Staff Assigned: Bill Lynch ST10XME sudden issue with lights and flats... and AO8 issue

Discussion in 'Legacy Models (ST, STL, etc.)' started by Michael R. Good, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Michael R. Good

    Michael R. Good Standard User

    Nov 4, 2018
    Two issues one email. What a deal!

    Issue 1 - Lights & Flats stopped working on ST10-XME

    I have an ST10XME bolted to a CFW8 bolted to AO8.

    I use a 0.63 reducer (Ted Agos adapter into 2" holder) in a 2" Apogee holder on back of my C14.

    On Oct 23 I used this setup to get 10 second 1x1 light frames for test photometry. Worked great, with more than 50 lights captured, then 30 darks, 30 flats, and 30 darks for flats, and 30 bias frames. This is my indication that i do not have Win10 driver or software issues. I was just using it.

    I then returned a week later (east coast - rains a lot) and I could not, I thought, achieve focus. No stars, just a few bands of light down middle that i THOUGHT were from a bright SYNC star that was out of focus (I had refocused for a planetary camera...). Focusing did not help. So then I thought maybe my chip frosted over, so i removed the dessicant plug, (screwing dummy plug into camera), removed the rubber O-ring, baked it at 350 for 4 hours, let it cool, replaced the O-ring, reinserted into camera, and I finally got ANOTHER clear night Nov 3, and still could not get any stars to show up. I replaced camera with eyepiece, getting focus close to where my image train focal plane should be, centering Mars (!) and nothing on my ST10xme light frame with "CLEAR" filter.

    Same issue seen with both CCDSoft (5.00.218) as well as CCDOPS (5.61 Build 0-NT). Software sees the camera, i can connect to the camera, i can enable cooling and achieve temperature regulation, AND I can take dark frames no issue. When using light frames with or without auto-subtraction of dark frame, i get light streaks in middle top... sometimes.

    I next want to rule out some filter wheel or shutter issue. I removed the camera, took a multi second "light frame" with clear filter, and voila, as i look down the barrel of my system, i can see the shutter open and see the chip, ruling out all alignment issues with filter wheel, or shutter issues. Shutter works great. I replace the camera, again verifying super bright star in center, and i rack my focus from one end to the other (just in case), but never see any stars or diffraction patterns from out-of-focus stars.

    I put my "white undershirt holder" over my optics, apply tangential white light to said undershirt, and took the attached "flat" frame. Instead of a symmetric flat with darkening around the edges, i get a band of light running across the TOP of the frame. Huh? However I _DO_ get a max of 17,278 ADU's on this weird flat frame. That has got to be a clue?

    I am also uploading a sample dark frame.

    Issue 2 - AO8

    I had stored the camera setup described above for 3 years in my observatory, while i solved mount issues. When i finally got the mount upgraded, and placed the ST10xme/AO8 combo back in action, i noticed the AO8 is no longer working. Removing from the scope, and setting up a slow exercise mode, where i normally can both hear and see motion, i get nothing. I check the cables, but do not see an issue. I of course chose the camera option that includes the Adaptive Optics. Is there a period of time of lack-of-use that can cause the AO8 to stop functioning?

    I did run DriverChecker and have the latest on my Dell Win10 system.

    Thanks so much for any ideas, or let me know if i have to send hardware in.

    Michael R. Good
    Poages Mill, Virginia (south of Roanoke/Salem area)

    Attached Files:

  2. Michael R. Good

    Michael R. Good Standard User

    Nov 4, 2018
    P.S. - Max ADU's were 16550 on the 1x1 flat. I did not take a dark for this flat. The attached dark was a 2x2 dark, since i was intending on doing 2x2 binning for my photometry on Nov 3 to improve my measured FWHM.
  3. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

    Oct 12, 2014

    Send me an email,, and we'll arrange to have your gear sent in.


Share This Page