Guide star box now shows empty sky

Discussion in 'STF Series CCD Cameras' started by Rick Nolthenius, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    I've never had any problems with my ST2000xcm and all computers used with it. However, our college upgraded all computers to Win7, including at our observatory, and I downloaded the latest CCDOPS and drivers. I also installed the latest ASCOM. All seemed well and connection happened normally, no error messages.... but when I got to the point of doing my exposure, and clicking on a suitable guide star, the little box which has always contained the guide star, now shows nearby blank sky instead. It's not dead pixels, the pixel values update with each exposure and behave in all ways just as if the camera simply didn't center that box on the selected guide star, but somewhere else on the sky instead. Even putting Deneb on the tracking chip and trying to guide on it, but it looked the same. I tried clicking on 'auto' thinking the exposure might be off, but that didn't help. This started with the old original drivers that always worked fine on the old WinXP machine. So then I updated the drivers. No change. Next I'll attempt to just go back to the old setup.exe for the older CCDOPS and hope it works fine as it always to. But that's not a real answer. Anyone else had this issue? I don't see it on the topics list.
     
  2. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    I have a customer with a similar mystery: very bright star in the guider image, then the track box comes up empty and is centered on the wrong place. I have some tracing that can be enabled and he's going to report on it.
     
  3. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    Thanks Bob - are you a vendor for SBIG equipment? Is this "tracing" some software module that others can implement?
     
  4. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    No, the logs are coming from our advanced automation software ACP Observatory Control Software. I await hard evidence....
     
  5. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

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    There was an issue a few months back where SBIGUDrv was inverting some guide chips, but that was resolved almost immediately. Which version of SBIGUDrv and CCDOps are you running?
     
  6. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    Adam --

    I'm working an issue on my forum (2 people) where something vaguely similar is happening, but I would rather not conflate with this problem here right now.

    My research today seems to point to something weird with the CCDCamera.GuiderArray data. Basically it doesn't seem to be even vaguely related to the data that is in the AutoGuider Image window (right after a full-frame guide exposure). All I have are star lists (from PinPoint detections) right now. I am going to try to add code to take a full-frame guide exposure, attach the GuiderArray to a PinPoint then do a WriteFITS() so as to make a fits image from CCDCamera.GuiderArray. I can then compare it to the Autoguider Image document in MaxIm which should be the same right?

    I set up an experiment here in which I use the ASCOM Camera V2 simulator, one of the Autoguider Image images from customer site tests last night converted to PNG (no stretch, one for one 16 bit) as the camera source for the guider. I then use the same exact PinPoint script code and the detected star list is perfect, it shows the right coordinates and flux values for most of the stars in the guider image. So I know my logic for retrieving the guider array and scanning with PinPoint is good. I know that X and Y are reversed between MaxIm's GuiderArray and PinPoint when you do a Plate.AttachFITS(CCDCamera.GuiderArray), it has been that way for years.

    Stay tuned.
     
  7. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    OK. I'll await further word.
     
  8. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    To answer Adam, I have the latest of both, as of a few days ago.

    To help with our issue... I'll also say that when I use the utility which charts the mount performance, it also pops up a view of the stars and asks me to pick one to guide on. This utility works fine; the chosen star shows up in the center of the smaller box (not quite as small a box as the 'self-guide' box) and stays there while the mount performance is mapped. I checked this performance AFTER noticing the problem with self-guiding, all on the same software and drivers.
     
  9. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

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    Based on the information Bob provided, I have a suspicion that this problem is peripherally related to another issue we're tracking down with AO units prematurely terminating exposures— same root cause, different species.
     
  10. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    Ok, I have 2 affected customers. One in France is quite active and would be happy to do tests. I'm trying to get a copy of Camera.GuiderArray into a FITS file to look at. I'll let you know if I have further info.
     
  11. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    That's great. I eagerly await what you find. Meanwhile, I may have to load up the older version of CCDOPS to see if I can at least have a usable configuration for the moment.
     
  12. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    Can you tell me what's happened in the past week with your progress on this bug? Were you able to get camera.guiderarray.fts? My students will be starting class at the observatory next month.
     
  13. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    I am now working three different issues that have appeared. I did get a Camera.GuiderArray that clearly shows a corrupted guider image. But there seem to be other issues and they may not be related. The thread that is possibly related to your issue is

    Bad frames from guide camera

    I will need to get on to the French site live as the info I am getting seems disconnected and conflicting.
     
  14. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    OK. I tried clicking on the link "bad frames from guide camera" but I get a message "you do not have permission...", I can't view it.
     
  15. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    Any estimate when you can get on the French site live? I'm not sure that my college's IT people will allow me to re-connect the WinXP machine with the old software which did not have these problems. They're trying to keep WinXP machines off the network now. But that leaves me dead in the water as far as imaging at Cabrillo College Observatory.
     
  16. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    Rick -- I missed the fact that you aren't a MaxIm DL customer (??). That image (and the thread) is in MaxIm DL customer support area. Sorry...
     
  17. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    I don't understand - I (meaning, Cabrillo College Astronomy, where I am the Program Chair) am most certainly a customer of SBIG, having bought many of their products, including the ST2000xcm which is showing this behavior, and DffLim is supporting these products now. I'm not using MaxIM DL CCD in this issue, (although I am also a paying customer of MaxIm DL/CCD, which Cabrillo Astronomy bought a while back). So, is Cabrillo College Astronomy going to be excluded from how you solve this issue?
     
  18. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Bob represents another company, which makes the ACP software. If you're not using ACP / MaxIm DL then his comments are not relevant to you.

    Adam is looking into this.
     
  19. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    I apologize for confusing this thread.
     
  20. Rick Nolthenius

    Rick Nolthenius Standard User

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    Can someone please clarify for me where this issue stands? It was Bob who said he had another customer with the same problem. If he's not involved in the solution, where does that leave us? I'm hoping to hear something clear, like "X is getting a guidebox.fts image and DiffLim will examine this and find where the problem is. We expect the .fts image to be delivered to us in the next day or two, and then we'll see where perhaps the .dll needs fixing, or the CCDOPS source code is in error. Meanwhile, we have a short term work-around suggestion, which is ..... Y "
     

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