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SSAG + Windows 8.1 - Total Bust

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#26 tazer

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:20 PM

Then follow this procedure to disable driver signature enforcement...


Not sure why that works for you. Driver signature enforcement predates Windows 8. Since Orion's cert/signature _is_ valid (I just checked, though the cert expires tomorrow) then it shouldn't be a problem. I'm running vanilla Windows 8.1 Enterprise (with a few group policies applied) and installing the drivers via the INF works just fine.

#27 JoseBorrero

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:55 PM

Can't tell if Orion has been taking care of this recently, this procedure fixed my problem when windows 8 was released.

Then follow this procedure to disable driver signature enforcement...


Not sure why that works for you. Driver signature enforcement predates Windows 8. Since Orion's cert/signature _is_ valid (I just checked, though the cert expires tomorrow) then it shouldn't be a problem. I'm running vanilla Windows 8.1 Enterprise (with a few group policies applied) and installing the drivers via the INF works just fine.



#28 ekallgren

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:08 PM

Jon I feel your pain and went through this the other day with a new laptop.
I had to completely remove everything associated with Orion from the computer. Then I followed the written instructions on their support site for the SSAG. That worked for my setup.
Eric

#29 Jon Rista

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:23 PM

Jon, I'm not sure if you mentioned it or not, but have you tried installing the INF and then plugging in the SSAG? That or specifying the drivers manually via Device Manager?


I don't have an INF. Just so everyone knows, here are the only files I have with the driver, v4, downloaded from Orion:

SSAGASCOMSetup.exe
SSAGdrvfull.exe
SSAGdrvinst.exe
SSAGPHD2UPDATE.exe
SSAGPHDUPDATE.exe

There isn't any .\driver directory with the actual driver files themselves or anything like that. When run, these don't extract anything anywhere as far as I can tell. I've downloaded the driver file from Orion a few times now, but that's all that's in it. I guess it's possible that the file from Orion is corrupted, but it does unzip. Anyway...I don't have the ability to manually install anything, as there aren't any loose files to do that with.

#30 Jon Rista

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:24 PM

Jon, I have my SSAG CD still - it's a year old and might have an older version of the driver/folder. Want me to check?

If one of us here has it, there should be a way to make it available to you.


I have my CD as well, but it's the older driver that is guaranteed to not work. That's the v2 driver. It's the v4 driver that can supposedly, after a bunch of rigamarole, be made to work on Win8/8.1...but I'd need the loose driver files to do that.

#31 Jon Rista

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:28 PM

Jon I feel your pain and went through this the other day with a new laptop.
I had to completely remove everything associated with Orion from the computer. Then I followed the written instructions on their support site for the SSAG. That worked for my setup.
Eric


It was a brand new laptop that never had the drivers installed before. I don't think the problem I am experiencing is the same as everyone else here. I don't have any driver signature problems, and the driver is not actually installed. The installer itself barfs before it gets far enough to actually do any installing...it complains about ssaguninstall.dll and ssaginstall.dll missing.

#32 tazer

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:30 PM

That's interesting. When I do the install (via SSAGdrvfull.exe), and get the same error as you, I'm left with a directory under C:\Program Files (x86)\Orion\SSAG_Drivers_WIN8\driver which contains the INF's and DLL's. If you're interested in a ZIP of that folder PM me.

#33 D_talley

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:43 PM

Chances are you cant see the files because they are hidden by default. You may want to check your folder view settings to unhide systems files and extensions.

#34 tclehman1969

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 11:40 PM

If you have tried to do the install, even if it fails, there are files that need to be uninstalled. Read these instructions and go through it step by step. This WILL solve your installation problems: http://www.telescope...lationGuide.pdf

I know there are those agreeing with you that the installer is just flat out corrupted in some way. But, there are just an equal number of those saying it works and getting it to work. My computer was brand new, too. Once I completed the uninstall process per the instructions as provided in the link above and then continued on, it took all of about 30 seconds to get it going.

#35 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:14 AM

If you have tried to do the install, even if it fails, there are files that need to be uninstalled. Read these instructions and go through it step by step. This WILL solve your installation problems: http://www.telescope...lationGuide.pdf

I know there are those agreeing with you that the installer is just flat out corrupted in some way. But, there are just an equal number of those saying it works and getting it to work. My computer was brand new, too. Once I completed the uninstall process per the instructions as provided in the link above and then continued on, it took all of about 30 seconds to get it going.


I've done all that. Trust me, I've followed the installation guide to a T, multiple times now. IT IS NOT WORKING. :p I'm not a fool, I've been programming since I was eight and building computers since shortly after that. The PHD plugins showed up in the windows uninstall list, however the driver itself never showed up (I showed hidden devices in device manager, nothing anywhere, not under USB nor anything else). It was never in Program Files (neither x64 nor x86), and it never showed up in device manager. The only thing that did show up was the actual camera itself...I plugged it in a couple times, it shows up as "Unknown device" in device manager...but it has no drivers associated with it.

I've also searched for the temp files...they seem to be getting nuked. I'm actually going to try installing, leave it at the first error, then see if I can find the temp files before I clear the errors. That might be my one window of opportunity to actually get a hold of them.

Even assuming, after more hours of fiddling and futzing around with this thing, that I get it to work...why stick with it? :shrug: I don't want to have to fiddle and futz next time a Windows update or SSAG driver update comes through that this exceptionally picky device/driver is somehow incompatible with. I don't want it to decide it's going to act up in the middle of an imaging session. I can't trust it...not if the installer itself is this sketchy. Personally, although I am sure this isn't just me, it's extremely frustrating to have a company like Orion shove off their problems onto their customers because they can't find a competent developer to write a functioning, installable driver for their product. A driver that just installs, without hassle, and is reliable over the long term, that is. It's just shoddy. So, I already made the decision to ditch the SSAG. It's not a very sensitive cam, it's extremely noisy, it doesn't do planetary imaging, and it's been a PITA on Windows 8 since day one (and I've always preferred to run Windows 8 rather than Windows 7). I just want to get rid of it...to get away from the hassle.

All I really wanted to know was how the QH75L-II worked on Windows 8/8.1, and I think I have the answer to that. I'm just going to put the SSAG up for sale once the QHY comes in, and be done with it. I don't like sketchy products, especially when they are involved in as complex and endeavor as astrophotography. I NEED my equipment to work...I'm missing clear nights right now because of this darn thing. I mean, literally, right now...it's crystal clear...storm just cleared, stars are bright! That's infuriating...truly! :flame: :bangbangbang: :dabomb:

Just earlier tonight, I missed imaging a PHENOMENAL lightning show that lasted for about an hour because of a cheap, shoddy remote shutter release that wasn't properly taking and timing my exposures. It used to work fine, but it was cheaper than the Canon. I should have gotten the more reliable Canon. I captured one out of a dozen or so GREAT lightning strikes...and not even the best one. I really hate cheap, shoddy products that have poor support...it's just irksome. They cost me opportunities to create my art. I've learned my lesson...no more SSAG for me.

#36 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:27 AM

Regarding the temp folder check. Windows is configured to show every file possible, file extensions, nothing is being hidden. I've tried a couple times now to find the temp files that the installer is using. I keep getting small folders in my Temp folder:

is-0BOBH.tmp\
is-HGNVM.tmp\

Inside of these kinds of folders, there is only one file:

SSAGdrvinst.tmp 843KB

Beyond that, there are no other SSAG temp files that I can easily discern, that look like driver files with INFs and the like.

Anyway, whatever my issue is, it is not being resolved by Orion's "help" PDF. Normal means of resolving the issue are clearly not going to work. Just time to ditch the shoddy SSAG and get a more reliable device.

#37 steven_usa

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:35 AM

I'm having the same problem as Jon (re: SSAG w/ Win8.1). But I think I've gotten a little bit further. I uninstall all the original incorrect drivers. No CD was provided, but just a piece of paper to the driver site. But those were the "old" drivers, I had to hunt for the Win8 drivers.

I'm having the same missing DLL problem at the end of the installer. But yes, despite the DLL error messages, I do have this folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Orion\SSAG_Drivers_WIN8\driver
with an INF file and apparently some 32 and 64-bit drivers.

I didn't right-click|Install the INF at first, but rather (as the instruction suggested) picked the Unknown device from the Device Manager and manually selected the path to the driver folder (the root of it, and apparently it picked the correct sub-folder).

Now when I plug in the USB cable, the light on the camera comes on, and the device is recognized as the "Orion StarShoot Autoguider Driver."

HOWEVER.... Thus far, I still haven't gotten it to actually work. When I try PHD Guiding 2.2.1, I can't connect to the camera (picked "StarShoot Autoguider" and Connect, and bottom left says "Camera Connect Failed" {note red light is on, and device is listed in the Device Manager}).

So then I try Orion AstroCap. The Camera menu does list options, and I pick SSAGPro, and any resolution I pick gives the classic "try agian" error message (yes, misspelled).

I don't think it is enough for people to say they got it working with Windows 8.1. What this driver specifically addresses is USB3 issues. So the real question is, are people getting it to work with USB3 ports? My laptop only has USB3 ports and an HDMI port (and AC/power), nothing else. I have no devices in the other ports (to avoid any conflicts), and I've tried all 3 ports (one of my ports is always "hot", so I can use it to charge my cell phone when the laptop is closed). No go.

For mouse, I am using Bluetooth. I've tried disabling that as well to see if by-chance it was conflicting. Same result, no go.

I feel your pain Jon :( BTW, funny story about your sprinkler, because I've had great concern about exactly the same thing happening. I try to make "checking to confirm sprinkler system is off" Step 1 in the setup procedures, but some days I forget; and when I remember later, it's a mad run to the garage (while the whole house is dark of course).

I happen to have some old dusty Windows XP laptops, I can at least verify that the dang camera even works at all (will report back soon).

#38 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:47 AM

I'm going to try pilfering some driver files from other sources around the web. See if I can get the loose driver files.

Something interesting about mine...the installer starts...looks like it's going to install files, but I don't see any file names race by over the progress bar in the installer like is usually the case. I am thinking there may be a permissions issue, although I am running the installer as admin. That may be why the files aren't actually showing up under 'Program Files (x86)'.

Steven, in my PHD2, I originally only had a 'StarShoot Autoguider DSI' entry, but that one never works. When I install the ASCOM driver manually (i.e. instead of through SSAGdrvfull.exe), I get a 'StarShoot Autoguider (ASCOM)' in PHD2. I don't get the old 'StarShoot Autoguider' that I used to have in PHD2 regardless of what I do, and I've tried installing both of the PHD "updates" that came with the driver zip from Orion's site.

I am just hoping that I can find someone's shared files on the net, and see if those will work. At least for tonight...although I'm already running out of time now.

#39 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:15 AM

Finally got the loose files. (Ended up resorting to logging in AS Administrator, disabling UAC entirely, running as admin, and then using task manager to kill the installer the moment before it showed the error messages. I ended up with files under Program Files (x86)\Orion. Manually installed via the .inf, installed the ASCOM driver, installed the PHD2 updates. PHD2 listed only the ASCOM version of the driver...no 'StarShoot Autoguider' like I used to have.

Problem with the ASCOM version, is it seems to be like 4-bit grayscale. I just get bright white, a few shades of gray, and black. It's hideous, and I can't discern stars from hot pixels (even with darks.)

Yup. I'm done. SSAG needs to sell, quick. I can't be wasting my time with this *BLEEP* anymore... Another night...wasted. :( I found one guy selling one on AM for a reasonable price ($30 cheaper than list, including shipping and paypal fees, which is actually a pretty good deal), but I rarely ever get any responses to my interest, as I have no reputation there... May just have to buy it new.

#40 steven_usa

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:25 AM

OK! Got it...

I fired up old dusty Core2Duo 2ghz Dell 530. It actually had Win7 64-bit, instead of XP (it has a VirtualPC of XP on it, I had forgotten it was virtual and not it's main). Long story short: I used the same "driver" file that I had used with Win8.1 (SSAGdrvfull.exe). I got the SAME error near the end of the installer (missing DLLs). But I still got driver files. I right-clicked the unknown device in the device manager, and "manually" installed the driver. PHD2 worked as expected and connected to the camera (choosing "StarShoot Autoguider"). It's actually cloudy/rainy, so I'm inside just doing practice, but I did an exposure without the lense cap and got a white capture as expected. So, that's all good.

Jon: Thanks for the suggestion on manually installing (re-installing?) that ASCOM drive stuff. I did that back on the Win8.1 laptop, and the PHD updates. I still chose "StarShoot Autoguider" in PHD, but now it is connecting on my Win8.1 laptop via a USB3 port!

Orion, if you're listening: your scopes are nice, but good-gawd this software is horrid. The paper that came with the SAG actually says to go to telescope.com/sagpro. But that's actually a different camera (the Mono one). We're talking the Orion StarShooter Autoguider here (the silver camera).

Oh, before I forget, Jon: instead of C:\, try installing it to a USB flash drive or some other location? (Desktop, D:, etC?). That might nix out any permission issue.

#41 steven_usa

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:37 AM

Jon: Don't kill the installer. I actually don't think those missing DLLs are important (they aren't the actual drivers). Or, instead of the INF, do right click from the Unknown device (but remove and insert the USB plug a few times, to make sure you're clicking on the right Unknown device that pops up; should only have 1 anyway). I still had the "StarShoot Autoguider" option after the other installs. So my order was:
1) SSAGdrvfull.exe
^-- will indicate some errors, so finish manually by referring to the "drivers" folder where you specified the install to go.
2) SSAGASCOMSetup.exe
3) SSAGPHDUPDATE.exe
4) SSAGPHD2UPDATE.exe
EDIT: Or before a retry of an install, do Show All Devices in the Device Manager and remove all Unknown or anything not working. Maybe do a reboot for fun. Then retry the installs.


Also, for reference: I'm using a Razor Blade 14" laptop, which I've had for about a year. I use it almost daily and on travel a lot, and now also for AP. I highly recommend it (and I'm not anti-Mac, but I wanted to play GW2 on travel also and the GW2 Mac client on the MacBook Pro wasn't smooth enough for me compared to this beast).

#42 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:40 AM

@Steve: I managed to get it installed, however it's not operating properly.

I seem to be using PHD 2.3.0. I wasn't paying attention when I downloaded, I've downloaded it a number of times before. It seems a major new version of PHD was released, which contains dark library creation and some other nifty features. I am honestly not sure if the "4-bit" issue is due to the use of the ASCOM driver, or PHD 2.3. I'm going to give PHD 2.2.2 a try at some point, see if that improves things.

Either way, I've had my fair share of hassles with the SSAG. If this guy on AM comes through, I'll order his QHY5L-II (he claims it's "new"...his rating is pretty high...but who knows. Its a bit cheaper than new, free shipping, so it should be worth it.)

#43 steven_usa

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:49 AM

Oh, my PHD is 2.2.1. All drivers + PHD for this SAG were from here:
http://www.telescope...der/p/99565.uts

It's too cloudy for me to even actually try it out (we even had flash flooding today, and neighbors lost some trees). But I can join the "win 8.1 + USB3" club that got this thing connected. Sorry yours isn't working out, but sounds like the other guider will work out better.

I'm still in my 30-days, and tempted to do a return for making me bust out my old dusty! :bawling:

#44 tazer

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:11 AM

I don't like sketchy products, especially when they are involved in as complex and endeavor as astrophotography.


You may want to steer clear of the QHY5-II series then. I've seen a number of threads here on CN where people have had problems getting it working with PHD/2. Lots of people do get it working and have a great experience, just as lots of people get the SSAG working and enjoy it, but if what you're looking for is a "sketch-free" product then astrophotography might not be the best hobby. There just isn't enough of a profit margin for these companies to invest in software Q&A.

#45 Midnight Dan

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:16 AM

The QHY folks provide both a native driver and an ASCOM driver. There should be no trouble getting it to work with one or the other.

But I agree with tazer - it seems like very few software/drivers in our hobby are "sketch-free". Just not enough profit margin to fund the serious development effort required.

-Dan

#46 terry59

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:39 AM

it seems like very few software/drivers in our hobby are "sketch-free". Just not enough profit margin to fund the serious development effort required.

-Dan


Much of the current equipment is built for observing, not imaging. True built for imaging gear is expensive. The voices on here that make recommendations based on experience are often drowned out by those who apparently can't stand the idea that their cheap (insert gear here) wasn't an appropriate purchase for its use.

If one wants "sketch free", buy the proven quality stuff to begin with. As far as the SSAG, I have two and they work fine as sold by Orion (with the 50mm or ST80 scopes).

I have my issues with Orion but "sketchy" is over the top.

All IMO....YMMV

#47 Madratter

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:09 AM

Much of the current equipment is built for observing, not imaging. True built for imaging gear is expensive. The voices on here that make recommendations based on experience are often drowned out by those who apparently can't stand the idea that their cheap (insert gear here) wasn't an appropriate purchase for its use.


+1

#48 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:08 AM

I believe my use of the StarShoot "Autoguider" as a guide cam is entirely appropriate. :p

It may be that the QHY guide/planetary camera is not "sketch-free", however unless I've missed some key threads somewhere on the net, it doesn't have nearly the problems that the SSAG does on Windows 8 (or, really, with USB 3.0 ports in general.)

I'd get the Lodestar X2, however I'd like to do some planetary stuff as well, and the QHY, while slightly less sensitive (74% vs. 77%?), is more versatile. I think from a sensitivity standpoint, it should be easy enough to find guide stars with the QHY whether I'm using a separate guidescope, OAG, whatever.

I guess the last question I really have is, while it may have some potential issues with PHD2, how does it work with MetaGuide? I actually kind of like what MetaGuide offers. I started with PHD2 because I wanted easy...but now, I want power and control. Sounds like MetaGuide might be better for me anyway. If the QHY5L-II works well with that, then I think I'll be set.

#49 Madratter

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:24 PM

The QHY5L-II does work with Metaguide. In fact, if I recall correctly, that is what Frank is using.

If I recall, the Lodestar II is a 1/2" vs 1/3" chip so it does have that advantage. Better confirm that though.

#50 Jon Rista

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:17 PM

Thanks, MR.

I have another question. For planetary imaging...will the QHY5L-II work with any filter wheels? Of any brand? Maybe the Starlight?

I almost purchased a used one tonight, but then I considered warranty. For an extra $30, I think its worth it to get one new, that has the two year warranty. Before I actually do though, I would like to know that I can use filters to get full-color planetary images when I finally get around to it.

Thanks!






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