Philips SPC900NC/00 Webcam

By attaching the web camera to a telescope using a special type of adapter, it is possible to take up-close photos of planets. Replace the webcam’s lens by a special type of adapter called a webcam-to-telescope adapter. Insert the webcam with an adapter into the eyepiece barrel of the telescope’s focuser. The camera is now ready for planetary imaging!

Related Articles:
How to Image Planets
Dash Camera as Planetary Camera
Drivers for SPC900NC

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

17 thoughts on “Philips SPC900NC/00 Webcam”

  1. Hi Eteny,

    First of all thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and in such great detail. I am benefiting from it quite a lot.

    On this article of removing the lens and replacing it with the adaptor, I just bought the camera and pulled the plastic stopper, it came off, I put it back and pulled again and it came off very easily. then just unscrewed the lens and screwed in the adaptor. May be I just got lucky that I did not break anything, but saved me all the effort of removing and putting together the casing.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    Regards,
    Maneesh

    1. Hi Maneesh,

      In my case, I was a bit hesitant to resort to that method since anything that involves brute force is something that I try to avoid as much as possible. But then again simply pulling the plastic stopper works, so I think it is a simpler yet equally valid solution :) I am glad I was able to help you with my post. Thanks!

      Regards,
      Eteny

    2. Maneesh,
      I was at a mega meet in Hamburg, Penna when I had a Philips webcam Like the one shown above. And I couldn’t see with it when connected to my 8″ Meade I also had it connected to a HP laptop computer . A person at the same mega meet came over and ask me how I was doing , and I told him about the web cam. And he took it off my eye piece holder and I think he did the same thing as what you did. And put a different adapter on the front and put it back into the eyepiece holder. And it worked perfectly. It only took about two minutes to do it, and it was dark outside too.

    3. Sorry Eteny, but that time with my webcam was over six years ago. But unfortunately my laptop hard drive decided to quit working on me. So the pictures on it are lost. I know about having hard drive recovery , but the cost of the process isn’t worth the images and having them recovered. The only image that I took was a video of the planet Jupiter for about five minutes or so. But I didn’t give up on it either.

  2. Hi Eteny,

    I’ve just come across the nightskyinfocus.com web site which is packed with useful info – thanks very much!

    I’ve read your article on photographing planets which has inspired me to have a go, but firstly I need to get myself a webcam. The Philips SPC900NC doesn’t seem to be available in the UK anymore but I can get a Logitech Pro 4000 fairly easily, but the article to modify it for astrophotography is much more involved than the one above, and well beyond my capabilities. However, I assume this is because it is for long exposures only?

    Is there another article for modifying the Logitech Pro 4000 for basic astrophotography, along the lines of the above?

    Many thanks

    Mal

    1. Hi Mal,
      If the intention is to use the webcam for imaging planets, then any webcam should work. You only need to acquire an adapter (as discussed above) that will allow the webcam to be attached securely onto a telescope’s focuser. SPC900NC and Logitech Pro 4000 (and 3000 models) have been known to perform well because they are equipped with a far more sensitive sensor: a CCD (and not CMOS, used in most other webcams). While there are also other webcams that use CCDs, I can only recommend these two since these are the only webcams that I have tried and tested myself, and was able to achieve good results.

  3. Hi Eteny,
    Thank you for this article and all the others.
    I also did the same as Maneesh to pull the plastis stopper only with my hands and not using great force at all. Just note this at the beginning of your article and let people to try to remove it first by hands.
    Best regards!
    Dimitar Jakimov

    1. Hi Dimitar,

      I am sure pulling it to pry it out will work as you and Maneesh have described. But then again, I feel hesitant to recommend that method. As I have said before, anything that uses brute force is something that I try to avoid as much as possible. :)

  4. 2016 now , is this webcam still a preferred webcam of are CMOS more sensitivenow ?
    How do we determine sensitivity ?

    1. While this web camera is by all means outdated. I measure sensitivity (qualitatively) by the web cam’s ability to detect faint targets. Should I come across newer web cameras that could potentially work for planetary imaging, I’d be posting about it. Maybe using Go Pros, Experia phones, or Iphones could work, but I do not have access to do any actual testing :)

    2. Hi,
      I found your site and think it is great and so easy to follow, i have bought a SPC900 for £40 new, but what i need to know is will it work on Windows 10.
      Thank You
      Peter

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