Moravian instruments, Inc., source: http://www.gxccd.com/cat?id=2&lang=409, printed: 23.10.2017 11:52:02

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CCD cameras for astronomy, microscopy and other low-light applications.

Moravian Instruments CCD cameras are designed with maximum image quality on mind, camera electronics ensure reading of the image with read noise limited by the CCD chip itself. Camera bodies are compact and robust, CNC manufactured from solid aluminum. G2, G3 and G4 series of cameras are powered from single unregulated 12VDC supply, G1 cameras are powered directly from the USB line. Embedded inside G2 and G3 cameras are mechanical shutter and filter wheel. These cameras can also cool the CCD detector up to 50C below ambient temperature.

Large format G4 CCD cameras

G4 cameras are capable to use large CCD detectors with 36נ36mm area, which is 50% more than the area of classical film frame. Precisely regulated cooling keeps the CCD on constant temperature, which allows quality image calibration. Cameras can be equipped also with liquid-coolant heat exchanger to cool down the hot side of Peltier TEC modules, beside the two magnetic levitating fans used in air cooled cameras.

There is a mechanical shutter inside the camera head, filter wheel for 50נ50mm square filters (round filters of 50mm 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.

Used CCD detectors are equipped with so-called “anti-blooming gate” (ABG), which drains the over-abundant charge from saturated pixels. ABG ensures the round images of bright stars, without disruptive blooming spikes. On the other side, compromising of the CCD linearity by ABG is only negligible. G4 cameras can be used for astrometric and photometric applications as well as for astrophotography.

Model Color mask ABG CCD chip Resolution Pixel size Image area
G4-9000 no >100 KAF-09000 3056נ3056 12נ12μm 36.7נ36.7mm
G4-16000 no >100 KAF-16803 4096נ4096 9נ9μm 36.9נ36.9mm

Universal cooled G3 CCD cameras

G3 cameras can be equipped with CCD detectors up to 24נ36mm. Precisely regulated and efficient cooling of the CCD more than 50C below ambient temperature allows quality image calibration. There are mechanical shutter and filter wheel with 5positions for 2 inch filters inside the camera head, so these cameras can be used in unattended, robotic setups.

CCD chips Kodak KAF with linear response to light are suitable for scientific applications. Large area of these detectors fits long focal length of big telescopes. Large pixels ensure high image dynamic range.

Astrophotographers appreciate Kodak KAI detectors with ABG and electronic shutters. Anti-blooming ensures round images of bright stars, which cannot be avoided especially on wide-field images. Electronic shutter then allows short exposure times, necessary e.g. for capturing of fast moving objects.

Model Color mask ABG CCD chip Resolution Pixel size Image area
G3-01000 no no KAF-1001E 1024נ1024 24נ24μm 24.6נ24.6mm
G3-16200 no 2800 KAF-16200 4540נ3640 6נ6μm 27.2נ21.8mm
G3-16200C RGBG (Bayer) 2800 KAF-16200 4540נ3640 6נ6μm 27.2נ21.8mm
G3-11000 no >1000 KAI-11002 4032נ2688 9נ9μm 36.3נ24.2mm
G3-11000C RGBG (Bayer) >1000 KAI-11002 4032נ2688 9נ9μm 36.3נ24.2mm

Universal cooled G2 CCD cameras

G2 cameras were designed for demanding scientific applications and for high-end astrophotography. Very high quantum efficiency (more than 85% in the case of G2-3200 camera) allows capturing of very faint objects. High quality electronics provides uniform images without artifacts and the read noise is limited by the CCD detectors themselves. Regulated cooling of CCD up to 50ºC below ambient temperature significantly reduces detector dark current. Cameras have integrated filter wheel with 5 positions for 1.25" filters in threated cells or with 6 positions for glass-only filters and mechanical shutter.

G2-0400, G2-1600 and G2-3200 cameras with non-ABG Kodak KAF CCD chips are suitable for scientific applications, requiring both high quantum efficiency and linear response to light.

G2-2000 and G2-4000 cameras with Kodak KAI CCD chips with ABG are suitable for astrophotography anti-blooming of KAI CCDs eliminates charge blooming when bright stars appear in the field of view.

G2-8300 camera with Kodak KAF CCD with ABG, also suitable for astrophotography, especially in combination with telescopes with smaller focal length due to small pixels and large resolution.

Model CCD Chip ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Imaging area
G2-0402 KAF-0402ME No None 768נ512 9נ9μm 6.9נ4.6mm
G2-1600 KAF-1603ME No None 1536נ1024 9נ9μm 13.8נ9.2mm
G2-3200 KAF-3200ME No None 2184נ1472 6.8נ6.8μm 14.9נ10mm
G2-8300 KAF8300 Monochrome >1000 None 3358נ2536 5.4נ5.4 μm 18.1נ13.7mm
G2-8300C KAF8300 Color >1000 Bayer RGBG 3358נ2536 5.4נ5.4 μm 18.1נ13.7mm
G2-2000 KAI-2020 Monochrome >300 None 1604נ1204 7.4נ7.4μm 11.9נ8.9mm
G2-2000C KAI-2020 Color >300 Bayer RGBG 1602נ1202 7.4נ7.4μm 11.9נ8.9mm
G2-4000 KAI-4022 Monochrome >300 None 2056נ2062 7.4נ7.4μm 15.2נ15.3mm
G2-4000C KAI-4022 Color >300 Bayer RGBG 2054נ2060 7.4נ7.4μm 15.2נ15.3mm

External Filter Wheels for G2, G3 and G4 CCD cameras

External Filter Wheels for G2, G3 and G4 CCD cameras offer more positions compared to internal filter wheels, embedded into camera head. External filter wheel is not connected to the host PC (with separate USB or serial cable) as well as to separate power supply. Only single short 8-wire cable connects the external filter wheel with the camera head. External and internal filter wheels are indistinguishable from the software point of view, same drivers are used to control them.

External filter wheels cannot be used together with internal ones. G2 andG3 cameras with internal filter wheel cannot be attached to external filter wheel the camera is manufactured either with internal filter wheel or with connectors and thinner front case for attaching of the external filter wheel. Because of the filter size there is no internal filter wheel for G4 series of CCD cameras, these cameras can be used only with external filter wheels.

Model Camera model Number of positions Filter dimensions
EFW-2XS-8 G2 8 D31mm, 1.25"
EFW-2XS-7 G2 7 D36mm
EFW-2S-12 G2 12 D31mm, 1.25"
EFW-2S-10 G2 10 D36mm
EFW-2S-7 G2 7 D50mm, 2"
EFW-3S-7 G3 7 D50mm, 2"
EFW-3L-9 G3 9 D50mm, 2"
EFW-3L-7 G3 7 50נ50mm
EFW-4M-7 G4 7 D50mm, 2"
EFW-4M-5 G4 5 50נ50mm
EFW-4L-9 G4 9 D50mm, 2"
EFW-4L-7 G4 7 50נ50mm

Guiding and imaging G0 and G1 CCD cameras

G0 and G1 CCD cameras are ideally suited for imaging of Moon, planets and bright deep-sky objects. High sensitivity, low noise, fast image download, electronic shutter and integrated “autoguider” port also allow G1 cameras to guide astronomical telescope mounts. Thank to their capability to integrate light can G0 and G1 cameras guide the mount also using dim stars, invisible for common TV and web cameras. Robust construction, small dimensions, easy manipulation and powerful software make G1 cameras ideally suited for beginning astrophotographers.

G0 and G1 cameras use Sony ICX CCD detectors with progressive read. All models are available in both monochrome and color versions.

Model CCD ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Chip area
G0-0300 ICX424AL yes none 656נ494 7.4נ7.4 μm 4.9נ3.7mm
G0-0300C ICX424AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 656נ494 7.4נ7.4 μm 4.9נ3.7mm
G0-0800 ICX204AL yes none 1032נ778 4.65נ4.65 μm 4.8נ3.6mm
G0-0800C ICX204AK yes RGBG (Bayer) 1032נ778 4.65נ4.65 μm 4.8נ3.6mm
G0-2000 ICX274AL yes none 1628נ1236 4.4נ4.4 μm 7.2נ5.4mm
G0-2000C ICX274AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 1628נ1236 4.4נ4.4 μm 7.2נ5.4mm

Model CCD ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Chip area
G1-0300 ICX424AL yes none 656נ494 7.4נ7.4 μm 4.9נ3.7mm
G1-0300C ICX424AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 656נ494 7.4נ7.4 μm 4.9נ3.7mm
G1-0301 ICX414AL yes none 656נ494 9.9נ9.9 μm 6.5נ4.9mm
G1-0301C ICX414AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 656נ494 9.9נ9.9 μm 6.5נ4.9mm
G1-0800 ICX204AL yes none 1032נ778 4.65נ4.65 μm 4.8נ3.6mm
G1-0800C ICX204AK yes RGBG (Bayer) 1032נ778 4.65נ4.65 μm 4.8נ3.6mm
G1-1200 ICX445ALA yes none 1296נ966 3.75נ3.75 μm 4.9נ3.6mm
G1-1200C ICX445AQA yes RGBG (Bayer) 1296נ966 3.75נ3.75 μm 4.9נ3.6mm
G1-1400 ICX285AL yes none 1392נ1040 6.45נ6.45 μm 9.0נ6.7mm
G1-1400C ICX285AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 1392נ1040 6.45נ6.45 μm 9.0נ6.7mm
G1-2000 ICX274AL yes none 1628נ1236 4.4נ4.4 μm 7.2נ5.4mm
G1-2000C ICX274AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 1628נ1236 4.4נ4.4 μm 7.2נ5.4mm

Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter

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 up to four USB2.0 ports and allows connection of up to four Gx cameras at the same time (regardless of the specific series, cameras can be freely combined).

Model Supported cameras Ethernet interface USB 2.0 ports Power supply Dimensions
GxETHA G0 to G4 1Gbps, 10/100Mbps 4 12VDC 188נ184נ40mm
GxETHA Mini G0 to G4 1Gbps, 10/100Mbps 4 19VDC 128נ111נ50mm
GxETHA Micro G0 to G4 1Gbps, 10/100Mbps 4 12VDC 95נ83נ39mm

Off-Axis Guider

Off-axis Guider (OAG) adapters are designed to allow attachment of any guiding camera with 1.25" eyepiece nose, although the nose must be somewhat shorter to achieve focus. G0 cameras are designed to achieve focus with Gx OAG and a special shorter version of 1.25" nose with C-mount thread is available for all G1 cameras. Any camera with CS-mount (short version of C-mount standard) can use this adapter to be attached to all variants of OAG adapters.

Off-axis guider adapters for G2 cameras are equipped with standard M42נ0.75 (T-thread) or M48נ0.75 thread on the telescope side in a proper 55mm back focal distance. This means G2 camera with OAG can be used on numerous optical systems, including Newtonian coma-correctors, refractor field flatteners etc.

Model Supported cameras Filter wheels Back focal distance Front thread Guider camera port
OAG-2-TT G2 Internal, EFW-2S 55mm M42נ0.75 (T-thread) 1.25 "
OAG-2-M48 G2 Internal, EFW-2S 55mm M48נ0.75 1.25 "

Off-axis guider adapters for G3 and G4 cameras are equipped with M68נ1 thread on the telescope side in the distance 61.5mm from the detector. Two variants (for G3 cameras and for G4 cameras) differ in the mounting holes placement and also in the distance of the reflecting mirror from the optical axis.

Model Supported cameras Filter wheels Back focal distance Front thread Guider camera port
OAG-3-M68 G3 Internal, EFW-3S 61.5mm M68נ1 1.25 "
OAG-4-M68 G4 EFW-4M, EFW-4L 61.5mm M68נ1 1.25 "

Camera control and image processing software SIPS

SIPS (Simple Image Processing System) is a powerful software package for camera control and image processing.

  • Complete control of both imaging and guiding cameras, filter wheel handling and sequential exposures.

  • Image native format is FITS, export to PNG, JPG, TIFF, GIF formats, recording of AVI sequences.

  • Advanced automatic guiding with sub-pixel precision.

  • Simple as well as complex image calibration, handling of whole sets of images at once.

  • Automatic registration and stacking of images.

  • Image basic operations (adding, median, ...), advanced multi-pass debayer processing of images taken by color CCD detectors.

  • Astrometric image reduction.

  • Telescope mount, Dome and Focuser control.

  • ASCOM compatibility for 3rd party cameras, telescope mounts, dome controllers and focusers.

  • Data read from GPS receivers, synchronization of location and observing time.

  • and many more functions.

Scientific Image Processing System

SIPS software package is freely available for download from this www site.

Drivers for other software packages

Drivers for ASCOM standard as well as native drivers for third-party software are also available (e.g. TheSkyX, MaxIm DL, AstroArt, etc.). Visit the download page of this web site for current list of available drivers, please.

CCD cameras
Low-light CCD cameras for astronomy and microscopy
Software
Software supporting G2 CCD cameras with image processing and manipulation functions
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Software and documantation downloads