Webcammed Mead EXT-60 Telescope




Introduction: Webcammed Mead EXT-60 Telescope

About: I just like to make stuff.

Using my old Mead ETX-60 Telescope and a junked out webcam  I Whipped up this little project in about 30 mins.

Draw back to using a junked out webcam ... No software can only use it on yahoo at the moment, 
As I plan on buying a nice webcam with all the bells and whistles in the near future.
And this project cost me exactly Zero dollars out of pocket  to make.

This was a spur of moment creation and I have seen a few on here before and have always wanted to use my Telescope and the PC, There is a connection for a PC on my Telescope as it was a very nice when new and still is. It is computer controlled and has over 2000 celestial objects programmed in its data base, However It is designed to be used with an SLR camera digital or film, I cannot afford a Digital SLR, Cost range from few hundred to few thousand,

To heck with that ! Not gonna happen!! I am to cheap to spend that kind of money on a camera.
So have a look check it out hope you enjoy.

Power tools such as Drill's and Saw's can easily hurt you, If you could ask my Ex friend Ray about the time I used him for a Vise, He would tell you that it sucked and DON'T DO THAT. Soldering Irons can cause severe burns and fires, use in a dry area keep any and all flammable liquids away from your work area, And always keep a fire extinguisher close by do not breath in vapors from flux or solder. Use proper care when using your Iron. I am not responsible for any damages to you or your PC ,man or woman cave, bat mobile , motor home, boat, flying saucer, jet aircraft or any other thing you may or may not own should you go forward and do this. As I know about enough to be dangerous.

Update new webcam installed  Microsoft  Livecam with software but alas no clear sky's here as of yet, soon as weather clears up I hope to have some nice photo's and video to share.

Step 1: Tools & Supplys

A few things you will need.

USB Webcam:
I used a 9mm eye piece but you can use any size you wish 25mm will give you a better field view then 9mm,  
Refracting Telescope of any kind will work I would guess
Helping hands:
USB cable:( If you need step 3)
Flux & solder:
1/2 inch spade bit & drill motor:
cable strippers or sharp razor knife:
Hot glue gun:
Tall skinny  prescription bottle 3 1/2 inch tall  (just the cap is needed) 
Reg size fish food jar ( is what I had on hand that fit the cap)

Step 2: Disassemble the Webcam

Pretty easy here as my guess with most makes and models of webcam's out there.

This webcam is a SoC PC camera And works okay, Other then it needed a new USB cord. As it kept malfunctioning every time the cord was moved or bumped.

After pulling out the only screw pry open carefully as to not damage the camera or circuits.
 If you need to replace the USB cable step 3 covers this.

Step 3: Soldering New USB Cable to Camera

Pretty easy stuff here.

Gently remove the hot glue you don't want to rip the wires off or possibly peal the solder point away from the board.

I used a an old printer USB cable. Cut off the printer end of cable strip back an inch or so, Myself I have found it easier to strip an inch then cut to fit.

Be sure to make note of how the cable is wired to camera.
Do not use any solder just tin the wires, There should be plenty on the board to solder tinned wires to.

Step 4: Eye Piece Assembly

Using the 1/2 inch spade bit drill the center out of the cap.

Pry off the rubber eye shield and fit the cap to the lens and glue in place.

This is very soft plastic you should not need a vise just go real slow.
Be sure that you trim off the burrs. 

Step 5: Final Assembly

Bust out the hot glue gun.

Be sure to make sure the hole in the cap is centered on your eyepiece, Then glue it in place.

Glue webcam to the pill bottle top.

Fish food jar lol ... cut a slit big enough for your USB cable and a hole for the LED so you know your webcam is on.

Don't be shy when applying glue cover ( AKA fish food jar) you don't want it to fall apart.
let dry for 15 mins to ensure solid dry time before 1st use.

Thanks for looking I hope you all enjoy this Instructable.

Step 6:

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    5 years ago

    I just bought an EXT 60 and would like to do this. Would a higher quality webcam be of value. Does it have to be spherical or are they all similar? Thanks


    Reply 5 years ago

    I really could not say... I did mine with a little bit of trial & error.

    Best luck to your project.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable!

    I "rigged" a similar arrangement to the same telescope using Microsoft LiveCam HD. Took some time to line up the view into the telescope. Took some "daylight" shots from about about a mile away --- not bad. Unlike your webcam, I did not disassemble from case -- the cam was still "good" and I would have to destroy the case to get into the darn thing...

    On your cam, did removing it from the case remove any lens from the original case?

    I'd be interested to know if you've gotten to make use of the setup yet, day or night and post some of the images you get with it....

    This has rekindled my desire to get my setup --- Thanks for posting!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you I am glad you like the instructable, The cam i used was old like 2 or 3 FPS very low quality, The lens was intact upon disassemble. Then I got a little better Cam that I just hot glued on a 9mm Lens.
    I have not used it but a few times, and I ended up selling the whole rig ...
    Thinking of upgrading to a 4 inch mirror rig and slap a nice cam on a 4mm and try to get some killer photos of Saturn.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I have some awesome pictures through that telescope with my camera.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    The ETX cannot handle the weight of a DSLR. I tried and the motors stalled.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Have you tried using a 6 volt lantern battery? It should have the power to move them drive motors for you.
    I realize its bulky and limits 360 deg movement as the cord can wrap around the unit, However I find that it is not that big of a issue to move the battery if I have to.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    THe nylon gears will snap with too much weight on the ra axis.