This bundle from Diffraction includes the StarChaser SC-2 Off-Axis Guide Camera and the AO-8A Adaptive Optics unit. Add this to any compact SBIG camera!
SBIG AO-8A Adaptive Optics
The AO-8A works with the STF and Aluma series cameras for a wonderful adaptive optics experience. It requires an off-axis guide camera behind the device. For Aluma cameras, this requires either a StarChaser SC-2 or a Remote Guide Head used with a custom Off-Axis Guider. All STF cameras are supported via the StarChaser SC-2 (EXCEPT STF-402 due to a different mounting interface.) This accessory will also work with older self-guided Aluma wheels.
NOTE: When using with StarChaser with AO, you will need a StarChaser to AO-X/AO-8T Adapter Cable. The necessary adapter cable is included IN THIS BUNDLE. (SC2-AO8-PACK)
SBIG StarChaser Off-Axis Guider Camera
The StarChaser by SBIG is the world's first all-in-one off-axis guider with built-in camera and integrated AO support. It operates independently of the main camera and combines a pick-off mirror, guider camera, guide port, and Adaptive Optics (AO) control. You'll be able to eliminate the problem that comes with flexure between the main camera and guider ruining the exposures of your images. Off-axis guiding uses the same optical path for the main camera and the guider.
The SC-2, which comes in this bundle, is designed to work with the compact SBIG cameras and supports the AO-8A adaptive optics unit. The following are the supported cameras:
- STC-7, STC-428 with filter wheel spacer
- STF series (EXCEPT STF-402) with FWB-8300 or filter wheel spacer
- Aluma series with FW8S-Aluma or filter wheel spacer
- Legacy STL cameras with internal filter wheel and smaller sensors (requires StarChaser to AO-X/AO-8T adapter cable)
- Legacy STT cameras with FW8S-STT filter wheel or filter wheel spacer
The StarChaser is at the forefront of SBIG's next generation of off-axis guide technology. It has a high-sensitivity 1.3 megapixel Global Shutter CMOS sensor with 4.8 micron pixels. It also comes equipped with a mechanical shutter for easy dark frame correction. Standard on all SBIG guiders, this feature optimizes sensitivity and eliminates hot pixels that could degrade guiding accuracy. The pick-off mirror position is fully adjustable by loosening a locking knob and sliding the mirror into or out of the housing. This will help you to avoid vignetting the main sensor while optimizing the light path into the guide sensor. Once that is all set, you can simply adjust focus by turning the second knob.
SBIG's renowned Adaptive Optics (AO) technology is now available for virtually their entire camera line! The AO-8A bolts onto the front of the StarChaser SC-2 and the StarChaser is in turn attached to the front of an SBIG standard filter wheel and camera. This sophisticated technology eliminates guiding errors that are caused by common mount problems, such as stiction, periodic error (PE), and wind loads. It also has the ability to reduce "slow seeing" effects that result in higher resolution images.
Mirror Offset Adjustment Range
Gives the distance from the inner edge of the guide sensor to the optical center. The mirror should be positioned so it clears the edge of the main sensor in order to avoid vignetting. At faster f/ratios, the separation may need to be increased. In some optical systems, if the mirror is pulled all the way back then the guide sensor may be vignetted. 0.40" to 0.75" (10.2mm to 19.1mm)
Back Focus Range, Mirror Retracted
Gives focus range of the SC-2 when the mirror is pulled back
as far away from the main sensor as possible. This distance is measured from the front of the StarChaser (without any adapters) to the focal plane of the main camera. 1.73" to 2.61" (43.9mm to 66.3mm)
Back Focus, Mirror Extended
Gives focus range of the SC-2 when the mirror is adjusted as far as possible towards
the main optical axis. 2.07" to 2.96" (52.6mm to 75.2mm)
SBIG's renowned MaxIm LT software is also included in this bundle. It gives you integrated control of both your StarChaser and SBIG main camera. API interfaces are also provided for third-party software running under Windows, MacOS, or Linux. An ASCOM standard camera interface is included, however ASCOM does not currently support Adaptive Optics. The StarChaser requires a 12V power supply (included) and a USB 2.0 mini cable (6 ft / 2 meter cable included). The StarChaser can send guider commands to the telescope either via ASCOM PulseGuide or an "ST-4" style tracking interface cable (included).