AOX running at 16Hz...not really

Discussion in 'Guiding and Adaptive Optics - StarChaser and AO' started by sixburg, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. sixburg

    sixburg Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
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    99
    I meant 16HZ in the title...


    I'm wondering if a firmware update will solve the problem I'm experiencing (currently on v2.41 vs 2.49.02

    I've just replaced my STX16803 with another identical model. All is well except for the AOX. When the AO attempts to run I get guide star fade and the rate stars at either 10Hz or 16Hz, but it is is not actually doing anything. There is no star in the guidebox, but there is a star on the chip. While I would like these sorts of speeds there is clearly something not right.

    I'm running Maxim v6.12. The firmware is back level (not shown here).

    upload_2016-12-9_7-13-8.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  2. Tim Puckett

    Tim Puckett Guest

    Thanks for calling.

    Just to confirm this is an old beta STX that was sold from SB scientific/Anacortes to you. My concern is to make sure there is not an issue with our public cameras that we ship to customers. Our policy is to never sell beta or used cameras.

    I am sorry to hear you might not buy SBIG cameras anymore but please be aware we don't sell beta cameras.
     
  3. sixburg

    sixburg Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    99
    Hi Tim...
    Phew!...yes, this camera has a long sordid history. I'm hoping to make use of it, but for now it's $10,000 door stop sold to me by Herb York. The provenance of this camera is highly questionable, but I think I've got it figured out. If I had the energy to be bothered I'd have my counsel deal with it--I still might.

    The camera in question is serial #002 and is labeled as a "Beta". However, Herb positioned the camera as slightly used by a "well-known imager". In fact, the camera's history is as an SBIG 16803 beta that should never have been sold, nor was it intended to be by SBIG. It ended up in the hands of SBS then to Herb and then to me. It arrived with an "old style" RGH connector and was incompatible with the AO-X. Bill upgraded the internals to allow AO-X connectivity. Soon after the shutter failed. Bill fixed this too. I purchased an brand new 16803 with the intention of returning what I had by then found out was a Beta camera. The service from SBIG has been just fine. The support for Tim P and Tim B, also fine. The responsiveness on this forum is OK...some questions get answered quickly and others languish for some reason.

    Today, I have reason to use the beta since I can't return it to anyone to get my money back (I have enough doorstops in my house already). Bill tells me the firmware upgrade is worth a try and could work. We're about to find out.

    Lessons learned and warnings should be obvious, but speaking for myself:
    1. For some components, just get a new ones unless purchasing from a friend or a refurb from the maker with warranty
    2. For middlemen refurbishment outfits, be wary
    3. For some retailers, be extremely wary
    I'm not inclined towards SBIG right now and that's not your fault. We're in the market for and influence a purchases cameras and such all the time, but we aren't naive enough to believe that our decision for or against any manufacturer will make or break them. There are those in the SBIG "universe" who are sketchy to say the least. They have an impact on your brand like it or not.

    Thank,
    Lloyd
    678-427-6341
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Messages:
    7,154
    Lloyd,

    If I were in charge at the time, that camera never would have been allowed out of the building. It is a pre-production prototype. My understanding was that it was originally given to a former employee for his personal use.

    We have gone to some lengths to provide you with technical support, despite the fact that the camera was never sold by SBIG, never had a warranty, and does not conform to production specifications. We did our best to support you despite all that. The camera is functional as an imager but we can't vouch for its overall performance.

    For the record we do not recognize, support, or condone any third parties that purport to offer "refurbished" or "certified" used cameras for sale.

    Doug
     
  5. sixburg

    sixburg Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    99
    Hi Doug...
    Completely understood and appreciated. You have serviced the questionable camera. You have provided technical support on the questionable camera. I am also the owner of a new version of the same camera and current questions have gone unanswered. Perhaps answers to questions on one can help me with the other since they both exhibit similar behaviors. I have to get support for both one way or the other. The fact that I'm stuck with a camera that escaped you, and landed at an online retailer who ripped me off is damaging to both of us.

    Nevertheless, you continue to do business with this retailer. I imagine it's a tough position to be in when a seller of your legitimate equipment is also a seller of illegitimate equipment with your name on it. Some buyers may find it difficult to tell the difference between the two...like me. I was well aware of the lack of warranty, but not aware that it was a "pre-production prototype". I was told an outright lie...plain and simple. Like it or not your brand is associated with at least this one transaction--that is damaging, but certainly doesn't make you directly liable. I would gladly pay you for services rendered on said camera. Give me a quote and we can go from there. A few dollars to make $10K work for me is a great deal assuming the service is reasonably priced and effective.

    That being said I can't even get answers to questions on my "good" camera that came directly from you. I asked 4 weeks ago about bias drift. I have new questions regarding the pathway of dust to the cover glass.

    Let's focus on the one I got from you with good money and a warranty.

    I'll let my counsel focus on the other camera and the retailer who did a crooked deal. I'm at the point that I will spend many times the value of the cameras to see bad people get what they deserve. I have means, motive and opportunity to make this an big ass issue for them. Most of this aggravation can be ameliorated with some answers to prior questions. Most, but not all. Our retailer acquaintance needs their comeuppance.

    -Lloyd
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  6. sixburg

    sixburg Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
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    99
    I forgot to add, the firmware upgrade fixed the AO-X issue on the pre-production camera. I consulted with Bill before doing so...plus, I have very little to lose. It pains me that someone, and we know who, made money on both you and me. Now all I really want to know is why my flats are not working, do I have bias drift, is it a contributor, and how dirt can get onto the cover glass (which is not being calibrated away). These questions apply to the brand new camera.
     
  7. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
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    7,154
    I'm sorry if answers have not always been timely. This is something we are working on.

    We've made firmware improvements across the entire line, which are designed to improve bias stability.

    Flats can be tricky - you have to make sure the front of the telescope is illuminated properly, and that there are no light leaks in the system. Yes bias offset will cause issues, so try the latest firmware (and take fresh cal frames).

    If there is dirt on the cover glass, then it must have already been inside the chamber. Sometimes simply shipping the camera can dislodge a little dust that was hiding somewhere in the chamber and move it onto the chip. We do thoroughly clean the chamber during production, but again the history of this camera is unusual.
     

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