SBIG StarChaser SC-2 Off-Axis Guider Cameras
Diffraction Limited’s new SBIG StarChaser SC-2 is the world’s first, all-in-one independent Off-Axis Guiding Camera with Adaptive Optics support. The StarChaser operates independently of the main camera. It combines a pick-off mirror, guider camera, guide port, and Adaptive Optics control.
Stop wasting time with ruined exposures caused by flexure between the main camera and guider. Off-axis guiding eliminates this problem by using the same optical path for the main camera and the guider.
Most off-axis guider assemblies are awkward to use, consume too much back focus, and require you to focus by slipping a camera inside an eyepiece holder. SBIG pioneered simplified off-axis guiding, with guide sensors built into CCD cameras. Later, we created the self-guiding filter wheel, placing the guide sensor in the light path ahead of photon-robbing narrowband filters. The StarChaser is the next step in this progression – a fully independent guide camera with AO capability.
Note: When using with StarChaser with AO, you will need a StarChaser to AO-X/AO-8T Adapter Cable. The necessary adapter cable is included in our StarChaser SC-3 / AO-X Bundle and StarChaser SC-2 / AO-8A Bundle.
Three Versions Available
StarChaserSC-2 is designed to work with our compact SBIG cameras. It supports the AO-8A adaptive optics unit. See the table below for compatibility with various camera models.
Adapters are also available to attach StarChaser to legacy STL cameras. For STL cameras with smaller sensors and internal filter wheel, you can use the SC-2 with the appropriate adapter. Another adapter is available to attach the SC-3-SHORT, for STL cameras with larger sensors and the external filter wheel.
Next-Generation Off-Axis Guiding
The StarChaser represents our next generation of off-axis guide technology. It features a high-sensitivity 1.3 megapixel Global Shutter CMOS sensor with 4.8 micron pixels. Unlike competing autoguiders, the StarChaser has a mechanical shutter for easy dark frame correction. This feature, standard on all SBIG guiders, optimizes sensitivity and eliminates hot pixels that could degrade guiding accuracy.
The pick-off mirror position is adjustable by loosening a locking knob and sliding the mirror into or out of the housing. You can avoid vignetting the main sensor while optimizing the light path into the guide sensor. Once that is set, focus is adjusted simply by turning a second knob.
Adaptive Optics Control
Thanks to the SBIG StarChaser series, our renowned Adaptive Optics (AO) technology is now available for virtually our entire camera line! Our AO-8A (available separately) bolts onto the front of the StarChaser SC-2. The StarChaser is in turn attached to the front of an SBIG standard filter wheel and camera.
Adaptive Optics technology eliminates guiding errors caused by common mount problems such as stiction, periodic error, and wind loads. It can even reduce “slow seeing” effects resulting in higher resolution images.
Thin and Adaptable
The STarChaser StarChase ST-2 SC-2 is just 0.800″ (20.3 mm) thick. When attaching to a filter wheel the existing adapter plate (0.147″ / 3.7 mm thick) would normally be moved from the filter wheel onto the front of the SC-2. When attaching an AO-8A to the front of the SC-2, the adapter plate is not used.