Double St-i Failure

Discussion in 'Specialty Cameras SG-4, AllSky, ST-I' started by Eddie Trimarchi, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Eddie Trimarchi

    Eddie Trimarchi Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
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    Location:
    Australia
    Hi,
    I have two St-i guiders, one is a spare. In the last eight weeks, both have failed.

    About 8 weeks ago, the first one failed. It will connect and can be controlled, but the resulting images contain no data.

    I swapped it out for my spare which worked fine for weeks, until tonight. Now it exhibits the exact same behaviour.

    I've tried several alternate cables but the behaviour remains the same.

    I usually use Maxim,but I also tried CCDOPS, with the same result.

    Is it a coincidence that they have both failed in the exact same way within such a short period of time?

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    Eddie Trimarchi
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,886
    Hi Eddie,
    Sorry to hear this - this is unusual.
    Did anything about your environment change over the last few weeks?
    e.g. did you install any Windows Updates, change your setup around, etc.

    A few ideas:
    Check that the shutter is opening when you expose a light frame.
    Test with a different PC.
    Use a short cable, with nothing between the camera and the PC (no hubs, no extender cables etc).
    Try plugging into a powered USB hub.
    Download the latest SBIG Driver Checker, and ensure you have the latest drivers and firmware in the cameras.

    When you say the "resulting images contain no data", do you mean the values are all ZERO, all 1000, or it looks like a dark?
    Take a bias, dark, and light image with both cameras, and attach here using "Upload a File".
    Please provide the serial numbers of the cameras, and when you bought them (rough estimate ok).

    We may need you to send them in to @Bill our service wizard. He can be reached at Bill at SBIG dot com.
     
  3. Eddie Trimarchi

    Eddie Trimarchi Standard User

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Australia
    Hi Colin,

    Yes, I have done multiple Windows updates over the last three months, but nothing else seems to have been affected..

    Anyway, I have tried both cameras on another computer with a short cable directly connecting PC and Camera. Same result.

    When I say the resulting image contains no data, I mean it's all Pedestal (100ADU).

    I don't have a powered USB hub to try. I have never used a USB hub. I have updated both cameras to the latest firmware today.

    They were one version behind (2.36) and are now 2.37. The latest drivers are installed, but none of this made any difference.

    Here are the camera details: The newest camera has already been back to Bill once, with identical symptoms.

    Camera Serial #12478 - Diagnostics show no errors. Has a floppy shutter (opens / closes under it's own weight). With or without power applied.

    The shutter no longer calibrates on power up/connect and is not software controllable.

    Failed April 2019. Purchased new in November 2015. This camera was returned to SBIG for warranty repair in March 2016 with almost identical symptoms as now.

    Camera Serial #10311 - Diagnostics show no errors. Has a stiff shutter (does not move under it's own weight) when imaging dark or light, shutter is not activated.

    This camera was purchased 2nd-hand in March 2016 for use while the above camera was being repaired and failed July 23rd 2019.

    I guess they will both need to be sent back for repair.

    Thanks

    Eddie
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Hi Eddie,
    Yes, these will have to go in to @Bill for repair.
    Drop him a line: bill (at) sbig (dot) com to arrange to send them in.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    It sounds like #12478 had a power supply converter failure.

    Not sure what is going on with #10311. The power supply is obviously working since the shutter is not "floppy". Before you send it back, please try it on a different computer and update all software - make sure it isn't something else going on.
     
  6. Eddie Trimarchi

    Eddie Trimarchi Standard User

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Australia
    Hi Doug,

    I've tried both cameras on two computers with three cables, with the same results.

    The #10311 shutter is not floppy whether it's powered up or not. Likewise the #12478 is floppy with or without power.

    CCDOPS will connect to both cameras and attempt to take a picture, in both cases only the pedestal is returned and the shutters don't move. There are no actual errors detected and the power light is on for both cameras.

    I've spoken with Bill already.

    Thanks

     
  7. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    481
    10311 has a different type of shutter than 12478. The older units have a shutter attached to a motor and move side to side, the newer ones use a coil and a magnet and move forward and back.

    -Bill
     

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