Staff Assigned: Adam Robichaud OSX 10.10.1 breaks SBIG Universal Drivers?

Discussion in 'General' started by Ken Sturrock, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Twobones

    Twobones Standard User

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    This problem was first reported over 3 years ago. And while I appreciate that Adam is working on it, it's still been 3 years with no resolution for the cameras that I own. Isn't it time to hire a contractor who specializes in Mac OS drivers and just fix this thing? Surely after 3 years of trying it's time to admit that either this problem is too hard for existing staff to solve, and/or it's not being given high enough priority. We're now several releases of Mac OS past when the driver installation stopped working, and I'm sure there are more coming.

    Please, hire an expert and get it fixed. Or admit that you don't support Mac OS and let us move on.
     
  2. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    I don't pretend to know what is in the source code or what is needed for the SBIG Universal Driver to work, but just last week Jasem and I got the Deep Sky Imager INDI driver to compile and work under OS X. We used libusb to handle everything including loading firmware hex files to the camera. We did not use a kext.

    INDI is open source and developed by volunteers like us and as such, here is the source code including Jasem's and my changes from last week that got it to work on OS X.

    The Github package:
    https://github.com/indilib/indi/tree/master/3rdparty/indi-dsi

    Where we load the firmware to the camera (starting on line 193 of the code):
    https://github.com/indilib/indi/blob/master/3rdparty/indi-dsi/DsiDevice.cpp

    We would like to see the INDI SBIG driver work on OS X again. The current and working Linux SBIG INDI driver is based on a binary blob called libsbigudrv.so. On OS X it is based on the kext file and SBIGUDrv.framework I believe.

    We recently worked with apogee and qhy to fix their INDI drivers as well on OS X. We can also work with SBIG in a similar way. We would not need to disclose any proprietary SBIG code. For example, QHY is a binary blob and we are under a non-disclosure agreement against releasing the contents of that blob. We could do the same with SBIG.

    INDI drivers are currently supported by the following clients on OS X: KStars, PixInsight, Stellarium, PHD Guiding, AstroImager, Cartes Du Ciel and others.

    We would be willing to help. And at the same time, we could update the Linux version of the INDI SBIG driver too. We can also continue to wait for your support. Please let me know what we can do.

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  3. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    Hi guys,

    As you can see in my last post from several months ago, I stated that Jasem and I could help with the boot loader for the older SBIG cameras such as my own SBIG on OS X. We have worked with the code that uses fx2 to load the firmware onto the camera as I posted above. We have done with with more than one camera manufacturer. I should also point out that I have successfully used the fx2 loading commands to load the firmware onto my SBIG camera on the latest version of OS X and then I have used the camera for imaging using the SBIG Universal Driver and various pieces of software including Nebulosity 3, KStars, INDIServer, and PixInsight. I have not yet heard any reply to my offer. Perhaps Adam did not see the last post?

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  4. Bob Cornect

    Bob Cornect Standard User

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    Hi Rob
    I have an STL11000M and run Mac 10.El Capitan.
    I currently jump start my camera on a windows laptop then hot swap the usb over to my mac.
    Will your driver work on my setup and if so how do I get a copy. Can you upload the file onto this site
    Cheers
    Bob
    ps I also have an old SBIG ST-8300C gathering dust I'd like to use
     
  5. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    Hi Bob, I have not written the fx and fx2 load commands into the SBIG INDI driver because I was waiting for Adam or somebody from SBIG to respond. The best solution in my mind would be for SBIG to incorporate the fx and fx2 load commands into their sbigudrv binary file because then the cameras that need their firmware loaded would work on all OS X programs. I assume the solution that Adam was going for would be that when the camera gets plugged in, the firmware gets loaded.

    My solution that I posted above that we used for the DSI was to load the firmware when the INDI driver starts up and tries to connect instead of when the camera is plugged in. This is not as good of a solution because then it would only work for programs that rely on INDI for connecting to cameras and also it makes the connection take slightly longer since the firmware gets loaded while its connecting. But that is not that bad of a thing since many of the Mac programs now do support INDI.

    So I am hoping that SBIG can put the firmware loading into the SBIG Universal Driver binary file in the framework they install. And as I said, I am more than willing to tell them how I did it (in fact I did so in the post above). But I did post about this back in January and don't seem to have gotten a response. We can always go with plan B and load firmware like we did for the DSI in the INDI Driver.

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  6. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    Also Bob,
    What I did to run my tests to see that the SBIG would work after loading the firmware is to run a small binary program that I compiled when I was working out the commands for the DSI called fxload-osx.

    Here was my command for the ST8300:
    fxload-osx -v -t fx2 -D 0d97:0003 -I sbigfcam.hex
    It loads the firmware right up and the camera is ready to go.

    If we decide to put the loading commands into the SBIG INDI driver, the driver would run the commands automatically on startup. I believe it would end up being very similar to the DSI code: https://github.com/indilib/indi/blob/master/3rdparty/indi-dsi/DsiDevice.cpp

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  7. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    After I got no response from SBIG again, I decided to move forward today with the modifications to the INDI SBIG driver so that it can load firmware onto the older cameras. If SBIG later adds this functionality to their binary dynamic library file, this modification won't hurt because the code that I wrote will only load the firmware if firmware has not already been loaded on the camera. It only took a couple of hours. I submitted my changes as a PR. Since this is open source development and we need to make sure that my changes won't negatively affect anybody else, we will need to wait a short time. If it all checks out, then the INDI driver will be updated to support firmware loading. Once the new driver files get put into KStars and INDIServer for OS X (possibly within a few days to a week--I can update KStars, but Peter needs to update INDIServer), then we can support full use of the SBIG cameras in many different programs on OS X, basically any program that supports the INDI protocol as a client.
     
  8. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    Hey guys,

    I had a nice conversation with Adam today about the stuff that I did this past weekend for the INDI SBIG driver and libsbig package for OS X. He was very supportive and liked what I had done. The PR for my changes to the INDI SBIG driver to support firmware loading and the creation of the libsbig package for OS X have also been accepted by Jasem into INDI and so now homebrew INDI should natively support SBIG on OS X, we can build a version of KStars that will natively support SBIG on OS X, and then soon Peter can make an INDIServer package that will support SBIG with firmware loading on OSX. Note that INDIServer already did support SBIG cameras, just didn't load firmware, but now they all will be able to load firmware.

    Please let me know if anybody is interested in testing the SBIG support, I can send you a link to a dmg containing a build of KStars that will support SBIG cameras and firmware loading. The build will not be the same as the KStars build that is available on the website, since first I would like to test my firmware loading algorithm with a variety of SBIG cameras if possible. So far I have tested it on just my own, an ST-8300M, but I also can test on an ST-2K, an ST-4K, and an ST-7 if I ask my friends to borrow their cameras for a bit. Any other testers would be greatly appreciated. You can contact me in a private message if you prefer. Please note that you need to have the SBIG driver installed first. I believe this is Adams' latest version of the driver: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vm6sasxccb872a8/SBIGUDrvOSXInstall.pkg?dl=1

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  9. rlancaste

    rlancaste Standard User

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    The latest version of KStars (2.9.6) was released today and contains the new SBIG support with firmware uploading. Again make sure you have the SBIG Universal Driver installed.

    https://edu.kde.org/kstars/#download
     
  10. f11

    f11 Cyanogen Customer

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    Location:
    Edmonton, AB Canada
    Sorry to resurrect this aging thread again, but ... did the signing issue ever get resolved? Or is my ST-2K camera toast in regard to working with a Mac? I see Rob offered sort of an alternative (above), but is that the final solution?

    I've been away from my hobby for a couple years, and a little out of date. Despite reading through the fora here, I don't see an obvious SBIG solution. If there IS one, could you nudge me in that general direction?
     

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