that it needed to be nearly in all the way. but back by about quater of an inch.

NO STARS on earlier trials. the lineup scope was way out of alignment. (some idiot did not check this trivial but important part.)

other things that I will be trying is removing the IR filter, very easy task it is soft clued on there.
and when the sensitivity has proven well I will cut a peice out of an old floppy disk and use this as a filter as well. what the floppy disk does if lets through IR. so this way I can look at other spectrums other than visible light.

Thank you all that helped, you know who you are. I appreciated it very much.

Till soon
Ritchie
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Old 23-03-2010, 07:25 PM
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first stacked image.

http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/.../Capture32.jpg
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Old 31-03-2010, 01:17 AM
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ok, moon i have down pat i think.

http://s1001.photobucket.com/albums/...=Capture75.flv
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