Author Topic: Camcorder Help  (Read 3207 times)

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Offline Moink

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Camcorder Help
« on: May 23, 2013, 03:55:18 PM »
Hello Folks
I work at a Drop Forging company in the West Midlands. I realise it is a bit cheeky ;) but could I ask if anyone could advise in finding a suitable camcorder?
We need to be able to video our processes but the problem we have is, it is a dark atmosphere and we use hot metal (1300 degrees C) so there is a lot of thermal glare. With a normal camera it is almost impossible to make out any sort of detail (We have to manipulate the metal and need a way to record this)
Are there any suitable cameras that you could recommend?
I do know that there are quite a few fellow Frosties that do this professionally or are gifted amateurs so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers

Offline Pedro

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 07:58:32 PM »
Interesting challenge...unfortunately I have absolutely no idea on the matter...but hopefully someone will. Good luck. :)
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Offline Trapezium Artist

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 08:44:32 PM »
Interesting: there are parallels to some work I did more than 20 years ago, while I was at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

I worked with Roger Angel in spring 1992 on the spin casting of the 6.5m diameter primary mirror for the MMT telescope on Mount Graham in southern Arizona. (MMT originally stood for Multiple Mirror Telescope, because it originally had 6 individual 1.8m diameter mirrors; the 6.5m single mirror replaced them all). Roger's spin casting technique involves melting chunks of glass in a giant rotating oven. Because the oven is rotating, the glass adopts a parabolic shape when it turns into a liquid: by holding that spin rate and then turning the oven off, you freeze the glass in a shape very close to the one you need to polish it to to make it useful in a telescope. Saves literally years of machining / polishing time.

(Actually, it's even cleverer than that, but I'll leave the interested to google for more info).

Anyway, during the casting of the MMT 6.5m mirror, I worked with a student called Dave Wittman to take pictures of the inside of the oven as the rotated, so we could make a time lapse movie of the glass melting and adopting its parabolic shape. This involved a CCD camera bolted to the outside of the oven staring through a glass window, taking a picture every 3 minutes for 33 hours or so.

Now, like you, we had the same problem: staring into a hold oven with melting glass over the base meant almost nothing was distinguishable: it was just a glowing mass of cherry-red and yellow. How was that solved? By firing a powerful UV flashgun every time the camera took a shot, and relying on the CCD being sensitive at short wavelengths. That provided all the contrast we needed, as can be seen in the resulting time lapse movies:

http://rc.arizona.edu/visualization-consulting/sample-visualization-projects (see the bottom of the page)
https://vimeo.com/channels/uofauitsweb/28960680
https://vimeo.com/channels/uofauitsweb/28960721

     The pictures were b/w; we colourised them to make them look like the inside of an oven  8). And remember, this was 1992; be kind (I'm amazed that these are still on the web, to be honest ;)):

     So, fast forwarding to the 21st century, one option for you could be to use a strong blue / UV spotlight on your metal work and use a corresponding filter on a stock video camera, admitting just that light. (If you use UV, of course, you need to be careful about your eyes too).

     But I also suspect that this is a solved problem in similar areas, so some googling might be in order ...  ;)

Offline gr8gonzo

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 12:20:29 AM »
I just read all that.
...and I can feel the world is turning...turn around

Offline rogerg

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 01:15:38 AM »
heh

Offline Moink

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 09:03:25 PM »
Interesting: there are parallels to some work I did more than 20 years ago, while I was at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

I worked with Roger Angel in spring 1992 on the spin casting of the 6.5m diameter primary mirror for the MMT telescope on Mount Graham in southern Arizona. (MMT originally stood for Multiple Mirror Telescope, because it originally had 6 individual 1.8m diameter mirrors; the 6.5m single mirror replaced them all). Roger's spin casting technique involves melting chunks of glass in a giant rotating oven. Because the oven is rotating, the glass adopts a parabolic shape when it turns into a liquid: by holding that spin rate and then turning the oven off, you freeze the glass in a shape very close to the one you need to polish it to to make it useful in a telescope. Saves literally years of machining / polishing time.

(Actually, it's even cleverer than that, but I'll leave the interested to google for more info).

Anyway, during the casting of the MMT 6.5m mirror, I worked with a student called Dave Wittman to take pictures of the inside of the oven as the rotated, so we could make a time lapse movie of the glass melting and adopting its parabolic shape. This involved a CCD camera bolted to the outside of the oven staring through a glass window, taking a picture every 3 minutes for 33 hours or so.

Now, like you, we had the same problem: staring into a hold oven with melting glass over the base meant almost nothing was distinguishable: it was just a glowing mass of cherry-red and yellow. How was that solved? By firing a powerful UV flashgun every time the camera took a shot, and relying on the CCD being sensitive at short wavelengths. That provided all the contrast we needed, as can be seen in the resulting time lapse movies:

http://rc.arizona.edu/visualization-consulting/sample-visualization-projects (see the bottom of the page)
https://vimeo.com/channels/uofauitsweb/28960680
https://vimeo.com/channels/uofauitsweb/28960721

     The pictures were b/w; we colourised them to make them look like the inside of an oven  8). And remember, this was 1992; be kind (I'm amazed that these are still on the web, to be honest ;)):

     So, fast forwarding to the 21st century, one option for you could be to use a strong blue / UV spotlight on your metal work and use a corresponding filter on a stock video camera, admitting just that light. (If you use UV, of course, you need to be careful about your eyes too).

     But I also suspect that this is a solved problem in similar areas, so some googling might be in order ...  ;)

Many many thanks Mr Artist, i do actually understand some of it but i think i will have to read it a couple more times before it sinks in! Most people would think it's an easy problem to solve but this is certainly the best advice i have received so far.
I knew nothing was beyond the knowledge of the Frostieverse.
Many thanks again   :) 



Offline Trapezium Artist

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 10:44:10 PM »
I just read all that.

Stunned into silence  ;)

Offline Trapezium Artist

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2013, 10:49:15 PM »

Many many thanks Mr Artist, i do actually understand some of it but i think i will have to read it a couple more times before it sinks in! Most people would think it's an easy problem to solve but this is certainly the best advice i have received so far.
I knew nothing was beyond the knowledge of the Frostieverse.
Many thanks again   :)

No problem; it's what we do  ;)

Seriously, just let me know if you need more ideas. In my dayjob, we build cameras for satellites that can see through the atmosphere of Venus in the infrared, that can detect microwaves left over from the Big Bang, and measure the X-ray spectrum of gas circling black holes. Simples  8)

Offline rogerg

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 04:47:48 PM »

Many many thanks Mr Artist, i do actually understand some of it but i think i will have to read it a couple more times before it sinks in! Most people would think it's an easy problem to solve but this is certainly the best advice i have received so far.
I knew nothing was beyond the knowledge of the Frostieverse.
Many thanks again   :)

No problem; it's what we do  ;)

Seriously, just let me know if you need more ideas. In my dayjob, we build cameras for satellites that can see through the atmosphere of Venus in the infrared, that can detect microwaves left over from the Big Bang, and measure the X-ray spectrum of gas circling black holes. Simples  8)

Geez, TA, too bad you don't do something cool...

;D

Offline Trapezium Artist

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 09:53:55 PM »

Many many thanks Mr Artist, i do actually understand some of it but i think i will have to read it a couple more times before it sinks in! Most people would think it's an easy problem to solve but this is certainly the best advice i have received so far.
I knew nothing was beyond the knowledge of the Frostieverse.
Many thanks again   :)

No problem; it's what we do  ;)

Seriously, just let me know if you need more ideas. In my dayjob, we build cameras for satellites that can see through the atmosphere of Venus in the infrared, that can detect microwaves left over from the Big Bang, and measure the X-ray spectrum of gas circling black holes. Simples  8)

Geez, TA, too bad you don't do something cool...

;D

Well, we build the satellites too. They're definitely cool when undergoing cryovac testing  ;)

Offline RacingHippo

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 11:13:48 PM »
That, Mr. Artist, is utterly fascinating.
Nice name check there, too :)
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Offline Trapezium Artist

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Re: Camcorder Help
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 02:11:27 PM »
That, Mr. Artist, is utterly fascinating.
Nice name check there, too :)

Thanks, RH. Roger's one of the great instrumental geniuses of modern astronomy: had things turned out differently 20 years ago, I would have happily stayed with him in Tucson. As it was, I was only working with him temporarily on mirror casting and adaptive optics, while looking for a new position after my job on the NICMOS project, a second-generation instrument for Hubble, ended (very) abruptly. Money was taken from the project in 1991 to help defray the costs of COSTAR, the corrective optics module needed after it was discovered that Hubble's primary mirror had spherical aberration.

Several of us on NICMOS were canned with six weeks notice, utterly unheard of in academia. Fortunately, several generous people at the University of Arizona stepped in with small pots of money from their grants to keep me going until I could find a new job, which took about a year all told. I ended up moving to Germany, as nicely documented (isn't the web amazing?) in this quote from the New York Times in August 1992, shortly before I returned to Europe:

Another recent emigre from the American astronomical community is Dr. Steven Beckwith, formerly a prominent astronomer at Cornell University, who has joined Germany's Max Planck Institute of Astrophysics. According to Dr. Angel, American postdoctoral astronomy students who are unable to find jobs in the United States are also drifting to Europe. "One of my own postdocs, a very capable young astronomer, has left to join Dr. Beckwith in Germany," Dr. Angel said.

I always thought that it was very kind of Roger to say that, although slightly odd in the context of the overall article, which was about concerns over a kind of reverse brain drain of astronomers from the US to Europe; odd because, after all, I'm European in the first place (as is Roger  ;)):

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/18/science/astronomy-s-new-era-is-born-in-poverty.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Prescient article, mind you: at least in ground-based astronomy, Europe is at least on a parity with the US now, and arguably ahead. In space too, in some areas: our Herschel and Planck missions are definitely leaders.