My Home Built CCD Camera

For those of you that know me, you can honestly say that I am not an astrophotographer. Oh sure, I have taken a few fuzzy photos of the moon and planets through my telescope, and I took some pretty good shots of the recent bright comets.  But as for wearing the badge of honor that comes from sitting at the telescope, guiding for God knows hours on end, I am not one of them.

But I am an Internet junkie, and on one of my long surfing sessions I came across an interesting article on home built CCD astro-cameras.  It involved using one of those cute little round web cams, taking it apart and hooking it to your telescope and computer.  The article showed that you could take some pretty good images.

So I hopped online and went to e-bay and found a black and white Logitech camera for $21! I bought it and a few days later when it arrived, I started tearing the thing apart.

Here you can see the photo of the inner workings of the camera, (I have links to the WebPages that give the details of the disassembly of the camera), and it was pretty easy to do. As for attaching the device to my telescope, I figured I would use eyepiece projection, and my existing Meade camera adapter. (I had no other use for it anyway) I then measured the outside diameter of the camera adapter and went to Home Depot to see what they had in their PVC pipe areas. I could not believe my luck when I found two pieces that would work! After a little lathe machining to get the inside diameter of the PVC to slide snuggly the camera adapter into it, I had my home built CCD camera!

Here the photo shows how the whole thing fits on the refractor.


The total cost of this setup was less than $30!  The photos of the moon are not the best, but it is pretty cool , and I plan on spending a lot more time fine tuning the CCD imaging process, and trying to image the bright planets.

How to disassemble a b&w Quickcam: