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Every photon counts...
Welcome to the Moravian Instruments web site devoted to CCD cameras for low light imaging in astronomy and microscopy.

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

G2-8300 camera on SkyWatcher BD 80ED + 0.85× flattener

Authors: Patrick Hochleitner and Dieter Beer

SIPS v3.5 released
 New SIPS version 3.5 contains numerous bug fixes and new features, inspired by strong feedback from users. New features are focused mostly to practical usage of SIPS for scientific data analysis and processing. Most important among bug fixes are the solution of the ASCOM platform compatibility problems, solved failures caused by bugs in used 3rd party video codecs etc. (more...)
Interfacing G3 and G4 cameras with 3" coma-correctors
 Fast Newtonian telescopes provide excellent price/performace ratio. They offer greatest aperture for the money, because their optical design if very simple, elegant and efficient. When a Newtonian telescope is build from high quality component (Pyrex mirrors, carbon tube, robust mirror holders and focuser, ...), they are hard to beat by any other optical design. The only problem remains — parabolic mirror creates perfect image on the optical axis only, aberration called coma distorts the image as the field of view increases. Fortunately advanced refracting correctors eliminate this aberration and help to make Newtonian the perfect wide-field instrument. (more...)
Gx CCD cameras now available with a slight touch of color
 It is always encouraging when we realize that our users love their Gx cameras, that they are not only satisfied with their state-of-the-art performance and functionality, but they also appreciate the industrial design and manufacturing quality. Still, many users, in particular among the amateur astronomer's community, appreciate also the aesthetics of their equipment — color anodized parts of mounts, telescopes or focusers are good examples. Despite the camera head dimensions and shape are constrained by its features, we always took care to achieve the clean and functional design. Now we decided to offer variants of our G2, G3, and G4 cameras with a slight color touch to allow users to unify the camera appearance with the rest of their setup. (more...)
8-positions XS external filter wheel for G2 cameras
 The smallest XS variant of the external filter wheel for G2 cameras offers 7 positions for unmounted D36 mm filters. Because filters are further from the sensor in the case of external filter wheel compared to internal filter wheel, greater filter diameter allows usage of the G2-8300 camera with largest sensor within G2 series to be used with fast optics without vignetting. But other models of the G2 series contain smaller sensors and they can work D31 mm filters. A possibility to build a new variant of the XS external filter wheel for D31 mm filters occurred. Smaller filter diameter allows increasing of the number of filter positions from 7 to 8, despite the external filter wheel dimensions remain unchanged.. (more...)
Connect the Gx Camera through WiFi network
 The Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter allows connection of up to four Gx cameras of any type over an Ethernet. Because the communication is handled over the TCP/IP network, the distance between camera and the host PC is virtually unlimited. The Ethernet port of the adapter device can be attached to arbitrary WiFi bridge device to access attached cameras wirelessly. However, such solution needs another box (the Ethernet/WiFi bridge device) with another power supply etc. This is why the Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter firmware was extended with support for USB/WiFi interfaces. (more...)
TheSkyX for macOS driver for Gx cameras
 The Gx camera driver for TheSkyX was limited to the Windows version of this popular planetarium and camera control software package. The newly introduced driver extends the support also to Macintosh computers running macOS version 10.7 and newer. The driver for TheSkyX running under macOS supports USB camera as well as cameras connected through the Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter. (more...)
The Gx CCD camera drivers for INDILIB
 Standardized software interfaces bring the possibility to use various devices in many programs, providing device manufactures as well as software developers implement particular standard. ASCOM standard for CCD cameras and other astronomy equipment is widely used within the Windows operating system, while a new INDILIB initiative stars to appear as emerging standard in the world of Linux-based operating systems. Libraries and drivers supporting this standard are now available for all CCD cameras of the Gx series, connected through both USB and Ethernet. (more...)
Meet the new G3-16200 camera (UPDATED)
 We are proud our company could provide feedback when OnSemi designed the new KAF-16200 CCD sensor. What is so special about this CCD? Simply put, it is designed to be the best possible sensor for vast majority of astrophotographers and astro-imaging enthusiasts around the world. While there are even greater detectors available, like KAF-16803 in the G4-16000 camera, such huge sensors require at last 3" focusers and field correctors to cover them with good quality image. As opposite, KAF-16200 in the newly introduced G3-16200 camera fits within the field of view of typical 2" focusers and optical correctors, used on absolute majority of amateur scopes. And at the same time it leaves almost no field of view area uncovered, so it allows capturing of really stunning wide field images. In association with great 16MPx resolution and 6μm pixels, low read noise and dark current, above average sensitivity and especially uniform and clean field of view, G3-16200 is an ultimate imaging camera for majority of amateur telescopes. (more...)
Enhanced cooling models of G3 and G4 cameras
 Dark current, injecting electrons into CCD pixels regardless if the sensor is illuminated or not, is the most important source of the unwanted signal. As the dark current is caused by random processes, it exponentially depends of the sensor temperature — typically the dark current is halved with temperature drop by every 5 or 7 degrees Celsius, depending on the particular sensor. While dark current can be to some extend removed from images during calibration (subtraction of the so-called “dark frame”), the random portion of the signal always remains in the image. This is why the CCD sensors in cameras intended for very low light imaging (and thus allowing for many minutes long exposures) are always cooled. Despite the inherent dark current of the OnSemi detectors, used in the Gx series of CCD cameras, is relatively small, sometimes the camera is used in hot environments and more effective cooling is required to lower the dark current. (more...)
Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter — Standard, Mini and Micro versions
 Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter allows connection of Gx series cameras (models G0 to G4) to the control computer using Ethernet interface and TCP/IP protocol stack (this means over Local or Wide Area Networks). Single Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter contains four USB 2.0 ports and allows connection of up to four Gx cameras at the same time (regardless of the specific series, cameras can be freely combined). (more...)
What can 64 bit operating system do and which driver versions to choose?
 “64 bits” is a new marketing buzz-word in the world of mobile phones and tablets, but it is rather common in the world of Personal Computers. Despite the 64 bit systems are available for many years, especially recently number of newly installed 32 bit systems sharply declines and 64 bit systems dominate. Surprisingly, general understanding what does it mean is very low and particularly baffling is the fact, that 64 bit operating system is (fortunately) perfectly capable to run 32 bit applications. The answer to the question which driver version (32 bit or 64 bit) to install requires understanding of a few concepts. (more...)
G2-0402, G2-1600, G2-3200, G2-8300, G2-2000 and G2-4000 CCD Cameras
 G2 series of small format CCD cameras uses high sensitive, low noise OnSemi Full-Frame and Interline-Transfer CCD detectors. While high-speed USB 2.0 interface allows plug-and-play operation and ensures download time within a few seconds, optional Ethernet interface provides camera connection to practically unlimited distance. Advanced analog electronics ensures uniform frames without artifacts and very low read noise. Efficient, regulated two-stage Peltier cooling keeps detectors frozen to minimize dark current. Compact and robust camera head integrates all electronics, mechanical shutter and optional internal filter wheel. Various threaded and bayonet adapters enable attaching of the camera to almost any optical system and numerous accessories like autoguiding cameras, off-axis guider adapters, external filter wheel etc. allow tailoring of the imaging system to almost every application. (more...)
External filter wheels for Gx CCD cameras
 The ability to capture individual exposures through various filters is one of the key features of the cooled CCD cameras, regardless if being used for scientific research or for astronomical photography. This is why the Gx CCD cameras were designed to include the filter wheel inside the camera head and to integrate filter wheel control into camera control from the beginning. When more than 5 or 6 filters are necessary or the filter wheel has to be used with G4 camera, the filter wheel is too large to be placed inside the camera head. External filter wheel is then the only option. (more...)
Off-Axis Guider adapter for G2 CCD cameras
 Guiding of telescope mount is a necessity for really long exposures even if a high-quality mount is used and mass produced “cheap” mounts require guiding even for short exposures. Guiding camera repeatedly images a selected star or a star pattern. Computer calculates differences in measured position and performs slight corrections to the mount to compensate for mechanical irregularities and other factors, e.g. refraction. Guiding camera can be attached to separate guiding telescope or off-axis guider can be used to feed the guiding camera with the light gathered by the main telescope, used for imaging. If the guider camera uses the same optics as the main imaging camera, it is crucially important to divert the light for it before the light reaches the filters. Numerous filter has so low light transmission (e.g. photometric B or UV filters, narrow-band filters etc.), that they effectively disable guiding with the exception of a very few very bright stars. (more...)
Back focal distances of Gx cameras
 Gx CCD cameras are available in many variants. There are small guiding and planetary G0 and G1 cameras, cooled G2 series, large format G3 and G4 series. G2, G3 and G4 cameras are provided without filter wheel and with internal or external filter wheel. These variants have different mechanical dimensions and naturally offer different back focal distance. (more...)
Large format G4-9000 and G4-16000 cooled CCD cameras
 Cooled CCD cameras of G4 series contain detectors with 36 × 36 mm area, which is 50% more than photographic “full-frame” format. G4 camera dimensions are the same like dimensions of G3 series, with the exception of camera head thickness — G4 cameras are somewhat slimmer, because they do not contain internal filter wheel. Also camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB 2.0 interface is the same like in the case of G3 cameras. Filter wheel for 50 × 50 mm square filters (round filters of 50 mm diameter cause vignetting on such large CCD chips) cannot be placed inside the camera head due to limited space. But it is possible to connect external filter wheel for 5 large filters to the G4 camera, the camera head already contains connector for external filter wheel control. (more...)
G3-11000, G3-16200 and G3-1000 CCD Cameras
 Large format CCD cameras of the G3 series are designed for up to 24x36 mm (photographic “full-frame” format) CCD detectors. G3 series inherits from G2 cameras — camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB interface is the same. Design of both series is very similar and although G3 camera head is naturally bigger, it contains all mechanics and electronics and offers only power and USB connectors. As like in the case of G2 cameras, G3 head contains mechanical shutter and integrated filter wheel for five 2-inch filters. Read noise is also limited only by CCD itself so G3 series surpasses competing products. Precisely regulated cooling achieves detector temperatures 45°C below ambient temperature even if the G3 CCDs are bigger and thermal leakage is naturally higher. (more...)
Moravian Instruments is now ISO9001 certified company
 Moravian Instruments quality management system successfully passed the certification, which confirmed that it complies to ISO9001:2001 standards. (more...)
G0 and G1series of imaging/guiding cameras
 The G0 and G1 series of CCD cameras is based on Sony ICX CCD detectors. Cameras are powered from the USB so they are connected to the PC with only single cable. Standard “Autoguider” port allows the camera to directly control telescope mount. G0 cameras are similar to ordinary 1.25" eyepiece. G1 camera head is somewhat bigger, because it contains cooling fan, which significantly reduces CCD dark current. G1 cameras are also equipped with standard CS-thread adapter, so they are compatible with various CCTV lenses, microscopes and other devices. (more...)
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