October 11, 2009

The Quest is alive and well

Well after a truly awesome day firing arrows at my garage, and playing a bit of RockBand with my homies, I also found time to start the Great Webcam Project,  As my stated goal is to get the most awesome shots of near-earth objects as I can, even though common wisdom says I should save that for my 2nd or 3rd telescope - the one with the GOTO system and the mount worth as much as a good car.

Well I don't have that yet, so I am having a great time trying to make the equipment I have got do the trick.  So yesterday I bought a webcam from Dick Smiths, this one to be precise:

I bought this model because it has a 2 Megapixel CCD.  This means that I can get 10fps video at 1600x1200.  Which is pretty nice as far as these things go.  So this afternoon, I disassembled it.

Fearing the worst, as this model has the dreaded auto focus, which I am still blaming for the bad quality of my shots.  To my delight and surprise, when I plugged the (disassembled)  cam in and installed the software that came with it, I found that the software allows you to control anything you want, you can switch the autofocus off and focus the cam yourself, not to mention white balance and ALL that other good stuff you can't access on my Lumix.  So I am just about to take the whole kit and kaboodle out to the garage and see if I can make a mount to get it in the Prime focus of the telescope ... with luck from the clouds there should be something shot tonight!  Wish me luck!

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