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Starlight Xpress SXVR-H18

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#1 lawrie

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

Hi, Just wondering what is the general opinion about this camera.
http://www.optcorp.c...?pid=1542-15881

I notice it never seems to come up when there is a thread about which camera to buy.
Thanks
Lawrie

#2 fetoma

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:44 PM

I think it's because most folks are using the SBIG, QSI, or QHY version of the camera with the 8300 chip. My opinion is that it is overpriced, but generally the SX cameras are good having owned a few myself.

#3 harry page 1

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:39 PM

Hi
You might struggle to get one and I agree there are better chips about

http://www.sxccd.com/sxvr-h18
Harry

#4 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:04 PM

There being discontinued in favor of the H694

"The H18 is being discontinued. We believe that the low noise and excellent sensitivity of the Sony based H694 and its derivatives, have made the KAF8300 chip much less attractive. Because of this, we are no longer accepting orders for the H18."

#5 Alph

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:21 PM

"The H18 is being discontinued. We believe that the low noise and excellent sensitivity of the Sony based H694 and its derivatives, have made the KAF8300 chip much less attractive. Because of this, we are no longer accepting orders for the H18."


It is really sad to see that SX is not able to compete with QSI, SBIG, FLI, Apogee

#6 Tapio

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:29 PM

Starlight is pretty popular this side of pond (and have good reputation).
And I think Starlight is so true of the reason why they discontinued H18.

#7 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

"The H18 is being discontinued. We believe that the low noise and excellent sensitivity of the Sony based H694 and its derivatives, have made the KAF8300 chip much less attractive. Because of this, we are no longer accepting orders for the H18."


It is really sad to see that SX is not able to compete with QSI, SBIG, FLI, Apogee


Don't know about that... SX pretty much uses Sony exclusively. I had an 8300 based chip... bleh... Also heard TheSkyX will soon support SX products.

#8 Tandum

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:04 AM

The only guy I know who has one complains that the shutter sheds shavings of iron oxide into the ccd chamber. I think it's the only sx camera with a mechanical shutter too.

#9 Alph

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:31 AM

The only guy I know who has one complains that the shutter sheds shavings of iron oxide into the ccd chamber. I think it's the only sx camera with a mechanical shutter too.


Also a light leakage was reported by some users. This is particular disappointing since I warned SX about shutters leaking light based on my experience with other camera and they still designed it incorrectly

The SXVR cameras have another design flaw. In the absence of a breeze, the cooling system can't reach a set point. This problem was first reported by my buddy. SX developed a side fan to mitigate the problem. You would think that it should be included with every SXVR camera. I guess they decided to offer it as a separate accessory to avoid a blunt admission of the design flaw.

#10 lawrie

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:55 PM

Thanks guys,
I think I'm going to get a QSI 683 wsg.
What you hear about them?

#11 fetoma

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:54 PM

Lawrie,

You already have a 8300 chip camera, why do you want another rather than pulling the trigger on the Sony 694?

#12 shams42

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:46 PM

The 683 is a great camera. Outstanding build quality, compact, and incredibly reliable. I love my 583.

I believe several Starlight cameras have issues with CCD sensor orthogonality as well, at least based on what I've read here.

#13 lawrie

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

Frank, I have a osc camera and want a mono to go along with it. I was thinking to keep my resolution the same with both cameras, then I could shoot Lum or narrow band with one and color with the other ( the last few years I am getting very few clear nights and this could save some time).
The pixel size of the sony chip gets me well under-sampled with the equipment I use, I think the pixel size is 4.54,on the new camera(694) with the 8300 (5.4) I'm at 2 arc-sec/pixel which should be good sampling to my seeing.
Shams Good to know, thanks

#14 Tandum

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

Just watch binning. The 8300 uses a normal pixel set as the read out buffer so you will be cramming 4 pixels into one to read it out. I'm supposing the 694 will do the same. That sort of rubbish equals zero star colour.

#15 Alph

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:32 PM

The 8300 uses a normal pixel set as the read out buffer so you will be cramming 4 pixels into one to read it out.


The KAF-8300 horizontal shift register (HSR) has 50% higher capacity than a normal pixel. The output register (summing well) has %100 higher capacity than a normal pixel.
Obviously you do need to watch the signal when binning like with any other CCD.

#16 Tandum

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

Where did you get this from Alph? The spec for the sensor seem pretty clear that is uses the shielded pixels to shift out the image?

[edit]
Went looking for that data sheet now it's 2 years on and it's all different. I can't find binning mentioned anywhere. How odd.

#17 lawrie

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

This may be a dumb question, but what are you watching for when you bin the chip?

#18 Tandum

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:09 AM

The well depth on the chip is pretty small, 25K odd. So bright stars in a binned image can combine and overload the output registers and the signal leaks out to surrounding pixels making the stars bigger than they are or washing them out to white.

I found on my 8300 camera I needed to expose RGB for 1/3 of the L exposure. So 10 minutes for L and 3 minutes for RGB not 5 minutes. But I'm sure one size doesn't fit all :)

#19 lawrie

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:33 AM

Thanks, thats good to know.
I just pulled the trigger on a QSI683wsg/31mm Astrodon E series filters.

#20 Tandum

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:40 AM

Nice camera, a lot of people run them down here. I believe the cooling is a lot better than the 5 series.

#21 Alph

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

Where did you get this from Alph? The spec for the sensor seem pretty clear that is uses the shielded pixels to shift out the image?

[edit]
Went looking for that data sheet now it's 2 years on and it's all different. I can't find binning mentioned anywhere. How odd.


That's correct. The Kodak data sheets don't tell the full story. Their specs are conservative. The info comes directly from QSI. QSI provided extra camera gain to support binning of KAF-8300.






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