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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Moffett Field, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default Highly sensitive IP cameras for telescope surveilance

    I am searching already for some time for the best / most sensitive IP camera that allows us to monitor telescope movements at night (ideally, also in moonless nights). Unfortunately, any device with IR LEDs is not an option for us, as we are sharing the roll-off roof house with other instruments. The light of the IR LEDs would be immediately picked up by the telescope optics.

    Would appreciate if you could share some experiences - good or bad - with some models that you are using or have used! We simply want a "real-time" visible feedback for the remote observer to see what is going on, also considering that students will use the telescope.

    Thanks,
    Karsten

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Salida (CO), Owatonna (MN), Brixton (UK)
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Hi Karsten,

    look at these Sharx cameras because the infrared can be turned on and off remotely. Here is the link to amazon.com listing http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I use four of these to monitor telescope movements, and then turn off the infrared remotely before data collecting. Things that impressed me were (a) extremely easy setup, (b) very good documentation and instructions, and (c) excellent customer support which is email driven (small issue led to their team logging in to my cameras and fixing a configuration question). It was a breeze to set up the cameras, and again you can shut off the IR lights when you are comfortable with knowing the telescope position. I can also see all cameras from my iPhone while waiting in line at the grocery store, etc (a type A personality pleaser).

    I have had a very good experience with these and they have been functioning very well in the outdoor stormy weather of Colorado mountain tops. Hope this helps you.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Moffett Field, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Hi Glenn,
    Thank you for pointing out this product! I will have a closer look!
    Unfortunately we are sharing the place with others, we are in a roll-off roof house which hosts about eight telescopes. This is why we can not switch on IR illumination as we would disturb our neighbors (somebody will be definitely imaging at all times). If we would have our own dome, then of course, IR LEDs are the way to go. Due to this limitation though, I am looking for the most sensitive IP cams, or maybe even a solution with image intensifiers...? The telescope is in large parts for educational use so we need to have some good visible feedback how it is moving at all times.
    Karsten

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,192

    Default

    Why do you turn off the IR illuminator? I tried in my obs with them on and off couldn't tell any difference. Now I grant you some IR illuminators are different than others
    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    106

    Default IR Illuminator Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Prendergast View Post
    Why do you turn off the IR illuminator? I tried in my obs with them on and off couldn't tell any difference. Now I grant you some IR illuminators are different than others
    Peter
    I thought the same would be true, but did a test and at some angles of the scope saw light leakage into my off-axis guider from the IR illuminators. My camera is well sealed, but unless you try every angle of your scope relative to the IR source you never know where there is a tiny opening that will matter.

    Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,192

    Default

    I have eight cameras and can say more than once they aimed into the scope nadda, I notice the IR produced by these cameras is of ZERO value to my web cams that's why I wondered if their is difference in the wavelength involved.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Possible IR interference aside, I too am interested if there are any good choices for sensitive IP cameras....then I can ignore use of IR entirely.

    - Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Moffett Field, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default

    We decided to go with Bosch starlight IP cameras, their sensitivity and usability is just amazing.

    Have a look at these two examples:
    https://youtu.be/I-j9kxkLRqA
    https://youtu.be/q8eAOI39DOg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    25,803

    Default

    Are those satellite trails in the second image? The camera is truly amazing.
    -- Bob

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Moffett Field, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Those trails are caused by aircraft... Although some satellites are bright enough for the naked eye, they move too fast to be recorded... It might be possible to record Iridium flares...

 

 

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