Add AO (Adaptive Optics) control to your SBIG STX series camera! The StarChaser SC-3 / AO-X Bundle will help you elevate your astro-images to capture all of the beauty of the night sky.
AO-X Adaptive Optics
The SBIG AO-X is a large aperture AO that is designed to be compatible with all large format SBIG cameras. These include:
- Aluma AC4040
The AO-X requires minimal backfocus while offering a large 3" aperture optical element. This optical element is large enough to cover all sensors that are available in the STX, STXL, and Aluma AC series. This does require an off-axis guide camera behind the device and in front of the filter wheel (FW8S-STXL or FW7-STX), which is why SBIG bundled it with the StarChaser SC-3. A remote guide head may also be used if you have a customer off-axis guider set-up. The AO-X also works with the discontinued STX Guider and self-guided STXL filter wheels.
NOTE: When using the StarChaser with AO, you will need a StarChaser to AO-X/AO-8T Adapter cable. THIS CABLE IS INCLUDED IN THE STARCHASER SC-3 / AO-X BUNDLE!
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-3-LONG is designed to work with large format SBIG cameras with longer backfocus distance. These include:
- STX-16803 with or without FW7-STX
- STX-16801 with or without FW7-STX
- STX-9000 with or without FW7-STX
The SC-3-SHORT is designed to work with large format SBIG cameras with shorter backfocus distance. These include:
- STXL-11002 with FW8S-STXL
- STXL-6303 with FW8S-STXL
- STXL-16200 with FW8S-STXL
- Aluma AC4040 with FW7-STX
- Legacy STL cameras with large sensors and/or external filter wheel (requires adapter ACC10)
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-X bolts onto the front of the StarChaser SC-3 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.
SC-3-LONG (STX): 0.33" to 1.08" (8.4 mm to 27.4 mm)
SC-3-SHORT (Aluma AC, STXL): 0.66" to 0.88" (16.8 mm to 22.4 mm)
Back Focus Range, Mirror Retracted
Gives focus range of the SC-3 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.
SC-3-LONG (STX): 2.23" to 3.48" (56.6 mm to 88.4 mm)
SC-3-SHORT (Aluma AC, STXL): 1.51" to 2.84" (33.4 mm to 72.1 mm)
Back Focus, Mirror Extended
Gives focus range of the SC-3 when the mirror is adjusted as far as possible towards
the main optical axis.
SC-3-LONG (STX): 2.97" to 4.23" (75.4 mm to 107.4 mm)
SC-3-SHORT (Aluma AC, STXL): 1.73" to 3.06" (43.9 mm to 77.7 mm)
MaxIm LT Software
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).