SX MX716 mono CCD camera (on UK Astro B&S)

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rwilkinson
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SX MX716 mono CCD camera (on UK Astro B&S)

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:10 pm

If any reader of my "Oldies but goodies" article in our March newsletter is interested in trying an old Starlight Xpress monochrome CCD camera for themselves, I've just spotted a potential bargain advertised on the UK Astro Buy & Sell site: http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=109398
This kit must have cost the thick end of £1000 when new (in 2002).

Now I've not used an MX716 myself, although it is mid-way between my MX5-series & HX916 cameras. But I'd say that the included USB interface is an almost-indispensible accessory - I used one with my MX5C, but my MX516 is painfully slow without it (running via the LPT-port).

And the STAR2000 autoguider is an interesting accessory: it enables the camera's single sensor to be used for imaging and guiding at the same time - so no need for a guide-scope or off-axis guider, and you can use any guide-star within the imaged field. But this method does halve the sensitivity of the imaging system (so requiring a doubling of exposure-times). The STAR2000 interface-box attaches to a COM-port on the PC.

I'm still happy with the results from both my old SX cameras: using them on my telescopes, or with old Pentax telephoto lenses. In fact if I didn't already have the HX916, I wouild definitely have bought this camera for myself!
I have successfully installed the control software and drivers from SX cameras onto a number of WinXP machines (and have sussed out how to read their data into IRIS for processing), but I don't have any experience of running them with later versions of Windows.

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