Resolved FW8G Filter Wheel Switches to Clear for Dark Frames

Discussion in 'Filter Wheels' started by Mike Hambrick, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Help Please

    I finally got a chance to put my new STXL16200 / FW8G-STXL camera to use last night. I was running CCDOps (Version 5.63 Build 0), and I noticed that any time I took a dark frame image, the filter wheel always switched from whatever filter I had in position to the clear filter. This was especially a nuisance when I took any images where I did a dark frame in addition to the light frame. This also occurred whenever I was setting up the autoguide, or whenever I took an image for calibrating the guider. It makes no sense that the camera would even care which filter is in place for a dark frame.

    Is there a setting that I missed ?

    This never happened with my ST2000 / CFW9. Whichever filter was in position, it does not change to the clear filter to take a dark frame.
     
  2. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Has there been any work on this issue ? This is not a big deal for normal imaging, but I would like to see it resolved. I tried to do some Track & Accumulate exposures the other night, and every time it took a dark exposure it switched to the clear filter, then back to whatever filter I was using for the light exposure. As you can imagine, this was extremely annoying. I finally aborted the T & A image after a few of these filter switching cycles.
     
  3. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Hi Mike,
    Adam is out for a few more days (for good news reasons), and it may have gotten stuck with him.
    I did a quick check, and see that CCDOPs has been updated to 5.66 Build 1.
    There was a change related to filterwheels, although am not sure if that will cure your issue.
    If I get a bit of time later today, I will give it a try myself.
    I can understand this is a timewaster.
    Get the new version here:
    ftp://ftp.sbig.com/pub/InstOps.exe
     
  4. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks Colin. I expect that the latest version of CCDOps will solve my problem, but do you think it would be a good idea to first check with Adam ? For background, if you look back at my post on May 10 in the General section of the forum you will see a post I made stating that the new version of CCDOps I had downloaded (5.61 Build 0) would not recognize my filter wheel. Adam sent me the 5.63 Build 0 NT version to test to see if the filter wheel problem was corrected. This "beta" version solved my problem and he told me to keep using it.
    Is it safe to assume that the fixes that were incorporated into the beta version that I have been using have been incorporated into the current version of CCDOps ? If so, I will proceed to download the 5.66 Build 1 version.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Adam is off for a couple of weeks, but any changes he made for the beta were incorporated into the latest release.
     
  6. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    I decided to download the latest version of CCDOps but I got the error message below:
    upload_2019-1-18_22-13-30.png
     
  7. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Never mind the above posting. I had CCDOps open when I tried to download the latest version. I thought I had seen that error message before the last time I updated CCDOps.

    Anyway, the new version of CCDOps did not solve the filter wheel problem. After downloading the current version of CCDOps (5.66 Build 1), I connected my STXL16200 camera and established the com link. All the filters seem to work OK, moving into position when I tell them to switch. I set the filter to Red, and went to the Grab command and took a dark frame. When I did this, the filter wheel switched to the clear filter, took the dark frame, and then switched back to the Red filter. LOTS of movement going on there.

    Next, I shut down the STXL16200 and started up my ST2000-XM. There were no problems getting connected or getting the filter wheel to respond. I selected the Blue filter and went to the Grab command and took a dark frame. This time it took the dark frame without switching to the clear filter.

    Very strange goings on here. The problem seems to occur only with the STXL16200.

    This is normally not a problem during my routine imaging because I seldom do auto-dark images, but It would still be nice to get this fixed.
     
  8. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Thanks Mike.
    I tried it with my STL11000, and it works properly like it does with your ST2000XM.
    I will check it out on an STXL at the office on Monday.
    Cheers
    Colin
     
  9. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Colin.
    Did you ever get a chance to see if you could duplicate my issue with an STXL ?
     
  10. Colin

    Colin Staff Member

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    Hi Mike,

    I have unsuccessfully tried to reproduce your issue, however I am using a FW8S-STXL as I currently don't have a FW8G-STXL on hand (no guider).

    Have you tried updating your camera drivers?

    Can you verify that the settings in CCDOps under the Filter Tab --> Filter Wheel Setup --> Filter Wheel Type = FW8-STT/STXL, and Shutter Dark Position = None ?
     
  11. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Also check the Firmware version in the camera.
     
  12. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Colin & Colin
    I last ran the driver checker on January 18 and all but one of the drivers except one were current. The status after running the driver checker is as follows:
    sbigudrv.d11 - updated from 4.97 bulid 2 to 4.99 build 6
    sbigu64.sys - 2.41.0.1338
    sbigpcam.hex - 2.46
    sbiglcam.hex - 2.20
    sbigfcam.hex - 2.25
    sbigfga.bin - 2004.11.10
    I had been using a beta version of CCDOps 5.63 Build 0 but even after updating the drivers and changing to CCDOps version 5.66 Build 1 (also on January 18) the problem persisted.

    When I get home from work tonight I will check the filter wheel setup. I do not recall what the shutter dark position setting was in my filter setup, but it is worth noting that when I connect my ST2000XM / CFW9 and take a dark frame, the filter wheel does not change position, but if these settings are specific for each model of filter wheel that may be my problem.

    I will update you on what I find.
     
  13. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Colin & Colin
    Problem solved ! It was the Shutter Dark Position setting. When I checked the filter wheel settings this was set at Filter 1 which in my filter wheel is the clear filter. These things are almost always something simple, but it just takes someone with knowledge to steer me in the right direction.
    I did just now go back and look in my CCDOps user manual (Version 5 that I got in 2007 with my first camera), and in the section "If You Have a Filter Wheel" it describes the selection of the filter to be used when taking dark frames, and it has an illustration showing None for the dark position. Can I suggest that you modify this discussion a little bit to be more specific about the implications of having a specific filter for this setting ?
    Also, can I suggest that the FW8G-STXL filter wheel installation manual be modified to include some discussion about the filter wheel setup in CCDOps ?
    Finally, it needs to be stated somewhere that in order to change the filter wheel settings, you have to run CCDOps in the administrator mode. This little detail has gotten me before.
    Thanks again for the help. I think you can mark this one as resolved.
     
  14. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Glad to hear it!
    Thanks for your suggestions.
     

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