New Product Announcement
ALL SKY versions of the
ST-237A and STV cameras
Update November 1, 2002: We are now accepting
orders for December / January delivery
Many observatories use an all sky camera to monitor changing sky and weather conditions. Until now, obtaining high quality 180 degree views of the sky required an expensive large format CCD and a similarly expensive fish eye camera lens. Now, however, the ALL SKY cameras make this possible for much less. The lens used in the ALL SKY cameras is a high quality custom mounted 1.24mm F/2.8 fisheye. In order to illuminate the TC-237 CCD with the full field of the fish eye, the rear of the lens must be mounted very close to the CCD. To place the lens at the correct distance, a special housing has been designed that replaces the CCD chamber. The shutter or filter wheel must be removed and a new face plate will be made to cover the front of the camera head. The face plate has provision for a cap that may be used to take dark frames and for protection when the camera head is not in use. Then the entire ST-237AS.or STV head is held in a larger cylinder for weather protection (see photo of unassembled parts below).
The prototype "All
Sky" version of the ST-237A camera head.
120 second image taken
with the ST-237 All Sky camera from moderately light polluted Santa Barbara.
This chart was made using TheSky software to show approximately the same field of view as the image above.
One frame from an animation shot from a much
darker Kitt Peak location.
Update November 1, 2002: The All Sky cameras are
ready for production. The All Sky ST-237AS is a modified ST-237A with custom lens and
housing for 180 degree field of view. The modifications consist of replacing the front
plate, shutter and CCD chamber with a new front plate and CCD chamber. There is no shutter
in the All Sky version and filters cannot be used. The new front plate is is larger than
the camera head to allow the entire head assembly to fit inside a weather resistant
mounting cylinder. A machined aluminum cap is provided to protect the lens when not
in use. The CPU must be protected from weather, but the All Sky head is designed to be
left outside all the time.
parts of the AllSky Cam: CCD Camera head with oversized face plate and fish eye
AllSky Cam: Head cable is fed through the open
List price as of this writing for a new ST-237AS is $1995. We are also selling a kit for modifying existing ST-237 (and STV) cameras. The kit contains all the parts necessary for the owner to perfrom the modifications although it is not recommended unless the owner is comfortable making these kinds of mechanical changes to his/her camera head. List price for the kit is $995. Prices and specifrications are subject to change without notice. Current prices may be found at our Price List page. Current specifications may be found at our Product Catalog section.
We are accepting orders with first production expected in December /
Revised: November 08, 2002 08:38:32 AM.
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