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Altair Astro GPCAM Mono Astronomy Camera With Autoguiding And Meteor Lens

Price:  £169.99 (Inc. 20% VAT)Earn 169 Loyalty Points

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Model:  GPCAMMT9M034
Brand:  Altair

Altair Astro GPCAM Mono Astronomy Camera With Autoguiding And Meteor Lens
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The GPCAMMT9M034M is an all-in-one General Purpose astronomy camera with a 1.2mpx MONO CMOS sensor.

Now, you can enjoy full HD imaging at lower cost than ever before, and with all the quality and features you'd expect - driven by maturing CMOS technology and state of the art component technology. About the size of a small eyepiece, and weighing about 70 grams, the GP-CAM packs many features into a very small form factor.

The GP-CAM let's you image the Moon, Sun and Planets, and even deep-sky imaging. What's more - an ST4 auto-guiding port is included!

Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry allow the GPCAM to outperform CMOS cameras using older electronics boards, so the GPCAM can even be used for longer deepsky exposures. Japanese SMD boards and US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market.

Of course for autoguiding with the Altair Miniguider and Starwave optical tube range, the GPCAMMT9M034 Mono camera is ideal! You get all the sensitivity and light weight direct fitment - just like a 1.25" eyepiece. No hassle, no fuss, no adapters required.

If you ever wanted to experiment with imaging the planets with colour RGB filters, or in UV or IR, the GPCAM GPCAMMT9M034M Mono is also ideally suited.

What's more, you can attach a standard C or CS-mount lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates.

Full ROI (Region Of Interest) support is included, allowing you to increase the frame rate to very high speeds by focusing on planets or solar features, and with the free downloadable AltairCapture software, you can even take darkframes in seconds.

The sensor: Specially selected 1/3" Aptina MT9M034 HD CMOS sensor with 3.75 micron pixels, high sensitivity and fast frame rate, as well as long time exposure capability. The mono CMOS sensor has a Peak QE rating of 74% outperforming many more expensive CCD sensors, and is optimised for performance in a very low light environment, making it perfect for solar, planetary imaging, video astronomy, and deepsky imaging. The peak Quantum Efficiency (QE) of the Aptina MT9M034 Mono sensor is appox. 75% in green light, making it one of the most sensitive 1/3" CMOS sensors available at this price.

The electronics: Altair Astro GPCAM PCB boards feature ESD protection (Electro-Static Discharge). All the electronic components on the PCB board are of high quality and are imported from the USA and Japan. These quality components give Altair cameras more stable performance and a longer lifespan than most other cameras, hence the two year warranty. Non-essential circuitry is shut down during long exposures resulting in even less noise and a stronger signal. Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry allow the GPCAM to outperform CMOS cameras using older electronics boards, so the GPCAM can even be used for longer deepsky exposures. Japanese SMD boards and US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market.

The casing: The camera casing is CNC machined on a CNC lathe will multi axis milling capabilities, accurate to thousands of an inch, therefore component fit and alignment are very accurate. The case features an internal heat transfer structure designed to conduct heat away from the electronics, and directly from the sensor to be dissipated through the outer housing quickly and efficiently resulting in a cooler sensor and lower noise in long exposure mode. The GPCAM is attractive for auto guiding because it has a slim casing which fits between OAG and Filter wheel or Guidescope and main optical tube. The ST4 & USB cables protrude from the back of the camera for more clearance. Some cameras do not have this slim casing, and some even have a large wide body with cables protruding from the sides at 90 degrees to the optical axis, or USB/ST4 cables which cannot be combined in a sheath because they are too far apart. This means they are difficult or impossible to use with an OAG and most finder/guiders with cable pull and clearance issues. Neat cable management and clearance are more reasons to choose the GPCAM.

The optical window: The sensor is protected by a double-side Anti Reflection (AR) coated optical window, The colour camera optical window blocks UV & IR light enabling direct use with telescopes, barlow and reducer lenses. The mono camera optical window is clear to allow the user full control over what type of light they wish to pass for example narrowband imaging, Ha solar imaging, RGB planetary imaging or even UV and IR planetary imaging (reveals extreme detail).

Connecting your GPCAM to your PC and mount: A built-in ST4 auto guider port is included on the rear face with 2m ST4 cable for easy connection between auto guider directly to your GOTO mount. The camera is powered through the included 2m USB 2.0 cable, which is aligned with the USB cable so you can combine them in a sheath or tie them together with cable ties to reduce cable-clutter.

Connecting your GPCAM to telescopes with filters, and C or CS-Mount lenses: The CNC machined aluminum housing has a standard 1.25 inch OD barrel to fit to almost any telescope focuser including the Altair Miniguider 60, 80, and Starwave 50mm guide scopes. A standard 1.25 inch eyepiece filter can be installed on the end of the 1.25" barrel, such as a light pollution or other special filter. The 1.25" barrel can be removed to reveal a standard CS/C-mount thread compatible with most industrial and surveillance lenses, or microscope eyepiece adapters. If you want to image in exotic wavelengths like UV or IR you can use the clear optical window which comes with the MONO camera. For use with a lens or a telescope with lenses in the optical path, you just attach UV/IR Blocking optical window (already in place on the colour camera and included with the mono camera. The GPCAM is a very flexible system compared other cameras. It allows you to swap the optical window instantly and easily whilst avoiding touching the filter, a feature not possible with some other cameras. A 5mm CS to C mount converter ring is also included. This allows you to attach CS-mount as well as C-mount lenses, so you have a huge range of lenses available to experiment with, unlike other cameras which only allow the use of CS lenses. See the GPCAM system chart for more info.

The Meteor lens: You can use the 150 degree FOV F1.6 Meteor lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates. You can even make timelapse daytime videos to capture cloud formations or capture any activity with standard high speed video mode. This little lens is sharp too, and perfectly capable of macro photography and video. Your imagination is the limit!

Software compatibility:
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download GP-CAM drivers and software to make it work. DO NOT PLUG IN CAMERA UNTIL YOU HAVE INSTALLED THE DRIVERS.
Fully supported by the latest version of Sharpcap for still and video capture, and full control of your camera.
AltairCapture astrophotography software can also be downloaded to support image stacking, video preview, video recording, snapshot image capture, and raw data output. AltairCapture software also allows full control of the camera frame rate, exposure time in milliseconds, colour balance, gain, B&W / colour mode and ROI (Region Of Interest).
A special version of PHD2 can also be downloaded here. (Requires Altair Device Drivers to work).
NEW GPCAM ASCOM drivers now available for testing on Altair Astro Google Group.
Included in the box:
Camera body.
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with 1.25" filter thread.
C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm backfocus.
Extra CS-Mount adapter with built-in clear AR coated optical window (for UV or IR imaging of planets with UV or IR pass filters).
CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter AR coated (for imaging with lenses or refractors).
2.1mm F1.6 150 degree FOV wide angle Meteor lens and dust caps.
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download the latest GP-CAM drivers.

Sensor & performance specifications: (Where they differ, Colour and Mono camera specs are included for comparison).

GPCAMMT9M034M: Aptina MT9M034 Mono CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/3" diagonal (4.8x3.6mm)
Exposure duration shortest/longest: 0.4 ms (0.0004 secs) / 800 secs
Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit mode switchable
Pixel size microns: 3.75x3.75 um
Resolution in pixels: 1280x960
Recording System: Still Picture and Video
Region Of Interest (ROI) support: Yes, user selectable via driver
Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus operating at full bandwidth):
1280x960 30FPS, 1024x768 40FPS, 800x600 70FPS, 640x480 100FPS, 20x240 200FPS
Sensor QE / Quantum Efficiency:
GPCAMMT9M034M: Approx. 75% peak in green light
Gain Sensitivity:
GPCAMMT9M034M: 5.48v/lux-sec
Dynamic Range:
GPCAMMT9M034M: >115dB
SNR Maximum:
GPCAMMT9M034M: 43.9dB
Readout: Progressive Scan
Shutter: Electronic Rolling Shutter


Software & OS support:
Drivers & software download (Windows only): cameras.altairastro.com
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
AltairCapture OS support: Win XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
USB Port & Cable: 2.0 USB, 2m cable
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Physical characteristics:
Cooling: High Performance Cooling Chassis uses telescope focuser as heat-sink
Camera body length: 63mm total length including C-Mount and 1.25" Astro barrel
Weight grams: 70 g (camera net weight)
Optical window built into CS Mount Adapter before 1.25" front barrel - can be removed:
Mono Camera: AR-coated clear 350-1050nm wavelength transmission
Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 380-650nm wavelength transmission

Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is removable to reveal female C-Mount thread.
Camera body: OD 1.25" stepped barrel
Camera body thread: C/CS-Mount female allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens or C-Mount lens with 5mm extension.
C-mount lens adapter: Included, terminates in female thread.
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD, Female thread
Pushfit Barrel OD: Standard Astro format 1.25" OD eyepiece-barrel
Sensor surface distance from flat end of C-mount adapter: 17.58 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 20mm 1.25 Astro adapter: 37.58 mm

Operating environment conditions:
Power consumption: 0.8 W (Ave. Camera running)
Max operating temp: 50 C
Lowest operating temp: -10 C
Max operating humidity: 80 % RH
Power source in Volts: 5V DC (via USB cable)

Windows PC Hardware Requirements:
Minimum CPU: Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher
Minimum Memory: 2GB or More
USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port
Monitor Display: 17" or Larger
Software delivery: Downloaded online and saved to hard drive.

Packaging:
Protective rubber end-cap
Padded cardboard storage box with durable foam inserts

Optional Accessories:
Altair Astro Premium 1.25" CLS-CCD Filter with UV/IR Block & AR Coating (Code: F125CLSCCD) for imaging emission nebulae in light polluted urban enivonments.
Altair Astro Premium Planet-Killer 685nm IR Pass Filter with AR Coating (Code: F125IRP685CCD) for the ultimate sharpness in lunar and planetary imaging (best for mono camera but does work with colour camera).

Warranty: 2 years manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and worksmanship.

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