Watec 910HX Camera Information

Watec 910HX manual pdf

From David Herald in IOTA group, Mar 29 '14

Integration interval – essential. Some points to note:
- exposures of 1/50 {1/60} second or less operate at field level – that is, it is the exposure duration on a field
- exposures of x2, x4 , x8 are integrations, specifying the number of fields. Thus the x2 setting outputs a single FRAME, x4 integrates over 4 fields = 2 frames. It is also  noteworthy that the CCD operates in a different mode when x2 x4 etc are used. For exposure of 1/50th and shorter the camera uses interlaced reading. However for x2, x4 etc, the CCD is read with a progressive scan (apparently). Consequently with exposure of 1/50 {1/60} or less, the fields in the video are different. However for x2, x4 etc, the fields are identical within each frame.
- DO NOT USE the EI setting. EI stands for exposure index. It operates a bit like automatic gain – automatically adjusting the exposure according to image brightness. It might be useful for public demonstrations showing the moon, but otherwise do not use it.
Gain. Use the full range. I’m finding that making adjustments of just 1 db can be very useful. However I suspect this would be very tedious on the HX version. For lunars I tend to set the Gain somewhere around 32, Gamma at 1, and use the exposure to get the brightness level right. I tend to avoid going above 38 db, as the image gets a bit grainy.
Gamma. Use the full range. But I usually leave it at the maximum setting (corresponding to a gamma of 1.0)
OPTIONAL settings that might be useful
Flip Horizontal/vertical. If you have an optical system with an odd number of reflections, you will have image reversal. The flip settings allow you to get an image that is un-flipped. Could be very useful for matching the video image with a star chart – when trying to fine that faint star that is going to be occulted.
Zoom. This is an electronic zoom onto part of the CCD. Zooming greater than a factor of 2 results in an image that is excessively course. Might be useful in some circumstances – such as a lunar event with the star close to illuminated points on the moon. But I’m not yet convinced....
Negative Image.  Can have stars as black dots on a white background. Probably of no value
WDN = Wide Dynamic Range. This is worth playing around with. It might be useful for faint stars, as it stretches the brightness at faint levels. There are two pre-set settings (User1 and User2), which you can vary. I found User1 to be more acceptable/useful than User2. However I have to say that while initially I thought WDN could be useful, I can get just as good images just by adjusting Gain and Gamma.
Make sure that AGC (automatic Gain control) and 3DNR (3-D Noise Reduction) are off.
Exposure Index – is a setting that is available on NTSC versions, but apparently not on PAL versions. It has to do with a technical issue with NTSC about the signal level corresponding to black. This setting should not be adjusted from its default value.
 Roger Venable: From my experience, increasing sharpness increases the small-scale,
pixel-to-pixel contrast in the image. Although it may sound as though
this would make faint stars more easily seen, in practice it
increases the pixel-to-pixel noise so much that it brings about the
hiding of faint stars. I recommend that you leave the sharpness
setting on its lowest value (usually 0, or off).