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QHY 178M Monochrome Back-Illuminated Cooled Astronomy Camera - QHY178M

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QHY178M Cooled Back-Illuminated CMOS Astronomy Camera

The QHY178M is a cooled USB 3.0 monochrome imaging camera that is great for both planetary and deep sky. The 178M sports the back-illuminated Sony STARVIS Exmor-R IMX178 CMOS sensor made up small 2.4um pixels in a 6.29 megapixel array. The IMX178 is housed in a sealed chamber that is heated to prevent dew from building up on the sensor or window. This ColdMOS, or cooled CMOS sensor has an effective pixel array of 3072 x 2048, and does 50FPS at full resolution.

Sony STARVIS Exmor-R is back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS image sensors that feature a sensitivity of 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2, and realizes high picture quality in the visible light and near infrared light regions. Unlike the front-illuminated-type image sensor, the image is acquired through the back side where there are no obstacles such as wiring or circuits. This results in higher sensitivity due to the wider range of light that can be collected on the photo-diode. Sony has also developed a unique photo-diode structure and an on-chip lens optimized for back-illuminated structures that achieves a higher sensitivity and a lower random noise without light by reducing noise, dark current and defect pixels compared to the conventional front-illuminated structure.

The QHY178M comes with a two-stage TEC cooling and temperature regulation system that can cool your camera down to as low as -40C below ambient. QHY has also incorporated anti-dew technology into the QHY178. The CMOS chamber is fully sealed, and includes a silicon gel tube socket as well as a heater to help keep both your sensor and the sensor window dry, even on damp nights.

A built-in 128MB DDRII image buffer provides a safeguard against unexpected drops in data transmission. A frame buffer avoids lost frames during USB transfer by storing image data in the camera itself until it can be safely transmitted. Buffering will also make sure your video runs more smoothly when using a slower computer that cannot always handle high speed data well.

All semiconductors produce a small amount of light when powered up, causing brighter spots in the corners of the sensor where the high gain amplifiers are housed. Amplifier glow is most noticeable during long exposures. The QHY178M camera has an anti-amp light control circuit to reduce amplifier glow significantly. Ports include a 6-pin RJ11 Guide Port and a 4-pin CFW2 Filter Wheel Control Port, allowing you to add an optional autoguider or filter wheel to enhance your imaging experience.

QHY178M Camera Specifications

  • CMOS Sensor: 6.29 megapixel CMOS Sensor
  • Color or Monochrome: Monochrome
  • Effective Pixels: 3072 x 2048
  • Pixel Size: 2.4um x 2.4um
  • Effective Area: 7.37mm x 4.92mm
  • Shutter: Electric Rolling Shutter
  • Full Well Capacity: 15ke-
  • Output Sample Depth: 8bit/14bit
  • On Camera Image Buffer: Yes, 128MB DDRII Buffer
  • Cooling: 2-stage TEC, Typical -40 below Ambient, Temperature Regulated
  • Power: USB Powered for camera and +12V powered for TEC
  • Anti Dew Control: Air Connector for removable silicon gel tube. Heat board for optic window of sealed CCD chamber
  • Computer Interface: USB3.0 Super Speed
  • Telescope Interface: M42/0.75 & 2inch adapter. Optional C-mount adapter
  • Color Wheel Port: 4PIN QHYCFW2 socket
  • Guide Port: 6PIN RJ11 Guide Port
  • Optic Window: AR+AR
  • Weight: 450g/15.87 ounces
  • Electric Interface: 12V input with lock, USB3.0 socket, 4PIN QHYCFW, 6PIN RJ11