3D Printed Telescope adapter for iPhone

3d printing

Celestron Firstscope Telescope

This week I’m working on a telescope adapter for iPhone. Theres a few telephoto lenses specially made for iphone, but this project uses a beefy 180x telescope. Dwarfing the iPhone in size, the Celestron Firstscope is a reflective telescope that goes for about sixty bucks.

3D Printed Telescope adapter for iPhone

This adapter needed to be able to hold the iPhone above the telescope while the eye piece flush and perfectly aligned with the back camera.

Without an adapter, you can put the camera up to the eye piece and try to hold it steady, but it’s very hard to get a good photo for several factors but mainly because it’s dark outside and the phone easily slides out of place. Tapping or strapping the phone to the eyepiece just doesn’t cut it.

3D Printed Photojojo Lens Adapter for iPhone

The photojojo lens adapter I designed a few months back allowed me to reuse the iPhone parts and adjust it for the rather large telescopic eye piece. I avoided a multi-piece design and went with a single part that slips on top of the iphone. The adapter has what looks like a cap over the back camera with a hole just large enough for the eye piece. The eyepiece itself just snaps into the cap.

So how well does the iPhone take photos of the moon with the celestron first scope? Pretty good! We aren’t getting full HD resolution, but you can get a good look at details and actually make out the craters on the moon. The view from the lens only allows for capturing square formatted photos, but that’s just enough for an Instagram. Working on the video and full tutorial for this one, so watch out for it this 3D Thursday.


HD Google Hangouts


Our new setup for google hangouts was a bit of a trial and error but we finally an hd setup, sort of. We’re using our Canon 5D as our main camera and feeding clean hdmi into a black magic box. google plus recognizes the black magic box and has several resolution/frame rates to choose from. We found only the 1920×1080 60fps setting seems to work.

For audio, I have a boom mic stand setup with the H4N connected via USB into my macbook for powering the mic and getting audio input. The onboard mic is omni-directional, so remembering to speak towards the mic is a learning curve. Google hangouts recognizes the H4N and can be selected in the audio input options under settings.

Deinterlacing the only drawback in this setup. This only happens in google hangouts, but not in the black magic capture app or CamTwist. We’ve found switching the 5D to from video mode to camera mode removes this issue but the camera mode doesn’t support clean HDMI out. 24fps and 60fps rates are options in the hdmi out setting for the 5D, but 60 seems to be the only one that works. The HDMI mirror option is the setting that allows clean HDMI out via HDMI out jack on the 5D. This is the ideal setting on the 5d that allows a decent hd video feed but leaves us wondering what could be causing the deinterlaced video feed in google hangouts.

So for the time benign, our options are either deinterlacing degraded quality (especially during any movement) or a white square box in the corner of the screen.