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Posts Made By: Len Benschop

April 18, 2002 07:29 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Anybody using 16 X 50's for astronomy?

Posted By Len Benschop

Hi
I have been offered a pair of 16 X 50 binocs and I am wondering if anyone can comment on what their effectiveness would be for astronomical targets?

My own thoughts...
(1) Definately need a tripod or bino mount
(2) I think M31 , M81 /82 M42 and others would be superb in this instrument. I have viewed them in my 10X50's and they were nice, but more power would have done them justice.

I'm thinking of getting them just to carry along in the car in case I hapen upon a nice clear sky and want to quickly observe some targets.

Regards;
Len

February 17, 2004 11:24 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

When is a Toucam not a Toucam??

Posted By Len Benschop

There have been several sellers posting Toucam 720 or 730 cameras on Astromart, without indicating that the 720/730 is not suitable for astro work. Granted, buyers should research what they are buying, but many ill-informed people hear "Toucam" and immediately think of the hard to get Toucam that has been used to excellent effect for planetary imaging, when in fact only the Toucam Pro 740, 750 or 840 are suitable. The Toucam XS (720) employs a CMOS sensor while only the 740-750-840 use CCD sensors.

This has been going on for a while now. Here's a previous ad, misleading. The 720 cannot be converted for long exposure as the ad implies.
http://www.astromart.com/viewad.asp?cid=166838

The latest is http://www.astromart.com/viewad.asp?cid=249950
Is the ad false? Not technically, but I find it ironic that the Toucam sold so quickly, given that they are crap for astronomy use. The statement where the seller indicates that "I've decided that imaging isn't my thing" in the ad, could lead one to believe that the camera itself is fine for astro imaging, when in fact it is not. Hopefully the buyer was made aware that this is NOT the Toucam that everyone is raving about, certainly the price should have been a clue.

Only the Philips Toucam Pro (740,750,840) are useful, as well as the Philips Vesta 675,680,690. The Vesta "fun" falls in the same category as the Toucam XS. See the attached image of Good and Bad Toucams.

While I have not been burnt, I have fielded many questions from potential buyers who contacted me via my website to enquire about the Toucam 720 that they desire to modify. I feel badly for those who purchase without investigating, getting burnt in the process.

My 1.5 cents? Buyer Beware.

February 17, 2004 11:28 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

When a Toucam is not a Toucam...

Posted By Len Benschop

There have been several sellers posting Toucam 720 or 730 cameras on Astromart, without indicating that the 720/730 is not suitable for astro work. Granted, buyers should research what they are buying, but many ill-informed people hear "Toucam" and immediately think of the hard to get Toucam that has been used to excellent effect for planetary imaging, when in fact only the Toucam Pro 740, 750 or 840 are suitable. The Toucam XS (720) employs a CMOS sensor while only the 740-750-840 use CCD sensors.

This has been going on for a while now. Here's a previous ad, misleading. The 720 cannot be converted for long exposure as the ad implies.
http://www.astromart.com/viewad.asp?cid=166838

The latest is http://www.astromart.com/viewad.asp?cid=249950
Is the ad false? Not technically, but I find it ironic that the Toucam sold so quickly, given that they are crap for astronomy use. The statement where the seller indicates that "I've decided that imaging isn't my thing" in the ad, could lead one to believe that the camera itself is fine for astro imaging, when in fact it is not. Hopefully the buyer was made aware that this is NOT the Toucam that everyone is raving about, certainly the price should have been a clue.

Only the Philips Toucam Pro (740,750,840) are useful, as well as the Philips Vesta 675,680,690. The Vesta "fun" falls in the same category as the Toucam XS. See the attached image of Good and Bad Toucams.

While I have not been burnt, I have fielded many questions from potential buyers who contacted me via my website to enquire about the Toucam 720 that they desire to modify. I feel badly for those who purchase without investigating, getting burnt in the process.

My 1.5 cents? Buyer Beware.

June 6, 2007 01:48 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Cardinal

Posted By Len Benschop

Hmmm... looks like a sunflower seed...

June 6, 2007 01:50 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Bluebirds

Posted By Len Benschop

Finally have a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nesting in our yard... 1 of 3

June 28, 2007 06:33 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Posted By Len Benschop

This fellow hangs around the yard, sings nicely.
Looking a little feather frazzled today!!

June 28, 2007 06:35 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Mourning Dove

Posted By Len Benschop

These friendly doves are a peaceful bird.

July 3, 2007 08:16 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Tree Swallow - Juvenile

Posted By Len Benschop

Here are two pics of a young tree swallow in a nestbox in our yard. There are at least two in the box, will be leaving soon.

Pic 1 of 2

Len

December 20, 2002 08:02 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Philips Vesta Pro

Posted By Len Benschop

Hi Joe;
Most users use the existing case, but not the Webcam lens. You simply unscrew the lens, make a 1.25" adapter that threads into the Vesta, (or buy one from Mogg), and you are ready to image the moon and planets. The second step is to modify the camera for long exposure, again, you can leave it in the original case for that.
Len Benschop
http://lenbenschop.tripod.com/LXWebcam.htm

December 20, 2002 08:04 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Does Philips Vesta run powered continuously?

Posted By Len Benschop

Correct, you must unplug the USB to power off the Webcam.
Len
http://lenbenschop.tripod.com/LXWebcam.htm