Design Features for the STX:
USB 2.0 and Ethernet:
Both USB 2.0 and Ethernet are available on STX cameras. The user will not have to choose the interface at the time of purchase. The STX cameras has the same convenient I2C AUX port that we use on the ST and STL cameras for power and control of accessories such as filter wheels and Adaptive Optics, and will operate from any unregulated 12VDC source.
Full Frame Image Buffer:
The STX series cameras has a full frame image buffer for storing image date during download. We are exploring the possibility of using this buffer for pre-processing pixel defects based on a defect map provided by the CCD manufacturer, at the user’s direction.
Our engineers have modeled an optimum cooling design for this camera using a large custom pin grid array heat sink mated directly to the hot side of the 2 stage TE cooler to achieve maximum heat dissipation with a single large fan. The STX will achieve a typical temperature delta of -50 degrees C below ambient with air only, and a similar delta with water only.
Water Circulation Ready:
While the design is aimed at sufficient cooling without water assist, it is possible to use water instead of air or in addition to air for optimum cooling. Using water instead of air will not require the use of a fan. Chilled water may also be used alone or with the fan for even greater cooling.
Variable Speed Fan Control:
If the user desires air cooling only, the fan speed is controllable through software. Variable speed control allows the user to "tune" to fan to eliminate any resonance with the user's telescope thus suppressing harmonic vibrations.
User Rechargeable Desiccant:
This feature allows the user the greatest flexibility in the field, and avoids having to return the camera to the factory in order to dry the CCD chamber. We have designed the chamber to a rechargeable desiccant plug similar to our other cameras
From the first ST-7 camera, SBIG has incorporated an even illumination shutter for taking short exposure flat field frames on all self-guiding cameras. However, the rotating disk design becomes rather large with ever increasing CCD sizes. Therefore, a new shutter design is used in the STX series that reduces the overall size and weight of the camera body, while maintaining even illumination on short exposures with large CCDs, something not found on any other astronomical CCD camera with a CCD this large.