Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home page


Astrophotography and Sketching >> CCD Imaging & Processing

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | (show all)
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M
      #5618713 - 01/12/13 10:05 AM Attachment (111 downloads)

I come from DSLR side of things; bit new to CCD and trying to decipher what SBIG has to offer in terms of STF-8300M... & STT-8300M... (Monochrome) cameras. My questions below if you can help shed some light:


•Which package (listed below) makes sense, practically speaking, in terms of what all one might need after overcoming the CCD learning curve? In other words, is it good to take combo vs. piece meal approach when buying CCD equipment?

•Between FW5 vs. FW8, which is recommended or more practical filter wheel?

•What brand filters SBIG uses in the combo packages? It is OK to get SBIG filter combos FW5/FW8? If NO to SBIG, which filters would you recommend? I presume empty filter wheel spacers can be filled with any brand filters, correct?

•What’s the major difference between STF-8300M and STT-8300M? Which one may be better?



I think you get the point; your insights into what makes sense in terms of getting started with SBIG CCD will be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on $ just yet, getting to know SBIG CCD equipment being the main goal here; would like to understand what makes sense before delving too much into what might be expensive or cheaper. Please fill in the blanks as I may even not have asked all the right questions. Regards


STF-8300M...................................................$1,995.00

STF-8300M OAG FW Package..........................$3,695.00
-STF-8300M camera
-FW5 filter wheel
-Off-axis guider

STF-8300M Self Guiding Package w/ ST-i........$4,195.00
-STF-8300M camera
-FW5 filter wheel
-Off-axis guider
-ST-i Autoguider (mono or color option)

STF-8300 Pro Package w/ ST-i........................$4,595.00
-STF-8300M camera
-FW5 filter wheel
-Off-axis guider
-ST-i Autoguider (mono or color option)
-36mm LRGB Filter Set
-36mm H-alpha Filter

STF-8300M Pro Plus Package w/ ST-i...............$4,995.00
-STF-8300M camera
-FW8 filter wheel
-Off-axis guider
-ST-i Autoguider (mono or color option)
-36mm LRGB Filter Set
-36mm Clear H-alpha Filter
-O-III Filter
-SII Filter


STT-8300M...............................................................$3,695.00

STT-8300M Standard Filter Wheel Package..................$4,490.00
-STT-8300M Camera
-FW8-STT Standard Filter Wheel

STT-8300M Standard Filter Wheel Pro Package............$5,185.00
-STT-8300M Camera
-FW8-STT Standard Filter Wheel
-36mm LRGB Filter Set
-36mm H-alpha Filter
-O-III Filter
-SII Filter
-Clear Filter

STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package.............$5,290.00
-STT-8300M Camera
-FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel

STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Pro Package ......$5,985.00
-STT-8300M Camera
-FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel
-36mm LRGB Filter Set
-36mm H-alpha Filter
-O-III Filter
-SII Filter
-Clear Filter


Note: My DSLR work here....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
broca
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Ocala, FL
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5618763 - 01/12/13 10:36 AM

The STF-8300M has a faster download speed with improved electronics. Here is a helpful thread than may answer many of your questions.

I don't know where you are in regards to equipment you may already have. The combo packages may be a good value, but, if you already have an autoguider, the combo packages may be redundant.

If you have the funds I'd go with the FW8, that way you can have all commonly used filters, LRGB, Ha, SII, and OIII at your disposal.

Again, if you have the funds the Astrodon filters come highly recommended. They come in 36mm and, I believe, will fit the FW by SBIG. I've read people having trouble with "halos" with Astronomik filters. But I've also seen some really nice images with them!
I came over from using a DSLR ~1 year ago. When I pulled the trigger I went with the QSI 683ws. At the time I was reading more favorable reviews for the QSI.
You have a lot of nice images you took with a DSLR. You are going to nail it when you do CROSS OVER .


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: broca]
      #5619211 - 01/12/13 02:52 PM

All the filters included with the packages are by Baader.

Astrodon makes 36 mm unmounted filters to fit the FW5-8300 and FW8-8300, but at present, only the LRGB and 5 nm H-alpha are available.

I just ordered an STF-8300M myself. I also bought an FW5-8300 + (Baader) LRGB filters package because I'm just getting started in all this stuff. I will probably order a H-alpha filter in the near future, though it'll be an Astrodon filter rather than the one from Baader.

-- Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: CJK]
      #5619358 - 01/12/13 04:09 PM

Quote:

Astrodon makes 36 mm unmounted filters to fit the FW5-8300 and FW8-8300, but at present, only the LRGB and 5 nm H-alpha are available.




Astrodon do make 36mm Oiii and Sii in both 3nm and 5nm.

http://www.astrodon.com/products/filters/narrowband/

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5620066 - 01/13/13 12:32 AM

i just got the STT-8300M and self-guiding filter wheel FW8-STT. i opted to go for astrodon filters. imho they are higher quality than the baader filters.

i guess the STF-8300M requires a different OAG setup, but IMHO this is a must if you are using a large reflector that may suffer from mirror shift issues.

you're going to be shocked at the quality of the data from one of these cameras vs. the DSLR. i still can't quite get over it


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5620118 - 01/13/13 01:59 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Astrodon makes 36 mm unmounted filters to fit the FW5-8300 and FW8-8300, but at present, only the LRGB and 5 nm H-alpha are available.




Astrodon do make 36mm Oiii and Sii in both 3nm and 5nm.

http://www.astrodon.com/products/filters/narrowband/

Peter




Aha -- I guess they were only out of stock at the site I checked. Didn't think to check Astrodon's site directly.

-- Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5620120 - 01/13/13 02:00 AM

Quote:

I just got the STT-8300M and self-guiding filter wheel FW8-STT. I opted to go for Astrodon filters. imho they are higher quality than the Baader filters.




Thanks Steven/Chris/Peter.

@Pfile, I have updated the first post to include STT-8300M packages. Some follow-up questions:

1. Which STT-8300M package did you buy and from where?

2. Does 'STT-8300M Camera w/ Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package ' at $5,290.00 come empty or filled with filters? I presume it comes empty and probably this is the one you bought?

3. Is auto-guider camera, e.g., ST-i still required with 'STT-8300M Camera w/ Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package'?
Edit: After some researching, looks like auto-guider camera is built-in to the filter wheel.

4. Could you post some pictures of your STT-8300M, especially filter wheel carousel, if possible? Thx

Edited by mmalik (01/13/13 08:01 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5621568 - 01/13/13 08:17 PM

I guess not whole lot of STT-8300M... users out there?

At first I was thinking filter wheel might be built-in to STT-8300M but that's not the case; FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel is a separate and quite bulky looking unit (apparently somewhat similar older FW8 Filter Wheel). I did some searching and found this helpful STT video....

Can someone comment on how bulky/heavy does it get with STT-8300M+'loaded' FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel? Some pics of this setup will be very much appreciated. Regards

Note: I have updated first post with some specs comparison.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5621725 - 01/13/13 09:29 PM

to my knowledge there are about 5 people using the STT-8300M who have popped up in various forums. Jerryyyyyyy has one as well and he's reasonably active here.

anyway:

1. i bought the empty one from OPT and a set of astrodon filters at the same time. be careful installing them - the filter wheel does not need to be super tight. i managed to crack the edge of one of the filters... duh.

2. i think that one is empty. the one with baader filters explicitly says that it is empty.

3. you do not need a separate guide camera if you have the FW8-STT. the guide chip, pickoff prism (and a focal reducer, i think) are built into the filter wheel 'cover'. this filter wheel is too thick to use with canon lenses, so if you want to do that you have to get the non-self guiding filter wheel as well.

i can post some pictures but right now the camera is on the telescope and it's dark. i also have an AO-8 on there but due to software problems it's not yet doing anything.

rob


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5621731 - 01/13/13 09:31 PM

oh yeah, here's my biggest project with the STT-8300M and an AT10RC:



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5621875 - 01/13/13 10:59 PM

STT has RBI. STF does not.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5621961 - 01/14/13 12:07 AM

Quote:

I can post some pictures but right now the camera is on the telescope and it's dark.




No rush and no need to take things apart for pics; may just post telescope mounted STT/Wheel for perspective when you can.

Looking at the video..., STT looks ok, but filter feel seems quite bulky/heavy? How heavy/bulky is STT/guided-wheel setup in your opinion (flexure being the concern)?

Your M81 looks nice. Thx

Edited by mmalik (01/14/13 12:13 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: korborh]
      #5621965 - 01/14/13 12:10 AM

Quote:

STT has RBI. STF does not.




I had to Google RBI; can you please explain what it is for us DSLRers? Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5621994 - 01/14/13 12:44 AM

RBI (Residual bulk image) - basically a residual of electrons trapped in the CCD substrate which leak into the next image leaving behind a ghost image. More here link

STT specs indicate RBI pre-flash to reduce this effect. The RBI removal features are found on the more expensive cameras like FLI.

This is new information to me as well, as I am currently researching my next CCD camera.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: korborh]
      #5622009 - 01/14/13 12:59 AM

RBI should be easy to fix for all cameras. All you have to do is put a 10 second or so delay in between subs. After 10 seconds, RBI is already gone before exposing next sub. Or you can use dithering. It typically takes at least 10 seconds to dither before exposing next sub. Dithering is useful for removing hot/bad pixels during stacking.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5622079 - 01/14/13 03:23 AM

dithering is NOT the way to deal with RBI. It in fact makes things even lot worse than without dithering as it makes it to show some dimm ghosting that would not be visible if every sub is exactly on the position every time.
The only way how to correctly fix for RBI is a controlled IR preflash.
My opinion on RBI in KAF-8300 is that 99% of users with camera with KAF-8300 without IR preflash will face every other issue than RBI - that would be the last one, least important, barely visible/notable. It might be an issue only for science data I guess. For our amater astroimaging it's enough not to take flats with EL panel prior taking light frames and not to cool on 100% power usage of the camera. I find it particullary hard to even detect RBI by normal users.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5622405 - 01/14/13 10:17 AM

I was referring to mimic delay when using dithering. In my case dithering typically take 20 to 30 seconds and that's plenty of time for the ghost image to disappear. If dithering takes 5 seconds or less, then you are correct, the ghost image may remain there. I've been dithering for the past three years using two different cameras without any issues regarding to RBI. If you think 20 to 30 seconds is not long enough to remove ghost images, then I may be incorrect about my previous statement.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5622551 - 01/14/13 11:58 AM

Thanks for your post Peter! I was wondering why sometimes I have RBI show up and not others. Most of the time I dither so it's not a problem. I hadn't heard that a delay would help the RBI issue before. Good to know!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: John Wunderlin]
      #5622585 - 01/14/13 12:20 PM

John, you are welcome.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5623093 - 01/14/13 05:15 PM

here's a picture of all the junk attached to my AT10RC.



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
*****

Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5623126 - 01/14/13 05:40 PM

I did some more googling and it sounds like RBI can hang around for quite a while depending on CCD configuration. I may do some testing tonight if I have time after my date with a couple of comets

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5623308 - 01/14/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

Here's a picture of all the junk attached to my AT10RC.






That's lot of junk, good junk in a way; very long imaging train though. Does it not cause flexure in the system? I think you could get rid of AO (Adaptive Optics [had to Google it to figure out what it was…]) to make things simpler; but then I have never used one or know if it really improves things? How heavy is ‘FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel’; I have yet to find specs on this unit (please provide specs link if you know?). Thanks for the pic. Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5623338 - 01/14/13 08:15 PM

i think the camera is something like 4 pounds and the filter wheel 2 pounds. but i will check. flexure is an issue especially with the AT10RC but the OAG takes care of most of that.

the idea behind guiding with the AO is that you can move a small piece of glass much more quickly than the whole mount, so in theory it can react faster and even compensate for bad seeing to a certain degree. my mount has really bad PE (some very fast spots) that the guider/mount can just not keep up with, so i thought maybe the AO could solve my problem.

the best solution to the problem would be software bisque or astro-physics, though


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5623391 - 01/14/13 08:43 PM

Quote:

...flexure is an issue especially with the AT10RC but the OAG takes care of most of that.




Misconception in my opinion; yes OAG may take care of guiding related flexure but it wouldn't make your sensor perpendicular to the optical path. You'll still have oblong stars in the image regardless. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5623746 - 01/15/13 01:35 AM

i guess i was referring to differential flexure. this type of scope is almost impossible to collimate "perfectly" in every attitude because the weight of the camera, focuser, etc. causes the mirror to shift as the OTA position changes. i'm not sure if there is a camera and focuser light enough that this is no longer an issue.

in practice the effect is not that bad. this could be due to using a small-ish sensor. not sure. also in this type of design, without a flattener at least, the stars at the edges of the field are out of focus anyway. it's coma-free but has relatively large curvature.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5662808 - 02/05/13 01:18 AM Attachment (126 downloads)

OK, I have come out of hiding with a well-placed PM. I bought the whole (most expensive package) from Anacordes scopes. I think I probably got Unit 002. I spend a pleasant couple of months debugging a series of issues with the filter wheel with the folks at SBIG, who were quite persistant. In any case, works flawlessly now.

I have not posted a lot of images since I have been struggling with some guiding issues and automation software.

This is a simple iPhone shot... on top is my D800...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5662880 - 02/05/13 03:32 AM

Quote:

STT-8300M with integrated OAG




Thanks Jerry; to confirm, you mean self-guided filter wheel with Baader filters, correct? Also if you can elaborate what issues you encountered with it and how you fixed them. Technical details will be appreciated. Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5663242 - 02/05/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

Quote:

STT-8300M with integrated OAG




Thanks Jerry; to confirm, you mean self-guided filter wheel with Baader filters, correct? Also if you can elaborate what issues you encountered with it and how you fixed them. Technical details will be appreciated. Regards




Yes, the self guided filter wheel with the Baader filters. I looked into the filters in a less than knowledgible fashion when I purchased the rig because there was a good savings I calculated involved. The savings for the package was not huge, but I did not see any filters discounted anywhere either and I did not want to buy used. I also wanted to buy the package to get the best after sales service [which I have gotten]. Subsequently I have looked at the Astrodon filters, which for what I can see are more narrow than these narrow bands. They are also more expensive, and they require longer exposures. So at my level of expertise, I was happy to get the Baader and they are working OK. This is the test image that convinced me they work:



Anyway, if you look at this image you will see all the guiding issues and other problems I have to deal with to produce better images, but this shows me for sure that the O-III and H-Alpha work (they are very separate in this target).

I am not sure what all the problems were with the original filterwheel, but it was swapped out and the firmware update several times and now it works flawlessly. Thses were the expected early adopter problems I anticipated, but I wanted this technology since I did not want to buy another camera for many years and I knew this was supposed to be the latest advance. I have done a lot of outdoors photography [fishing guides] and I had the unfortunate habit of buying DSlRs just at the end of their life-cycles and I was not going to make that mistake with a CCD that costs 2X what a top of the line DSLR costs.

Anyway, now that the firmware and Maxim and all the rest are one big happy family, I want to say the other reason I got this was all the trouble I had trying to get OAGing working. This is just dead simple. No thought process involved. The image is taken off before the filer wheel and it is adjusted after the main focus of the scope (so you can fine adjust it). It just works and there are big bright images for guiding.

What else?

In sum, I am happy with the unit despite the growing pains, but I have only been at this for 15 months so I had a lot to learn. Now I have tweaked my guiding with a tune up of the Atlas with the help of a friend and I have bought an autofocuser, so I thiunk I can go into production capturing the types of images I would like to create.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5664308 - 02/05/13 08:53 PM Attachment (84 downloads)

As per request, a look at the wiring. Thwe grey wire at the top is a tie to prevent dropping it....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5664735 - 02/06/13 07:21 AM

Quote:

I have looked at the Astrodon filters, which for what I can see are more narrow than these narrow bands. They are also more expensive, and they require longer exposures.




Thanks Jerry for the write-up and pics; I think you are implying Astrodon filters are better compared to what comes by default, correct [pretty much what others concluded as well]? That would mean 'STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package' is probably the way to go [the one that comes empty]?

Quote:

I am not sure what all the problems were with the original filter wheel, but it was swapped out and the firmware update several times and now it works flawlessly.




Would you know the firmware version that works/you now have? I am wondering if other early adopters (@pfile/others) encountered the same problem? I am hoping they are all fixed by now; can anyone confirm who may have bought more recently? Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5664739 - 02/06/13 07:34 AM

I would like to add one more comment about the STT-8300 self guiding filter wheel. If you'r telescope is not 100% collimated, you will have serious problems finding a guide star. Mine was MOSTLY collimated but a bit off and I kept on having difficulty finding guide stars. After very accuaratly collimating using CCD Inspector. I now find it much easier to find guide stars.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5664894 - 02/06/13 09:56 AM

I would say that if I had to do it again, would go with the Astrodon filters, but I knew not what I was doing at the time.

I could check the firmware, as the camera comes with a firmware checker/updater so this is easy. I have to say that in my day job I run a lot of Linux and I was working on an install yesterday that was done in 2007 and never updated since then... it works. So I am not going to change these drivers no matter what anyone says at this point.... SBIG included. Next time I am out there, however, I will check the version number.

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions because this is how I learn...

PS Last night ran flawlessly for 11h... clear skys in Palo Alto... just need to crank up the dew buster a bit... around here I think it needs to glow slightly red in the dark....

Edited by jerryyyyy (02/06/13 09:57 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5664907 - 02/06/13 10:04 AM

Quote:

I would like to add one more comment about the STT-8300 self guiding filter wheel. If you'r telescope is not 100% collimated, you will have serious problems finding a guide star. Mine was MOSTLY collimated but a bit off and I kept on having difficulty finding guide stars. After very accuaratly collimating using CCD Inspector. I now find it much easier to find guide stars.




Hi Hilmi, and hope the new set up is working fine... you are benefitting from my Beta testing

My C8 checks out pretty well and have had no real problems guiding. The people at SBIG have noted for me that the AO-8 Adaptive Optics System may be the way to go if I really want a top of the line system, but I think this is a bit of overkill for a C8.

I assume you are getting good skys where you are and can focus the autoguider well. What is a touch tricky is that the autoguider will come off after I have focused the C8 (for its own focus)... I am afraid of messing with the autoguider focus again because it works currently.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5664913 - 02/06/13 10:11 AM

I am a DSLRer and CCD is Greek to me...what other pieces might be needed to properly “attach” to a premium APO besides say buying a "STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Pro Package”. To give you an idea, I use this... kind of 2" adapter for a DSLR to “attach” to the APO. Reason I ask since some folks have been talking about some face plates and stuff; is that needed in my case?


As always, Hilmi, pics of your setup will be welcome, preferably high-res ones that may show all the STT wire connections and wheel/train assembly clearly. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5664951 - 02/06/13 10:38 AM

OK. Here goes... the face plate tha contains self guiding filter wheel has an STL thread. If your APO Refractor field flatner has a built in t-thread like my TV60is, then you have a problem. You need to fabricate a special adapter to step down from STL to T thread size.

But since your focuser accepts 2" nose piece, then you have nothing to worry about, everything you need is included in the box. Also. In the future you might want to make a customer adapter to thread directly onto your focuser for a more secure connection. How that is done depends on the focuser you have. mmalik, I'm abroad now. Traveling back home tomorrow. If I remember, I will provide you with pictures.

Jerry, I have the most horrible skies you can imagine for this hobby but I'm so stubborn and just keep on at it. Also, I too had filter wheel problems initially in the form of filter wheel failed to initialize errors. But after a couple of firmware updates, the errors have mostly gone away. I still get the occasional error when I first try to connect to the camera, that usually happens if I try to connect while the camera is still initializing. Its best to wait a bit after powering on the camera till all the filter wheel movement stops then connect in software.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5666186 - 02/06/13 10:44 PM

Quote:

OK. Here goes... the face plate tha contains self guiding filter wheel has an STL thread. If your APO Refractor field flatner has a built in t-thread like my TV60is, then you have a problem. You need to fabricate a special adapter to step down from STL to T thread size.

But since your focuser accepts 2" nose piece, then you have nothing to worry about, everything you need is included in the box. Also. In the future you might want to make a customer adapter to thread directly onto your focuser for a more secure connection. How that is done depends on the focuser you have. mmalik, I'm abroad now. Traveling back home tomorrow. If I remember, I will provide you with pictures.

Jerry, I have the most horrible skies you can imagine for this hobby but I'm so stubborn and just keep on at it. Also, I too had filter wheel problems initially in the form of filter wheel failed to initialize errors. But after a couple of firmware updates, the errors have mostly gone away. I still get the occasional error when I first try to connect to the camera, that usually happens if I try to connect while the camera is still initializing. Its best to wait a bit after powering on the camera till all the filter wheel movement stops then connect in software.




My condolancdes on the skys. I have been to Qatar a couple of times as I have a good friend there and am impressed with the dust storms...

Next time I get the chance I will look at what firmware I am using. I do not have that problem... just starts up and stays OK.

I appreciate your comments about the solid threaded connections. It is very heavy and might fall out easily. I have attached a wire cord just in case...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5666294 - 02/07/13 12:14 AM

btw when you step down to the T adapter do you still get any stars on the guide chip?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5666318 - 02/07/13 12:28 AM

Havent tried yet. Precision parts will be done fabricating the adapter by the 15th

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SeattleStarGazer
member


Reged: 10/19/07

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5666765 - 02/07/13 10:14 AM

Hi Hilmi, I got a notification that my STT8300M Pro package arrives Monday! Looking forward to getting it set up. I was wondering about your experience in getting the mirror positioned correctly? the manual references pointing the scope at a blank illuminated wall and moving the mirror until a shadow appears then backing it off until it just disappears. Is this what you did and if so, how did it go?

Thanks in advance!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: SeattleStarGazer]
      #5666900 - 02/07/13 11:25 AM

Exactly as the manual says. Easy as pie

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: SeattleStarGazer]
      #5677034 - 02/13/13 05:05 AM

Quote:

Hi Hilmi, I got a notification that my STT8300M Pro package arrives Monday! Looking forward to getting it set up. I was wondering about your experience in getting the mirror positioned correctly? the manual references pointing the scope at a blank illuminated wall and moving the mirror until a shadow appears then backing it off until it just disappears. Is this what you did and if so, how did it go?




Congrats; your initial impressions/setup details will be welcome if you could share? Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5677158 - 02/13/13 07:49 AM

Few questions regrading Astrodon filters; if one were to buy STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package (the one that comes with mono camera and empty guiding wheel)...

1. Are these the right Astrodon filters for empty self-guiding wheel?

Astrodon Narrowband Filters
36 mm dia. unmounted H-a 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (HA5_36R) $375
36 mm dia. unmounted H-a 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (HA3_36R) $565

36 mm dia. unmounted OIII 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (OIII5_36R) $375
36 mm dia. unmounted OIII 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (OIII3_36R) $565

36 mm dia. unmounted SII 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (SII5_36R) $375
36 mm dia. unmounted SII 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (SII3_36R) $565

Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series Filters
36 mm dia. unmounted LRGB for SBIG ST-8300 (LRGB2-E36R) $595

2. Which of the two (5 or 3 nm) are better for the start?

3. Again for the start, is it good/bad to mix (5 & 3 nm)?

4. What is clear filter for; is it needed? If yes, where/which one is advised?

5. What nm are the Baader filters that come in the Pro package from SBIG?

Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5677486 - 02/13/13 11:22 AM

Quote:

5. What nm are the Baader filters that come in the Pro package from SBIG?





Baader Ha - 7nm
Baader OIII - 8.5nm
Baader SII - 8nm

Thanks.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SeattleStarGazer
member


Reged: 10/19/07

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5677501 - 02/13/13 11:33 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi Hilmi, I got a notification that my STT8300M Pro package arrives Monday! Looking forward to getting it set up. I was wondering about your experience in getting the mirror positioned correctly? the manual references pointing the scope at a blank illuminated wall and moving the mirror until a shadow appears then backing it off until it just disappears. Is this what you did and if so, how did it go?




Congrats; your initial impressions/setup details will be welcome if you could share? Thx





So far very nice. No surprises with assembly of the Selfguiding filter wheel to the camera. Everything fit perfectly. Took about an hour being very careful with the filter installation. Construction looks excellent, I really like the filter wheel design.

I did a table-top trial with CCDOps and MaximDL, both connected immediately, filter wheel and exposure operation were reliable. Cooling was great, I ran it down 45 degrees in just a few minutes (didn't time it). I attached it to my scope (Televue NP127is) and used my living room wall to calibrate the location of the mirror. The mirror shadow was obvious as I cranked it in, solid black across the bottom of the exposure, then backed it off until the shadow disappeared.

Will need to wait to get outside to do the focus calibration. Won't have a chance for a couple weeks as I am on business travel. Keeping my fingers crossed but so far overall a very positive impression compared with my first camera, an ST2000XM, where I had a number of glitches with software and the filter wheel.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5677573 - 02/13/13 12:06 PM

Quote:

Few questions regrading Astrodon filters; if one were to buy STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package (the one that comes with mono camera and empty guiding wheel)...

1. Are these the right Astrodon filters for empty self-guiding wheel?

Astrodon Narrowband Filters
36 mm dia. unmounted H-a 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (HA5_36R) $375
36 mm dia. unmounted H-a 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (HA3_36R) $565

36 mm dia. unmounted OIII 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (OIII5_36R) $375
36 mm dia. unmounted OIII 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (OIII3_36R) $565

36 mm dia. unmounted SII 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (SII5_36R) $375
36 mm dia. unmounted SII 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (SII3_36R) $565

Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series Filters
36 mm dia. unmounted LRGB for SBIG ST-8300 (LRGB2-E36R) $595






those look like the right part numbers to me based on the invoice here on my desk.

Quote:


2. Which of the two (5 or 3 nm) are better for the start?





i guess this is a matter of personal preference. the narrower filters are going to reject more moonlight. the 3nm Ha is so narrow that the NII signal is rejected. subexposure lengths will be higher for the narrower filters.


Quote:


3. Again for the start, is it good/bad to mix (5 & 3 nm)?





not sure, i think you may have FHWM concerns mixing filters. star sizes may not match making postprocessing more difficult.

Quote:


4. What is clear filter for; is it needed? If yes, where/which one is advised?





maybe for spectroscopy? or any time you are interested in IR wavelengths? the clear filter has no IR cut, if i understand it right.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5677807 - 02/13/13 02:46 PM

Quote:

4. What is clear filter for; is it needed? If yes, where/which one is advised?





I missed this question in my previous reply.

The purpose of the Clear filter is to allow you to shoot unfiltered with a minimal change in focus position (par-focal filters are only par-focal to a point - there still may be minor focus shift in par-focal filters). If you always refocus between filters (something I recommend), the clear filter has minimal-to-no advantages over just an empty position in the wheel.

If your optic has refractive elements, you are better off shooting through a Luminance filter that will reject UV and IR (which can cause star bloating due to the change in focus across the spectrum - aka chromatic aberration).

Hope this helps.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5678243 - 02/13/13 07:45 PM

Thanks Matt/Wayne/pfile for your feedback; very helpful. Regards

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5678732 - 02/14/13 02:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

5. What nm are the Baader filters that come in the Pro package from SBIG?




Baader Ha - 7nm
Baader OIII - 8.5nm
Baader SII - 8nm





Matt, was wondering if SBIG would consider adding an "STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Pro Package" with Astrodon filters? If possible, that will be a big hit. Most folks end up upgrading to Astrodon anyway in the long run as you know. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5679102 - 02/14/13 10:20 AM Attachment (71 downloads)

Hi Matt, thought I would put up a novice's imaging with the new technology. This is about 12 images with the Baader filters at 1200s subs.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Fogboundturtle
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/20/09

Loc: Burnaby, BC
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5679120 - 02/14/13 10:28 AM

I think SBIG would make tons of money if they invented the cloud filter. That I would buy in a heartbeat.

Seriously though, I would have love to have the Astrodon pro package plus when I bought mine last month.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Fogboundturtle]
      #5680474 - 02/15/13 12:16 AM

Guys, one bit of caution with this HEAVY rig. I have mine tied down to the OTA with a wire and the camera came loose tonight. Never came out but close. Whipping this thing around on the end of a long tube can loosen it... don't let it drop out!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5682241 - 02/15/13 07:52 PM

Quote:

Matt, was wondering if SBIG would consider adding an "STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Pro Package" with Astrodon filters? If possible, that will be a big hit. Most folks end up upgrading to Astrodon anyway in the long run as you know. Thx




We'll see what we can do. There isn't room for any discount on the Astrodon filters - so it would basically be the package without the filters plus the cost of the Astrodons...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5682933 - 02/16/13 08:10 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Matt, was wondering if SBIG would consider adding an "STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Pro Package" with Astrodon filters? If possible, that will be a big hit. Most folks end up upgrading to Astrodon anyway in the long run as you know. Thx




We'll see what we can do. There isn't room for any discount on the Astrodon filters - so it would basically be the package without the filters plus the cost of the Astrodons...




Matt, some "hypothetical" number I have put together to look at what they may look like if such a scenario/s were to materialize?


STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package...$5,290
STT-8300M Camera
FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel

36 mm dia. H-a 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (HA5_36R)....$375
36 mm dia. OIII 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (OIII5_36R)...$375
36 mm dia. SII 5 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (SII5_36R).....$375
36 mm dia. LRGB for SBIG ST-8300 (LRGB2-E36R)......$595
+Clear Filter
___________________________
Total for "hypothetical" Astrodon 5nm Pro Package: ~$7,000
[$1k more over Baader Pro Package]

STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package...$5,290
STT-8300M Camera
FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel

36 mm dia. H-a 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (HA3_36R)....$565
36 mm dia. OIII 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (OIII3_36R)...$565
36 mm dia. SII 3 nm for SBIG ST-8300 (SII3_36R).....$565
36 mm dia. LRGB for SBIG ST-8300 (LRGB2-E36R)......$595
+Clear Filter
___________________________
Total for "hypothetical" Astrodon 3nm Pro Package: $7,580
[$1.5K more over Baader Pro Package]


Note: Above scenarios/numbers are straight additions/comparisons; I am thinking if you could maybe accommodate ~$500 break off of straight grand totals above, numbers may look like this:


Total for "proposed??" Astrodon 5nm Pro Package: $6,500
[$500 more over Baader Pro Package]

Total for "proposed??" Astrodon 3nm Pro Package: $7,080
[$1K more over Baader Pro Package]


This seems quite feasible, competitive, and/or comparable if you were to entertain such an idea which seems like a great idea by the way? Thanks you in anticipation. Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5703210 - 02/27/13 10:32 AM

People talk of CCD chamber being sealed or not, getting rid of dirt/condensation on the sensor, etc. What is the case with STF-8300M & STT-8300M on these matters?

While we are on the subject, given internal cooling, how big of a problem is condensation on the sensor or inside the camera in the CCD world?

People talk of rechargeable desiccant plug; how is it recharged? Is plug supplied with the camera? Can or should CCDs of this sort be used without one or without charged one? How does one know when recharging in needed? Sorry totally new to this thing coming from DSLR world; all I have seen are desiccant bags that come with packages

Please elaborate on all of these questions for someone new to CCD. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5703279 - 02/27/13 11:05 AM

stt is sealed, there is a dessicant plug. it is part of the camera and the plug is recharged by baking it in an oven for a few hours.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5703300 - 02/27/13 11:18 AM

today, almost every manufacturer of KAF-8300 based cameras, has some kind of heating of the main optical window. So I won't be afraid of it today. Another important thing is that the optical window should be thick enough to prevent dew forming (both "thick" window and some heating is essential). The dessicant is "pasive" solution to prevent (postpone the moment it happens) dewing while heating is, I would say, "active" solution. Best is both. Then you really do not need to care about the state and re-baking of dessicant. I never baked it and I work in RH 93-94% environment (but my big CCD has really extra heating power of the optical window built in as I asked for it while I can turn it off if I want (when I travel to Atacama for example ).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5703305 - 02/27/13 11:22 AM

SBIG certainly has some optical window heating, I believe... may you ask them

SBIG makes really wonderful cameras with the only downside - they are SuperBIG (therefore SBIG ) and super heavy.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5703366 - 02/27/13 11:56 AM

Quote:

today, almost every manufacturer of KAF-8300 based cameras, has some kind of heating of the main optical window. So I won't be afraid of it today. Another important thing is that the optical window should be thick enough to prevent dew forming (both "thick" window and some heating is essential). The dessicant is "pasive" solution to prevent (postpone the moment it happens) dewing while heating is, I would say, "active" solution. Best is both. Then you really do not need to care about the state and re-baking of dessicant.




Konihlav,

You are confusing two issues.

A window heater is used to keep the window above the dew point so there is no condensation on the exterior of the window.

Desiccant is used to keep the inside of the CCD chamber dry, so that when you cool the CCD below the dew point you do not get condensation or frost on the CCD.

Both are very active solutions to prevent different problems. Your window heater will do nothing if your desiccant can no longer store water and your CCD begins to frost.

Thick windows and/or external heaters are only one solution to the issue of condensation on the outside of the window.

The STT camera system uses sapphire windows. These do not need heating, nor do they need to be thick.

Standard optical glass windows (BK7 is used on the STF-8300) are much less thermally conductive which can cause the center of the window to cool significantly due to the cold CCD nearby in the chamber. This cooling can bring the exterior of the glass below the dew point - causing condensation on the exterior of the window. Heaters can be added to the chamber cover to pump extra heat into the window in an attempt to keep it above the dew point. This is a simple solution, but is exceedingly inefficient due to the poor conductivity of the glass. Additionally, the window can be made thicker to further isolate the exterior surface of the window from the cold CCD in the chamber - but this is less desirable optically due to the various issues of putting extra glass in the optical path.

Sapphire, with its much greater thermal conductivity, maintains itself to the surrounding temperature much better. The addition of heaters or having a thick window is not necessary as the standard heating from the surrounding metal is sufficient to keep the sapphire window warmer than the dew point. Sapphire is an excellent solution, but does cost considerably more than standard optical glass. Thus it is only used on the higher cost STT line.

Additionally, both the STT and STF camera lines use a bake-able desiccant plug that is easily serviceable by the end user. Many other camera companies require you to send the camera back to service the desiccant and chamber. The bake-able plug is easy to remove and dry out in an oven. When baking is complete, the plug can then be simply reattached to the camera to continue keeping the CCD chamber dry. The desiccant never "runs out" and can be recharged as many times as needed over the life of the camera.

I hope this helps answer the questions.

Thank you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5703466 - 02/27/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

A window heater is used to keep the window above the dew point so there is no condensation on the exterior of the window.

...

The STT camera system uses sapphire windows. These do not need heating, nor do they need to be thick.

...

The addition of heaters or having a thick window is not necessary as the standard heating from the surrounding metal is sufficient to keep the sapphire window warmer than the dew point.





Thanks Matt for the info. Some follow-up questions:

•If I understood correctly, there are NO window heaters built-in STF or STT.

•So STT doesn’t not need a window heater? What about STF?

•What is a window heater by the way; only heaters I know of is heating bands folks use?

•You mention “standard heating from the surrounding metal is sufficient to keep the sapphire window warmer”; what is that 'standard heating'? Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5703570 - 02/27/13 01:58 PM

Quote:

•If I understood correctly, there are NO window heaters built-in STF or STT.



The STF does have a window heater. None is necessary on the STT.

Quote:

•What is a window heater by the way; only heaters I know of is heating bands folks use?



The STF has a heater strip (basically a special resistor) pre-installed on the CCD chamber to provide extra heat to the chamber window.

Quote:

•You mention “standard heating from the surrounding metal is sufficient to keep the sapphire window warmer”; what is that 'standard heating'? Thx



Nothing more than the heating the window receives from the surrounding metal - which will receive some heating from the electronics and the hot side of the TE Cooler.

Hope this helps!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5703583 - 02/27/13 02:10 PM

Quote:

...hot side of the TE Cooler.




Ah, that's creative. Thx Matt


And Konihlav thanks for your info above.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5703690 - 02/27/13 03:19 PM

thanks Matt for detailed information, that's how it actually is in my camera (optical window heated by resistor)...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jeffweiss9
sage


Reged: 11/09/08

Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5703803 - 02/27/13 04:24 PM

Hopefully this sheds more light on this question, not hijacking the thread, but I've been interested in these CCDs, particularly the STT-8300M and following this with interest. However, one thing I don't see mentioned with these 8300 cameras is the very low full well capacity (25500e-) and resulting low dynamic range (2800 for 9e- RO noise). I've read that due to the CCD readout electronics, the full well capacity is well less than twice that when 2x2 binned. Doesn't that mean a real limitation with this chip, in general, or have people found this not to be an issue?
Thanks,
-Jeff


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jeffweiss9]
      #5703865 - 02/27/13 05:12 PM

Jeff, exactly. You are right. The 25000e- FWC is just "on the edge" (or a bit over the edge) where it is still just fine for using the camera in bin 1x1 mode due to the 9e- readout noise which relatively high (though for a Kodak chip it's still a perfect result). Binning 2x2 is very problematic. With increased gain (that is usual in 2x2 mode) you are really cut on the dynamics. Therefore it is a real, limiting factor. The other downsides of KAF-8300 are:
- it's neither big nor small chip so you need special 31mm or 36mm filters that are expensive
- it's QE is not best, it's only good (average)
- it's noise is realtively high among cameras with this chip raging from 7e- to 12e-
- using bin 2x2 gives you little of advantage

I am sure I forgot some important detail...

why do then so many camera makers make cameras with this chip? because it is very cheap (means big profit) and it's 8.3Megapixels and this really counts as many newcomers see yeeah 8Mpix that's superb :-) the more Mpix the better and 8 sounds simply great...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5703871 - 02/27/13 05:16 PM

I am not saying that KAF-8300 cameras are simply bad they have their place on the market. For many telescopes, using bin 1x1 they do a good job and that's important. I have one smaller chip camera (SONY) and one much, much larger camera (KODAK) so I do not need this "in-between", but for many it's the Compromise with big C.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5703916 - 02/27/13 05:43 PM

Quote:

downsides of KAF-8300 are...




If that were the case, what do you suggest that's superior to 8300M offering? I ask this for knowledge sake.


Jeff, no such thing as hijacking; open dialogue is the idea. All, please feel free to jump in. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5705010 - 02/28/13 09:51 AM

I have ICX694 camera (mono Atik 460EXM) that has much, much higher QE and much, much lower noise. But it is smaller chip. In millimeters it's not a big difference 18mm versus 12mm wide so it's not a big difference in FOV, but in surface, square size it's almost 50% smaller that's the only downside of ICX694.

If you want much bigger camera then next level is 36x24mm. This involves many problems with suitable optics (cost like 10.000 USD to be usable for a really full sized camera). It allows to use much bigger aperture scopes (aperture is what matters! based your image scale remains same/similar in order to compare cameras), but that calls for much better mount, again in 10.000 USD price range. So this way is really uneasy. Long cool down times of big scopes...

easiest for begginers is to get a reasonable refractor and nice small noise free camera and just some HEQ-5 (Orion Sirius, or so) to begin with. Easy, transportable, problem free. I started this way 4 years ago, and I would start this way again. I was happy that time. Now I try to work with big mount (heavy beast) and big scope (heavy beast).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5705243 - 02/28/13 12:21 PM

Quote:

...but in surface, square size it's almost 50% smaller that's the only downside of ICX694.




Wouldn't that be a big downside? How big of a factor QE is in the grand scheme of things (other features like condensation handling, filter wheels, automation, etc.)? Could it be that KAF-8300 is just getting older; what is the actual QE of ICX694? Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5705524 - 02/28/13 03:05 PM

I promise to post an new article on QE on my blog on Tuesday next week, now I will be out for couple of days. Roughly speaking for Ha you have QE about 48% for KAF 8300 while it's 68% for ICX694. That's advantage for ICX694 by 40% (factor 1.4). But QE is not the main parameter there is readout noise which matters (and for NB imaging it matters really very much). RN of 9e- vs RN of camera with 5e- makes another difference, roughly speaking by advantage of 324% i.e. factor 3.2times better for ICX694. This really counts in NB imaging.
As this is not so important for LRGB imaging, then I really benefit from having worst ever CCD chip KAI-11000 in one of my cameras. It's worst chip ever, and I purchased it intentionally - it has chip surface many times bigger (not sure now, I think about 8x, for ICX285/Atik314L the factor was 14 times bigger). This really counts in LRGB and also you do not have to make mosaic... but if kodak then get really huge chip. The KAI11000 is cheap and that's why I was open to it...

all best mmalik, I hope that I helped at least to YOU if not anyone else today


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5705696 - 02/28/13 04:36 PM

Quote:

I am sure I forgot some important detail...



You did not consider a shot noise limited image which is what you normally want to achieve. Once the photon noise is dominant the difference between ICX694 and the KAF-8300 in terms of photon efficiency is a wash.

The math is brutal: 4.5*sqrt(77) = 5.4*sqrt(56)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jeffweiss9
sage


Reged: 11/09/08

Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Alph]
      #5705738 - 02/28/13 04:55 PM

Glad I asked my question, although I didn't follow why sky-noise limiting your images cancels the issue of QE. Since an 8300 involves significant compromise although highly popular, what other CCD's do people think are better, or at least make different compromises, in the price range of an STT-8300 with guide chip and filters (~$5K). I'm looking for a big step up from my interline ST-2000XM in image size, cooling, probably slightly smaller pixel size. Any recommendations for other camera choices to make that step (but not to have to go up to $10K+)?
Thanks,
-Jeff

Edited by jeffweiss9 (02/28/13 11:15 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jeffweiss9]
      #5705844 - 02/28/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Since an 8300 involves significant compromise although highly popular,



The KAF-8300 does not compromise much. It is 40% larger in diagonal than ICX694 and it gets sensitivity boost from larger pixels. There is no other mono CCD in your price range that can beat it .


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Alph]
      #5705889 - 02/28/13 06:09 PM

Following is side-by-side comparison of STT-8300/KAF-8300 and 460EX/ICX694; missing/additional specs welcome.

Note: One thing that stood out for me was that 460EX only supports 1.25" filters (correction welcome).



Edited by mmalik (03/02/13 08:35 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5705950 - 02/28/13 06:42 PM

Quote:

Note: One thing that stood out for me was that 460EX only supports 1.25" filters (correction welcome).




I think it would be more like 'only needs 1.25" filters'. That's a good thing, for the wallet anyway. Unless you already have 36mm filters.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5708306 - 03/02/13 08:21 AM

Quote:

I think it would be more like 'only needs 1.25" filters'.




True; but I think there is more at play here than just needing 1.25" filters. ICX694 is only 15.99mm compared to KAF-8300's 22.5 mm diagonal.

To put things in perspective FSQ-106EDXIII... has an image circle of 88mm; ICX694 is going to miss a lot of it. Unless SONY comes up with something larger, this doesn't look very impressive?




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5708341 - 03/02/13 08:48 AM

To be fair, KAF-8300 doesn't look that large either compared to say full frame DSLR.

How old is KAF-8300 in terms of its lifecycle; is it going to get updated anytime soon? Maybe not in diagonal, but in technology (to meet or beat ICX694’s QE, etc.)? Thx

Edited by mmalik (03/03/13 04:46 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5708856 - 03/02/13 01:39 PM

Quote:

...this doesn't look very impressive?



I guess that's another reason to not start out in AP with a dslr. Any subsequent move to a ccd astro cam is gonna 'feel' like a step down unless you can spend $10k+ on a camera.

I honestly don't get the appeal of huge chips. They place more demand on the optics, massive file sizes increase processing time and storage space, and the pics don't fit on the monitor.

Aside from extreme wide field imaging most objects will fit any chip with an adjustment of focal length. Coming from DSIs and the ST-402 this Atik 314L seems huge to me.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5709044 - 03/02/13 03:56 PM

let's put it this way: do you want to image narrow band? then get ICX694. Do you want to image LRGB? then get KAI-11000. This is obvious choice :-) I've spend last 4 years doing camera research and this is where I ended myself. And I want only the best for myself. But it's you who evaluate your needs and wishes. It's impossible to give you an answer within one post. Try yourself to study the plenty of valuable information available on Internet, but rather then reading forums (that are full of myths and false information) try to locate some real tests and their results (of experiments).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5709468 - 03/02/13 07:56 PM

i started with a dslr and moved to an STT-8300M and the smaller size is not that big of a deal. it's really not that much smaller than my 50D's APS-C sensor. i believe the KAF-8300 is 4/3rds format - a lot of 'large' pocket cameras use that form factor.

the 8300M is so much more sensitive than the DSLR it's not even funny. what would take me 10s of hours with the DSLR i can accomplish in just 2-3h of integration time with that sensor.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5709847 - 03/03/13 01:41 AM

The right camera for the right use for the right budget for the right skill level. For some of us, An 8300 is the best camera we can get for our limited budget, bad skies etc... There is always a better camera out there if you can afford it. I bet they thought exactly the same thing when they last upgraded the Hubble telescope's cameras. I can just about imagine the guys at NASA complaining that even after pooling their lunch money, they where only $200,000 short on the next model up camera.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5709952 - 03/03/13 05:11 AM

Kodak chip -> SBIG camera distribution:



Sensor Size Reference:


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5709978 - 03/03/13 06:04 AM

NOT implying just the wide-angle imaging here, but some relevance to wide image circles of some astrographs...; as a matter of fact I have mostly done narrow-angle... imaging thus far with APS-C DSLR, but may want to dabble in wide-angle.... Thx

Edited by mmalik (03/03/13 01:05 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5709996 - 03/03/13 06:46 AM

Quote:

let's put it this way: do you want to image narrow band? then get ICX694. Do you want to image LRGB? then get KAI-11000.




That's one aspect (narrow vs. wide band); then there is narrow vs. wide angle. Few questions:

•Which camera brand you are referring to when you say KAI-11000?

•How old is KAF-8300 in terms of its lifecycle; is it going to get updated anytime soon? Maybe not in diagonal, but in technology? Hasn't it been around for a while now? Thx

Edited by mmalik (03/03/13 01:12 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5711891 - 03/04/13 02:43 AM

to answer your question
#1: I own the newest one with KAI-11000 (newest design, newest electronics). There are couple of makers who make CCDs with this chip - it's a naughty boy and even couple of makers "failed" (that's my opinion/speculation) to use that chip in their cameras as it's not easy to handle it well. I will name the companies that did not fail, they are fewer: SBIG with their famous STL11K, Moravian Instruments with G3 series and then I only recall on Artemis, nowadays Atik. I got G3 because I beta tested it for 2 years and I really can say I know all about it and it's issue free and the best option today (and it's cheap!). As doing narrow band with that chip makes no sense (wasting of time) I use it only for HaLRGB and therefore need only 5 pos filter weel. That can be internal! no additional cables ever. Just power and single USB. It's also very lightweight (only 1.7kg!) in this configuration with enough of backfocus and adapter for cameras/telescopes (STL compatible).

#2: I would like to stop saying my opinions (as nobody relly takes my words real I guess, after being so unpolite to other members (I do not lie, I do not say kind words when there really is no reason to do so, that's unpolite for US standards ).
I would cite, what Steve Chambers said yesterday in his short talk about Atik CCD cameras on CEDIC astro conference in Linz. He said: "Kodak is at least 10 years behind Sony in terms of new technology and the gap is increasing". Many other folks here on CN were present there...
My opinion is the same
It's more probable you meet an green extra terrestrial "Martian" guy in front of your home then any technology update in Kodak. Anyway, Kodak is a real name of historical meaning, so "hands up for Kodak" what they did in the past for everyone - bringing photography among ordinary people - was amazing and should not be forgotten. Unfortunatelly today it's "kinda dead".


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5711993 - 03/04/13 06:56 AM

Quote:

"Kodak is at least 10 years behind Sony in terms of new technology and the gap is increasing".




That may be true but SONY is also 'a day late and a dollar short' with ICX694; couldn't they have made something bigger than that itty bitty thingy? Thanks for your answers by the way.


On a side note, would someone have a link/reference to the complete lineup of CCD chips from SONY just like what I have produced above for Kodak?



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5723172 - 03/09/13 11:23 PM

Quote:

I own the newest one with KAI-11000 (newest design, newest electronics). There are couple of makers who make CCDs with this chip - it's a naughty boy and even couple of makers "failed" (that's my opinion/speculation) to use that chip in their cameras as it's not easy to handle it well. I will name the companies that did not fail, they are fewer: SBIG with their famous STL11K, Moravian Instruments with G3 series and then I only recall on Artemis, nowadays Atik.




Following is the MP (megapixel) space for SBIG; going beyond 8.3 MP (KAF-8300), few questions:


1. Given KAF-8300 is getting old, how newer are KAI-11002 technologically in comparison, in terms of chip as well as camera solutions containing it?

2. What about KAF-09000; how good is that one? SBIG has STX-9000 containing KAF-09000 but price is not listed; is this something new or being developed by SBIG?

3. Given KAF-09000 is quite close to KAF-8300 in MP, is KAI-11002 decent separation (i.e., step up in MP) from 8300; I presume so?

4. How well tested/adopted is STXL-11002 (KAI-11002M) from SBIG? Has its kinks been worked out?


Thx


SBIG MP Distribution:


Edit: MP chart updated to reflect the correction discussed below.

Edited by mmalik (03/11/13 02:45 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5723244 - 03/10/13 12:20 AM

the STL11000m was discontinued

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: zerro1]
      #5723870 - 03/10/13 01:00 PM

Just to continue the discussion but to change it slightly. Those with the camera, how cold are you running it?

I am running at -20. SBIG said there was not a lot to be gained by dropping it more. Any opinions?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
AstroGabe
sage


Reged: 01/10/10

Loc: SE Wisconsin
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5724083 - 03/10/13 03:00 PM

The few times I've had my STT out so far, I've set it to -30C. I can get there even in room temp, so keeping the dark library up to date should be quite easy.

Gabe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: AstroGabe]
      #5724090 - 03/10/13 03:04 PM

Jerry,

I have found that at 20 minute exposure, I do have less noise at -30 than at -25


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5724150 - 03/10/13 03:54 PM

Quote:

I am running at -20. SBIG said there was not a lot to be gained by dropping it more. Any opinions?



I heard the same from QSI. If you go lower than -20/25C, you will increase the chance of catching cold, I mean RBI


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Alph]
      #5724255 - 03/10/13 04:41 PM

I am not aware there exist any KAF-11002... (KAF stands for full frame readout chip like you need a mechanical shutter to prevent light capture and the camera electronics reads out complete frame "all at once" simply said. While KAI stands for interline readout - the CCD camera doesn't need to have a mechanical shutter (but it often has it as it helps in science cameras to have it for dark/bias auto capture in remote operation). KAI cameras without mechanical shutter are unable to take short subs due to the interline effect (odd, even lines are exposed for a bit different time).

there is KAI-11000 (newer is KAI-11002 sometimes you also see ME suffix as microlens enhanced and 11000 cameras contain also 11002 chip nowadays. When I speak about 11K family I mean the newest 11002 and of course I mean 11002ME as without microlenses the chip would "not be usable"). How old is 11000 and how old is 11002 - I do not know, but it's all very old technology if you want to hear this - but in spite of that it works

SBIG was selling its famos STL 11000 CCD for many years. Now they have the new family you mention, but I have no experience with these cameras. Would like to see some flats and biases from these cameras if someone has them :-) just for curiosity and enhancement of my camera research.

I would like to cool down to -30 or -35 but that's hardly doable in hot summer months. My CCD can do 40-45 below ambient, but I have extended window heating to avoid dew forming as I shoot in very humid conditions. Therefore I reach about 38-39 below ambient so I settle on -25 or -20 in summer.

Here's some test: http://blog.astrofotky.cz/pavelpech/?p=744

Alph: KAI doesn't have any RBI issues and that's the only really positive thing on it (the price (cheap) is another benefit of KAI 11K). Unlike of KAF-16803 that needs IR flooding/preflash due to really serious RBI issues, KAF-16803 (as the first hand step-up from KAI 11K to something better) needs, on the other hand, really big 50x50mm filters and totaly expensive optics and focuser and correctors. It's beast and different price level. And because I am on tight budget I have to stick with KAI-11K that is still good for the price.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5724446 - 03/10/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

I am not aware there exist any KAF-11002...




Please look at this... and see if you can elaborate any further. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5724467 - 03/10/13 06:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I am not aware there exist any KAF-11002...




Please look at this... and see if you can elaborate any further. Thx





Strange enough; here... it is different. Are these spelling mistakes or what? Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5724503 - 03/10/13 06:59 PM

I think it's a misprint that has been purpetuated... Try to find a KAF-11002 on Kodaks True-sense site?? No product found!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: zerro1]
      #5724700 - 03/10/13 08:27 PM

No such thing as KAF-11002. Correct one would be KAI-11002. SBIG site has the error, NOT something one would expect from the company of this caliber... looks bad. Thx

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5724826 - 03/10/13 10:20 PM

Quote:

Jerry,

I have found that at 20 minute exposure, I do have less noise at -30 than at -25




Thanks. Maybe I'll give it a shot tonight. -20 only reads out at 20% power.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5724952 - 03/10/13 11:38 PM

Quote:

No such thing at KAF-11002. Correct one would be KAI-11002. SBIG site has the error, NOT something one would expect from the company of this caliber... looks bad. Thx




Simple type-o, nothing more. It will be corrected this week I'm sure.

Thank you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5725034 - 03/11/13 12:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Jerry,

I have found that at 20 minute exposure, I do have less noise at -30 than at -25




Thanks. Maybe I'll give it a shot tonight. -20 only reads out at 20% power.





Besides, one of the reasons we paid the big bucks for these cameras was the RBI pre-flash feature. So I don't think we should worry much about it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5725166 - 03/11/13 03:15 AM

Complete SBIG line up [Revised]:

Note: ONLY Interline Transfer CCD is STXL-11002 with KAI-11002.



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5725216 - 03/11/13 04:20 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Quote:

KAF stands for full frame readout chip like you need a mechanical shutter to prevent light capture and the camera electronics reads out complete frame "all at once" simply said. While KAI stands for interline readout - the CCD camera doesn't need to have a mechanical shutter (but it often has it as it helps in science cameras to have it for dark/bias auto capture in remote operation). KAI cameras without mechanical shutter are unable to take short subs due to the interline effect (odd, even lines are exposed for a bit different time).

There is KAI-11000 (newer is KAI-11002 sometimes you also see ME suffix as microlens enhanced and 11000 cameras contain also 11002 chip nowadays. When I speak about 11K family I mean the newest 11002 and of course I mean 11002ME as without microlenses the chip would "not be usable"). How old is 11000 and how old is 11002 - I do not know, but it's all very old technology if you want to hear this - but in spite of that it works


....KAI doesn't have any RBI issues and that's the only really positive thing on it (the price (cheap) is another benefit of KAI 11K). Unlike of KAF-16803 that needs IR flooding/preflash due to really serious RBI issues, KAF-16803 (as the first hand step-up from KAI 11K to something better) needs, on the other hand, really big 50x50mm filters and totally expensive optics and focuser and correctors. It's beast and different price level. And because I am on tight budget I have to stick with KAI-11K that is still good for the price.




Bit more on CCD Architecture...


In Full Frame (e.g., KAF line from Kodak) all of the image area is active, and there is no electronic shutter. A mechanical shutter is added to this type of sensor, otherwise the image smears as the device is clocked or read out.


In Interline (e.g., KAI line from Kodak), every other column of the image sensor is masked for storage. Disadvantage being the imaging area is covered by opaque strips dropping the fill factor to approximately 50 percent and the effective quantum efficiency by an equivalent amount. Modern designs have addressed this deleterious characteristic by adding microlenses on the surface of the device to direct light away from the opaque regions and on the active area. Microlenses can bring the fill factor back up to 90 percent or more depending on pixel size and the overall system's optical design.


About KAI-11002: The 9.0 um square pixels with microlenses provide high sensitivity and the large full well capacity results in high dynamic range. The two high-speed outputs and binning capabilities allow for 1-3 frames per second (fps) video rate for the progressively scanned images. The vertical overflow drain structure provides antiblooming protection and enables electronic shuttering for precise exposure control. Other features include low dark current, negligible lag and low smear. Note: Optical format of KAI-11002 is 35mm.


This is to everyone... which chip design (i.e., in SBIG cameras) would you choose and why?


Note: Let’s keep the discussion focused on STT/STF 8300M vs. STXL-11002. Please elaborate your answers for learning sake. Thx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5725418 - 03/11/13 09:14 AM

Quote:

which chip design (i.e., in SBIG cameras) would you choose and why?
Note: Let’s keep the discussion focused on STT/STF 8300M vs. STXL-11002.




Well since you put it like that, none of the above. I own an 8300 based camera and don't really care for the sensor size. It's smallish and QE is fairly middle of the road.

The 11002 on the other hand is huge but no improvement on QE. It would be interesting to try one out but it doesn't really fit my needs.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: zerro1]
      #5726429 - 03/11/13 05:41 PM

what is your equipment? what is your budget, if you can afford 8-9 grands for a mount and the same for a high quality astrograph then the choice is obvious - KAI-11002ME (though it's blind beast in narrow band, it's good enough for LRGB!).

If your budget is like 8-9 grands for all of it (mount, scope, camera) and you still want to make cool, really cool and nice images, then get Atik 460EXM. I know what I am saying, I only can't proove it as we still have clouds and I am unable to show new nice images from my cameras...

this may help, just check the curves:
http://blog.astrofotky.cz/pavelpech/?p=864


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5726660 - 03/11/13 07:23 PM Attachment (63 downloads)

It's an observation not a condemnation; The 11002 is a great camera, huge sensor that deliver beautiful images. I don't have 2 nights to rub together most of the time so it would never serve me that well.

I have a KAF6303E NABG with 5 collumn defects, two QHY's, two Canon 1000D's, a Canon T1i, and 3 mounts, 3 Panasonic Toughbooks as guide computers, two Meade DSI's and an SSAG for guide cameras. and I really don't have any use for more gear...Like you; I just need some clear sky to put it to use.

For the few opportunities that I get, I'll deal with a bloomer to get some data. I've not seen a dark sky site since October...

But here is a single 5 minute uncalibrated sub of H-a from the KAF6303E.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5727395 - 03/12/13 03:16 AM

Quote:

...though it's blind beast in narrow band, it's good enough for LRGB




Subtleties of KAI-11002:

•Not suited for NB
•Mediocre QE
•50mm filters
•Camera 2kg
•With FW8G ~$10K (+50mm filters)




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5727428 - 03/12/13 04:15 AM

Quote:

I would cite, what Steve Chambers said yesterday in his short talk about Atik CCD cameras on CEDIC astro conference in Linz. He said: "Kodak is at least 10 years behind Sony in terms of new technology and the gap is increasing". Many other folks here on CN were present there...

...

It's more probable you meet an green extra terrestrial "Martian" guy in front of your home then any technology update in Kodak. Anyway, Kodak is a real name of historical meaning, so "hands up for Kodak" what they did in the past for everyone - bringing photography among ordinary people - was amazing and should not be forgotten. Unfortunatelly today it's "kinda dead".




Sony ICX694ALG & ICX814ALG at a glance:

I wonder if SBIG would consider/introduce SONY chips of these sorts? Advantages I see will be smaller/lighter/cheaper camera designs and possible diversification of their Kodak ONLY chip offerings; though time tested, they seemed to have not kept up with time?


Talking of interline architecture, I noticed SONY ICX694 is also interline.

ICX694:
•Interline CCD
•6 MP
•4.53 um
•QE 68%

ICX814:
•9 MP
•3.69 um




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5727445 - 03/12/13 04:43 AM

mmalik: what is your budget? see my previous post in this thread, I do not want to repeat it...

to your question: my opinion is - SBIG makes only Kodak. They invested lot of time and effort into learning how to handle these beasts. SONY is completely different level. They would have to invest significant amount of manpower costs, lot of time and really lot of money, to investigate how to use/handle signals of sony chips. Also, Sony is a company hard to deal with, hard to do business with. Their chips are also very expensive so the margin/gain/net income from such cameras is low. On the other side, Kodak is, made in USA (tradition), you get complete and full documentation and maybe sometimes even support (though not perfect). So you get all this from Kodak, but the truth is, the chips are obsolete, nowadays... that's just how it is, the fact.

ad ICX814 vs ICX694, I would stay with 694. Unless you intend to do short focal length imaging with top-notch lens with tiny spots on diffraction limit.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5727466 - 03/12/13 05:05 AM

Quote:

what is your budget?




Not about budget; it is more about learning CCD side of things. I explain it best in my first post. Thanks for all the help you have afforded, keep your insights coming. Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Konihlav
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/05/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5727468 - 03/12/13 05:09 AM

mmalik: thank you very much for saying thank you to me. I really appreciate if the advice I try to give, in complete honesty, is reflected. Thanks! I may have some "prejudice" or be "against Kodak" (subjective), but it all comes from my real experience. I may have some preferred makers, but that also comes from experience. In final words - I do not care if it's with this or that label/name/made by maker, I care about getting the BEST no matter who's name is on it.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5727474 - 03/12/13 05:21 AM

Quote:

I really appreciate if the advice I try to give, in complete honesty, is reflected. Thanks! I may have some "prejudice" or be "against Kodak" (subjective), but it all comes from my real experience. I may have some preferred makers, but that also comes from experience. In final words - I do not care if it's with this or that label/name/made by maker, I care about getting the BEST no matter who's name is on it.




Well said; I think folks understand that and appreciate that. It is an open dialogue, nothing more. Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Konihlav]
      #5729735 - 03/13/13 06:20 AM

Quote:

SBIG makes only Kodak. They invested lot of time and effort into learning how to handle these beasts. SONY is completely different level. They would have to invest significant amount of manpower costs, lot of time and really lot of money, to investigate how to use/handle signals of Sony chips. Also, Sony is a company hard to deal with, hard to do business with. Their chips are also very expensive so the margin/gain/net income from such cameras is low. On the other side, Kodak is, made in USA (tradition), you get complete and full documentation and maybe sometimes even support (though not perfect). So you get all this from Kodak, but the truth is, the chips are obsolete, nowadays... that's just how it is, the fact.




Atik seems to be well diversified in their chip offerings, I see no reason why SBIG shouldn’t or couldn’t? Given Kodak is getting old, I would say it will be well advised for SBIG to invest in and introduce Sony into the mix. I get it…; ‘Sony’ may be ‘tiny’, the chip that is, but the ‘tiny’ is newer at least and will make for a lighter/slimmer/cheaper/agile camera/s for SBIG among the long line-up of heavier/heftier/expensive Kodak cameras.


While 8300 may be the bread and butter of SBIG, my pet peeve is that it is pricey and heavy, especially if one factors in the filter wheel and other accessories. That’s NOT to say well tested and reputable 8300 has to go away; it can hold the fort for however long it can. I think time has come for relatively cheaper/lighter yet high performing cameras & even lighter filter wheels which could be sold in even larger quantities to reap bigger profits.


Talking of ‘tiny’ Sony, is there or will Sony make anything bigger than their highly touted ICX694? Shouldn’t Kodak be renewing their older looking chip line-up; maybe come up with a NEWER equivalent of ICX694 but in a larger size? Will they?


References:
Truesense Imaging (Kodak)...
EXview HAD CCD II (Sony)...


While we are on the subject, following is Atik diversity at a glance:

ICX=Sony
KA*=Kodak



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5730172 - 03/13/13 11:52 AM

kodak went bankrupt a little over a year ago. i'm not sure if they have continued sensor R&D but supposedly they are ready to exit bankruptcy protection in a few months. i guess we'll know shortly.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
vdb
sage


Reged: 12/08/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5730193 - 03/13/13 12:04 PM

I thought they sold their ccd business ... no?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
s58y
Postmaster


Reged: 12/12/04

Loc: Eastern NY
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: vdb]
      #5730372 - 03/13/13 01:31 PM

Quote:

I thought they sold their ccd business ... no?




Apparently, the sensor business was sold to "Platinum Equities" in 2011.

It looks like they're coming out with new KAC-nnnnn chips now -- don't know if they're good for astro.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
elbee
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/02/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: vdb]
      #5730436 - 03/13/13 02:03 PM

kodak sold their image sensor business to a private equity firm, Platinum Equity long before they filed for bankruptcy. the new company that produces their chips is called Truesense Imaging. most likely the same engineers, plant, and equipment.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: elbee]
      #5730538 - 03/13/13 03:21 PM

ah okay, i missed that part or maybe i forgot. i hope they are still working on sensors!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5730592 - 03/13/13 04:00 PM

Have included some reference links above.... Thx

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ozy



Reged: 06/15/07

Loc: Goodyear, AZ
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5731248 - 03/13/13 10:10 PM

I've only really shot with the KAI-11002, but if it's blind to Ha, I guess I don't know what I'm missing.

2hrs on my RCOS


2hrs on my FSQ


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
elbee
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/02/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Ozy]
      #5731459 - 03/14/13 12:29 AM

i think that was a bit of an overstatement to highlight the chip is not super-sensitive in the Ha region but the KAI-11002 is not blind to Ha. Ozy -- who needs two hours? :-) This is 1x30min with a "small" 130mm refractor.

1x30min H-alpha with STL-11000M -- i think you can see plenty :-)

Edited by elbee (03/14/13 12:30 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5738666 - 03/17/13 01:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Jerry,

I have found that at 20 minute exposure, I do have less noise at -30 than at -25




Thanks. Maybe I'll give it a shot tonight. -20 only reads out at 20% power.





Besides, one of the reasons we paid the big bucks for these cameras was the RBI pre-flash feature. So I don't think we should worry much about it.




Can someone help me a bit with the RBI option? As you said this camera costs a lot and would like to optimize it, but it is also a steep learning curve... so would like to optimkize what I have to learn... easy to drop temp... that I get.

Is anyone using this option and, if so, how do you implement it? There was some ambiguous discussion on PixInsight.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5738969 - 03/17/13 03:51 PM

So far I have gone down to -30°C without noticing any RBI problems on my 20 min exposures in Ha . So I have not had the need to use this feature. The only time I have had this problem was with realy bright Stars

To my understanding the only way to activate the feature is through the SBIG supplied software or Via ethernet interface


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bilgebayModerator
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Turkiye - Istanbul and Marmari...
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5739031 - 03/17/13 04:23 PM

Hi Hilmi,

If you really want to see RBI, shoot moon first, then shoot a dark or some other objects. If you don't see moon replicated then you are in goos shape. This test will give you an idea about your camera.

Warning: Maybe it is a good idea not to do this test and keep using your camera happily


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5739938 - 03/18/13 01:02 AM

If it is not broken, do not fix it....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5739960 - 03/18/13 01:29 AM

Sedat if you really want to see RBI try the St402me. Mine used to leave ghosts in the frame at -10° C when imaging m81 at f10.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5740037 - 03/18/13 03:09 AM

Quote:

A window heater is used to keep the window above the dew point so there is no condensation on the exterior of the window.

Desiccant is used to keep the inside of the CCD chamber dry, so that when you cool the CCD below the dew point you do not get condensation or frost on the CCD.

Both are very active solutions to prevent different problems.

...

The STT camera system uses sapphire windows. These do not need heating, nor do they need to be thick.




Bear with me; following is a 'mix and match of camera system features vs. chip offerings' question...


STT seems to have pretty elaborate moisture control measures which obviously contribute to the premium pricing of these units. On a flip side, SBIG doesn't offer a chip that some may consider the latest in CCD, e.g., ICX694.


Given all the interest in ICX694, I would like to discuss where such (non-SBIG) camera systems stand when it comes to moisture control features (heaters, desiccants, etc.) and if this could be a potential problem regardless of those systems' latest and greatest chip offerings. Here are few questions/considerations:


•Alta F694/Ascent A694 mention 'moisture free chambers', what does it mean in comparison to STT moisture control measures?

•What is major difference between Alta F694 & Ascent A694? What are Alta F694 & Ascent A694 prices?

•There seems to be a disparity of cooling levels offered among ICX694 systems; how would it affect condensation and preventive measures offered or lack thereof?

•Do Atik460EX/QHY22/SXVR-H694 offer any moisture control measures? If no, shouldn't that be a concern?

•How would you rate/rank these ICX694 camera systems overall; good, bad, ugly?

•Is following chart accurate representation of all things ICX694?


Please elaborate your answers for learning sake.


Note: SBIG/FLI/QSI do not offer ICX694 systems (correction welcome).


ICX694 Specs:
Type:.....................Interline
Diagonal (mm):......15.99
Pixels (HxV):..........2750x2200
Pixel Size (um):......4.54
Pixels (Total):.........6.31M
Readout Noise:.......5e-
QE (400nm):..........62%
Peak QE (500nm):...77%





Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5740602 - 03/18/13 12:21 PM

Guys,

Any experiences with SBIG Adaptive Optics? Pricy but they have a system for the STT8300M:

https://www.sbig.com/products/adaptive-optics/ao-8t/

Has been suggested to me as a way of significantly improving guiding. My skys are basically lousy and I can just watch the guide star scintillate in the image, even with 3x3 binning.

Given what I paid for this camera, this is a 10-5% add on.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
AstroGabe
sage


Reged: 01/10/10

Loc: SE Wisconsin
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5740618 - 03/18/13 12:29 PM

I'm considering this addition too, but mainly to improve guiding on my ATLAS mount. I have yet to experiment w/ the ccd on my 9.25 Edge, but think the 2350mm fl and weight might be too much for the mount to take for good guiding. So I'm interested also in what other people have to say about the AO-8 and STT combination.

Gabe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: AstroGabe]
      #5741077 - 03/18/13 04:27 PM

jerryyyyy, i have the STT-8300M, FW8-STT and AO-8. i bought the AO-8 in an attempt to compensate for the performance of my G11 but as you can see from my .sig i am now using a mach1gto.

i'm sure this is user error, but i've found that no matter how good my polar alignment is, the AO is reaching it's tilt/tip limits in 4-6 minutes. this means that the guiding software has to 'bump' the star back with the mount's guiding controls.

if your subexposure length is longer than the AO's period, then all your subs will have streaked star lines on them. with a narrowband filter this was not as big of a problem for me (though in the integrated result below you can see the stars have weird shapes). with LRGB filters it's definitely a spoiled sub.

one piece of advice i got was to really crank up the mount's guide rate so that the time to bump back is minimized. i have not tried that yet - the mach1gto tracks so smoothly that i've just turned off the AO-8 and am autoguiding the traditional way for the time being.

here's a horsehead taken with an AT10RC, STT-8300M + 5nm astrodon, and the AO-8. you can see the artifacts on the bright stars.



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: AstroGabe]
      #5741379 - 03/18/13 06:38 PM

Quote:

I'm considering this addition too, but mainly to improve guiding on my ATLAS mount. I have yet to experiment w/ the ccd on my 9.25 Edge, but think the 2350mm fl and weight might be too much for the mount to take for good guiding. So I'm interested also in what other people have to say about the AO-8 and STT combination.

Gabe




Nothing is easy.

Interested to hear about the weight worry. I think you may be OK. I just added my Nikon D800 to my set-up to get some wide angle shots and it guides no worse. This must add 5 lbs, but I can still ballance it well.

I am using the Celestron FR to get my 2032 down to 1360, but you get a lot of distortions in the periphery and need to crop them out. Also there is an unpleasant "horseshoe" that appears around bright stars in the periphery... often cannot crop it out.

Between a rock and a hard place. I think I have tweaked my Atlas with the help of a friend to get the work gear working well... this is easier than it sounds as the adjustment is kinda hidden unless you have someone draw you a map.

BTW I was thinking about getting something bigger than the C8.. maybe will not help much in my efforts.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5741390 - 03/18/13 06:41 PM

Quote:

jerryyyyy, i have the STT-8300M, FW8-STT and AO-8. i bought the AO-8 in an attempt to compensate for the performance of my G11 but as you can see from my .sig i am now using a mach1gto.

i'm sure this is user error, but i've found that no matter how good my polar alignment is, the AO is reaching it's tilt/tip limits in 4-6 minutes. this means that the guiding software has to 'bump' the star back with the mount's guiding controls.

if your subexposure length is longer than the AO's period, then all your subs will have streaked star lines on them. with a narrowband filter this was not as big of a problem for me (though in the integrated result below you can see the stars have weird shapes). with LRGB filters it's definitely a spoiled sub.

one piece of advice i got was to really crank up the mount's guide rate so that the time to bump back is minimized. i have not tried that yet - the mach1gto tracks so smoothly that i've just turned off the AO-8 and am autoguiding the traditional way for the time being.

here's a horsehead taken with an AT10RC, STT-8300M + 5nm astrodon, and the AO-8. you can see the artifacts on the bright stars.






Have you asked the guys at SBIG about how to get around this. They think about this a lot. Maybe they have better ideas. Guess this will not help....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5742204 - 03/19/13 02:33 AM

It could be an issue of focal length too high for the G11 to cope with.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5742209 - 03/19/13 02:36 AM

the image above was taken with the mach1gto. the issue is that the polar alignment is not good enough, and the AO-8 reaches it's limits too fast. this would happen with any mount. my point though is that my polar alignment was pretty good by my standards (20 min+ drift alignment) and yet it's not good enough for the AO-8 and long exposures.


my particular G11 is not compatible with long focal lengths, that is for sure. with some work i'm sure it could work okay but i didn't really want to become a G11 mechanic. i just want to image.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5742215 - 03/19/13 02:41 AM

As an experiment try drift wligning using pempro then imaging with the AO unit. I am curious how that would work. Should that fail, drop me a message if you want to sell your AO8 T

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5742233 - 03/19/13 03:09 AM

i've already done that experiment. same issue, and this is on a target with a reasonably high declination.

i think my problem is i have the older mach1gto and when you loosen the azimuth plate in order to adjust it, the altitude gets messed up. so i can only get my PA so close. i should probably upgrade the AZ plate to the new one which solves this problem.

i had the idea to try guiding the mount with my external guidescope, and then also guide with the AO. the theory being that the guidescope would keep the mount pointed in the right place. but due to differential flexure, eventually the two guiders would drift apart, the AO would lose the star, and then it would all be over. i can't tell PhD to bump the mount.

i guess i will still try this to see if we're talking about hours worth of imaging or just minutes.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5742747 - 03/19/13 11:44 AM

Requiring the guiding to bump the mount during an AO exposure should not normally cause the defect in your image.

The mount bump is really no different than a normal guide correction. Usually the AO is able to guide away any variations in star position even during the mount bump.

What may have happened in your image is that you let the AO get to its maximum travel before the mount bump occurred. Instead, you should limit the AO to 50% or less of its maximum travel to let the mount bumps happen more often. This will allow the AO to continue to correct through the mount movement and should give you much better results.

You never want to rely on the AO only to do your corrections unless you have a near perfect alignment (as you've experienced). You really need to optimize your system so everything is working together as intended.

I hope this helps.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5742798 - 03/19/13 12:08 PM

matt even at 50% (which is the default) the amount of travel back to 0% is very noticeable at 2000mm.

if the guide star is dim and the guide exposure is long, it can take several seconds for the AO to return the guidestar to the center of the guide crosshairs. that's ample time for a double image, or for a streak to be noticable, etc. depending on the filter in use and how bright the stars are in the FOV.

again, i never cranked up my mount guide rate. but still with long guide exposures i'm not sure how this can be avoided.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5743129 - 03/19/13 02:46 PM

It doesn't need to bring the AO back to center in order to get a good star image. As long as the AO is running fast enough to track the star (whatever the deflection) you will get a good image.

If the tracker exposure is slow - which would cause the AO to run slow and you have a fast perturbation that the AO cannot track out, then you are going to have an issue.

What I usually experience is that the AO will track the star, slowly deflecting off center (remember that even though the AO is off center, the stars are still kept on the same location on the CCD). When it reaches the limit, the mount is bumped which causes the AO to come back near center - but usually not exactly center, especially if the mount bump aggressiveness is set low. During the mount move, the AO is still tracking the star keeping it centered on the CCD - which continues until the mount needs to bump again.

Hope this helps.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5743172 - 03/19/13 03:04 PM

Quote:

if the guide star is dim and the guide exposure is long, it can take several seconds for the AO to return the guidestar to the center of the guide crosshairs. that's ample time for a double image, or for a streak to be noticable, etc. depending on the filter in use and how bright the stars are in the FOV.




Don't long guide exposures defeat the purpose of AO? I thought the point was sub-second exposures for rapid tip-tilt corrections. It seems to me if you drive the AO with long exposures it can't possibly provide any better guiding than a regular guide camera. It's gonna reveal the error that accumulates during the exposure, just without the added lag time of moving the mount. Hence the double exposure effect instead of egg-shaped stars.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5743445 - 03/19/13 04:57 PM

this may just be a peculiarity of equinox image. it's bumping back to 0% and i'm not sure that's configurable. also, it's not making small bumps and letting the AO correct. it makes one huge bump and then the AO has to catch up. maxim could be different; i've never tried it.

> Don't long guide exposures defeat the purpose of AO?

yes and no, if you are hoping to make up for atmospheric effects then yes i suppose. but in the end, in theory, you should get superior guiding from the AO since the mass it has to move is much, much less than the entire OTA. because of this it's probably a lot less likely to under- and over- shoot.

my good images with the AO are definitely better than without.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5744049 - 03/19/13 09:36 PM

Quote:

my good images with the AO are definitely better than without.




Were the ones without AO taken using OAG? With a mount like Mach1 you really should not need AO for that OTA to get tight round stars. Unless the OAG/calibration has some issue.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5744153 - 03/19/13 10:31 PM

Quote:

but i didn't really want to become a G11 mechanic.




I'm sorry but for me that is the line of the day. As a long time previous owner of one I think I qualified as "certified" (in more ways than one). Kidding aside I actually had good luck with mine but a AT10RC at F8 became too much for the old horse.

Sorry to get off topic,

John D


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: korborh]
      #5744169 - 03/19/13 10:38 PM

yes FW8G-STT OAG. the stars are pretty tight either way, but it just looks a tad better with the AO. i don't have FWHM measurements. i'm talking about 30 minute Ha exposures here.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5744255 - 03/19/13 11:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

but i didn't really want to become a G11 mechanic.




I'm sorry but for me that is the line of the day. As a long time previous owner of one I think I qualified as "certified" (in more ways than one). Kidding aside I actually had good luck with mine but a AT10RC at F8 became too much for the old horse.

Sorry to get off topic,

John D




we aim to please (so please aim)

actually now that i have another mount i feel less worried about working on the G11. i didn't want to be in a situation where i screwed up the worm alignment/position and then could not get it back... and then had no mount.

at some point i have to put it on the tripod and replace the worm (scott sent me a new one...)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5744301 - 03/20/13 01:11 AM

After all this interesting discussion, I took a good look at my last images with my Atlas and the FR on the C8 and I do not think there is much I can do to improve the guiding.. stars are nice and round. I think I need to take the FR off and see how well it guides without that distortion creating tool...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5754058 - 03/24/13 01:51 PM Attachment (50 downloads)

PS, have moved up (or down) to -30C and happy with results. I am still working on a lot of technical issues, but this is one 10m frame.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5778982 - 04/05/13 04:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

SBIG makes only Kodak. They invested lot of time and effort into learning how to handle these beasts. SONY is completely different level. They would have to invest significant amount of manpower costs, lot of time and really lot of money, to investigate how to use/handle signals of Sony chips. Also, Sony is a company hard to deal with, hard to do business with. Their chips are also very expensive so the margin/gain/net income from such cameras is low. On the other side, Kodak is, made in USA (tradition), you get complete and full documentation and maybe sometimes even support (though not perfect). So you get all this from Kodak, but the truth is, the chips are obsolete, nowadays... that's just how it is, the fact.




Atik seems to be well diversified in their chip offerings, I see no reason why SBIG shouldn’t or couldn’t? Given Kodak is getting old, I would say it will be well advised for SBIG to invest in and introduce Sony into the mix. I get it…; ‘Sony’ may be ‘tiny’, the chip that is, but the ‘tiny’ is newer at least and will make for a lighter/slimmer/cheaper/agile camera/s for SBIG among the long line-up of heavier/heftier/expensive Kodak cameras.


While 8300 may be the bread and butter of SBIG, my pet peeve is that it is pricey and heavy, especially if one factors in the filter wheel and other accessories. That’s NOT to say well tested and reputable 8300 has to go away; it can hold the fort for however long it can. I think time has come for relatively cheaper/lighter yet high performing cameras & even lighter filter wheels which could be sold in even larger quantities to reap bigger profits.


Talking of ‘tiny’ Sony, is there or will Sony make anything bigger than their highly touted ICX694? Shouldn’t Kodak be renewing their older looking chip line-up; maybe come up with a NEWER equivalent of ICX694 but in a larger size? Will they?


References:
Truesense Imaging (Kodak)...
EXview HAD CCD II (Sony)...


While we are on the subject, following is Atik diversity at a glance:

ICX=Sony
KA*=Kodak


EDIT: Old Atik chart removed...




With the release of Atik 490EX, a fresh look at the ATIK, encompassing KAF-8300; SONY remains 'tiny' with ICX814, regardless:





Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5849203 - 05/09/13 02:12 AM

Quote:

@jerryyyyy... They also have to worry about how what they do affects that crazy complex filter wheel.




There has been talk about 8300M driver issues and 'Self-Guiding Filter Wheel' concerns lately [in other, link1..., link2... and in this thread as well]. Was wondering if someone, possibly SBIG, could sum up what's going on especially in the context of their latest offering STT-8300M and 'FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel' as it relates to such issues and concerns; technical/driver level details will be appreciated as to where things stand. Thanks in advance. Regards

Edited by mmalik (05/09/13 02:18 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MattThomas
Vendor (SBIG)


Reged: 07/28/06

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5849849 - 05/09/13 11:30 AM

Quote:


There has been talk about 8300M driver issues and 'Self-Guiding Filter Wheel' concerns lately [in other, link1..., link2... and in this thread as well]. Was wondering if someone, possibly SBIG, could sum up what's going on especially in the context of their latest offering STT-8300M and 'FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel' as it relates to such issues and concerns; technical/driver level details will be appreciated as to where things stand. Thanks in advance. Regards




One of your links was not a driver issue - but turned out to be a software configuration issue with MaxIm.

We did upgrade to a new version of the Microsoft developer tools recently and this caused a lot of problems - but those are resolved now.

There was also a problem recently discovered with MaxIm/DL when using the AO with the STT. The problem was a result of MaxIm/DL terminating all of the exposures 0.2 to 0.5 seconds early. This caused a problem in the camera firmware that resulted in a black bar on the top of the image. This has been fixed via a firmware update - although until MaxIm releases an update the exposures will still be terminated early by an indeterminate amount of time.

I hope this helps.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #5850800 - 05/09/13 07:49 PM

Thanks Matt!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SubJimbo
newbie


Reged: 05/15/13

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5870775 - 05/19/13 05:07 AM

Hey guys!

Long time reader, first time poster.

I need some advice. I have been reading extensively about a CCD for my setup.

I have a CGEM Mount with 11" OTA and an Orion 80mm Guidescope. I also have a NexGuide Autoguider (which I will sell, its not very good @ my sky site at all, I want something to connect to my laptop.)

I love the look & review on the SX Lodestar, but then I am looking at the self guiding filter wheel on the STT-8300 package...

Because of the 2800mm FL of my scope, would I be better off the with the Guiding filter wheel, or another guider to use my 80mm scope with?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: SubJimbo]
      #5871608 - 05/19/13 02:24 PM

imho you're going to be a lot happier with an OAG if you're running 2800mm. if you can't eliminate all your sources of flexure you're going to be pretty frustrated with the external guidescope.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5872410 - 05/19/13 08:34 PM

I have the OAG/filter wheel combo and it is a piece of cake to guide... up to 2032mm with my 8" C8. OAG comes off before the filters. Works fine with Maxim.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #6085297 - 09/17/13 05:27 AM

Like many others I have been facing the dilemma of SBIG KAF-8300 vs. ATIK ICX694. Some questions I have regarding ATIK 460EX are, a) if one were to adapt 460EX without filter wheel to a 2" focuser system, what kind of adapter/nose piece would be needed, b) what size & type (mounted/un-mounted) narrowband filters 460EX accepts if one were using it without a filter wheel. Some pics to go along with answers will be greatly appreciated. Thx

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M & STT-8300M new [Re: MattThomas]
      #6297245 - 01/06/14 11:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

SBIG makes only Kodak. They invested lot of time and effort into learning how to handle these beasts. SONY is completely different level. They would have to invest significant amount of manpower costs, lot of time and really lot of money, to investigate how to use/handle signals of Sony chips. Also, Sony is a company hard to deal with, hard to do business with. Their chips are also very expensive so the margin/gain/net income from such cameras is low. On the other side, Kodak is, made in USA (tradition), you get complete and full documentation and maybe sometimes even support (though not perfect). So you get all this from Kodak, but the truth is, the chips are obsolete, nowadays... that's just how it is, the fact.




Atik seems to be well diversified in their chip offerings, I see no reason why SBIG shouldn’t or couldn’t? Given Kodak is getting old, I would say it will be well advised for SBIG to invest in and introduce Sony into the mix. I get it…; ‘Sony’ may be ‘tiny’, the chip that is, but the ‘tiny’ is newer at least and will make for a lighter/slimmer/cheaper/agile camera/s for SBIG among the long line-up of heavier/heftier/expensive Kodak cameras.


While 8300 may be the bread and butter of SBIG, my pet peeve is that it is pricey and heavy, especially if one factors in the filter wheel and other accessories. That’s NOT to say well tested and reputable 8300 has to go away; it can hold the fort for however long it can. I think time has come for relatively cheaper/lighter yet high performing cameras & even lighter filter wheels which could be sold in even larger quantities to reap bigger profits.




This is more of a question for Matt; with QSI... coming out with SONY chips [QSI 628 (ICX 674)/QSI 660 (ICX 694)/QSI 690 (ICX 814)] was wondering if SBIG would consider adding such SONY chips to the lineup? Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | (show all)


Extra information
17 registered and 13 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Oldfield, droid, bilgebay, WOBentley, dr.who 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 9606

Jump to

CN Forums Home




Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics