Laptop viewing only?

Discuss video astronomy / Electronically assisted imaging.
Post Reply
User avatar
chicagorandy
Saturn Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:40 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Laptop viewing only?

#1

Post by chicagorandy »

So here's the deal, I ONLY want to plug in my budget Svbony SV205 USB camera into my Windows 10 laptop and view the live images. I have NO current interest in capturing the images for any reason.

The camera did come with SharpCap which I have dutifully loaded and updated on my little laptop.

For my limited purposes is mega-full-featured 'capture' software like SharpCap really even needed or is there a driver or simple app I can use just to see the live images?

Also I have added a .5 focal reducer to the cam due to the long focal length on my Nexstar 127SLT Mak. I have read someplace that the SV205 is 'equivalent' to a 5mm eyepiece? So using the reducer I'm presuming that lowers the magnification down to a more functional 10mm EP on my scope?

YES, I know the SV205 is the bottom of the video camera barrel, but with no interest in AP I couldn't justify spending more than a spare Benjamin on a video "toy", so gimme a break. lol
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet." Abraham Lincoln

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Celestron Nexstar+ 127 SLT, several budget plossl eyepieces, Celestron 8-24mm zoom EP and a 12.5mm illuminated double reticle EP, Svbony SV205 camera w/.5 focal reducer, Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 binos on a 40 yr old QuickSet PanHead tripod, Stellarium, Sharpcap and ManyCam on my laptop, SkyView and Nightshift on my phone and a dandy little $9 red-light flashlight.
User avatar
bladekeeper
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 3506
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:39 am
Location: Lowell, Arkansas, US

TSS Awards Badges

TSS Photo of the Day

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#2

Post by bladekeeper »

Hi Randy! Simple webcam applications can show you what the camera is pointing at. But...:D

Applications like SharpCap can do live stacking. Live stacking can help to bring a deep sky object forth out of the noise.

Here is a nice write up by Dave Barrett at High Point Scientific: https://www.highpointscientific.com/ima ... ve-barrett
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

Image
User avatar
Ozypic
Pluto Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: NSW Australia

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#3

Post by Ozypic »

Ah so another dissapears down the rabbit hole .... beware this is where it all begins ... good luck Randy ... Phill
Phill. Dreaming of Clear Skys .... :D :D :D
SCOPE : Skywatcher 120X600 ST Achromatic Refractor. 
EP's : 25mm & 10mm Plossl , Celestron 8/24mm Zoom EP,
Filters : Solar filter, Badder Fringe Killer & Moon/Skyglow. 
MOUNT : Skywatcher Star Discovery goto Mount.
CAMERAS : ZWO 120 asi MC. / Sony HX400V 50X Zoom.
Binoculars : Saxon 10x50
User avatar
chicagorandy
Saturn Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:40 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#4

Post by chicagorandy »

My realistic discretionary $$ (barring a future Lottery win ) self-limits the diameter and depth of all my various hobby rabbit holes. No worries. Besides, my son, who has the scope at his house, is threatening to put me in a home if I buy any more astronomy stuff.
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet." Abraham Lincoln

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Celestron Nexstar+ 127 SLT, several budget plossl eyepieces, Celestron 8-24mm zoom EP and a 12.5mm illuminated double reticle EP, Svbony SV205 camera w/.5 focal reducer, Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 binos on a 40 yr old QuickSet PanHead tripod, Stellarium, Sharpcap and ManyCam on my laptop, SkyView and Nightshift on my phone and a dandy little $9 red-light flashlight.
User avatar
chicagorandy
Saturn Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:40 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#5

Post by chicagorandy »

For any others who do a search on the Svbony SV2015 camera, and beyond their ads and some Amazon customer reviews there isn't much out there on the interwebs, a spokesperson for Svbony confirms that the SV205 offers 'about the same level of magnification as a 5 or 6mm EP which with my scope's approx. 1420mm real focal length would be a magnification roughly equal to the theoretical maximum. likely unusable in the real world. With the addition of my .5 focal reducer I am lead to believe that doubles the EP number to 10 or 12mm for a more realistic 118x to 142x which 'should' suffice for basic laptop live cam viewing?

I have also downloaded the free ManyCam software to my laptop to compare focus clarity using that vs my slightly blurry SharpCap experience yesterday looking at a tall tree across two backyards. Viewable skies again were absent all day.

I'll be re-united with the scope this coming Friday at a yard party and with LOTS of luck will be able to put everything together and show the guests what our moon looks like up close and personal. If the sky refuses to cooperate I just 'may' connect up all the wires, fire up Stellarium, zoom in a bunch on the moon and keep my mouth shut. lol
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet." Abraham Lincoln

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Celestron Nexstar+ 127 SLT, several budget plossl eyepieces, Celestron 8-24mm zoom EP and a 12.5mm illuminated double reticle EP, Svbony SV205 camera w/.5 focal reducer, Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 binos on a 40 yr old QuickSet PanHead tripod, Stellarium, Sharpcap and ManyCam on my laptop, SkyView and Nightshift on my phone and a dandy little $9 red-light flashlight.
User avatar
Voyageur
Moderator
Articles: 0
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 1:50 pm
Location: Leelanau County, Michigan, USA

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#6

Post by Voyageur »

Hope you get some clear skies for your investigations, Randy. Things are looking pretty glum up here in Michigan. I'm curious to know how the new camera works out for you.

I have not done any video astronomy, although I have taken some nice cell phone photos of the Moon. My understanding of video astronomy, based solely on reading and not experience, is that what you are referring to as "live viewing" involves using a camera with a CCD or CMOS sensor that provides a continually updated image, e.g., the image is refreshed every few seconds, giving what is in effect a live video feed of the subject, just like one would use Skype or Face Time for a live video conference. For the Moon, this would work just fine, as it is very bright. Of course, you need reasonably good tracking to keep the Moon in view, but that shouldn't be a problem. You wouldn't need something as sophisticated as SharpCap; any basic webcam software would be fine for the Moon. I'm sure ManyCam will be good.

However, to view anything but the brightest objects, as Bryan pointed out, you'd need to explore the capabilities of SharpCap. A live video feed of a dim DSO is not going to be of any use. It's no different from visual - not about magnification, but about light-gathering. You would see at best no better than what you can see yourself through the EP. This is where a program like SharpCap opens up the possibilities. SharpCap can be used to acquire data and "build up" an image on screen over a couple of minutes. It is not really live, but it's pretty close, and thus is sometimes called near-real-time viewing (NRTV).

The stacked images displayed onscreen are not going to look like a processed finished product by an experience AP'er, but they will reveal much more than your eyes can. This technique will allow you to see detail and color in dim objects.

I look forward to hearing about your adventures.
Scopes: Vixen VMC200L, D=200mm, F=1950, f/9.75; Televue 2" Everbright diagonal. Coronado PST; AstroTech EDT 80mm, F=480, f/6.
Mounts: Vixen SXW/Starbook (original); Stellarvue M2C alt-az.
Eyepieces: Televue: 55mm Plossl, 22mm Panoptic, 17.3mm Delos, 13mm Nagler, c. 1980, 11mm Plossl, 7mm Nagler, 5mm Radian; Meade 15mm Super Plossl; VERNONSCOPE 2.4X BARLOW
Binoculars: Leica 8x32 Trinovids, circa 1997; Orion Megaview 20x80, Orion Paragon Plus mount.
User avatar
chicagorandy
Saturn Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:40 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#7

Post by chicagorandy »

Thanks for the response. We share the same always cloudy, EVERY stinking weekend night, skies I'm afraid. Been that way since I bought the durn Nexstar in late April.

Might need to fetch the scope from my son's place and take a long expensive road trip one of these days. lol
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet." Abraham Lincoln

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Celestron Nexstar+ 127 SLT, several budget plossl eyepieces, Celestron 8-24mm zoom EP and a 12.5mm illuminated double reticle EP, Svbony SV205 camera w/.5 focal reducer, Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 binos on a 40 yr old QuickSet PanHead tripod, Stellarium, Sharpcap and ManyCam on my laptop, SkyView and Nightshift on my phone and a dandy little $9 red-light flashlight.
OleCuss
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#8

Post by OleCuss »

It appears the camera has a version of the OV2710 sensor. Here's a link to more info on that: https://www.ovt.com/sensors/OV2710-1E Note that this means a sensor diagonal measurement of about 6.7mm.

You can go here: http://www.hrastro.com/tools-and-progra ... alculator/ and calculate your FOV. Note that the sensor is approximately 5.9x3.3mm.
johnbear
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:40 am
Location: SAlt Lake City, Utah

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#9

Post by johnbear »

Randy - Thanks for starting this topic. We share the same minimalist goals for getting started affordable video astronomy. I have a 5 year old NexImage 5 and bought a SV205 for $59 (Prime Day last summer) , and I just want to learn to use them for simple screen viewing of images from the telescope. Still need to read a few articles on how to set up SharpCap for for video streaming and simple live stacking for near real time planetary image display.

I've been locked out for a couple weeks due to the login issue. MANY Thanks to Bladekeeper for coming to my rescue over on CN. for that - AND for posting the link to Dave Barretts excellent article on the High Point Scientific site - very helpful.

I've almost finished the mods for my refurbed SE mount, and I will do some posts that may be of interest to you guys/gals.
When that is done, I'll try hooking up the simple cameras to a couple of scopes to see what I can bring up on screen. I'll try to share what I learn here - so you won't have to duplicate my mistakes.

Meanwhile, I look forward to more of Randy's post (and the rest of you all) as the frontrunners for basic video astronomy on this forum.
:think: Retired electronics/systems engineer, serial entrepreneur, former solo backpacker, and evolving telescope refurber.
Astro assets: 8" Collapsible SW Dob; new C8 SCT; Orion 127 Apex Mak; C5 (1980); customized OneSky; 80 & 102mm refractors, Nexstar GT, SE and SLT on sturdy BIY pier-mount tripods.
User avatar
OzEclipse
Pluto Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 8:11 am
Location: Canberra, Australia, 35S, 149E
Contact:

TSS Photo of the Day

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#10

Post by OzEclipse »

I have a really simple setup that I use as a video finder.

Lihmsek camera
https://tinyurl.com/uy2jxz8 . USD$59
Lihmsek with 2.8-12mm Lens 1/3"Sony CCD 700TVL, EFFIO-E Super Low light Box Camera, Color image Day/Night, 0.00001 lux, Full OSD
Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 5.01.08 pm.png
Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 5.00.36 pm.png
This is an analogue video camera, not USB so no laptop required and the signal can be sent straight to a 12v video monitor. I have a 5 inch monitor that cost about USD$15.You can display on up to a 12" 12v video monitor. I wanted the small screen for this application. It comes with a c mount. you can put a 0.5x compressor and attach to a scope or buy a mount adapter which adapts from whatever camera lens brand you favour to a c mount.

Sensitivity is very good but the dynamic range isn't. Objects like M42 have too big a brightness range.

Joe
Amateur astronomer since 1978
Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, nightscape photography, solar eclipse chasing
asteroidal occultations, nightscape astrophotography workshops
Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
web site : http://joe-cali.com/
SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
MOUNTS- EM-200, iEQ45, Push dobsonian with Nexus DSC
CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec
User avatar
JayTee
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:23 am
Location: Honolulu, HI
Contact:

TSS Awards Badges

TSS Photo of the Day

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#11

Post by JayTee »

Hi Randy,

Also, you should know that Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), which is freeware has a stand-alone title (which comes as part of the bundle when you download) called Deep Sky Stacker Live. It is a bit simpler than SharpCap plus you don't have all the resources need by SharpCap slowing down your system. Give it a download and a try and see what you think. http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html

Cheers,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM60, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 GSO:15,20
Home Wx (click)

I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
Harmonious
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:10 pm
Location: California

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#12

Post by Harmonious »

Per the product info on Amazon the SVBONY 205 uses the Sony IMX179 sensor. The 179 has a resolution (pixel array) of 3280 (H) x 2464 (V) with a pixel size of 1.4 µm x 1.4 µm.
  • Take this data and go to https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/ and select imaging mode.
    Under Chose Object select a Messier object such as M13 from the list.
    Under Chose Equipment select the 127 SLT from the scope drop down telescope list. The blanks auto-fill.
    Then Select Custom Camera* and fill in the resolution and pixel size boxes.
    Then select and hit the Add to View button.
You will see how much of M13 will be visible in an image made with your camera.

Go back up to the Equipment and add select your reducer from the Barlow/Reducer drop down list and again press Add to View.

You can use this tool to compare your camera with an EP (Plossl should be good) as well as see the effect of using a Barlow (not likely to work well because of the long focal length and narrow field of view) or a reducer.

*I submitted a request to add your camera to the list, but it may not appear right away.
Harmonious
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:10 pm
Location: California

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#13

Post by Harmonious »

My thoughts on SC.

I use it the Pro version and i rather like it, but there is a learning curve. The free version has all the features you need and your camera is fully supported. You don't need to use the live stacking feature or any of the tools. Gain, exposure and color balance should get you started. Even the simplest free software requires you to set some values. There are some auto settings in SC and you can try them. The auto color balance usually works but gain is best set by hand. It just takes some practice.

Many nights you can see SharpCap in use by visiting https://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/. Several of the regular broadcasters use SharpCap. Even better sign up. That gets you access to the chat box and audio. Because of a problem on the server to use the chat box or your microphone you will need to download and install Chromium Portable v61, It is a lightweight stand alone browser. I only use it for NSN. https://sourceforge.net/projects/crportable/

Most of the participants are happy to answer questions, give advice, and show you how things work. There also some good resources on the net including a number of videos on youtube.
realflow100
Saturn Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: Orangeburg South Carolina USA

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#14

Post by realflow100 »

SV205 is absolutely no use for deep sky viewing. and almost certainly limited to planetary type photos or viewing. like moon saturn jupiter venus.
it can't do long exposures more than about like 1/4 second or so. just about like any other regular old webcam you'd get from the dollar store.
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens. And a new 50mm F1.8 II yongnuo lens
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
User avatar
pakarinen
Milky Way Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:33 pm
Location: NE Illinois

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#15

Post by pakarinen »

I'm late to the party here, but have you looked at the Revolution 2 Imager? Realtime TV, comes with a small monitor, etc. Actually, it might do a little internal stacking, so it would be NRTV. No laptop needed and you can store images if you want on an outboard thumb drive. Sells for about $299, I think.

It's been awhile since I researched them, so maybe things have changed, but this might be an affordable no-fuss no-muss alternative.
The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame.

~Soseki

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80, Skywatcher 90mm Mak
Twilight 1 / Astro Devices encoders / Nexus II / Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
User avatar
yobbo89
Milky Way Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 1360
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 7:44 pm
Location: australia qld brisbane

TSS Photo of the Day

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#16

Post by yobbo89 »

you'll might want look into live stacking while doing your eaa viewing, apparently there are other software that do live stacking,infinity, starlight , astrotoaster .

http://www.astrotoaster.com/ if you can get ahold of a dslr with good pc control with it like a canon then astrotoaster should work with it.
scopes :gso/bintel f4 12"trust tube, bresser messier ar127s /skywatcher 10'' dob,meade 12'' f10 lx200 sct
cameras : asi 1600mm-c/asi1600mm-c,asi120mc,prostar lp guidecam, nikkon d60, sony a7,asi 290 mm
mounts : eq6 pro/eq8/mesu 200 v2
filters : 2'' astronomik lp/badder lrgb h-a,sII,oIII,h-b,Baader Solar Continuum, chroma 3nm ha,sii,oiii,nii,rgb,lowglow ,Thousand Oaks Solar Filter.
extras : skywatcher f4 aplanatic cc, Baader MPCC MKIII Coma Corrector,Orion Field Flattener,zwo 1.25''adc.starlight maxi 2" 9x filter wheel

Image
Macavity
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:35 pm
Location: UK

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#17

Post by Macavity »

pakarinen wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:40 pm
I'm late to the party here, but have you looked at the Revolution 2 Imager? Realtime TV, comes with a small monitor, etc. Actually, it might do a little internal stacking, so it would be NRTV. No laptop needed and you can store images if you want on an outboard thumb drive. Sells for about $299, I think. It's been awhile since I researched them, so maybe things have changed, but this might be an affordable no-fuss no-muss alternative.
Yes indeed. The above seems at least worth investigating? I believe a "bundle" (containing everything needed) was reviewed in Sky & Telescope (for the US readers). Before Video Astronomy adopted USB output and real-time *software* stacking, low-light Video [security] Cameras were used for Video Astronomy. These had internal hardware stacking of frames and sent the resultant image (updated every few seconds) along a video cable. This could be connected directly to a screen with BNC input etc. Of course, you could THEN use a Video Grabber card / Dongle, write an .AVI Video Data file to Laptop and further stack the images. I have used WATEC (910XH etc.) cameras of this type of work with good results.

However, times / technology changes, such Cameras may be harder to find now? (The market for quality, ultra-sensitive CCD cameras is not primarily Astronomy?!?). They may be fairly expensive still! That said, you can have a lot of fun with such a setup and it does not require a computer to get started. The above "bundle" (see review) comes at a reasonable price may help you decide if that what you are seeking. :)
Harmonious
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:10 pm
Location: California

Re: Laptop viewing only?

#18

Post by Harmonious »

pakarinen wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:40 pm
... have you looked at the Revolution 2 Imager? Realtime TV, comes with a small monitor, etc.
The RI is an impressive kit for seven years ago. The only thing remarkable about it today is that it uses a low resolution CCD security camera with a hard to find feature set. Hard to find because the tech is obsolete and the image quality low.

The vendor will also sell you a "Funstar" to go with it. Why spend hundreds more for a Hyperstar with those complex lenses, when for just $80 (and no pesky glass) your RI you can get fast, low res optically distorted images.

I tell you what. Look on the net for the lowest prices and buy these items, or buy on Amazon for easy return.
  • Portable 7" LCD monitor.
  • 0.5x Focal Reducer to dramatically widen the field of view.
  • UV/IR filter.
Optional (remote not required and 12VDC power brick can run the system)
  • 12v Li-Ion Battery with charger to run both the camera and LCD screen.
  • Hand-held remote control to control the camera.
Send me a copy of the receipts and $10 for postage and I will send you a CCD camera with specs as good or better than the RI, and. a C mount to 1.25" adapter. (limited offer, one only at this low low price).

Once you get everything together and are amazed at the images, return the Amazon items, give away the camera and buy a good entry level CMOS astronomy camera.
Post Reply

Return to “Video astronomy”