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Astrovid StellaCam 3 Video Camera with Cooled Thermal Management - Discontinued

Item # AV-STCA3-T

Quick Overview

  • The Astrovid StellaCam 3 is the best video camera for astronomy ever created, and it is now available Peltier cooled!
  • This cooled model is quite comparable to a conventional cooled CCD, with one important exception; you can now View live Images directly on LCD monitors and television screens.
  • The Astrovid Cooled StellaCam3 is three cameras in one...one camera can do it all - planetary, deep-sky and integrating video!
  • Unlimited exposure times, variable gain from 0dB - 38dB and no amplifier glow.
  • The Astrovid StellaCam3 With Cooling System includes 1.5AMP Power Supply), 1.25"-C Adapter, RCA-F Connector, 25' Video Cable, Instructions and One Year Warranty.

Astrovid StellaCam3 Video Imaging System with Cooled Thermal Management

The Astrovid StellaCam3 is now available as a cooled video camera system. The Cooled StellaCam3 represents the pinnacle of astronomical monochrome video imaging!

If you have been waiting for the best and most powerful video system ever created for astronomy, your wait is over! Never before has a cooled video camera of this quality, with unlimited exposure time, been offered to the astronomical community. The Night Sky is truly the limit. Faint objects unattainable in any other video system are now within your grasp. You will reach greater magnitudes and see more deep sky objects in greater detail with your current scope than you could have ever thought possible. You will be experiencing the universe in a whole new way. You will hunt down faint comets, galaxies, supernovae and asteroids never before possible, and all without a computer. You and your friends can enjoy fantastic view of the night sky on televisions and monitors. In addition to deep sky objects, superb planetary, lunar, and solar imaging can be performed.

The Astrovid StellaCam3 also produces some of the highest quality images attainable. In fact, the cooled StellaCam3 is quite comparable to a conventional cooled CCD, with one important exception; you can now View Live Images directly on LCD monitors and large screen televisions. Stars are nice and round. There are no annoying artifacts present. The dynamic range and signal to noise ratio surpasses all other cameras available. This means you will see more detail in your targets with the Astrovid StellaCam3 than any other video camera on the market.

Astrovide StellaCam 3

Every component of the cooled StellaCam3 was developed and implemented to give the best possible image. Don’t let the claims of hypered or high gain by some fool you? An increase in gain always increases the noise level in cameras. Some cameras have circuitry to reduce it but the laws of physics dictate that noise levels increase as gain increases. With the StellaCam3 the gain is fully controllable. That means you can easily adjust the gain to give the most pleasing image. The addition of cooling will also increase the signal to noise ratio (a good thing) and also decrease the thermal noise (another good thing). Faint detail that may be lost in noise caused by high gain or uncooled systems will now become apparent. With the cooled StellaCam3, you will see more detail than with any other video system available.

The cooling system was developed by CosmoLogic Systems Inc. This cooling system was formulated over a 1 year period. It has gone through an extensive periods of beta testing and camera trials. It was found to work perfectly. The cooling system uses a regulated single stage peltier cooler. This active cooling design includes a separate power on and timed power off to protect the CCD chip. The CosmoLogic active Cooling system is of much more complex design and implementation than other systems which may damage the CCD chip by formation of condensing water droplets on the CCD chip. Again, the CosmoLogic Systems cooling of the CCD represents the best possible solution for cooling a video camera. It was developed with much care and forethought. The cooling system allows the use of the StellaCam3 in warm climates.

About the Peltier Cooled Thermal Management System...

The Peltier Cooled Thermal Management System was designed to be as simple to use as possible. When you apply power to your camera the system automatically begins to monitor and control the temperature of your camera’s CCD sensor - just let it run. Normally the system will enter the “cool down” mode* at power up. This will be indicated by the flashing of the LED light at a “fast” rate of four times per second. In a warm ambient environment (>60 °F), it will typically take about 10 minutes for the CCD sensor will reach its “cooled state”. When this occurs, the LED will become constant “ON”. From this point on, the CCD temperature will automatically be regulated “steady” through out the night – even as the ambient temperature drops.

When you are finished with your observing session, simply press on the LED and release. This will place the cooling system into its “warm up” mode. The “warm up” mode will be indicated by the flashing of the LED light at a “slow” rate of once per second. After about 10 minutes the LED will turn “OFF”, indicating that the cooling system is no longer activated. You can now remove power from the camera and “pack it up” for the night. At any time while power is applied to your camera, you can monitor your CCD temperature along with other cooling system parameters by attaching the (optional) TMS Optical Data Cable between the LED on your camera and your computer’s data port.

Astrovid StellaCam3 Video Imaging System Features...

  • Live video viewing with no computer required.
  • Will outperform your entire eyepiece collection.
  • See farther, deeper and cleaner than ever before.
  • A Planetary, Lunar, Solar, and Deep Sky camera all in one.
  • Unlimited exposure times possible.
  • Faint Galaxy Clusters, Planetary Nebula, Reflection Nebulosity, and comets are easily imaged!
  • Unique Peltier Thermal Management Cooling System for artifact free images.

The Astrovid StellaCam3 video camera has excellent sensitivity to infrared radiation to approximately 1100nm. This increased sensitivity works to your advantage in capturing deep sky objects. If you have an achromatic telescope you may find that correcting the color correction of the telescope using a UV/IR blocking filter will improve star images. This camera is sensitive enough to use as a color imager. RGB dichroic filters have the highest transmission rates and offer the best solution for color imaging. The strength of the StellaCam3 lies in the fact that it is very low in noise, has a very evenly illuminated background, has excellent dynamic range, showing vast amounts of detail in the middle grayscale range. It also produces very pinpoint star images enable this camera to be used for astrometric and photometric work.

Astrovid Product Number: STCA3-T

Manufacturer Astrovid
Color or B&W? Monochrome (B&W)
Series Astrovid Stellacam
Warranty 1 Year Warranty
Filter Wheel No
  • Astrovid - StellaCam3 B&W CCD Video Integrating Imaging System [NTSC ] With Cooled Thermal Management System
  • 1.5AMP Power Supply
  • 1.25-inch-C Adapter
  • RCA-F Connector
  • 25ft Video Cable
  • Instructions

Product Questions

Is it possible to monitor the images live with an iPad ?
Is it possible to synchronize externally? Cheers

Customer Reviews

Stellacam 3 Performance Review by Ernie Rossi
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
I have had this camera from the beginning of the series around the beginning of 2007, and after about 2 years added the cooler and remote as soon as it became available. I am the president of a 55+ community and live in a light poluted area. It made my out reach program just amazing to show many people at one time each deep sky object on a monitor and explain exactly what they are seeing. The strength of the camera is the speed, and wonderful sharp detail that you see in longer exposure CCD images. The hand controller is extremely versatile and worth the extra money. Because of the short exposures you can get away with just an Altazmuth drive system, no equatorial drive system needed like you would need with a DSLR or CCD. Hickson or Abell clusters are no problem, even the horsehead nebula is visible in a 3 magnitude sky without any filter. In does have some hot pixals but not many. I had to return it for repairs twice and received it back in about a week. I've used the Stellacam 3 with Telescopes ranging from 3 to over 25. If you want to capture detail you can by buying a frame grabber and getting additional software, I have thousands of image that I've collected over the last 6 years. I also own many other cameras and overall this is one of my favorites. (Posted on 7/23/12)
Completely unreliable Review by bro
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
We've had this camera for about 2 years now and it has been nothing but trouble. It flakes out a lot, loses signal. The wireless hand controller corroded and we had to send it back. A few months later we're back to not receiving any signal. Both the Stellacam 2 and 3 get a lot of hot pixels after a moderate amount of use. Pretty expensive for moderate performance when it does decide to work. (Posted on 6/12/12)
Stellacam 3 Review by Ed
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Lets put it this way, I call it the little camera that can !
From my semi dark sky area, I can get stars and Galaxies down to 21st mag With my 12 inch Meade SCT.
That with a 7 second single shot with my Stellacam 3..
I take as many as 200 shots using this unit on really good nights.
One more point, I had a chord wrap problem one night and pulled the power cable from the Stellacam 3. Cosmologic Systems fixed it NO CHARGE !! From the day I returned it till I got it back was about 8 days .
Durability, Quality, and oh yes customer care, you cant beat this little camera that does it all ..
I have owned this camera now almost two years.
OPT is a great company to buy from . (Posted on 5/26/11)

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1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World

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