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Advice on CCD purchase -- I know a can of worms

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#26 fetoma

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 12:44 PM

How about this→ https://astromart.co...r-wheel-and-oag



#27 dhaval

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 12:58 PM

There are used Astrel cameras on sale at OPT. They have been there for months. Not sure if that's a good thing or a warning.

 

 

Rgrds-Ross

I did actually ask Astrel about it - the scoop on that is that they have filters that are 27mm (non-standard size). The filters were specifically made by Astronomiks for Astrel, but because they are non-standard size, they have had issues selling them. Not to mention, the listed cameras are KAF8300 chip cameras - I think most manufacturers are having issues selling those cameras these days.

 

Having said that, Astrel cameras are mostly used in scientific research and university class observatories. More so in Europe than in the US. I did not know this, but they have been in business 10 years or so. I am sure their products are good, just that they haven't been selling to consumers a whole lot - certainly not in the US.

 

NB - I am not representing them in any way, just clarifying what I have learnt in speaking with them.

CS!



#28 rathijit

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:11 PM

I don't have any personal experience with this camera, but I've been eyeing it because it's got a 22mm diagonal sensor and all the features of a good CCD camera. Not sure if there is anyone here who can vouch for it. It uses the KAF-8300 sensor, so it might have the issues others have stated in this thread:

QSI 683wsg-8 Cooled Monochrome CCD Camera with Internal 8-Position Color Filter Wheel - 683WSG8


Edited by rathijit, 23 August 2019 - 07:12 PM.


#29 Alekai

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:49 PM

I did actually ask Astrel about it - the scoop on that is that they have filters that are 27mm (non-standard size). The filters were specifically made by Astronomiks for Astrel, but because they are non-standard size, they have had issues selling them. Not to mention, the listed cameras are KAF8300 chip cameras - I think most manufacturers are having issues selling those cameras these days.

 

Having said that, Astrel cameras are mostly used in scientific research and university class observatories. More so in Europe than in the US. I did not know this, but they have been in business 10 years or so. I am sure their products are good, just that they haven't been selling to consumers a whole lot - certainly not in the US.

 

NB - I am not representing them in any way, just clarifying what I have learnt in speaking with them.

CS!

Hi Dhaval,

just to point out that Astrel Instruments KAF8300 chip cameras can mount any 1,25" filters (you need to unmount them). We mounted cameras with Astronomik, Optolong, Baader, Chroma and Astrodon. Astronomik decided to develop a 27mm unmounted custom series specifically for our cameras.

Bye,

 

Andrea



#30 Alekai

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:51 PM

I don't have any personal experience with this camera, but I've been eyeing it because it's got a 22mm diagonal sensor and all the features of a good CCD camera. Not sure if there is anyone here who can vouch for it. It uses the KAF-8300 sensor, so it might have the issues others have stated in this thread:

QSI 683wsg-8 Cooled Monochrome CCD Camera with Internal 8-Position Color Filter Wheel - 683WSG8

 Hi Rathi,

I can't find the thread you mentioned: which issues are you speaking about? I can help and clarify any doubt.

Bye,

 

Andrea



#31 rathijit

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 01:30 AM

Hi Rathi,
I can't find the thread you mentioned: which issues are you speaking about? I can help and clarify any doubt.
Bye,

Andrea


Hi Andrea,

I was referring to the issues mentioned above. One example is quoted below.

-Rathi.

$4k is a tough target. You can go for the KAF-8300, which meets your pixel size spec but will suffer from high read-noise (see the other thread on the front page). At f10 it will not be easy to collect enough photons on this sensor and you better have a sturdy mount and steady skies.



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#32 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:59 AM

 Hi Rathi,

I can't find the thread you mentioned: which issues are you speaking about? I can help and clarify any doubt.

Bye,

 

Andrea

The 8300 is old technology, with high read noise compared to most (particularly CMOS) and high thermal noise compared to recent Sony chips.

 

This is not to say it's a bad camera, just that these days most imagers would make another choice.  Which is why you can pick up a used 8300 cheap, and make good images with it.  <smile>


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#33 Alekai

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:15 AM

The big problem with integrating cameras and accessories is, when you want to change one thing (and you will) you would have to change out the others.  No, thanks.

The AST16200B can use 36mm filters with the KAF-16200 sensor only because the (integrated) filter wheel is just a few millimeters from the sensor. An external will could work only with 2" filters.

The same apply also for the AST8300 cameras, where you can use 1,25" filters without vignetting.

 

Andrea



#34 Alekai

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:40 AM

Hi Andrea,

I was referring to the issues mentioned above. One example is quoted below.

-Rathi.



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ok, if we're talking about readout noise impact, I do agree of course that narrowband will benefit from lower noise, but it mostly depend on the F/ ratio and mount capabilities: as other already said, as long as you can make exposures long enough, you will probably discover that there's little if any difference in the final result (pixel sampling considerations apart of course).

Budget wise, 4K$ is more in the KAF-16200 league, just a bit more including a set of entry level 36mm filters, while KAF-8300 with entry level filters is more in the 2,5K$

 

Andrea



#35 rathijit

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:01 AM

The AST16200B can use 36mm filters with the KAF-16200 sensor only because the (integrated) filter wheel is just a few millimeters from the sensor. An external will could work only with 2" filters.
The same apply also for the AST8300 cameras, where you can use 1,25" filters without vignetting.

Andrea


The AST16200B sounds like a really good option budget wise because I already own 36mm Astrodon filters, but when will ASCOM drivers be made available for it? How can I connect and use the camera with Sequence Generator Pro today without ASCOM?

#36 dhaval

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 01:47 PM

The AST16200B sounds like a really good option budget wise because I already own 36mm Astrodon filters, but when will ASCOM drivers be made available for it? How can I connect and use the camera with Sequence Generator Pro today without ASCOM?

ASCOM drivers are available now. They are based on their 8300 camera, so fairly mature I would imagine. 

 

CS! 


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#37 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 03:11 PM

Having read through this one more time, I can't find anyone who actually owns one of the Astrel cameras with a 16200 chip in it. I can see that there is perhaps some advantage in terms of filter size/pricing. Buying a camera based on recommendations from people who have never owned or even used it seems like a poor approach to me. There aren't even any drivers on the website for the camera which cannot be a good sign. 

 

If I've learned one thing in this hobby it's to see what a device does if you can before buying it. If you can't, then at least ask people who own the device about how it works. There is basically nothing known about these cameras in terms of reliability, compatability and flexibility. 

 

There's no free lunch in astro-photography that I've ever found. We have a motto in our observatory "If it's not one thing, then it's another" when it comes to buying equipment.

Caveat emptor is an old expression. 


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#38 dhaval

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 05:09 PM

Having read through this one more time, I can't find anyone who actually owns one of the Astrel cameras with a 16200 chip in it. I can see that there is perhaps some advantage in terms of filter size/pricing. Buying a camera based on recommendations from people who have never owned or even used it seems like a poor approach to me. There aren't even any drivers on the website for the camera which cannot be a good sign. 

 

If I've learned one thing in this hobby it's to see what a device does if you can before buying it. If you can't, then at least ask people who own the device about how it works. There is basically nothing known about these cameras in terms of reliability, compatability and flexibility. 

 

There's no free lunch in astro-photography that I've ever found. We have a motto in our observatory "If it's not one thing, then it's another" when it comes to buying equipment.

Caveat emptor is an old expression. 

Ross, 

There are at least two people that I know that own the AST16200B (I will receive mine by the end of this month). Randall, who has been posting on this thread is the second owner. I have to admit, that these are fairly new cameras with a lot of unknowns, but from what I have seen, they seem to be doing a decent job. Are they like a FLI? I highly doubt it. But I am also not paying $8K for the camera+FW. Are they like QHY16200, from what I have seen so far, they absolutely are a solid competitor (with the caveat that I need to use a separate OAG). The filter cost is obviously the differentiator with the capability to use 36mm filters on the AST. 

 

Obviously, this hobby allows for various options like you state and that is a good thing. We live in an exceptional time to pursue this hobby.

 

CS! 



#39 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:45 PM

If there's someone named Randall posting here, it's not very obvious. So, if they are hiding as "fetoma" or "rajith", then that's my mistake. At the same time, my point is that I think that the OP would like to hear from someone who's using it nightly. So, it would be much more interesting to hear from Randall directly about

 

-whether there's some point to all of complex circuitry in the 16200B and how useful the wifi is or not

-where they to get the drivers and do they work reliably (over wifi ?)

-where can they read an actual review?

-how limiting is it to have only 5 filter slots and how easy is to change carousels?

-can you use mounted filters or not - is there a depth limitation?

-any other issues they had setting the camera up - connecting it to the computer, the focuser, etc?. 

-in practice how often do you have to change the argon or vacuum the camera?

I could go on and on. I guess I'm just the odd man out on these forums thinking that recommending things requires the distribution of actual experience/information by owners and not just assertions of quality with little or no evidence. I take risks with my equipment and I don't start recommending my own unusual choices until I'm really convinced that I've found a winner. YMMV

 

Rgrds-Ross



#40 fetoma

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:28 AM

If there's someone named Randall posting here, it's not very obvious. So, if they are hiding as "fetoma" or "rajith", then that's my mistake. At the same time, my point is that I think that the OP would like to hear from someone who's using it nightly. So, it would be much more interesting to hear from Randall directly about

I'm not Randall, I'm Frank. wink.gif



#41 rgsalinger

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:43 AM

Fine,  Frank and not Randall - if you have one I want to hear about it as it sounds as if it's the cheapest 16200 camera out there and has some apparently cool features as well.

Rgrds-Ross




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