Friday, 25 January 2013

DIY Digi Scope Web cam for Telescope

With the new telescope I have been seeing quite a lot of people are hacking usb web cameras to attach to telescopes.  After some reading and a rummage in the dark corners of a box of bits I have found a web cam it's a Maplin 720p HD web cam. 

This little camera had a surprise for me in store.  I got curios and unscrewed the focus ring and to my delight it was the same thread as the Aluminium web cam adaptor for SPC880 / SPC900 web cams that seem to be the armature astronomer's favourite with 1.25" filter thread.

I had to do some drilling of the web cam case for the adaptor to fit but behold it works.  You also need to remove the blue led's as well please see below.

 USB camera opened up with lens removed. As you can see the adaptor screws in fine.
 Only fly in the ointment is the hole is not quite big enough to take the adaptor.
 Quick visit to the Man Cave .... The garage ;) and run through with a 20mm drill and your good to go.
 Note 2 blue led's I thought might be a night sight wreaking so out they come...
 Clip PCB back in to the front of the web cam.
 Check fit of adaptor.. All looks good.
 The finished hack...

 I have tested it in day light looking at tiles on the roof and it seems to focus OK.  Just waiting for a clear night to give it a real go.

Distractions from Radio

Of late I have been getting more curious about the night sky and have finally taken the plunge and purchased a modest telescope.
This is a Sky Watcher Explorer 130P EQ2 Parabolic Newtonian Reflector Telescope.  I have so far seen Jupiter and it’s Galilean moons Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa. So not a bad start, The moon was bright so I did not bother to try and look at it with out a filter.