QSI 6120WS-8 Monochrome Cooled CCD Camera
QSI SKU: QSI6120WS8
- Color or Monochrome Camera: Monochrome
- Cooled or Uncooled: Cooled
- Pixel Array & Resolution: 4250 x 2838 (12.1 MP)
- Pixel Size in Microns: 3.1
- Sensor Model: ICX834
The QSI 6120ws-8 offers a comprehensively equipped high-end CCD-camera that leaves no desires open. Next to the installed brand-new Sony sensor ICX834 with a max. quantum efficiency over 75% the camera has an 8 position filterwheel integrated into the Aluminum body, which permits a high level of flexibility in changing your filters, and also allows an unvignetted image even with fast optical systems. To minimize dark current the QSI-6120ws-8 has a powerful two-element TEC cooling-system, with which a sensor cooling of max. 45°C relative to ambient temperature is achievable. Through an optional liquid heat exchanger one can even reach delta 55°C. Included with the camera is an extensive driver and software-bundle, which provides immediate use.
Sony ICX834 CCD Sensor: The QSI 6120ws-8 camera uses the 12 megapixel Sony ExView ICX834 interline transfer CCD image sensor, and sports both microlens technology and antiblooming protection. The Sony ICX834 has an image size of 13.2mm x 8mm, with a 4250 x 2838 image array. The 3.1µm pixels offer high resolution. The ICX834 has exceptional sensitivity across the visual band, with peak quantum efficiency of 77% at 560nm and remarkably low dark current.
Mechanical Shutter: The QSI 6120WS-8 Camera comes with both an electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter. When operating with an interline transfer CCD, the mechanical shutter is not used to actually make the exposure. This is still the responsibility of the electronic shutter. The mechanical shutter is employed to cover the CCD and simplify the creation of Dark and Bias frames for subsequent image processing.
Full-8 Body & Integrated Filter Wheel: The QSI 6120ws-8 uses the Full-8 body in order to make room for an internal eight position filter wheel. Engineered with extensive use of sophisticated CAD-CAM design tools, the QSI 600 Series camera body is CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The finely finished anodized body components are assembled with corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware throughout. Even with the large 12mp sensor, the short back focus and close spacing provided by the internal color filter wheel allows the 6120ws-8 to work with optics faster than f/2.8 with no vignetting. The standard 8-position filter wheel accepts standard threaded 1.25" filters*.
High Quality Read Mode: High Quality (HQ) Read Mode provides the lowest possible noise but requires a longer time to read the image from the sensor. High speed (HS) Read Mode reads the image from the sensor at 8 million pixels per second (8 MHz) supporting frame rates of up 15 fps depending on the camera model, ROI and binning.
USB 2.0, full 16-bit output: Pixel depth is a full 16-bits per pixel providing the smoothest color and gray scale transitions and the lowest noise.
Selectable ROI and binning: All QSI cameras have selectable Region of Interest (ROI) and binning for the most flexibility in framing your subject.
Output Hardware Trigger: QSI cameras can output a hardware signal out of the Control Port to trigger an external event such as a strobe.
Regulated Cooling: Cooling the CCD is essential for successful long exposure imaging. Cooling the sensor dramatically reduces the dark current and resulting thermal noise in an image and makes long exposures practical.
QSI 600 Series cameras use a very efficient thermo-electric cooler (TEC) which relies on the 'Peltier Effect' to cool the CCD. When power is applied to a TEC, one side of the device gets cold and other side gets hot, essentially pumping heat from the cold side to the hot side. All QSI 600 Series cameras employ a two-stage TEC to increase the differential cooling effect. The more power applied to the TEC, the greater the differential cooling and the colder the CCD can get. The heat pumped from the CCD, as well as the power dissipated by the TEC, creates a significant amount of excess heat that must be removed from the camera. The back of a QSI 600 Series camera acts as a large heatsink with cooling fins machined directly into the body. Two automatically controlled cooling fans force air through these fins. The movement of air through the cooling fins greatly increases the amount of heat removed from the camera. Keep in mind that the lowest temperature that the CCD can be cooled is limited by the ambient air temperature and the speed of the cooling fans. Achieving very low temperatures is easy when imaging outdoors during cooler weather. If it is particularly cold you may not even need to turn the fans on, but if it is too warm you may need the help of Liquid-Assisted Cooling, which is available optionally.
Power Efficiency: One of the defining features of the 600 Series cameras is power efficiency. A fully configured WS camera operates from a single 12v DC supply and consumes less than 24 watts at full cooling, with both fans at maximum and the filter wheel moving. Other camera model configurations have power consumption as low as 5 watts. Included with each camera is an approved 12 volt DC power supply with an input voltage range of 90-240V, 50-60HZ.
Guider Control Port: All QSI 600 Series cameras have a Guider Control Port (not to be confused with the integrated Guider Port on WSG models) that can be used in conjunction with MaxIm LE or other CCD imaging software to “guide” your telescope mount for long-duration astro-imaging. The Guider Port uses an RJ-25, 6-connector modular connector, and is normally only operational if the camera is being used as the 'Guider' camera, or if you’re using the QSI camera as your main imaging camera and have configured MaxIm to send guider correction signals through the ”Main Relays”. A 10-foot guider control port cable is supplied with the camera.
Notification: Both visual and audible notification is built into all 600 Series cameras. A multi-color LED status display provides visual indication of the various states of camera operation. The behavior of the indicator is configurable and can be disabled by user command. A unique internal beeper provides audible feedback of camera operation and status. Like the visual display, the beeper can be configured and disabled by the user.
QSI 6120WS-8 Monochrome Camera Specifications
- Body Type: Full-8
- Shutter: Mechanical (Sensor has electronic shutter)
- Exposure Range: 0.03 sec to 240 min
- Internal Filter Wheel: Yes, 8 position for 1.25" threaded filters (upgradeable to 31mm)
- Integral Guider Port: No
- Dimensions: 5.86” w x 5.56” h x 2.5” d (add 0.23” for T-mount)
- Weight: 15 ounces (1450g)
- Back Focus with Faceplate T Mount Adapter (Included): 1.40”
- Back Focus with Faceplate C Mount Adapter (Optional): 1.18”
- Back Focus without Adapter: 1.18”
- Thermoelectric CCD Cooling: Temperature regulation +/- 0.1°C, @ 0°C to -40°C CCD temperature
- Cooling in Free Air, Fans @ Full Speed : Typically 40°C below ambient air with 85% cooling power
- Liquid Cooling (Optional) - Fans Off: Typically 45°C below circulating liquid with 85% cooling power (adds 0.75" to camera depth)
- Cooling Fan Control: Intelligent, user configurable
- Read Rate: User Selectable High Quality mode at 800KHz, High Speed mode at 8MHz
- Camera Gain: User Selectable High Gain 0.13 e-/ADU (default), Low Gain 0.28 e-/ADU
- Digital Resolution: 16 bits (both High Quality and High Speed mode)
- Total System Read Noise: <4 electrons RMS (typically <3.5 e- RMS, CCD specification limited) in High Quality mode Typically <7 electrons RMS (CCD specification limited) in High Speed mode
- Pixel Dark Current: <0.002 electrons per second at -10°C
- Full Image Read and Download Time: Typically <16 second (host computer dependent) in High Quality Mode (800KHz), <2 second in High Speed Mode (8MHz), Image download times will be reduced with binning and/or subframe (ROI)
- Binning Modes: Symmetrical and Asymmetrical binning up to 9 pixels horizontally or vertically
- Status and Notification: User configurable multi-color LED status indicator and multifunction audible beeper. Over-temperature and high/low voltage alarms.
- Power Consumption: 12v, 2A (24 watts) at max cooling, max fans and filter moving (25 AC watts max with included 90-240V AC power supply)
- Operating Environment Temperature: -20°C to 30°C, Humidity 10% to 90% non-condensing
- Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0 High Speed (USB 1.1 compatible)
- Other Ports: Optically isolated 4 channel control port for telescope guiding or input/output shutter trigger (See API Reference Manual for details)
- Included T Mounting Adapter: T-Thread, 42mm x .75mm pitch
- Nosepiece: T-Adapter to 2"
Sony ICX834 Sensor Specifications
- CCD Sensor: Sony ICX834 Monochrome
- CCD Architecture: Interline Transfer
- Microlens: Yes
- Anti-blooming: Yes - 800x suppression
- Imager Size (WxH): 13.2mm x 8.8mm
- Pixel Array (WxH): 4250 x 2838 active (12 megapixels)
- Pixel Size: 3.1µm x 3.1µm
- Pixel Full Well Depth: 9,000 e-
- Absolute Quantum Efficiency Peak: 77% at 560nm
- Pixel Dark Current: <0.002 electrons per second at -10°C
- Intrinsic Read Noise: 1.6 electrons RMS
- Dynamic Range: 75db
1. Camera control software is not included with this camera, since many people already have software they prefer. If you do not purchase the Maxim LE upgrade at the time of camera purchase ($149), you will need to have your own camera control software.
2. *You can upgrade to an 8-Position Filter Wheel that accepts 31mm unmounted filters for $50 as long as you make this choice at the same time you purchase your camera. If you opt for the standard 1.25" filter wheel now but decide to use 31mm unmounted filters at a later time, you will need to purchase the appropriate retaining screws to accommodate the depth of your filters, and doing so will allow the standard filter wheel to accept 31mm unmounted filters.