Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Autoguider
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Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Autoguider
For years, the Lodestar has been held in the highest regard as being the best autoguider on the market! The innovative minds at Starlight Xpress have been trying to improve the iconic Lodestar since it's premiere; this has proved to be very difficult to achieve - until now.
Improved Features of the Lodestar X2 Autoguider
Powered by the USB of your computer, there's no need to carry an extra power supply with you - one less thing to forget when you are on your way to the Star Party! The Lodestar X2 also has an optoisolated output connection giving you direct control of your mount and cables from its full size RJ12 autoguider socket.
Use it to guide on faint objects! Despite not being cooled, it has a low dark signal and little readout noise. With an impressive 77% QE and large pixels, the Lodestar X2 gathers an immense amount of photons, giving you precise guiding! Sensitivity combined with the incredibly low readout noise of the Lodestar X2, finding a guide star has just become even easier.
Full Feature List
- 1.25-inch diameter allows it to drop neatly into your 1.25-inch eyepiece holder - no additional adapters required.
- A large imaging area (6.45 mm x 4.75 mm) gives you a wide field of view to find a suitable guide star.
- Compact and solid aluminum construction.
- Spectral Response: QE max at 620 nM (~77%), 45% at 400 nM and 770 nM.
- Readout Noise: Less than 10 electrons RMS - typically only 6 electrons.
- Full-well capacity: Greater than 50,000 e- (unbinned).
- Anti-blooming: Overload margin greater than 1000x.
- Dark current: Dark frame saturation time greater than 1 hour. Less than 0.1 electrons/second at plus 10-degrees Celsius ambient.
- Data format: 16 bits.
- System gain: 0.4 electrons per ADU.
- Computer Interface: Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface.
- Image download time: Typically 0.2 seconds at full resolution using USB 2.0.
- Power requirements: USB powered.
- Cooling system: Ambient air cooling.
- Size: 32 x 86 mm black anodized aluminum barrel with 1 x 32/tpi mount thread at the CCD window end & input/output plugs at rear.
- Weight: Approx. 85 g (3 oz.).
Starlight Xpress Product Number: LODESTAR-X2
|Back Focus||12.5 mm|
|Camera Connection||C Mount|
|Dynamic Range||12.3 Stops|
|Mega Pixels||0.4 mp|
|Pixel Array||752 x 580|
|Pixel Size||8.3 microns|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.9 mm|
Really good as expected
I bought this camera to replace a SBIG ST-I camera that had stopped working. I can take images with this camera, but I can't calibrate the guider. It simply won't move the telescope to guide. I've not been able to find any documentation on setting up the camera as a guider. Right now, I'm very disappointed. Looks like I'll need to buy another ST-I.
Lodestar X2 was setup through MaxImDL. Calibrated the Autoguider with a star in Andromeda, got a perfect L shape centered on the star. I use CCDCOMMANDER to image and guide. Guider worked perfectly, got round stars in image of NGC891. Guider finds guide stars in less than 5 seconds. Guider does not require dark frames and is devoid of noise in its image. Setup and calibration took about 20 minutes. I recommend purchase of this Autoguider from OPT.
The X2 seems to be greatly improved from the older Lodestar. The connection port is not flimsy.
My previous guide cam was a QHY5L-II and the X2 is hands down better. Using an OAG it was hard finding some guide stars that had enough SNR for PHD2 to track. This camera made tracking some of the faintest stars better.
I am using this camera with my 80 mm guide scope, it is replacing the DSI camera that I was using, this camera is very small and lightweight but does it ever deliver. I am using it with PHD and even with the exposure set at .5 sec I get all kinds of stars. I slewed the scope over to M42 and left the exposure at .5 sec and I could not only see the 4 main stars but some of the nebulosity. This is a great camera and opt delivered it on time and packaged it nicely.