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Old 13-02-2013, 06:25 PM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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Starlight Express drop KAF8300 from their lineup

interesting note on the SX website

"The H18 is being discontinued. We believe that the low noise and excellent sensitivity of the Sony based H694 and its derivatives, have made the KAF8300 chip much less attractive. Because of this, we are no longer accepting orders for the H18."


It's a pity the 694 is so darned expensive - guess you get what you pay for though.

Last edited by Shiraz; 13-02-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiraz View Post
interesting note on the SX website

"The H18 is being discontinued. We believe that the low noise and excellent sensitivity of the Sony based H694 and its derivatives, have made the KAF8300 chip much less attractive. Because of this, we are no longer accepting orders for the H18."


It's a pity the 694 is so darned expensive - guess you get what you pay for though.
Funnily enough ....I have one of these H694's with the external cooling fan, plus an SX filterweel, SX OAG and Loadstar sitting here just waiting for an adapter to arrive from Orion Optics to mate it with the F3.8 AG12. I plan to use it for galaxies and planetary nebulae

I shouldn't need flats or darks but we will see....

Mike
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:56 PM
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Good luck with the new setup, Mike.

I have been pretty happy with my H-18 apart from the shutter shedding dust on the sensor every time it opens and closes. SX finally sent me a new shutter without the offending copper oxide coating...

Cheers,
Rick.
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Old 13-02-2013, 09:58 PM
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Yes Rick, I am a past SX user and loved the cameras (SX was my first CCD)...it is like returning to where it all started...but hopefully with a little more experience and practise under my belt

Mike
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
Funnily enough ....I have one of these H694's with the external cooling fan, plus an SX filterweel, SX OAG and Loadstar sitting here just waiting for an adapter to arrive from Orion Optics to mate it with the F3.8 AG12. I plan to use it for galaxies and planetary nebulae

I shouldn't need flats or darks but we will see....

Mike
That should be a killer outfit Mike - looking forward to seeing what it can do. regards Ray
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Old 14-02-2013, 07:00 AM
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It was inevitable that this would happen. Its probably a side effect of Kodak's demise. I've been posting lately about how the CCD industry seems to have stagnated from an amateur astrophotography viewpoint.

Meanwhile Sony has become the CCD/CMOS giant. The problem now with Sony is it too is making massive losses and faces an uncertain future if they can't stop the losses. I notice Toshiba and Panasonic have made some great improvements to CMOS chips. Panasonic developed a new type of colour filter array that does not result in a light loss compared with a standard dye based filter array which loses 25-30% of light.

I am interested to see how this 694 goes. Your F3.8 won't be an advantage here though Mike it will be your 12 inch aperture that is the advantage (I think I have that right - F ratio myth). You should still be quite well matched to the optics although that setup may require reasonable seeing to get sharp results. My ML8300 is useless on the CDK17 on anything other than really good seeing nights. Its quite blurry.
The PL16803 leaves it for dead in those situations.But thats at 3 metres focal length.

Greg.
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Old 14-02-2013, 09:22 AM
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My ML8300 is useless on the CDK17 on anything other than really good seeing nights. Its quite blurry.
The PL16803 leaves it for dead in those situations.But thats at 3 metres focal length.

Greg.
Greg, if you don't mind, what happens when you bin 2x2 or 3x3 with the KAF8300? Do you get more acceptable results? I tried to start another thread here asking about an affordble camera to image with a Meade 12" at f6.3, but no takers. I doubt my KAF8300 camera will work properly even though at 2x2 it would be at 1.18 arcsec.

Many thanks,

Peter
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Old 14-02-2013, 12:46 PM
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They also have released a new CCD (H814) using the Sony ICX814ALG/ ICX814AQG chip which is a 9mp CCD. I guess they are replacing the KAF8300 with this.

No specifications yet though.

Ive been considering a H694C for a while now, but they arn't too cheap for a 6mp camera, especially when the QHY8 is only $2200.
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Old 14-02-2013, 02:03 PM
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I suspect there are several reasons why SX have turned their back on the H18s - quite apart from cost. One is the growing number of people reporting RBI problems; and another is the disastrous shutter mechanism that this camera features - it distorts, jams and in some cases even sheds fine particles all over the sensor because the two halves of the shutter rub on one-another to some extent. I sent two H18s back to SX - refused to accept them outright for those reasons - and finally, as a compromise, settled on the H16 because I wanted the VR functionality (the interface with the Exview line of guide cameras).

Peter
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Old 15-02-2013, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by PRejto View Post
Greg, if you don't mind, what happens when you bin 2x2 or 3x3 with the KAF8300? Do you get more acceptable results? I tried to start another thread here asking about an affordble camera to image with a Meade 12" at f6.3, but no takers. I doubt my KAF8300 camera will work properly even though at 2x2 it would be at 1.18 arcsec.

Many thanks,

Peter
Sorry missed this question until now.
I have binned 2x2 with it and it improves it for sure. There is a drop in resolution but for Ha 2x2 makes a lot of sense with the 17 inch. Unless you are doing Ha only images I find binning Ha 2x2 works well. I don't use Ha as a luminance layer in my images anyway so I mostly adding a bit of depth to the red in the image usually. Lack of noise is more important there than sharpness in my opinion.

I'd say an 8300 chip would be a poor match to your 12 inch SCT which is probably also about 3 metres in focal length. It may work if you use an AO device plus use it on good seeing nights. But for most people good seeing is a rare event.

Greg.
Greg.
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