Staff Assigned: Adam Robichaud STL-11000 and CCDOPS COLOUR GRAB FAILS

Discussion in 'STF Series CCD Cameras' started by Joseph Zeglinski, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Joseph Zeglinski

    Joseph Zeglinski Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Hi,
    The only command that has always fails, with an error – (on my STL-11000 & internal FW5-STL filter wheel) - using CCDOPS ver. 5.57 Build 3-NT is:

    ... the GRAB with option ... “Special Processing” – COLOR GRAB.

    The RED exposure works and saves the file ColorGrab.R
    Then I hear the wheel moving to the GREEN, next R-G-B sequential filter position for a very long time, and get the pop-up error message “Command Failed”.

    Checking the CCDOPS info bar, it has actually moved to filter position #5 – which explains the some 6 second rotation, instead of 2 seconds. It almost seems it is moving the wheel “backwards” instead of sequentially, and then times out.

    I then ran the CCDOPS “Filter Wheel Exerciser”, both sequential and random positioning, and the table of times (from 2.1 sec to 6.9 sec for the most distant filter) is totally consistent – rotating very smoothly, to any and all positions without error.

    What is going on here, perhaps a CCDOPS BUG – anybody seen this? The STL hardware seems fine.

    Thanks,
    Joe Z.
     
  2. Joseph Zeglinski

    Joseph Zeglinski Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    To: DOUG GEORGE - Admin, webmaster.

    Doug,
    I couldn't find any obvious link to the webmaster (You), or any other "tech support contacts" list on the new website ... so I had to resort to this public method, hoping somebody at SBIG monitors Forum messages.

    I have now been patiently waiting on advice for the posted problem, for THREE months now ( !!! ), and there have seen absolutely no replies.
    Anybody on SBIG staff interested ... or even reading this plea?

    Joe
     
  3. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Sincerest apologies for the late response Joe. Let's get to the bottom of this!

    Are you able to control your filter wheel from CCDOps without using the Color Grab feature (i.e. you're able to select every filter slot without issue)? You said the error has always occurred. Was the camera new when you bought it? Or did you get it second hand?

    Cheers,
    -Adam
     
  4. Joseph Zeglinski

    Joseph Zeglinski Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Hi Adam,
     
  5. Joseph Zeglinski

    Joseph Zeglinski Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Hi Adam,

    Yes, I bought the STL-1000 as used in 2008 - ser # 010500235 - (and so, manufactured Jan. 20 2005, according to my SBIG document).
    Bill Lynch had it in for the "faulty backwards capacitor" repair on April 23, 2015, so it had been fully checked out. Otherwise, except for that RGH problem, it has performed well since I got it.

    This CCDOPS problem has been around for a long time, but so far I have just tolerated it as yet another CCDOPS problem. I mostly shoot monochrome, but occasionally try combining to get a colour sample. Because of this problem, I just gave up on that.

    Yes, I can position the wheel to ANY of my filter positions, and do a regular GRAB. Only the COLOR GRAB crashes on going to the second filter in the RGB sequence, after the initial filter grab is done.

    There is absolutely no problem with the filter wheel - I have occasionally run the CCDOPS filter wheel exerciser, and it behaves properly, with perfectly repeatable timings even run for probably half an hour one time. It does step sequentially from filter to filter in that test, so it has a correct sense of direction there. Just the Colour Grab does NOT follow the rotation plan. Ifc you like I can run another filter exerciser, and email you the run log.

    I wonder if I need to change the rotation "timeout" parameter somewhere, so CCDOPS doesn't crash moving the wheel backwards, in the wrong - longest distance - direction, instead of to the next immediate position in the RGB sequence. It seems to want to rotate "RBG" - having to go to the second filter by passing the other four - instead of sequentially to RGB, the shortest distance. It doesn't get there because it times out after passing through the wrong ones.

    Thanks for checking into that CCDOPS command problem. Guess most people use other more sophisticated software for colour processing.

    Joe Z.
     
  6. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Would I be able to log into your computer remotely, and do some poking around in your CCDOps settings? I just want to make sure there's nothing obvious I'm missing before I start digging around in the software for more answers.
     
  7. Joseph Zeglinski

    Joseph Zeglinski Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Hi Adam,
    Yes, you can login to my astro laptop with its STL-11000. Do you want to use TEAMVIEWER ?
    I already have an SBIG login setup for you. Saves downloading TV again, if that is what you intended to use.
    I can email you the PARTNER ID and password. WE can do this anytime tonight, or tomorrow at a "convenient time for you", so I can be at home - I'm retired, so timing is flexible.

    I also re-ran the CCDOPS COLOR GRAB tests. Still get "COMMAND FAILED" after it moves the wheel to the RED filter, completes the color image grab, and displays it in a window. Then it pops up the error message ... and moves the wheel back to the "originating" filter position, no matter which of the five positions it started from. It always rotates clockwise, again no matter if it starts at the Green (#2) position - always does a forward rotation even though it is sitting right next to the RED filter. I suppose the stepper motor has "no reverse" option.

    I also made sure to give it plenty of spin-time - 10 seconds for RED with 0.9 and 0.5 multiplication factors for Green and Blue. I specified a 3 second Exposure Delay. Still fails after the initial RED exposure grab.

    The wheel responds mechanically - so it isn't stuck on any position. The Filter Wheel EXERCISER ran smooth in sequential and random tests.
    Time out shouldn't be a factor, since it fails no matter which "initial filter position starting point" is used for the Color Grab command.

    Email me if you want the TEAMVIEWER ID - and when I should expect you to login - or provide me with your own instructions.
    We can open a WORDPAD document on screen to exchange comments, while testing, if that is convenient - or by phone call here in Toronto (416-255-2466).

    Joe Z.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  8. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    526
    I'm not positive but I think the Color Grab is for color ccd's.
     
  9. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Lead Developer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Ottawa
    @Joseph Zeglinski: I gave you a call this morning, and left a message. Get back to me at your own pace. (I'm in the office all day, and the rest of the week).

    @Bill: as it happens, the source code says the Special Processing Color Grab is indeed for monochrome cameras with filter wheels, rather than color CCDs. It specifically looks for filter slots with names "Red", "Green", and "Blue". If I had to guess, this is where the program is hiccuping.
     
  10. Bill

    Bill SBIG Service and Repairs Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    526
    Thanks Adam. Always learning.
     

Share This Page