Equipment - Computer

UFO capture and analysis requires only a modest specification PC but a larger hard drive is a must

Modified CCTV camera with Fujinon lens

UFO capture and analysis requires only a modest specification PC.  The minimum specification is outlined in the table below.

Item Minimum specification Recommended specification
CPU Pentium 4 HT, Pentium D (dual core) Core2 Duo, Core2 Quad, AMD APU
RAM 1GB ram 2-4GB (if you plan to process also on the same computer)
HDD Speed 5400 rpm drive should work but at high meteor rates there may be problems 7200 rpm disc drive
HDD size The bigger the better.  Smaller drives such as 40-80GB will need to be "emptied" more frequently whilst 250-500GB 250-500GB hard drive
OS Windows XP or Vista Windows 7

During meteor shower peaks we can get 150-200 meteors per night on a single camera, each recording could be 100MB so that's 20GB of data right there in a single night. During shower peaks the Capture software could freeze on slow pc!

Running a PC without manual intervention

It is worth considering your energy bill and keeping running costs down.  If using a dedicated PC for data acquisition your PC should be running only between sunset and sunrise.

Some Dell computers (and perhaps others) can be set up in bios to start up and shut down at specified times but this is not the only way to automate startup and shutdown.  In some windoiws versions it is possible to define wake-up and sleep times. Computer in sleep mode use considerably less power.


Next: Cabling and power