The TACOS-BD System


The TACOS-BD System was developed by Tony Barry, Dave Gault, Dave Herald and Hristo Pavlov. It is based on the Watec 910BD camera and enables camera control over USB using SPI protocol from the desktop.


The WAT-910BD is supplied as a board camera i.e. no housing.
The TACOS-BD System was developed to solve the problems; how to house, and efficiently control the camera.
Design Philosophy
  • The TACOS BD System is based on the very sensitive Watec WAT-910BD camera.
  • The control methods and phisical features are optimised for the occultation observer where highest signal/noise and efficient and comprehensive camera control are required.
  • In our opinion this means video is grabbed straight to PC/laptop using OccuRec, VirtualDub or similar.
  • An App running on the PC/laptop to control the Camera by mouse clicks, to send commands to the camera via USB.
  • A robust Stainless Steel Housing manufactured using state-of-the-art CNC laser and pressbrake technology.
  • All cables exit the Housing-top-deck to allow the camera to swing through the forks of an LX90-8 telescope to allow access to the zenith without the need for a star diagonal.
  • Camera Connections (L-R); USB Mini-B (camera control), BNC (video out), 2.1mm 12vdc (centre positive)
  • The RC-01 Hand Controller is not supported by the TACOS System. Click here to find out why not.

    Two methods are available to control the camera. All;
  • remove the need to hunt through the OSD menu to change a setting on the camera.
  • allow instantaneous control of camera Exposure/Integration.
  • allow instantaneous control of camera Gain.
  • allow instantaneous control of camera Gamma.
  • shown at left is the stand alone app created by Dave Herald. It runs independantly of the grabbing software.
  • - if recording to camcorder or a DVR, an old (XP?) laptop can be used to run the app, so long as it has a USB 1.0 port.
  • shown at right are the config. and camera control windows of Hristo Pavlov's OccuRec.
    For more Information, see...

  • How to procure a TACOS-BD System for the Watec WAT-910BD camera.
  • Linearity Testing of the Watec WAT910BD and WAT-910BD-LM
  • OccuRec can be downloaded here.
  • VirtualDub can be downloaded here.
  • Explanations for the why RC-01 hand-controller is not supported by the TACOS-BD System can be found here.
  • A Camera Comparison Chart for the WAT-120N, WAT-910HX, and the WAT-910BD cameras can be found here.
  • Presentation at the 8th Trans Tasman Symposium on Occultations can be found here and here.
    Return to Kuriwa Observatory last updated: 24th June 2017 email Dave: d a v e 4 g e e @ y a h o o . c o m . a u