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Ewan

Atik 460EX 694, 490EX 814 or Starlight 694,814 ummmm

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I guess you can tell from the heading I am a little confused about these four ccd's.

The Atik 460EX using the 694 sensor = £1859 - Starlight's equivalent = £2099

The Atik 490EX using the 814 sensor = £2069 - Starlight's equivalent = £2269

Am I missing something here ?

In essence are these not the same cameras.

I am assuming the 2 stage Peltier cooling, triple usb's are what is adding to the cost of the Starlight's ?

I own the Altair 80mmEDT @ 480FL F6 & a C8 SCT which I usually image at F6.3 with, at present I use the Atk 314L+ but I am looking to upgrade.

Now if I stay with Atik (314 has been faultless & is still ) is it worth going for the 490EX over the 460EX ?

From what I have read & FLO's own 460 V's 490 page it would appear the 460EX is the best choice, I don't class the 480mm FL of the APO as 'very' short anyway.

I just want to make one ccd upgrade & I would like to get it right 1st time (so would the wife if she knew).

It may make a difference but I will be getting an 8" RC I hope this year as well.

Any advice with the above would help me out a lot please.

Ewan

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I am assuming the 2 stage Peltier cooling, triple usb's are what is adding to the cost of the Starlight's ?

So is the extra 15°C of cooling worth an extra 10% on the cost?

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There's also the matter of the dry argon fill, no faffing around with desiccant plugs.

I too would go with the 694 chipped cameras, but then I would say that wouldn't I?  :grin:

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The chip is not the camera. I find Atik cameras to be well specified and reliable. I do use both makes.

Olly

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There's also the matter of the dry argon fill, no faffing around with desiccant plugs.

I too would go with the 694 chipped cameras, but then I would say that wouldn't I?  :grin:

Argon or not I can say that I have not yet had to change the desiccant while using the Atik.

Yes the extra cooling may be advantageous, the coolest temp I have had here in the UK with the 314 has been -22 degrees a few weeks ago, now is -22 not cold enough to still require dark frames ? I do not know.

Is there a minus temp where you will not need darks ever ?

That is something I have not read too much about.

The chip is not the camera. I find Atik cameras to be well specified and reliable. I do use both makes.

Olly

But am I better off going with the 490EX with its slightly bigger fov & small pixels Olly or the 460EX considering the kit I will be using with it ?

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I've not yet used Dark Frames with my SX 694, only Bias. In fact, the only time I tried using darks it just made things worse. The 460 and 490 have exactly the same field of view, only the resolution is different.

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Difficult to say. I've worked on 490 data only once and 460 data several times. I did notice a lack of star colour in the 490, maybe due to the lack of well depth, but the resolution was nice.

Olly

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I've not yet used Dark Frames with my SX 694, only Bias. In fact, the only time I tried using darks it just made things worse. The 460 and 490 have exactly the same field of view, only the resolution is different.

Sorry Dave I did mean the resolution.

I am going to have a look through the forums for all I can find on the 460/490 & go from there I guess.

Same thing happens with the 314 RE dark frames so I use bias & flats only now.

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Argon or not I can say that I have not yet had to change the desiccant while using the Atik.

Yes the extra cooling may be advantageous, the coolest temp I have had here in the UK with the 314 has been -22 degrees a few weeks ago, now is -22 not cold enough to still require dark frames ? I do not know.

Is there a minus temp where you will not need darks ever ?

That is something I have not read too much about.

But am I better off going with the 490EX with its slightly bigger fov & small pixels Olly or the 460EX considering the kit I will be using with it ?

The Sony chip is so clean I don't use darks. I cool my 460 to -10 degrees all year round, never had the need to go any lower.

Steve

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Having used both atik and sx, the sx has the edge quality wise, and there inbuilt usb hub is very usefull, just a shame they have not bothered to supply usefull leads with it, just some horrible adapters, the right leads can be purchased to conect things and not have to much excess leads (FW and Guide CCD) but I had to import them from the US to get the right ones.

Edited by Earl
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Having used both atik and sx, the sx has the edge quality wise, and there inbuilt usb hub is very usefull, just a shame they have not bothered to supply usefull leads with it, just some horrible adapters, the right leads can be purchased to conect things and not have to much excess leads (FW and Guide CCD) but I had to import them from the US to get the right ones.

My experience has been the other way round. We had lame cooling with the SXVH36 and it went back for an external fan. It wouldn't work in 2x2 despite efforts to adjust the gain and it dews up sometimes because it has no chip window heater. None of these problems affect our Atik 11000.

Olly

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My experience has been the other way round. We had lame cooling with the SXVH36 and it went back for an external fan. It wouldn't work in 2x2 despite efforts to adjust the gain and it dews up sometimes because it has no chip window heater. None of these problems affect our Atik 11000.

Olly

Now that is interesting Olly, my sxvr h35 has just gone back to Terry 'cos I can't use it binned, I get black blooming on all saturated stars. Also I run it with a desiccated air feed to the filter wheel to stop it dewing up.

Huw

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Now that is interesting Olly, my sxvr h35 has just gone back to Terry 'cos I can't use it binned, I get black blooming on all saturated stars. Also I run it with a desiccated air feed to the filter wheel to stop it dewing up.

Huw

You're not alone. That's the precise problem. We followed Terry's suggestion regarding lowering the gain but the problem persisted and the sensitivity suffered in Bin 1 so we gave up and went back to standard. I saw an H16 with this problem as well. There's no warning that the SXVH36 can't be binned. SInce we wanted to use it at 2.4 metres of FL the inability to bin made a mess of our plans.

Olly

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Hi Ewan,

You are not alone in this dilemma, I am going through exactly the same thought gymnastics but complicated, or even simplified, by the fact that I use Hyperstar for which the 814 is "aimed". I am about to upgrade from an H9 and same as you really only want to do it once at circa £2K+. Olly's comment re colour of stars and definition was interesting with the 490 and I guess the 814 could be the same as I guess I am really an SX man. So many things to balance, pixel size, viewing, well depth, etc etc etc, the more you look and learn the more difficult the decision.

Regards

Mike

Edited by mhard26339
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Having owned plenty of SX cameras, and having had no end of trouble with them, I wouldn't touch an SX imaging camera again ( love the lodestars though) The Atiks I've owned have been as reliable as you can get.

If you're planning on getting an 8 inch RC, then going for the smaller pixels of the 490 isn't worth it. You'll probably end up binning the camera at those sort of focal lengths anyway. I use my 460 binned 2x2 with my RC, and get 1.14 arc secs per pixel (at F5.3), which is fine for most seeing conditions in the UK anyway.

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Having owned plenty of SX cameras, and having had no end of trouble with them, I wouldn't touch an SX imaging camera again ( love the lodestars though) The Atiks I've owned have been as reliable as you can get.

If you're planning on getting an 8 inch RC, then going for the smaller pixels of the 490 isn't worth it. You'll probably end up binning the camera at those sort of focal lengths anyway. I use my 460 binned 2x2 with my RC, and get 1.14 arc secs per pixel (at F5.3), which is fine for most seeing conditions in the UK anyway.

What I would have said if I weren't such a wuss!

Olly

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Sorry I have not been back & replied until now but working 7 days a week for my client & just too tired for anything but sleep, I do apologise.

Between my last post & now I already decided the 460EX was the most sensible option for me at this time.

Just dropped the funds in to Ian King, I can collect it this Wednesday so I hope I made the right choice.

I may get away with using the 314L+ with my SCT (soon to be an RC) then binning 2x2 with the 460EX or maybe I am just mad.

Anyway I look forward to trying it out & really seeing how sensitive it is under my particular sky conditions.

Thank you all for sharing, being honest & confirming what I was thinking, it has been a great help.

I for one would not recommend a product if it did not do what it said it could OR was reasonable to expect it to do but didn't, so your honesty in this topic has been gladly received.

Sorry for the clouds soon to approach Wednesday night.

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Hi Ewan,

You will not be sorry. A really good camera with an excellent chip.

Steve

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