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I have seen these el cheapo Cameras on EBay for quite some time selling at around $50AU Some claiming wonderous results etc, so having a few db available decided to try one out.

The specifications are as follows:-

CMOS Chip Type: Color CMOS image sensor

Video format: 24 bit RGB

Interface: USB 2.0

Lens: 0.91"/1.25", Microscope/Astronomical Telescope

Automatic white background balance

Automatic color compensate

Dynamic image

Color: Golden

Net Weight: 114g

System requirements:

IBM PC or compatible PC or laptop with USB port

Pentium 200 or higher CPU

Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP operation system

CD-Rom Drive in case computer is not equipped with software

32MB or higher memory

Support DirectX VGA card

As you will note only listed for Win98SE thru to XP.  This is because they do not have MS certification. But can assure you that they work great in Win 10 and the Software provided should be installed before plugging in the device otherwise Win10 takes over.  I was not prepared for the huge magnification after I set everything up.

Computer Dell Inspiron 1500 series 2in1 laptop 10" dob mounted on my EQ6Pro.  The software allows single/multiple exposure and video.  Whilst the instructions are very minimal most users will have no issues getting it up and running.  At first I thought I had the wrong adapters as I could not focus the moon.  It was then I realised I was only seeing a fraction of it. Using my electronic focuser I brought the image onto the Dell - The focusing was in a very narrow range.  

I took a number of stills using both the single mode and the multiple mode.  The result was not the best. but then I made a 20 second video and found the reason why.  Atmospheric interference and instability.

I will assemble the multiple shots in Registax and see what sort of result I get, previously I have found that program to be quite useful. 

My activities were suddenly brought to a halt on the 7 day moon when the screen went black.  Looking up I found a huge cloud bank had moved in, yeah doesn't this always happen !! After removing the gear from the scope the skies cleared.   Grrrr! 

I think that this may have potential for being useful in capturing planets and the likes of M42 etc.  With cataracts developing in both eyes, focusing is becoming a pain in the sit upon it will be some time before they are operated on, but being able to view the image on a 10" stand alone monitor is making things so much easier. 

Dave

These are images taken directly off the camera, untouched in quality or size.   WYSIWYG !   Focus aberration caused by atmospheric interference.  See Video :) 

7 Day moon southern hemisphere 22nd Feb 2018  

Image-11_2018-02-22.jpg.8582c4b14d27dd5698f31590eaf05df2.jpg

 

Mare Tranquillitatus

Image-14_2018-02-22.jpg.bb9da9d709c3e9c50c0b0fd5bf5f5716.jpg

Video-5_2018-02-22.wmv

 

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On 23/02/2018 at 7:59 AM, scorpius said:

Looking up I found a huge cloud bank had moved in

Welcome to the new Australian summer mate. Increased evaporation during the day, hazy or thick cloud at night. 

That second shot looks as if the moon was trailing across the chip. The first one however does look blurry and possibly from scintillation. Hopefully you get some stable nights. I've had the same issue all summer.

Ray

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Absolutely shocking tonight 24th.  Scattered cloud,  4Cast of t/storms, Yeah.. Dave has got his scope gear out !!

Looking at the moon tonight 1st quarter. it was like a large rubber ball riding the waves in an ocean on the Scopecam.  Totally impossible to focus and hold anything still.  Looking down the tube the mirror could also do with a bit of a clean hasn't been done in a couple of years.  Though mirrors are pretty forgiving :)   Anyway at least I have everything working with the Dell.  Drove the scope around the sky while still daylight late afternoon using Stellarium.  Seems to be fairly accurate.

I gave the el Cheapo Chuwi notebook laptop to Mark. That is a pile of junk.  As they say in the upper reaches of Mascapitania..  "Ya gits wat ya pays for !!" :) 

Blinkin mossies were also pretty active tonight as well.   Yeah ATM its really a lose lose situation.  Exits left and buries one's head into an e-book with Capt Dirk Hartog exploring the WA coastline. :) 

Dave

 

 

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I have also purchased one of those Red Laser collminators.  I have been using a device I made myself with piece of plastic water plumbing.  Its done a reasonable job, but seeing that I will be cleaning the mirrors in both the 8 and 10 inch, be nice to set them up properly.  ($36AU)

SVBONY brand I have several accessories by this company and appear to be well made and reasonably priced.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/282788900834  and the guy is always happy to knock off a couple of DB on "Make an offer"  Also very low Neg FB rate.  Even though its Chinese New Year,  he always responds.

 s-l275.jpg.5d4d2bfee9990a466523c4cdc54c880d.jpg

Dave

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Have cleaned the 10" primary, was pretty yucky with cocky poo and dust.  Now looks good.  Will do the 8" over the next few days.  The Collminator is on its way, as said the seller still keeps things moving even when the rest close down for the Chinese Spring Festival.  :)

Dave

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Awesome Dave. Good to see you are getting that 10" back into full swing.

Ray

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7 minutes ago, Radar said:

Awesome Dave. Good to see you are getting that 10" back into full swing.

Ray

Looking back,  I invested a lot of money in Astro gear at a time when funds were not particularly fluid.  Basically I do want them to fall into disrepair through lack of use and maintenance.

The 10" was originally on a wooden Dob box, which was not the ideal of mounts. (Still have it stored away)  Much the same as the 8" Reflector which I built and made myself.  Getting the EQ6Pro was a huge step forward and again the home brew instinct in my makeup saw the two hoops made to put the 8 and the 10 on the EQ6Pro mount.   Its great piece of machinery and quite powerful considering the size of the stepper motors.  Over the years I have collected a respectable range of filters and  plossls both 1.25 and 2 " with various Adapters and Extension pieces. 

I have got some marks on the back patio now  which are pretty spot on for the True North position and although I have had no success in getting CDC to work in W10. (Along with a lot of other people)  I am quite happy with the way Stellarium is working with the control of the EQ6 and in addition the interface I now have between the camera AV out and a 10" monitor aids my failing eyesight. Also having motorised the viewfinder I can also focus remotely as well.  

Basically I can now  set up my Dell Laptop and control units on a table creating a complete "Remote Control"  It now remains for me to now make up a single harness with all the cables bundled to go from the Scope/Mount/Camera/focuser to the table.  --  "Life was meant to be easy ! :) "

Dave

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On 03/03/2018 at 9:10 PM, scorpius said:

now remains for me to now make up a single harness with all the cables bundled to go from the Scope/Mount/Camera/focuser to the table.

That's exactly the way imaging was meant to be. I remember the old film and manually guiding days. I did some great work back then and still think sometimes that the CCD (instant visual check of focus and framing on a screen) and autoguiding is cheating a little bit. But really, could I see myself going back to film and manually guiding? I'll keep "cheating" thanks. B)

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Received the Collminator.  Quite impressed with it.  Very easy to use.  My 10" was way off after cleaning the mirror.  I had it on the kitchen bench to do the job.  I noticed when standing it on the floor vertically the collmination had shifted slightly outside the centre hole. But as they say in the instructions one should always do a check every time you use the scope,  especially when using the scope for photography.  Also apparently using 1.25 or 2" plossls can also make a difference in the settings, hence the supply of a 1.25 to 2" adapter. 

Yeah I think this is a good investment, every one should have one in their accessory box. :) 

All we need now is some improved viewing and start looking beyond the Moon.  I am certainly interested in  seeing what sort of results I get from that little USB camera.

Plus try my Canon 1N with slide film, that will be a new learning curve having never used film before in Astro. Have run miles of the stuff thru cameras over the past 70 years! I still have some very old B & W negatives somewhere. :)

Dave

 

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Focusing film cameras on deep sky stuff can be difficult Dave. Also framing can also be difficult. I found the easiest way to focus was using a ronchi screen calibrated to your cameras focal plane. With framing deep sky objects, study star patterns around the object, then place those stars at the centre of the viewfinder. Viewfinders on film cameras were unforgiving for astrowork (however you can get high contrast viewfinders which make things easier). 

Currently taking a ton of calibration frames tonight. I've got just enough for an image (first image in a while, no thanks to global warming). I'll post soon.

Ray

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What is this film you talk of Dave? LOL.

I feel ya Ray(bloody global warming) I still need more Lum for current image.

 

Shane

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1 hour ago, poppasmurf said:

What is this film you talk of Dave? LOL.

Before your time son, :)  Sort of a plasticky material  in 8mm, 35mm and 120mm wide some with lots of little square slots along the edge. used to come in a round tin or rolled up in paper strips of various lengths.  Lots chemicals involved accompanied by disgusting smells to create pictures on pieces of paper. .  Used to be made by a man called Mr Kodak (No not the TV cop, that was Kojak) but he went broke after a another smart man invented a thing called a CCD module. 

They used to use it also for making movies and newsreels as well. Back in those days if you wanted to watch pictures of the news you had to go to a big building with lots of seats and see a Mr Lionel James Gamblin read the  Movietone News and show pictures of people walking all funny like :)  Several of those big houses were burn down because the  film used to catch fire from the heat of the arc lamp used to shine thru the film which created a large picture on a screen. 

Arc Lamp?   Ha ha ha!  That's a story in itself !! They were so bright they used them to light up aeroplanes in the sky and shoot them down......They didn't fly so fast back then!   More questions? :) 

For thy edification please enjoy this:-   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4DNEWQgJKU

and this:-   http://www.aparchive.com/partner/British Movietone

My sincere apologies for digression to a non astronomical subject :)  But Astro news is somewhat lacking of recent times, a bit like film!

 

Dave

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1 hour ago, scorpius said:

Before your time son, :)  Sort of a plasticky material  in 8mm, 35mm and 120mm wide some with lots of little square slots along the edge. used to come in a round tin or rolled up in paper strips of various lengths.  Lots chemicals involved accompanied by disgusting smells to create pictures on pieces of paper. .  Used to be made by a man called Mr Kodak (No not the TV cop, that was Kojak) but he went broke after a another smart man invented a thing called a CCD module. 

They used to use it also for making movies and newsreels as well. Back in those days if you wanted to watch pictures of the news you had to go to a big building with lots of seats and see a Mr Lionel James Gamblin read the  Movietone News and show pictures of people walking all funny like :)  Several of those big houses were burn down because the  film used to catch fire from the heat of the arc lamp used to shine thru the film which created a large picture on a screen. 

Arc Lamp?   Ha ha ha!  That's a story in itself !! They were so bright they used them to light up aeroplanes in the sky and shoot them down......They didn't fly so fast back then!   More questions? :) 

For thy edification please enjoy this:-   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4DNEWQgJKU

and this:-   http://www.aparchive.com/partner/British Movietone

My sincere apologies for digression to a non astronomical subject :)  But Astro news is somewhat lacking of recent times, a bit like film!

 

Dave

Not quite before my time lol. I had film cameras when I was a bit younger than I currently am. 

Also worked as a projectionist at local cinema and loved the film, was a real shame when they went digital.

 

Shane

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Yeah.. All very tongue in cheek :) But some interesting archival stuff there.  Did you know that the "Sun Picture House" in Broome WA is the oldest "Cinema" still operating in the world.  Its a semi open air venue with deck chair type seating.  All the ladies wear long skirts.  Not to be formal, but to ward off flying cockroaches !  Spent a few hours there ! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Picture_Garden

 

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I have a box full of about 15 rolls of kodak film that I'm going to use this year. My film cameras haven't seen any action for years. May as well go back in time and fiddle with them.

Ray

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Same here, except mine is mixed slide and print film by Fuji.  I found that to be great in the  latter stages of using film. Although out of date it is still producing some great Terrestrial pictures both modes.

I get mine processed at "Michael's" in Melbourne.

https://michaels.com.au/pages/film-developing-processing-in-store-mail-order

Very good and cooperative people

Dave

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On 12/03/2018 at 8:42 AM, scorpius said:

I get mine processed at "Michael's" in Melbourne.

 

Nowhere in WA Dave?

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2 hours ago, Radar said:

Nowhere in WA Dave?

The only one I know of is  here https://fitzgeraldphoto.com.au/film-processing.html  In Fitzgerald Street,  Northbridge. I recall I did check with them quite a long time ago and for some reason never followed up.  Guess can try them or even call into their shop. 

Dave

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Excellent mate. I know the owner of Fitzgerald's. I'll give him a call. They used to do all my developing and printing. Tomorrow night is looking good for some astro work I think. 

Ray

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Do not hold your breath.  Right now 100% cloud cover and 36 droplets of something wet on the patio this morning ! Perth Radar showing a lot more cloud coming up. 

Dave

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2 hours ago, scorpius said:

Do not hold your breath.  Right now 100% cloud cover and 36 droplets of something wet on the patio this morning ! Perth Radar showing a lot more cloud coming up. 

Geesuz Dave! Can you believe it was 38.8 C yesterday, will be 36C today and total cloud cover. Where is this weather coming from? It's never been like this. 

Ray

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IDR703.gif.7146e85e3e9b3773cfda144a08c5a832.gif

From this front crossing the coast !!!  Right now having a "reasonable shower" Garden giving gasps of relief :) 10:20

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3 hours ago, Radar said:

Geesuz Dave! Can you believe it was 38.8 C yesterday, will be 36C today

Yeah Have you looked at next Wed thru Fri ?   37 40 42  This is insane ! :o:blink::frown::angry:

 

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No. Seriously? Can they accurately get that far ahead? I couldn't see anything on the BOM. 

Ray

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14 hours ago, Radar said:

I couldn't see anything on the BOM. 

Ray

That was taken from the Win 10 Weather app. Which is supposed to source its info from BOM.  But I think its very unreliable. Direct via Perth Radar is better. 

Digusting night, humidity is up around 87% this morning and still 100% cloud cover.  Radar shows maybe some rain again if you happen to be standing in the right squares. :)

Off to Oral Heath Centre Nedlands  again today  Got 7 appointments between now and Easter. :( Not the best of pastimes, but the 3rd year Student I have is very good. :)

Dave

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