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New Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2


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Starlight Xpress have updated their highly regarded Lodestar guide camera. 

The Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 features the Sony ICX829AL EXview II CCD the which has the same sensor size and resolution as it's predecessor but offers approximately double the sensitivity. This adds almost a full star magnitude to the minimum guide star brightness making it even easier to find a suitable guide star.

It also uses a new RJ12 guide socket which will please those who found the smaller ZH cable socket on the previous Lodestar too delicate. 
Our first delivery is scheduled for April 14th. Towards the end of April. 
starlight_xpress_lodestar_x2_front.jpg starlight_xpress_lodestar_x2_front%5B1%5
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Good move to improve the connection however the old one was fine if you splinted the lead to the USB cable.  What is tempting me is the sensitivity.  The original chip is plenty sensitive for most purposes and generally I don't think overly short guide exposures are a good idea.  However, this is a big plus for anyone using the SX AO unit with the potential to make a few more targets viable.  Being able to use 0.1 second exposures on a Mag 9 star would be great.  The price though :sad:

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Just wanted to confirm - original guider specs are:  4.65uM x 4.65uM but the new X2 shows 8.2uM x 8.4uM?

Nope - the auto guider is 4x4 um.. the old LS is the same pixel size :)

Edited by NickK
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Very, very tempted ... no good reason, just because :D

Indeed !!!

I have the orginal and the TS adapter to strengthen the joint etc, I feel that it has addressed the only possible weakpoint in the original design, win win for all that get these :)

Edited by Earl
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Temptation got the better of me :blush:

I recently bought the Lodestar-C and its probably the best purchase I've made in astronomy. Not for guiding (yet) but for near-live viewing. If the new mono is as sensitive as they say (and not too noisy) then I too may be tempted in the future... 

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Any hints, rumours, speculations that a colour version may be in the near future??

I have emailed Starlight Xpress the same question, I'll post again when they respond :smiley: 

We have also been asked if the original Starlight Xpress Lodestar will remain in production. SX say they will "be manufacturing both versions for as long as there is demand". 

HTH, 

Steve 

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I have emailed Starlight Xpress the same question, I'll post again when they respond :smiley:

They say "It is not something we have planned for release yet, but something we may consider for the future." 

HTH :smiley: 

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Our first delivery is scheduled for April 14th. 

Thank-you to those who have already placed an order  :icon_salut:

Unfortunately SX have just advised us will receive a delivery towards the end of this month, not around the 14th.

Sorry  :blush:

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  • 2 weeks later...

This looks interesting - more sensitivity would certainly be good :)  I had to up the image integration time to 5s last night to maintain guiding with OAG on the MN190 for M51.  Two Lodestars would be good for me - I could use the new one on my main imaging system and the old one on my no.2 rig (probably with my ultra modded 450D with built-in OAG).

Oh dear - I can hear my credit card groaning :D

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At first I thought why it was necessary for more sensitivity when I never fail to get a guidestar using my guidescope, but then realised OAG use means less choice of guidestars so now I see the value. Still don't like the price much though :(

ChrisH

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I often struggle to find a bright enough guide star within the small area covered by the Lodestar on OAG and need to move my main image around to find one.  This is not ideal.  The X2 is £449 compared with £385 for the earlier version - I don't think the increase is unexpected for a much better image sensor.

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In my view the old connector sucked (especially as mine was replacing a QHY5, which I'd broken the connector of...), good to see the end of it. I felt a bit like I'd bought a Lamborghini that I had to stick sellotape on the windscreen wiper of to stop it falling off in strong wind :D

Otherwise, it was a fantastic guide scope :) And the newbie has twice the sensitivity, wow :)

Edited by Luke
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Thank-you to those who have already placed an order  :icon_salut:

Unfortunately SX have just advised us will receive a delivery towards the end of this month, not around the 14th.

SX say they will dispatch some before the end of next week so we should be able to clear backorders around then. 

Really sorry about the delay  :blush:

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The extra sensitivity of the X2 will also be great for those of us who use the Lodestar as a deep sky live view camera. :grin: The old one is pretty sensitive and gives some great results.

There are already some nice results using this camera posted in the Video astronomy forum (I am developing a piece of software which turns the Lodestar into a live view camera for deep sky video astronomy - again all in the VA forum).

A colour X2 would be a tempting purchase - I currently have the mono Lodestar (old version).

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Our first delivery is scheduled for April 14th. 

Thank-you to those who have already placed an order  :icon_salut:

Unfortunately SX have just advised us will receive a delivery towards the end of this month, not around the 14th.

Sorry  :blush:

SX say they will dispatch some before the end of next week so we should be able to clear backorders around then. 

Really sorry about the delay  :blush:

Unfortunately our delivery of Lodestar X2 cameras has been delayed again. Apparently some components are stuck in customs so our delivery is now scheduled for around the end of next week. 

This is really embarrassing! :blush:

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