Maxim DL Demo Questions

Discussion in 'Demo User Tech Support' started by Mike Hambrick, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    I have been looking through the Maxim DL User guide and experimenting with the Demo software, and I have a few questions
    1. I currently own a ST2000-XM (purchased in 2007) and I use it with CCDOps . Do I need to re-download the camera driver, or is it sufficient just to check for updates (which I do from time to time via CCDOps) ?
    2. I do not see anything in the Maxim DL guiding functions that is equivalent to the Selfguide function in CCDOps. How do I set up my camera which has the two separate chips; one for imaging and the other gor guiding.
    3. I have not yet tried to connect my ST2000 camera to Maxim DL. Once I do so will I still be able to go back to using CCDOps when the demo expires ?
    4. I was trying to do a color stack with some RGB images that I took using CCDOps. The final image was monochrome. What am I doing wrong ?
    5. Is the Maxim DL software complimentary to or in place of the Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) software ? I am not yet familiar with APCC functions, but I just ordered an new mount from Astro-Physics and I am getting this software with it.
    6. Once I get the new mount I will finally be able to start using my new ST-i camera that has never worked for guiding with my old mount.
     
  2. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    1. We recommend re-downloading the SBIG Driver Checker because a number of improvements have been made to it.
    2. MaxIm DL was the very first software to support taking multiple images while self-guiding - 20 years ago! So yes we absolutely have this capability. Use the Guide tab to set up guiding, and then use the Expose tab to take pictures.
    3. Of course
    4. Need more information. For a starter, what command did you use?
    5. MaxIm DL can work alongside the Astro-Physics software. The two programs can be connected together using ASCOM (via MaxIm DL's telescope control feature).
    6. No reason why not! The mount is compatible with the Tracking Interface Cable. Via MaxIm DL you can also use ASCOM PulseGuide (that's how I do it with my AP1600GTO).
     
  3. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks Doug. After going a little further I have a few more questions:

    1. When I am doing my camera setup, how do I set up the separate guiding CCD in the ST2000 camera ? Do I need to check the Dual Chip Mode box for Camera 1 ? Do I need to set up the tracking CCD, as Camera 2?
    2. I was able to successfully link to my ST2000, and I was able to control the camera temperature, but I don't think that the CFW9 was correctly set up. When I went to change the filter, I could not hear the filter wheel turning. Normally, from CCDOPs you can hear the filter wheel move when changing filters.
    3. With CCDOps the camera and filter status is continuously displayed in the bottom task bar screen. Is there a way to do this with Maxim DL.
    4. I think I was able to get the color stacking to work, but I need to work with it a little bit more. I have not figured out yet where to go to manually nudge the separate RGB images to align them.
    5. I will continue to work my way through the software. I am still waiting for a clear night to try it out, but I have to resolve these issues first.
    Thanks, MIke
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Hi Mike, I'm another customer, and thought I'd chime in.
    1. Yes, right idea, set up Dual Chip Mode - that will allow the internal guider to be used as camera 2.
    2. It's best to "bench test" this stuff while you get sorted, so you can eyeball the filter carousel wheel through the nosepiece that is normally stuffed into the telescope. In MDL, you'll see the selected filter when you do the exposures in the drop-down. Also, make sure you set up the filter names/slots.
    3. There is an auto-align function will save you a bunch of time.
    Keep reading! There's a lot of good material there, plus you'll find a bunch of us on the forum have experienced the learning cuve, and I find it amazing what I learn by reading what other folks are trying to do.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    1. Yes you need to use Dual Chip mode.
    2. On the filter Setup dialog box, make sure it's set to "Standard".
    3. The information is displayed on the camera control window (expand the window by clicking More >>), and also on the Observatory control window Status pane.
    4. See http://www.diffractionlimited.com/help/maximdl/Align.htm (and look at the adjacent instructions for the other tabs)
     
  6. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Doug & Colin

    Thanks for the suggestions, but there still seems to be something I have missed on the camera and filter setup.
    • Take a look at the screen captures below. When the camera is connected, you can see that the temperature control is working, but the filter option is greyed out and I can not even find where to go to change the filter wheel.
    • If I disconnect the camera, the filter setup button can be selected, but that seems to do no good. I can set the filter up, but it does not seem to recognize it when I connect to the camera.
    • I downloaded the latest versions of the driver checker and drivers over the weekend. The driver is sbigudrv.d11 Version 4.97 Build 2, dated 01/16/2017. All of the other drivers are the 01/27/2015 versions, but apparently they are the most current.
    • A couple other comments: The camera information seems to be rather cryptic. I would have expected it to at least tell what kind of camera is connected. The same comment for the camera 2 information. I suppose that this is supposed to be the internal guiding CCD, but it does not say so.
    • What is the box at the lower left hand corner supposed to be displaying ?
    • I will keel looking through the Maxim DL demo help topics, but they do not have much in the way of detail.

    Maxim DL Camera Setup.png Maxim DL Camera Setup Screen, Disconnected.png
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Hi Mike, a few things that might help:
    You're on the Setup tab. There's two tabs before to the left, the Expose Tab, the Guide Tab, and the Setup Tab.
    The Setup tab is used ONCE to setup the equipment.
    So, before you CONNECT, you get a chance to pick the camera(s) and set up the filter wheel with the list of filters that are installed in it.
    After you CONNECT, you can't change the hardware setup. So that's why Filter button is disabled.

    When you go to actually use things, then you have to go to the EXPOSE tab. That's where you pick the filter.

    The box in the lower left is a histogram/3D mini plot of a star. It comes in handy for focus and for ensuring the camera is seeing something.

    filtersetup.png

    Here's where you pick the filter you want to use. After you Connect, go to the Expose tab, and then pick the filter under the Filter Wheel drop down:
    filterselect.png
     
  8. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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  9. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks again Colin & Doug. I will try again this evening.
     
  10. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Success ! Thanks Colin. I followed your very detailed instructions and the filter wheel is responding as it should. I still have some more learning to do, but I am almost ready to try it outside. Hopefully we will get some decent weather before my demo license runs out.
    Doug - Please check out my post on the SBIG Products forum. My CFW9 locked up last night.
     

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