Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Powering everything with a single 12V source

Frankly, I've never been trying to integrate my field setup. I always have the concept of "field usage" for my equipments, but since I nearly never got chance to use them in the field, I never tried to do an integration test for everything.

Tonight, I really tried to put thing together, since I would like to try them out one day... the double comets are the targets in my mind, also the Mars which I couldn't imagine from inside my home during this opposition. Power source is one of the issues.

I've a power solution for my 1394 hubs by using 9V battery, or a 8*AA battery box; I've a power solution for my 16V notebook using SLA; I also have a power solution for my TG-SP II, either by using a DIY USB cable which draws power from my notebook, or from a 4*AA battery box. However, doing all these together would be quite troublesome, since I'll need to bring so many batteries... to charge them before using is hard, since the power will go flat if you don't use them for some time, the SLA is pretty heavy but it's not a solution for all, at least it seems.

So tonight, I really tried to power everything by using a single 12V SLA, yes, it's heavy but it can provide all.

First of all, I powered my 16V notebook by using a 12V notebook transformer, I tested and it can last for over 8 hours of active usage. Then the TG-SP II is powered via a USB power cable which draws power from my notebook PC. Then I powered the 1394 hubs by using the SLA as well, and this is a little bit more tricky, I've to combine two "9V" adapters together, and then to swap the polarity on the side connected to the SLA and then it will be correct again.

Finally, the DBK camera is powered through the 1394 hubs.

As a side test tonight, if I use RGB24 to store the data stream from the DBK, I can only reach around 6.x fps which is a bit too slow... even my ToUCam Pro can give me 10 fps... then I tried to use Y800 and left debayer'ing done during stacking, I can get around 10.x fps which is a bit faster than the ToUCam Pro, I guess it's not bad.

So, for deep sky imaging, I guess that I will stay with RGB24, since Registax V3 does not support debayering during stacking.

And for planets, I will use Y800 to maximize the frame rate, as well as to minimize the disk usage so that I can acquire more frames and store more frames. I hope to test this setup really in the field soon.

Here are two shots taken with this setup inside my home, you can see the TG-SP II mount and the notebook transformer which are being tested:-

Hardware debayer:-

Software debayer:-

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