Help ! My STi Stopped Working

Discussion in 'Specialty Cameras SG-4, AllSky, ST-I' started by Mike Hambrick, May 19, 2020.

  1. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    199
    I need some troubleshooting advice. My STi (Serial #511461) stopped taking images last night. It seems like the shutter was not opening. Here are some details:
    Using Maxim DL-Pro, the com-link to the STi was successful.
    The camera seemed to perform all of the functions (expose, guide, etc) with no issues or error messages, but all of the images were blank except for the backgtround noise. I could not hear the shutter clicking.
    I noiticed that the green light on the camera was not consistently staying illuminated, and when I wiggled the USB cable it would light, but if the cable shifted it would go out.
    Even when the light was not illuminated I never lost the com-link to the camera, and I never received any error messages or saw any indication that the communication was lost.
    Is there anything else I need to look at ? I am hoping that this is just a bad cable.
    Are commercially available USB A to B cables suitable ?
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    4,043
    The ST-I uses a normal commercial USB A to B cable. Make sure it is a quality one and heavier wire gauge is better (eg some have 26AWG wire, and the ones with 22AWG are better).
     
  3. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2014
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  4. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
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    199
    I have some updated information:
    I tried the camera with several short (3 to 6 ft) USB A to B cables. I got the same results as described above.
    I made some additional observations:
    The initial com-link connection to the camera works every time I try it, but I do not see the green status light coming on. However, I hear the clicking noise of the shutter and it closes when the com-link is established.
    I while holding the camera in my hand I can do a short exposure and the shutter opens (I can see and feel it opening), and the image downloads, but after the exposure the shutter never closes again. There is no shutter activity on subsequent exposures. It would appear that the shutter is sticking in the open position after the initial exposure.
    I get exactly the same behavior whether I am using Maxim DL or CCDOps.
    Do I need to send the Camera to get it checked out ?
     
  5. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    483
    Mike,

    The shutter will stay open after taking a light frame, until you take a dark. And the opposite is true as well. The shutter will stay closed after taking a dark frame, until a light is taken. If the images are coming out black, then it should come in. The intermittent green LED could be that the USB connection has "loosened" and the cable isn't being held securely in the connector. A slight pinch, top to bottom, can sometimes improve that. Or, it could be the connector has popped a solder connection. The older units used a surface mount USB connector versus the thru-hole part used in the later ones.
    If you're interested in sending it in, send me an email, bill@sbig.com.

    -Bill
     
  6. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    199
    After more discussions with Bill I sent the camera in to have it checked out.
     

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