Charleston Lake
Imaging the Night Sky from Ontario Canada
(LX) Modified Webcams

Long Exposure Webcam Mods
Most webcams are designed to record video, with fast frame rates. In order to collect enough photons to capture dim objects on a CCD, longer exposures are required.
Long exposure webcams were the result of investigation into the feasibility of this, by Steve Chambers in the UK. He developed a modification to certain Philips Webcams (Vesta and Toucam) whereby the exposure duration could be increased, and controlled by the PC, from either the Parallel or USB port

For a period of time, we implemented this modification and used a Philips LX webcam for imaging. While these webcams are no longer used at CLA, the information is retained here for nostalgic reasons. My first webcam deepsky image was M17 - the Swan Nebula

On this page I detail the modifications to a Vesta webcam to convert it into a long exposure capable CCD imager. These modified cameras are then referred to as Vesta-SC, in recognition of the original developer of this modification, Steve Chambers.

Schematic Diagram showing additional circuitry added to the Vesta Webcam. This design is based on the Steve Chambers modification, and works with Peter Katreniak's K3CCDTools software. I did make a slight change, I had a 74HC10 handy so I used that instead of the 74HC00. Schematic below is the result of the part number change.  

                         Click on the image to the right to view the full schematic >>>
First Image - M17 - Swan Nebula
74HC10 Mod Schematic
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