1004x ExView CCTV board camera,

Long Exposure modification for Astronomy

The 1004x ExView CCTV camera is a small PCB camera, which uses a Sony ExView HAD sensor to provide excellent light sensitivity extending into the near infrared. However, for deep-sky imaging, the camera really needs to be able to collect light for a long period of time. This project describes how to modify the 1004x module to take long exposures, allowing for some superb results considering the low cost of these modules.

You will need to be comfortable with soldering small components, and some degree of electronics knowledge will be required. The circuit board is small, and the components smaller still - so good vision or a magnifying system will be useful.


The modifications described on these pages are the result of much experimentation, investigation and plain hard work. I am making these details available to other enthusiasts, on the understanding that:

I am indebted to Steve Chambers for his suggestions, experiments and general help in realising this project. Thanks also to Dr Steve Wainwright for his enthusiastic support and encouragement, and to QCUIAG for providing a forum for discussing ideas and presenting results.

Equipment You Will Need:

A 1004X (or 1004XA) camera. These are available in the UK from RF Concepts.They also supply a cased version, but I believe the PCB layout is slightly different. The XA version has a small audio daughterboard attached, which is not relevant to this modification and can be used as-is or dispensed with.

Solder and a fine-tipped soldering iron. Some of the components have pins with a 0.5mm pitch.

A magnifier of some sort. Possibly one of those things with a lens and some crocodile clips to hold your work would be useful. A powerful hand lens is really useful, essential even, for inspecting your work and looking for bad joints or solder bridges.

Components, etc.

Some of these may be purchased in the UK from Maplin. Maplin codes are provided where known.

Note that I used bits that I had lying around for some of the above. I am assuming that if you are going to tackle this project you have some experience of electronic assembly and are capable of laying out the circuit on whatever piece of stripboard you may have, or designing your own PCB.

I also found it convenient to use a plug/socket to connect the daughterboard to the camera. I used a DIL IC socket cut in half lengthwise which made both a plug and a socket, but not all socket types will be useable. A 10-way IDC ribbon cable connector would do instead, or you can get away with 7-way if you use the 3-way power/video/ground connector on the camera PCB as well.

Next Step

Circuit diagram
Modifying the PCB

Software for the project

iCatch - AVIDark - iMerge

1004x related links

Steve Chambers USB Capture
Robin Leadbeater's site
Dave Molyneaux's site