The Starlight Xpress Ultrastar Mono camera is an advanced version of the ‘Superstar’ guide camera and have a similar resolution of 1392 x 1040 pixels.
However, the CCD chip has 70% more area and the QE is considerably greater, at around 75% peak.
These characteristics give the Ultrastar excellent performance as both a guide camera and an imaging camera, which is especially well suited to ‘Live Viewing’ mode.
Some years ago, Paul Shears released a simple to use program called ‘Lodestar Live’, which uses the SX Lodestar in ‘Live Viewing’ mode.
This has now been upgraded to ‘Starlight Live’ and is capable of controlling both the Lodestar and the Ultrastar in Live view. It can also register and stack incoming images.
M27 from a stack of 40 x 10 second Ultrastar frames in Starlight Live.
Taken with Takahashi FSQ106 at F/5
The Ultrastar specification...
CCD Sony ICX825AL ExView2 monochrome CCD
Pixel count 1392(H) x 1040(V)
Pixel size 6.45 x 6.45uM
Optical size 8.98 x 6.71 mm
Read noise Typically 5.0 electrons
QE Peak QE 75% (yellow light)
Gain 0.3 e/ADU
Barrel size 31.75mm dia. x 85mm long (1.25 inch eyepiece push fit size)
Barrel thread 25.4mm x 0.75mm ‘CS’ mount lens thread
Input connection ‘Mini B’ USB socket for USB2.0
Output connection Standard RJ12 autoguider socket
Output type Opto-isolated 4 lines (N,S,E & W) pull down with common return line
Download rate Approx. 2 frames per second in binned 1×1 mode
M27 from a stack of 14 x 20 second Ultrastar C frames in Starlight Live.
Taken with a Takahashi FSQ106 at F/5
Ultrastar ‘live viewing’ imaging software, courtesy of Paul Shears
Download ‘Starlight Live’ for Windows – version 1.0
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