Meteor cameras

Dominic Ford

I did at one point briefly consider using an SBIG AllSky-340 camera for my own meteor camera work (instead of a Watec 902H2 Ultimate).

Unfortunately there were lots of reasons why it didn’t really seem to fit the bill. Even though you can set custom exposure lengths, it communicates with the PC via a slow serial link, making quick exposures almost impossible. By contrast, the Watec camera delivers 25 frames per second. As Jeremy says, you really need that many frames to catch fast meteors.

The other issue is that having bright lights in the field of view is a real nuisance. You get blooming and internal reflections. The slightest muck on your glass gets illuminated. A limited field of view actually helps keep unwanted light out — the metal CCTV housing acts as a lens hood.

It was a real shame, because I wanted an excuse to buy an AllSky-340 to play with 😉