[RESOLVED] STXL bias/dark/binning--saturated images

Discussion in 'STX and STXL Series Cameras' started by Mike Rice, May 9, 2016.

  1. Mike Rice

    Mike Rice Cyanogen Customer

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    Too strange to be a coincidence. I have 3 STXL cameras at NMSkies that are exhibiting the same issue. One is 2+ years old recently returned from Bill Lynch, A second STXL returned from Bill Lynch that required a new sensor because of a trailing charge problem and yet a third STXL that I pulled from stock over the weekend that is brand new. All exhibit this problem. I called Bill Lynch and he asked me to send a report (and had no clue as to what was going on though he suggested it sounded like "software".

    Take a light frame with the camera covered (no light) and it makes normal dark frames. Take a bias or a dark in Maxim with the frame type set to bias or dark and the frames are totally saturated. A 1 minute light frame made by covering the scope looks like a 1 minute dark...I would expect that. Set the camera on dark frames or bias frames of ANY length and the result is a totally saturated frame. I get the same result in SkyX as well as Maxim. Going backwards to Maxim 5.24 gives me the same result.

    Second symptom. Bin 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 and still get the saturated frames but with bright horizontal lines 2/3 to 3/4 across the screen. Same for bias frames or dark frames.

    It is so unusual for 3 cameras of the same model to exhibit these same symptoms at the same time. Have changed power supplies, cables, computers....makes no difference.

    Bill Lynch said he had no ideas. Both cameras that he had recently serviced checked fine when he shipped them with CCDOPS.

    Have there been any recent firmware or driver changes that could have caused this. My techs have a habit of updating firmware and drivers when they install a new camera or one back from service. All 3 of these cameras report they are up to date on firmware and drivers.

    I have two very unhappy customers and I'm pretty unhappy a brand new camera from a sealed new box all exhibit this identical issue. I really need some help !

    Mike Rice
    New Mexico Skies, Inc.
     
  2. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    We have not had any other reports of this occurring.

    Can you provide the serial number and firmware version of the camera(s) in question? It can be located by opening CCDOps, connecting the camera, then click the "Camera" menu, and select "Camera Info".

    Have you tried MaxIm DL v6.12?

    Can you send your MaxIm DL "Settings" folder so we can see what you have set?

    Can you provide a screenshot of the "SBIG Camera Settings" window in MaxIm DL? Connect to the camera, go to the "Expose" tab, and click the options button, and select "Camera Settings".
    "
    Can you capture a log file from SBIGDriverChecker64, and then reproduce the issue? Open the SBIGDriverChecker64 program, click the "Debug Log" button, then set the path for the log file and click "OK". Once this is done, reproduce the issue and send us the resultant log file for analysis.
     
  3. Mike Rice

    Mike Rice Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Tim,

    Looks like a very similar problem (maybe the same) was described a week or two back in MaximDL forum by Seargeant. I just noticed this
    Bias and Dark Frames Saturated/Streaked

    I think at least one of the set-ups is using version 12 I will have the techs check this tonight.

    And, we will get the requested logfile and screen shot tonight as well.

    The firmware is as described in reply to "all" specifically to Adam--you should have it.

    I don't have the serials handy. One camera is circa 2013 and just returned from SBIG Service (Bill), one other was shipped by SBIG in December and was just at SBIG service to have the sensor replaced for a trailing charge issue. The third camera is an 11002 which was received 2-3 weeks ago (SN X16010014). All have same firmware: Two other STXLs in the several we have ordered recently are, so far, OK--at least the customers have not complained.

    stxusb.bf2 1.06

    stxga.bf2 2.45

    stx11002.bf2 1.01.05

    stx0340.bf2 1.00.04



    Mike
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  4. Geoff Stone

    Geoff Stone Cyanogen Customer

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    I have an STXL-11002 and this sounds like a problem I encountered after a driver update back in January. Adam provided a fix for it.
     
  5. Albert J. Seargeant

    Albert J. Seargeant Cyanogen Customer

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    Mike, yes - sounds exactly the same as the problem I reported, once in the STXL forum and once in the Maxim DL forum.

    Jim Sgt
     
  6. Richard Ditteon

    Richard Ditteon Cyanogen Customer

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    I'm having the same issue after switching to a windows 7 computer. Unfortunately, no one has posted the solution to this problem. Could I get some help with it?
     
  7. Albert J. Seargeant

    Albert J. Seargeant Cyanogen Customer

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    Richard, my troubles with bias and darks were fixed by new drivers and, perhaps, a Maxim DL update. (Can't remember ifthe Maxim update was part of this particular problem.)

    At any rate, update drivers, update Maxim and give it a try. Please let us know if it worked or not.

    I haven't heard if it fixed the problems that Mike Rice reported.

    Jim Seargeant
     
  8. Richard Ditteon

    Richard Ditteon Cyanogen Customer

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    That was the first thing I did. I'm running MaxIm DL v6.13 which is supposed to be the latest version. SBIGDriverChecker64 says all of the drivers are up to date. I have:
    sbigudrv.dll 4.92 Build 1 05-27-16
    sbigu64.sys 2.41.0.1338 01-27-15
    sbigpcam.hex 2.46 01-27-15
    sbiglcam.hex 2.20 01-27-15
    sbigfcam.hex 2.25 01-27-15
    sbigfga.bin 2.46 01-27-15

    This is a new computer running Windows 7 Enterprise. Any other ideas?
     
  9. Eric W Klumpe

    Eric W Klumpe Standard User

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  10. Eric W Klumpe

    Eric W Klumpe Standard User

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    I am having the same problem with my STT-8300M camera. Light frames look normal in both CCDOps and Maxim DL 6.13. Darks are saturated in CCDOps and both Darks and Biases are saturated in Maxim DL 6.13.
     
  11. Richard Ditteon

    Richard Ditteon Cyanogen Customer

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    I hope you have better luck than I have. It has been nearly a month and there has been no response on this forum. I've emailed Tim Pluckett directly, but he hasn't solved the issue either. Now that they have sold the cameras, it doesn't appear they are too concerned if they continue to work! Very frustrating lack of support!
     
  12. Eric W Klumpe

    Eric W Klumpe Standard User

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    I just discovered that when I go to CCDOps after turning on the camera, the dark frames appear normal. After switching to MaxIm DL, the darks and biases are saturated. When I go back to CCDOps, the darks are saturated. I wish I was more computer savvy, but it seems to me that MaxIm DL is doing something with the camera that CCDOps does not.
     
  13. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    Not much we can do as we can not reproduce the issue here, and no one has provided "all" of the requested information.
     
  14. Albert J. Seargeant

    Albert J. Seargeant Cyanogen Customer

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    Eric, I saw the same behavior. CCDOps produced good bias and darks until I ran Maxim. Then bad bias and darks under both Maxim and CCDOps. Turn camera (STXL-6303 in my case) off, then on and CCDOps gave good bias and darks until I ran Maxim, etc, etc.

    Have you provided the requested info - "Can you provide the serial number and firmware version of the camera(s) in question? It can be located by opening CCDOps, connecting the camera, then click the "Camera" menu, and select "Camera Info".

    Have you tried MaxIm DL v6.12?"

    Tim was able to fix the problem with driver (and maybe Maxim) updates in my case.

    Mike Rice, are your cameras all working properly with Maxem DL now?

    Jim Seargeant
     
  15. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

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    Hi Mike,

    Their copies of stxga.bf2 are a few versions behind (a post above lists it at 2.45, when our current release version is 2.49.02) — a fix has been issued which should resolve the problem (v2.48 or later, which is available in SBIG Driver Checker 64). Due to the sensitive nature of upgrading camera firmware, I would be happy to log in remotely and perform the upgrades for you. I can also send you instructions on how to perform the update yourself, if you prefer, with the caveat that it is possible to brick the camera if an update is performed improperly.

    Richard, and Eric,

    I'll need some more information about your setups — namely the version of SBIGUDrv.dll (from Eric), and the versions of your cameras' installed firmware (from both of you, available from SBIG Driver Checker 64's Firmware tab, after clicking on the "Get Firmware Version from Camera" button). I will note that the STT and STX(L) model cameras have separate firmware, and they may behave differently; but we do our best to make sure that fixes in one model of camera are reflected in all our cameras.

    Cheers,
    -Adam
     
  16. Richard Ditteon

    Richard Ditteon Cyanogen Customer

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    Adam,

    Here is the firmware info you requested.
    stxusb.bf2 1.06
    stxg.bf2 2.45
    stx16803.bf2 1.00.05
    stx0340.bf2 1.00.04

    So the driver checker says that stxg.bf2 is out of date. To update the camera firmware, don't you just select the update firmware button? What more is needed? I'll wait for your reply before updating.

    Also, just to confirm what Eric was saying, I just took a bunch of darks and bias frames with TheSkyX camera plug in with no issues at all. But if I run MaxIm first, then the darks and bias frames are broken in TheSkyX as well.
    Rick
     
  17. Eric W Klumpe

    Eric W Klumpe Standard User

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    Adam,

    Thanks for your help.

    sbigudrv.dll is 4.92 Build 1

    Installed Firmware
    sttusb.bf2 is 1.10
    sttga.bf2 is 2.58

    Eric
     
  18. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

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    Rick, and Eric,

    It's my pleasure! You're both running gate array firmware that's a few versions old — normally this wouldn't be an issue, but we've made some crucial fixes to RBI preflash that were released in those updates. The reason you're only seeing it in MaxIm DL is because we're taking advantage of extended functionality in our software that CCDOps and TSX don't use (as of this writing). I'll have a chat with Software Bisque to see if there's anything we can do for people who haven't/can't update their firmware for whatever reason.

    If you want to upgrade the camera yourself: You can just click the "Update Camera Firmware" button from SBIG Driver Checker 64's Firmware tab (after clicking "Get Firmware Version from Camera"). IF YOU DO: you need to let the update operation complete fully once started, or you can brick your camera. The window may seem to hang when the write is in process, and this is completely normal. Let the application work until it reports success.

    My previous offer to log in remotely (using our remote support tool) still stands if either of you are uncomfortable performing the update yourselves. Just send me a private message, and I'll get you set up ASAP.
     
  19. Richard Ditteon

    Richard Ditteon Cyanogen Customer

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    Adam,

    I did the firmware update (it took a very long time because of internet issues on this end), and it seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks!
     
  20. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

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    Rick,

    I'm glad to hear it helped! Let us know if there's anything else we can do for you.

    Cheers,
    -Adam
     

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