The Lodestar X2 autoguider / camera.
The Lodestar X2 is an upgraded version of the very popular Lodestar autoguider. The original Lodestar uses the ICX429 Exview chip from Sony and offers excellent sensitivity. However, Sony have now upgraded the ICX429 to the ICX829, with considerably improved QE and read noise. This new 'Exview 2' chip approximately doubles the Lodestar sensitivity and adds nearly a full star magnitude to the minimum guide star brightness. We have also redesigned the boards so that a standard RJ12 guide socket can be used. This will please many users who have found the small 'ZH' cable socket to be too delicate.
10 second exposure of M31 with original Lodestar
10 seconds with Lodestar X2