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A Many-in-One Camera
In 20 02, a small group of engineers, who had
p reviously worked for Hewlett-Pa ck a rd designing
The Trifid many-in-one camera for astronomers is now
available. Trifid is a many-in-one camera because it is
designed to support an ever growing list of highefficiency,
enhanced-blue, medical-quality imaging chips.
h i g h - q u a l i ty instruments, joined together under
the banner of Yankee Robotics, LLC to build our
own product. We challenged ourselves to design
a state-of-the-art astronomical camera with
i n c redible sensitivity and low noise for imaging
deep-sky objects. We were determined that our
c a m e ra would feature the firs t - rate hard w a re and
Imaging chip Mega Type Well size Peak Diagonal
-pixels µm QE size mm
KAF-1603ME 1.5 mono 9 82% 16.6
KAF-3200ME 3.2 mono 6.8 88% 17.9
KAF-6303E 6.3 mono 9 67% 33.2
KAF-5101CE 5.1 color 6.8 31% 22.2
KAF-10100CE 10.7 color 6.8 35% 31.7
M=microlens, C=color, E=enhanced blue
These imaging chips—which are the heart of any digital
camera—are manufactured by Kodak to specifications
especially suited for astronomers. They are the same
chips used in the more expensive cameras built by our
competitors, but Yankee Robotics offers the imaging chip
in the Trifid Camera without markup. Kodak’s price is your
price—just another way we keep your cost down.
software that astronomers need at an attractive price.
With the Trifid Camera, we believe we have succeeded.
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Patent Pending Design
Great pricing doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or features.
Our Trifid-2 electronics have patent pending “single
photon performance” and ultra-smooth background noise
to give you incredibly deep images in less time than our
competitors’ cameras can. A frame buffer built into the
camera and high-speed USB 2.0 downloads means the
images stream out in a hurry. “Saving You Time®” is not
just our motto and registered trademark: it is our passion.
Among Trifid’s advantages is its electronic cooling system
with water assist. This system regulates the temperature
of the imaging chip up to 50 degrees Celsius below the
water jacket temperature, which itself is cooled by water.
The light, compact camera body is CNC machined from
aircraft-quality billet aluminum to precise specifications,
and the durable quarter-inch shell is anodized dull-black
for a low-reflective finish.
Unlike some cameras that have a coverslip attached to
the imaging chip, Yankee Robotics has eliminated the
coverslip, which improves the camera’s overall efficiency
by letting more light through. Our only window has a
broadband antireflective coating with high throughput
from the ultra-violet into the infra-red. You won’t believe
how much hydrogen-alpha filtered light comes through
with the coverslip removed.
Additional features make Trifid ex c e p t i o n a l :
• Real five-vane shutter make 0.02 second exposures a reality .
Additional features con’t.
• Adjustable gain and bias lets you tune the camera to
your mission and achieve single photon performance.
• High-speed USB 2.0 interface and a frame buffer means
that downloading a six mega-pixel (12 MB) image takes
less than two seconds.
User-Friendly, Flexible Software
As astronomers ourselves, we know that superior
hardware and an array of technological features is not
enough. So, we continued to pursue our goals to provide
a well-priced, competitive product by writing software
that ensures Trifid is functional and user-friendly. This
software gives astro-photographers a great “out of box”
experience, and makes the complex, multistage process
of taking astro-photographs as effortless as possible. Plus,
we give you the source code for our GUI application,
which means that the software can be modified and
adapted according to your needs and preferences.
The Trifid Camera software
is designed with the following features:
• Graphical program written in Visual Basic controls the camera.
• We provide the drivers so you can control Trifid from
CCDSoft, MaxIm/DL or AstroArt.
• Exposed COM interface on the camera driver permits
you to connect Trifid to a wide variety of software.
• Split design for electronics keeps low-noise analog circuitry on
one board, digital circuitry on the other. The boards are bridged
by a low noise, 16-bit analog-to-digital converter.
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What You Get
Yankee Robotics’ offerings don’t stop with the superior
hardware and state-of-the-art software. The Trifid Camera
ships in a Pelican case that features cut forms to
cushion and protect your camera in a dust-, water-, and
crush-proof environment. Trifid comes with all necessary
accessories, including a 6-foot USB 2.0 cable and 6-foot
coiled camera power cable. You will also receive a water
reservoir, an ice pack, a submersible 12-volt water pump
with a 6-foot coiled cord and 15 feet of clear plastic water
hose for the cooling system. For image processing, we
include a copy of the book Handbook of Astronomical Image
Processing version 2 by Richard Berry and James Burnell.
This book ships with the AIP4WIN program on CD-ROM
that allows you to turn Trifid's raw images into calibrated
images for anything from scientific study to pretty
pictures on your favorite website.
Yankee Robotics is a small, independent company
with low overhead, and a governing belief in providing
a high-quality astronomical camera at a reasonable price.
Our low, all-inclusive prices are as follows:
KAF - 160 3 ME based Trifid-2 Camera $5,570*
KAF - 3 2 0 0 ME based Trifid-2 Camera $5,980*
KAF-6303E based Trifid-2 Camera $6,780*
KAF-5101CE based Trifid-2 Camera $5,650*
KAF-10100CE based Trifid-2 Camera $6,780*
* Prices do not include tax or shipping and handling.
Plus, extra assurance that comes from…
• Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and
• A three year warranty against leaks in the cold ch a m b e r .
• 1,000,000 cycle warranty on the shutter.
• One-year warranty from Kodak on the imaging chip.
Learn more on our website http://www.YankeeRobotics.com/,
e-mail us at support@YankeeRobotics.com
or call us toll-free at 888-FOR-YANKEE (888-367-9265).
Trifid Nebula image courtesy of Gemini Observatory / GMOS Image