Friday, March 25, 2011

StellaCam research

Now that I have access to the StellaCam Yahoo!Group, I'm reading all the notes and documentation. I've found a number of interesting notes...

From the Sky and Telescope Sep 2007 review, they note that in the manual it says you should warm the CCD before tear down. Oh... You do this by pressing on the LED! It's not just an LED!

From the same article they say that the maximum integration setting (9) is roughly equivalent to an 8½ second exposure and takes 10 seconds to be served. Then, "With four frames, the display appears nearly real-time."

So, I do not get the math of this at all, but it is interesting the idea that I might be able to use SLOW settings of 1 through 3...

The author talked about using the single-exposure long-duration mode. "Not surprisingly, a 1-minute single exposure went far deeper. Three-minute exposures generally reached my sky-fog limit..." Why I didn't try that last night escapes me.

The author also discuss lens speed. "StellaCam3 is very sensitive, but it still benefits from fast optics. Among the telescopes that worked best for me were 11-inch f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain fitted with an f/3.3 focal reducer."

The amount of air was alluded to: "Not surprisingly, objects near the zenith in a dark sky always appeared better than those near the horizon."

He captured M81 (with his 8" f/5 Newt) but took a 90 second exposure. Ah ha.

Tried to download the other documents from the Yahoo!Group. Directory errors. Great.

Located documentation at OptCorp for the StellaCam3. Downloaded the PDF. Hmm, looked familiar. It is clearly labelled for the StellaCam3 but the notes refer to the other control box! Damn it. I hate that! Bad documentation.

Also on the OptCorp I found a product info page for the control box. It showed a photo that matches Denis's. There were notes below. Wrong! Wrong information; information for the other controller. Probably what happened is they just copied and pasted the text. Frig!

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