RF Cafe Homepage

Search AAR WebsiteSearch Airplanes and Rockets Website

 Copyright 2007-2030

Articles & Plans

Airplanes | Rockets | Kits

Boats | Cars | Trains

Helicopters | Electronics


Host: Kirt Blattenberger

AMA 92498 | KB3UON

Sitemap | About AAR

Homepage Archive

Building & Flying 

Hints & Tips

Balsa | Airfoils

Silkspan & Dope

Engines & Motors

Air Modeling

C/L Capers | Ads

Model Rocketeer

Jetex | Cox | CO2

Personal Stuff

My Models | Radios


Astronomy | Peanuts

Suzy Homemaker

Parole Plaza | Photos

Just for Fun 

Comics & Humor

Crosswords | Stories

Vintage Magazine Articles 

American Modeler | Air Trails

American Aircraft Modeler

RC Modeler | Flying Aces

Boy's Life | Young Men

Saturday Evening Post

Pop Science | Pop Mechanics

Pop Electronics | Aero-Modeller

A Few Items for Sale

Celestron NexImage Astrophotography Camera Teardown

Celestron NexImage 10 Astrophotography Camera - Airplanes and Rockets

Celestron now has a NexImage 10 Astrophotography Camera, which is 10 Megapixels, for $309.

Celestron NexImage Camera - Airplanes & Rockets

Celestron released the NexImage camera sometime 2008. I bought it in 2012 for around $100 ($133 in 2023 - a 33% increase due to inflation!). It has the following specifications:

Sensor: 1/4" format, HAD (Hole-Accumulation Diode),

             color CCD chip

Resolution: VGA 640x480 pixels

Sensor Size: 3.6 mm x 2.7 (4.5 mm diagonal)

Pixel Size: 5.6 micron square

Sensitivity: <1 lux

USB Cable: 7ft

Software: AmCap

As with most things, if you read online reviews for the NexImage, most people either love it or hate it. My own experience is that the frustration I had initially was due to inexperience in setting up the software and with getting a good focus on the telescope. Once those two obstacles were overcome, I began getting some really good images of the moon and planets.

Celestron NexImage Camera Teardown - Airplanes & Rockets

Printed Circuit Assembly Front Side

Front Side of Both NexImage Printed Circuit Assemblies - Airplanes & Rockets

Front Side of Both NexImage Printed Circuit Assemblies

Back Side of Both NexImage Printed Circuit Assemblies - Airplanes & Rockets

Back Side of Both NexImage Printed Circuit Assemblies

Celestron now has a 10 Mpixel version of the camera out called the NexImage 10. It costs $309. I have learned a bit more about imaging CCDs and will do a bit of shopping around first. I really do not want to get a DSLR because they are big and heavy. What would be nice is to buy a medium quality telescope camera for doing deep space imaging and another for planetary work. The investment would be around $1,000, which is what an acceptable DSLR would cost. However, the DSLR will not come with software and, especially for the deep space work, will probably not have as good of a low light level capability as a camera designed for astroimaging.

See moon, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and Mars images that I got using the NexImage and my Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope.

Since the warranty period is over on my NexImage camera, I decided to go ahead and open it up to see what's under the hood. The pictures below show the components on the printed circuit assemblies, and identify most of the major components. There were a couple that I could not find datasheets for, but of those I could find, there are hyperlinks to them.

If you are interested in seeing the guts of a Celestron NexStar 8SE, please read my teardown report on it. It has since been sold.

Celestron NexImage Astrophotography Camera

 - Airplanes and Rockets

NXP SAA8116HL04 Digital PC-Camera SPU Microcontroller and USB Interface

 - Airplanes and Rockets

Philips (NXP) TDA8787A 10-bit, 3.0 V, 18 Msps A/D Interface for CCD Cameras

NXP PCF8594C-2P 512 x 8-bit CMOS EEPROM with I2C Bus Interface - Airplanes & Rockets                                   Global Semiconductor GS34063 DC-To-DC Converter - Airplanes & Rockets

NXP PCF8594C-2P 512 x 8-bit CMOS EEPROM           Global Semiconductor GS34063 DC-To-DC Converter

Sony CXD1267AN CCD Vertical Clock Driver Block Diagram - Airplanes & Rockets

Sony CXD1267AN CCD Vertical Clock Driver



Posted December 29, 2023
(updated from original post on 5/20/2012)

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my
life I have endeavored to maintain
some form of model building activity.
This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright 1996 - 2030

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Webmaster:                         Family Websites:

Kirt Blattenberger                 RF Cafe

BS Electrical Engineering       Equine Kingdom

Amateur Radio KB3UON

Model Aircraft Museum, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets