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This SBIG STV looks like it was never used.  The screen protector is still in place and the cables and cords are still wire-wrapped and/or in plastic.  The unit and accessories (including a copy of the 63-page Operating Manual, not shown in the photos) are housed in a hard case with custom foam cutouts.
"The STV is an entirely new concept for video imaging and autoguiding.  The camera is a hybrid design that combines the best of both traditional video technology and cooled integrating digital CCD camera technology.  The result is a cooled integrating digital video camera capable of recording much fainter objects than traditional video cameras and at the same time give the performance of a cooled integrating CCD camera in a self-contained unit that is as easy to use as a video camera at the telescope.
Modern astronomical CCD cameras use cooled detectors to lower the dark current and the electronics are designed to take (integrate) single exposures up to an hour long.   This technology results in very sensitive cameras capable of reaching greater than 20th magnitude with typical amateur telescopes from backyard sites.  Our web site is full of beautiful images from amateurs all over the world who have captured many dim deep space objects with amazing detail.  But CCD imaging is not as simple as using a video camera.  One must use a computer of some kind at the telescope to control the CCD camera and save the images.  This extra bit of equipment requirement and additional power cords, etc., is often just enough to make CCD imaging too much of a hassle for some.  However, with the STV, this is also no longer a problem.  No computer is required to use the STV as an autoguider or an imager.
Video astronomy is a popular pursuit because nearly everyone is familiar with video cameras.  The idea of putting a video camera at the eyepiece of a telescope and seeing the results on a TV monitor is very exciting.  It is an easy way to share the views of the night sky with friends and family.  The viewing is comfortable and the images can be recorded on tape.  But one limitation of typical video astronomy is the inability of even "low light" video cameras to capture faint nebula, galaxies or stars dimmer than about 9th or 10th magnitude through an 8" scope.  By cooling the detectors and designing the cameras to take long exposures (integrate) over many minutes, modern astronomical CCD cameras like the ST-7 have overcome much of the limitation of video astronomy.  However, video cameras remain an interesting accessory for amateur astronomers because of their relative ease of use, despite their inability to record dim objects.  This limitation of typical video cameras is a result of the common video format.  Video cameras cannot usually take exposures longer than 1/30th of a second.  Even if they could, the CCD detectors used in typical video cameras are not cooled.  The dark current that would build up in longer exposures would result in noisy looking images.  The only way to increase the sensitivity of typical video cameras up to now has been to add an image intensifier (e.g., night vision scope) between the camera and the telescope.  This works, to a degree.  But the images are usually very grainy and suffer from poor resolution.  The result is that amateur video astronomy is generally limited to imaging bright objects like the moon and planets.  This problem has been solved in the STV. 
By utilizing a cooled detector and designing all new electronics around a DSP (digital signal processor) we have been able to achieve the performance of a cooled integrating astronomical CCD camera in a more traditional video format.  Exposures from 1/1000th of a second to 600 seconds are possible.  The video output can be viewed on the built-in LCD display or on any external video monitor.  We estimate the STV will reach 14th magnitude stars with one second integrations through an 8" SCT - and 18th magnitude in 60 seconds.
Objects that are impossible to capture with a typical low light video camera are easy targets for the STV.  Globular clusters, nebula and galaxies are easily displayed on a video monitor, recorded on video tape or captured as digital image files.  One simply increases the exposure until the objects are visible and presses a button to capture the image."

STV Features

  • TC237 CCD with 656 x 480 Pixels and various binning modes
  • Single Stage Thermoelectric Cooling
  • Integral Filter/Shutter Wheel with Open, Closed and Filter positions
  • Video Output to Internal and External Video Monitors
  • Advanced 2 line x 24 Character Alphanumeric Display
  • Fast Frame Rates (up to 10 frames per second)
  • Built In Track & Accumulate (SBIG patent 5,365,269)
  • 2 MB Flash memory for saving 14 images
  • Remote Operation with STV REMOTE Software
  • Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Powered for Highest Performance
  • Standard T-Thread Front End (with screw in 1.25" nose piece)
  • Telescope Port for Stand Alone (No Computer Required) Auto Guiding
  • RS-232 Port for Remote Control and Image Download
  • Optional 2 position Focal Reducer for 2X and 3X Reduction
  • Optional C-Mount and Tripod Mount Accessories
  • Optional Mini 4" Focal Length Telescope Tube for eFinder Operation
  • Optional built-in 5" LCD Video Screen

What Can You Do With An STV?

  • Rapidly Focus the System at Video Rates with the Focus Mode
  • Adjust Focus Sensitivity with a Single Knob
  • Take High Quality Images with Image Mode
  • Continuous
    Snap shots
    Track & Accumulate
    Auto Grab
  • Save Images to Flash Memory with the File Ops Mode
  • Download Images to PC for Offline Viewing and Processing
  • Measure Images with the Display Mode
  • Stellar Magnitudes
    Stellar Separations
  • Autoguide Your Telescope with the Calibrate and Track Modes
  • Measure Critical Seeing Parameters with the Monitor Modes
    Telescope PEC
    Optical System Quality
    Atmospheric Seeing
    Electronic Finder (eFinder)

Filed under: Eyepieces & Accessories