Thursday, August 26, 2010

practiced setup

I did a practice run with Denis's occultation gear to make sure I understand how to connect and operate everything.

I reviewed the equipment provided.
  • recording: Canon Elura 80 miniDV camcorder
  • live image capture: AstroVid StellaCam3 camera
  • time stamp insertion: Kiwi OSD video time insertor v41
  • monitoring: Oslon LCD 7" TFT Color TV monitor
  • accurate time date: Garmin 18 LVC GPS
  • live viewing, alignment: Vixen flip mirror
I found a number of items were pre-configured and connected. So, assuming they are not mucked with, these items just need to be double-checked.
  • camcorder battery is charged
  • a tape is loaded into the camcorder
  • Kiwi connected to 12v power, GPS, camera, camcorder
  • monitor connected to 12v power, Kiwi
  • monitor positioned at good viewing angle
  • microphone is connected to 12v power, camcorder
Then in preparation, the following items need to be completed before an occultation.
  1. connect gear to telescope
    • attach flip mirror to telescope
    • insert camera into flip mirror
    • insert eyepiece into flip mirror
  2. place GPS receiver with clear view of sky
  3. connect cables to camera
    • video output port (BNC) to video camera input cable (yellow)
    • remote control keypad (black)
    • power cable (red)
  4. prepare camcorder
    • connect camcorder video input port (1/8") to Kiwi video output
    • set camera POWER to Play (VCR) * note: Play; not Camera (record)
    • set camera menu VCR SETUP option AV->DV to ON
    • open the LCD panel
    • press the REC PAUSE button
  5. power the entire rig
  6. power the monitor
  7. wait for...
    • GPS to aquire a time signal
    • camera COOLING to complete
  8. press the PLAY button to begin recording
I'm still not sure how the flip mirror will come into play, exactly, with my gear. I don't understand yet how it will connect to my 'scope. Maybe it needs an adapter. Perhaps I'll not be able to use it.


The second sub-step of 4 is a gotcha. Normally, with a camcorder, to record, you activate Camera mode vs. Play (VCR). If in Camera recording mode, you will not be able to access AV->DV option.

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