[TDA_wg] vendors for remote dome cameras?

Alan Watson alan at astro.unam.mx
Tue Jun 30 15:51:03 EDT 2015

> How do you ensure safety and provide for remote trouble shooting?

For internal monitoring, I use standard visible-light commercial webcams. For external monitoring, I use webcams for vehicles (e.g., Vivotek MD7630) which are better protected against the elements and vibrations.

I don’t bother with panning or zooming. I hate mechanisms. They fail.

I don’t bother with IR. My understanding is that active IR solutions operate with 850 nm LEDs, which are a problem for CCD observations in the red. Passive IR solutions (search for “FLIR CCTV” on amazon.com) run to many thousands of dollars and are way beyond my budgets.

If we have problems, we turn the lights on (remotely) in order to see the telescope and dome with standard visible-light webcams. Obviously, we lose whatever science data is being taken. However, since “having problems” typically means “the science data are useless anyway”, this is not too much of a worry.


Dr. Alan M. Watson
Instituto de Astronomía
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

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