Altair Hypercam 183M Mono CMOS Camera with ROI

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Nicksolar
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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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Merlin66
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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??
https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/pr ... 83mm-mono/
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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

Nicksolar
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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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