Manufacturer: Altair-Astro
Product number: ALTAIRGP130M

EUR 209,00RRP EUR 299,00you save 30.1% (EUR 90,00)

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  • Details..
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  • In the box..
An all-in-one General Purpose Astronomy Camera with a 1.2mpx monochrome CMOS sensor
Now, you can enjoy HD imaging at lower cost than ever before, and with all the quality and features you´d expect - driven by maturing CMOS technology.

The GPCAM2 lets you image the moon, sun and planets. What´s more - an ST4 auto-guiding port is included!

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

The GPCAM2 AR0130 is very well suited for imaging the planets. High frame rates and short exposure times are essential for "lucky imaging" which reduces the effects of "seeing". The protective window transmits IR radiation onto a sensor which is sensitive in this range, so using an IR pass filter for further seeing reduction is possible. On the other hand, using this camera with a refractive system in white light rquires a UV/IR blocking filter.

You can also enjoy solar photography with this camera, not only in white light but also in H-alpha and the light of calcium. The GPCAM2 AR0130 is very sensitive in these regions, reducing exposure times.

What´s more, you can attach a standard C(S)-mount lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteors 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.

Practical features
The AR0130 monochrome sensor: Specially selected 1/3" Aptina AR0130 HD CMOS sensor with 3.75 micron pixels, high sensitivity and fast frame rate, as well as long time exposure capability. Special DR-Pix™ Dynamic Response technology provides high performance in a very low light environment - a class leader for maintaining high dynamics and low noise in low light situations, making it perfect for planetary imaging, video astronomy and even short deepsky exposures. Quantum efficiency (QE) peaks at about 78% in green.

The electronics and CNC casing: Altair Astro GPCAM2 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. 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. What´s more, non-essential circuitry is shut down during long exposures resulting in even less noise and a stronger signal.

The camera: About the size of a small eyepiece, and weighing about 90 grams, the GPCAM2 packs many features into a very small form factor. 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, H-alpha solar imaging, RGB planetary imaging or even UV and IR planetary imaging (reveals extreme detail).

What’s different about the "Purple casing" GPCAM2 platform compared to the blue casing GPCAM1 platform? You’ll notice the GPCAM2 casing is larger than the GPCAM. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering as well as to increase the surface area for cooling. The GPCAM2 platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, re-aligning or refocusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The GPCAM2 also has an improved onboard frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.

Some interesting features of the AR0130 Mono sensor, aside from increased overall sensitivity compares to the MT9M034 sensor in the GPCAM1, is a very high response in the red region of the spectrum making the camera very sensitive to red light for Hydrogen Alpha solar imaging and in the NIR / IR region which enables the camera to be used with an Altair Planet Killer IR Pass filter for high contrast lunar imaging.

Connecting your GPCAM2: A built-in ST4 auto guider port is included on the rear face with 1.5 m 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 to reduce cable-clutter. 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 50 mm guide scopes. A standard 1.25 inch eyepiece filter can be installed, such as a light pollution filter. The 1.25" barrel can can be removed to reveal a standard C-mount thread compatible with most industrial and surveillance lenses or microscope eyepiece adapters.

The software: While there are no drivers or software included, they can easily be downloaded from the site of the manufacturer.

Minimum system requirements (according manufacturer)
Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10, Vista, XP (32 + 64-bit)
USB 2.0
at least Intel Core2 2.8 GHz or comparable
at least 2 GB RAM
monitor 17" or more

Sensor type:Aptina AR0130 monochrome CMOS sensor
Sensor Size:1/3" diagonal (4.8 mm x 3.6 mm)
Exposure duration shortest/longest:0.115 ms (0.000115 secs) / 800 secs
Bit depth:8bit & 12bit mode switchable
Pixel size:3.75 µm x 3.75 µm
Resolution in pixels:1280x960
Recording System:Still picture and video
Region Of Interest (ROI) support:Yes, depending on software
Approx. max frame rates (8-bit mode):1280x960 27-30 FPS, 640x480 55 FPS, 320x240 104 FPS
Approx. max frame rates (12-bit mode):Approx. 50% of the frame rates in 8-bit mode
Quantum Efficiency:78% peak
Gain Sensitivity:6.5 V/lux-sec
Dynamic Range:82 dB
SNR Maximum:44 dB
Readout:Progressive Scan
Shutter:Electronic Rolling Shutter
Spectral Range:350-1050 nm with clear glass window, 380-650 nm with UV/IR blocking filter
AltairCapture OS support:Win XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
USB Port & Cable:2.0 USB, 2 m cable
ST4 Port & Cable:Standard ST4 opto-isolated, 1.5 m cable
Camera body length:65 mm total length including CS-Mount
Weight:90 g (camera net weight)
Optical window:AR-coated clear glass, 350-1050 nm wavelength transmission
Camera body:OD 1.25" stepped barrel
Camera body thread:CS-mount female allows direct attachment of CS-mount lens
CS-mount lens compatibility:CS-mount male threaded lens with 12.526 mm back-focus requirement
C-mount lens adapter:Included, terminates in female thread
C-mount lens compatibility:C-mount male threaded lens with 17.526 mm back-focus 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 20 mm 1.25” Astro adapter:37.58 mm
Power consumption:0.875 W (ave. Camera running)
Max operating temp:50 °C
Lowest operating temp:-10 °C
Max operating humidity:80 % RH
Power source in Volts:5 V DC (via USB cable)
Minimum CPU:Equal to Intel Core2 2.8 GHz or Higher
Minimum Memory:2 GB or More
USB port:USB2.0 High-speed Port
Camera body
CS-mount adapter with clear glass filter AR coated
Dust cap
C-mount 5 mm axtension adapter for C-mount lenses requiring 17.5 mm backfocus
1.25 inch nosepiece with 1.25" filter thread
2 m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable
1.5 m ST4 guide cable
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You wil need to download the latest drivers and sowftware for free.

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Written by Benno Margesin
on 2017-07-04

"sehr gut gebaut"