Capture, Guide - but not both!

Discussion in 'Image Capture' started by RogerJP, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. RogerJP

    RogerJP Cyanogen Customer

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    I have a Starlight Xpress SXV-M25 and a guide head. I can detect and set up the camera pair as Camera 1 within Maxim DL6, and using telescope guiding can calibrate and track extremely accurately a guide star using the guide head having identified a star as long as the sky holds!

    I can also take images using the SXV M25C for exposures of my choice, optionally doiung dark field take and subtract etc.

    HOWEVER: when I click "Track" under the Guide Tab, it greys out "Start" under the main camera tab, and vice versa. I cannot connect the guide head as camera 2. How can I have my cake and eat it too, please?
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Which version of MaxImDL are you running? 6.13 ?
    Are you using the SXV guide head plugged into the 18pin port on the back of the main camera?
    Have you set up the main camera as SX Universal, and on the SX Universal setup, the Guider as Guide Head?
    In the main Expose tab, have you selected Camera 1 after doing the Track on the Guide tab?
    Did this used to work, or is this the first time you are trying to get it going (I'm a customer, used to have an older SX camera, and I think that camera might be about a dozen years old, fond memories).
     
  3. RogerJP

    RogerJP Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Colin. Thanks for your interest.
    Version 6.11. As is often the case with me I plan miles ahead and then get behind. I bought Maxim about 18 months ago, and then never used it for about 18 months! My updates expired a while ago and I upgraded to the latest available to me when the rest of my system came together a couple of weeks ago. If I need to write off the earlier purchase to overcome this latent issue, so be it, but I'd want reassurance the issue is solved in a later edition before further significant spend.
    I am. The main camera is on a 6" F/8 ish refractor and the guide head on a slower off-axis refractor (although I have the option of using a prism and finding a guide star through the main telescope optics). Cabling is a doddle - the cameras linked to one another in this way keeps USB port use (and cabling) down to one for the pair :)
    Yes I have.
    I'm not sure what you mean here. I've just been down to the observatory and checked - there is no Camera 1 selection option - Camera 1 is the only connected camera (the Guide Head is effectively part of it). If I try to connect a second SXV25 as camera 2, it understandably fails.
    It used to work - and still does - in the Starlight Xpress native software by Ian Bruce. However, that gives out pulses to nudge the mount and/or AO unit (out of service presently) - great for the Atlux mount I used to have, and I have achieved some pretty passable imnages in my time with that set-up. However, I have upgraded to an ASA mount - direct drive - and the Telescope control that Maxim offers via ASCOM to that allows for relative repositioning (eg move RA back by 0.06" and increase DEC by 0.04").

    FURTHER INFORMATION - and I believe it may be a bug in Maxim.

    I have just connected Camera 1 as a simulator (still no camera 2) - same issue, one or the other. However, if I connect TWO simulators I can do both operations at the same time with Camera 2 as a guide and Camera 1 as a main imager. Does that help identify the problem?

    One experiment I may try to prove a point is to have the original SX software running at the same time, image through that and guide through Maxim (making sure I turn off the guiding and disconnect Maxim from the camera before the main camera starts to read out). If that works I'll know (rather than just suspect) that the issue is Maxim rather than hardware.
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info Roger. I couldn't recall if Camera 2 is listed as an option - its been too many years for me. With other cameras, like SBIG, there is an option to allow an internal guider chip/remote guide head to run as Camera 2.
    Version 6.13 did address some issues switching between the main and second camera. Not sure that is what you are experiencing.

    Today's a holiday in Canada, so it may be a bit before the Diffraction guys get back to you.
     
  5. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Is Dual Chip mode on?
    sx.png
     
  6. RogerJP

    RogerJP Cyanogen Customer

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    Brilliant. I don't remember seeing that box, but I just quickly Teamviewed the observatory and there it is - unchecked! Many thanks Colin; I am confident that will stop the software greying out the guide start when imaging and vice versa (although without actually powering the camera up to connect I can't tell for certain. I'll go and delete the other thread to save a bit of face :)

    Holidays? Ah yes I remember those days - they are days when you go in and catch up on things and then get moaned at when you get home for prioritising wrong aren't they!
     

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