Main Features of the AST183-X CMOS Camera
Low-Vacuum CMOS Sensor Chamber - Cooled at an impressive 35 degrees Celsius, this design guarantees no frost in the chamber and consumes only 2.2A
Powerful Microprocessor - 1GHz microprocessor to allow for standalone, wire-free operation without a PC while maintaining all capabilities of a PC-controlled system
Integrated WiFi - Wireless capabilities built into the camera allow for connection to and control by a tablet, smartphone, or PC if desired
Integrated Filter Wheel - Equipped with all AST183-X cameras is an internal 7-position filter wheel fitting 1.25" unmounted filters
Expandable Storage - Coming equipped with 8 GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 32 GB, this will hold a respectable amount of data until requiring further storage options--if ever.
Open Source Camera Processing Code - If you want to experiment with various ideas and practices, you are welcome to do so!
- 2 High-Speed USB Ports
Powered by a powerful 1000MHz and equipped with plenty of inherent memory, the AST183-X can do onboard all operations that other cameras can only do through the use of an external PC. That's what is possible when the camera itself is a computer as well.
On top of the already listed features, this camera comes equipped with a complete suite of astrophotography-oriented graphical applications such as:
- Photo sequence programming with filter management
- Temperature setting and monitoring
- Liveview with integrated focus mode
- Auotguiding and dithering
- Planetariums with mount control--including plate solving
- Image review
Innovative Camera Design
This camera was designed to streamline the astrophotography process and eliminate the more cumbersome and additional elements of the hobby that generally detract from the fun of it. The AST183-X can autonomously autogude with most commercially available USB autoguider cameras and can use planetarium applications to control mount functions with ease. Other devices such as motorized focusers, external filter wheels, and more can also be directly connected and managed by the camera itself. Best of all, this entire process can be done manually through the use of its wireless network.
The wireless mode allows you to communicate with the camera through a WiFi connection established on your smartphone or tablet with the camera. You can, of course, use a PC if you would like. No wires are needed between the camera and the controlling device, thus removing the potential for tripping over wires in the dark and the general tangling of wires that seems to always happen.
With all of these great features available and no need for a computer to control the entire process, there is neither a need for a large battery pack or power inverter as the camera really only requires 2.2A at 12V. One small battery or even battery in your car will be enough for a whole night of imaging.
Pristine Sensor Chamber
The sensor and the cooling chain are contained in a vacuum proof chamber. Using the vacuum pump included with the camera, you can connect this to the camera body and pump any excess air out in less than a minute. Doing this achieves a no-frost environment inside the sensor chamber during cooling as well as optimizes heat transfer to avoid any fogging of the optical window during cooling.
This entire process is tested for at least three days to ensure that the chamber holds its stable atmosphere (or lackthereof). If you choose to equip your own observatory with this camera, you may opt to fill the chamber with inert gas like Argon or Kripton which will hold in the chamber for months. Additionally, in all of this, no desiccant is needed.
Smart Software Suite
Each connected device will use and can be controlled by the same integrated software suite on the camera. All of the camera's applications are accessible via remote desktop from any network-connected device. Thanks to the open source license of all software included and the Linux OS, any other applications you want can be easily added whenever you would like. This gives your camera the maximum potential capabilities you could ever ask for.
Easy to use and intuitive by design, the application suite for Astrel Instruments cameras incorporate no additional or outside party software that could complicate the process. With this system, you will be ready to start taking pictures in just a few minutes once your device is connected.
Integrated Filter Wheel
Included with the AST183-X is an integrated 7-position filter wheel using 1.25" unmounted filters. This filter wheel uses a set of spring-loaded balls with corresponding holes for an extremely precise and easy-to-repeat filter positioning process. Once the correct alignment is reached, the aforementioned ball enters a designated hole to recover and correct any small positioning error.
What's in the Box?
- AST183-X Camera Body with WiFi Antenna and Integrated Filter Wheel
- Vacuum Pump
- Battery Power Cable
- Also power cable extension with car lighter plug