Telescope and webcam butchery pt1

£15’s worth of webcam cut up before its even been plugged in.

I bought this today with the plan of putting it onto the telescope to hook it up to the mac and it seems to be working quite well. In typical mac discrimination there are no drivers for the device from logitech but this isn’t important. By using the demo version of Evocam I’ve been able to get it running nicely. The lens has been removed so the chip is exposed and when plugged onto the front of the telescope it should be enough to grab some video footage. From there I can drop the footage into Lynkeos which is specifically designed to analyse and clean up video or photos of stars/planets. If it all works then I will buy Evocam as its only about £20 and seems to do what I need it to. By using uncompressed video at a high resolution I should be able to get some good snaps but obviously these will only be as good as the webcam. There are a number of HD webcams which I would consider if they work on mac (i took a gamble on this one but it seems to be a good shot) and i would only need to strip them down to get the lens out.

The next step is to cut a piece of tube and attach it to the front of the webcam which will slot into the eyepiece of the telescope. From what I’ve read, those old film canisters are the correct size but after ripping apart my old film camera boxes i couldn’t find any. Plenty of lenses, extension rings and bits but nothing else. Fortunately I phoned the person who taught me to packrat (mum) and she had three with films which hadn’t been used (expired over 10 years ago as well) so they have been ditched and the canisters are now going to be posted here 🙂

I think we should have everything ready by the weekend if the postie behaves and I can get them glued to the front with no problems.

I need to point out two things at this point. Firstly, all of my information so far has come from a couple of books and that wonderful internet thingy, with the biggest help coming from a page on cloudynights.com. Secondly, while I’m the one who is ripping bits apart i keep getting that nagging feeling that the telescope isn’t mine and the current owner only has a vague idea what her barmy old man is up to. I’m going on the theory that if this all works then she will get a big kick out of making her own photos of the skies so my enthusiasm will rub off on her.