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  #1  
Old 29-12-2007, 12:05 AM
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Mallincam hyper-color plus

Hi all,

Can anyone tell me if there is a dealer here for this brand of vid.camera. They look very good from the reveiws overseas on them and being a cooled colour version sounds very appealing. I am looking at something like this to impress the many friends that keep pestering me to see faint fuzzies and myself because I only have time to drive to dark sky site a few times a year so this may help alot for use in suburbia. Will look at using it with 12 inch scope with a reducer. I have looked into the g-star or stellacam but they don't seem to have colour versions. Needs lots of feed back from you very helpfull people on these products. I am not looking to be somesort of super imager just want to enjoy more of this facinating hobby with family/friends.

Regards Matt.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:05 PM
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Looks like no one knows much about these cameras. Anyway I have done alot more research on overseas sites and have decided to order the Malincam Hyperplus colour. It is dearer than the other video ones on the market but is even more lux sensitive than the Black/white versions of the others.It is also cooled which makes a big plus. Will post a review on it when I get it and had a play, but after reading alot of reviews on it this video camera is going to be something special especially here in the light polluted suburb of Brisbane.( I hope, fingers crossed, touch-wood )

Matt.
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2008, 05:20 PM
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Look forward to seeing a review.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:37 PM
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Matt , I ordered the hyper plus colour mallincam early december. I received an email from Jack Huerkamp from waning moon observatory in the usa a couple of days ago. He is the USA dealer for mallincam. He said Rock Mallin had just received three new type1 ccd chips and was about to start construction of my camera. Please be aware these cameras are custom made by Rock Mallin and take some time to put together , also the camera is tested rigorously to make sure it is up to Rock's high standards.
This all takes time to do , so best bet if you want one is to order via Jack as soon as you can. He will keep you posted on the progress of your camera.
Cheers , Leon.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:40 PM
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Malincam is a hand modified version of the Mintorn camera. GStar-Ex is also a custom version from Mintron. The Malincam i think though is a modifcation of an older unit from Mintron, but it has most of its innards changed such that it is much much more sensitive. Also the Malincam from memory has TEC Cooling to make it more sensitive. The GSTAR-EX certainly has produced great results also but the Malincam would take the edge i think (based on what ive read), but you do pay for it.

I have used my friends Watec camera which is the same as the Stellacam 2 and considered getting one myself, but i still have my friends.... I will return it soon Apoman. It certainly is very good at displaying faint and fuzzies that my eyes could never otherwise see in Sydney skies. Coupled with a B/W security monitor it makes for very nice eye candy. I think i may have posted a image taken from the monitor at some point.

The Dragonfly Express it seems can also do frame integration on camera, using an external trigger. I am thinking of experimenting with this at some point down the track.


Regards
Fahim
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2008, 08:23 PM
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Yeah Leon,

I ordered the Hyper-color plus from Jack about a week ago. He told me as well that Rock got 3 Class 1 grade A colour chips and 1 is mine and 1 must be yours. About 4-6 weeks for delivery. The system looks very good so can't wait to try with 12 inch 200R. I have seen some images from a guy on the Gold Coast who got his last year and is using it with a 14inch 200R. The imagies he was getting of the Lagoon Neb. at 7 sec intergration in light polluted Gold Coast and with no processing was great and being in colour it is just another pleasure to see. Details in the objects seem to stand out better in colour. This is going to be a learning curve for me but alot of fun as well. Another feature I like is it is also upgradable. Rock can upgrade these down the track as the tech. improves,you just have to pay the $75 each way back to the states, that with cooling,colour and the very sensitive Lux rating sold me. Once I get it up and running might have to talk to Peter at our club to put it through its paces at Dark sky site with his tracking 30 inch scope.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2008, 09:46 PM
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Good one Matt! You must be right , two of those chips are for us. I've got an 8inch meade lx200 classic that i'm going to use it on. I have very bad light pollution and restricted views from my back yard , but i plan to load the gear up and find some dark sites.
Have you made any plans for capturing , processing or viewing the images from the cam?
Would like to know what your thoughts are on this.
Cheers , Leon.
PS: A 30 inch with a mallincam , you have to get some pics if you are able to run it on that !
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2008, 11:14 PM
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Leon,

Still doing alot of reaserch on capturing etc. The Guy on the Gold Coast has been using this gear for about 6months I think so I will E-mail and see what he has been doing. There is a new forum that started last month on Cloudy Nights dealing only on video astronomy gear try there . There are video capture cards you can get for your P/C but I don't know much about them. For viewing they say the old security monitors work best or a small colour t.v but there is a thread on the C/N video forum running at the moment on this so I will give it some more thought.This tech. is really intresting for me as I live in very light polluted sky's and having family it is hard to get out to dark sky's all the time and I also don't have the time (or patience) to do other forms of imaging so the video system appeals. It could be used on the 30 inch truss dob as alot of guys in the states are doing it but I imagine you would cut back the exposure settings alot unless it was really dim object. Wonder what Mag. you could get down to in real dark sky's and 30 inch mirror maybe 22?. Rock is getting down to 21.5 using 16inch and stacking multiple frames. Anyway I will be more than happy with what I will be using it for. I read someone got the horsehead in colour only faintly though through a 4 inch refrac. in suburban sky's so your 8 inch will blow you away . These camera's run like a 8-9mm eyepiece so I am getting a focul reducer. I may get a low F ratio 4 inch refract. for low power wide field use some time down the track.Can't wait but the clouds better p_ _ s of by then. Been nearly 6 weeks or so up here. All I do now because of these clouds is spend too much time on ice-space and C/Nights (No offense Iceman)to get my fix and this keeps me wanting to spend money on things. Hope you get your camera soon.

Matt.

Last edited by coldspace; 12-01-2008 at 11:57 PM.
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  #9  
Old 13-01-2008, 10:59 PM
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Fahim,

Thank-you for your valuble comments etc on this subject past and present. I have some questions for you. If I want to start capturing images from the video camera to my laptop are the converters from the image source company the way to go? I understand that they don't compress the files so you don't loose as much quality in the image, is this correct if you know? and is the fire-wire converter going to be much better than the cheaper USB one? or do you have any other sujestions? I was told that the Canopus converters compress the file so you use quality, I am very new to all this so if you have any feed back on these issues that would be great. Price is not an issue as I believe in doing it right first time unless the cheaper option is going to give me similar results.

Regards Matt.
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  #10  
Old 15-01-2008, 11:01 AM
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I have a Watec 120N+ video camera and was quite surprised at how much detail it can capture in a 10 second integration, but a 1 min integration blew me away. I use an el-cheapo USB capture setup for my laptop and it does cause some streaking on long integrations, Buil (writer of IRIS software) has a very interesting comparison of capture devices etc and 120N camera - obviously uses Iris to remove this artefact. Well worth reading.
Regards, Allan
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldspace View Post
Fahim,

Thank-you for your valuble comments etc on this subject past and present. I have some questions for you. If I want to start capturing images from the video camera to my laptop are the converters from the image source company the way to go? I understand that they don't compress the files so you don't loose as much quality in the image, is this correct if you know? and is the fire-wire converter going to be much better than the cheaper USB one? or do you have any other sujestions? I was told that the Canopus converters compress the file so you use quality, I am very new to all this so if you have any feed back on these issues that would be great. Price is not an issue as I believe in doing it right first time unless the cheaper option is going to give me similar results.

Regards Matt.
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  #11  
Old 15-01-2008, 03:11 PM
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My understanding of the appeal of these is mostly to do with their sensitivity, but also with the ability to display the video without a PC (ie in to a TV etc). The downside of course is coming up with a way to record them (in which case a laptop is going to be required anyway, or at least a VCR)

If you are going to use a PC anyway, then the astro versions of the Imaging Source cams (firewire or now USB), can have exposure times up to 1 hour (if you can guide that well!). The USB ones can also apparently be used with quite a decent cord length with the USB versions if you get the right types of active repeater cables.

I don't know how sensitive these are in comparison to the IS cams, but if you want colour, IS have the the DBKxx models.


Turbo
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  #12  
Old 15-01-2008, 10:02 PM
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Thanks Turbo,

The main appeal to me with these cameras is their sensitivity and real time(almost real time) displays of faint objects in colour in bad light pollution environments. I am only visual observer at moment so the video system rather than the CCD camera system appeals to me more at the moment but I may take the odd shot off the video for keeping.I won't need to mess around with polar alignment every time I go out in the back-yard and can leave my scope in the Alt/Az mount. I found out today and seen some images from a guy on the Gold Coast that were spectacular and they were capturing them using a canopus device and laptop and no processing so this is the way I will go. Apparantly light pollution does not seem to worry the Mallincam too much as the inventer took images of the ring Neb. in full sunlight using 16 inch and stacking them. http://mallincam.tripod.com/id30.html. The sensitivity must be very low at 0.0000000002 lux for the colour version with cooling on hyper mode. I have no expertise in these areas but from what I have seen nothing else on the market comes close to the performance of this camera for video use. If anyone has a better idea or a better video camera in colour and cooled for around the same price or cheaper before I part with lots of $ in 4 weeks time let me know so I can do some comparisons.

Thanks Matt.
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  #13  
Old 15-01-2008, 10:51 PM
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coldspace,

Once sorta simple way i have advised in past threads is to use a MinDV camera that has a AV bridge. So you can plug your video through this to a firewire port on your PC. The MiniDV camera wild to the A/D conversion and give you a fairly high quality output (Read large file) on your PC.

The quality of the A/D converter in the MiniDV camera's may not be the best though. But if you already have a Minidv camera then this is a quick solution. Other alternative is to get a Canopus or similar ADVC device, reccomend you look at ebay as cheap used ones often turn up.

http://www.videohelp.com/
Is a good site to find information on ADVC devices and other capture devices.

I would also advise speaking with Malincam for there advise on this, as they probably get asked this quiet a bit.

Regards
Fahim
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  #14  
Old 16-01-2008, 10:23 AM
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Thanks Fahim,

I never thought of the mini cam to use as a go between so I will give this a try first. Thanks again for your comments.

Matt.
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  #15  
Old 19-01-2008, 02:57 PM
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Matt , just got back from a weeks holidays in the sun and surf!
I checked the Mallincam webpage and found an upgrade to wireless operation , increased gain and a forward mounted ccd.
The link is here , http://mallincam.tripod.com/id37.html
What do you think? Rock hasn't posted any price or timeframe yet , but was wondering if it would be worth waiting longer/paying more to get this done whilst it's still in the states?
Re capturing software hardware , i was going to try using my Canopus AVDC110 box with Virtualdub software (free) and see what happens.
The AVDC 110 unit hooks to my lappy via a 4 pin firewire cable and converts the analogue video to digital format and feeds it in via the firewire cable.
I bought the unit a short while ago to convert beta videos i had made in my (misspent) youth to digital format so i can put these on DVD.
I am hoping this will work o.k. with the Mallincam.
Cheers , Leon.
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Old 19-01-2008, 07:33 PM
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Leon,

I have seen some great unprocessed images from someone here in Aust. using Meade lx scope and capturing them via a canopus unit and using virtual dub software. So this is the way I will probally go. I did not know about the new wireless system as it must have only just gone onto their web.site. The wireless system and forward mounted ccd is mainly aimed at the bid dob. users so they don't have to climb up the ladder to make the adjustments all the time. I will e-mail Jack the distributer in the US and ask him about the improvements in the electronics department such as Gain and improved cooling system. If these are the case and the upgrade is not much more I will be adding it to my order. Thanks for the heads up I will look into it more and post back to this thread with the info.

Matt.
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  #17  
Old 19-01-2008, 07:55 PM
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Matt , reason i mentioned the forward mounted ccd was because i am wondering if there will be any focus issues with my 8in sct with a 2" flip mirror. Maybe it is advantageous to have the ccd mounted slightly further forward to eliminate any backfocus problems with a flip mirror?
I will email Jack about this niggling worry of backfocus and see what he says.
I figure it may be worth waiting longer if the camera is set up to suit my needs from the word go.
Please post any feedback you get from them and i'll do likewise.
Cheers , Leon.
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  #18  
Old 19-01-2008, 11:10 PM
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Hey Matt,

I'm looking forward to seeing some results from this one. There are a few of us in Brisbane on the north side playing with video cameras (Mine's the GTAR-EX) - albeit based on the b/w sony ex chip, so I'm very enthusiatic about a good colour chip. Sony do make a colour ex chip, but it is a lot less sensitive, so Malin must have really worked his magic!!!

Keep me informed

Jonathan.

PS you shouldn't have any problems with Peter's 30" - we were going to try with the GSTAR at astrofest, but circumstances transpired against us, but I think he is set up with enough in-focus to accomodate the camera.
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Old 20-01-2008, 03:59 PM
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Hi Astrojunk,

When I get the camera and the clouds go I will have a play and post a review. If you go to the cloudy nights site and then the video astronomy forum you will see and here about the success people are having with these units overseas particulary with the big dobs. 16 inch and up. As always aperature still rules the roost even with these types of cameras. Imagine the colour views you would be having using the 20inch and this unit. The camera looks like it is getting an upgrade more suited to dobs with the focusing issues. What I like is it is totally upgradable as improvements are made. Can't wait to get it and have a play with 12 inch 200R in southern light polluted suburbs. From what I have seen from a guy using it on 14 inch the image of M42 with only 2 sec intergration was spectacular down in light polluted Gold-coast, using 7 sec intergration and the image nearly became too bright. The stellacam sony colour chip previously only had a Lux rating of 0.02 but this system with hyper-circuitry and cooling on was 0.000000006 Lux so it seems to be very sensitive. Mallincam also has the cooled hyper B/W version which is 0.0000000002 lux, the advancements in tech. just keep getting better and better. Imagine 10 years time we might have colour digital 3D style images appearing on a monitor and we will have to wear those silly 3D glasses like at Dreamworld out in the field.

Matt
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Old 24-01-2008, 10:17 PM
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Hi astrojunk,Leon ,

Here is an unprocessed image, no processing just captured onto the computer, taken of the orion neb.M42 through Malincam hyperplus colour at 2 sec, and 7 sec exposure through LX200R 14inch in bad light pollution in Australia. Also image of the moon. At seven sec exposure the Neb is so much brighter and you can run upto 56 secs exposure for the really faint stuff and to bring out colour. They say the images are alot better to view live on the monitor such as a Speco hi-res colour security monitor than the captured images that said if I can duplicate this when I get mine I am going to be over the moon so to speak. I did not take these image's but was sent to me by someone I know is using this video camera, but when I get my camera its going to be fun.

Matt.
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