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ToUcam Mods

I finally have a higher resolution camera...the Philips ToUcam Pro 740k. I ordered it from the Techstore. I've been quite impressed so far. Since I returned my ETX-90 before I had this camera, I'm not sure how well of a match those 2 would be, but from a few planet pics on Weasners site, I think it would be just great.

I decided to take a less destuctive approach with the ToUcam then with m QCVC. I guess after buying 2 cameras, I wanted at least one that could act as its designed function...a PC cam...if I needed it. Also, since the LX-90 is mostly used in alt/az mount, I wanted to camera to be usable at the zenith.

The Toucam is pretty much intact. I did unscrew the lens to do the prime focus. I also took it apart to disable the "recording" light, which degraded the picture appreciably. I just took a sharp metal point and cut the trace to it on the circuit board. Did the trick, but all "don't blame me if you try this and smoke appears" caveats apply. I then put it back together, so I could still use it as a PC cam by screwing the lens back in.

I epoxied a cut off film canister onto the plastic casing of the camera. I swagged at getting it perpendicular by looking for the reflection of my eye on the CCD and then ensuring the canister was centered. At that point I have a prime focus enabled camera that fits in the eyepiece holder. Pretty simple.


I use my Meade shorty 2x barlow to increase the magnification. I just get the image centered in my 9.7 mm eyepiece+2x barlow, remove the eyepiece and replace it with the camera. While not perfectly centered, I know where to put the image in the 9.7 to make it at least appear on screen. I then focus the image on screen. To get the finest focus, I have a clamp and attach it to the focuser (much like a large clothespin). I can get a huge improvement in sensitivity without shaking the image. I also collimated very carefully before starting (I find it's worth the several minutes).


Shown below with lens screwed in.