Bizarre Problem with Orion Starshoot- defective?
Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:32 PM
I am wondering if anyone here has had the same problem, or knows of a work-around before I call Orion and ask them if I can return it. Here are the details.
When guiding is proceeding normally, I get a guiding graph that looks like so:
The disturbance appears suddenly, as indicated by a black bar across the screen, and the guide star makes a massive jump to the right (see image- the displaced guide star is under the horizontal green line). The black bar fades after a few seconds, and the star moves almost back to its original position, but it's too late- the autoguider has tried to correct for the jump, and the image is ruined.
As a result of the attempts to correct for this huge offset (which is not real), the graph ends up looking like so:
My best guess is that my SSAG has a defective chip, and there is an occasional read error transferring the image to the PhD software. It could also be a bug in the SSAG driver for Windows 7 64-bit. I cannot rule out the possibility that it is some kind of communication problem with PhD, but due to the black bar appearing on the screen, I am sure it is a computer problem, and not a "real world" disturbance like a defect in the mount.
Any insights about this problem are appreciated!
Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:20 PM
If you still have problems, see if you can find a program (maybe Maxim DL) that will use it as a camera and try taking 10-20 minutes of images at your normal exposure time and look to see if the same problem shows up. If it does, then it's probably a bad camera. You may be able to use a video capture program to make a video from the camera that'll also show the problem.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:27 AM
It's exactly as you describe, vertical bar, jump in guiding, all the same.
I'm using the camera with the Orion 50mm mini guider scope.
I'm using the cable that came with the SSAG.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:05 PM
I am concerned that if I return it, they will send me another one that does exactly the same thing. In any event, I cannot continue imaging with constant interruptions from this disturbance.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:13 PM
Has this ever happened to any other user of the SSAG ?
Posted 06 November 2012 - 04:25 PM
Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:11 AM
I re-installed the drivers for the Orion SSAG yesterday, and I was able to do imaging for 1.5 hours last night without encountering any error. I was pleasantly surprised. However, I am not sure the problems won't come back.
Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:34 AM
when it jumps back, is it in the same spot as before? if yes then PHD will be happy again.
Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:42 AM
The graph, however, looked remarkably similar.
The only thing I can think of is this: I recently started using a different laptop for imaging, so i grabbed the latest version of PHD, 1.13. My old laptop had 1.12 and NEVER exhibited this behaviour.
Could we have found a bug in 1.13?
Has anyone reported this to Stark's support group on Yahoo Groups?
Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:17 PM
Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:39 PM
Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:58 PM
Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:57 PM
The black bar effect came back with a vengeance on Monday night while I was imaging NGC 1579 in Perseus. It was so bad that could not even calibrate the Starshoot without the black bar popping up. Here are a couple more observations I made:
1) At first, I booted the computer, then plugged the SSAG into the USB. Windows told me it was installing device driver software, and it failed. This makes no sense, as drivers were already installed. The black bar effect was terrible when I ran PhD.
2) I rebooted the computer with the SSAG already plugged into the USB port. There was no "installing device drivers" message this time, and I ran PhD for 2.5 hours with only one disturbance from the dreaded black bar.
This is definitely looking like some kind of communication thing between the computer and SSAG, but I will try reducing the search area in PhD for sure. It's been at 15 pixels during all this trouble. In any event, I am glad to see that do not have a defective SSAG.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:19 PM
Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:52 PM
Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:25 AM
Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:48 PM
Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:34 AM
Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:17 AM
Problem seems to be a timing issue in the camera/driver. Basically the image you get downloaded from the camera is cropped by the driver. For some reason, the camera/driver either times out or gets out of sync with the buffer causing the actual image to get offset 100 pixels.
Problem will occur regardless of the Orion camera or laptop in use.
Sorry for my basic understanding of the post, I'll have to search more to see if they actually fixed the problem or have a work around.
Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:56 AM
Thank you for the information. Do you have an idea how I could fix that? Basically I can't do any long exposure although I have some hope that reinstalling the driver will fix the problem. What confuses me is the fact that it was working very well for a couple of months and now does not work anymore. Orion Technical support really seems very clueless about the issue
Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:48 PM
Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:25 PM
Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:09 PM
He had CCDSoft installed so he tried that. There were no more instances with this problem when PHD was not used.
So he Downloaded MaximDL and tried it, again no problems. Now he owns MaximDL and never has an issue with the SSAG.