Exview






From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  1:50 am
Subject:  M51, ExView 1004X

In between clouds last night I managed to capture some images of M51. The 
attached is a sum of 12x35seconds, taken with the modified (and cooled) 1004X 
CCTV camera at prime focus of my F/5 150mm reflector. No IR filter. Dark/flat 
correction done with my own software, contrast stretching done in PaintshopPro
followed by a 50% size reduction and very mild USM. If you really stretch the 
brightness you can make out some of the whispy bits to the top and right of the 
smaller galaxy - I wasn't sure last night if they were real features or an 
artefact but on examining some 'proper' pictures today it seems the whispiness 
is real. I'll have to try to capture more of it next time.

Clear Skies, 

  Jon Grove. 


From:  "Jan Timmermans"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  4:27 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] M51, ExView 1004X

 Hi Jon
                 
Wow! Your efforts certainly are paying you back! I am sure you are happy 
                 
Clear skies!
                 
Groetjes/greetings 

  Jan Timmermans 
  N 51.365067 
  E 5.459444 
  Astro website: http://home.hetnet.nl/~dukoyy/firmament 


From:  "lynol1000"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  4:54 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X



Great work Jon! Very rewarding work.

Ok, let me check something, I can purchase all of the components
to do your upgrade, but do you know of anywhere I can get some dark
sky and place it in my back yard? 

  Gene

  http://www.geocities.com/lynol1000


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  5:29 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

Thanks Ron, Jan and Gene for your comments. 

Regarding dark sky - I wouldn't call my site particularly dark! Even on
a moonless night the sky is bright enough (and not with stars!) to make 
very clear silhouettes of trees. I've been thinking of buying one of the 
didymium/neodymium low-pressure Sodium filters that are available (Baader 
do one, and there's one called NoNaD), since most of the light pollution 
around my way is from LPS street lights. Has anyone here tried one, and 
if so what sort of results did it give?

  Jon. 


From:  "lynol1000"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  5:44 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X



 Jon,

Remember our previous conversation about dark skies, I am the one that 
can only see 3 stars in the little dipper 95% of the time! :(

" I guess on a reasonable night I can see 9 or 10 or so of the Pleaides 
naked eye - I've not counted the 'little dipper' stars but I'm certain 
I could see more than 3!"

And I am also extremely interested in use of an LPR filter, most of what
I have read is that when used for DSO galaxy/star types, by the time you
add enough exposure back to make up of the loss on the DSO, the sky back=
ground comes up with it.

Anyone with experience using these LPR filters on stars/galaxies???

  Gene

From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  5:59 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

Ah, yes, I remember now! In fact last night I had a look at the Pleiades 
and could only positively count 8, but it was before I was properly dark-adapted.

I was particularly interested in the 'didymium' filters because they have a deep 
notch at the low-pressure sodium wavelengths but are relatively transparent to most 
others. And they are relatively inexpensive, at about £30 or so. Since most of the 
light pollution in my area is LPS it would be great to be able to filter it out and 
be able to get higher contrast images, even if they do take a little longer to 
expose. It would probably make visual observing more enjoyable too!

  Jon. 



               
From:  "lynol1000"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  6:29 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X



  Jon,

More on light pollution and it's effect.

The picture I posted of NGC2903 here:

 NGC2903 

I did some digging and found the following using IRIS 'statistics'.

Box upper left star: Max = 4673 counts
Box area immediatly next to it: Max = 4479 counts
Now (4673-4479)= 194 counts
So total added by each image = 194counts/60 images = 3.23 counts

And given that the cam max in counts = approx 750 and each color adds 
approx 255 (3x255) I get the star adding a count of ONE to each frame 
of the summed image, technically right at the limit of reliable detection.

Each original image, after dark subtraction has a full image max of 540,
 so I am losing 70 counts ((750 -540/3) to light polution, or 1/3 the 
dynamic range, and the dark images have residual pollution in the!

   Gene


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  7:25 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

   Gene, 

I couldn't access your image for some reason, but the statistics you quote are
 interesting. When you mention dark subtraction, do you mean subtraction of a 
dark frame, or setting the threshold value below which pixels are displayed as 
black? From the context I guess you mean the latter - in which case it's quite
an achievement to be able to detect stars at the limit of 1 count per frame 
against a background of 70 or so. This sort of example would have been useful 
in the Great Summing vs Averaging Stacking Debate!

   Jon. 

From:  "vilarestil"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  8:05 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X


  Dear Jon,

Great picture!

I have modified my ExView to stage 1 and am just waiting for a chance 
to try it. I will post some pics as soon as I have some. Did you say that 
you have removed the IR filter? Is that the piece of glass across the CCD 
and is it necessary for better results?

The parts for stage 2 and 3 are on order from Maplin. Can I use any of the
available long exposure friendly software to use it or will I have to wait
for your version? If so, when do you plan to release it?

Thanks again for a great mod and I hope my early pics are even only 
half as good!

  - Adam 


From:  "lynol1000"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  8:08 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X



  Jon,

Ooopps!

I hosed that. Meant to say:

Each original image, after dark FRAME subtraction has a full image
range of 540 counts, so I am losing 70 counts ((750-540)/3) to light 
pollution, or 1/3 the dynamic range, and the RESULTANT IMAGE FRAMES 
AFTER DARK SUBTRACTION have residual pollution in them.

red faced here :)!

Yes, summing has it's place on DSO, no way stacking would bring out 1 unit!

  Gene

            
From:  "vilarestil"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  9:09 am
Subject:  ExView 1004X


Dear ExView users,

When testing out stage 1 of the mod, I discovered that the 'magic 
white frame' is not being generated every time I reclose the switch.
I tried to ascertain whether it was releated to time but it doesn't 
seem to be the case. It's random whether I reclose the switch after 2 
or 10 seconds.
Have any of you experienced the same thing i.e. sometimes it integrates,
other times it doesn't?
I have checked my wiring so I don't think it's a loose connection!

Many thanks,

  - Adam    

From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  8:27 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

  Hi Adam, 

Great to hear that you've started the mod - I look forward to seeing your 
results! 

The camera does not come with an IR filter - DON'T remove the glass in front 
of the CCD as it's all that protects the silicon from the elements! The IR 
filter I use came from an old camcorder salvaged from the local tip.

The existing long-exposure software will probably not (quite) work with the 
camera because of the special technique needed for collecting the images. 
You'd probably get frames with alternate black lines. Once I'm happy that 
my program is 'good enough' I'll make it available to all and sundry - in 
the meantime if you finish the mod and want to be a guinea pig for it, 
contact me off-list.
Alternatively you could run an existing capture program, but feed the video 
from the camera into a VCR and sample it into the computer afterwards.

Cheers, 
   Jon. 



From:  "wlbehrens"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  9:54 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X


  Jon,

Do you know if Bev at COAA is going to support this mod with AstroVideo? 
I have also found parts to replace the mechanical relays (made by Analog 
Devices). You can view the specs here:

 Switches 

  William

PS have you guys seen the Color and High res versions of the complete 
camera at RF Concepts yet? Very affordable.


Dear ExView users,

When testing out stage 1 of the mod, I discovered that the 'magic white frame'
is not being generated every time I reclose the switch.
I tried to ascertain whether it was releated to time but it doesn't seem to be
the case. It's random whether I reclose the switch after 2 or 10 seconds.
Have any of you experienced the same thing i.e. sometimes it integrates, other 
times it doesn't?
I have checked my wiring so I don't think it's a loose connection!

Many thanks,

  - Adam

From:  "ssb73q"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  10:22 am
Subject:  Re: ExView 1004X


   Adam,

Jon is the expert and he will reply, but have you considered switch 
bounce being a problem?

Regards,

   Richard

From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  9:18 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] ExView 1004X

  Hi Adam, 

How are you monitoring the output from the camera? Are you viewing it on a 
TV/monitor, or are you capturing it on your PC?

I found that using a TV I would always see the 'bright' frame (except on 
very rare occasions, <1% when the timing was just wrong).
Using a capture card in preview mode you may well not be seeing all the frames, 
and so the magic one might not be displayed. If you can capture an AVI at 
25 [30 US] fps without dropping any frames then you ought to see the magic 
one in there somewhere!

  Jon. 

From:  "Alan Leggett"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  11:41 am
Subject:  Re:ExView 1004x Colour?

  Hi Jon 

I sent a post about 3 weeks ago but I guess you did'nt see it, does your mod
 cover the colour camera. 
                 
Clear Skies

  Alan Leggett


From:  "celstark"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  10:34 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X


  Gene,

Losing some dynamic range to light pollution may not be a bad thing at 
all, given that you're at the extreme limit of sensitivity. If each 
frame is contributing only 1 to the signal, the noise from the light 
pollution may actually help a bit -- help to actually get you up to 
that 1. Getting you off the signal floor a bit will allow the signal+noise
distribution to be more symmetric, letting you resolve weaker signals. So,
actually using a nebula filter might end up hurting. Of course, if you 
could leave the shutter open longer and maintain perfect tracking, you'd 
be better off with the filter as it would be more signal actually getting 
you up off the floor.

One idea I've had, though (as soon as I get my Mogg adapter in the mail,
I'll work on some of these things) -- what if we did the nebula filter
in software? It would seem to me that as long as you're not saturating
your CCD (and if you've acquired it in color), you could duplicate the 
effect of the nebula filter just in software. Don't want a particular 
wavelength? Filter it out of your image -- heck you should even be able 
to do it in Photoshop. Granted, this in in a thread on the 1004X and it's 
not color, but for us color quickcam users, it should work...
               

From:  "lynol1000"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  12:30 pm
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X



  celstark,

Agreed 'some' light pollution can help get the CCD into the sweet spot, 
but I have way too much :(

Tracking is reasonable on my scope, the image was 60 frames each 50 
seconds long with no manual or automatic guiding.

One thing I do see, and have never seen it mentioned so far, is the 
ToUCam SW seems to do some image motion compensation in SW if it does 
not move too much.

If I 'animate' the 60 frames, you can see the things march for and back
across the screen, one east and one west cycle in those 50 minutes, yet 
no one image shows any appreciable trailing! So I am losing something to 
tracking.

As far as a nebula filter in SW, yes it would work, but not with a web 
cam, would need a detector at many wavelengths, not just three buckets. 
Heck, ToUCam can do it now, just set the color balance to add or subtract 
more/less, crude but something.

  Gene


From:  "vilarestil"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  9:25 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X


 --- In QCUIAG@y..., Jon Grove  wrote:

    > Alternatively you could run an existing capture program, but
    > feed the video from the camera into a VCR and sample it into the
    > computer afterwards.

   Dear Jon,

Thanks for the advice re: the IR filter, etc.

But now you've got me worried! Can I not feed the ExView video output 
straight into my capture card? When I was testing stage 1 I could easily
find the integrated frame with AVIEdit for further processing, etc, having 
used a programme like videoview to capture it in the first place.

I was planning to do the same thing for deep sky stuff. Is this not the
 correct procedure as it is more convenient for me rather than having to 
lug the family video around!

  Many thanks, Adam


From:  "bigfuton"  
Date:  Fri Mar 8, 2002  4:15 pm
Subject:  "good frame" in 1004X mod.


  Hi again 

Seeing all that has been advanced in the modification of 1004X, invades me 
a doubt with respect to the way of capturing the "good frame" in the mod. of
Jon Grove. 
Do correct me if I make a mistake but, to capture each integrated frame, is
it necessary to capture an avi to 25 or 30 fps and later, to look for that 
frame?. is there available some software that allows to control the 1004X 
mod.?

thank you

  Julian



From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  1:38 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re:ExView 1004x Colour?

   Hi Alan,
                 
Sorry I missed your message, there is so much to wade through on this group!
                 
I haven't tried the mod with a colour camera, but in principle it ought to work (with some 
tweaks) with any camera that uses the Sony chipset. The timing generator chip will be 
different in a colour camera, but will probably have similar control signals which can be 
used. Some experimentation would be necessary!
                 
  Jon.


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  1:44 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] "good frame" in 1004X mod.

Sorry, been away from my PC for a few days! 
To capture a frame it is currently necessary that software can 'see' every frame as it is 
generated. It only needs to select the exposed ones to store in an AVI. I have a 
preliminary program that does all this work, and compiles an AVI consisting only of 
exposed frames. When the program has had a bit more testing, and if there is sufficient 
interest, I will make it generally available.

   Jon Grove. 


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  1:48 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

  Hi Adam, 

Sorry if I've worried you! It's fine (and preferable!) to capture the output straight to 
the PC, rather than via a VCR. Programs will be available which will watch the video input 
and retain only the exposed frames. I was only suggesting a stop-gap solution which
would allow you to use the camera before such programs are available.

   Clear Skies, 
   Jon Grove. 


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  1:57 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X


  Hi William, 

I think Dr. Wainwright has answered the first part of your question. Regarding 
the second part, I don't think that particular device will work since I need to 
switch signals that are typically around 15V. The spec says it works for signals 
within the range of the power supply for the device, which is up to 5.5V

However there may be other devices that will be usable - I can see that my work 
is not over yet! I'll have to do some more investigation.

  Clear Skies, 
  Jon Grove. 


From:  "wlbehrens"  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  8:26 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X


Yea....looked at it again and it looks like it would only work for the clamping 
circuit. I will start looking at FET transistors for the source supply switches. 
Mechanical design is the big deal now as I want to use the same one for both my 
PyroSC and this camera.

  William



From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  8:58 am
Subject:  1004x mod, relays

It seems that there is some concern over the use of relays in the design for the 
ExView 1004x mod. I wondered if this was because the subconscious image of a relay 
is of a big clunky thing that would be more at home in an ancient telephone exchange. 
The devices I've used are about the same size as a 14-pin DIL IC, but a little bit 
'taller'. From the Maplin site it seems the dimensions (I haven't actually measured 
one) are about 8x14x11mm - hardly huge. They are encapsulated in a black rectangular 
package, and look like a fat IC. They have the advantage of doing the job well, with 
no problems with crosstalk or bandwidth or voltage/power limitations or on/off 
resistance. These are important qualities, because the signals that are being switched 
are responsible for transferring the charge from the sensor area of the CCD to the shift 
registers, which must be an 'all-or-nothing' operation. 

Have I overlooked a deeper reason for not wanting to use relays, or is it their 'image' 
that's primarily the problem? I've used my camera a fair bit now, and had no problems 
with the relays. If there is a good reason to do so then of course I'll investigate
alternatives, but I need to be convinced that there is something wrong or undesirable 
in the current design.

  Thanks for any input, 

  Jon Grove. 


From:  "lynol1000"  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  10:31 am
Subject:  Re: 1004x mod, relays



  Jon,

  FWIW: 
I have found relays perform the job you need done very well. As long as the control 
current/voltage are reasonable where else can on-resistance, crosstalk and snr on a 
sine wave or analog level be controlled so well. The only thing is used sealed relays. 
In the presence of air all but the real high priced ones degrade with contact oxidation 
over time. Heck, I used the 14pin versions in a system and when I fired it up 10 years 
later after being in storage I had to replace the relays, all the contacts had oxidized 
to the point of worthless.

  Gene


 
From:  "celstark"  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  1:43 pm
Subject:  Re: 1004x mod, relays


> Have I overlooked a deeper reason for not wanting to use relays, or is it
> their 'image' that's primarily the problem? 

  Jon,

I've used relays in a number of computer-interface projects and there's not a darn 
thing wrong with it in this application. My personal faves are 500 ohm, 5V reed relays 
(available from Mouser and Digikey -- the 250 ohm version is avail. from Radio Shack).
They're little blue suckers, round, about as long as a 16-pin IC and about 2/3 the 
width. At 500 ohms, they draw all of 10mA, are simple, and offer nice isolation (I 
chose them to easily isolate noise on computer data lines and grounds from a signal 
that had to be clean). $1.84 apiece from Mouser (431-1415).

  Craig


From:  "wlbehrens"  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  3:36 pm
Subject:  Re: 1004x mod, relays


   Jon,

Don't take me wrong bud.....Your relays are fine. I am an "X" electronic engineer and 
try to over design anything and everything I do. I used to work at a company that would 
fix hardware issues with software "patches" which I detest. I am terminally anal retentive
on design issues and I am always looking for other ways to do things. "I" prefer to keep 
the mechanical parts to a minimum and just gravitate to non-mechanical solutions. I was 
not slamming your design at all.

   William



From:  ÷hreneder Christian  
Date:  Tue Mar 12, 2002  11:13 pm
Subject:  Exview CCD


    Hi!

My questions is not related to astronomy, I am looking for people that can help me with 
CCD cameras.

Specifically, I am looking for an industrial camera that uses the Sony ICX249AL (or
ICX248AL) Exview chip from Sony. This chip is used in standard surveilance cameras but 
I need the possibility to control the shutter time (gain) from the PC. The only camera 
I know is the JAI M50IR but I don't like the interface and I am looking for alternatives.
Further I would need a possibilty to remotely control the (DC-)Iris of a lens. Do you 
have any tips where to get such a device.

   Bye!
   Christian



From:  "pacemvolit"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  2:04 am
Subject:  Re: M51, ExView 1004X

  Jon,

This image is wonderful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and engineering genius 
with the rest of the (astro) world!

I have already ordered a 1004X(A); unfortunately they are out of stock, so while 
waiting for it, I began to count pixels ;-) and seem to have some newbie problems and 
questions...

You web pages say that the 1004X has a icx255al chip. The sony specs say: 500*582 
effective pixels, 9,8*6,3 mju pixel size.

Your image has 335*219 pixels and you say that you made a 1/2 rescale. 
This would result in 670*438 pixels which I cannot match with the sony spec.

Next I can't understand why you get a seemingly correct height/width ratio in your 
picture when the pixels are so "unquadratic".

And at least I am interested if there are some estimates on the benefits of long time 
exposure vs. video integration for this chip. (looking at readout noise and the like)

  Thanks and excuses for my german english...
  Wilfried


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  2:33 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

  Hi Wilfried, 

Thanks for your comments! 

Sorry to hear the 1004x is out of stock. I wonder how many of them have gone to QCUIAG 
members? 

The final size of my image is not particularly related to the CCD size, because of the 
way the image is generated. The camera generates a video signal with 582 horizontal data 
lines, since that's all the information it has. In order to generate a 640x480 image, I 
imagine the capture card driver does some rescaling - I'm not sure of this, but I know 
that it produces images with the correct aspect ratio from the video signal. It may be 
possible to force the driver to generate 500x582 images but I'm not convinced of this. 
I find the driver crashes if I change the image format too much!

I captured multiple 640x480 images, each one displaced from the others so as to (a) cover 
a wider area of sky and (b) help with removal of hot pixels. I merged/stacked/mosaiced 
these images into a larger image, and selected a rectangular area from the result, which 
I then scaled down by 50% (among other things).

  Hope that helps, 

  Jon. 


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  3:50 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: M51, ExView 1004X

Further to my earlier reply, I just found this website which explains some of the details 
of image capturing from video. It seems that the CCIR video standard has 625 horizontal 
lines, of which 575 are 'active' - so the camera can generate a valid CCIR video signal
using the 500x582 sensor array. The remaining 50 lines are blank, and give the display 
device time to reset itself ready for the next field.

 Click 

   Clear Skies, 
   Jon. 


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  5:41 am
Subject:  ExView sources

I'll repeat (and add to) an earler post here under a more suitable heading! 

It seems that RF Concepts are currently out of stock of the 1004X board camera. The 
original source appears to be Sun Kwang Electronics, in Korea.

 Click

They also appear to manufacture a high-res version with 410K pixels: 
 
 Click

The only supplier I can find for this hi-res version is a Hungarian company: 
 
 Click 

For the normal-res versions, there are I believe two variants (the 1004 type and the 2005 
type), which have the same or similar circuitry but different PCB layouts. There are also 
variants on each of these for European and US video standards.

In the UK, Henrys do the cased version 2005X for £70. As far as I know, the circuitry 
is the same as the 1004X but I believe the layout of the PCB is different with these 
cameras in order to fit the PCB into a smaller case (and they are also a bit more 
expensive!).

 Click 

I've also just spotted this company in the US, who advertise a 0.003lux board camera that 
looks like it might be the same one as the 1004X or 2005X (but presumably with US-style 
video output) for $96. Model BBS-1005X. (Seems they only sell in quantities of 10+ though)

 Click 

Also in the US, for $159, is the B-1005-NV-BD which looks like a variant on the same theme. 
  
 Click 

Please bear in mind that I haven't actually seen any of these cameras so I can't vouch 
for them being the same as the 1004X. In fact, from their photographs, I suspect that
they are more like the PCB in the 2005X but I don't know for sure.
However, with a multimeter it shouldn't be hard to work out where to make appropriate 
connections to the PCB, given that the circuitry is almost certainly very similar.

   Clear Skies, 
   Jon Grove. 





From:  "ssb73q"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  6:22 am
Subject:  Re: ExView sources

Jon, thank you for all the references. Too bad we can't convince an original manufacture 
to design a sensitive low cost camera with shutter speed control. I would think it would 
have a lot of application for astronomy, microscopy, and military surveillance application.
Maybe it's just that the military doesn't think low cost? 

   Regards,
   Richard


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  6:29 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: ExView sources

   
Or maybe the "Powers That Be" don't want Joe Public being able to see/film in near 
darkness? :-) 
    
   Jon. 

From:  "wlbehrens"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  8:35 am
Subject:  Re: ExView sources


Jon and other 1004X board tinkerers,

I contacted RF Concepts and they said they would be willing to 
order the SK-1043X (High Res version of the 1004X) and , get this,

The color version of the 1004X (SK-1102X). They would do it on a special order basis, 
but if we were to pool our intrestes in the future and we could set up a order que at 
RF-Concepts maybe we could get a better price. Would this be something the group would be 
interested in after the 1004X is in use a little more? If we could organize (which would 
be a breakthrough for us considering the filter poll Dr. Wainwright ran) we could get a 
much better price. 

  William

  Just kicking around some ideas.....

  PS BTW the Starlight Express MX7C uses the ExView 1/2" model of this chip. 


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  9:05 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: ExView sources

That's strange - I emailed RFConcepts today to ask about getting hold of the various 
ExView alternatives too! I haven't heard from them, but it looks like they've responded 
anyway.

I notice that they sell a CS-mount hi-res colour ExView module already, 786x494 resolution,
with a claimed sensitivity of 0.05Lux which is pretty good for a colour camera. It costs 
£152+VAT, which gives an indication of the price a bare board might be. A similar B/W 
module costs £95+VAT, or lo-res for £69. Extrapolating from the 1004x price (£43) gives 
an estimate of 152-(69-43)=£126+VAT for the bare colour PCB, and 95-(69-43)=£69+VAT for 
the bare hi-res mono pcb.

I'm not sure how much the improved CCD resolution would gain us, considering we're only 
going to capture at 640x480. Would the extra cost be worthwhile? The estimated colour pcb 
price is 3 times the 1004x price - we'd have to consider whether that was worthwhile, or 
whether it would be preferable to use the monochrome device and take multiple images 
through coloured filters to create colour images.

Plenty to think about! I'm pretty sure any of these cameras would be 'easily' modified 
using something very close to the existing circuit, if not identical. I think the one 
that most interests me is the colour one - although I'd be even more interested in a 
medium resolution (and thus less expensive) colour camera with 0.05Lux sensitivity.

  Jon Grove. 

From:  "wlbehrens"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  9:25 am
Subject:  Re: ExView sources


  Jon,

As a replacement for the Ever dwindling supply of Web cameras that are used for planetary 
work the color ExView would be outstanding!! I agree with your prices on the cameras. I 
also sent mail to Sunkang to see about direct purchase. As far as the High res version 
goes.....you are correct that we would see marginal benefits from the increase resolution, 
but some benifit would be seen (sharpness of image). I would rather have a 1/2" chip so 
the cell size was a little bigger (more sensitivity). The color camera is a real interesting 
item though. Personally I would like 2 cameras. One for planetary and one for DSO's. I 
would prefer the DSO camera to be black and white and use a color filter wheel. Lets me 
do Luminance layer work. You could use the High res. B/W for luminance and the medium res 
color for color layers......many things are going to happen this year, very exciting.

  William


From:  Jon Grove  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  9:33 am
Subject:  RE: [QCUIAG] Re: ExView sources

  Hi William, 

It's so tempting when faced with a range of alternatives, to just choose them all! I've
been thinking along the lines of making the daughterboard into a plugin device that is 
permanently connected to the PC interface cable (at the camera end). I'd then modify any
cameras I got, so they'd be able to connect to the one daughterboard via, say, a D-connector.
That would cut down on the amount of work, and expense, needed to make a range of useful 
cameras for all sorts of scenarios.

 Too much to think about! 

   Jon. 

From:  "rjsdotorg"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  9:26 am
Subject:  Re: ExView sources


> Would this be something the group would be 
> interested in after the 1004X is in use a little more

I would, for one. 
We might also be able to prevail upon RFConcepts, as a retailer, to contact Sun Kwang 
Electronics about a 'bulb' option. The board also needs a hole designed into the circuit 
board behind the chip for optional cooling. I have tried contacting them, but no reply.
Their links are below:

 Click 
  
 Click
   
 Click

  Other source for Exview board cams:
  
 Click                Ray


From:  "ssb73q"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  10:29 am
Subject:  Re: ExView sources

Ray, We might also be able to prevail upon RFConcepts, as a retailer, to contact Sun 
Kwang Electronics about a 'bulb' option.>>

Great idea!! 

   Regards,
   Richard






From:  "wlbehrens"  
Date:  Wed Mar 13, 2002  11:14 am
Subject:  Re: ExView sources


With the type of CCD that is used (field period read out) it would require a 
modification like Jon's or something that would increase the cost dramatically.
I would think that if we could build a daughter board assembly that would hook 
up to these camera modules with little work or someone offered the services to 
build them that the need for Sunkwang to re-design the camera would not be needed.

The cameras are cheap because of the volume that they are produced in. Small runs 
of cameras would drive the price way up. I think this is the next logical step from 
web cams. I only hope that they are more stable in their availability than the web 
cams are. 


                William