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ATIK on Mac.. how many would use?

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#1 NickK-UK

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 05:26 AM

Hi all,

Just out of curiosity how many people here use ATIK and a Mac?

The reason I ask is that ATIK have kindly, under NDA for the source code, to bring the ATIK driver to the mac.

I have developed a small driver test application that allows the driver to take images. Although it's not 100% ready for the CN grilling just yet, it's almost ready. I can test with the 383L+ and the Titan however it will support all including the new 4xx range.

#2 groz

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:23 AM

My wife prefers her mac over the pc, and I've started re-building all of our astro software for the mac. We use a combination of open source and 'built it myself' stuff, one thing I like about the mac, is the availability of pre-built IRAF packages.

We have just upgraded our telescopes substantially, moving from an 8 inch sct and 110mm doublet, to a 12 inch RC and a 130mm triplet, part of our 'prepare for retirement' plans. Next on the list, a few months down the road (when bank accounts recover from this purchase), will be an upgrade on our camera equipment, to go with the telescopes.

Will we consider the ATIK cameras? not a chance. As long as drivers etc are closed, and locked down by NDA, then we will be hostage to vendors that have a propensity to drop support for older stuff at some time in the future, which leaves us high and dry. We currently have starlight xpress cameras, and I have full documentation on how to write my own stuff for them. In the long term, it doesn't matter if they survive or not, we will be able to use those cameras for many many years, and in a pinch, I can write whatever software we need to keep them going.

As we move into choosing the cameras that'll go with our new (to us) telescopes, the vendor list will be limited to only those that provide full documentation, so we can support the cameras ourselves in the future. It's going to be a major investment, by the time we have two large format cameras, with filters mounted in filter wheels, we will be dropping a very large chunk of change. We will not settle for anything that can become obsolete and unusable because it's undocumented. We already have one camera like that, a mead dsi-pro, learned that lesson the hard way. It's only useful as a paperweight today, not heavy enough to be a doorstop, and no drivers available for any modern computer setup, with no documentation that would allow me to fix that.

I've only just started our research on camera upgrades, and will be gathering information for some time to come. So far, Starlight Xpress and FLI are on the short list, both have full support available in source code form, with enough documentation that I can deal with the cameras myself, for years to come if necessary. I haven't finished looking around, and I'll be going thru each vendor's documentation over the next few months, and confirming that it's good enough for dealing with the cameras, even after the vendor stops supporting them. Anything that doesn't pass that sniff test, will not be on our short list.

FYI, I did give the ATIK stuff a quick look, but, closed source wondows activex junk doesn't pass muster for us, it makes the camera a useless paperweight when the world moves forward, and the vendor isn't there to provide support. I would re-think that if the folks at ATIK added support for thier cameras to the linux indi repositories, so that we can build from scratch, onto any host platform we want, including non-intel based *nix computers.

#3 NickK-UK

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:04 PM

The ATIK driver will be available through AOSX, an opensource device management framework. Any application can use AOSX in an OSX look and feel (rather than needing to know the technical know how to cope with repositories etc).

AOSX development has been slow as I got married this year.

#4 artcarter

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

I'm in the process of buying a scope with AP in mind. Any camera that can be controlled with a Mac will jump to the top of my list!!!

#5 Ron359

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:08 AM

A bit off-thread topic, but your comment about the DSI Pro being a paperweight, is not accurate. I use mine all time with my MacBook Pro, Nebulosity and PHD. I mainly use it as an autoguider with PHD but it is also supported for imaging with the Mac version of Nebulosity. Don't know about the PC version but its likely there too. Get it off your desk, it makes a great little guide camera. Good luck with your upgrades for retirement! Ron

#6 Logan Tudor

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:22 AM

I would LOVE to see Atik on the Mac, and in Software Bisque's TheSkyX. Most of the big players on now supported in TheSkyX: Sbig, FLI, QSI, and soon to be StarlightXpress - come on Atik! If Mac is support, I'll grab the 320e ASAP!

#7 NickK-UK

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:32 AM

Just an update on the driver :D I have taken delivery of a 4000 carcass that functions but the sensor etc is missing. So this means I can now test the 4000/11000 support.
This means it supports Titan, 300 series, new 400 series, 4000 and 11000. As AOSX is taking a while I'm focusing on getting a stand-alone driver complete.

#8 NickK-UK

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:44 AM

Just a little more and the standalone drive is ready - the 4000/11000 needs additional work though.

I've also measured the Titan at 19.75 frames/sec over 5000 frames.

#9 geminijk

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

Any help on finding a USB extension cable (active) that can be used with a USB hub (active too) would be great. I need to run USB cams about 50 ft to my Mac, and in vain tried to get a RF45/USB extender to work, and an active USB cable I purchased is also not recognized by the mac as a generic usb hub, as the windows laptop picks it up as.

John

#10 NickK-UK

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:20 PM

Any help on finding a USB extension cable (active) that can be used with a USB hub (active too) would be great. I need to run USB cams about 50 ft to my Mac, and in vain tried to get a RF45/USB extender to work, and an active USB cable I purchased is also not recognized by the mac as a generic usb hub, as the windows laptop picks it up as.
John


Interesting you've had problems.

I use non-powered 5 meter active repeaters - this is basically a 5 meter cable with a 1 port hub in the plug. This means the signal is terminated and re-transmitted. I connect two in series to give 10 metres so the signal is repeated twice.

I think the model you'll get in the US will differ from here but it's very close to this one: http://www.amazon.co...52/ref=sr_1_...

Power is the main issue with long lengths - don't expect the computer to be able to power it. It may appear to connect but will have issues when transmitting.
2x5M seems fine with the MBP's two ports. Connecting the 383L directly is fine however a passive USB HUB has issues (connecting a glowing cable (or mouse) is a great way to detect this. I use a powered USB 2.0 hub that looks suspiciously like this one:
http://www.amazon.co...DBF07S/ref=s...

Without the 5V power to the hub, my blue glowing cable shows the power problem, the Titan refuses to behave as the hub can't draw the required power through the extensions from the MBP.
This hub fits nicely on my EQ6.

If you still have problems - it's worth noting that even with the hub plugging into the extensions.. the extensions probably draw their power from the laptop end so try:

MBP USB port A -> powered hub A -> extensions -> powered hub -> devices.

MBP USB port B-> powered hub B -> extensions -> powered hub -> devices.

#11 NickK-UK

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

I would LOVE to see Atik on the Mac, and in Software Bisque's TheSkyX. Most of the big players on now supported in TheSkyX: Sbig, FLI, QSI, and soon to be StarlightXpress - come on Atik!


Plans are afoot..

#12 NickK-UK

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:51 AM

So far the interest is:
* Nebulosity & PHD - AOSX+ATIK
* TheSkyX - ATIK on X2 (their interface protocol)
* Equinox is interested in AOSX

Still waiting to hear from a few others.

I'm just going through the final sets of testing of the alpha release - there will be a few limitations (no guide port, untested OSC etc initially) but more of that later.
I may create the OpenPHD AOSX integration myself at the same time as it integrates with EQMac. I can image capture & setpoint easily enough with XCode in the short term.

#13 aberrs

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:56 PM

I too would love to see this!

#14 NickK-UK

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:24 PM

Progress..
So I'm comfortable with the Alpha release for the 383L (ie the 3&4 series), the Titan and I'm just finishing off the same level of testing for the 16IC. Literally every permutation of binning, sub-framing and preview mode has been checked..
I have a 4000 carcass which has allowed me to get so far but it doesn't complete the startup (as it has no sensor etc).

There are a few little things (oversample, overlapped exposures, guideports, OSC) aren't checked/tested in the alpha release.. however imaging with binning, sub-framing, preview modes along with the EFW2 makes for a good starting point.

I will put a developer's guide together tomorrow, along with finishing the 16IC. Then we're looking very close to an experimental alpha..

#15 NickK-UK

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:53 PM

Ok, had a go at compiling OpenPHD.. the vxWidgets library (vxMac) works for 10.6 but when you try compiling it under 10.8 it fails. I don't feel like debugging vxWidget so I'll let Craig do that..

#16 Carnbrea

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:31 AM

Any news on the solution to run the Atik on a Mac yet?
I would love to run my 314L+ on the iMac
Very frustrating having to use Windows.

#17 Jean Mario

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:30 PM

My sister use Artik on a MAC but not me !

#18 NickK-UK

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

Any news on the solution to run the Atik on a Mac yet?
I would love to run my 314L+ on the iMac
Very frustrating having to use Windows.


H Carnbrea,
This is coming along nicely. I'm about to release the alpha4 release which has a number of bug fixes in both the driver and example application since the alpha3 release.
I feel that given the current state, the A4 release is looking like it could turn into the first beta where people are more inclined to start building into applications (infact I know there are people waiting!).

I spent a recent star party with the A3 release, using it and testing against other camera models of willing volunteers - including the modern 460EX and the old legacy 16HR! Before that I had the luxury of using, not one, but two 11000 monos whilst in the south of france for testing (many thanks Olly!).

Nick

#19 NickK-UK

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:58 PM

I've just release the Beta 1 release candidate drivers and example application!

#20 mth75

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:39 PM

Hi, thx for your great work! What is the current status and are the drivers already downloadable?

#21 NickK-UK

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:18 PM

There's a beta 2 version out btw which has a couple of bug fixes in. The main thing here is that applications will need to be written to work with them directly - until we've got AOSX out the door.

I'm creating a 10.6 version of the drivers but I'm 1/2 way through that (still need todo testing) - Craig Stark is waiting on these!

House purchase slowing things a little!

#22 NickK-UK

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:50 PM

Gearing up for a B3 release candidate - this is very likely to be full release!

Heavy testing is in progress:
* 4-series working (a minor bug fix)
* Titan and 383L working nicely

I'm taking a loan of a 4000 and 11000 (oh yes!) to attach to the Pentax for some final heavy testing!

#23 NickK-UK

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:42 AM

Not sure testing follows the .. some old (16IC), something new (383L), something borrowed (11000 & 4000) and something blue (titan).. the circuit board is my skeleton 4000 and finally an EFW2.

My weekend is a final hardcore testing session for the OSX drivers I've been writing. The 428ex through 490ex have already been tested and work nicely.

Steve at ATIK has kindly loaned me a 11000 and 4000 for testing for the weekend.

I'll probably try putting together a through the scope comparison tomorrow .. but for now.. let the testing commence!

Attached Files



#24 NickK-UK

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:00 AM

Here's the 4000 and 11000 in use with images, the scope is running at 1340mm with a TV 2x, pointed at the bottom of the garden.

ATIK 4000
Low res video: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=FrXwn-f9qmQ

Full resolution Image capture from video on flickr (click to follow link):
Posted Image
capture-2013-08-10 14:49:33 +0000-1 by Nick and Sandrine, on Flickr


ATIK 11000
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=VZMGBvaYnl4

Full resolution Image capture from video on flickr:

Posted Image
capture-2013-08-10 15:18:06 +0000-1 by Nick and Sandrine, on Flickr
I did find a few bugs which have been fixed and all the cameras are purring away - onwards with the release! :D

#25 NickK-UK

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:25 AM

I think we're ready for a full launch! I spent last night just doing a few fixes to the Example App, and I'll compile a 10.6.8 version of the drivers too over the weekend.

I started this project back in July 2011 in my spare time.. (when I had some). Thank you to Sandrine, my lovely french redhead, for putting up with my obsessive coding!






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