STT 8300m FW8 STT and PHD Guiding

Discussion in 'STT Series' started by Jason Wiseman, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    When I connect my 8300 built in guide camera to PHD, It will then not connect to any capture program. I have tried Sequence Generator Pro, Maxim DL, APT and Nebulosity, all give the same result "cant find camera".
    If PHD is not running all programs work fine. Is there a solution to this? I can get it to work using an external guide camera but thats not the point I would like my "In Filter wheel" camera to guide. Surly I must be able to use the worlds best camera on the worlds best capture programs and not be stuck with ccdops.
     
  2. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    The STT is not two cameras - it's one camera with two sensors. Only one program can connect to the camera.

    You need to use a single program that can operate the main and autoguider cameras simultaneously. I can recommend MaxIm DL...
     
  3. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Ahh I sec Thanks, so your recommendation having just given $8300 for a camera and waited Twenty weeks for Diffraction Ltd to deliver said camera, my only option to run the Item I've paid over $8000 for is to give Diffraction Ltd a further $599 of my money? And take on a yearly subscription? Is there another option? Can you write drivers to split up the two chips,( they work independently so cant be described as one camera with two chips a simple driver rewrite would solve this.) I'm sure you can. Or is there some discount available for people who have already given Diffraction a HUGE amount of money. If its needed to run the camera Why wasn't there a years subscription to Maxim in the camera box??
    Yours in continuing frustration.
    J.
     
  4. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    And please dont mention CCDops, its a childish unfriendly program that in no way runs the camera to its potential.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    All the signals go through the same on-board processor and USB interface, so it is extremely difficult to split them out.

    You don't have to take on the subscription. You get a year of free upgrades, and after that you only need an upgrade subscription if you want further updates.

    I agree that CCDOPS is outdated. We are putting together a special version of MaxIm DL to ship with our cameras, similar to captive versions we make for other manufacturers. We've started work on it, but I'm not sure yet of the release date.
     
  6. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    so other options? discount for "paid up" customers?, Am i strapped into giving over another $599?
    And why spend time putting together a "special" and probably cut down version of MaxIm to give away with cameras. The cameras cost so much doesnt it warrent giving a full pro version with the camera to really show off what it can do? After all isn't it one of your "Flagship" models shouldnt it already come with all the top gear to run it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  7. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Just to give you an Idea. I ordered this camera in April of this year, having spent 2 years researching and saving for it. Its now September and I still don't have a single frame to show for it. It has taken me some time to come to the conclusion that I couldn't simply plug it into the programs I am used to, wasting all my free time for a week. And would rather have spent more money in the first place to have the software come in the box, saving me many hours of fruitless experimentation. Now I am coming to the conclusion that I have to save up again quick before my trial runs out to give £385, which is about two weeks wages so again another months or more delay. I've never waited so long in my life for a single product or project and although the end may be in sight, its frustrating that this "Quest" of a purchase didn't end with the arrival of the camera.
    STT 8300m +FW8-STT+AO8T+ full Baader set. £5756
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  8. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    MaxIm DL Pro is $499 - you don't need the suite.

    Software is just as important as any other component of your imaging system - perhaps more important - and it is decidedly not free. MaxIm DL has been under continuous development since 1996, with several people working on it full time, all the time. It costs a significant amount of money for us to upgrade, maintain, and support the software. If we gave the full version away with our cameras we would have to raise our prices.
     
  9. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    LOL raise your prices to what?? your software is already 3x the price of anyone else's..... and you still didn't answer my main questions.
    Question 1 Is there any alternative to MaxIm software that will successfully run this camera?
    Question 2. Is there any discount on the software for someone who has just given you $8300?

    If you intend to give away a "cut Down" version of MaxIm with your cameras, then surly for now the alternative would be to give a discount on your software until this gap is filled.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  10. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    I'm still waiting for a reasonable response from you.
     
  11. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Apparently you misunderstood my earlier response. Sure we could bundle MaxIm DL Pro with our cameras, but we would have to raise the prices of our cameras if we did that. There are huge costs to develop, maintain, and support a large software package such as MaxIm DL, and we are not in a position to simply give it away.

    Question 1: Since you already claimed our software is "3X the price" you don't need me to research this for you. If a low-cost package is sufficient to meet your needs, then go for it. If it is not sufficient then apparently there is more value in our software.

    Question 2: Each product has to stand on its own. You don't get a free filter wheel because you purchased a camera, nor do you get free software. Both have significant real costs and we cannot afford to give them away.
     
  12. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Firstly, because of the way the camera drivers are written this camera and filter wheel package will not work with anyone else's software, I have asked you 3 times to recommend an alternative, and as the manufactures of the camera you have only offered one solution. a product that you also maintain, I cant help but think that this is by design.

    Secondly and Mainly, Had there been any clue either on the internet or on any of your sites that Maxim DL was the only program that would successful run this camera I would have purchased a copy when I bought the camera. Having to find this out by trial and error has cost me a lot of time, effort and stress. If your going to write drivers that only work on your software then advertise this fact on the SBig site so that future customers will be aware of this added cost.

    I might also say, that to the best of my research yours is the only product of its price in the astronomical world that forces the use of proprietary software and doesn't provide the software on purchase.
    I give you an example of the only other company to force proprietary software use, that being Software Bisque's Telescope mount range. Even on their lowest price mounts, valued from $6000 upwards they include in the price a full copy of their pro software with all the extra addons. Example page address: http://www.bisque.com/sc/pages/ParamountMYT.aspx

    Yours is also at this time the most expensive enclosure in the camera world for any given CCD.

    I do feel as the owners of SBig that is is right for you to offer more solutions than just continually repeating "If you want it to work, give us another $499", it makes it feel as though the large amount of money I have already paid has bought me no loyalty.
    I now have a camera that doesn't work and I have to give a substantial amount to a company I'm not happy with to fix this.

    Please note that this entire inquiry has been on the SBig technical support page. Not the MaxIm support / promotion page.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  13. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    That is incorrect. There is nothing preventing you from operating SBIG cameras with third-party software packages.

    It is not possible to operate one device from two software packages. This is true for almost any hardware peripheral. Things have to be sequenced properly or you will get conflicts, and that is not possible with two different programs running.

    You just need to pick a package that supports the built-in guiding feature. Many if not most of them do.
     
  14. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Most I have found use a seperate guiding program i.e. PHD. etc. But its OK now I have purchaced a second hand guide scope and camera, I already own a copy of APT, so the whole thing is fixed for less than £100, saving me over £200 and I get APT's Goto ability without spending any more. I just wish these problems had been avoided with more information on purchace. Thanks for your help :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  15. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Ps please note that you still failed to reccomend by name any other software than Maxim dl
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  16. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Jason, you might check out alternative software to Maxim. I've used or tried a few, and keep coming back to MaxIm.
    Some alternatives that may work with your camera (you'll need to verify with the vendors - they do support SBIG cameras, not sure if all features are there).
    Images Plus with Camera Control: http://www.mlunsold.com/ILCameraControl.html
    AstroArt: http://www.msb-astroart.com/
    Nebulosity: http://www.stark-labs.com/nebulosity.html
    With some of them, you may want other software to do the processing. Generally you'll spend from about $100 to $400 to get all you need, unless you go the photoshop route which is even more money for final processing.
    I'm a MaxIm user (for decades), and prefer it to anything else for CCD camera use.
     
  17. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Thank you Colin.
    I realize MaxIm is probably the best alternative, just that having spent so much with Diffraction I was hoping for more than one suggestion and some discount, I mean after all how much do Diffraction want to make out of each customer?. And of course the massive price tag to MaxIm isn't helpful to me actually doing some imaging this season. After 32 months of saving and waiting for 20 week delivery I don't want to waste this season saving up again.
    Its good that a customer with experience of this like yourself was able to finally give me a coherent answer, the other guy just seemed to avoid the point of my original inquiry.
     
  18. pfile

    pfile Standard User

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    Jason, another alternative is to use SGP (sequence generator pro). they provide a software "shim" which exports the guider camera as an ASCOM camera. so SGP connects to the camera, then it exports the ascom camera which PhD can then connect to. having said that, i'm currently having problems with the shim software, which led me here to try to find a changelog for the latest SBIG drivers...
     
  19. Jason Wiseman

    Jason Wiseman Standard User

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    Thanks for that I didn't know SGPro could do that. I would be really happy if SGPro does work it is my preferred package.
     
  20. jerryyyyy

    jerryyyyy Cyanogen Customer

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    I got my STT 8300m now long ago as an early adopter and there was essentially the requirement to buy the Maxim software because as SBIG explained it then (I was forewarned), this is pretty much the only show in town. Now after several years I have discovered that it basically works well long-term and will be re-uping my subscription for updates. I have written 10000s of lines of C++code and you have to be paid to do this right... so I support these poor developers. They suffer... just read what they try to do to get in to work with the Nikon D800....

    I use CCDComander to run my show and that is cheap and directly interfaces with Maxim. I have tried ACP and there is an issue with their software and the STT, even with Maxim, so this is not easy as ACP is what the Pros use... If it were easy, they would have done it long ago.

    Good luck... BTW that CCD is pretty good, especially is you read a bit about the equivalent at QSI and its artifacts...
     

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