Last updated: 25 January 2000

Video Camera mounting, electronic focuser

From: Nvr2fst@aol.com

HI AGAIN, I E-mailed you of my etx 90 about a month or so ago about some additions to my etx. regarding the mounting of a video camera and the making of my own electronic focuser. I was surprised that you put it on your site [pleasantly]. Wow I usually must get online just to clean my mail of unwanted smut but lately I must actually read the messages instead of beating on the delete button for ten minutes. I have been getting lots of mail on how to make the electronic focuser. Well, this was a bit of a surprise because I figured the live video camera would be of most interest to people. As I said before, there is nothing as neat as being able to control and view live video inside the warmth of my house. Everything is at my PC desk. The autostar, the focuser controller I made, and the video on my screen. It is so comfortable and easy tracking the heavens [and earth] from my PC. The problem is that everybody wants to know how to make the focuser. Meade sells one [though it is hard to find one in my area] honestly if you haven't figured a way yourself , you probably had best buy one. I have recently finished the final focuser [very smooth] the first I guess ended up a prototype. This final one works perfect. I learned of a couple problems with the first one such as...........it has to stop when you reach full in or full out! something has to give. Fortunately it was on the disposable side, namely my creation and not the telescope. I had no way to tell that the focuser was at its end so I didn't stop power to the motor ! but problem solved with the new one. Anyway, I have a couple pictures for anybody interested. One showing the bracket I made for the camera and another is the focuser, and one of the remote controller. Of course it is up to you but if you could put them on your site maybe it they could give some ideas. The camera is off in the pictures because IM switching to a color camera. THANX !

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Mike, sorry for making you work so much. but we must progress. I have upgraded the quality of my pics not long after you posted my last. These are clear and in color. as a matter of fact I froze the video on my new bullet camera to take these pics. The camera is the same I am using for the etx. Believe it or not that black and white worked well in the scope and i got some great moon video from it. I enhanced the pics with a little color and they came out quite well. but the resolution on my new one is MUCH better. The mount I showed is also being retired to my box of dead parts to be recycled for another project. The new camera mount is actually the third I have made since the pic I sent you. Enclosed is a pic of #1 #2 #3 camera mount. The first is the long bracket coming up from the factory camera hole. The second {being same in design as the third } is pvc plumbing pieces. But it was a little large since the camera was on a pc board.{even so it hindered nothing}. The last is a smaller pvc fitting since I bought the bullet video camera. The nature of the new design releases me from having to adjust the camera up and down or side to side. I just slide it down over the Eyepiece and there it is. Changing eyepieces is just a matter of a small washer type spacer that I made for each lens. I will be sending you some moon and planetary pics soon. finally I still use the focuser . But I did recently clean it up a bit. The moon pic was from the black and white. I recorded the recent lunar eclipse on a cd from my etx. It was cold and very windy that night so I was glad to be able to watch it indoors! I had to stake the tripod to the ground with wire so the etx wouldn't blow over or shake the screen too much. It worked, the moon never left my screen.

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