SBIG STT Series CCD Cameras
No compromises. The mid-sized STT Series cameras offer features and specifications found in no other astro camera - of any size. Drawing on all of SBIG's previous experience and the best of each of their previous designs over the years, the STT represents the culmination of everything that the amateur has asked for in an imaging system, packed into a 4.9 x 4.9 x 2.9 inch body. Standard features include: Two-stage cooling with a temperature delta greater than -50C with air only; water cooling ready; USB 2.0 and Ethernet on every camera; full frame buffer; fast low-noise readout of an 8.3Mp CCD in less than one second; MAR coated sapphire chamber window; internal user selectable automatic image processing; self-guiding in front of filters; remote guide head support; optional adaptive optics; and more.
SBIG STT Series CCD Camera Features...
Micron-Precision Filter Wheel/ Guider
- Ethernet and USB 2.0
- Built-in Web Server
- Full Frame Image Buffer
- 2-Stage TE Cooling > -50C delta T with air
- Liquid Cooling Capability Standard for greater cooling
- Twin Variable Speed Fans
- High Accuracy Temperature Control
- Built-in Frost Detection
- Built-in RBI Pre-flash
- External Triggers In / Out
- Power Management System
- 12VDC Operation
- Lowest Noise 10Mhz Readout (<1 sec download)
- High Precision 8-position Filter Wheel Option
- Even-illumination (photometric) shutter
- Multi-coated Sapphire Chamber Window
- User Rechargeable Desiccant Plug
- User Selectable Internal Image Processing
- Status, Power and Relay Indicators
- Windows and Mac Control Software, 32 and 64 bit
A new filter wheel design for the STT series sets it apart from other designs. The carousel holds eight 36mm filters and inserts are available for 1.25" filters. Two new unique features make this an imager's delight: First, the design incorporates a self-guiding CCD in the filter wheel cover so that light from the guide star is captured before passing through the filters. An optional filter wheel cover is available for wide angle imaging with Nikon or Canon 35mm camera lenses, or for anyone who does not need or want the built-in self-guiding. Full sets of 36mm LRGB and Narrowband filters by Astrodon, Baader Planetarium and Astronomik are available for unvignetted imaging at any f/ratio. The second unique feature of the STT filter wheel is a positive centering mechanism that precisely re-positions and firmly holds filters in exactly the same position over the CCD every time, regardless of a loss of power or intervening movement of the filter wheel.
In SBIG's tests of the new design, using an STT-8300, the re-positioning of the filters was accurate to better than 5.4 microns after several complete rotations of the filter carousel. This degree of precision means that flat fields taken after the filter has moved and returned are accurate to a single pixels.
A mechanical shutter is included to facilitate dark frames. This is a necessity for anyone operating remotely; even if remotely means a few feet away from the telescope. Since the early days of the original ST-7 camera, SBIG has been providing even-illumination shutters in their cameras, something not found in the majority of other cameras made for astrophotography. "Even-illumination" means that the shutter mechanism is designed to open and close in such a manner that it does not change the proportion of light falling on the sensor due to the shape or motion of the shutter itself. This is what one finds for instance with an iris type of shutter that opens-up starting at the center and closes over the center last. Another benefit of the rotating disk type of shutter is that it has only one moving part - the motor. These motors are extremely reliable and can operate for millions of exposures without failure. In 15 years with thousands of cameras in the field taking millions of exposures, this shutter design has proven itself better than we can describe. SBIG's design is accurate, proven and reliable. Even-illumination shutters are also referred to as photometric shutters because they produce flat frames of photometric quality. This is extremely important when taking twilight flats or any flat field image using short exposure times.
User Selectable Internal Image Processing
The STT cameras are the first astro-cameras available with the ability to automatically clean up raw images with user-selectable automatic image processing! By selecting the level of hot pixel removal or even column repair, the user can obtain exceptionally clean images without any other image processing required.
Efficient 2-Stage TE Cooling
The STT uses two-stage TE cooling, twin variable-speed fans and a highly efficient pin fin array heat sink that has proven itself in the STX design. Pin fin heat sinks are more expensive than typical parallel fin type heat sinks, but offer more efficient heat dissipation in a given space. In SBIG's tests of prototype models, the cameras reached an average delta greater than -50C in five minutes and an average maximum delta of -57C in less than 10 minutes using air cooling only. And, while is should not be necessary to use water cooling in most circumstances, if it should be desired, the STT series cameras include water cooling capability as standard equipment. It is not necessary to buy an expensive add-on or separate back. Simply supply water to the adjustable fixtures on the side of the camera body to obtain further cooling or to run the TE cooler without the fans.