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/  Forum Index
   /  Amiga OS4.x \ Workbench 4.x
      /  Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
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Agafaster 
Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 30-Oct-2005 22:17:09
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 1413
From: West Midlands, England - sector ZZ9 plural Z alpha

I'm interested in one of these, after an article in this month's Astronomy Now
showed one adapted for use on an astronomical telescope, particulary for
observing/recording Mars during this Novembers' opposition. I'd like to know if
anyone has been succesful with this (or any other) webcam on either OS4 or Linux.
would I need the relevant USB driver ? what software could be used ?

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ok, its actually XL426 in the picture but you know what I mean.

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mbilla 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 30-Oct-2005 22:50:29
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

@Agafaster

I use the Philips ToUCam with my Meade 105ETX telescope and my iBook running OS X.

The cam works great with Windows too using the GIOTTO prog (http://www.videoastronomy.org/giotto.htm (German Site))

On Mac i use ImageStacker

http://www.unm.edu/%7Ekeithw/software/keithsImageStacker.html

As for Linux the cam seems to work as I tried the Webcam video function of my router which runs LINUX as OS.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by mbilla on 17-Nov-2005 at 12:38 AM.

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Agafaster 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 31-Oct-2005 12:22:40
#3 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 1413
From: West Midlands, England - sector ZZ9 plural Z alpha

@mbilla

its certainly a start, cheers mate !

you not tried it with OS4 yet ?

-edit-
got any results ?
I hadnt noticed your scope - thats a good un !
I've got a dodgy "Boboptik" 3inch (75mm) Schmidt-Newtonian I bought 15 years ago from Broadhurst Clarkson and Fuller - I need an equatorial ! come to think of it, the scope only takes the 24.5mm eyepieces, and the coma is a bit duff, so a nice 4 or 5 incher would be good too !

looks like I've finally got impetus to get MoL working !

Last edited by Agafaster on 31-Oct-2005 at 12:36 PM.

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ok, its actually XL426 in the picture but you know what I mean.

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BillE 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 31-Oct-2005 15:17:22
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1170
From: Northern Scotland

@Agafaster

> I'm interested in one of these, after an article in this month's Astronomy Now


There was another article in more detail in the February 2005 issue of Astronomy Now. It may be worth while you looking at that too.

Of course they all assume you are using a PC.

> I'd like to know if anyone has been succesful with this (or any other) webcam
> on either OS4 or Linux.

I bought a second hand one from eBay, it is recognosed by the USB stack but you need software to drive the camera itself which of course is only provided for Windows.


> would I need the relevant USB driver ? what software could be used ?

You would need software to operate the camera and then additional software to later stack the images together. One of the tasks I want to do is to knock up some software to run on Amiga OS4 but I never got around to it. Maybe there is some Linux code somewhere on the WWW that can be used as the basis of an Amiga version.

I am quite busy at the moment porting Digital Universe to OS4

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Snuffy 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 31-Oct-2005 16:45:43
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-Oct-2005
Posts: 1121
From: Michigan, USA

@BillE

> "I am quite busy at the moment porting Digital Universe to OS4..."

Nice! Where do we place our orders for a copy!




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Agafaster 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 31-Oct-2005 16:48:38
#6 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 1413
From: West Midlands, England - sector ZZ9 plural Z alpha

@BillE

the thing that interests me about the ToUCam is that several suppliers (BC&F in particular IIRC) provide an adaptor to mount the cam on a Barlow lens, meaning I only have to get it to work with my setup. (MoL springs to mind with OS9, as Philips provide OS9 drivers at least)

Quote:
I am quite busy at the moment porting Digital Universe to OS4

sounds good ! how soon ?

_________________
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BillE 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 3-Nov-2005 21:26:43
#7 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1170
From: Northern Scotland

@Agafaster

> the thing that interests me about the ToUCam is that several suppliers (BC&F in particular IIRC)
> provide an adaptor to mount the cam

A few places seem to make adaptors. I had hoped of news about some Amiga drivers when I came across this thread.

> MoL springs to mind with OS9, as Philips provide OS9 drivers at least)

That is one solution, or use a real Mac maybe. You don't want to damage an Amiga One by taking it outside

>> I am quite busy at the moment porting Digital Universe to OS4
> sounds good ! how soon ?

A PPC version of DU 1.03 fixing a few bugs and problems with the 68k version running on OS4 is 90% complete. Of course it is always the last few percent that takes up alll the time.

I have yet to arrange details with the original author but I guess this version will be a free upgrade if you already have DU. It is one hell of a lot faster and a few of the limitations due to the old hardware it was originally written for no longer apply.

The main aim however, is to port version 2.4 back from the Mac with all its newer features plus a few more. This version of course would be commercial and the timescale ATM is anyone's guess.


Bill.

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Agafaster 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 15-Nov-2005 21:16:55
#8 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 1413
From: West Midlands, England - sector ZZ9 plural Z alpha

@BillE

Quote:
A few places seem to make adaptors. I had hoped of news about some Amiga drivers when I came across this thread.

Apologies ! I know the feeling...

Quote:
That is one solution, or use a real Mac maybe. You don't want to damage an Amiga One by taking it outside


Actually, I hadnt got that far !! probably some sort of long USB cable out the office window,
or... one thought is to use a colour bulletcam (ie from Maplin) and pipe it through me TV-Card...
but then the problem there is again lack of AOS TV-Card software (I think Spirantho is working on this
- havent heard from him for a while...)

Quote:
A PPC version of DU 1.03 fixing a few bugs and problems with the 68k version running on OS4 is 90% complete. Of course it is always the last few percent that takes up alll the time.

I have yet to arrange details with the original author but I guess this version will be a free upgrade if you already have DU. It is one hell of a lot faster and a few of the limitations due to the old hardware it was originally written for no longer apply.

The main aim however, is to port version 2.4 back from the Mac with all its newer features plus a few more. This version of course would be commercial and the timescale ATM is anyone's guess.


Well its certainly Great news about DU ! I am definitely interested - good luck with the original Author !!

_________________
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ok, its actually XL426 in the picture but you know what I mean.

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SHADES 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 16-Nov-2005 21:59:40
#9 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 652
From: Melbourne

@All

Why is the Phillips web cam so much better? Does it scan at much higher resolution or something?
That's the biggest problem I have found with PC cameras, the lack of sensitivity and resolution.

You want to be able to take photos and zoom right in on details, like face on mars, or craters on moon etc...
Most of us don't have billion $ telescopes, but if we could buy good cameras, this would certainly help in the hobbiest area.

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It's not the question that's the problem, it's the problem that's the question.

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mbilla 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 0:18:49
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

@BillE

Hi Bill

Quote:
It is one hell of a lot faster and a few of the limitations due to the old hardware it was originally written for no longer apply.


I can only confirm that! So far great work. Still no crash, here!

Last edited by mbilla on 17-Nov-2005 at 12:20 AM.

_________________
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mbilla 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 0:34:45
#11 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

@SHADES

Quote:
Why is the Phillips web cam so much better? Does it scan at much higher resolution or something?
That's the biggest problem I have found with PC cameras, the lack of sensitivity and resolution.


Most astronomy sites do favor the Philips ToUCAM II because it can take pictures of 640x480 pixels, whereas most webcam are only 340x240 pixels. Plus there are drivers for Windows, MAC OS, Linux etc.
Apparently the CCD chip used is better than other cam's.
And you can screw of the lense and replace it by a reducer ring (available from astronomy dealers). This way you don't have any sight limiting lenses between the picture and telescope lenses.

I would say picture quality is so much better than other webcams. But you would take several hundred pictures of a star or region of the moon. And the appropriate software will stich and preprocess from the 100s of pictures one good! Resulting in one good picture.
Check this PDF file (1,3 MB) ( http://www.lnw.lu/Downloads/VT2k4.pdf ) where Venus did pass the sun in 2004!

Compared to true CCD cams for telescopes which do cost several 1000 Euro/$$$ the quality of the webcam solution is just great.


Last edited by mbilla on 17-Nov-2005 at 06:00 AM.
Last edited by mbilla on 17-Nov-2005 at 12:35 AM.

_________________
A computerworld without MS products and Windows!
Connect your Amigas ...
...The Red ONE-A1XE G4 - A3000T- A3000 - A4000 - A2500- A1000 - A600 - CDTV - CD32...
and your PDAs and laptops ...
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WaveGuide 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 1:35:53
#12 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 5-Mar-2003
Posts: 208
From: A Galaxy near you...

You can get 1.25" eyepiece adapters to screw into the ToUCam (after removing the lens unit) and these provide an effective mag. equivalent to a 4mm eyepiece.

Get one with an IR filter built in. Web cams are IR sensitive and a filter is almost essential. Look around for supplies. I got one from Switzerland at half the price UK retailers charge.

The best image processing kit for the PC is Registax, available for free download. Just Google 'Registax', it's brilliant.

Cheers,
JaX

Last edited by WaveGuide on 17-Nov-2005 at 01:37 AM.

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jtubbs 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 5:03:33
#13 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2003
Posts: 396
From: Twin Falls, Idaho

@mbilla
I've got a cheapy Meade 4.5 Newtonian, but I've had fun. I'm saving my money for an 8" LX200.

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jtubbs 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 5:05:14
#14 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2003
Posts: 396
From: Twin Falls, Idaho

@BillE

Way to go. I'm looking forward to see what you come up with! Right now I make pretty heavy use of KStars. Great program.

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BillE 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 10:52:56
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1170
From: Northern Scotland

@SHADES

> Why is the Phillips web cam so much better?

Apparently it has a proper CCD chip rather than a cheap CMOS one so is much more sensitive. And you can get adaptors for it.

I had hoped to try it out on my iMac but the one I bought only came with a CD of PC drivers

Bill

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BillE 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 10:57:43
#16 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1170
From: Northern Scotland

@jtubbs

> I've got a cheapy Meade 4.5 Newtonian, but I've had fun.

I use a 10" dobsonian, no tracking or goto stuff but who needs that anyway


> I'm saving my money for an 8" LX200.

If you get it, I'll need someone to test the telescope control features I will eventually be adding to Digital Universe. That will be some time off though, maybe v2.5.

The Mac version has this feature so it should be possible.


Bill.

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mbilla 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 17-Nov-2005 11:31:33
#17 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

@BillE

Quote:
I had hoped to try it out on my iMac but the one I bought only came with a CD of PC drivers


MAC OS X only supports firewire webcams that is mainly Apple's own iCAM.
There are drivers for Linux which are also ported to MAC OS X for most usb webcams.

There is also a commercial usb webcam driver for some $ which works with most webcams. ToUCam too.

Please check this great article on cloudynights.com which shows what to use for astrophotography on the MAC.


And check this forum for many more links.

Last edited by mbilla on 17-Nov-2005 at 03:00 PM.
Last edited by mbilla on 17-Nov-2005 at 01:18 PM.

_________________
A computerworld without MS products and Windows!
Connect your Amigas ...
...The Red ONE-A1XE G4 - A3000T- A3000 - A4000 - A2500- A1000 - A600 - CDTV - CD32...
and your PDAs and laptops ...
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jtubbs 
Re: Philips ToUCam, or other USB webcam
Posted on 18-Nov-2005 1:22:09
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2003
Posts: 396
From: Twin Falls, Idaho

@BillE

>If you get it, I'll need someone to test the telescope control features I will eventually be adding to Digital Universe. That will be some time off though, maybe v2.5.<

It sounds like you'll be adding the stuff about the time I'll have my new scope. Actually, I'm hoping to place the order within a few months. I'll be more than happy to be one of your guinea pigs. I have no qualms with dragging my A1 outside (unless, of course, it is raining). In the meantime, once you've released your program, you have a customer right here waiting!

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