Monday, October 26, 2009

1st Post.....

Well, what to start with?
Why not start with WHY this type of mod is useful,and why you should want it.
A DSLR is a fantastic camera.They have the versatility of being able to use a huge variety of lenses,and they also have profound,and unmatched image qualities.
A "stock" DSLR is one that is "straight outa the box". These are perfect for capturing wonderul moments that we want to remember.Or for the professional trying to get the best possible image out of an event,person,place,or anything they can think up.
For those reasons, poeple started using these brilliant cameras for imaging the stars.
But,there are disadvantages with using these "stock" cameras.
1)The sensors in these cams are VERY sensitive to a broad spectrum of light,some that we cannot even see,like InfraRed. But,the image that would come out of these sensors would not be the prettiest picture.So,to make these sensors see more like the Human eye does,the manufacturers install a set of filters in front of the sensors.These filters block the spectrums of light that are "unwanted",this makes them image the way we want them how WE would capture them with a memory.
These filters are NOT good for Astronomical targets as these objects are rich in various wavelengths that would make normal photography look "washed",or ruined.
So, we decided to remove these filters.This allows the sensors to pick up every wavelength that its designs allow. This makes astronomical objects brighter in most of the spectrum because of the amount of signal able to reach the sensor.
But,there is also another disadvantage...
2)Noise. Noise is the bain of Digital Photography. Digital Sensors create an image out of electrons,but the circuitry of these digital cams can dreate heat/or noise in the image. Typically,the longer the exposure,the more noise. And,in astro imaging,long exposures are key to getting the most signal.But this builds noise.

So,enter the Astronomical Camera. These are very sensitive instruments that use cooling elements to keep the noise at bay. Typically,these cameras are VERY expensive. Most people can not afford cameras of this caliber..that is why people use the much cheaper,but still very sensitive,DSLR.

So,what would the next logical step be for progressing in this hobby?
If you move past the abilities of a DSLR,but cannot afford the price of a dedicated Astro camera...why not cool the DSLR?

Enter the "HyperMod".
There are many levels of this idea.Some simply wrap thier DSLR in ice packs. Others simply put there DSLR in homemade "cooler boxes". While these are very good ideas...the are not the most efficient,nor are they creating that much of a difference in the sensor's temperature.

So,I and several others out there have started building "HyperCams".
Some are simply puting a "cold finger" behind the sensor. The other end is connected to a Peltier device(TEC),this draws the heat out of an object and through the peltier to a heatsink of some kind. Some maintain the use of the stock camera housing.Others,like myself, have/are making a NEW housing for the camera electronics. Inside these new hoisings will be a Peltier device that will cool the sensor to a very workable state..some even below freezing.

My Mod will include a new housing.A cooling system that will deliver ~30degC(below ambient) temps. It will be operated by way of USB2.0 connections. It will essentially,not allow noise/heat to build in the image.

I have the designs for my mod on paper and in my head.I have started building the housings. I have started my dream job...
Who can say they are taking thier life's favorite hobbies and making something of it.
I do not want to be a millionaire..I do not want to be a major corporation.
I just want to build cameras for astronomical imaging.That is my dream..

That is my "mission statement" as it were..

Thank you for taking the time to read this..I hope you find it useful.And I hope you return to see the progress I will be making.

Brent Oliver
HyperCams & Mods

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