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QSI 660WSG-8 Cooled Monochrome CCD Camera with Internal 8-Position Color Filter Wheel - QSI660WSG8

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QSI 660wsg Cooled Monochrome CCD Camera

Buy this Camera & Get a Filter Set for 50% Off! For a limited time, when you buy any new monochrome Atik or QSI camera (except the Atik LP) you will be eligible to purchase your choice of one Atik LRGB or Narrowband Filter Set at a substantially discounted price! If you are interested in this offer, put an eligible camera into your shopping cart and then visit the Atik Filter Sets page to choose your discounted filter set. Remember, you must have a new Atik or QSI mono camera in your shopping cart in order to take advantage of this offer. We will cancel any orders that do not follow these rules. Thanks.

QSI 600 Series cameras, including the 660wsg-8, provide dual read rates of up to 8 MHz with high-speed USB 2.0 and full 16-bit output for high quality images with high frame rates, as well as extremely wide dynamic range, excellent linearity and exceptionally low noise. Cooling is achieved with a custom 2-stage TEC supporting regulated cooling to greater than 45ºC, or greater than 50ºC with the optional Liquid Heat Exchanger.

Each camera in QSI's 600 Series uses a high speed USB 2.0 port (USB 1.1 compatible) in order to connect with a host computer and imaging application software. For an entire 2048 x 2048 image frame, typical read and transfer time is roughly 1/2 second in High Speed mode and under 7 seconds in High Quality mode. This frame rate can be enhanced further by reading only part of the image (ROI) or with flexible on-chip binning.

With QSI 600 Series cameras, you'll enjoy superior imaging performance and spectacular power efficiency with upgrade capabilities to protect your investment all wrapped up in an eye-pleasing compact design. The refined engineering and remarkable fit, finish, and attention to detail displayed by this camera will blow away even your highest expectations.

QSI 660wsg Monochrome CCD Camera Features

Sony ICX694 CCD Sensor: QSI 660wsg monochrome cameras utilize the 6.1 MP Sony ExView ICX694 Interline Transfer CCD image sensor with both micro lens technolgy and anti-blooming protection. Photoactive pixel array contains 2758 x 2208 pixels which are 4.54 µm square in size. The ICX694 boasts extreme sensitivity across the visual band with 77% peak quantum efficiency to go with incredibly low dark current.

Mechanical Shutter: The QSI 660WSG-8 Camera comes with both an electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter. When operating with an interline transfer CCD, the mechanical shutter is not used to actually make the exposure. This is still the responsibility of the electronic shutter. The mechanical shutter is employed to cover the CCD and simplify the creation of Dark and Bias frames for subsequent image processing.

WSG Body & Integrated Filter Wheel: In order to make room for an internal five position color filter wheel while providing an integrated guide port, this QSI 660 uses a WSG camera body. Engineered with extensive use of sophisticated CAD-CAM design tools, the QSI 600 Series camera body is CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The finely finished anodized body components are assembled with corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware throughout. The standard filter wheel accepts standard threaded 1.25" filters*.

Integrated Guide Port (IGP): The QSI 660wsg's Integrated Guider Port functions by taking a portion of the light from your main telescope and redirecting it via a pick-off prism to a separate guide camera attached to the top of the WSG cover.

The Integrated Guide Port solves a number of problems associated with other common guiding solutions. The main image on this page depicts a camera with red arrows to represent the portion of light being redirected to the guide camera. As light enters the camera, it hits the pick-off prism located ahead of the built-in eight position color filter wheel and is reflected upward at a 90º angle to the guide camera attached on top. By capturing light for guiding from in front of the filters and mechanical shutter, you're able to use all guide star light for the purposes of guiding as no light is removed by pass through a red, green, blue, or narrowband filter first, ensuring the best possible signal to noise ratio (SNR) for your guide stars. Guiding is possible even with the shutter closed.

The pick-off prism measures 1/2" square and is ideally positioned near the internal filter wheel just outside of the main sensor's field of view. This enables support of large sensor guide cameras while prohibiting any vignetting of the main sensor even when very fast optical systems are involved.

High Quality Read Mode: High Quality (HQ) Read Mode provides the lowest possible noise but requires a longer time to read the image from the sensor. High speed (HS) Read Mode reads the image from the sensor at 8 million pixels per second (8 MHz) supporting frame rates of up 15 fps depending on the camera model, ROI and binning.

USB 2.0 and Full 16-Bit Output: Full 16-bit per pixel depth enables very smooth color and gray scale transitions and the lowest noise.

Selectable ROI and Binning: All QSI cameras have selectable Region of Interest (ROI) and binning for the most flexibility in framing your subject.

Output Hardware Trigger: QSI cameras can output a hardware signal out of the Control Port to trigger an external event such as a strobe.

Regulated Cooling: For successful long exposure imaging, cooling the CCD is crucial. Sensor cooling drastically minimizes an image's dark current and resulting thermal noise to make long exposures a realistic undertaking.

QSI 600 Series cameras use a very efficient thermo-electric cooler (TEC) which relies on the "Peltier Effect" to cool the CCD. When power is applied to a TEC, one side of the device gets cold and other side gets hot, essentially pumping heat from the cold side to the hot side. All QSI 600 Series cameras employ a two-stage TEC to increase the differential cooling effect. The more power applied to the TEC, the greater the differential cooling and the colder the CCD can get. The heat pumped from the CCD, as well as the power dissipated by the TEC, creates a significant amount of excess heat that must be removed from the camera. The back of a QSI 600 Series camera acts as a large heatsink with cooling fins machined directly into the body. Two automatically controlled cooling fans force air through these fins. The movement of air through the cooling fins greatly increases the amount of heat removed from the camera. Keep in mind that the lowest temperature that the CCD can be cooled is limited by the ambient air temperature and the speed of the cooling fans. Achieving very low temperatures is easy when imaging outdoors during cooler weather. If it is particularly cold you may not even need to turn the fans on, but if it is too warm you may need the help of Liquid-Assisted Cooling, which is available optionally.

Power Efficiency: One of the defining features of the 600 Series cameras is power efficiency. A fully configured WS camera operates from a single 12v DC supply and consumes less than 24 watts at full cooling, with both fans at maximum and the filter wheel moving. Other camera model configurations have power consumption as low as 5 watts. Included with each camera is an approved 12 volt DC power supply with an input voltage range of 90-240V, 50-60HZ.

Notification: All QSI 600 Series cameras offer both visual and audible notification. Various states of camera operation are indicated by a multi-color LED status display. Indicator behavior can be modified or disabled entirely by the user. Aural feedback of camera operation and status is provided by a unique internal beeper. As with the visual display, this beeper can be modified or disabled by user command.

QSI 660wsg Monochrome CCD Camera Specifications

  • Body Type: Integrated Guider Port Enclosure
  • Shutter: Mechanical (Sensor has electronic shutter)
  • Minimum Exposure: 0.03 seconds
  • Maximum Exposure: 240 minutes
  • Integrated Filter Wheel: 8-position 1.25"; 31 mm upgrade is available
  • Integrated Guide Port: Yes
  • Dimensions: 4.45" width x 4.45" height" x 3.08" depth
  • Weight: 46 oz.
  • Thermoelectric CCD Cooling: Temperature regulation +/- 0.1°C, @ 0°C to -40°C CCD temperature
  • Cooling in Free Air, Fans @ Full Speed: Typically 40°C below ambient air with 85% cooling power
  • Liquid Cooling (Optional) - Fans Off: Typically 45°C below circulating liquid with 85% cooling power (adds 0.75" to camera depth)
  • Cooling Fan Control: Intelligent, user configurable
  • Read Rate: User selectable High Quality mode at 800 KHz, High Speed mode at 8 MHz
  • Camera Gain: User selectable High Gain 0.13 e-/ADU (default), Low Gain 0.28 e-/ADU
  • Digital Resolution: 16 bits in both High Quality and High Speed modes
  • Total System Read Noise: <4 electrons RMS (typically <3.5 e- RMS, CCD specification limited) in High Quality mode (typically <7 e- RMS (CCD specification limited) in High Speed mode
  • Pixel Dark Current: <0.002 electrons per second at -10°C
  • Full Image Read and Download Time: Typically <16 seconds (host computer dependent) in High Quality Mode (800 KHz), <2 seconds in High Speed Mode (8 MHz), Image download times will be reduced with binning and/or subframe (ROI)
  • Binning Modes: Symmetrical and Asymmetrical binning up to 9 pixels horizontally or vertically
  • Status and Notification: User configurable multi-color LED status indicator and multifunction audible beeper. Over-temperature and high/low voltage alarms.
  • Power Consumption: 12v, 2A (24 watts) at max cooling, max fans and filter moving (25 AC watts max with included 90-240V AC power supply)
  • Operating Environment: Temperature: -20°C to 30°C, Humidity 10% to 90% non-condensing
  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0 High Speed (USB 1.1 compatible)
  • Other Ports: Optically isolated 4-channel control port for telescope guiding or input/output shutter trigger (See API Reference Manual for details)
  • Included T-Mount Adapter: 42x0.75 mm t-thread
  • Nosepiece; T-Mount Adapter to 2"

Sony ICX694 Sensor Specifications

  • CCD Sensor: Sony ICX694 monochrome
  • CCD Architecture: Interline Transfer
  • Microlens: Yes
  • Anti-blooming: Yes - 800x suppression
  • Imager Size: 12.48 mm x 9.98 mm
  • Pixel Array (Active): 2756 x 2208
  • Pixel Size: 4.54 µm square
  • Full Well Depth: 19,000 e-
  • Absolute Quantum Efficiency Peak: 77% at 550 nm
  • Pixel Dark Current: <0.002 electrons per second at -10°C
  • Intrinsic Read Noise: 3.1 electrons RMS
  • Dynamic Range: 75 db

Available Upgrades:

All of the upgrades listed below can be found in the "Accessories" section. Please make sure to add them to your cart, along with this camera, in order to take advantage of the savings. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of the High Point team by chat, email, or phone. Thanks.

1. Camera control software is not included with this camera, since many people already have software they prefer. If you do not purchase the Maxim LE upgrade at the time of camera purchase ($149), you will need to have your own camera control software.

2. *You can upgrade to a 5-Position Filter Wheel that accepts 31 mm unmounted filters for $50 as long as you make this choice at the same time you purchase your camera. If you opt for the standard 1.25" filter wheel now but decide to use 31 mm unmounted filters at a later time, you will need to purchase the appropriate retaining screws to accommodate the depth of your filters, and doing so will allow the standard filter wheel to accept 31mm unmounted filters.

3. This camera has standard t-threads on the faceplate, and comes with a T-mount adapter and a 2" nosepiece. If you need 2.156" threads, with a 2.156 adapter and 2" nosepiece, you can upgrade at the time of your camera purchase for $149, which saves you $100 over buying the 2.156" camera mounting package at a later time.