December 23 2013
It has been a real privilege to work with you this past year. Your
service, and enthusiasm, has made this the best year of my 20 years of astronomy
which, by the way, I got into by force from my wife
What you and Jack
have allowed me to do this year to open the sky to people
who had no access has been priceless to me. And I can't thank you enough
for the support.
thanks again for all the wisdom.
South Rim Coordinator
Grand Canyon Star Party
Received on September 26 2013
I recently bought a Mallincam Xtreme Color from Jack Huercamp and I want to thank you for designing and building this
Please excuse this long e-mail. I seldom write these. The few times I've been so excited over technology are so rare
that I can remember them vividly - my first Apple computer back in 1980; my Celestron C8 in 1985; the Tesla Model S; and now,
I am an old amateur astronomer who can trace his fascination with the stars ever since watching 2001, the original Star
Trek and the Apollo space programme. I was still in elementary school when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. The next few
weeks after that we all played astronauts recreating the mission - launch in the Saturn V; piloting the LEM, doing moonwalks!
Those were fun times.
After a long 30-over year hiatus I came back to astronomy - my professional interest in software had led me to take
part in citizen science projects like the Zooniverse and especially the Planet Hunters: I have scoured through Kepler transit
photometry data, analyzed light curves and participated in the discovery of several dozen new exoplanets, eclipsing binaries,
RR Lyrae and dwarf novae, resulting so far in 3 published papers in astrophysics. Last year I found a planet that orbited
a binary star, with another binary orbiting this system, making a total of 4 stars to this planetary system. I would have
called it Nightfall or Asimov, but of course they won't let you name these exoplanetary systems.
It was the Kepler mission that brought me back to my roots, star gazing. Sure, hunting exoplanets in distant stars may
be fun and exciting, but somehow it's different from experiencing it directly with my eyes. Maybe I ought to re-experience
the old sensation of seeing real photons from the stars. Over this summer I learned about the tremendous changes in observational
astronomy since the 1980s: better eyepieces, better telescopes, more aperture, more accurate mounts, digital astrophotography
and how technology has transformed the hobby. But on top of all this, video astronomy caught my eye, they say it is the future
of observational astronomy - and one name kept coming up: Mallincam.
I'll digress for a minute here and explain the reason why I'm now so interested in video astronomy. I have a son who
is diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. This means the rods in his retina are degenerating and he is effectively night-blind
and one day he may lose his sight. He has not been able to see the stars for the last few years. I am going to see how
I can change that and introduce him to a new world of seeing.
So about a month ago I made the decision to get a Mallincam. I first bought a goto equatorial mount and an 80mm refractor
(I had always wanted to upgrade to a 3 inch refractor) and spent a couple of weekends getting to grips with it. Then I went
to your website at mallincam.tripod.com
, which referred me to MallincampUSA.com
to get on the waiting list. I sent an email and to my surprise Jack responded almost immediately that he had an
Xtreme Color available. I sent my check and received the package the next week. It took several more weeks to get the rest
of the gear together. I also bought a copy of Miloslick's excellent Mallincam Control software after a very helpful exchange
with Bill Koperwhats on the right gear and cables to use.
Last Monday night was first light with my complete video astronomy set-up: Stellarvue SVR80ED on AVX mount; Orion flip
mirror with 12mm reticle eyepiece, set to be parfocal with the Xtreme. It has a MFR-5 'B' piece and connected to the back
of the Orion flip mirror. The RS-232 from the XT is connected via USB, as is the S-Video to an iGrabber A/D frame-grabber
- and both USBs are hooked up to my Macbook Air running Miloslick software. I also had a SkyFi wireless control box
hooked up to my mount's controller. Yep, a lot of wires and stuff everywhere... but to my great astonishment, and totally
counter to my experience as an engineer, everything worked the first time.
Being a little apprehensive of what a little 3-incher could do, I cautiously went through a few Messier objects, and
since I'm not sure how good my tracking was, I used a short 15 second integration. M8, M20, M12 and even M57, a tiny but bright
glowing ring, were all marvelously captured, with color apparent in the nebulae. But it was M27 that took my breath away.
The colors of the nebula were so clear, so real that I spent several minutes awestruck at the sight. I took so long admiring
the colors in M27 that it got pretty late. I decided to call it a night soon after and also I want to save more surprises
for later. Besides, I still had to figure out how to do the various settings, filters and color balance etc. So many things
to learn but I feel like a kid again with my first telescope!
This weekend I hope to set things up and have Josh finally see the wonders of the night sky. First light for him. I am
so happy that he will finally have that chance.
So in conclusion, much gratitude and appreciation for what you have created, Rock. Please keep on doing it and continue
to bring change and joy to the lives of others. I want you to know this. It is the greatest gift that we can offer.
Clear skies and good S/N ratios always
July 8 2013
The more I use the new camera (MallinCam
the more I appreciate what it can do. It is an amazing camera and at F/3.3 has
recently pulled out sharper detail of deep sky objects in 1 minute than the Sony
Nex-7 has at F/6.3 in 10 minutes. I know that is an unfair comparison due to the
faster F/Ratio on the Mallincam but the fact is that with my current setups
capabilities I am seeing far more fine detail with the Mallincam.
May 27 2013
Sept. 10 2012
Just wanted to let you know that thanks to you, I saw something spectacular last evening.
On page 58 of the October 2012 issue of Sky & Telescope in the "Deep Sky Wonders" column, there is
a picture of galaxy PGC187663 and planetary nebula Abell 70. The planetary is magnitude
14.5, and the galaxy magnitude 16.
The galaxy is positioned nearly tangent to the edge the planetary giving it the nickname "Diamond Ring". I
was able to see both objects using my VSS+ and CPC 1100. They were actually fairly easy! Even the planetary's
central star was visible. I was so impressed that I called my wife to come and look after showing her
the picture in S&T and trying to explain exactly how faint those objects really are.
I guess I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but I'm totally blown away every time I use my MallinCam!
Don Gallian , USA
Sept. 16 2012
Donna and I were at Ecvar 2012 this year and got to watch Jack and Jim experimenting
with the new Universe
on Jims 12 inch.
I was totally impressed. The camera and cooler is large compared to my MCHP, but
the idea to be able
to hook up with just a USB
was so cool. They took some shots of M51, M17, and The "Pillers of Creation" in
Nebula. What surprised me most was first
the wide field, second the short integration. I honestly think I could put that
on my Alt / Az mount on my CPC and have no problems.
The control to take out amp glow was perfect, and the ability to stack
was great. You Sir, have struck gold with this one...Gar
Gary Shannon, USA
May 29 2012
P.S. I'm totally blown away every time I use my MallinCam. I've seen things I would never have bothered
looking for in the past. And things I have seen before, I'm seeing in a whole new way.
July 6, 2010
I’ve been an amateur astronomer for 35 years. Like many of us, I’ve purchased literally hundreds of
astronomical items - telescopes, mountings, eyepieces, and other accessories - during that time. Some of them have been
great, others not so great. However, only four of those items have had a major impact on amateur astronomy for
Number one would be my first telescope. It was an Edmund 6” f/8 Newtonian reflector on a German equatorial
mount. Once I figured out how to locate Saturn and the Moon in the telescope I was hooked!
Second was my first GOTO telescope, a 10” Meade LX-200. Living only 10 miles from downtown Chicago, essentially
no deep sky objects are visible. So, on those occasions when I did get to a dark site, I didn’t want to waste
time looking FOR objects, I wanted to look AT them!
Next, is my observatory. We now live about 60 miles south of Chicago. My skies are not really dark, but compared
to my previous location it’s like Heaven! Once we were settled, one of my first projects was having an observatory
built. Mount Jennings Observatory is a 10’ square roll-off constructed by Backyard Observatories. Since the observatory
was built, I’ve observed more than I ever did before.
Finally, my Mallincam VSS+ has changed amateur astronomy for me, perhaps more profoundly than any other item. Why?
Because it actually accomplishes what I’ve been trying to achieve with all the other things – seeing objects better.
I’ve looked through scores of telescopes ranging from 2” to 36” and generally the larger the scope,
the more you see. But bigger scopes are more expensive, difficult to transport, time consuming to set up, and require
higher-level skills to use effectively. With the Mallincam, my Celestron CPC 1100 has already shown me deep-sky
objects better than I’ve ever seen through an eyepiece no matter how large the aperture. Plus, they’re
Rock, you have truly done amateur astronomers a service by making the Mallincam available. I couldn’t be
happier with mine!
Don Gallian (Digital Don)
P.S. I did my first broadcast on Night Skies Network this evening. NSN is a great resource for anyone with a Mallincam!
Even though I never actually even saw a Mallincam before last week, watching the NSN guys made me feel like a 'pro' when mine
Finally got to give it a good try.
Used the 80mm and went wide field for 6hrs last night.
Man I love that thing, it performed flawlessly, and fov was amazing.
I had more than enough room for the triplet and many wide shots with more than 6 galaxies, m81 and m82 in one shot,
the pinwheel and others just amazing.
Got my setup fine tuned again from astro-day and gotos were centered all night.
Went to mag15 at 56 seconds, could go deeper with a VSS and 112 seconds.
Was at it till 3:30 am, good thing I was off today!
I really want to take the time to thank you for making my astronomy hobby way more enjoyable and easy to see objects
that I would not see with a scope 4 times bigger, I can go to arp galaxies with a 3" scope!
With my poor vision (blind in one eye and the other very weak) you have made it easy to see detail in DSO's
Thank you very much,
I really appreciate all the work you did on the camera, but I appreciate best of all the speed at which
you made the upgrade. Now I won't have to be without my MallinCam for very long!
I would like to thank you for making such a fine product.Your video camera has been a blessing for us folks
who have aging eyesight and more difficulty seeing though an eyepiece. The MallinCam enables people like me the ability to
see details that might otherwise go unseen. Thank you!
I ordered a MallinCam Hyper PLUS Color through Jack H. and received it Saturday after a relatively short wait. I just
wanted to say WOW! The camera delivers, and delivers well. I was able to see dust lanes in M51 through my 150mm telescope
from my suburban Los Angeles area backyard where visually I am barely able to see the galaxy core. And this with default
settings, as I have not yet tried the many possible tweaks to improve performance. In just the first two hours I was able
to see many objects I have never been able to see from my backyard with detail that I have never seen even from a dark location.
So I just wanted to say thanks for the great product and all your hard work to get it produced for delivery so quickly.
It is going to totally transform my astronomy experience for the better.
Altadena, California, USA
An emotional moment for me
Last night - who'd have thought that there could be so many clear
nights on the Wet Coast? - I looked again at M82 and compared with the
view in a 20mm Nagler in my 16"f5 Newtonian. There was actually more
detail on the monitor than I could see with the eye. This was at X4
The big surprise was M81. The night was clear and transparency good,
though seeing was so-so. When I was struggling to get the stiff scope
to point to M82, M81 kept appearing on the monitor. A boring smudge,
just like in the eyepiece. I eventually decided to play around with
integration. At X128 I was amazed to see big spiral arms faintly in
the field. WoW! I turned on the TEC and flipped the Hyper switch to
7. Hold the PRESS! Huge spiral arms extending outside the field of
view, with clots of light and dark indicating dust clouds and lanes.
Not Hubble quality, but heck, I'm in a city here, with my own scope,
seeing something I had no idea that I could ever see with my own scope.
Why didn't someone tell me this camera was really good? Well, I
suppose they did... Imagine the wonder on my 85 year old mother's
face when she saw that puppy on the screen!
This gives me ideas for my own observing future. I like finding
things by starhopping; I like letting those galactic photons soak
into my brain. But here is a new sense of wonder - catch the photons
that are too faint to register on my aging eyes and see new marvels in
the night sky.
- a believer.
On Thu night I went to the RASC Observatory here in Edmonton (AB) to
see the comet Holmes through larger telescopes than mine. I did take
a good look at the comet of course, but then I switched to a different
type of target: the moons of Uranus and Neptune. The outer planets
(let alone their moons) are rarely imaged by planetary
astrophotographers: their disks are too small (3.6" Uranus and 2.8"
Neptune) to show any detail and their moons too faint (< 13 mag) to be
captured by a webcam or a firewire camera. I thought that in this case
a more sensitive camera like the MallinCam could be useful. This
turned out to be a serious test for the MallinCam: being able to show
objects fainter than magnitude 13 (Triton 13.5, Uranus moons about
16.5), in close proximity to a much brighter object (Uranus 5.5,
Neptune 7.8), under a sky as light polluted as you can imagine
(Hunter's Moon high in the sky, -12.93 mag!), with the target low on
the horizon (Uranus 30 degrees, Neptune 15).
The Neptune/Triton pair showed up very visible on the screen of my
laptop at 7sec integration. After fiddling around with the camera
controls to get the best possible image, I moved to Uranus. Uranus was
higher in the sky by about 15 deg, but its moons are fainter than
Triton. Uranus and two of its moons, one very close to the planet,
were again clearly visible at 7sec. I can't seem to be able to figure
out which of the five moons showed up on the screen. I checked both
Starry Night and the Sky&Telescope's Moons of Uranus utility
and they give different arrangements for the moons. Any ideas?
Anyway, if you are interested check
here:http://www.cosmicjourney.net/SolarSystem.html and scroll past the
image of Mars.
Mallincam Outreach Report
The Toronto Centre of the RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) hosted
two different parties at our observatory this past weekend. On Friday night
we have a group of Boy Scouts and their parents, and on Saturday night we
had ~25 people that are enrolled in the Toronto's Centre's NOVA program (New
Observers to Visual Astronomy). This was the first time that we used the
Mallincam Colour Hyper to enhance our outreach program, and it was a big
I brought up a Dell 20" wide screen LCD computer monitor for the display,
we were planning to buy a 32" LCD monitor/TV but a few people involved with
the project wanted to try one first to see how it would look and function
in cold weather, since my computer monitor has video inputs I thought that
it would be a good trial.
The Mallincam was hooked up to a Televue NP101 piggy backing on a C-14 on a
Paramount. The C-14 was used for visual. With the right eyepiece ( for the
life of me I can't remember what size it was!) the FOV was very similar
between the image on the monitor and what was in the eyepiece.
A few of our targets for the two nights were M31, M27, M13, M57, Comet
Holmes, Alberio, and requests. The President of our club who was hosting
just loved to being able point to the monitor while talking about what we
were looking at. Most of the visitors couldn't believe that it was a "live"
image and a couple of times I shut the camera off just to prove it to them.
All of our visitors enjoyed themselves and thanked us for a great evening.
Our Club's President and myself felt that the Mallincam added so much to our
presentation and are looking forward to using it again.
A few comments about the LCD monitor, I knew going into this that the
resolution wouldn't be that hot for Mallincam, but standing about a yard or
more from the screen it looked not bad at all, and on the second night I
played with the display size on the monitors menu and shrunk the display
to about a 8" square screen and it looked pretty good.
Some of the things we are thinking about in improving the video experience
is to split the video signal of the mallincam and have another monitor in
the observatory and even another one in the control room for the scope.
Also were are going to try a video card in the scopes controlling computer
and open a window with the live image so that we can show both the Sky
planetary software (it controls the paramount) and the mallincam image at
the same time, on the computer monitor in the control room, and maybe even
running a parallel monitor in the observatory with a blue tooth keyboard and
mouse so that the scope can be controlled in the observatory by one person
while they are doing the presentation.
I am suggesting that we might want to upgrade that camera to a Hyper Plus
and wireless control for the future.
RASC Toronto Centre
NGC 253 as never before!
While NGC 253 has always been one of my favorite observing targets,
my most recent views (with 28" f/3.6 and MallinCam Hyper Color
camera) have taken it to #1 on my list...at least for the moment!
I spent years teasing out the 'mottling' and faint details at the
eyepiece, never realizing just how much I was NOT seeing.
Since this past new moon, I've been trying to find an image online or
in a book that shows what was seen on my video monitor...without
success. None of the images I've been able to find really does it
justice. The closest I've found is this:
With MallinCam at only a 7-second iteration there is so much visual
information you can (and I did) literally spend nearly two hours
drinking in the detail and still not get it all!
Being able to use both eyes on the monitor gives the galaxy a sense
of depth. You can actually (and easily) see the star clouds rising
above the galactic plane !
In some areas it almost looks like the huge clouds are casting
shadows behind them from the illumination from the core.
The nucleus is a pale yellow, banded and cris-crossed by dust lanes
and clouds. Other large, dark clouds (that give that 'mottling'
effect at the eyepiece) are revealed for what they are!
"Jets" of dark material are visble coming out perpendicular
to the galactic plane.
It is more glorious than I ever imagined!
Have posted a new image of M1 in both my galleries ("Astroimaging by
Tom O" and "Astroimaging and Stacking by TomO"). I really like the
subtle colors that came through, even with the single exposure.
My website also now has a MallinCam gallery of all my images at:
The large thumbnails, all on one page, make for easy selection.
The MallinCam Color Camera is really becoming a hit with my customers.
Seems like more and more people are ordering Platforms for use with
their MCHP camera. I am hoping the MallinCam gallery on my website
will give people a good idea of what they can expect with this
wonderful camera when used with their dob on a Platform. Deep sky
color imaging made easy. Thank you Rock!
Going where (almost) NO One has gone before!
This past weekend I attended the Central Florida Astronomical
Association's AstroFest at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve...a fairly dark
site...certainly the darkest site I've yet used my Mallican Hyper
Color Plus and 28" f/3.6 Starstructure.
During the course of Saturday night, my neighbor was observing M-59,
NGC-4638, M-60 and NGC-4647 all in the same field of view with her
I took a look at was "reminded" that M-60/NGC-4647 is listed in the
Arp catalog as an interactive pair. For some reason I don't remember
ever observing them through a large scope...certainly not with a MCHP!
At a 28-second iteration, the spiral structure of 4647 was obvious
with much detail within and between the arms. Along with several
other observers we remarked at how obviously the arms nearest to M-60
were being perturbed and how dark clouds of gas/dust (?) were being
drawn out from the nucleus towards the larger Elliptical galaxy.
It was also noted that the OPPOSITE side of NGC-4647 seemed distended
with a huge absorption area between the nucleus and the first arm,
and that the outer arm on that side was 'stretched and bent' towards
While this last observation may be simply a coincidence, it is
We were all so intrigued by the observation that I looked up some
images in the Arp Catalogue, several other publications and online.
It was then that I discovered that NO ONE had an image that even came
CLOSE to matching what we were seeing...not even Kitt Peak with the
2.1 Meter scope!
I found an amateur image (60 mins. with a cooled camera and a
Takahashi TOA 130) that at least showed some of the spiral structure
in 4647..but not much.
This is a door I was HOPING to pass through with the MCHP. The
opportunity to do some deep sky observational work that no one else
was, evidently, doing. The Big Boys and the HST can only observe a
miniscule portion of the thousands/millions of objects. There are
(literally) New Worlds 'out there' to discover.
Another grateful "Thank You" to Rock Mallin!
Let me say that as a customer and consumer in general that I have never, ever been more pleased with the quality of my purchase,
or the unparallelled customer service. Few people are so fortunate as to marry their passion to their profession. Clearly
you are so blessed, and all of your customers are beneficiares of your passion. I am a grade above novice and am thoroughly
enjoying your superb instrument. Thanks for the response and for my continuing education via yours and others posts.
Tom A Wilson JR
While over past 6 months I have only had a few opportunities to really test my MallinCam Pro Dob, those opportunities
have resulted in some fabulous hours of both viewing and imaging. I own a 15 inch Obsession dob and even though I use a ServoCat
tracking, I have been told for years that alt-az dobs could not ever be expected to generate quality astrophotographs field
rotation, inadequate tracking for long term exposures, etc. But my first time out with my new MallinCam proved those doubters
wrong at least in my mind.
Not only has imaging become possible (with a level of quality I never dreamed of) but observing has improved so much that
you would think I had doubled the diameter of my mirror. I am seeing magnitudes I have only read about until now. Imagine
my utter astonishment when I looked into my monitor and saw the Horsehead Nebula as plain as day and from mediocre night of
seeing. Orion has become an absolute wonderland of vistas right there on my monitor. And the faint galaxies. This camera
is simply amazing!
While I have a lot to learn and a long way to go with astro imaging, the MallinCam has opened new doors for me. And Rock,
my recent upgrade to an Ultra has shown me that the customer always comes first with you which is an increasing rarity in
the business world today. Thank you ever so much for broadening my horizons.
Here is a small rundown of my observations with the new settings on the MallinCam Pro-Dob :))
The most beautifull object was the Eagle Nebula (M16)......I felt like I was at the controls of
the Hubble Space Telescope. It was that
detailed !!!!...I could even see directly on the monitor, the star light that light up the top of the pillars of creation
with structure in the entire eagle shape.....Fantastic !!!!!!....Completly blew me away !!!!...no image processing at all...this
was live !!!!
Globular clusters (M13, M92, M15) fill the screen with screaming stars....and soooo many of them
M17 (Swan nebula) and M27 (Dumbell neb) were so bright that I had to lower the contrast on the monitor!!!!.....Gorgeous
structure and details galore !!!
M17 almost filled the monitor and M27 was 1/3 the size of the screen and I was using the focal reducer all the time to
bring my scope
down to F3.5
M57 showed easilly both central stars and some faint ones in the ring... the seeing was shitty :))
Vega looked like a Quasar !!!! It was so bright that I also had to lower the gain of the camera to remove it' s glare...What
a beacon :)))
M51 showed 4 spiral arms and the bridge connecting the two galaxies was easilly seen....That sucker filled the screen!!!
M31 was sooo big, the bulge filled 1/3 of the screen. The bulge was so big it looked like an elliptical galaxy :))
By scanning around, you could see the division in the spiral arms
M33 was so big that I could only see the centre and 1/3 of it' s circumference on the screenM81 and M82 were quite bright
but M82 showed HII regions that were a treat to the eye
This camera is awsome on my 20" Obsession and the platform tracking was better than anticipated.
There is sooo much more to look at :))))
Thank you for the suggestion with the proper settings !!!!
Boy did I enjoyed my Saturday night !!!!!!!
I' m like a kid in a candy store !! :)))
uV. Electronics Inc
Saturday night I tried out the Mallincam. Unbelievable the things that I
saw with it. I saw things that I never knew existed. It was amazing to see
these objects, while there was a full moon out.
This had to be the best astronomy session that I ever had. My mouth is
still hanging open.
Thank you for this amazing opportunity.
All the best.
After observing with the Mallin*Cam II, I had no hesitation in purchasing a
Mallin*Cam Pro video camera. I have used both of these cameras as observing
systems extensively, and they produce exquisite images live on a high
resolution (800 line) monitor, with a homogeneous black sky background and
no sign of amplifier glow. Using an f3.3 focal reducer, the sensitivity of
the Mallin*Cam Pro is superb. I have used it both under dark skies with my
8" SCT (native f10), and under light-polluted downtown skies with my
remotely controlled 10" SCT (native f10), and I am impressed by the results.
From my downtown backyard, optical observations of deep-sky objects are
frustratingly difficult. However, with the Mallin*Cam Pro I can easily see
the spiral structure of M51, the detailed concentric structure of the
Eskimo/Clown planetary nebula, and the incredible stellar resolution of
globular clusters such as M13, M15, M3 etc. Detailed deep-sky observations
of galaxies and nebulae of all kinds that I thought I could never observe
are now well within my reach, even downtown.
However, nothing can beat a truly dark sky. My mobile telescope is an 8"
SCT. Equipped with the Mallin*Cam Pro, classical deep-sky objects such as M8
(Lagoon), M16 (Eagle), M17, (Omega), M20 (Trifid), and M42 (Orion), observed
live on the high resolution monitor, are as clear and as detailed as
published, professional images. The details of galaxies such as NGC 253
(Great Sculptor) are simply amazing. I have even seen the notoriously
difficult Horsehead Nebula (NGC 434), live on screen. Galactic details
brought out in live images by the Mallin*Cam Pro range from the dust lanes
of M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) to resolving every member of the Perseus A
galactic Cluster in a single field of view.
To be quite frank, much as I love to observe at the eyepiece, the Mallin*Cam
Pro has totally changed my observing habits. Objects I would never have
attempted to observe visually, either from my downtown location or my
favourite dark-sky site, now reveal their detailed structure. I can well
understand why you refer to it as an "observing system".
Congratulations on producing a fine contribution to amateur astronomy, under
all sky conditions!
Ottawa Ontario Canada
I observe with a 14 inch discovery Dobsonian using a Johnsonian EQ
platform. Last month I read everything I could about this camera,
and after contacting Rock Mallin via e-mail and a nice 1 hour
conversation with Jack Huercamp, I decided to take the plunge with
purchasing the camera. I received the camera on Saturday, November
6th and went out to use it that night at my favorite viewing site in
Joshua Tree National Park in California.
I also own a Stellacam II which I purchased last June. I probably
have used the Stellacam II about 30 times.
My preliminary experience with the Mallincam Pro camera was very
good. It was such a pleasure to get full sense up in only 2
seconds. This makes the camera so much easier to use with a dob and
eq platform. The camera is very sensitive and I believe that it is
at least as sensitive as the Stellacam II. However, the camera
seemed to have an increased resolution nature about it. The
Stellacam II needs to have the gain pushed to reach hi res. Not the
Mallincam. So the images are less pixilated for the same results
making images on the screen more contrasting and finer resolution.
The Mallincam definitely seems to benefit from a higher quality chip
and radiant cooling. While it was a cool night, I noticed that the
outside cover of the Mallincam stayed very cool. This is different
from the Stellacam, which gets pretty warm even on cold nights. The
result is that the Mallincam images have virtually no hot pixels. I
was imaging the core of the double cluster and one of my cohorts
asked if those dots on the monitor where mostly hot pixels (as seen
with the Stellacam II)? I had to explain that the new camera does
not have the hot pixel problem…..those dots are stars! When Orion
came up, I started to wander around the nebula. This is another
interesting feature of the Mallincam. I was able to move the
telescope around without waiting for a long refresh. So I could
explore a quadrant with the camera installed in the scope. Nice
The nights' seeing was mediocre. However, I was able to image on
the screen, in real time, the Horsehead Nebula. It was faint but it
was there. Not bad at all! Andromeda seemed to have less dark lane
then the Stellacam. But with visual examination through the
eyepiece, I think this was a result of poor seeing, not the camera.
The only thing I missed with the camera was the hand pendant that
the Stellacam has. But then, I didn't miss having that pendant
hanging around in the dark either. So it's about a wash there.
need to extensively explore the features in the camera. I will try
to report more about the camera through the rest of the season. As
it stands now I am selling my Stellacam II. If anyone is interested
I can make you a good deal. Finally, don't get me wrong here,
Stellacam II is a great camera and is well suited for use with
better tracking than I can achieve with my Dob/platform combo.
Palm Spring California
Due to the fact I was getting older and also wear glasses, I was having major difficulty with eye strain. The Mallin
Cam has been nothing short of extraordinary. Watching
the night views through a monitor instead of an eyepiece has cleared my eye strain and brought back the enjoyment of discovering
the skies. The views are unbelievable and best of all I
can share the views (real time) with family and visitors, l love to hear their oh's and ah's. I still remember with eyepieces,
trying to show people what the skies were displaying and then
having to go through the pain of refocusing after each visitor had to fine focus for their vision. I have a box that
arrived from Meade of a set of eyepieces, I have not used one of them
yet. I highly recommend this camera to anyone. I think it's time everyone gets a chance to see what the night sky really
looks like. Thanks so much.
P.S. I will be upgrading in the very near future.
Carp, Ontario, Canada