Camera: FJ1 - Frank Johns

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Camera: FJ1

General Astro > Meteor Watch
FJ1 Camera

The camera is mounted in a CCTV enclosure and is pointed roughly NNW. The current positioning is: AZ 315.3, Ev 41.3

The camera is a Watec H2 Ultimate - the model which is generally reckoned to be the 'weapon of choice' for this application. It is fitted with a Cosmicar Pentax 5mm f0.75 lens.

The output from the camera is fed into the Sauna where it is recorded on a dedicated PC running the softeware UFOCapture.

The camera is protected using a time switch which turns the camera on at dusk and off just before dawn. This is necessary so that the lens shutter will be closed before there is any danger of sunlight getting through to the camera chip. ith the current direction of the camera there is little chance of such Sun exposure, but it is considered a sensible precaution.

The PC and camera are left running all night and the software works by running a recording loop, where it only keeps a few moments of recording in its latent memory. When the software senses something moving in the filed of view it builds up the recording held in memory until the movement stops, at which time that sequence is recorded to the PC hard drive in the form of an .avi file. It also resodes several other files, including a .jpeg file which is an amalgam of all the individual frames in the .avi.

I did expand the system to incorporate three cameras covering a larger area of sky. However after a few months I reduced this back to only one camera, mainly due the vast amount of data these were gathering every day and I never could keep up with the processing.
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