DSO cooled camera line is the most advanced product line in Player One history. We start the project from 2021, through a lot of modify and rebuild we made this final version. It brings our newest technology and design to everyone, we are very proud to introduce this camera line.
Power supply is not include in camera package, high quality 12V 5A power supply link: https://player-one-astronomy.com/product/12v-5a-power-supply-dc5-5-x-2-1mm/
Drivers and softwares download: http://player-one-astronomy.com/service/software/
Manuals download: http://player-one-astronomy.com/service/manuals/
Setup tutorial (Demonstrate with Ares-C Pro):
Apollo-M MAX Pro (IMX432) camera is developed by Player One Astronomy, a real cooled camera for solar imaging. Apollo-M MAX Pro camera, which adopts Sony IMX432 1.1” format monochrome sensor. The 9um pixel size accommodates a well depth of 100Ke with a total of 1.7MP (the resolution is 1608*1104), and the diagonal is 17.5mm.
Apollo-M MAX Pro (IMX432) based on Sony Pregius 3rd Gen technology, it is global shutter technology used in CMOS sensors.
Apollo-M MAX Pro (IMX432) has 1.1″ format, it is the biggest sensor in entire solar camera series currently, this size is quite big for imaging.
9um pixel size is 1.5 times bigger than IMX174 camera, which means it can works at longer focal ratio, such as SCT + Daystar filter(with 4.2X) .
The Apollo-M MAX Pro cooled camera using same design as Ares cooled series, but a little difference! With a round body, a golden and black color scheme, and using carbon fiber to keep weight down and cutting-edge outlook. We also integrated the sensor tilter plate and anti-dew PCB board. This series of designs makes the camera not only light and cool, but also functional!
Front 3P and Rear 4P tilter plate
When shooting deep sky objects, the sensor tilt plate can be used to adjust the sensor tilt angle to make the stars at the corners more rounded. Apollo-M MAX Pro camera provide both front and Rear tilter plate fulfill all usage scenarios.
Front 3P tilter plate is the default part on camera, we believe most users has experience with this before. it works well in a lot of basic scenarios.
Rear 4P tilter plate is an alternate part for camera, when use filter wheel/filter drawer and OAG with fixed angel, it is necessary. And it is also convenient for RASA users to adjust the sensor tilt angel.
The built-in high-density sponge shading pad can block the light from the side slits without any side leakage.
Carbon fiber and light weight
The Apollo-M MAX Pro uses a carbon fiber in camera hausing and has been optimized for weight reduction in its structural design. The camera weighs only 420 grams, making it one of the lightest models on the market.
Player One cooled camera series use 2 Stage TEC Cooling unit, after improved the structure design to reject the heat back to camera chamber, Camera Delta-T can reach 35-40℃.
In the design of lightweight cooled cameras, Player One still pursuing the perfection, any necessary features must have, especially anti-dew system, is the problem that a lot of small cooled cameras ignored.
100Ke full well, is 3 times bigger than IMX174. This feature will bring some new possibility in imaging. What we can imagine is HDR the Sun and prominence, or maybe the bright and dark side of the Moon.
HCG and Noise
HCG mode will automatic open when Gain ≥145, readout noise will drop to 4.6e. And dynamic range will rise to 12 drops again.
At 380 gain, readout noise of Apollo-M MAX (IMX432) camera is 2.6e, it is lower than IMX174. And full well will still bigger than IMX174.
Apollo-M MAX Pro is not a non-amp-glow camera, but it’s amp-glow is very smooth, we believe it will be easier to be calibrated. In solar imaging, it won’t be a problem at all.
300s@gain=0, offset=10, -10 degree, Dark frame of Apollo-M MAX Pro camera: DOWNLOAD
Preview of Dark frame: Exposure=300s, gain=0, offset=10, temp=-10℃ STF auto-Stretch in Pixinsight 1.86
512MB DDR3 Cache
As an improvement, DDR3 cache in cooled cameras are increased to 512MB. It helps stabilize and secure data transmission, it effectively avoids frame dropping and greatly reduces readout noise.
With the DDR3 cache, the camera does not have high demands on computing needs any longer, it will still has excellent performance even if it is connected to a USB 2.0 port.
Type-C Data port and Power port
Back piece of cooled camera has 2 Type-C data port and 12V DC 5.5×2.1mm power port.
Main data port support USB3.0 protocol, the camera can run 126fps under RAW8 mode. Type-C port is easier to plug in when assemble the imaging equipment in night.
When recording images, since the actual writing speed will be affected by the writing speed of the hard disk itself, when the hard disk writing speed is slow, the recording may not reach the theoretical speed. It is recommended that you use a high-quality solid state drive to record data to give full play to the performance of the camera.
The camera has 12V DC5.5*2.1mm port to provide enough power to TEC cooling system. If you don’t need to power up cooling, only need to connect the main Type-C port, the camera will works as a uncooled camera.
Standard Cable Usage
Cooling System and Anti-Dew Heater
In ASCOM window, we provide 3 adjustable parameters: Target temperature, Fan Speed and Anti-Dew power.
Standard Delta-T : 35℃-40℃(Long exposure mode）, 30℃(Video mode）, when ambient temp 30℃, fan speed 100%, dew heater 1%.
Recommend Delta-T settings: 30℃-35℃ below ambient, fan speed 50-70%, dew heater 10%, power consumption 40- 60%.
The rotation speed of cooling fan is also adjustable, the default value is 50% speed.
Dew problem is the biggest enemy in astro imaging, the camera integrated anti-dew heater in front of the camera. The heat power is adjustable.
Overvoltage and overcurrent protection mechanism
Player One cameras produced by the number one player ensures the safety of your camera and other equipment through overvoltage and overcurrent protection mechanisms.
HCG open at gain=145.
Regarding readout noise, we solemnly promise that all values are obtained from actual tests. And for users, you could use Sharpcap 4 for testing. SC4 has a function called Sensor Analysis, provide a very simple way to test readout noise.
We wrote a tutorial on our website: https://player-one-astronomy.com/service/manuals/
If you are interested in readout noise testing, you may try it yourself, which is very simple.
The dark current is 0.3e/s/pix at -20℃, and 0.39e/s/pix at 0℃.
Relative QE Curve
Following is some recommend 55mm BFL solution for this camera. If don’t consider about BFL, the connection way is various.
Apollo-M MAX original data, used for in-depth understanding of the shooting effect of the camera.