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Opticstar PX-137C COOLAIR
Top-of-the-Range Planetary, Lunar and Solar Video Camera
Opticstar PX-137C COOLAIR
The PX-137C COOLAIR video camera. Left: 0.25" photographic thread. Right: 1.25" nosepiece included.
  • 1/3" Sony IMX035 Exmor CMOS Colour
  • Sensor Resolution: 1280(H) x 1038(V)
  • Quantum Efficiency: 76% @ 500nm
  • Read out noise: 3e-
  • Frame Rate:
    • 25 FPS @ 1280x1038
    • 50 FPS @ 668x512
  • USB 2.0 Powered
  • Hardware Gain
  • No Infra Red filter
  • Ideal for Planetary, Lunar & Solar imaging
  • Robust aluminium alloy body
  • Air-Cooled with internal fan
  • Bundled Software:
    • ISCapture
    • etAMACAP
  • Computer Requirements:
    • Microsoft Windows (32-bit & 64-bit) XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • USB 2.0 port
Opticstar PX-137C suitability.
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Opticstar PX-137C COOLAIR
Package includes:
Order No. Price (inc_VAT) Shipping Delivery click to purchase
OSRPX137C £ --- £ ---
Setup Guide
(PDF)
ISCapture
(PDF)
Opticstar CCD Cameras
(Brochure, PDF)

Outline
The PX-137C is a scientific grade colour sCMOS camera that combines high frame rates with extremely high sensitivity and unusually low noise. The PX-137C is very well suited for planetary, Lunar and Solar imaging where an appropriate solar telescope or solar filter is required. The PX-137C CoolAir fan-cooled camera offers exceptional value for money in terms of performance and versatility.
Capturing critical detail with the PX-137C is now possible due the sensor's unique characteristics and high quality camera electronics that keep electronic noise at minimal levels. With an exposure range of 1ms to 60 seconds the camera can also be used for introductory deep sky imaging. For longer exposures thermal noise is significantly reduced due to the camera’s built-in active air-cooling subsystem.

The camera's wide dynamic range makes it ideal for imaging demanding targets including planets, the Sun and the International Space Station among others. The PX-137M camera is also ideal for industrial inspection and microscopy applications.
The Sun.
Image by Gary Palmer with Opticstar PΧ-137 COOLAIR.

Noise Reduction and Cooling
Thermal noise is kept to a minimum via a heat-sink that is directly attached to the back of the Sony sCMOS sensor and a low vibration fan that draws the heat out of the camera. Enclosed camera cases will typically show temperatures of around 10ºC above ambient temperature, these can rise dramatically during extended exposures. Air-cooled cameras such as the PX-137C will show internal temperatures of around 3ºC above ambient temperature under normal use, thermal noise halves for every 6 degrees of drop in temperature which means that a similar non air-cooled camera with have over twice the noise of the PX-137C during longer exposures.
Opticstar PX-137 cooling mechanism.
The cooling mechanism consists of a heat-sink and a fan.

Performance
The PX-137C requires a fully featured, full speed USB2.0 port to take advantage of all the camera's advanced features. The camera boasts a large Well Capacity of 15,000 e~ typically present in higher quality CCD sensors. The camera offers two modes of operation 1280x1038 and 668x512 resolutions. The PX-137C electronics in combination with the on-board sCMOS sensor ensure high signal-to-noise ratio even at very short exposure times.
Opticstar PX-137 cooling mechanism.
Demonstrating the high quantum efficiency (QE) of the PX-137's Sony IMX035 (1/3") sensor against high
performance Sony ICX618 (1/4") CCD sensor. The PX-137 has higher sensitivity, five times higher resolution
and twice the sensor size for twice the field of view.

Image Quality
The PX-137C camera can stream and store high quality video to disk at up to 50 frames per second at 668x512 resolution or at 25 frames per second at 1280x1030 resolution, it can also grab single frames. All video and single frames are captured without compression, ensuring high image quality.

The ability of the camera to capture and store high quality video to disk in real-time provides the data required for stacking any number of frames to create a single greatly enhanced quality image using image stacking software, these include the excellent AstroArt and freely available Deep Sky Stacker or Registax. AstroArt is more relevant when you want to manipulate the image but without altering the underlying data, AstroArt is therefore highly suitable for photometry.

ISCapture - Camera Control Software
The camera is bundled with ISCapture software for image capture and camera control with a point and click interface. It can capture single frames in AVI video format as well as single frames. The captured video data can optionally be compressed if required in MPEG-4 format. ISCapture includes functions for image processing and image measurements. It can also be used for a wide range of applications including microscopy.
ISCapture camera control software.
ISCapture for camera control and image processing.

A brief outline of ISCapture's image processing functions is listed below:
  • Basic operations including Crop, Mirror, Flip, Invert, Rotate, Bright, etc.
  • Copy and paste user defined regions.
  • Distances can be measured between user defined points, circles, etc.
  • Angles can be calculated by defining three points on the image.
  • Operations can be performed on any user defined region.
  • Colour operations can be performed on individual R, G, B channels.
  • Data combine of two images.
  • Data calibration.
  • Image-zoom as a per cent of the original image.
  • Linear filters to soften, sharpen, emboss, blur and Gaussian.
  • Non-linear filters for median, erode, dilate, contour, edge and jitter.
  • Transform filters for pinch, punch, twirl and cylinder.
  • Fluorescence filters for gamma, colorize, mix and combine.
EtAMCAP - Camera Control Software
EtAMCAP is the second program bundled with the camera. It can be used to control the camera and capture video in AVI format. This program does not include any image processing functionality but the captured video files can be processed in other software such as Deep Sky Stacker, Registax, Paintshop, Photoshop, etc.
EtAMCAP camera control software.
EtAMCAP camera control software.

Optional Accessories
Optionally, the PX-137C can accept a removable focal reducer that can significantly increase the field of view or an image amplifier that will substantially increase image size, relevant when imaging at high magnifications. The Opticstar Photo-visual Focal Reducer will triple the camera's field of view (x0.33) where the Opticstar Imaging Focal Reducer will offer focal reductions between x0.46 and x0.73.

The Opticstar Planetary Imaging Kit on the other hand will offer magnifications between x1.7 and x3.85 and is well suited for imaging the planets, moon and Sun with a suitable Solar filter. An extension 5 metre USB lead with a USB repeater (amplifier) is also available in cases where the camera will be used further away from the computer.

Specification
Model Opticstar PX-137C COOLAIR
Sensor Sony IMX035 Exmor Scientific CMOS colour
Optical Format 1/3"
Resolution 1280(W) x 1038(H)
Pixel Size 3.63µm x 3.63µm
Quantum Efficiency 76% @ 500nm
Analogue-to-Digital Converter 12-bit ADC, full 4096 range
Colour Bayer RGB Mosaic 8-bit or 16-bit uncompressed output
Read-out noise 3e- (RMS)
Dynamic Range 4500:1 (Gain 1X)
Frame Rate 25fps @ 1280x1038
50fps @ 668x512
Shutter Electronic Rolling
Window glass Clear, no Infra Red cut-off
Exposure Time Automatic or Manual; 1 millisecond to 1 minute
Cooling Heat sink and fan
Gain in hardware, user selectable from 0% to >100% boost
Computer Interface USB 2.0 with 1.8 metre cable
Power Requirement USB 2.0 Bus Power
Mounting to telescope C/CS to 1.25" (included)
Mounting to lens C to T-thread, M42 x 0.75
Mounting to microscope C to 23mm, C to 30mm, C to 30.5mm
Weight 250 grams
Bundled software ISCapture, etAMCAP
Data Format AVI video with or wihthout MPEG compression; BMP
Computer requirements Microsoft Windows (64-bit & 32-bit) XP/Vista/7/8/10; USB 2.0 port
All information correct at the time of writing.

Opticstar PX-137, PX-35 & PX-75 COOLAIR Sample Images
Please click on the images below to expand to their full size.
Sample image. Sample image.
The Sun.
Captured by Gary Palmer, England.
Opticstar PX-137 COOLAIR, Solamax II 90
Click to expand to full size.

The Sun.
Captured by Gary Palmer, England.
Opticstar PX-137 COOLAIR, Solamax II 90
Click to expand to full size.

Sample image. Sample image.
The Sun.
Captured by Gary Palmer, England.
Opticstar PX-137 COOLAIR, Solamax II 90
Click to expand to full size.

The Sun.
Captured by Gary Palmer, England.
Opticstar PX-137 COOLAIR, Solamax II 90
Click to expand to full size.

Sample image. Sample image.
The Sun.
Captured by Gary Palmer, England.
Opticstar PX-137 COOLAIR, Solamax II 90
Click to expand to full size.

The Sun.
Captured by Gary Palmer, England.
Opticstar PX-137 COOLAIR, Solamax II 90
Click to expand to full size.

Sample image. Sample image.
The Sun.
Captured by Thomas Wakefield, England.
Opticstar PX-137M COOLAIR, Solamax II 60
Click to expand to full size.

The Sun.
Captured by Thomas Wakefield, England.
Opticstar PX-137M COOLAIR, Solamax II 60
Click to expand to full size.

Sample image. Sample image.
Jupiter.
Captured by S. Ota, Japan.
Opticstar PX-35C COOLAIR
Click to expand to full size.

Jupiter.
Captured by S. Ota, Japan.
Opticstar PX-35C COOLAIR
Click to expand to full size.

Sample image. Sample image.
The Moon.
Captured by Naoki Yokoo, Japan.
Opticstar PX-75C COOLAIR
Click to expand to full size.

The Moon.
Captured by Naoki Yokoo, Japan.
Opticstar PX-75C COOLAIR
Click to expand to full size.



Notice
We are constantly checking the accuracy of the technical data. We are prepared to provide more detailed information on request. Technical data is subject to change without notice.

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