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Orion G3 and G4 CCD cameras

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I have a G3 Starshoot camera which I have managed to use successfully, despite the rather buggy software.  Just over a year ago I was in contact with their tech dept about the software problems and they were going to do a rewrite for win64.  Contacted them a couple of weeks ago and the guy there suggested I use the latest G4 sofware version which I have done.  And yes, they have obviously done some work on this and the end results didn't need any further editing.  Still probably has a few bugs - the pixel squaring didn't work, but I think that may now be done automatically.

Looking online I see the G4 has been released in the US a few months ago.  It is basically the G3 with improved cooling - down to -20C - and with improved software.

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  • 2 years later...

Orion Starshoot G4

To connect & disconnect the camera, it's specific & the correct order has to be followed. To connect the Starshoot G4, in proper order:

  1. Plugin camera via USB cable
  2. Click "Connect" 
  3. Plugin 12v fan power
  4. Click "Cooler On"


To disconnect the Orion Starshoot G4, in proper order:

  1. Click "Cooler Off" (Let temp. rise back up to ambient/normal)
  2. Click "Disconnect"
  3. Unplug 12v fan power
  4. Unplug camera USB cable 

Yes, with a room temperature of 70° F, the cooler fan lowers the camera's temperature to 24° F, at 100% power. It's steady. That's a 45° F temperature reduction. 70° F is, where Hubble's mirrors are kept at.  The software is downloaded in order, ASCOM then Orion Camera Studio. The installer will tell you, that there is an available update. I updated, without problems.

Like, with Celestron's Neximage series & iCap recording software, you can't go around disconnecting & connecting cables, like a crazed mad man. You will have to restart all of those apps, by closing & opening them again. The cameras are different but the same software can be used. The Orion G4 has a much much higher QE, 1 hr recording exposure and the cooling system is way different. 


Image 1. Orion Starshoot G4. 2020.


  Image 2. Orion Starshoot G4. Fan cooler operating, at 100% power. 2020.


Autoguiding Telescope: Celstron SLT Mount and Orion Starshoot G4 Camera

Telescopes Tested: Celestron 90 mm MAK-CASS & Orion 127 mm MAK-CASS

127 mm MAK-CASS
The Celestron SLT GOTO mount, 127 mm MAK-CASS & 60 mm guidescope combo does not work together. It's simply too off-balanced & heavy. The motor isn't strong enough & slips completely. Guaranteed to reach the breakout point. The Orion Starshoot G4 camera is also too heavy. At any altitude past 60' or so, it will slip. You could maybe image but it has to be, at very low altitudes, 45' or less. 

No Autoguiding!

90 mm MAK-CASS
The 60 mm guidescope still off-balances the SLT mount. Balancing results were basically the same, too much rear weight. You can not autoguide correctly. The motor reaches its friction release point. However, the Orion Starshoot G4 camera can, yes, be used, with the 90 mm MAK-CASS & SLT mount only. You must use a red dot finder though.

No Autoguiding!

You would have to use a mini guidescope, not a 60 mm and then use the the lighter Orion G3 camera, a mini-mini, very light small combo. You are going to have to be lighter than my 90 mm. You are not going to be able, to use a dual finder bracket, at all, in a any combo, with either 'scope, if you plan on, using an actual guiding 'scope. 


Edited by Science562h
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I finally tested the CAM yesterday, anyone on the forum know, why the G4 keeps disconnecting & not being able to reconnect, not recognized? It does it, while loop binning 2x2 and with Sharpcap. It must be able to bin, to find & center, like other cameras. This thing is supposed to work, out of the box. There is no dedicated support page for troubleshooting or chart.

Edited by Science562h
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  • 3 months later...

The SLT mounts are not strong but with some proper servicing can support and move heavier weights than they were designed for. The bearings need cleaning and a good grease like Castrol used and then set up so they rotate smoothly with a very small end float. If set too tight they bind. The Stifnuts are poor, use Loctite, or they adjust themselves. The Alt clutch can be tightened but must still clutch. The motors like some attention, the muck they put in the gearboxes is not good. Plastic cogs need silicone grease, on the teeth not in a pool on the case floor. The gearboxes are like repairing a clock, and reassembly is a metal puzzle, so if you're not confident, leave it alone. The motors seem to like a drop of Servisol Super 10, an electrical lube. The drive cog onto the platen does need a small amount of play, not forcing the two cogs tight together as it is doubtful the platen is perfectly circular; this does mean some backlash has to be tolerated.  The tripod can be adequately braced to reduce vibration with some bungee cord around the legs under the tray.

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