OpticStar PL-131M 1/2" Monochrome Planetary Video Camera
The PL-131M CoolAir fan-cooled camera offers exceptional performance and versatility easily outperforming cameras costing considerably more. The camera excels as a planetary (Solar and Lunar) camera with frame rates of up to 220fps. It is also ideal as a guider or for industrial inspection and microscopy applications. Gain, Region of Interest (ROI) and binning are all features implemented in the hardware to deliver exceptional performance.
The PL-131M camera has been designed to deliver high image quality at unusually high frame rates. The camera is capable of capturing an image even at a minimum 1ms exposure (10secs max in single shot mode) at all supported resolutions and with frame rates of up to 220fps. The PL-131M camera requires a fully featured, full speed USB2.0 port to take advantage of all the camera’s advanced features. Please refer to Hardware Requirements lower in the page for more information and advice.
ROI has been implemented in hardware and offers fast frame rates at the expense of field of view. Frame rates of up to 220 frames per second are possible. In addition the position of the ROI window can be set by the user via the supplied software and repositioned as required. As such considerable amounts of detail can captured at these extreme speeds. The size of single frames and video files are also greatly reduced resulting in singe frames and AVI video files of 1/4 and 1/16 in size without compromising image quality.
Binning is implemented in the camera hardware for improved performance and is useful when you need to increase the camera’s light sensitivity. Binning increases light sensitivity at the expense of resolution, the field of view remains the same in all binning modes. The camera uses the whole of the sensor surface to collect photons and outputs the image at different resolutions depending on the binning mode selected.
Gain is implemented in the camera hardware and is useful in amplifying the incoming signal. This feature is particularly useful when minimum exposure times and/or maximum signal levels are required. When imaging the Sun, Moon and planets atmospheric turbulence will have an adverse effect on the quality of the image. As such the best way to capture a high quality image of say a planet is by capturing hundreds or thousands of frames in succession and in the minimum amount of time possible. The resultant AVI video file can then be imported in say AstroArt or the freely available Registax where the image frames can be stacked by the software in a single final image of superior quality.
The PL-131M CoolAir camera requires a fully featured, full speed USB2.0 port to take advantage of all the camera’s advanced features. Fully featured USB2.0 ports are rare in older laptops and not always present in entry level laptops. PCMCIA/CardBus USB2.0 cards typically do not deliver full USB2.0 speeds and will not work with USB2.0 high resolution video cameras including the PL-131M CoolAir.
Optionally, the PL-131M COOLAIR incorporates a removable x0.5 focal reducer nosepiece that can double the field of view if required. An extension 5 metre USB lead with a USB repeater (amplifier) is also available in cases where the camera will be used further away from the computer. The camera comes with a C/CS ring and a 1.25" telescope adaptor threaded for filters. A C/CS to T-thread adaptor is available as an optional extra. The camera will accept standard C and CS mount lenses as well as T-thread lenses (with the optional adapter). The PL-131M COOLAIR can also be mounted on standard photographic tripods as it incorporates a 1/4" photographic female thread.
In addition to EMAMCAP, the camera is bundled with a number of software applications including Opticstar View, Nebulosity Lite and PHD Guiding. Also there are software plug-ins for third party applications such as AstroArt and MaxIm DL. The most appropriate software to use depends on the particular application. If maximum frame rates are required then the camera should be configured as a Windows DirectShow/WDM device. Alternatively, if maximum light sensitivity is desired then it should be used in native mode. The PL-131M COOLAIR is supported natively in Nebulosity, PHD Guiding, AstroArt and MaxIm DL. The camera can also be used as DirectShow/WDM video camera in EMAMCAP.
OpticStar PL-131M 1/2" Monochrome CCD Camera Features
- Sensor: 1/2" CMOS 10-bit monochrome
- Robust aluminium alloy body
- Air-Cooled with internal fan
- Hardware Region of Interest (ROI)
- Sensor Resolution: 1280(H) x 1024(V)
- No Infra Red filter
- Suitable for Planetary imaging or Auto-Guiding
Optic Star Product Number: PL -131M
- Additional Information
SKU ONA-PL-131M Manufacturer OpticStar Color or B&W? Monochrome (B&W) Sensor Type CMOS Series OpticStar PL Warranty 1 Year Warranty # of Sensors Single Sensor Filter Wheel No
- Included Items
- OpticStar PL-131M Planetary Video Camera
- CS-mount to 1.25" telescope adapter
- USB 2.0 cable
- Printed set-up guide
- Software bundle
- Questions & Answers
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- Support / Downloads