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Thread: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

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    Default Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq



    Hi there, after some great advice on here I've opted for the Philips SPC900NC Webcam that I plan to use for images of the moon as a starting point, with a celestron astromaster 114eq. I will hopefully collect this in the next few days.

    This might sound silly but would I need to get the moon in central focus with the 20mm ep, remove the ep and then add the webcam (with adapter) to the scope and focus from there via a laptop?

    If so what size in the frame would the moon be using a webcam in comparison to a 20mm ep view?

    Is there a way to increase magnification using a webcam like it does say swapping from a 20mm to 10mm ep?

    Sorry for all the questions I'm just trying to get my head around optics and the basics of astrophotography specifically within the limitations of my astromaster scope.

    The weather in Manchester England had took a rainy and windy turn for the worst the last few nights however I was able to get out a few times to try out my Christmas present and it was a joy to see the moon from the back garden

    Thanks with any help with this

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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Quote Originally Posted by Chezza View Post
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    This might sound silly but would I need to get the moon in central focus with the 20mm ep, remove the ep and then add the webcam (with adapter) to the scope and focus from there via a laptop?
    You can do it that way.

    You could also potentially just use your finder to get your scope aimed at the Moon and potentially skip using the eyepiece. The problem being that IIRC your scope comes with a miserable finder. But still, if you have your finder well-aligned with your scope that may prove adequate.

    If so what size in the frame would the moon be using a webcam in comparison to a 20mm ep view?
    I don't know just how to answer that. But I believe your sensor has a diagonal size of about 4mm which means that the Moon will likely look pretty large in your image - you may be looking at a relatively small portion of the Moon?

    Is there a way to increase magnification using a webcam like it does say swapping from a 20mm to 10mm ep?
    You could potentially consider a focal reducer to make the Moon look smaller, but I doubt you will want to use a Barlow (or something similar) to make it look larger.
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Thanks loads for your reply OleCuss really appreciate, I wasn't sure how best to focus in the beginning with the webcam and I agree that the finder is bad, I'm hoping to replace at some point. The scope was 2nd hand and came with only the erecting 20mm ep, I want to try and get a new plossl 10 and 20mm ep's soon aswell.



    Finding focus I'm expecting to be trial and error but thank you for your help in relation to the possibility of using a focal reducer, I will look into this combination with a webcam

    I can't wait to have a go at imaging the moon and hopefully although small, getting some usable footage of Jupiter / Saturn

    My background is photography and I love macro work even with its dof restrictions, my partner bought me this scope as a surprise, and didn't realise it wouldn't work with my dslr. I am definitely looking forward to the challenge of learning with this scope and using the webcam and software to produce images

    Thanks again
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Hi there Cherry.
    I looked around about this cam and I'm quite impressed with the results that some achieve.
    Have you modded your cam yet?
    If not...here are a couple of links to assist in modding that cam.
    The second link has info on a nosepiece available in the UK.
    I am looking forward to some of your images.
    You do fantastic work

    Regard
    Bob

    Philips SPC900NC/00 Webcam for Astrophotography | Night Sky in Focus

    Philips SPC900NC Webcam for Astrophotography
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Try having a look at the " Sharpcap " tutorial on You Tube, it answers your questions. Sharpcap is also a very good capture programme to use.
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Quote Originally Posted by Chezza View Post
    .
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    Finding focus I'm expecting to be trial and error but thank you for your help in relation to the possibility of using a focal reducer, I will look into this combination with a webcam.
    .
    .
    .
    I may have given the wrong impression.

    A focal reducer will most assuredly not help you achieve focus. It will likely make focusing actually harder!

    But it will change the image scale such that the Moon may appear smaller if that is what you want. Using something like a Barlow would tend to make the Moon (or whatever else you are pointed at) appear larger.

    Both focal reducers and Barlows/Powermates (and similar) have their advantages and disadvantages. You'll likely want to try your imaging without either of them before you choose to get one.

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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Thanks lots for your kind reply bob really appreciate your comments and looking at my images, the links you provided will be a great help to me when the webcam arrives

    Thanks lots aswell Tillibobs I will be checking out Sharpcam this afternoon following your recommendation

    I am not able to do any of the mods that require soldering or hot glue as I would be too afraid that I would break the cam, for now I have ordered an 1,25 adaptor with IR filter which will hopefully get me started
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Quote Originally Posted by OleCuss View Post
    But it will change the image scale such that the Moon may appear smaller if that is what you want. Using something like a Barlow would tend to make the Moon (or whatever else you are pointed at) appear larger.
    No you explained it perfectly Olecuss it was the way I had written my response which caused the confusion

    I will wait until my webcam arrives like you advised to see what my starting point will be in regards to how much the object fills the frame.

    Thanks again really grateful of your help
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Using a 0.5 focal reducer will fit the whole of the moon onto the chip. Without a FR you would need to do a mosaic of about 5 captures to ensure you have it all. ( this is for a full moon, and assumes that you want the full disc.
    Modding the SPC for moon and Planets only needs to have the lens removed. Here again You Tube shows how it's done. I did it, and if I can do it a child of 3 yrs could do it, it really is so simple.
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    Default Re: Help with Philips SPC900NC Webcam on AM 114eq

    Thank you tillibobs that is fantastic with the focal reducer size and function, I wasn't sure how I would have managed to fit the moon within the frame, this makes sense with the FR and now I understand the term mosaics which I had seen on a few threads

    Really informative and you set me at ease with the planet mod thanks again, can't wait to get the webcam
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