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Old 23-02-2017, 02:30 AM
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Eta Carina Nebula NGC3372 with self-built CCD camera

Few of us are building a CCD camera based on Sony ICX453AQ sensor. I have the electronics already working but there is no cooling at the moment. Also the camera is housed in a temporary 3D-printed housing which is not light proof. The cables go out through holes in plastic, the plastic is red and partially transparent to light... not the best setup but good enough for a proof of concept.

The Perth night temperatures finally dropped below 20 degrees C so the camera noise will be reduced. I am trying to image few of the brightest targets, the first one on the list is the Eta Carina Nebula.
lights = 1h 54min in 2min exposures
darks = 28, flat = 30
(no bias, I forgot)
Stacked in DSS, processed in StarTools.

My processing skills are clearly lacking but for a first image as I proof of concept, I am over the moon

for looking
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Last edited by luka; 23-02-2017 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 23-02-2017, 03:48 AM
glend (Glen)
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Congratulations Luka. It looks pretty good. At last you have it working, you must be relieved.
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Old 23-02-2017, 07:07 AM
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rcheshire (Rowland)
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Well done. Works brilliantly by the look of it Luka. Is that with cooling?
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Old 23-02-2017, 07:23 AM
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Very nice luka! Doesn't appear to be any light leakage which is a real bonus, especially for a light leaking proof of concept
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Old 23-02-2017, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

Glen, very happy. I remember your comment how your ASI was much simpler to use than the cooled DSLR... Although this one is not finished I already feel the same.

Rowland, the camera does not have any cooling yet. That is the next part of the battle, to ensure no moisture ingress into the enclosure.

Colin, I had to crop out about 1/4 of the image on the right because of light leakage in the bottom right corner. I tried to make my backyard as dark as possible but stopped short of "killing" the neighbour's lights
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Old 24-02-2017, 11:57 AM
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SimmoW (SIMON)
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I'm not sure if everyone realises what a great achievement this is, well done! Haven't pixel peeped but I'm sure all the stars are uniform which means that no tilt exits, even better! Keep us all up to date as to progress
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Old 24-02-2017, 10:53 PM
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Thank you Simon.
The image I posted had the corners cropped out, to remove the light leakage. The corners did have star distortion (elongated stars towards the centre of the image), as expected because I did not use the field flattener.
The current camera is housed in a plastic (3D printed housing) and is very lightweight. The real (aluminium) housing will have a fair bit more weight and also a heatsink. We will see about the tilt then...

I was also re-reading how to set offset/gain because things did not look right and then I realised that I did not do it correctly.
So much to learn... but that is the point
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Old 24-02-2017, 11:50 PM
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Congratulations Luka, very impressive achievement!
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