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Pyxis Camera Field Rotator


Camera side of Pyxis with optional T-thread camera adapter

The Pyxis camera rotator was especially designed with the guiding chip of the SBIG ST-x CCD cameras in mind. Simply locate a suitable guide star, enter the position angle and let the Pyxis rotate the camera so that a bright guide star is centered on the tracking chip. For those with alt-azimuth mounts, the Pyxis can de-rotate the field while tracking an object. A simple Windows interface program is provided which provides both position angle rotation and de-rotation control modes.  The control software is free and updates are also free.

Utilizing a precision sealed 50mm bearing, the Pyxis provides the rigidity and stability you have come to expect from Optec instruments. Weighing under 2 lbs the Pyxis can support and rotate the SBIG ST line of cameras without slipping. If the holding torque of 27 inch-pounds (3 Nm) is exceeded, the drive gear will slip but no damage to the Pyxis will occur. The running torque is 9 inch-pounds (about 1.0 Nm). This limit to the holding and running torque will also prevent damage to cables and instruments if a rotational stoppage does occur. The Pyxis can handle the SBIG AO-7 adaptive optic with camera. The clear aperture of the Pyxis is 1.65 inches and adds about 1.6 inches to the back-focus. For large instrument packages or systems that use the SBIG STL camera with large CCD, the new Pyxis 3-inch model is suggested.

Intelligent firmware will choose the best direction for each move to keep camera cables from binding. The built-in circuit board provides all the control needed - no external hand control box is required. Windows control software is provided with the Pyxis and software integrators will appreciate the simple command language allowing them to easily select a new position angle or activate the derotation control for alt-azimuth tracking.

The Pyxis was designed for use with the Optec TCF-S Focuser and IFW Filter Wheel. Fully compatible with the Optec NextGen MAXfield and NextGen WideField telecompressors the Pyxis can be used at 1X, 0.5X, and 0.33X using any SBIG camera. However, the NextGen telecompressors used with the Pyxis are not compatible with the SBIG cameras having an attached CFW-8/9/10 filter wheel. In this case the back-focus distance for the NextGEN reducer is exceeded.

I just took a series of 20 minute video sequences with my C11 in Alt/Az configuration from my front verandah through a narrow band H-alpha filter and the derotation was near perfect with the small stars on the periphery of the field showing as pinpoints. Very satisfying! - Dr. Jack Giles, Queensland, Australia - October 1, 2009.

New Firmware And Circuit Board Available

New firmware is available for the Pyxis 2-inch and 3-inch models. It was suggested that the unit have the ability to adjust the HOME or 0 position angle by software means instead of physically rotating the unit. Seeing the wisdom of this, the firmware has been modified to allow the user to set 0 PA within +/- 15 degrees of the default position. Cost is $25.00. New control software version 1.30 must be downloaded to make use of this new command. This firmware is only compatible with Rev. 1 circuit boards for the Pyxis 2-inch. Earlier models require a circuit board replacement. Special pricing is available for those users who desire the upgrade. Call Optec today!

Suggested Accessories:

Pyxis To SBIG STL Adapter (for SBIG STL camera owners)

AstroTech Field Flattener Extender Tube

Customer Reviews:

Read an Astromart review  of the Pyxis written by Bob Benamati, noted astro imager. Keep in mind that his Pyxis was one of the first and was equipped with the original low torque motor and not the high torque model used now.

The Ewell Observatory  in California has many dream telescopes with the latest high tech gear. Browse their web site to see the Pyxis mounted with various camera configurations and view the results.