Lodestar PRO Autoguider (Colour)
The Lodestar PRO C is a very compact imager / guider which is powered and operated via a single USB2.0 computer connection. It also provides an opto-isolated output connection for direct control of most mounts, via their ‘Autoguider’ sockets. This output is compatible with the ‘ST4’ style of RJ12 connection and supplies 4 ‘pull down’ direction lines and a common return. Alternatively, you may send the mount control signals via a serial connection from the guider control computer.
The Lodestar utilises a very sensitive Sony ‘ExView’ CCD (the ICX829AK) with an array of 752 x 580 pixels in a ‘half-inch’ format. Although the chip is not cooled, it has a very low dark signal and very little readout noise, so it can be used to guide on faint stars that are beyond the reach of webcams and CMOS chip based guide cameras.
Original Lodestar vs Lodestar PRO with 10 second exposure
- CCD type: ICX829AK Sony Exview interline CCD with low dark current and vertical anti-blooming.
- CCD Full resolution Pixel data: Pixel size: 8.6uM x 8.3uM, Image format: 752 x 580 pixels
- CCD Image area: 6.4mm (Horizontal) x 4.75mm (Vertical).
- Colour filter grid array: YMCG secondary colour filters.
- CCD quality: Grade 1
- Spectral Response: QE max at 620nM (~65%), 35% at 400nM and 770nM.
- Readout Noise: Less than 15 electrons RMS – typically only 10 electrons.
- Full-well capacity: Greater than 50,000 e- (unbinned)
- Anti-blooming: Overload margin greater than 1000x.
- Dark current: Dark frame saturation time greater than 1 hour. Less than 0.1 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient.
- Data format: 16 bits.
- System gain: 0.9 electrons per ADU
- Computer Interface: Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface.
- Image download time: Typically 0.2 seconds at full resolution using USB 2.0.
- Power requirements: USB powered.
- Cooling system: Ambient air cooling.
- Size: 32 x 72mm black anodised aluminium barrel with 25 x 0.75mm ‘C mount’ thread at the CCD window end & input/output plugs at rear.
- Weight: approx. 50g.
- Here is a rear view of the guider.