Webcam on my guide scope?

Using SharpCap's Polar Alignment feature
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TinySpeck
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:22 pm

Webcam on my guide scope?

Post by TinySpeck » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:50 am

I'm a newbie interested in astrophotography, and I'm planning on becoming a SharpCapster as part of it. (Actually as soon as Robin can add Canon DSLR capability I'm in.) I'm really looking forward to quick and accurate polar alignment using it.

I have a pretty long focal length scope (920 mm) with a 1.6x crop factor on my camera to boot, so I'm not sure the FOV through the main tube will be wide enough. https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/ says it's 1.39° x 0.93°. I have an 8x50 guide scope which should work better, but it doesn't have a camera.

So I'm thinking of tacking a webcam onto my guide scope for SharpCap PA. I see where SC can use webcams for the main imaging camera, but just to make sure, can it use a webcam for PA too?

If so, are there any special features I should look for in a webcam for SC PA use? I will probably try to use it as an auto-guider, too, once I have it in place.

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admin
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Re: Webcam on my guide scope?

Post by admin » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:22 pm

Hi,

in theory SC can use a webcam for PA, but most webcams cannot support a long enough exposure (typically 2s+) to be able to see enough stars to make this work. Also, webcams tend to have even smaller sensors than the average AR0130C based guide camera, which needs to be taken into account for your FOV calculations.

One of the webcams that does support longer exposures is the Microsoft Xbox Live camera (the grey/white one with the green ring around the lens). No idea how big the sensor is on this one though.

cheers,

Robin

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