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New 'Combo' packs at a discounted price. We are offering combination packs of either Trius 674, 694 or 814 cameras with a 'mini' filter wheel and a Lodestar guider, at a discounted price. The mini wheel is effectively free! Please contact our dealers for pricing.
CCDSoft camera plug-in updated. Adds H694, H814 etc.
New Mac software for most SX cameras (thanks to Simon Taylor!): http://coreastro.org/downloads/sx-io.php
Latest CCDPlugSXUniversal.dll+sxusbcam.dll for Maxim adds new 694, 814 and Superstar cameras to the list. Unzip and replace these files inside the Maxim folder. Note - you must remove the older versions, renaming is not sufficient.
New 'INDI' SX camera drivers from 'CloudMakers' http://www.cloudmakers.eu/indi
New 'Trius' camera series launch
We have now released our latest series of high performance cooled cameras - the 'Trius' range. These cameras replace the previous 'SXVR' versions and add extra features to this popular design. The major change is the replacement of the 18 way port with three independent USB ports, via an internal hub chip. These sockets are intended to connect accessories, such as the SX Lodestar or filter wheel, directly through the camera and to bypass the multiple USB cables that were previously required. The Trius cameras are provided with three short 'mini B' to female 'A' leads to interface with standard USB leads and a short mini B to mini B lead for direct connection to a Lodestar, Superstar or Costar guider.
Other major changes include a low-noise linear cooling regulator with two-stage high efficiency Peltier cooler and a dry Argon filled CCD chamber for better thermal characteristics. Please visit our products pages for more details.
New lens option for Oculus:
An alternative F1.2 lens with a focal length of 2.5 mm, is now available. This lens makes better use of the CCD area available and increases the Oculus sensitivity and resolution, but does reduce the field of view slightly. If you have nearby obstructions that limit your sky field, or are not interested in the low altitude stars, this lens may be a better option than the 1.55 mm fisheye. The effective field is approximately 150 degrees in the long axis of the CCD. Please contact Starlight if you wish to change to this lens, or to have it as an accessory. (Latest Oculus is fitted with the f1.2 2.5mm lens as standard and the f2 1.55mm lens is available as an accessory).
New product release - Mini wheel with guider port
We are pleased to announce a new 5 position 'mini filter wheel' with integrated guider port. The mini wheel is only 150mm in diameter and can accept carousels with 1.25" threaded filters or 36mm unmounted filters. Front and back T2 thread adaptors are standard.
New product release - a 9.2 megapixel version of the H694 camera
The very popular H694 and H694C cameras now have an even higher resolution sister - the H814. This new version boasts 9.19 million pixels in a 12.5 x 10mm array. Each pixel is 3.69uM square. More details to follow soon.
New product release - the 'Oculus' All-sky camera
The Oculus is a 150 degree coverage all-sky camera module, based on a 'SuperStar' camera core. It offers a high quality, low noise image, for sky conditions monitoring and meteor watches etc. The Oculus is provided with a replaceable, scratch-resistant, polycarbonate viewing dome and a satin anodised aluminium body. The camera is USB powered, but an additional 12v anti-dew heater input is also provided. More data and images at the Oculus webpage.
Meteor near Orion (70% size)
New signed camera drivers for Windows 8 (and 7)
Windows 8 tries to enforce driver signing for connected hardware, so it can be difficult to set up the older unsigned camera drivers. We now have a complete signed driver installer on our Downloads page.
Starlight Xpress change of ownership.
On Tuesday, July 17th, the company Starlight Xpress Ltd was bought by the management and is now fully owned by Terry Platt, Michael Hattey, Gill Hattey and Richard Austin. The holding company is called SX Imaging Ltd, but Starlight Xpress Ltd will continue to trade with no change to its constitution. We believe that this will be a positive change and will result in a wider range of high quality imaging products being offered by our company. A link to the official announcement is given here.
Starlight Xpress is moving to new premises!
After 21 years at our old address, we have decided to move to a larger and more modern factory. The new address is just a couple of miles south of Foxley Green farm, at Unit 3 in the Brooklands business park, but offers 3 times the floor space and a more pleasant working environment. Please address any mail to our new address below.
Our new address is:
Starlight Xpress Ltd, Unit 3, Brooklands Farm, Bottle Lane, Binfield, Berks., RG42 5QX
Tel: +44 (0)1184026898
Exciting new Sony chip based cameras:
Four new Exview SXVR cameras were on show at AstroFest this year. The H674 and H674C are 2.83 megapixel versions of the H9 and H9C and the H694 / H694C are 6.1 megapixel versions with larger 15.9mm diagonal CCDs. Both mono cameras have an excellent QE of approx. 77% peak and are very sensitive at H-alpha (QE = 66% at 656nm). As usual, the legendary low dark signal of Sony chips eliminates the need for dark frames in most circumstances. These cameras are now released and are available to order from our distributors.
New ASCOM and 64bits drivers:
Version 1012 of the filter wheel ASCOM driver and control software (now updated for Ascom 6 and 64 bit Windows).
Version 1020 of the filter wheel firmware (Beta test to fix 64 bit start-up problem)
A full release version of the 64 bit camera driver with dual camera support and other improvements. (Version date March 2011)
New products releases:
A 1.4 megapixel guider, also well suited to high res. Lunar and Planetary imaging.
An ideal low cost colour imager for beginners and mobile users.
Here is a brief review of what will be coming during the next few months:
The SX Video camera
A highly sensitive cooled video speed CCD camera with 659 x 494 pixels. Up to 40 frames per second with 16 bits wide data output. This camera will be ideal for planetary imaging, but is also capable of being used for deep sky work by virtue of the built-in cooling.
The Sky Scanner clear sky detector
This is a compact, battery powered sky microradiometer with a UHF radio link to a receiver module. It detects the state of the sky by sensing the effective temperature of its field of view and relays the result to your indoor receiver. Four status LEDs indicate the sky transparency, from dense cloud to completely clear, and an audio alarm can be enabled if the sky clears unexpectedly, or if dense cloud covers a previously clear sky. With the 'Sky Scanner' in operation, you can relax in bed and be awakened only when those pesky clouds suddenly disappear!