Resolved Self guiding

Discussion in 'Legacy Models (ST, STL, etc.)' started by Luis barneo, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    Hello,
    I'm new in this group, but I come from SBIG yahoo group. I builded a permanent observatory. My mount is a Losmandy G11, Gemini 1 level 4, with servomotors 6 pin DIN connectors. I own ST402MEC1C/SBIG ST40 + CFW402-BVI/SBIG CWF4 for many years and it is doing a very good job. I work with TheSkyX Pro Camera add-on, CCDOps/CCDSoft. Recently I got a second hand ST-8XE SBIG camera attached to CFW8A filter wheel, with its carrying case that contains many accessories: AO-7, ST-7-RC, 9 pin dual relay ribbon cable, ...I tested the camera and filter wheel works fine with TheSkyX. I downloaded the manual.
    Problem:
    I'm confused how to connect the camera to the autoguider port of Losmandy using the self guiding of the camera. As the connector of the filter wheel to the camera has a female J11 connection I tried to put a telephonic cable J11 between it and the autoguider port of the mount, but it doesn't work. The same if I use ST-7-RC. I read the manual, surfed the web and found "Application Note Relay Adapter Box" with many configurations, but I think that my mount does not require this adapter box (and I don't have it) because it is a new mount model. Using the ribbon cable attached to the AO/-CF8-SCOPE port of the camera that fit at the same time the filter wheel and the autoguider port with a DB9-J11 cable is the solution?

    Luis
     
  2. JoeGafford

    JoeGafford Cyanogen Customer

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    Luis,

    A basic telephone cable will not work. It is usually an RJ-11, a 4 pin connection. You'll need an RJ-12, a 6 pin cable for 2 line phones. Both are same size connectors. It may differ as straight through or pin to pin connections depending on mount or controller connections.

    Joe
     
  3. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    I'm sorry, the cable that I'm used is RJ12, not 11.
    Luis
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Please review Section 4.4 starting on Page 43 in the manual.
    https://diffractionlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/USBmanRev14.pdf

    Some Losmandy mounts put +12V on their guide port connection, and this will damage the camera, and so you need a relay box.
    Unfortunately, we have no idea about the electronics of your old Gemini mount.
    I suggest you contact Hollywood Machine/Losmandy about that.

    If your mount is newer and has opto-isolated inputs, then it should be ok.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Gemini doesn't need a relay box. The old Losmandy Digital Controller does. He said Gemini so it will be okay.
     
  6. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    Yes, I have the newer version of Gemini that supports TTL output using the TIC-78 cable. The Gemini Users manual, October 2002, 72 pag: "...If your Gemini unit uses DIN connectors for the motors, you can connect TTL output autoguiders directly to Gemini..." But in my hands it dosen't work.

    Luis
     
  7. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Colin - do you happen to know if Gemini supports ASCOM PulseGuide? I believe the ASCOM TheSky driver supports passing through PulseGuide commands. That would allow Luis to bypass the TIC altogether.
     
  8. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Doug - I'm not that familiar with the various Gemini 1 Levels. Here's what I found out:

    Reading the manual found here:
    http://www.docgoerlich.de/GeminiL4UserManual.pdf

    Section 4.2.1 says the autoguider port is only active in Photographic Mode.

    Luis - are you running the mount in Photographic Mode when you did your guiding tests?

    In 4.2.3.1 it says an ST-4 can be directly connected to a Gemini 1 Level 4 if it has DIN connectors. More in 4.2.4.
    So check you have the correct type of cable. It should be like the one on the left side of this diagram:
    Autoguidercable2.png

    Section 4.2.5 says it supports Software Guiding. So in theory, using ASCOM PulseGuide would be an option.

    Checking the ASCOM site includes some info on the available Gemini telescope driver. It says it needs current firmware - not sure if that is Level 4 version 1.05. Details here:
    https://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm
     
  9. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    Yes. I use the photographic mode. The connector cable to autoguider port is a RJ12 SBIG cable supply with the camera: a flipped cable . Steps: calibre the mount, look a star, put it in the center, imaging with the ccd imager, grab the star to to verify that the star is there, put the self mode with the same time exposure: black screen without star. Change to other exposure times: not star in the screen to guide. The same with CCDOps, CCDSoft, and TheSkyX. Is it possible that my camera doesn't have the TC237 autoguider ccd or it is broken? How could I know it? The info camera of the CCDOps say that it is normal. I appreciate so much the time that you dedicate to my problem. Thanks.

    Luis
     
  10. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    You could test this in your kitchen, instead of in the dark.
    You could look down the nose of the camera to see if there is an internal guide chip.
    If the camera has an "I" at the end, eg ST8-XMEI or serial number has an I, it is an industrial camera without internal sensor.

    Also check that you have the remote guide head setting correct for that camera, so that it knows to use the internal guide sensor, in case it has an RGH port.
    ST_no_rgh.png

    And check the settings in the different programs to make sure you are using INTERNAL not EXTERNAL guide sensor.
     
  11. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    My camera is ST-8XE without the"I", the serial number doesn't haven any "I", and without thr RGH port.

    Luis
     
  12. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    My doubt is if my camera have the secondary ccd. Infocamera of CCDOs says that it exist. Is it possible to disassemble the camera and verify it and note if perhaps any electronic circuit is broken?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Open the shutter and look in. You will be able to see the guide chip.
     
  14. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    Do you mean to disattache the filter wheel and look in?
     
  15. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Just set it to clear, start an exposure to open the shutter, and look in the front. You should see the main chip and the guide chip will appear beside it.
     
  16. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    OK. I will try
     
  17. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    Unfortunatly, the spanish authotities have impose the lockdown to my city for 6 months, Oviedo. Then I can't go to my observatory to look up my camera.
    Luis
     
  18. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

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    This camera definitely has the 237 Internal Guider.
     
  19. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Luis,
    Sorry to hear about COVID lock down. Some very good friends of mine are trying to get from Madrid to Andalusia right now. Very challenging times we are all living in.

    Do you have remote internet access to the camera using some software like TeamViewer?
    Perhaps we could have a look at it if the equipment is accessible online.

    One more thing to try: Can you take a dark frame from the guide sensor and attach it here as a FITS file?
    That might tell us if there is an electronics failure.
     
  20. Luis barneo

    Luis barneo Standard User

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    Bill,
    Colin had spoken about the cable. It is the John's cable from SBIG and the disposition of the wires is "flipped" as in your picture. I tested without outcome with other cables with the same wire distribution. The result is always a black screen with the square on its center middle. Error message: star too dim. I had used different exposures and brighter stars (even Vega!). As a preacaution, I verify the existence of star in the FOV taking a image before.
    Luis
     

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