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Richie's Blog


Update on the SXVR-H18
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Saturday, 17 July 2010 21:13

I've recent acquired a new CCD camera.  Things are going well with it, and over the coming months you'll start to see alot more output from the H18.  You can find out more about the SXVR-H18 at the Starlight Xpress website: http://www.starlight-xpress.co.uk/products_files/SXVR-H18/SXVR-H18.htm

So whats it like?  For the techs out there, its a Kodak KAF8300 chip based camera.  8.3 mega-pixels, 3346x2504, monochrome CCD in an array size of 17.96 x 13.52mm.  The pixels are 5.4uM in size.  It has a peltier cooler and internal fan.  It also allows the temperature of the device to be specified, which is a good thing as this chip is rather noisy.  Luckily, dark frames deal with this problem very well, and the temperature setting means only one or two sets of darks are needed.

For the non-techs out there, it rocks :)  Read on to find out more!

 
First Light with the SXVR-H18
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Friday, 25 June 2010 20:01

Crescent Nebula - Taken with the SXVR-H18

Just got my hands on a new toy to play with.  The Starlight Xpress SXVR-H18 is one of the new generation of camera using the Kodak KAF 8300 chip.  Its a bit noisier than the H9, but has 8 times the number of pixels in double the area.  Oh, and a shutter :)

First light was the other night - the Crescent Nebula was the target.  I captured 16x300 second Ha subs and 10xOiii subs.

You can view the full image here

 

 

 

 
Testing a Vixen VC200L
Friday, 21 May 2010 20:47

I've been testing a Vixen VC200L recently for a review.  Vixen Opticron have been very supportive, and have helped me immensely by providing just the right kit to hookup my SXV-H9 to the Vixen.

I am also using a focal reducer, which reduces the scope from its native F/9 to F/6.3.  With this setup, the scope is performing very well, and giving well resolved and crisp images.

I did have a bit of a problem initially with Polar Misalignment, which caused star trailing over long sub-exposures.  Anything over 5 minutes was giving nasty trailing, which made things rather challenging!  I've now solved the problem by drift aligning the mount with WCS, and am able to run 20 minute subs.  I think the drift alignment could definitely be improved, but that will have to wait until after I've done the Observatory roof!

Here is a recent shot taken at the beginning of the month over 3 nights of Messier 51 the Whirlpool Galaxy.  You can see the full sized version, with the image capture details here

 
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