SBIG STT-8300M Self Guiding CCD Camera

The new mid-sized STT Series cameras offer features and specifications found in no other astrocamera – of any size. Drawing on all of SBIG's previous experience and the best of each of their previous designs over the years, the STT represents the culmination of everything that the astroimager has asked for in an imaging system, packed into a 4.9 x 4.9 x 2.9 inch camera body.

Check out the following features

• Camera, Autoguider, and Filter Wheel now fully integrated with tracking sensor in front
of filters. No separate guider required!
• New Micron-Precision filter wheel provides unmatched flat field accuracy for high end
imaging and high precision photometry
• Lightning fast downloads < 1 second full-frame
• Superior two-stage cooling to -55 deg C ambient with air only
• Built-in frost detection
• User Selectable Internal Image Processing
• USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity for remote observatories

• Superior two-stage cooling to -55C below ambient with air only. Its also water cooling-ready for additional cooling without having to buy a replacement back plate or other additional accessory. Its ready to go out of the box.
• A multitude of advanced features such as built-in frost detection, RBI pre-flash, power management system, ethernet and USB 2.0, high accuracy temperature control, sapphire window, and user selectable internal image processing put this camera in a league of its own.

No other astro camera has these features, at any price.
The STT uses the same efficient pin fin heat sink design as the STX series cameras to achieve the most efficient use of space and weight while maximizing the cooling capability of the camera. This type of heat sink is more expensive than typical parallel fin heat sinks, but the results speak for themselves.
The STT prototypes achieved an average temperature delta greater than -50C in 5 minutes and a max of -57C in less than ten.
Twilight Flat from Iris / Leaf shutter
Internal Image Processing
SBIG’s new STT-8300, the first high speed 8300 camera with user-selectable automatic image processing!

Even-Illumination Shutter
• Since its founding, SBIG’s
mechanical shutters have been designed for
highly reliable, even illumination, of the sensor
even at short exposures.
• Even-illumination is especially critical when
taking flatfields with exposures of less than a second or even several seconds.
• Very common when taking sky flats.

The Filter Wheel

Self-Guiding Up Front: Self-Guiding in Front of the Filters
Self-guiding has long been acknowledged as the
best, most accurate way to guide long exposure
astrophotos, particularly with commercial SCTs.
The single most common complaint however is
finding bright stars when guiding through dark
or narrowband filters.
The STT filter wheel incorporates the selfguiding CCD inside the front cover of the filter
wheel so that the guider picks off light from the guide stars before passing through the filters. There are two adjustment knobs on the filter wheel base: one for focus and one for moving the pick-off mirror. Problem solved

Technical Specs:

Full Frame Download < 1 second
Max Cooling Delta -55C with air only
Temp. Regulation ±0.1°C
Power 12VDC at 3.5 amps
Interface USB 2.0 and Ethernet
Computer
Compatibility
• Windows 32 / 64 bit
• Mac OSX
• 3rd party Linux
Camera Body Size 4.9 x 4.9 x 2.9 in. / 124 x 124 x 74 mm
Mounting T-Thread, 2” nosepiece
Weight 2.7 pounds / 1.2 kg
Backfocus 0.69 inches / 17.5 mm

A new filter wheel design for the STT series sets it apart from other designs. The carousel holds eight 36mm filters and inserts are available for 1.25" and 31mm filters. An optional filter wheel cover is available for wide angle imaging with Nikon or Canon 35mm camera lenses, or for anyone who does not need or want the built-in self-guiding feature.
The second unique feature of the STT filter wheel is a positive centering mechanism that precisely re-positions and firmly holds filters in the same position over the CCD no matter how many times the carousel is moved. In our tests of the new design, the re-positioning of filters was accurate to better than one pixel (5.4 microns) using an STT-8300 after several complete rotations of the filter carousel. This degree of precision means that flat fields taken after the filter has moved and returned are accurate virtually to the level of a single pixel.

SBIG STF-8300 - New Generation 8.3MP CCD Camera

The STF-8300 is the second generation 8300 camera from SBIG in the same body as the popular ST-8300. Physically, the STF-8300 looks identical to the ST-8300 model, with the exception of a desiccant plug on the side of the camera opposite the connectors.

However the STF model has new, faster, lectronics, a full frame buffer, a user rechargeable desiccant plug and automatic image processing. A full frame, high-resolution image will download in less than 1 second. The camera is also available bundled in several of the most popular Configurations with a 5-position or 8-position filter wheel, off-axis guider, ST-i autoguider, and filters.

Technical Specs:

CCD Kodak KAF-8300
Pixel Array 3326 x 2504
CCD Size 17.96 x 13.52 mm
Total Pixels 8.3 Million
Full Well Capacity ~25,500 e-
Dark Current 0.002e-/p/s @ -10C
Antiblooming 1000X
Shutter Even-Illumination,
Mechanical Exposure 0.09 to 3600 seconds
A/D Converter 16 bit
Gain 0.37e-/ADU
Read Noise ~9.3e-
Binning Modes 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, etc. - 15x15
Digitization Rate 10 Megapixels / Second
Full Frame Download Less than 1 second
Cooling -40C max. from ambient
Temp. Regulation +/- 0.1 degree
Power 12VDC, 3 amps max
Interface USB 2.0
Computer Compatibility All Windows O/S, 32-bit and
64-bit, Mac OSX
Camera Body Size 2 x 4 x 5 in (50x100x127mm)
Mounting T-thread, 2" Nosepiece
Weight 1.8 pounds (0.8 kg)
Backfocus 0.69 inches (17.5 mm)

SBIG STF-8300 Filter Wheel Package 2

Comprises STF-8300 with 7 Position USB Motorised 36mm Filter wheel with Baader 36mm Filters

SBIG STT-1603ME and STT-3200ME CCD Cameras

What makes the STT-1603ME and STT-3200ME so desirable?

They have all the same extraordinary features of the STT-8300:

•Camera, Autoguider, and Filter Wheel fully integrated with guiding CCD in front of the filters! No separate guider required!

•New MicronPrecision filter wheel provides unmatched flat field accuracy for high end imaging and high precision photometry!

•Lightning fast downloads < 1 second full-frame!

•Superior two-stage cooling to -55 deg C ambient with air only!

•Built-in frost detection!

•User Selectable Internal Image Processing!

•USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity for remote observatories! Plus: The Highest Quantum Efficiency of any front illuminated CCDs available to amateurs, 75% and 85% at the important emission line of H-alpha!

Who would benefit from the STT Camera System?

•Intermediate and advanced imagers who want the highest performance, most cost effective imaging system for small to mid-size sensors
–Imagers with reflectors or SCTs from 6” to 14” aperture

•Imagers who do narrow band imaging through any type of scope or camera lens

•Imagers who want to use, AO (adaptive optics)

•Imagers who need to guide on very faint where the complete spectrum is required for guide exposures < 2 seconds

•Imagers who want high precision flat fields with maximum removal of artifacts

•Astronomers performing high precision photometry where high precision flat fielding is critical.

There are Three package options available

1)Basic Camera with Universal Power Supply, USB Cable, Tracking Cable, 2” t-thread nosepiece and Software

2)Standard Filter Wheel Package FW8S-STT, Standard 8-Position Micron-Precision Filter Wheel

3)Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package FW8GS-STT, Self-Guiding 8-Position Micron-Precision Filter Wheel

SBIG STXL Large Format Next Generation CCD Camera

A Worthy Successor to the Venerable STL-11000 and STL-6303

•Camera, Autoguider, and Filter Wheel now fully integrated with tracking sensor in front of filters! No separate guider required!

•New Micron-Precision 2” filter wheel provides unmatched flat field accuracy for high end imaging and high precision photometry!

•USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity for remote observatories!

•Superior Two-stage Cooling -60 degrees C below ambient with air only!

•Water Cooling Ready

•Uses STX Electronics with Full Frame Image Buffer

Click here to see full presentation

To meet the demands of the next generation astroimaging, SBIG introduces the next generation STXL Camera System with self-guiding integrated into a Micron-Precision Filter Wheel. The STXL Series is new a high-end model that will fit a moderate budget.
The STXL is the logical successor to SBIG’s venerable dual sensor STL Series Cameras with the with all of the features and latest electronics of the STX series cameras. The first two models to be released are the STXL-11002M and STXL-6303E. The STXL makes some cost savings changes to the STX design specifically to suit the 35mm format 11002 CCD along with an innovative self-guiding filter wheel design that improves the self-guiding capabilities of the camera system by placing the guiding CCD in front of the filters.

There are three packages available

Basic Camera Even-illumination Shutter, USB and Ethernet, 2-stage TE cooling, Water Cooling Ready, 10MHz digitization, 16-bits, Universal Power Supply, Cables, Software: CCDOPS,

Standard Filter Wheel Package Basic Camera + Standard Filter Wheel: 8-Positions for 50.8mm round unmounted filters (sold separately)

Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package Basic Camera + Self-Guiding Filter Wheel: 8-Positions for 50.8mm round unmounted filters (sold separately) Built-in KAI-0340 guiding CCD, adjustable focus and mirror position

SBIG STX 16803 Large Format CCD Camera

Dual Sensor, Self-Guiding, STX Series CCD Cameras:

The STX Series represents the ultimate in astronomical imaging systems. The integrated design allows the user to select either Ethernet or high speed USB 2.0 connection to the control computer. The Model STX-16803 uses Kodak's KAF-16803 CCD with 16 million pixels at 9 microns. The sensor measures almost 37mm square. The built-in tracking CCD is a Kodak KAI-340S with 640 x 480 pixels at 7.4 microns. The STX series has superior cooling to -50 degrees C below ambient with air only. Water-cooling is also possible. STX cameras have internal voltage regulation and may therefore be operated directly from any unregulated 12VDC, 6 amp source.

Built-in Guiding CCD with Adjustable Focus: The guiding CCD in the STX cameras will be a new KAI-340 CCD with 640 x 480 pixels at 7.4u. The KAI-340 CCD will also be used in a new Remote Guide Head made for the STX series cameras. As the imaging CCDs get larger, the guiding CCD gets pushed farther away from the center of the optical axis. Depending on the nature of the optical system, this can cause the image on the guiding CCD to be slightly out of focus when the image on the main CCD is in focus. To address this, the new STX cameras will have a user accessible adjustment for changing the focal point of the on-board guiding CCD.

Design Features for the STX

USB 2.0 and Ethernet: Both USB 2.0 and Ethernet are available on STX cameras. The user will not have to choose the interface at the time of purchase. The STX cameras has the same convenient I2C AUX port that we use on the ST and STL cameras for power and control of accessories such as filter wheels and Adaptive Optics, and will operate from any unregulated 12VDC source.

Full Frame Image Buffer: The STX series cameras has a full frame image buffer for storing image date during download. We are exploring the possibility of using this buffer for pre-processing pixel defects based on a defect map provided by the CCD manufacturer, at the user’s direction.

Improved Cooling: Our engineers have modeled an optimum cooling design for this camera using a large custom pin grid array heat sink mated directly to the hot side of the 2 stage TE cooler to achieve maximum heat dissipation with a single large fan. The STX will achieve a typical temperature delta of -50 degrees C below ambient with air only, and a similar delta with water only.

Water Circulation Ready: While the design is aimed at sufficient cooling without water assist, it is possible to use water instead of air or in addition to air for optimum cooling. Using water instead of air will not require the use of a fan. Chilled water may also be used alone or with the fan for even greater cooling.

Variable Speed Fan Control: If the user desires air cooling only, the fan speed is controllable through software. Variable speed control allows the user to "tune" to fan to eliminate any resonance with the user's telescope thus suppressing harmonic vibrations.

User Rechargeable Desiccant: This feature allows the user the greatest flexibility in the field, and avoids having to return the camera to the factory in order to dry the CCD chamber. We have designed the chamber to a rechargeable desiccant plug similar to our other cameras

Even-illumination Shutter: From the first ST-7 camera, SBIG has incorporated an even illumination shutter for taking short exposure flat field frames on all self-guiding cameras. However, the rotating disk design becomes rather large with ever increasing CCD sizes. Therefore, a new shutter design is used in the STX series that reduces the overall size and weight of the camera body, while maintaining even illumination on short exposures with large CCDs, something not found on any other astronomical CCD camera with a CCD this large.

Technical Specs:

Imaging CCDKodak KAF-16803Imaging/Pixel Array4096 x 4096 pixels @ 9uCCD Size36.8 x 36.8 mmTotal Pixels16.8 MillionPixel Size9 x 9 micronsFull Well Capacity100,000 e-Dark Current e/p/s at 0 C0.02e-/pixel/sec at -20CAntibloomingYes, 100X saturationPeak QE60%ShutterMechanical, even illuminationExposure0.1 to 3600 seconds,Correlated Double SamplingYesA/D Converter16 bitsA/D Gain1.27e-/ADURead Noise10e-Binning Modes1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 9x 9, 1 x nPixel Digitization Rate1.8 million pixels per second Full Frame Download13 secondsFocus Mode~1 secondCooling Delta-50C with air onlyTemperature Regulation±0.1°CPower12VDC at 6 amps maxComputer InterfaceUSB 2.0 and EthernetComputer CompatibilityWindows 32 / 64 bitDimensions6 x 6 x 3.5 in. Excluding fan 152 x 152 x 76mmMounting3" Threaded Accessory PlateWeight5 pounds / 2.27kgBackfocus0.98 inches / 24.8 mmFilter Wheel OptionFW7-STXSelf-Guiding Filter WheelFW5-STXFilter Size50mm sq or 65mm sqAdaptive Optics OptionAO-XRemote Guide HeadRGH-STXLens Adaptern/aOAG Optionn/a

SBIG AOX Active Optics

The AO-X is a new large aperture AO for the STX and STXL cameras. It requires the FW8G-STXL Filter Wheel or STT-STXL Remote Guide Head and OAG to operate the AO-8X. This is a new AO design that minimizes the backfocus requirement while offering a large (3" aperture) optical element to cover the 16803 CCD. It is also recommended for the STXL-11002 and STXL-6303.

MODELS AO-8T and AO-X ADAPTIVE OPTICS SYSTEMS

The AO-8T and AO-X are third and fourth generation adaptive optics systems from SBIG specifically designed to enable an SBIG camera user to obtain the ultimate in image resolution that his/her telescope and site can achieve. The AO-8T is designed for the STT Series cameras. The AO-X is designed for the STXL and STX series cameras. Both of these units get power and commands directly from the camera via a short cable to camera's I2C port. No other external cables are required for power or control. Both units have an I2C output port as well so they are fully compatible with other I2C accessories that you might add to the system such as a filter wheel.

TIP-TILT HIGH SPEED GUIDING

SBIG has exploited the second guiding CCD detector in our self-guiding cameras to stabilize stellar images, enhancing resolution. These AO systems use a tip-tilt transmissive element to correct for image wander due to low order local atmospheric effects and for correction of mount errors, wind vibration and other erratic motion of the optical system that is otherwise too fast for an autoguider or telescope drive corrector to respond to effectively. By monitoring a guide star with the smaller tracking CCD that is built-in to SBIG cameras, Self-Guiding Filter Wheels or the Remote Guide Head, the AO makes fine corrections at approximately 10 times per second to hold the image fixed on the CCD during the exposure.

The system is closed loop, which means that it checks the position of the guide star after every move and makes adjustments on the next move. This results in a series of small, fast and very precise moves that continue over the course of a long exposure. This is possible because the guide chip is located behind the AO device and can measure the results of each move it makes. In the past, with the AO-7, this presented some difficulties when using narrow band filters because light from potential guide star candidates was attenuated by the narrow band filter to one degree or another resulting is guide stars that could be difficult to find or too dim to use. However, the new AO design and new camera improvements eliminate this problem. The new STT and STXL cameras place the tracking CCD in front of the filters, and the STX cameras support a Remote Guide Head that can places the guiding CCD anywhere in front of the filter wheel using an AO.

Another benefit of the new AO design is that they take up far less backfocus. The former AO-7 required about 3.5 inches of backfocus and placed the camera at right angles to the optical system. Inserting an off-axis guider or other pick-off mechanism added even more backfocus. However, the AO-8T requires only about 2 inches of backfocus and the AO-X requires only about one inch of backfocus. Additionally, the transmissive element of the new AO design has a relatively large range of motion. In the AO-8T for example, the range of correction is roughly +/- 40 pixels. Assuming one is imaging at approximately 1 arcsecond per pixel, this means the AO-8T can correct for up to about 40 arcseconds of periodic error in the telescope mount. Since most modern mounts with PE error correction are capable of reducing any residual periodic error within this range, it is possible to guide long exposures with the AO-8 without making any guiding corrections to the mount at all. Guiding in this manner is also far more accurate than can be achieved by issuing corrections to the telescope drive. The tilt of the element during operation does not lead to any image rotation or measurable defocusing at the edges of the frame, even when relatively large ranges of correction are required from beginning to end of the exposure. If the image drifts slowly during the exposure due to Periodic Error or slight misalignment of the mount, the AO can continue to operate without having to issue any corrections to the mount to re-center the guide star. This larger range of motion is one more advantage of the AO-8 over the earlier AO-7 design which worked best when making corrections within a narrower range, requiring mount calibration and interaction. The AO-X range is somewhat smaller due to the significantly larger optical element that must be used to cover the larger 16803 CCD.

The AO-8T systems can be installed by the user to any STT cameras (or any former ST-7/8/9/10/2000/4000 camera with USB electroncis). A camera equipped with the optional Remote Guide Head is required to use the AO with an off-axis guider. This remarkable system has had a profound effect on CCD imaging by reducing the atmospheric turbulence, wind induced vibrations, and eliminating the remaining periodic errors in most telescope drives. Some of the best, high resolution images we have seen produced by amateur astronomers have taken advantage of the AO technology introduced by SBIG.

RESULTS

The results one can achieve with the AO-8T or AO-X depends on a number of factors and no two imaging sites are exactly the same. However, many years of experience with AO design and performance make it clear that SBIG's implementation and design of a closed loop AO offers a distinct advantage in image resolution, even when one has superior optics, mount and calm seeing. Take for example the test images below of the same double star captured with and without an AO operating. The brighter star is approximately mag 14.7 and the dimmer star is approximately mag 15.7. Separation is approximately 3.7". Two 15 minute images were taken one right after the other on the same night with an STL-11000M-C1 camera through a 20" F/8.3 RC scope mounted on a Paramount. The AO image clearly shows a tighter, brighter, better resolved stars compared to the non-AO image. The AO improved the measured FWHM (Full Width at Half-Maximum) and peak brightness of both stars by nearly 30%.

£698.00

SBIG AO8-T Active Optics

The AO-8T is designed for the STT Camera Series. It requires the FW8G-STT Filter Wheel or STT Remote Guide Head and OAG to operate the AO-8T. This is the same AO as the model AO-8 with a different back plate to match the STT Camera series hole patters. If you already have an AO-8, it can be converted to an AO-8T by changing just the back plate.

MODELS AO-8T and AO-X ADAPTIVE OPTICS SYSTEMS

The AO-8T and AO-X are third and fourth generation adaptive optics systems from SBIG specifically designed to enable an SBIG camera user to obtain the ultimate in image resolution that his/her telescope and site can achieve. The AO-8T is designed for the STT Series cameras. The AO-X is designed for the STXL and STX series cameras. Both of these units get power and commands directly from the camera via a short cable to camera's I2C port. No other external cables are required for power or control. Both units have an I2C output port as well so they are fully compatible with other I2C accessories that you might add to the system such as a filter wheel.

TIP-TILT HIGH SPEED GUIDING

SBIG has exploited the second guiding CCD detector in our self-guiding cameras to stabilize stellar images, enhancing resolution. These AO systems use a tip-tilt transmissive element to correct for image wander due to low order local atmospheric effects and for correction of mount errors, wind vibration and other erratic motion of the optical system that is otherwise too fast for an autoguider or telescope drive corrector to respond to effectively. By monitoring a guide star with the smaller tracking CCD that is built-in to SBIG cameras, Self-Guiding Filter Wheels or the Remote Guide Head, the AO makes fine corrections at approximately 10 times per second to hold the image fixed on the CCD during the exposure.

The system is closed loop, which means that it checks the position of the guide star after every move and makes adjustments on the next move. This results in a series of small, fast and very precise moves that continue over the course of a long exposure. This is possible because the guide chip is located behind the AO device and can measure the results of each move it makes. In the past, with the AO-7, this presented some difficulties when using narrow band filters because light from potential guide star candidates was attenuated by the narrow band filter to one degree or another resulting is guide stars that could be difficult to find or too dim to use. However, the new AO design and new camera improvements eliminate this problem. The new STT and STXL cameras place the tracking CCD in front of the filters, and the STX cameras support a Remote Guide Head that can places the guiding CCD anywhere in front of the filter wheel using an AO.

Another benefit of the new AO design is that they take up far less backfocus. The former AO-7 required about 3.5 inches of backfocus and placed the camera at right angles to the optical system. Inserting an off-axis guider or other pick-off mechanism added even more backfocus. However, the AO-8T requires only about 2 inches of backfocus and the AO-X requires only about one inch of backfocus. Additionally, the transmissive element of the new AO design has a relatively large range of motion. In the AO-8T for example, the range of correction is roughly +/- 40 pixels. Assuming one is imaging at approximately 1 arcsecond per pixel, this means the AO-8T can correct for up to about 40 arcseconds of periodic error in the telescope mount. Since most modern mounts with PE error correction are capable of reducing any residual periodic error within this range, it is possible to guide long exposures with the AO-8 without making any guiding corrections to the mount at all. Guiding in this manner is also far more accurate than can be achieved by issuing corrections to the telescope drive. The tilt of the element during operation does not lead to any image rotation or measurable defocusing at the edges of the frame, even when relatively large ranges of correction are required from beginning to end of the exposure. If the image drifts slowly during the exposure due to Periodic Error or slight misalignment of the mount, the AO can continue to operate without having to issue any corrections to the mount to re-center the guide star. This larger range of motion is one more advantage of the AO-8 over the earlier AO-7 design which worked best when making corrections within a narrower range, requiring mount calibration and interaction. The AO-X range is somewhat smaller due to the significantly larger optical element that must be used to cover the larger 16803 CCD.

The AO-8T systems can be installed by the user to any STT cameras (or any former ST-7/8/9/10/2000/4000 camera with USB electroncis). A camera equipped with the optional Remote Guide Head is required to use the AO with an off-axis guider. This remarkable system has had a profound effect on CCD imaging by reducing the atmospheric turbulence, wind induced vibrations, and eliminating the remaining periodic errors in most telescope drives. Some of the best, high resolution images we have seen produced by amateur astronomers have taken advantage of the AO technology introduced by SBIG.

RESULTS

The results one can achieve with the AO-8T or AO-X depends on a number of factors and no two imaging sites are exactly the same. However, many years of experience with AO design and performance make it clear that SBIG's implementation and design of a closed loop AO offers a distinct advantage in image resolution, even when one has superior optics, mount and calm seeing. Take for example the test images below of the same double star captured with and without an AO operating. The brighter star is approximately mag 14.7 and the dimmer star is approximately mag 15.7. Separation is approximately 3.7". Two 15 minute images were taken one right after the other on the same night with an STL-11000M-C1 camera through a 20" F/8.3 RC scope mounted on a Paramount. The AO image clearly shows a tighter, brighter, better resolved stars compared to the non-AO image. The AO improved the measured FWHM (Full Width at Half-Maximum) and peak brightness of both stars by nearly 30%.

£665.00

SBIG STF Off Axis Guider - Intro Price

The innovative OAG-8300 turns any ST-8300 or new STF-8300 into a self-guiding camera system.
The OAG-8300 is designed to work with either the 5-position or 8-position filter wheel. Color cameras, or mono cameras without a filter can also
use the OAG-8300 with a spacer.

What is unique about the OAG-8300 is the 7-element internal optical design. The OAG ontains relay optics that move the guide camera to the side of the imaging camera, and at the same time, a 0.7X reducer effectively doubles the field of view of
the guider. This design allows for a low profile between the camera and the telescope, reducing backfocus requirements, and at the same time, gives a wide field of view that offers more guide stars for the guide camera.

£269.00

SBIG Canon EOS Lens Adaptor for ST-8300

The new Canon EOS lens adapter for the ST-8300 is designed to fit the camera with or without an FW5-8300 or FW8-8300 filter wheel. A spacer is used in place of the filter wheel to maintain the correct distance for achieving infinity focus. The production adapter is black anodized, except the center ring.

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