Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

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Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Nicksolar » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:38 pm

Hi there, the Altair 183M Mono camera may well be an interesting option for solar imagers who want ROI for small details, and full frame for full disc. Hydrogen Alpha or white light...

The fan keeps the casing and electronics cool, just like the other Hypercams.

Altair Hypercam 183M Mono

Best, Nick

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Merlin66 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:57 am

Interesting....
It seems to take the fan power from the USB3???
How does this compare with the ZWO ASI 183MM??
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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Nicksolar » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:49 am

Hi Merlin, the fan draws air through the casing and onto a heat-sink then out the vents. The heat-sink is connected to the sensor - same principle cooling a PC graphics card chip. When the fan is running you can see the temperature drop, and the casing is kept nice and cool to the touch, which is good for solar. I've had cameras which glitched in the past when they got too hot (in fact I added external fans to them) and I don't want to be running TEC on a hot day with all the power hassle that entails. I doubt it makes significant difference to noise in video mode (though it's obvious on long exposures) because the exposures are so short, but keeping the electronics cool is a very good idea. The consumption is on the web page - it's a negligible drain on my laptop battery.

We have been selling the colour version of this camera for about a year or so now in colour (Hypercam 183C). I started testing the colour in 2016 in fact (deepsky), and released it in 2017 after pitting it against a few other sensors in mockup casings. We released a version 2 a few months back with new electronics with the mono, as I wanted to introduce ROI, to enable lunar and planetary imaging too.

The Altair Astro Facebook group has plenty deepsky and lunar images. Facebook doesn't do high res though which it the point of this camera.

I'll see if I can find a lunar shot to give some idea of what lucky imaging is possible seeing the moon and sun the same apparent size, but actually I haven't yet seen a solar image with the Hypercam 183M, ever! I'd like to have a go in white light with one of our imaging solar wedges, but I'm not set up yet. I hope someone will beat me to it.

I see no reason on paper why it should work for full disc Ha and white light but 99% of customers buy the Hypercam 183M for deepsky imagers. The 183M is, as far as I know, one of the most sensitive sensors in it's bracket with around 84% QE. It has small pixels and ROI (now), and the 1" format sensor could make for an interesting full disc camera. I think small dedicated solar telescopes would be best enabling you to quickly document the whole sun in high resolution, so I wanted to let solar fans know about it too.

PS: The camera comes with a free year's SharpCap PRO License. The flatfield subtraction feature is good for solar applications and there are some other features like contrast based focus which can be used to control motor focusers, and a seeing monitor/trigger which are in development. We'll be at IAS demoing this stuff with Robin of SharpCap as usual so pop past and say hi.

Best regards, Nick

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Merlin66 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:10 pm

Nick,
Difficult to "pop past", when I'm in Australia.....
Just a little surprised to see the cooling fan powered from USB3 rather than the more usual 12V 2A supply.
Sorry, for various reasons don't do Facebook.
It will be interesting to compare with the ASI 183 which uses the same chip.
"Astronomical Spectroscopy - The Final Frontier" - to boldly go where few amateurs have gone before
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ast ... scopy/info
"Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs" and
"Imaging Sunlight - using a digital spectroheliograph" - Springer

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Nicksolar » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:17 pm

Hi Merlin, PCs can send a few watts out through the USB port and the USB cable can carry more than enough power for the 40mm fan and the camera, and you get to lose a cable.

Here's that Hypercam 183M lunar image, so you can get some idea of what the camera can do. I resized it 50% and compressed it but it shows the texture OK. 50 Frames stacked with an Altair Wave 115 ED Triplet by Gary Palmer in the UK. (Wave means tuned for want of a better word).

I imagine solar white light performance is the same, so full disc could be quite something.

Hydrogen Alpha however would be really interesting - with the right setup.

Best, Nick

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by marktownley » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:13 pm

Would be interesting to try the camera with 2x2 binning with those native small pixels...
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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by TILLIBOBS » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:07 am

Has anyone tried this camera ?. My old laptop has packed up and my new HP Pavilion laptop has USB3 ports, needless to say my DMK51 isn't on speaking terms with it ! so I'm looking for a replacement capable of FD's with my Lunt 60.Thanks

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by RKBerta » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:58 am

Bumped this discussion to see if any further tests. It looks interesting but the same chip on the ASI has a problem with Ha with patterns in the image. This is noted at the ASI site for their camera. Is that the chip or electronics causing the artifact. Also....can this camera be binned?

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Merlin66 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:04 am

RKBetra,
Don’t know the full reason for the problems with the ASI 183....but I do know that ZWO acknowledges there is a major problem using it for solar H alpha narrowband imaging.
They gave me a full refund on the one I bought.
Replaced it with an ASI 1600MM which has given me no problems.
Very high frame rates with a reasonable ROI...
I use FIreCapture and never tried binning...I have an ASI 174 with larger pixels....
"Astronomical Spectroscopy - The Final Frontier" - to boldly go where few amateurs have gone before
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ast ... scopy/info
"Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs" and
"Imaging Sunlight - using a digital spectroheliograph" - Springer

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by MapleRidge » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:07 pm

Hi Ken...

I noticed that ZWO has made a note that the 183 models may be corrected in Ha by applying a flat. What is your thoughts on this...will this really fix the problem or do other issues affecting image quality still suffer but the pattern is removed form view?

They push the ASI1600 and 174's for solar on the site. I like the 1600 but it has developed a vertical banding issue that no longer goes away (in the summer it was present the first minute or so but disappeared once warmed up). Winter use is a lost cause and even at room temperature it is present.

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by PDB » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:45 pm

They push the ASI1600 and 174's for solar on the site. I like the 1600 but it has developed a vertical banding issue that no longer goes away (in the summer it was present the first minute or so but disappeared once warmed up). Winter use is a lost cause and even at room temperature it is present.
Brian,

have you contacted ZWO about this. On the ZWO forum there are discussions about vertical banding on the 1600 Cooled model, and for these a firmware upgrade seems to be available. Don't know if this also applies for the non-cooled models. (And of course don'th know if it will work, firmware upgrades are always risky)

Regards,

Paul

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by Merlin66 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:07 pm

Brian,
Flats on the ASI 183 didn’t work for me.....
I have no issues with the ASI 1600MM....
"Astronomical Spectroscopy - The Final Frontier" - to boldly go where few amateurs have gone before
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ast ... scopy/info
"Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs" and
"Imaging Sunlight - using a digital spectroheliograph" - Springer

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by MapleRidge » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:05 am

Paul and Ken...thanks for your feed back on the 1600.

I was suspicious of how well the flat would solve the 183's problem, and good to know that it wasn't a fix from your first hand experience. I plan to contact ZWO in the near future...I saw a note on their website that they were closed until the new year so I was waiting to try them once they got back.

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by RKBerta » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:46 am

Bumping this to see if any further information on the issues on the above camera. Looking for getting a new camera once the sun starts getting more active so doing research now.

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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by marktownley » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:19 am

What are you looking the camera to do specifically? With that 3600 high pixel image you're still going to get a full disk up to around 1300mm focal length, but those small 2.4um pixels are suited sampling wise to about f10.
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Re: Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

Post by RKBerta » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:24 pm

Mark,
Was looking for a new camera for use with both an older Coronado 60mm Etalon (very good one back when they were made in US) mounted on a TV 85 APO with BF30. Alternate use with the same scope or a 110 achromat refractor and Quark Chromosphere. Also have a BAADER Hershel Wedge used with 85mm, 110mm, and 152mm refractors for white light images. I am mainly concerned about the reports of issues with Ha on this camera and some banding on the 1600. I figure the camera would be a good match for the Coronado 60 with the small pixel size but probably not a good match to the Quark although could go to bin2 if that is possible with these two cameras. I am a long time (71 years old) deep sky imager with dabbling in Ha solar. While have gotten some very good images I was hoping to up the game with a camera suited for stacking high res video instead of my SBIG and ATIK deep sky cameras.

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