Starlight Xpress SXVR H18 CCD Camera
The Starlight Xpress SXVR H18 CCD camera is a full-frame 8.3 mega-pixel with high sensitivity, low noise and a miniaturised mechanical shutter. Its 8,300,000 5.4uM square pixels are arranged in a 17.96 x 13.52 mm array.
The Starlight Xpress SXVR H18 is a departure from the normal SX line of Sony CCD based cameras. Until recently, it has been challenging to manufacture a camera based on a 'full frame' CCD, consequently cameras require a mechanical shutter in order to avoid image smearing during download.
A highly miniaturised and reliable shutter that is small enough to fit inside the CCD chamber, and so here is the Starlight Xpress full-frame camera.
To lessen the negative effects of the greater Kodak dark signal, there is a 2 stage Peltier cooler for an extra 10 degree reduction in the CCD temperature, and a multicoated fused quartz optical window for reduced dewing and superior UV/IR transmission.
The fast 4.5 second download time minimises the visibility of bias frame artefacts, such as hot columns and the top to bottom gradient that is commonly seen on such chips. We feel that the outcome is a very satisfactory mono camera with outstanding sensitivity and resolution.
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18 Features
- Large, high resolution Kodak CCD chip, with 8,300,000 x 5.4uM square pixels in a 17.96 x 13.52mm array
- High sensitivity, 56% QE at peak (540nM - green light)
- Very good H-alpha sensitivity (48% QE at 656nM)
- Low dark signal - Dark frames not necessary for most of the brighter deep sky objects
- Anti-blooming with minimal effect on linearity
- Fused quartz optical window for good thermal and optical performance
- Fast, low vibration electric shutter. Latency less than 0.05 seconds
- Fully user adjustable chip alignment for perfect focus across the entire field
- Built-in super high speed USB 2.0 interface for approx. 4.5 second downloads
- Built-in autoguider interface and output - compatible with the optional dedicated external guide camera
- Built-in dual serial ports for accessory control - directly drive filter wheels, GOTO 'scopes etc.
- Single USB cable control for all features - get rid of that dangerous cable tangle!
- Only ONE computer needed to control all of the devices and functions
- Very low power consumption. Less than 1.0 amps at 12v DC - 12VA at 110v or 240v AC
- Compact and lightweight - only 75mm in diameter x 70mm long - less than 500 grams load on the 'scope!
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