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Starlight Xpress

Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694 USB Hub Monochrome CCD Camera, Sony ICX694AL EXview CCD, Built-in USB 2.0

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About the Starlight Xpress SX-694

The Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694 USB Hub Monochrome CCD Camera provides multiple inputs and outputs. The main control connections to the camera are the USB2.0 socket that controls the camera from the computer and the +12v DC jack socket which provides power (approximately 1.25Amps at 12v DC). In addition, there is an RJ11 Guider Port output that is opto-isolated and will drive any standard active low guider input via the RJ11 'telephone' lead provided. The remaining sockets are three Mini-5pin USB2.0 sockets that can be used to power up to three different USB devices, such as a Lodestar Autoguider, an SX USB Filter Wheel and a focuser. Each USB port is capable of providing 5v DC at a maximum of 200mA.

Unlike less expensive cameras, Starlight Xpress fits a specially manufactured fused silica window, with a 7 layer anti-reflective coating, to all of their Trius cameras. This offers exceptional strength and heat transfer characteristics to ensure there is less chance of dewing of the front window during humid weather.

The cooling system is designed for the most efficient cooling possible in a small compact package. The Trius cameras are fitted with a new peltier cooler configuration to give approximately -40deg.C delta T. A built in fan at the rear of the camera draws air in through small holes in the front of the barrel (which increases the surface area to aid the convection), through the heatsink where all the heat is generated and expels it out of the rear of the camera. An additional fan is fitted to the side, just to help keep the external body at the ambient temperature during warmer weather. Set-Point Cooling as standard.

Argon filled CCD chambers are normally only associated with really high-end cameras; the new Trius cameras have dry argon injected into the CCD chamber to ensure there is no moisture to condense on the CCD during the cooling process. The low thermal conductivity of argon also helps with the cooling process, allowing a lower delta T to be achieved.

This unique approach to camera design allows the front plate of the camera to be orthogonally aligned to ensure that the CCD and the optics are parallel to each other. This enables the user to adjust for any collimation issues throughout the whole optical train, to ensure pinpoint stars across the entire field.

Starlight Xpress SX-694 Features

  • Medium format, high resolution 'Exview' CCD chip, with 6,050,000 x 4.54uM square pixels in a 15.98mm diagonal array
  • Exceptionally low dark signal - No dark frames necessary for most deep sky objects
  • Excellent QE of 77% peak in yellow light, 65% at Hydrogen alpha (656 nm)
  • Three port powered USB hub built-in. Can drive a Lodestar or Superstar guider + SX filter wheel
  • High performance two stage cooling for better than -40C delta T
  • Dry Argon CCD chamber fill for improved cooling performance
  • Exceptionally effective anti-blooming with minimal effect on linearity and no lost active area
  • Back focal length 17mm +/-1mm
  • High speed USB 2.0 interface for approx. 5 second downloads
  • Built-in triple powered USB hub for guider and filter wheel control
  • Single USB cable control for all features - get rid of that dangerous cable tangle!
  • Very low power consumption. Less than 1.5 amps at 12v DC
  • Compact and lightweight - only 75mm in diameter x 70mm long - less than 500 grams load on the telescope

Starlight Xpress SX-694 Specifications

CCD type ICX694AL Exview CCD with ultra low dark current and vertical anti-blooming
CCD Full resolution pixel data Pixel size: 4.54uM x 4.54uM, Image format: 2750 x 2200 pixels
CCD Image area 12.49mm (Horizontal) x 9.99mm (Vertical)
CCD quality Grade 1 or better - No bad columns, no dead pixels, no more than 50 'hot' pixels (saturated in <10 seconds)
Spectral Response QE max at 580nM (-77%), 50% roll-off at 360nM and 770nM
Readout Noise Less than 7 electrons RMS - typically ONLY 5 electrons
Full-well capacity Greater than 20,000 e- (unbinned)
Anti-blooming Overload margin greater than 800x
Dark current Less than 0.003 electrons/second at - 10C CCD temperature
Data format 16 bits
System gain 0.3 electrons per ADU
Computer Interface Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface
Image download time Typically 5 seconds at full resolution
Power requirements 115VAC / 240VAC at 12VA, or 12VDC at 900mA max
Cooling system Regulated set-point cooling supply with thermoelectric cooler to give a minimum CCD temperature of approximately -40C below ambient
Dimensions 75 x 70mm (2.95 x 2.75") black anodized aluminium barrel with 42mm (1.65") 'T2' thread at the CCD window end & input/output plugs at rear. CCD alignment screws are provided for setting the chip parallel to the focal plane
Weight 400 g / 14.10 oz
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