Lacerta MGEN" (made in Hungary) today stands for the most reliable guiding system on market, used widely and enthusiastically in Europe, especially Germany and Austria. You may control it fully remotely using the included software (wakeup and sleep too), or you may choose simply to use the handcontroller. Guidecam and handcontroller always act together as a system.
The camera is a sensitive CCD EXview HAD (Sony ICX279AL-E 752x582 Pixel, 3.6x2.7 mm, Pixel ca. 4.7 Micron, much more sensitive than its predecessors, especially in the near infrared), and uses a standard T2 thread to connect to a guidescope or offaxis guider. Because only the area around the guide star is read out while guiding, readout is very fast. High sensitivity allows to guide safely on a 11mag star with a 50mm guidescope (1 sec. integration intervals), even guiding to a 12mag star (4 sec. integration time) was possible in field tests!
The handbox features a backlit display (128x64 pixel) showing a live picture of the star, or guidegraph or a brightness graph that helps in focusing. The same you see on your PC. Stars may be choosen automatically or manually, the coice is yours. Menu items allow for control of a lot of advanced parameters, or you may simply tweak the preset. LEDs always show the output of signals in real time in 4 directions(RA +/- Dec +/-).
Use parameters to adjust for your special mount and setup, for example:
- guide expo time (both from 0,1 to 4 sec., independent, or automatic)
- correction speed for both axes set individually
- tolerance (default 0,1 pixel, up to 127 pixel in 0,01 steps)
- autocalibration (camera set in any angle to RA/Dec axes)
- DSLR control: Number, times and waiting time of exposures, and delay after mirror lockup (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc...)
- CCD control: for MaximDL via MGEN2Maxim or use cost-saving Astrophotography Tool (APT) to sync dithering - special mode to record tracking error of the mount
- statistic functions (to see mount errors, seeing conditions, backlash, etc.), downloadable via USB. Helps a lot to track down errors of mount and system!
- dithering: after every exposure the mount is shifted some pixels to change the field of view, so when stacking dark current patterns and hotpixel average out and provide a smoother background. State-of-art today - you may even omit dark frames totally!
- subpixel precision is 0,03 pixel RMS or better (optimal conditions: precisely focused and not too faint star), typical maximal error offset is 0.1 pixels. On the guidecam: Guide your 12"RC using a 9x50 finder - it works!
- firmware USB upgradeable free from the net