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L

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RE: Microsoft Xbox Live Vision
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Test capture of a 24% full moon with a 100mm refractor and Xbox live webcam



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L

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You can use it as a pure webcam -  with no modifications.

Test capture of the moon and Venus with a Xbox live webcam (intact and with original lens) on the 26th March, 2012.



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L

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Looped animation of Mars (test) captured with a 60mm refractor + Xbox live webcam on the 18th March

Lack of any surface detail (not enough aperture), but the colour came out nice...

 



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L

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The Microsoft Xbox Live Vision webcam for the Xbox 360 is interesting for having a CCD chip (not CMOS), a fixed IR-cut filter, easily attachable to any telescope, and costs very little money.

X360.jpg

The first thing you notice is how small the actual camera is - it weights no more than a decent eyepiece - and consequently, will not affect the balance of your telescope.
The other thing you notice when you do plug it into a computer, is that there are internal LEDs that light up a translucent front ring. This green light can be ignored - the LEDs, in general, do not affect the CCD chip (which is fairly sealed off from the scattered light); however, the case can be squeezed and prised apart, and the 4 internal glass LEDs can be painted over, or broken with a pair of scissors. Breaking the LEDs does not affect the function of the camera.

X360v.jpg

For use on a telescope the camera lens must be removed.
barlowCUT.jpgThe internal black lens assembly just unscrews - although the grey front piece must be removed first (prised off easily). The lens fitting uses a standard M12 x 0.5mm thread. However, there is no need to buy a telescope adaptor fitting, as the cameras front 'spout' fits loosely into a 0.965" socket. A Barlow lens can be hack-sawed in half to make an adaptor for 1.25" sockets. Shims, or a coiled piece of paper or foil, can also be added for a snug fitting. Alternatively a piece 1.25 plastic pipe or a 35mm Film Canister can just be glued to the front.

The IR-cut filter is attached onto the rear of the lens mount - leave this on if you have a refractor, (Having not to buy an expensive IR-cut filter is a bonus).

The Microsoft Xbox Live Vision webcam for the Xbox 360 uses a CCD chip. The chip is surprising very sensitive, with a LUX value of less than 1. This is more than enough to record the brighter objects in the sky, but deep sky astrophotography will prove to be a challenge.

Dimensions: 45mm x 45mm x 60mm
Cable length: 2.65 m
Weight: 108 g

Connection: USB 2.0
Resolution: 640 x 480 pixels @ 30 Hz
                   320 x 240 pixels @ 60 Hz

www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Live-Vision-Camera

Price ~£5.00

Item condition:    New
More than 10 available
Price ~£1.99
Ebay 

The webcam is compatible with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (32-bit only), Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), and Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit, although 64-bit is not confirmed by Microsoft). 

The Xbox Live Vision video camera seamlessly integrates with the Xbox 360 system and Xbox Live network to bring interactive social gaming to life.
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The Xbox Live Vision camera was announced at E3 2006 and was released in North America on September 19, 2006, Europe and Asia on October 2, 2006, and Japan on November 2, 2006
The camera features 640 x 480 video at 30 frame/s and is capable of taking still images at 1.3 megapixels.

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Any bad points?  There are a few. The CCD chip is quite small. The camera has a tendency to heat up and cause pixel noise (but this can be cured by modifying the case and attaching a cooling fan).  The webcam requires a highspeed 2.0 USB connection (ie. will not work on old laptops).

The bottom line: Buy it



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