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CCD Systems and Their Hardware

Currently, there are three CCD systems available at Mt. Stony Brook. The Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG) ST-4 is an 8-bit camera used primarily for tracking. SpectraSource's Lynxx camera uses a 12-bit format, and the SBIG ST-6 follows a 16-bit format; both are used for imaging. All three cameras have focal reducer available, these are useful since both increase the field size and the signal to noise in each pixel. However depending on the exact specifications of the observation, it is possible to under sample the data when using a focal reducer. Each camera is utilized in different areas of data collection. Table 1 contains specifications of the cameras.



: Technical Specifications Of The CCD Cameras.

When working with the PC, all software packages are to be executed outside of the WINDOWS. The reason for avoiding Windows with the Lynxx is because the PCBRAND BIOS chip is not compatible with the Lynxx software and the exposure times become distorted. For a listing of the exposure times for the Lynxx, see Appendix I. The more applications that are run on WINDOWS, the slower the clock runs, thus the exposure time becomes dependent on how many applications you are running. The ST-6 and ST-4 also should not run through WINDOWS as data transfer time is slowed. Within WINDOWS, the communication rate is set at 19.2 kbps, otherwise the communication rate can be 115 kbps.

Scott J. Wolk
Mon Nov 25 15:41:03 EST 1996