Iceland

Sue and I recently visited Iceland for a short break. Here are some of the photos I took – pictures are in a gallery so, click on the picture then click the RHS to advance, and the LHS to go back.

All the city pictures are Reykjavik and the others show the country when we ventured a bit further afield – I haven’t yet sorted them further but I think they give a taste of the place.

Oh.. and BTW is doesn’t work properly with Internet Explorer 9 but then you are using something better than that aren’t you?

You are welcome to use any of the pictures shown here but please include the following credit if you publish them:

“Photo(s) courtesy of Brian Curd – http://briancurd.com”

Saturn

Using the setup described below in my last post, I have now started exploring the world of astrophotography and my first attempt is shown below. To say I am pleased with it is a bit of an understatement!

Saturn2

The original images were captured as a .mov file on a Mac laptop and then processed by an image stacking programme (Keith’s Image Stacker). A little fiddling and out came the image you see.

For the more technically minded. the camera was plugged into a 2x Barlow lens which in turn was inserted into the Vectis Astronomical Society’s Meade LX200.

Webcam Update

I was given a Samsung SDN-520PH CCTV camera sometime ago – thanks Mark! . It was brand new and still in its box, it is just like the one below except that mine came with no lens.

I thought it might come in handy at some point for a little astronomical experimentation. That hasn’t happened yet though as I don’t have any facility to track with either of my telescopes.

Another small problem was the output from the camera; instead of being the standard webcam USB connection, being CCTV, this device has a BNC connected composite video output.

I used a BNC/RCA (phono) adaptor at first to prove the camera was OK with the composite input to an old TV tuner card and that all worked fine. Next was to find a solution that would work on a laptop; that meant converting to USB somehow.

After a fair bit of net searching I came across a device called EasyCap, which despite very mixed reviews on Amazon was very cheap and as some reported it as being easy to use I ordered one on Friday. It arrived on Saturday!

This morning I tried it and it works just about perfectly with both PC (Windows 7)  and Mac (Snow Leopard). Once the drivers were installed I found software could see it and my free webcam software allowed me to stream the output with no problems – you can see the output here (assuming I’ve got it switched on!).

With a small adapter, converting the C-type lens thread to a more usual 1.25″ barrel, I can now slot the camera straight into the eyepiece holder of a telescope and use that as the camera lens. I am using a small telescope for the job at the moment, a Meade 4500 reflector (dia: 114mm, len: 910mm at f8). Focusing works a treat and I can’t wait to get star-gazing with it all.