system consists of a low light level video camera with a fisheye
lens. It looks up through a heated acrylic dome. The video signal
is fed to a Matrox Meteor II frame grabber on a computer running
Sirko Molau's Metrec program.
This is my
second generation camera. Details of the original camera, which
uses a hemispherical mirror, are still available here.
There is a
fan at the base of the enclosure that circulates waste heat from
the camera and its power supply up into the protective dome to help
prevent dew and frost from accumulating.
camera is more sensitive than the mirror system, and is able to
detect stars to magnitude 2 when operating at 30 frames per second.
By adding together multiple frames it is quite possible to detect
50 or more stars, allowing for very precise astrometric calibration.
Here is a
basic parts list for the camera:
PC164C video camera
- Rainbow L163VDC4P 1.6-3.4mm
- Rotron CR0612HB-A70GL
12VDC fan (available from Digikey)
- 5" optical acrylic
dome (available from Surplus
in the process of documenting this project. I have here some very
limited technical information. Feel free to email
me if you want to build one of these cameras and have any questions.