Last updated: 16 August 2004

This page documents Lunar Planetary Camera comments, tips, and photos. Contributions welcome.

Subject:	The chip In the Anttlers Optics Lunar Planetary Camera
Sent:	Thursday, August 12, 2004 20:07:42
From:	Dewain (
In the notes to the Lunar mosaic I sent you made with my ETX 90 RA and
the Anttlers Optics LPC I mentioned the "ccd" of the camera.  That was
an error.  The camera uses an ICM532 CMOS chip.  This little CMOS has
about the same sensitivity as the Sony ACX098 CCD used in the Phillips
ToUCam.  I also mentioned that I suspected the Anttlers Optics camera
was essentially the same as the Meade LPI, but I haven't been able to
find out what chip the Meade LPI uses.  Would be happy to know if
someone has that information.



End of today's update
Subject:	ETX 90 Lunar Mosaic
Sent:	Monday, August 9, 2004 15:24:51
From:	Dewain (
The images for the attached Lunar mosaic were taken with my ETX 90 RA
and the Lunar Planetary Camera (LPC)  sold by Anttlers Optics
mounted with a homemade reducer in the eyepiece holder of my ETX .   I
removed the ETX RA from its original mount (which I sold on eBay) and
mounted it using a Baader Planetarium bracket on a Tasco/Celestron
Skyguide (GT60) GoTo mount. I also installed a Scopetronix visual back
so I can find and frame a shot visually before flipping the mirror to
the camera.  I've learned just how many turns of the focus shaft will be
required then to bring the camera to focus.

I made the reducer from the objective achromat in the Meade 21 mm finder
that comes on the ETX  I replaced this finder with the right angle 25mm
model.  I mounted the achromat in a shorty Barlow barrel using the
thread in cell that originally contained the Barlow lens  I think this
Barlow was from Scopetronix.  I had to shorten the barrel of the Barlow
about a quarter inch (using a good quality tube cutter).in order to
reach focus,  Otherwise I would  run out of in-travel before reaching
focus with the imager.  I estimate from photos of a ruler I took that
the LPC functions at about the magnification factor of a 4mm eyepiece
without the reducer lens.  But with the reducer, it functions about like
an 7.5 mm eyepiece.  I think that means the reducer makes the ETX
function like an f/7 scope (approximately) rather than f/13.5. The
amount of reduction varies  of course with the distance between the
reducer and the camera's little ccd.  The more you can increase the
distance the wider the field of view and lower the magnification  both
good things for lunar imaging.

I let the moon drift across the camera field of view and shot avi movies
in this way in overlapping bands to be sure I covered the entire lunar
surface.  I used iMerge ( )
to extract the frames I needed from the avi's, align and stack the
images (about a dozen of them) into the mosaic. I also used Registax to
align and stack some of the frames.( ) before importing them into
iMerge.  I darkened a copy of the final mosaic to bring out the detail
better in some of the over-exposed areas near the limb.  This of course
caused a loss of detail in the under-exposed areas near the terminator.
But I cut the darkened areas near the limb out of the copy and then used
iMerge to align and stack these back onto the original which was
balanced to optimize the terminator region.  That way I got a better
balance in both under-exposed and over-exposed areas.

The LPC looks just like the Meade Lunar Planetary Imager.  My guess is
it IS the same imager, just sold under a different brand name and a
cheaper price.  Anyway this mosaic was done from light-polluted urban
skies in New Orleans.  And while it doesn't compare well to mosaics done
with larger apertures and expensive CCD equipment. I think it shows the
remarkable capabilities of the ETX 90.  I think someone with more
experience could do much better than this using exactly the same
equipment and software I used.


Dewain Belgard

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