New Webcam Option

For those interested in imaging and image processing with DSLR, CCD, webcam or film.
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DRatledge
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New Webcam Option

#1 Post by DRatledge » Mon May 14, 2012 1:01 pm

With the ending of the Philips webcams I came across this alternative using a Microsoft webcam.
http://ghonis2.ho8.com/lifecam/lifecam1.html

If you read all the pages you will see he eventually gets 30 frames per second with lossless compression - way ahead of what the Philips ever achieved. Pretty impressive performance when it is in HD resolution as well.

There is some work involved in adapting it for astronomy - bet Ross could do it though!

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bbones
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Re: New Webcam Option

#2 Post by bbones » Thu May 17, 2012 1:56 pm

There are a couple of Philips Webcam SPC 900NC on Ebay bids currently £37, I did put a bid in when it ws £8 and it jumped £25 :(
SkyWatcher HEQ5
Sky-Scan EQ3-2
Celestron C8
SkyWatcher 80ED Apro
Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 SynScan AZ GOTO
Canon 600D
Canon 400D
Opticstar PX-35C COOLAIR CCD camera

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DRatledge
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Re: New Webcam Option

#3 Post by DRatledge » Thu May 17, 2012 5:31 pm

Phil,
I can understand your priorities on the EQ5. However, it will be interesting to see what the M/s Lifecam can achieve. It sounds almost too good to be true. One point to note - it is a small chip so will require a lot less magnification - a 2x barlow should be enough for most scopes. When Ross does the webcam imaging workshop next month it will be worth bringing it along.

mhall

Re: New Webcam Option

#4 Post by mhall » Fri May 18, 2012 11:02 am

Hi, this is my first post but I will write an intro asap.

I've just bought one of the lifecam Cinema HD for £40 from pcworld. I chose it as its low light specs are really good (and because it's HD). I did the mod from this site -

http://ghonis2.ho8.com/lifecam/lifecam1.html

There are also some 1.25" adapters that can be bought from ebay specifically for this camera.

It works well, but it did involve de-soldering the lens and blocking the light from a blue led next to the sensor. It fits really well into a 1.25" tube. I'm just waiting for a clear night now but I will post some results.

I tried recording some video of a few stars into registax. It worked well but nothing really good enough to post and yes, it is a very small field of view. The sensor is 1/4" and it's specs are here - http://www.ovt.com/uploads/parts/OV9712 ... %20WEB.pdf

One thing i did notice is that the camera get's quite warm so it may be produce noisy images without external cooling.

Mike.

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Re: New Webcam Option

#5 Post by DRatledge » Fri May 18, 2012 11:40 am

Mike,
Well done converting it successfully. That's the same link as I posted at the top.
What sort of frame rates can you achieve with it? I guess your PC will probably be the determining factor of the ultimate speed.
Are you coming to Ross's workshop next month? It will certainly be worth bringing along.

mhall

Re: New Webcam Option

#6 Post by mhall » Fri May 18, 2012 12:42 pm

I was using a netbook to capture, so the frame rate was pretty poor as they aren't the fastest machines.

I'll try to get to the workshop and bring it along.

I would like to comment on the instructions...

Step 6 is unnecessary. There is no need to remove these screws from the base and you may even break components off the camera pcb by trying.

Step 14, removing the microphone, don't do what I did and separate the metal mic cover from it's base. The metal cover, rubber mic and its base should all come out in one piece. I broke the ribbon cable to the mic trying to remove it through the hole in its base. It still works without the mic in however.

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Re: New Webcam Option

#7 Post by DRatledge » Fri May 18, 2012 7:22 pm

Look forward to seeing it and perhaps in action.
Probably a good thing to remove the microphone. When things go wrong the last thing you want is your choice words recording!

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