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Starlight Xpress Autoguider Head

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I bought one of these second-hand a few years ago, and (with my usual glacial speed) am now about to dip my toe into the guiding pool. It does not appear to be the "Lodestar" version, of which there is much information on the internet, but a previous model. Probably because it was second-hand, it came without any documentation.

My problem is that PHD2 appears to require me to enter the pixel size of the guide camera in order to calibrate it (at least for PA purposes), but I cannot find this information anywhere. I have checked the H9 manual (which does mention this particular model), but it does not appear to be there either.

So, a 2-part question:
(1) Does anyone happen to know the pixel size of this particular model?
(2) Does anyone know how to get the pixel size without any 'specs' (chip size, etc)?

Not that there is a lot to see, but I have attached a photo of it in case that helps anyone confirm identity of the model.



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Had one of these a few years back. Good little guide head.

SXV guider

 CCD Type: Sony ICX055BL SuperHAD CCD.
 CCD pixel data: Pixel size: 9.8 x 12.6uM, Image format: 500 x 290 pixels.
 CCD size: Imaging area: 4.9mm (horizontal) x 3.6mm (vertical).
 CCD quality: Grade 1 or better - No bad columns, no dead pixels, no more than 10 'hot' pixels (saturated in <10 seconds).
 Spectral Response: QE max at 540nM (~60%), 50% roll-off at 400nM and 600nM. 
 Readout Noise: Less than 13 electrons RMS - typically only 11 electrons. 
 Full-well capacity: Greater than 60,000 e- (unbinned)
 Anti-blooming: Overload margin greater than 800x.
 Dark current: Dark frame saturation time greater than 100 hours. Less than 0.02 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient.
 Data format: 16 bits.
 System gain: 1 electron per ADU
 Computer Interface: Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface. Also works with USB 1.1.
 Image download time: Typically 1 seconds full resolution using USB 2.0, approximately 2 seconds with USB 1.1.
 Power requirements: 115VAC / 240VAC @ 12VA, or 12VDC @ 750mA max.
 Size: 50 x 100mm black anodised aluminium barrel with 42mm 'T2' thread at the CCD window end & input/output plugs at rear. 
 Weight: approx. 100g.

The SXV guider can be used with any camera in the SXV range. It has a 1/3" format CCD and is controlled via the main camera. This arrangement avoids extra cables. The guider is very compact and fits into a 1.25" drawtube.

The guide camera uses a 4.9 x 3.7mm CCD (1/3" format) and will slide into a 1.25" focusing assembly. It may also be used with a 'CS' mount camera lens. The weight is less than 100 grams.



Edited by sloz1664
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Hi DP,


I think it was born from an early make of ccd camera. They just removed the cooling side of it. I'm not certain but, please don't quote me, it was born from the MX5. Terry at Starlight Xpress would certainly give you the info.



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This game strongly resembles the Hydra of Greek mythology - every time you cut off one head, another one grows.

My next problem is that PHD2 only seems to allow me to enter one pixel size (i.e. it seems to assume that all pixels are square). So should I enter 9.8, or 12.6 ... or 11.2 (that being the mean of the two values)?

Will I actually get out there and start doing something before the storms of next winter arrive ....


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