After many years of viewing the same old objects that were within the visual light grasp of the Meade LX200 12 inch SCT I have to admit that my interest in practical astronomy was dwindling to the point where I would go for weeks, if not months, at a time away from the 'scope. In retrospect, it is clear that getting this video camera was a game changer which saved the day. Because of its image intensifying capability, when it was used simply for live on-screen viewing it effectively doubled the aperture of the 'scope and brought what were earlier just barely seen faint fuzzies into much sharper and detailed view. But Its main benefit was that it provided an entry into the fascinating world of astro-imaging. With its many features including gain control and frame accumulation and its range of exposures from
1/12,000 sec to 2½ secs it allowed both solar system objects and deep-sky objects to be imaged.
Its CCD size is quite small being 768 x 576 pixels (each of 8.4 x 8.3μm). Thus when combined with the f/10 12 inch SCT it delivered only a very narrow field of view (FOV) of 7' 16" x 5' 23". Adding a focal reducer increased that FOV a bit but it was still necessary to make mosaics to image the larger deep sky objects.
Recently, the camera has started to overheat but the problem has been fixed by drilling ventillation holes in the camera's casing and mounting two computer fans either side of it. It's now affectionately known as Lazarus with a triple bypass. Tests have been made by attaching the camera (with a 0.5 focal reducer) to the Vixen r130sf 5" Newtonian. The resulting FOV is slightly more than 1 degree. As a recent (May 2015) evening at the Maquarie University annual Open Night showed, this proved to be an excellent combination for public outreach purposes.