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Cameras and Accessories




These are my two cameras. The top is a long exposure modified Philips Vesta 690. This camera is now mostly used for color planetary and Lunar imaging and also doubles as a guide camera. The lower camera is a long exposure modified Philips ToUcam Pro. Also, the CCD has been replaced with a more sensitive  Sony ICX424 B&W CCD.  This camera has also had the RAW mode software modification. It is my camera of choice for long exposure DSO imaging.

The ToUcam is built into a different enclosure that utilizes a T-thread mount.  The nosepiece has a built in filter cartridge for RGB filters for color images. .Both cameras have aluminum fingers for ice cooling of the CCDs. (No Peltier yet!). 

The Vesta Nosepiece mount is available from Steven Mogg. It is threaded to accept filters and more importantly focal reducers Steven Mogg also makes a good focal reducer. The ToUcam nosepiece/filter drawer is available from SAC Imaging.



Across the top... filters IR Block, H-Alpha , RGB set, and SkyGlo. Also used (but not shown) is a Baader  IR/UV cut filter.

Lower Left... the two nosepieces separated from the cameras,  filter holders.

Lower Right... cross hair eyepiece, 25mm nosepiece extensions with parfocal rings.



Portable Power:

Skies at my house are not very dark, so I usually travel to dark sites. The scope set up and cameras are portable enough but the need power (and so does the Laptop sometime). I have a 42 AHR battery; I built a simple control panel with a built in charger. Also included is a small 120 Vac inverter for AC accessories. I carry it all in a soft lunch cooler.


The Observatory!

Here is the equipment setup on my backyard patio. You can see it is not the best of locations, so I travel often to dark sites. It is interesting to note however, that many pictures on this site are taken from these light polluted skies.

Other convenient accessories shown include an adjustable observing stool and a small table for the laptop.



All images and content remain the property of Jim Thommes - copyright 2003 - 2012

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