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SBIG - ST-402ME Class 1 CCD Camera

Model#: ST402MEC1

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Availability: In stock


Manufactured by: Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG)



ST-402ME, High QE Camera

Simple and Powerful: These were the design goals for the ST-402ME.  We wanted something simple and easy to use yet powerful enough to carry the "ST" model prefix.  The small size and light-weight of these cameras make them very easy to handle and set up.  The ST-402ME also has two optional internal filter wheels, one with high quality RGB color imaging filters, and one with equally high quality BVI photometric filters.  All models have a photometric quality, even-illumination shutter for automatic dark frames.  Best of all, the low noise and extraordinary QE of the Kodak “ME” CCDs make these cameras some of the most sensitive CCD cameras available to amateurs at any price. The same technology that is used to achieve such high quantum efficiency in the KAF-3200ME CCD is also used with the same effectiveness in the KAF-1603ME and KAF-0402ME CCD.  With a peak QE of nearly 85%, these cameras bow to no others when it comes to recording faint detail in dim objects.  Simply put, there is nothing in their price range that can touch them for sensitivity, except of course the self-guiding STT cameras using the same imaging sensors

Full Complement of Software for the PC

The ST-402ME camera comes with more additional software than any introductory camera from any manufacturer: CCDOPS Version 5:  SBIG's own complete camera control software, with image analysis, processing functions, autoguiding, automated image acquisition, filter wheel control, and much more

  • CCDSoftV5, Software Bisque's professional astrometric and image processing program including SBIG camera control and image link capability with TheSky and RealSky Palomar Sky Survey data
  • TheSky Version 5, Level II, also from Software Bisque.  TheSky version 5 is a premier planetarium and star-charting program that includes telescope control for many popular commercial GOTO systems
  • Equinox by Microprojects is for Mac users.  It is a planetarium program that includes SBIG Camera control.  For Mac OS-X only.  Send SBIG a copy of your invoice and camera serial number and we will send you a CD at no charge


Enhanced Cooling Standard

An enhanced cooling package is now standard equipment on the ST-402ME and ST-3200ME cameras that to improve the cooling delta by approximately 10 degrees C. over the original models.  The improvements consist of (a) a larger heat sink installed in the camera, (b) a larger 50mm magnetic levitating fan and fan guard, (c) a new back plate with openings to accommodate the extension of the fan housing and guard, and (d) a board inside the camera that routes additional power to the TE cooler. No additional external power is required. The addition of the new parts increases the depth of the camera body by 4mm and the fan plus fan guard (not seen in RH photo) adds another 10mm. The backfocus is not changed.

The graph at left below above shows the improvement in cooling performance as a function of delta from ambient temperature as a result of the new design.  In our first production prototype camera with the enhanced cooling package, the maximum delta achieved was -35 degrees C below ambient at 100% power. After allowing the camera to stabilize, it was able to regulate the temperature at a delta of -31 degrees C from ambient with less than 95% power in a warm room (approx. 24C). We feel comfortable specifying typical performance of approximately 30 degrees C below ambient, regulated to +/- 0.1 degree C (user's set point). The graph at right below shows the typical dark current as a function of the absolute temperature of the CCD.


Image or Autoguide 

Electronic relays provide typical autoguider output from the RJ-11 jack, so the cameras can be used as a highly sensitive autoguider with a larger field of view than most other autoguiders. The computer interface is USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible). The high-speed readout rate is approximately 2 Mega pixels per second. With some overhead, a full frame, high-resolution image from the ST-402ME will download in approximately 0.8 seconds using USB2.  A regulated power supply is built into the camera so you can operate directly from a 12V battery or other unregulated 12VDC source.  A universal power supply is included for operation from 100 to 240VAC.  The ST-402ME is so sensitive one is vitrually guaranteed to find a guide star in the field of view no matter where it is pointed using a modest finder scope.   This makes the ST-402ME not only an excellent educational camera but a sought after camera used to guide larger scopes.  The ST-402ME can autoguide or image, and using using SBIG's patented Track & Accumulate feature, a sequence of images can be captured and automatically aligned and stacked (co-added) as you go.   The ST-402ME's internal relays allow the camera to autoguide almost any commercial telescope with an autoguider port.  It will also control an external Relay Adapter Box for unusual telescope drives or older ones that need to be isolated electrically from the autoguider.






Additional Information

Name SBIG - ST-402ME Class 1 CCD Camera
Manufacturer Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG)
Model ST402MEC1
Binning Options 1x1, 2x2, 3x3
CCD Class Available Class 1
Chip KAF-0402ME, 8.1mm - 10mm
Cooling Fan - Built In, Liquid Cooled - Optional
Dark Current 1e¯/pixel/sec
Dimensions 5" x 4" x 2.5"
Exposure Length (Max) 1 hour
Exposure Lenght (Min) .001 second
Full Well Capacity ~100,000 e-
Pixel Size 7-9 Microns, 9 x 9 microns
Quantum Efficiency 85% peak
Resolution 765 x 510
Sensor Diagonal 8.13mm
Sensor Type Kodak, Interline, Single Sensor
Shutter Mechanical
Warranty 2 years