ASCOM driver for STF-8300

Discussion in 'STF Series CCD Cameras' started by Aleh, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Guillermo Yanez

    Guillermo Yanez Cyanogen Customer

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    Hey everyone. Maybe SBIG folks here could give a hand to NINA developers to add the native drivers for SBIG since it realistically appears that most of our CCD cameras are never getting the ASCOM driver anyways. I would love to use NINA but I am currently stuck with SBIG and Canon DSLR. Both not exactly ASCOM friendly. I would love to get NINA to work with my gear. It is the trending image acquisition software, open source but with limited compatibility outside ASCOM.
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    We've offered assistance to the Nina developer but he never took us up on it.
     
  3. Vincent Villemaire

    Vincent Villemaire Standard User

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    Hello,
    I'm frenchn sorry for my english...
    I'm in the same situation: Need ASCOM drivers for my ST10XME + CFW8. buy for more 6k$)
    Offer assistance to developpers is cool.... but not that we hope of an historical makers of astro CCD..
    ASCOM is THE standard now ! and the value of resell of an ST10WME is lower.. nobody want to buy a camera without ascom drivers in 2020... :(
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Diffraction Limited helped create the ASCOM standard back in the 1990's.
    How old is your camera? 10-12 years old? SBIG didn't support ASCOM back then, during the first 20 years of their business.

    We were considering doing an ASCOM driver for the older cameras, but it's not economical - someone has to pay our staff to do the work.

    For our new products, such as the Aluma 3200, which has the same sensor, it does support ASCOM.
    You might consider this sensor transplant program:
    https://diffractionlimited.com/sensor-transplant-service/
     
  5. Vincent Villemaire

    Vincent Villemaire Standard User

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    Hello mister Colin,
    __"Diffraction Limited helped create the ASCOM standard back in the 1990's."__
    Really !!!
    And then 30 years you never developed an ASCOM driver for all of your cameras? It's curious...
    Instead of helping every astro software developer, you would have saved a lot of time and energy by developing your ASCOM driver one time
    I understand that this is not economically interesting for you ... but you lose or will lose more customers ...
    Do you think I'm going to throw my $ 6K of ST10XME in the trash ... and buy back a SBIG? Be serious...
    Have a nice day...
     
  6. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    For the record: I first proposed the original ASCOM Camera standard in 2001.

    At the time Diffraction Limited and SBIG were separate companies. Every software program of any consequence already supported SBIG cameras natively, so they did not consider it a priority.

    The SBIG Universal Driver API is available free for download, and has been for decades. Anyone could put together an ASCOM driver using that API.

    Right now we're in a major transition. When we acquired SBIG, we started working on several fronts: Creating new, modern software and API - with full ASCOM support. Updating the hardware products. Diversifying the product line to use more than just ON Semi CCDs (boy that was a good idea!). Experimenting with new sensors. etc.

    We're currently replacing the entire old SBIG camera line. This was started several years ago - it's a huge job obviously - and it is been accelerated by the retirement of the ON Semi sensors. Our programmers in particular are very taxed with this transition, and we simply don't have the resources at the moment to work on the old software.
     
  7. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

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    The resale value of these old cameras (ST line) has been in the $500-1500(us) range for awhile now, I know, I've had a couple including the ST-10xme and I doubt it has anything to do with ascom drivers, they are simply getting old. CMOS sensors are so much cheaper and have improved dramatically lately which gives buyers plenty of choices.
     
  8. Radinkel

    Radinkel Standard User

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    Hi Doug,
    If it is so easy to program an ASCOM driver with the famous API,
    WHY NOT JUMP OVER YOUR HEAD AND FINALLY PROGRAM THE DRIVER!!!!
    And I agree to Vincent: I will not buy any SBIG / DL camera anymore!
    Ralf
     
  9. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Please be kind, polite, and respectful.
    You bought the camera years when it didn't come with ASCOM.
    We're human beings here, and we can understand you might want something, but treat us kindly or we won't be interested in helping you.
     
    Bill likes this.
  10. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    I agree with Colin - yelling is an ineffective tool when asking for help. The SBIG Universal API has been openly available for years... why not yell at your software provider for not supporting SBIG?

    Can you get any technical support support for a computer peripheral you bought ten years ago? Lots of perfectly good printers were killed by Windows 10, not to mention notebook computers.

    We've done our best to make sure that the old ST-series cameras keep right on working, even though there is no business case for it. Name another technology company that does that...
     
    Bill likes this.
  11. Iver

    Iver Standard User

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    Hi, I found someone that may be willing to develop an SBIG Alpaca driver. My understanding is that an Alpaca driver can also be used as an ASCOM driver! Doug would you be willing to supply an SDK or what ever info. would be needed for the ST line to this developer?
    This sounds like it could solve the lack of an ASCOM driver issue.
    -Iver
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  12. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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  13. Iver

    Iver Standard User

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    Thanks Doug! Is there a Linux SDK ?
     
  14. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Staff Member

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    Yes, there is.
     

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  15. Iver

    Iver Standard User

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    Thank you Adam. Does this cover ST series cameras?
     
  16. Len B

    Len B Standard User

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    Thanks DL for making the SDK available. ASCOM standards are well documented. A user of the older hardware (e.g. retired programmer) needs to use the provided SDK to create an ASCOM driver. There are people out there with both the skillset and bandwidth to do so. Cloudy night project...

    The testing would be limited to that persons hardware availability, but with beta testers and remote interfacing between people with each hardware variant, a collaborative effort could be initiated, where each of the major camera families could be validated.

    The reward for whomever takes this on, will not be financial, but knowing that they are helping people continue to use their old hardware with new software. Github has thousands of such open source projects, so it is not inconceivable.

    I am a programmer, however, not retired and no bandwidth at present. But I would be willing to assist in the testing of any ASCOM driver with an ST-8300M
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  17. Lou WeegieB

    Lou WeegieB Standard User

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    Hello, i am new here and came upon this thread.

    I also have an ST8300 (that i love) and am very interested in an ASCOM driver. Unfortunately the last program i wrote was in college in Fortran77 33 yrs ago. I have heard of SDK's but don't know how to use one.

    Has there been any headway in this development?

    Thanks
    Lou WeegieB
     

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