Occasional Weird Bars in my STXL 11002M Images

Discussion in 'STX and STXL' started by D Simpson, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. D Simpson

    D Simpson Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi All,
    Recently I've been taking quite a few images with my STXL camera. I've been working on some guiding issues with my MEII and I decided to add in a series of ( 60 x 30 sec) main chip images; all in an effort to more closely match the imaging cycle. I've noticed there pops up an occasional image that has an overlay of vertical bars. Not sure what's causing this but I'm concerned that it will affect future images, ones I want to keep.

    I had to put a sample image in my Dropbox as it's pretty large. Here is the link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4w4x3zrgdu6a79y/AO-X Autoguide Test Seq_19 10 16 -0017LUM.fit?dl=0

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. D Simpson

    D Simpson Cyanogen Customer

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    Since I haven't heard from anyone about the vertical bars I'm seeing in occasional images I thought I'd try again.

    This time I've attached a zip folder with a jpg of the problem. If you want to look at a fits of the same thing check the Dropbox link in my previous post.

    Again, any and all suggestions welcome.
    Thanks,
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Dan, this looks like a hardware failure. I was out at the AAVSO meeting, and am not fully caught up.
    Our repair wizard @Bill Lynch will need to assist you. You can contact him : bill (at) sbig (dot) com.

    PS
    Your JPG is all white, probably you didnt do the screen stretch correctly on export. Anyway, the FITS image shows the alternating vertical areas of no image.
     
  4. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

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    Strange indeed, you say it's occasional? It reminds me of the "jail bars" or "grill marks" that used to happen in the old ST-2000's, but that occurred at saturation.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    That is really weird. Yes it looks something like the "jail bars". Either the substrate voltage is way off or the clock voltages are. This could be an internal power supply failure or a clock driver failure.

    The problem is, if this only happens once in a while it's going to be hard to fix, because we won't know when the problem is actually gone.

    My recommendation would be to continue operating it for the time being; it's probably a progressive failure. When the failure becomes very frequent or permanent then send it in for repairs.
     
  6. D Simpson

    D Simpson Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks guys,
    I saw 2 barred images out of 49 from the other night. I'll keep and eye on it to see if that number changes. They were a couple of images apart in the early AM.

    Do you think it could be a communication problem? I'm running through the MEII hub and then through an Icron USB/Ethernet extender. Bad cable?

    What I've been doing lately is working on my guiding with this setup. A 14.5" RCOS mounted on an MEII. The camera train is an STXL11002M/FW8G/AO-X. I still have about 35% throw-aways due to guiding errors but it seems like I'm getting closer to more consistent guiding. I've probably got at least another couple of night working with throw-away images so I should have a few more opportunities to see if the rate of barred images changes.
     
  7. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Don't run the camera through the MEII hub - there have been many reports of issues with data communications, insufficient voltage, etc with the Paramount on-board hubs.

    The camera will use full USB2.0 bandwidth, and so ideally should be on its own direct connection to the computer.

    I don't think it has anything to do with your issue, but if you routed the camera to the Icron instead of through the MEII hub in the VersaPlate, am betting you get better results.
    The Icron Rangers vary in terms of how good they are.
     
  8. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    One more thing - just in case - make sure the camera has its own power feed - the through-the-mount DIN plugs don't have sufficient wire gauge, and you'll get voltage dropouts, esp when the cooler is on high.
    The camera should be on its own power supply, separate from the rest.
     
  9. D Simpson

    D Simpson Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks Colin, for the suggestions.
    I may be able to route a USB2.0 cable through the mount directly to the ICRON. I'm not anxious to dismantle the scope from the mount but if I have to I have to. Would you recommend using an Ethernet 5e cable? It would be easier to route a blank Ethernet through the MEII.

    Are there better alternatives to the ICRON devices - I thought they were pretty robust? I could mount the ICRON on the scope, which would obviate need the for the MEII USB hub - but the ICRON takes 24vdc. Maybe run that power through the MEII DIN plugs or just run a 16 or 18awg through the MEII. Just me thinking out loud.

    I've routed a separate 12awg cable through the MEII to my RigRunner to provide power for the RCOS TIM and the STXL. I may have gone a little overboard with cable size would it be possible to use 14awg or even 16? Now that I think of it the internally routed 12awg may be at least a partial source of my guiding problems.

    Sorry for jumping around on this. You all have been very helpful.
    Thanks,
     
  10. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    I'd go for 12AWG silicone wire (its very flexible) mounted OUTSIDE the mount. The internals of the MEII are pretty tight and it could definitely be giving you some grief mechanically.
    It's diameter is better, but I would still drape it external.
    I don't have first-hand experience with the ICRONs; and there are so many models. Main thing is dont put high speed devices on same bus as low speed ones like focuyser.
     

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