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Starlight Xpress - SXVR-H18 Monochrome CCD Camera

Model#: SXVR-H18

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Availability: In stock


Manufactured by: Starlight Xpress, LTD


This is a discontinued item. We suggest the H9 version intead.


  • Large, high resolution Kodak CCD chip, with 8,300,000 x 5.4uM square pixels in a 17.96 x 13.52mm array.
  • Very good H-alpha sensitivity (48% QE at 656nM).
  • Low dark signal - Dark frames not necessary for most of the brighter deep sky objects.
  • Anti-blooming with minimal effect on linearity.
  • High sensitivity, 56% QE at peak (540nM - green light).
  • Fused quartz optical window for good thermal and optical performance.
  • Fast, low vibration electric shutter. Latency less than 0.05 seconds.
  • Fast, low vibration electric shutter. Latency less than 0.05 seconds.
  • Fully user adjustable chip alignment for perfect focus across the entire field.
  • Built-in super high speed USB 2.0 interface for approx. 4.5 second downloads.
  • Built-in autoguider interface and output - compatible with the optional dedicated external guide camera.
  • Built-in dual serial ports for accessory control - directly drive filter wheels, GOTO 'scopes etc.
  • Single USB cable control for all features - get rid of that dangerous cable tangle!
  • Only ONE computer needed to control all of the devices and functions.
  • Very low power consumption. Less than 1.0 amps at 12v DC - 12VA at 110v or 240v AC.
  • Compact and lightweight - only 75mm in diameter x 70mm long - less than 500 grams load on the 'scope!


The SXVR-H18 is another new departure from the normal SX line of Sony CCD based cameras. Until now, it was difficult for us to manufacture a camera based on a 'full frame' CCD, as such cameras need a mechanical shutter to avoid image smearing during download. We have now designed a highly miniaturised and reliable shutter that is small enough to fit inside the CCD chamber, and so here is our first full-frame camera!

To reduce the negative effects of the greater Kodak dark signal, we have used a two stage Peltier cooler for an extra 10 degree reduction in the CCD temperature, and a multicoated fused quartz optical window for reduced dewing and better UV/IR transmission. The fast 4.5 second download time minimises the visibility of bias frame artefacts, such as hot columns and the top to bottom gradient that is commonly seen on such chips. We think that the result is a highly satisfactory mono camera with excellent sensitivity and resolution.



Additional Information

Name Starlight Xpress - SXVR-H18 Monochrome CCD Camera
Manufacturer Starlight Xpress, LTD
Model SXVR-H18
Antiblooming Overload margin greater than 100x
CCD Kodak KAF8300M full frame CCD
CCD Image Area 17.96mm (Horizontal) x 13.52mm (Vertical)
CCD Quality Standard grade - No dead columns, no dead pixels
Computer Interface Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface
Cooling Regulated constant current cooling supply with two stage thermoelectric cooler to give a CCD temperature of approximately -40C below ambient
Dark Current e-/p/s at 0°C Dark frame saturation time greater than 10 hours. Less than 0.05 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient
Data Format 16 bits
Full Frame Download Greater than 25,000 e- (unbinned)
Gain e-/ADU 0.35 electrons per ADU
Image Download Time Typically 4.5 seconds at full resolution using USB 2.0
Pixel Size 5.4uM x 5.4uM, Image format: 3326 x 2504 pixels
Power Requirements 115VAC / 240VAC @ 12VA, or 12VDC @ 750mA max
Read Noise Less than 8 electrons RMS - typically only 6.5 electrons
Size 75 x 70mm black anodised aluminium barrel
Spectral Response QE max at 540nM (~56%), 48% at 470nM and 656nM