The SXV guide camera is a very nice little device
though not quite as sensitive as I had hoped.
The work required to add cooling to this camera is
not difficult if you have some experience with a soldering iron
but will certainly invalidate your guarantee.
Cooling the CCD dramatically reduces the dark
current generated in exposures longer than one second allowing
stars 2 or so magnitudes fainter to be detected.
If you are prepared to move the guide scope to
find a bright star and will do a dark frame then cooling this
camera might not offer much advantage.
If you (like me) want to point the scope anyway in
the sky and just get it to guide then cooling the camera results
in a dramatic improvement.
With lower background noise a stars center can be
more accurately determined allowing sub pixel guiding.
Important if using relatively short focal length guide scope to
get a wide field of view.
The latest version of ACP plate solves the guider
image to select suitable guide star and guide exposure
duration. The uncooled guider images are too noisy to allow
this plate solution process so this ACP feature can not be
used. The cooled guider images can be plate solved by
The parts are relatively inexpensive compared to
the camera and offer a great improvement in performance.
Maybe Starlight will offer a cooled version of
this guider if there is enough demand.