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Price:  £755.00Starlight Xpress Oculus all-sky camera

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Model:  sx-oculus-all-sky-cam-150
Brand:  Starlight Xpress

Starlight Xpress

Oculus is the latest introduction to the innovative portfolio of Starlight Xpress products.

The Oculus uses a SuperHAD CCD from Sony which has all of the wonderful benefits of an interline Sony CCD, such as incredibly low thermal noise and very fast electronic shutter (no need for mechanical shutters). With exceedingly low noise electronics and a fast f/1.2 approximately 150 degree fisheye lens, capturing the night sky is an absolute dream.

The Oculus is USB powered and driven but does require a 12dc input to drive the built in anti-dew heaters. The software supplied allows you to capture a series of exposures and add them together to create a dramatic avi movie of the night sky.

This is the perfect camera for imaging meteor showers, viewing the weather conditions at a remote observatory and imaging the night sky in a spectacular way.

Also available is an optional f/2, 1.55mm lens 180° lens.
 

FEATURES


Efficient Lens System
 

The lens used in the Oculus is a high quality, multicoated fisheye lens with either a 150 or 180 degree field of view. With a very low F/1.2 for the 150° or F/2 for the 180° lens focal ratio, the light gathering capacity of this small lens is excellent and imaging the night sky is very simple.



Weatherproofing
 

Permanently mounting electronic equipment outside in all weathers is always a concern. With the Oculus, great care has been taken during the design process to greatly reduce weather effects on the camera. Four drain holes have been machined into the outer flange at the base of the dome, allowing water to simply run off the dome and down the outside of the housing. The housing has a beautiful bead blasted, clear anodised finished which is hardwearing and looks stunning. No coloured dyes to fade in the sun.


Dome Construction
 

The dome is a quality, highly polished polycarbonate 3” casting with the lens positioned at the optimum point in the dome to ensure there is no distortion in the star field.




Mounting & Rear Panel
 

The Oculus comes with a right angled aluminum tripod bracket to secure it to the side of your dome or building. This has the standard 1⁄4” tripod thread on the base but can also be easily drilled and adapted for other mounting options.

A 3m USB cable comes fitted to the Oculus and can be extended using powered USB2.0 hubs. The Oculus also has a 2.1mm power socket in the rear panel to connect the (supplied) 12v power module. This operates the heaters in the Oculus to ensure that the dome does not dew up during humid nights.

CCD type ICX205AL Sony SuperHAD interline CCD with low dark current and vertical anti-blooming.
CCD Full resolution pixel data Pixel size: 4.65uM x 4.65uM, Image format: 1392 x 1040 pixels
CCD quality Grade 1
Spectral Response QE max at 520nM (~50%), 30% at 420nM and 670nM.
Readout Noise RMS - typically only 7 electrons.
Full-well capacity Greater than 15,000 e- (unbinned)
Anti-blooming Overload margin greater than 1000x.
Dark current Less than 0.1 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient.
Data format 16 bits.
Lens details 2.5mm FL F/1.2 ~150 degree ‘Fish Eye’ or 1.55mm FL F/2 ~180 degree ‘Fish Eye’
Computer Interface Built-in USB 2.0
Image download time Typically 0.6 seconds at full resolution using USB 2.0.
Power requirements Camera is USB powered, dew heater requires 12v at 1 amp max.
Input connection ‘Mini B’ USB socket for USB2.0 and a 2.1mm jack for +12v heater supply.
Cooling system Ambient air cooling. 2 •
Overall size 150mm tall x 95mm diameter, including the polycarbonate weather dome.

The following manuals and downloads are available for this product:

Starlight Xpress Oculus Handbook

Starlight Xpress Oculus all-sky camera Questions & Answers

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Q1. What software do you get with the camera, can you do time lapse video and upload it to the internet?

The Oculus comes with drivers that enable it to be used in software such as ‘PHD’, ‘AstroArt’ or ‘MaximDL’ but it also comes with it's own control software. The provided control software is able to set the exposure length, the number of exposures to take and the time delay in between exposures. It is also able to produce AVI video files - these can then be uploaded to the web through sites such as YouTube and Vimeo to share with others.

You can find out more information about how to setup and use the Oculus and what the software provided with it can do in the product handbook, available here: http://www.sxccd.com/handbooks/Oculus_handbook.pdf.

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