SBIG StarChaser SC-4 Off-Axis Guider Camera

$1,499.00 USD

The SBIG StarChaser SC-4 is your all-in-one solution for off-axis guiding. It is the world’s best off-axis guiding camera, measuring only 0.875″ (22.23 mm) thick. It includes an easy-to-adjust pick-off mirror, 0.7x focal reducer for wider field of view, quick-turn manual focus mechanism, mechanical dark frame shutter, and 1.3 megapixel CMOS camera with large 4.5um pixels. It directly supports the SBIG AO-X and AO-8A adaptive optics, and includes an upgradeable license of our renowned MaxIm LT software.

Download Product Data Sheet

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Product Description

SBIG StarChaser SC-4 Off-Axis Guider Camera

The SBIG StarChaser SC-4 is an all-in-one Off-Axis Guide Camera, with Adaptive Optics support.  The SC-4 is an improved version of our venerable SC-3 camera, and features:

  • Built-in 1.3 megapixel guide camera
  • Externally-adjustable pick-off mirror position
  • Improved focus adjustment
  • Integrated 0.7X focal reducer for a larger field of view and a better match to long focal length telescopes
  • Dark frame shutter
  • “ST-4” style guide port
  • Built-in Adaptive Optics control
  • Only 0.875″ (22.23) mm thick
  • Uses advanced 3D additive manufacturing technology to be even lighter than previous models
  • Highly accurate stainless steel spacers ensure zero flexure
  • Includes both MaxIm LT software and ASCOM driver

Both guide camera focus and pick-off mirror position can be easily adjusted using external knobs, without removing the SC-4 from the telescope or camera.

The integrated 0.7X focal reducer increases the field-of-view of the SC-4 and improves sensitivity.  This makes it much easier to locate guide stars.

Versions for Large Format and Compact Format Cameras

The SC-4 is intended for our large format cameras, and can accommodate a variety of cameras and filter wheels, using our standard SBIG large format bolt pattern.  Normally it is directly mounted to an SBIG AFW Filter Wheel, but is also compatible with the older FW7-STX.  It is also possible to bolt it directly to an Aluma AC series camera. It is also compatible with the AO-X Adaptive Optics unit.

The SC-4C is intended for our compact format cameras, such as the Aluma CCD series and the SBIG FW8S-Aluma filter wheel.   It is also compatible with the AO-8A Adaptive Optics unit.

Please note that an AFW filter wheel can also be adapted to the Aluma CCD series; for that combination you will need the large format SC-4.

Highly Adjustable

The pick-off mirror is adjusted by simply loosening the lock knob, sliding the knob inwards or outwards as required, and then retightening to lock it in place.  Focus is adjusted via a single easily-accessible knob.

For the large format SC-4, the center of the pick-off mirror when fully retracted will be 1.1″ (28.3 mm) from the optical axis.  It can be moved inwards by up to 0.3″ (7.6 mm) using an externally accessible knob. To reduce off-axis aberrations, the pick-off mirror should be set as close as possible to the optical axis without infringing on the main camera image.   With the pick-off mirror retracted, the SC-4 accommodates a back-focus distance from 0.80″ to 1.80″ (20.3 mm to 45.7 mm).  Moving the mirror inwards increases the back-focus distance by the same amount.  With the mirror moved fully inwards, the range of back-focus distance changes to 1.10″ to 2.10″ (27.9 mm to 53.34 mm).

For the compact format SC-4C, the center of the pick-off mirror when fully retracted will be 0.75″ (19.1 mm) from the optical axis.  It can be moved inwards by up to 0.3″ (7.6 mm) using an externally accessible knob. To reduce off-axis aberrations, the pick-off mirror should be set as close as possible to the optical axis without infringing on the main camera image.   With the pick-off mirror retracted, the SC-4C accommodates a back-focus distance from 0.86″ to 1.86″ (21.8 mm to 47.2 mm).  Moving the mirror inwards increases the back-focus distance by the same amount.  With the mirror moved fully inwards, the range of back-focus distance changes to 1.16″ to 2.16″ (29.5 mm to 54.9 mm).

To verify compatibility with your SBIG camera and filter wheel, you can use our handy Back Focus Calculator spreadsheet.

Adaptive Optics Support

The StarChaser SC-4 is directly compatible with the SBIG AO-X Adaptive Optics unit.  The AO-X bolts directly to the front of the SC-4.  A single 11066 adapter cable between the SC-4 and AO-X provides all necessary power and control signals.

The StarChaser SC-4C is directly compatible with the SBIG AO-8A Adaptive Optics unit.  The AO-8A bolts directly to the front of the SC-4C.  The AO-8A plugs directly into the SC-4C.

Since the AO unit is controlled directly by the StarChaser, it is fully independent of the main camera.

Complete Package

Our renowned MaxIm LT software is included, providing integrated control of your StarChaser and SBIG main camera.  We also provide API interfaces for third-party software running under Windows, MacOS, or Linux.  An ASCOM standard camera interface is included. (ASCOM currently does not support Adaptive Optics.)

The following parts are included with the StarChaser SC-4 for Large Format Cameras:

  • StarChaser SC-4 off-axis guide camera
  • Universal AC power supply with choice of power cord (US/EU/AU)
  • DC power extension cable
  • Tracking Interface Cable (“ST-4” style)
  • USB 2.0 A to Mini-B cable, 6 feet (2 meters)
  • 7/64-inch hex key wrench
  • Four 6-32 x 1-1/8″ socket head cap screws
  • USB flash drive with MaxIm LT software, DL Imaging drivers, and ASCOM driver

 

The following parts are included with the StarChaser SC-4C for Compat Format Cameras:

  • StarChaser SC-4C off-axis guide camera
  • Universal AC power supply with choice of power cord (US/EU/AU)
  • DC power extension cable
  • Tracking Interface Cable (“ST-4” style)
  • USB 2.0 A to Mini-B cable, 6 feet (2 meters)
  • 7/64-inch hex key wrench
  • Flat adapter plate 2.156 x 24 (40-12053-00)
  • 2” Nosepiece adapter with cap (40-12121-00)
  • Four 4-40x 1-1/8″ socket head cap screws
  • ACC13 adapter plate (spacer is required when not using a filter wheel)

 

Download Product Data Sheet

Additional Information

Adaptive Optics Option

Works with AO-8A, Works with AO-X (cable required)

Backfocus

Adds 0.875" (22.23 mm)

Computer Interface

USB 2.0 Mini

Exposure

13.5 ns to 59.26 s

Filter Wheel Option

Attaches to AFW series and FW7-STX filter wheels

Full Frame Download

0.2 sec

Full Well Capacity

10,000 e-

Imaging / Pixel Array

1280 x 1024 pixels

OS Compatibility

Windows 7, 8, 10 x86/x64. Contact us for Linux support.

Pixel Digitization Rate

72 megapixels / second

Pixel Size

4.8 μm

Power

12V, 300 mA

Shutter

Electronic Global Shutter plus Mechanical Dark Frame Shutter

Temperature Regulation

No

Total Pixels

1,310,720 pixels

Weight

0.9 lb / 400 g

Documentation

Product data sheet

Product datasheet for StarChaser guide cameras.

Download

User Manual

User’s manual for installing and operating the StarChaser SC-4

Download

Software

Drivers and Camera Configuration Utility

StarChaser uses the DL Imaging driver package. Download the latest drivers and camera configuration utility.

Download

ASCOM Driver

Provides compatibility with many third party control applications. Please install the main driver package (above) first.

Download (x86) Download (x64) 

MaxIm LT Software

Camera owners can request a MaxIm LT license here (camera serial number required):

Link

To get started immediately, request the full MaxIm DL Pro demo version here (click Demo tab):

Link

Once you receive your MaxIm LT license, simply replace your demo license using Help menu Enter License.

MacOS and Linux Drivers

Available by request. Please post in our support forum, Aluma section:

Link

Software Development Kit

Available by request. Please post in our support forum, Aluma section:

Link

Firmware Updates

Visit our Firmware Archive here:

Link