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Equipment used for video astronomy .

Telescopes at my disposal :

80mm F/7 refractor with a wooden tripod and manual alt/az mount

ETX90/EC with the Meade Tripod

ETX125 with Meade Tripod

C8 on a Great Polaris mount ,  RA motor drive  .

Canon IS15x50 image stabilized binoculars - very good for visual observations  .

Inexpensive spotting scope 25x50 .

Inexpensive (supermarket) telescope 70mm aperture. The optics may not be very good, but with a RA motor drive the mount should do well as a polar mount for a camera.

Inexpensive 70mm F5 refractor , just the optical tube, just for fun

114mm Newtonian on tripod - not tested yet

Coronado PST (Personal Solar Telescope) until now used only for visual observations. Narrow band accessory filter gives a considerable boost of the contrast.
Was tested  with a bracket and compact digicam (Canon A95) with much difficulty in focusing, the image of a prominence was not to my satisfaction.

Camera :

Astrovid2000 with the C to 1 1/4 adaptor . Filter set RGB + IR block from True Tech.
H-alpha nebula filter , 10nm bandwidth , NOT a Solar Prominence Filter .
The colour filters have not yet been in use , but the H-alpha filter has been used to enhance solar images.

Sony DV-cam DCR-PC110 with 10x optical zoom . The camera has what is labeled a "Low LUX" setting as well as a "Nightshot" function .

Sony TRV-77 with nightshot facility .I tested it one night and found the light polluted sky saturating the CCD , and showing very grainy (noisy) images . Without using "nightshot" it easily shows Mizar and Alcor , so some sensitivity is there . It might be useable for meteor showers . This should be tested at some stage .

Video capture :

Using the PC110 as a recorder - analog input and Firewire output .

Home Video machine : Combined Hi8 and VHS machine .

Video capture card :  a)  WinTV , easily captures 384x288 , b) Firewire (DV) Capture card - goes well with the portable recorder

Webcam capture :

Philips Vesta Pro 680K with a Mogg adaptor

Philips  ToU-Cam Pro

Hardware Pentium III 1GHz /256MB /40GB - - - needs an upgrade

Software :
Capture : Avi_IO useable for video as well as webcam

Image processing software :
Photoshop Elements 2 ( comes with cameras etc )

A free image processing program The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is available from www.gimp.org

IRIS - powerful image processing software , Freeware , I have just scratched the surface of its possibilities .

AstroStack - image stacking software , no longer  freeware program by Robert Stekelenburg . Now in Version 3.0 . see his homepage

Registax is freeware and more useful to me than the free Astrostack version.

Photo (film) :

Camera : Olympus OM-1 , a classic for astrophoto . I have made some photos with 50 and 135mm lenses , and they will be posted here as well at a later stage .

Scanner : Minolta slide scanner .

Photo Digital  :

Camera : Canon EOS 20D ,  . Used with the C8 and with a 1000mm Maksutov teleobjective (useable as a telescope as well)
Until now use for lunar images only,

Used as a widefield camera for  Aurora Borealis and Noctilucent Clouds (NLC)

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Last update 21 January 2006 by Jan Andersen.
Background image : Video image of the Pleiades
Top caption : Lunar Eclipse 21-01-2000