AO-8 with ONAG-SC Off-axis Guider

Discussion in 'Adaptive Optics (AO)' started by joncox, May 19, 2020.

  1. joncox

    joncox Standard User

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    I would like to use the AO-8 in conjunction with the Innovations Foresight ONAG-SC. However, I see a couple of challenges with doing this.

    First, I need the guiding camera to be separate from the imaging camera. However, it doesn't seem that SBIG sells a separate camera, kind of like the SC-2, that can directly control the AO-8. Is the only way around this problem to buy a new Aluma 8300 and a separate remote guide camera, which plugs into the Aluma 8300? This way the Aluma acts as the controller for the AO-8, but uses the remote camera?

    Second, is there a way to independently control the AO-8 via the I2C protocol? The AO-8 is a nice mechanical system, but I would like to control it myself using custom software and my own CMOS guide camera. Does SBIG sell a USB controller for the AO-8, for example?

    Finally, if SBIG sold something like the SC-2, but without the off-axis guiding portion, it would be much easier and less expensive to use the AO-8 with the ONAG. Maybe the only option is to get an SC-2, and screw it on to the end of the ONAG, to use it like an on-axis guider? Not ideal, especially since I'd like to use a large area CMOS camera to control the AO-8. I also don't know if the SC-2 optics and camera are sensitive to near infrared (750 - 850 nm)

    Any thoughts or insights are appreciated.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  2. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    I wouldn't use a remote guide head; that's just another small guide chip. You can guide using any SBIG camera that has an I2C port. That includes the STF-8300 and the Aluma 694. Either will give you a nice big sensor.

    We will be releasing our STC-7 / STC-428 cameras very shortly. This is essentially the CMOS replacement for the STF-8300M and STF-8300-OEM, respectively.

    You can use your own software to operate the AO-8, but you have to do it via an SBIG camera with I2C port. Our API is available.
     
  3. joncox

    joncox Standard User

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    OK, that sounds nice. I have a ST-8300, which is an older model. Using your drivers/API, can I control any of the AO-8 models, or is it specific to particular version of the AO-8, AO-8T, etc.? I'm guessing your API will allow me to send commands over I2C to whatever version of AO-8 happens to be attached to either the ST-8300, Aluma 8300 or STF-8300. In other words, its all compatible, if I am using the API directly. Is this correct?
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Yes the ST-8300 can do the job. The AO-8 is compatible with all SBIG cameras that have I2C / AUX ports. The AO-8 / AO-8T / AO-8A models only differ in their mounting plate and connector. AO-8 and AO-8T have DB-9 connectors while the AO-8A has a mini-DIN connector. AO-8 has the old style mounting plate for ST-series cameras. AO-8T and AO-8A have the newer plate that works with STT and Aluma series.

    Please note that we've moved to a new API for new camera models. The SBIG Universal API handles STF / STXL / STX and the older STL, ST-I, and STT series. The DL Imaging API handles all the new cameras, which includes the Aluma, Aluma AC, StarChaser, and STC camera series.
     
  5. joncox

    joncox Standard User

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    OK, so I would have to use your older API to control the AO-8 with the ST-8300? Is this something I can still download and use with Linux or Windows 10, or is it ancient and unsupported at this point?
     
  6. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    It is still actively supported under Windows and Linux.
     

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