Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Autoguider
The Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 is a very compact guider which is powered and operated via a single USB2.0 computer connection. The Lodestar X2 also provides an opto-isolated output connection for direct control of most mounts via their Autoguider sockets. This output is compatible with the ST4 style of RJ12 connection and supplies 4 pull down direction lines and a common return. Alternatively, you may send the mount control signals via a serial connection from the guider control computer. The LodeStar X2 includes a USB cable and an ST4 cable.
The SX Lodestar X2 utilizes a very sensitive Sony ‘ExView’ CCD (the ICX829) with an array of 752 x 582 pixels in a ‘half-inch’ format. Although the chip is not cooled, it has a very low dark signal and very little readout noise, so it can be used to guide on faint stars that are beyond the reach of webcams and CMOS chip based guide cameras. Because of the high sensitivity and high dynamic range characteristics of the Sony ICX829, the Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 makes a superb electronic finder and planetary imaging camera as well as a splendid autoguider!
Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Specifications
- Sensor: Sony ICX829 EXview HAD CCD
- Transfer Method: Interline
- Image Size: 8 mm Diagonal, Type 1/2
- Total Pixel Array: 795 x 596
- Effective Pixels: 752 x 582
- Total Effective Pixels: 440K
- Pixel Size: 8.2 um x 8.4 um
- Computer Interface: Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface
- Image Download Time: Typically 0.2 seconds at full resolution using USB 2.0
- Power Requirements: USB powered
- Guide Socket: RJ12
- Included Cabled: USB and ST4
- Cooling System: Ambient air cooling
- Body Size: 1.26” x 2.83” or 32 mm x 72 mm
- Back Focal Distance: 12.5 mm
- Weight: approx. 1.76 ounces, or 50g
Lodestar X2 Autoguider
The Lodestar X2 autoguider / camera.
The Lodestar X2 is an upgraded version of the very popular Lodestar autoguider. The original Lodestar uses the ICX429 Exview chip from Sony and offers excellent sensitivity. However, Sony have now upgraded the ICX429 to the ICX829, with considerably improved QE and read noise. This new 'Exview 2' chip approximately doubles the Lodestar sensitivity and adds nearly a full star magnitude to the minimum guide star brightness. We have also redesigned the boards so that a standard RJ12 guide socket can be used. This will please many users who have found the small 'ZH' cable socket to be too delicate.
10 second exposure of M31 with original Lodestar
10 seconds with Lodestar X2
- Lodestar X2 Autoguider
- 3 meter USB2.0 Cable
- 1.5 meter RJ12 Guider Cable
- USB Drive w/ Drivers