Resolved SBIG Drivers for macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

Discussion in 'CCDOPS and SBIG Universal Driver' started by doncarona, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Stanley Fertig

    Stanley Fertig stan in Brooklyn Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
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    Hi Don,

    Thank you so much for such a quick response. I agree that it is likely 10.15.5 which re-broke the driver access because I had previously followed your workaround on my Air and it still works despite the OS upgrade, whereas I had not gone through that on my iMac and now it won't install despite your workaround on 10.15.5.

    Fortunately for me I have kept copies of the installers for OS X Mojave, Sierra, and Yosemite so I think I'll follow your advice and install one of those if I have another problem on my Air (hopefully not).

    I am disappointed that SBIG still hasn't updated to clean 64-bit since October, 2019, when this thread started. My understanding was that it was not impossible to fix this for the STF and later cameras. How can Diffraction Limited continue to sell the STF if it won't work with a modern Mac?
    Colin, any comments??

    Thanks again,
    stan
     
  2. doncarona

    doncarona Standard User

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    Stop the presses everyone!

    I found a fix, but I don't have time to write it all down in step-by-step format right now. Starting a new research project tonight and have to get to the Observatory to get things opened up. Anyway, for those that want to play around, here's the general idea...what the SBIG driver needs is fxload (for communicating with Cypress chips). So, I manually installed the drivers by mounting the driver disk image and copying the package installer out of the disk image to my Desktop. Then, in Terminal navigate to the Desktop and type...

    pkgutil --expand-full SBIG\ Universal\ Driver\ Installer\ 4r84.pkg SBIGDriver

    ...where "SBIGDriver" is a folder that is not created in advance. Inside the newly created SBIGDriver folder is another pkg file named "filestoinstall.pkg". Right-click on it and choose "Show Package Contents". The files that have to be manually copied are in their respective folders inside the "Payload" folder. You'll have to make your system drive writable as previously noted in my other post in order to copy (using sudo) the files to their respective /System/Library/Extensions and /Library/Frameworks folders. Once copied, each file or folder/bundle should be owned by root. Hint for now...

    sudo chown -R root:wheel nameoffileorfolder

    Finally, download this version of fxload that I precompiled for macOS Catalina from (https://observatory.tamu.edu/assets/macos/fxload.zip) to your Desktop. This file should be unarchived into /usr/local/bin. If you don't have a /usr/local/bin directory, create it.

    sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
    cd /usr/local/bin
    sudo cp ~/Desktop/fxload.zip ./
    sudo unzip fxload.zip
    sudo rm fxload.zip

    After all this, reboot the computer and you should have access to your SBIG ST cameras in macOS Catalina 10.15.5. When I get some breathing room, I'll write this up in a much cleaner fashion.

    Best Regards,
    Don
     
  3. doncarona

    doncarona Standard User

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    Sorry, I want to be more clear. The "files" that need to be copied are:

    These go to /System/Library/Extensions
    SBIGUSBEDriver.kext
    SBIGUSBLoader.kext
    stfga.bin

    This goes to /Library/Frameworks
    SBIGUDrv.framework

    Note that all of them except stfga.bin are really folders (directories). A "kext" (kernel extension) is a bundle, which like a framework is packaged similar to an app, but at the end of the day, they're all just directory structures. To copy them: sudo cp -R thenameofthefile To move them: sudo mv thenameofthefile

    Don
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  4. Stanley Fertig

    Stanley Fertig stan in Brooklyn Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
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    Thanks Don,

    Followed all the latest instructions but I can't seem to copy the 3 System/Library/Extensions files from the SBIGDriver to the corresponding folder in my System Library. I'm afraid my experience using the cp command in Unix is limited...Could you perhaps spell it out?

    No problem for the file in Frameworks, a drag and drop sufficed.

    Thanks,
    stan
     
  5. doncarona

    doncarona Standard User

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    THESE INSTRUCTIONS SUPERSEDE ALL PREVIOUS INSTRUCTIONS

    Mac users who updated to macOS 10.15.5 (+Supplemental) Catalina will not be able to install the SBIG drivers using the "SBIG Universal Driver Installer 4r84" to operate the ST cameras. My previous instructions will not work because the installer will fail with an error instructing the user to contact the manufacturer. If the drivers were installed using my previous post before performing the update, you will still be able to operate your ST cameras. SBIG is aware of this and I have been working with them to arrive at some sort of resolution.

    It's unclear at this time why the installer fails, but it may have something to do with the SBIGUSBLoader.kext bundle. The update to Catalina appears to have removed internal support for Cypress technology, but I have not verified that with anyone at Apple yet. Regardless, I have been able to install the drivers manually and work by compiling a version of fxload. Below are the instructions for performing the install. While I have tested this on a clean install of Catalina 10.15.5 with a number of older SBIG products, I cannot guarantee it will work for everyone.

    Before proceeding, see the post in this thread dated November 27, 2019 (edited Dec 1st) to check the status of, and disable, SIP on your computer. These steps assume that all files and folders are either downloaded, moved to, or created on the Desktop. Terminal instructions are in bold.


    1. Download the latest SBIGDriverInstallerUniv.dmg from SBIG.

    2. Download a compiled version of fxload from here and move it to the Desktop: https://observatory.tamu.edu/assets/macos/fxload.zip

    3. Important: Close all programs and reboot your Mac.

    4. Mount the driver installer disk image (SBIGDriverInstallerUniv.dmg) by double-clicking its icon.

    5. From the Finder window that opens, drag the "SBIG Universal Driver Installer 4r84" package file to the Desktop.

    6. Open Terminal and make the System drive writable: sudo mount -uw /

    7. Navigate to the Desktop: cd ~/Desktop

    8. Expand the package file to a new folder: pkgutil --expand-full SBIG\ Universal\ Driver\ Installer\ 4r84.pkg SBIGDriver


    Now you can begin copying the files associated with the SBIG driver. Continuing in Terminal...


    9. cd ~/Desktop/SBIGDriver/filestoinstall.pkg/Payload/Library/Frameworks

    10. sudo cp -R SBIGUDrv.framework /Library/Frameworks

    11. cd ~/Desktop/SBIGDriver/filestoinstall.pkg/Payload/System/Library/Extensions

    12. sudo cp -R SBIGUSBEDriver.kext /System/Library/Extensions

    13. sudo cp -R SBIGUSBLoader.kext /System/Library/Extensions

    14. sudo cp stfga.bin /System/Library/Extensions


    Change the ownership of the copied files to root.


    15. cd /System/Library/Extensions

    16. sudo chown -R root:wheel SBIGUSB*

    17. sudo chown -R root:wheel stfga.bin

    18. cd /Library/Frameworks

    19. sudo chown -R root:wheel SBIGUDrv.framework


    Copy and unarchive the pre-compiled version of fxload.


    20. If you don't have a /usr/local/bin directory, make the /usr/local tree:

    sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
    sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/include
    sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib


    21. cd /usr/local/bin

    22. sudo cp ~/Desktop/fxload.zip ./

    23. sudo unzip fxload.zip

    24. sudo rm fxload.zip

    25. Important: Reboot your Mac

    That's it. Once the system reboots, you should have full access to your SBIG cameras and accessories.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  6. Eric Roubal

    Eric Roubal Standard User

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    This last set of steps did not work for me. I did not receive any errors while doing them,. I am simply not able to access the SBIG STF-8300 camera from TheSky.
     
  7. doncarona

    doncarona Standard User

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    Oct 26, 2016
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    If you are running TheSkyX Pro (Build 12545, 64-bit), there is a bug in the path to the SBIG Driver and you'll never get any SBIG camera to connect. This will be corrected in the next build. This was confirmed by Daniel Bisque and I confirmed it was corrected in the test build. What I can't tell you is when that next build will be available.

    In the meantime, my best advice if you have free disk space, is to take advantage of the new Apple File System (APFS); using Disk Utility; add a new volume; and install macOS High Sierra. After installing High Sierra, you can install the 32-bit version of TheSkyX Pro and the SBIG drivers without any issue. You can copy the "Software Bisque" folder from the "/Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support" directory of your Catalina install to the new install of High Sierra so you don't have to go through the whole setup process in TheSkyX.

    Regards,
    Don
     

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