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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

QUANTIX HELP.........
      #4619543 - 06/04/11 12:07 AM

Just starting a new thread for Quantix camera owners to discuss getting their camera running.

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gnabgib
sage
*****

Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4621223 - 06/04/11 09:41 PM

sullij1;
Just saw your posting on the "old" thread I started and I agree that those of us who purchased these cameras should work together to get the most out of them! My wife is also an astronomer and when she saw the ccd sensor her jaw dropped in amazement. Some comment about CCD "acreage" spewed forth!!! I agree with your comments regarding first impression of these cameras. I noticed there is no mechanical shutter BUT upon further investigation discovered
that all the electronics are there to operate a Uniblitz or simliar shutter which is the type used by Photometrics!
So count me in on the cooperation aspect and lets see how far we go!!

Kevin


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4621324 - 06/04/11 10:36 PM

Looking forward to seeing what ideas surface to get these cameras more portable. I have found some potential solutions for the getting the laptop in the loop. There was a previous post about PCI equiped docking stations. That was a good suggestion for those that have laptops that will dock. Looks to be the most economical. The PCI box conversions are as much and in some cases more than the docking stations with the PCI ports. This cam was the perfect oppertunity for those of us who can't lay out 7 or 8K for astro commercial versions. Thank you for giving us this oppertunity. Even if it takes another 500 or thou to get the thing portable and configured, that is still a 10th of the cost of commercial versions. I know I am willing to wrestle with the situation for a while.

Thanks again.


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kw6562
Authoritative Ignoramus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: MA
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4621462 - 06/05/11 12:02 AM

Sounds good - mine will be here Monday. I'm resurrecting an older desktop machine with PCI slots and I plan to run a 30 ft. cable to my pier. That will be a total of three computers to run my setup - my main laptop that interfaces to the mount, the cameras, and the filter wheel; a second laptop that runs PHD for guiding and the focuser and a focus position indicator; and the desktop for this camera. It should be fun...

I agree about the price - I always have rough plans in mind to upgrade my equipment, but if this works I won't think about cameras anymore, "just" mounts and optics.

I'll be happy to help in any way I can. As I mentioned in the other thread I have a friend at work who designs cameras and there are several others as well, so I should be able to get some questions answered.

Can't wait to get started! --Keith


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4621562 - 06/05/11 01:44 AM

I think mine should be here monday as well. Not sure since the tracking number they gave me is bad.

A friend gave me a 1Ghz C7 Via based mini-itx motherboard. I was going to put a test system together this weekend to try but I cant find any SATA data or power cables. Grr...

I doubt it will have enough power to do much but it's worth a try.


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macona
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4621620 - 06/05/11 02:31 AM

From looking though the Quantix manual it looks like the shutter is probably a VS35 model.

http://www.uniblitz.com/product.aspx?productName=VS25&housing=S1&bfID=1&mount=&so=&hto=&tab=0]http://www.uniblitz.com/product.aspx?productName=VS25&housing=S1&bfID

Edited by macona (06/05/11 04:07 AM)


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gnabgib
sage
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Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4622604 - 06/05/11 04:07 PM Attachment (155 downloads)

Thought I would post a few picts so here goes! In this shot I had removed the "lens mount" that came with the camera.

Edited by gnabgib (06/05/11 04:14 PM)


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gnabgib
sage
*****

Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4622605 - 06/05/11 04:08 PM Attachment (120 downloads)

Camera backside

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gnabgib
sage
*****

Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4622607 - 06/05/11 04:09 PM Attachment (122 downloads)

Back cover removed (Yeah! Nothing is sacred to me!)

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gnabgib
sage
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Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4622608 - 06/05/11 04:12 PM Attachment (114 downloads)

I figured out the "extra" connector was the shutter connection so I tested it out using a 25mm uniblitz shutter I had. Everything worked well! So this proves we can add a shutter and have it work under the software control.

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gnabgib
sage
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Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4622610 - 06/05/11 04:13 PM

By the way, The shutter circuit starts with a 24VDC pulse then holds at 4VDC.

Kevin


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4623154 - 06/05/11 09:48 PM

Is the VS25 the right one for it? Kind of looks like it. But I think it might eclipse the sensor on the edges. In the manual it looks like there is a additional, larger diameter housing.

I have one as well. Came out of a LASIK system.

If all else fails I can make up a bunch of shutter housings on my cnc mill.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4623328 - 06/05/11 11:31 PM

Questions?

Is the shutter necessary? The same thing can be accomplished covering the scope objective, right? The idea of the shutter is for taking darks, correct? Please forgive my noobness but what am I missing?

Really not trying to be adversarial, just questioning the necessity of the shutter. The offer to machine is generous and respected.


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4623364 - 06/05/11 11:50 PM

Not completely necessary. It speeds things up to be able to take a dark field right after the shot. Also continuing to expose while doing a readout can cause some issues on a full frame sensor like what's in these cameras.

One possibly solution would be to use a filter wheel with a opaque filler and move to that position when you read out. I have a feeling the shutters are pretty spendy.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4623403 - 06/06/11 12:05 AM

Here is a 3 minute dark with the exposure ran up to show my chip condition.
QTX JPG by Sullij1, on Flickr


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4623417 - 06/06/11 12:13 AM

Lets try that again a lil bigger. The Quantix 3 min dark:

QTX 512 2 by Sullij1, on Flickr


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4623459 - 06/06/11 12:50 AM

Just to be accurate; I acquired the dark image in the RS Image program that came with the cam (good software, lots of options). Moved the image to Photoshop, ran up the exposure until defects started to show and stopped. Saved the image as a 512k tiff, and reopened the tiff in nebulosity. Nebulosity is unforgiving and shows all the detail, good or bad. I then used the JPG “save as appears” option in Nebulosity’s file menu. This showed me what I wanted to know about the chip. I think nothing that darks, flats and a lil hot pixel removal can’t deal with. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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gnabgib
sage
*****

Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4623477 - 06/06/11 12:59 AM

Quote:

Is the VS25 the right one for it? Kind of looks like it. But I think it might eclipse the sensor on the edges. In the manual it looks like there is a additional, larger diameter housing.




You are correct that this camera needs a vs35 shutter. I just happened to have a vs25 so I used it to test the shutter circuit. The idea of using a filter wheel has merit but some sort of motor controller will need to be designed. The shutters ARE pricey new! Perhaps a surplus source can be found?

Kevin


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4623484 - 06/06/11 01:03 AM

Quote:

Not completely necessary. It speeds things up to be able to take a dark field right after the shot. Also continuing to expose while doing a readout can cause some issues on a full frame sensor like what's in these cameras.

One possibly solution would be to use a filter wheel with a opaque filler and move to that position when you read out. I have a feeling the shutters are pretty spendy.




From my experience with the RS Image software, it appears to work as Maxim DL and Nebulosity does with my starshoot, you command the cam to do a 180 sec exposure via the software and it exposes for 180 seconds and turns off (goes into non image stand by) waiting for another exposure command. Sequential frames can also be taken with specifide pauses in between. Isin't this routine somewhat of a eletronic shutter? Again please correct me if I am wrong. I also thought of a filter blank but the way the software commands the cam it seems like a shutter will not be necessary.

Sorry if it seems as if I am trying to cheap out but my budget "is" limited. Also if the software is providing the necessary utility functions, we are good to go, right?


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4623505 - 06/06/11 01:34 AM

If my last post helps the shutter issue, I have another question. When I removed the threaded lens that came with the unit and tried to screw in my 2 inch camera adapter (normally screws in the canon bayonet adapter) that will connect to a wheel or slide, I found that the cam snout is too large. My 2 inch threaded camera adapter is to small and another adapter will be necessary to reduce the Quantix snout to accomodate the 2 inch scope/filter adapter. Has anyone found a solution to this yet?

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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4623527 - 06/06/11 01:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Not completely necessary. It speeds things up to be able to take a dark field right after the shot. Also continuing to expose while doing a readout can cause some issues on a full frame sensor like what's in these cameras.

One possibly solution would be to use a filter wheel with a opaque filler and move to that position when you read out. I have a feeling the shutters are pretty spendy.




From my experience with the RS Image software, it appears to work as Maxim DL and Nebulosity does with my starshoot, you command the cam to do a 180 sec exposure via the software and it exposes for 180 seconds and turns off (goes into non image stand by) waiting for another exposure command. Sequential frames can also be taken with specifide pauses in between. Isin't this routine somewhat of a eletronic shutter? Again please correct me if I am wrong. I also thought of a filter blank but the way the software commands the cam it seems like a shutter will not be necessary.

Sorry if it seems as if I am trying to cheap out but my budget "is" limited. Also if the software is providing the necessary utility functions, we are good to go, right?




There are several different kinds of sensors. The ones in these camera are full frame sensor. Ideally the way you work them is you open the shutter, expose, close the shutter, and readout. CCD's read out one line at a time shifting the charge over to the next as you read out. If you do this without a shutter light is still charging the pixels and will add add charge to a pixel charge that might have seen very little light. Though this might have very little effect on our use since we are dealing with very little light to begin with. Interline CCDs have a small portion of each pixel dedicated to storing the charge so they are unaffected by light on the sensor during readout. Frame transfer CCDs have double the silicon that transfers the charge and is protected by an aluminized layer.

It ought to be not too hard to build a driver. Use a small stepper to run the wheel, a sensor to home, and a small stepper driver board. This will give step and direction control to the filter wheel. Then use something like a Teensy board (http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/) running arduino to translate ascom commands through serial or USB. I hate to use steppers but its the simplest thing here and since there is virtually no load there shouldnt be any issues.

Now the only problem using a blanked off section of a filter wheel is that you would be passing through other filters before you get back to black. But again with low light this may not be a problem. But if you are imaging more luminous objects it might be.

So, another option is to use something like a rotary solenoid to move the shutter into position between the filter wheel and the sensor. For that matter you could even do it with something like a rc servo.


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4623549 - 06/06/11 02:08 AM

Quote:

If my last post helps the shutter issue, I have another question. When I removed the threaded lens that came with the unit and tried to screw in my 2 inch camera adapter (normally screws in the canon bayonet adapter) that will connect to a wheel or slide, I found that the cam snout is too large. My 2 inch threaded camera adapter is to small and another adapter will be necessary to reduce the Quantix snout to accomodate the 2 inch scope/filter adapter. Has anyone found a solution to this yet?




Hopefully I will get mint tomorrow and I can come up with a couple solutions. One may be to machine a standard 42mm camera lens mount. Though my Monarch does not have metric threading so I would probably have to set it up on my CNC lathe.

Another option is to bore out the plate on the lathe to accept a Canon EOS to Nikon adapter and epoxy or screw it in place. I would have to figure out something for the locking mechanism.


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gatsbyiv
sage


Reged: 03/29/09

Loc: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4623944 - 06/06/11 10:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If my last post helps the shutter issue, I have another question. When I removed the threaded lens that came with the unit and tried to screw in my 2 inch camera adapter (normally screws in the canon bayonet adapter) that will connect to a wheel or slide, I found that the cam snout is too large. My 2 inch threaded camera adapter is to small and another adapter will be necessary to reduce the Quantix snout to accomodate the 2 inch scope/filter adapter. Has anyone found a solution to this yet?




Hopefully I will get mint tomorrow and I can come up with a couple solutions. One may be to machine a standard 42mm camera lens mount. Though my Monarch does not have metric threading so I would probably have to set it up on my CNC lathe.

Another option is to bore out the plate on the lathe to accept a Canon EOS to Nikon adapter and epoxy or screw it in place. I would have to figure out something for the locking mechanism.




I thought these were supposed to be standard Nikon F mounts? Can we not just use a Nikon T-ring?


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gatsbyiv]
      #4624100 - 06/06/11 11:55 AM

As you can see by gnabgib’s pics the window is near flush with the mounting plate. No where did the seller say this was a c mount camera. I looked at the c mount configuration and it appears the c mount configuration is the one that has the shutter assembly installed. We do not have this camera. It appears the ones we purchased were used in a different configuration/application. So no c-mount and no shutter (buyer beware!!!!!). I will look again when I get home but I doubt you could screw an adapter in the current plate, have it carry the weight and not break the crystal you see in gnabgib’s pics.

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gnabgib
sage
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Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4624508 - 06/06/11 02:36 PM

DON'T PANIC!!
Great words to live by!! Yes it seems the cameras are a somewhat ""custom" adaption of a commercial unit BUT they are only missing the front shutter housing! Everything else about them is standard. The front housing for the ccd sensor is VERY robust and can support the entire camera using either of the two sets of mounting holes! I have two ideas to help us all get started toward mounting these cameras on our telescopes.
1) Machine a new mounting plate that has the standard "t" thread in the center and bolts to the front using the same screws that originally attached the lens unit that came with our cameras. This is relatively easy and would get us up and running quickly. I am a mechanical engineer who is also a machinist so I could do this for the cloudynights members who bought one of these cameras. I just am "out of the shop" until next week so I could not make these plates until then.
2) In the longer run I want to have a shutter so I propose we try to find a source of surplus shutters that will work with these cameras. Once a source is found a housing to mount them on the camera can be designed and fabricated.
I personally do not have very "deep pockets" so this camera represents an opportunity to acquire a piece of equipment I could otherwise never afford! I am willing to put a little effort into making it work with my observing gear.

My .02 worth. Anyone else with ideas "lets hear them"!

Kevin


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gnabgib
sage
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Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4624518 - 06/06/11 02:40 PM

Macona;
I LIKE the rotary solenoid idea! This could be the answer to an inexpensive shutter.

Kevin


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4624619 - 06/06/11 03:26 PM

What I may do is make up a small ring and attach one of these standard F-mount rings:

http://www.adorama.com/NKK3.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping%20Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

This is the identical ring on my redlake. This will make swapping cameras and general assembly so much easier. And every time you screw/unscrew aluminum threads microscopic flakes come off so I would rather avoid that.

For the rotary shutter it may be best to isolate the signal coming from the internal shutter supply. A zener diode and an optoisolator would do nicely. Use the output from that to drive a transistor to run the rotary solenoid. Dont forget a snubber diode to kill the inductive pulse when you release the solenoid.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4624626 - 06/06/11 03:28 PM

What a great community! Sounds like we are all aspiring to put together a system we would not otherwise be able to afford. I will do my part in researching solutions to the various issues. Many thanks to my skilled astronomy colleagues and their generous offerings. I have been searching for more portable solutions for my set up than a pc build (I too can mod one of my old pc’s but this limits portability). I have to set up and tear down during my sessions so I am looking to making that process as painless as possible. The pc box is fine for those of us that have a yard or observatory we can work with. Unfortunately that limits portability to a dark site without sufficient power. I was considering this gamer vid card expansion for the laptop to keep it portable. http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
Still coming in around the 200 dollar mark, it is better than the Magma price, this solution is a toss-up between the dock station laptop and the expansion card from a cost perspective. Perhaps it is doable for some members working on this project. Still looking for a surplus shutter solution.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4624673 - 06/06/11 03:49 PM

Here is a link with close up view of the c mount shutter assembly if it helps.
http://www.artisan-scientific.com/67598.htm


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gatsbyiv
sage


Reged: 03/29/09

Loc: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4624853 - 06/06/11 05:54 PM

Quote:


1) Machine a new mounting plate that has the standard "t" thread in the center and bolts to the front using the same screws that originally attached the lens unit that came with our cameras. This is relatively easy and would get us up and running quickly. I am a mechanical engineer who is also a machinist so I could do this for the cloudynights members who bought one of these cameras. I just am "out of the shop" until next week so I could not make these plates until then.





Thanks for this offer, Kevin. I am more than happy to support you on this, and to compensate you appropriately as well. I'm disappointed that we're getting custom versions of this camera without a proper mount, because custom machined solutions are invariably expensive. But it certainly helps to have you with us as a machinist, and we appreciate it!


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4624886 - 06/06/11 06:16 PM

Quote:

What a great community! Sounds like we are all aspiring to put together a system we would not otherwise be able to afford. I will do my part in researching solutions to the various issues. Many thanks to my skilled astronomy colleagues and their generous offerings. I have been searching for more portable solutions for my set up than a pc build (I too can mod one of my old pc’s but this limits portability). I have to set up and tear down during my sessions so I am looking to making that process as painless as possible. The pc box is fine for those of us that have a yard or observatory we can work with. Unfortunately that limits portability to a dark site without sufficient power. I was considering this gamer vid card expansion for the laptop to keep it portable. http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
Still coming in around the 200 dollar mark, it is better than the Magma price, this solution is a toss-up between the dock station laptop and the expansion card from a cost perspective. Perhaps it is doable for some members working on this project. Still looking for a surplus shutter solution.




Hate to break it to you but that expansion box is PCIe, not PCI.


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gatsbyiv]
      #4624897 - 06/06/11 06:24 PM

I also have a machine shop at home. Some old pics here. I had added more, surface grinder, small cnc lathe. Also currently building a small laser cutter.

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/member-shop-photos/my-mess-124998/

http://www.buildlog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=264


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gnabgib
sage
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Reged: 06/05/05

Loc: Fall River MIlls Ca.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4624961 - 06/06/11 07:04 PM

gatsbyiv;
Yeah I am a little disappointed in the "custom" nature of these cameras also but with a little effort this to can be overcome! I am not going to charge to make the t adapter rings just will ask to be reimbursed for the shipping. Those who want one need to let me know so I can plan on how many to make. When they are ready I will ask for a shipping address. Keep in mind this will not happen till the end of next week so be patient and we can solve each others problems and needs. AS we come up with a "shutter" solution appropriate housings can be designed and built. One problem at a time and before we know it we will have some really nice equipment with minimal cost.

So if you want a ring pm me with a "I want one" and I will take it from there.

Kevin


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macona
super member
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Reged: 05/18/11

Loc: Beaverton, OR
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4625033 - 06/06/11 07:51 PM

Cant see disappointment over that. We got what was probably a $20,000 camera for $500.

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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4625159 - 06/06/11 09:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What a great community! Sounds like we are all aspiring to put together a system we would not otherwise be able to afford. I will do my part in researching solutions to the various issues. Many thanks to my skilled astronomy colleagues and their generous offerings. I have been searching for more portable solutions for my set up than a pc build (I too can mod one of my old pc’s but this limits portability). I have to set up and tear down during my sessions so I am looking to making that process as painless as possible. The pc box is fine for those of us that have a yard or observatory we can work with. Unfortunately that limits portability to a dark site without sufficient power. I was considering this gamer vid card expansion for the laptop to keep it portable. http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
Still coming in around the 200 dollar mark, it is better than the Magma price, this solution is a toss-up between the dock station laptop and the expansion card from a cost perspective. Perhaps it is doable for some members working on this project. Still looking for a surplus shutter solution.




Hate to break it to you but that expansion box is PCIe, not PCI.




Yep, right you are but Fortunately computer electronics have quick and dirty solutions + modify, modify, modify. It seems to be our current theme. As long as it works. A taller box will be easy compared to some of the things it looks as if we will attempt.
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=pcie+to+pci+adapter&cp=12&biw=1131&bih=641&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1307407454656010&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8857577279662290578&sa=X&ei=b3TtTc3AK8ySgQf868nYCQ&sqi=2&ved=0CDgQ8wIwAA#
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=pcie+to+pci+adapter&cp=12&biw=1131&bih=641&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1307407454656010&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=16736437348983536192&sa=X&ei=b3TtTc3AK8ySgQf868nYCQ&sqi=2&ved=0CD4Q8wIwAg#


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4625187 - 06/06/11 09:28 PM

Quote:

DON'T PANIC!!
Great words to live by!! Yes it seems the cameras are a somewhat ""custom" adaption of a commercial unit BUT they are only missing the front shutter housing! Everything else about them is standard. The front housing for the ccd sensor is VERY robust and can support the entire camera using either of the two sets of mounting holes! I have two ideas to help us all get started toward mounting these cameras on our telescopes.
1) Machine a new mounting plate that has the standard "t" thread in the center and bolts to the front using the same screws that originally attached the lens unit that came with our cameras. This is relatively easy and would get us up and running quickly. I am a mechanical engineer who is also a machinist so I could do this for the cloudynights members who bought one of these cameras. I just am "out of the shop" until next week so I could not make these plates until then.
2) In the longer run I want to have a shutter so I propose we try to find a source of surplus shutters that will work with these cameras. Once a source is found a housing to mount them on the camera can be designed and fabricated.
I personally do not have very "deep pockets" so this camera represents an opportunity to acquire a piece of equipment I could otherwise never afford! I am willing to put a little effort into making it work with my observing gear.

My .02 worth. Anyone else with ideas "lets hear them"!

Kevin




Another question; will a 35mm camera shutter like this work and can the machined faceplate be notched to accommodate this type pf inexpensive shutter and the Quantix circuit used to actuate it?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320700562901&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4625274 - 06/06/11 10:17 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

Quote:


Another option is to bore out the plate on the lathe to accept a Canon EOS to Nikon adapter and epoxy or screw it in place.




I just came home from work...Omigod this thing is HUGE!

I took the flange off and I'm going to bore it out accept a T-thread ring from a Nikon adapter. The ring is normally held in place by three set screws and as it turns out there are 3 screws on the flange so that if I bore it to the correct depth the screws should engage the lip of the ring. But to be honest I'm probably going to epoxy it place for insurance anyway.

Once I've got a thread I can work with then I'll start looking at a filter wheel and a shutter. I'm going to buy this link and see if it might work; its diameter is adequate but it may need a driver circuit.

Mine came with a 10 ft. cord which will get me started; I need a 30 ft. - has anyone bought one with the correct SCSI connector?

Wow this thing is HUGE!

--Keith


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4625279 - 06/06/11 10:19 PM

Oh, and if the flange mod works I would be happy to do it for others...I use a shop at work and I'm really just a hacker machinist but I can manage something like this for friends --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4625340 - 06/06/11 11:04 PM

Hi Keith,

Your flange is different than mine. I will try and get pics up later. Interested in seeing how it turns out.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4625613 - 06/07/11 04:19 AM

Mine didnt show up today....

But this did....

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4625610/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1


Meade LX200 Classic 10" Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope by macona, on Flickr


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4625639 - 06/07/11 05:18 AM

Quote:

Mine didnt show up today....

But this did....




Ahhhh your new "lens"!! Very nice.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4626086 - 06/07/11 11:22 AM

That shutter is for an aps-c sized sensor which is a tad smaller. Possibly a shutter curtain from a full sized sensor like a Canon 5D, 1D, or Nikon D700 and D3.

-Jerry


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4626695 - 06/07/11 05:23 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:


Another option is to bore out the plate on the lathe to accept a Canon EOS to Nikon adapter and epoxy or screw it in place.




I just applied Keith's idea to the adapter plate that came with the camera. Check out the next two photos. I have a small lathe in my garage that did the job nicely. The center ring is from a T-Ring and is held in by three 6-32 set screws. It appears to be quite rigid and I have no issues about this set up supporting the camera!

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4626699 - 06/07/11 05:24 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

Photo 2

Orion 2 inch camera adapter screwed on.

Edited by gnabgib (06/07/11 05:25 PM)


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4626750 - 06/07/11 05:50 PM

If any of my fellow cloudynight'ers had ANY doubts about the incredible bargain these camera were with a $500 "buy it now" price on Ebay , I just noticed the same camera that was being auctioned went for $880. This would have been beyond my means at this time so I am quite please with my purchase!!!

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4627180 - 06/07/11 09:45 PM

Quote:

That shutter is for an aps-c sized sensor which is a tad smaller. Possibly a shutter curtain from a full sized sensor like a Canon 5D, 1D, or Nikon D700 and D3.

-Jerry




Right again Jerry, I posted that as an example. I found and purchased one of these http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320497395339&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

There appears to be several more available. I was thinking test to see if it works on the Quantix circuit and maybe use black poster board or some other spacer, and some spacer bushings to open the faceplate wide enough to accept it and use longer screws to tighten it down. Kevin and Keith my have other suggestions.

Sullij


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4627187 - 06/07/11 09:48 PM

Don't know the voltage the 35mm shutter operates at. Maybe you can help me with that by looking at the color of the leads.

Sullij


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4627201 - 06/07/11 09:56 PM

Wow, you gotta wedge for that monster? BTW thanks for the 411 on the chip architechure. Read that stuff some time ago but have never been able to afford a good CCD so I didn't pay much attention to the material. Now it all makes sense.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4627946 - 06/08/11 11:06 AM

Going to build a wedge soon. Dont want to mess with a field rotator.

Got my camera yesterday. Hooked it up and am having a hard time getting an usable image.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4628125 - 06/08/11 12:42 PM

Quote:

Going to build a wedge soon. Dont want to mess with a field rotator.

Got my camera yesterday. Hooked it up and am having a hard time getting an usable image.




That makes sense, I figure there will be a learning curve in order to get light cone(CCD distance),focus, gain etc. adjusted in order to get imagery down. Best of luck, sounds like you are ahead of us. Look forward to seeing the first images posted.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4628204 - 06/08/11 01:16 PM

BTW, just to help other users, while I was researching the chip architecture Jerry mentioned, I found Apogees CCD University link to be helpful http://www.ccd.com/ccd102.html
I noted that because we have no anti blooming capability we will be doing shorter exposure stacked images. Coming from a light polluted DSLR imaging experience this is second nature for me. Others may not be familiar with this. The stack method helps kill the blooming problem per Apogees web site. Hope this helps.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4628739 - 06/08/11 06:00 PM

One thing I noticed last night while playing with it was there is no IR cut filter. (IR Cut is an option) This I am happy for as I like to play with IR, but some may need to use a IR cut if you have additional glass optics in the system like a flattener or a field reducer.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4628990 - 06/08/11 08:27 PM

OK, has anyone actually gotten an image out of one of these things. I am not getting anything useful.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4629018 - 06/08/11 08:43 PM

Still modding. Gonna take a bit here.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4629021 - 06/08/11 08:44 PM Attachment (55 downloads)

Yesterday I made the same mod as Kevin and hooked it up to my AT65EDQ on an LXD75 - I still need to get a long cable to operate it on the main setup, so I just set the LXD up on my deck to try a couple of quick shots. Nothing fancy, just aimed it at Cygnus to try it out.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4629031 - 06/08/11 08:48 PM Attachment (72 downloads)

Here's my image - 10X1m - I think I had a gain setting wrong or I shouldn't have saved the files as tifs, because I had very little dynamic range, although I could see a bit of nebulosity in the images when they were taken. Anyway something wasn't right but the camera appears to be free of major defects. I intend to completely characterize it when I get a chance.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4629054 - 06/08/11 09:02 PM

YAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEE an image!!!!!!!!

Thanks!


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4629059 - 06/08/11 09:05 PM

Did tou get a shutter in the loop? If so which one?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4629078 - 06/08/11 09:17 PM

Looks like the EDQ carried it well, No slipping in the prime focus adapter under the weight of the cam? I was wondering id the EDQ if the EDQ would tolerate the weight. Any problem in that respect?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4629143 - 06/08/11 10:08 PM

The camera weighs about 4.5 lbs according to my scale. I didn't notice any slippage, but then again I wasn't running it very long and it was only about 43 degrees alt. I don't have a shutter yet - I ordered one from Surplus Shed and I intend to design a filter wheel and housing that will also hold the shutter.

BTW astrometry.net analyzed the field - NGC 6910 is an OC near Gamma Cygni in the lower left corner and NGC 6914 is a nebula just below center.

Hope to get some better pix in the coming nights! --Keith


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4629163 - 06/08/11 10:16 PM

One thing that really impressed me was the cooling - the setpoint was -30C and it maintained it without problems. As expected there wasn't any evidence of condensation on the window - looks like its a tight vacuum. --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4629287 - 06/08/11 11:15 PM

Quote:

Here's my image - 10X1m - I think I had a gain setting wrong or I shouldn't have saved the files as tifs, because I had very little dynamic range, although I could see a bit of nebulosity in the images when they were taken. Anyway something wasn't right but the camera appears to be free of major defects. I intend to completely characterize it when I get a chance.




Are you using the RSImage software? If so, check you gain setting. It defaults to 3 which is the most sensitive and has the lowest dynamic range. 1 is the least sensitive and most range.

What are your settings. I just cant get a image. It sees light and dark but nothing coherent. Weirdest thing is with the lens completely covered I am still seeing light.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4629310 - 06/08/11 11:30 PM

Keith, which program do you use to control the camera, is it connected to laptop (any requirement for additional card reader adapters?), how log does it take to download each frame?
do you think it can be controlled by any common astroimaging softs. (maxim Dl, sky, CCDSoft etc...) or I guess ASCOM drive has to be written for it ?

thanks, Alex


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4629344 - 06/09/11 12:01 AM

CCDSoft and MaximDL both support PVCAM which is how these cameras talk.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4629361 - 06/09/11 12:16 AM

Quote:

YAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEE an image!!!!!!!!

Thanks!




I second this opinion!!! Got me stoked. Finally have a clear night so I'm set up waiting for it to get dark to try my camera out! There are three gain settings that are set by the software so be sure to check out ALL the menu items!
I will try to post an image later tonight. I just hope the cloud gods have not noticed the "scope in the driveway"!

Thanks kw6562

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4629396 - 06/09/11 12:52 AM Attachment (54 downloads)

Well, I think I have a bad camera. Tried it on three different computers, Mac and PC, and same result. This:

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4629411 - 06/09/11 01:05 AM Attachment (72 downloads)

My FIRST image with this camera. No darks, flats etc just a 30 second and its not even dark out yet! Can use some more focusing but I just wanted to share. Definitely going to build some sort of shutter.

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4629480 - 06/09/11 02:45 AM Attachment (65 downloads)

A couple more images then off to bed. Gotta haul hay tomorrow!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4629481 - 06/09/11 02:46 AM Attachment (69 downloads)

And;

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4629484 - 06/09/11 02:54 AM

Macona;
If you suspect a bad camera contact David at aitechnology who sold the units. They gave the Ebay people a 14 day non doa warranty. I know he still has a few units so get yours exchanged. I think these cameras are going to be a lot of fun.
The images I posted tonight had no guiding and only a bit of stretch applied. Once we start applying all the tricks there should be some incredible results.

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4629939 - 06/09/11 11:12 AM

Kevin,

Those are awsome! How long were the exposures? The cam picked up an enormus amount of faint detail in the the arms of 101 and 51. For first lights that is very impressive! That is seriously good news for the cams quality.

Thanks for the post.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4629949 - 06/09/11 11:21 AM

Quote:

Well, I think I have a bad camera. Tried it on three different computers, Mac and PC, and same result. This:




Don't be to quick to write it off, that is the way my first image looked without a cover on the lens before I caped the lens and took my dark. You said you did some shots through your scope, Did your scope shots look like this?


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4629952 - 06/09/11 11:25 AM

I sent off an email last night. Here's hoping. I want to play too...

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4630004 - 06/09/11 12:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Well, I think I have a bad camera. Tried it on three different computers, Mac and PC, and same result. This:




Don't be to quick to write it off, that is the way my first image looked without a cover on the lens before I caped the lens and took my dark. You said you did some shots through your scope, Did your scope shots look like this?




What was the process you used to take the dark? Did you use the calibrate menu item?


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4630085 - 06/09/11 12:37 PM

I found some open source microscopy software that supports PVCAM as well, might be interesting to play with. I will have to try later.

http://valelab.ucsf.edu/~MM/MMwiki/index.php/Micro-Manager

I sent an email to Photometrics about the problem. Maybe they know what I am doing wrong.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4630201 - 06/09/11 01:42 PM

Quote:

Kevin,

Those are awsome! How long were the exposures? The cam picked up an enormus amount of faint detail in the the arms of 101 and 51. For first lights that is very impressive! That is seriously good news for the cams quality.

Thanks for the post.



Exposures
M57 30secs
M101 60secs
M51 60secs

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4630216 - 06/09/11 01:47 PM

Quote:

One thing that really impressed me was the cooling - the setpoint was -30C and it maintained it without problems. As expected there wasn't any evidence of condensation on the window - looks like its a tight vacuum. --Keith




I agree with Keith's experience! Cooling was rock solid at -30c AND this was using just the built in fans! The camera body was BARELY warm to the touch. So far I am impressed with this camera AND my first night's use was a LOT of fun!!!

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4630340 - 06/09/11 02:18 PM

Just got work from a Photometrics Tech Engineer and he says it sounds like a hardware issue.

Need to get him my SN which is at home.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4630481 - 06/09/11 03:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Well, I think I have a bad camera. Tried it on three different computers, Mac and PC, and same result. This:




Don't be to quick to write it off, that is the way my first image looked without a cover on the lens before I caped the lens and took my dark. You said you did some shots through your scope, Did your scope shots look like this?




What was the process you used to take the dark? Did you use the calibrate menu item?




My prior post of portions of the process end this post but as I am at work and going from memory without looking at the software the process I used in RS Image was to cap the lens, Open RS Image, let RS Image aquire the camera( there is a menu you can open to ensure RS Image has aquired the camera),use the calibrate function, go to the exposure menu set a 180 second exposure, select aquire image, after 180 seconds Save the image to the desktop as a tiff and followed the process below.

Just to be accurate; I acquired the dark image in the RS Image program that came with the cam (good software, lots of options). Moved the image to Photoshop, ran up the exposure until defects started to show and stopped. Saved the image as a 512k tiff, and reopened the tiff in nebulosity. Nebulosity is unforgiving and shows all the detail, good or bad. I then used the JPG “save as appears” option in Nebulosity’s file menu. This showed me what I wanted to know about the chip. I think nothing that darks, flats and a lil hot pixel removal can’t deal with. Please correct me if I am wrong.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4630494 - 06/09/11 03:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Kevin,

Those are awsome! How long were the exposures? The cam picked up an enormus amount of faint detail in the the arms of 101 and 51. For first lights that is very impressive! That is seriously good news for the cams quality.

Thanks for the post.



Exposures
M57 30secs
M101 60secs
M51 60secs

Kevin




That kind of detail in 30 and 60 second shots, all I gotta say is We have the bargain of the year!


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4630841 - 06/09/11 06:56 PM

Just to follow up on the previous question, so do we really need a shutter?? does it affect image quality /download time if the chip is open during the data transfer? does it affect the quality of the next frame? or even worth can it electrically damage the chip during long night sequence (lets say 100 of 3 minutes exposures)?

thank you all for contributing this is great thread !


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4630900 - 06/09/11 07:29 PM

I think I got it going. I was getting way too much light to the sensor with the lens it came with. I took some black tape and made a pinhole in front of the CCD and I can see an image.

Now I need to adapt and get a field reducer for my lx200.

-Jerry


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4631025 - 06/09/11 08:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

That shutter is for an aps-c sized sensor which is a tad smaller. Possibly a shutter curtain from a full sized sensor like a Canon 5D, 1D, or Nikon D700 and D3.

-Jerry




Right again Jerry, I posted that as an example. I found and purchased one of these http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320497395339&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

There appears to be several more available. I was thinking test to see if it works on the Quantix circuit and maybe use black poster board or some other spacer, and some spacer bushings to open the faceplate wide enough to accept it and use longer screws to tighten it down. Kevin and Keith my have other suggestions.

Sullij




FYI,Just recieved the above shutter. Better to avoid this one. The selenoid is designed such that the height will not allow the faceplate to fit close enough to the camera to be practicle.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4631059 - 06/09/11 09:11 PM

Quote:

Just to follow up on the previous question, so do we really need a shutter?? does it affect image quality /download time if the chip is open during the data transfer? does it affect the quality of the next frame? or even worth can it electrically damage the chip during long night sequence (lets say 100 of 3 minutes exposures)?

thank you all for contributing this is great thread !




Hi Shurik,

Kevin, Keith, and Jerry were right about the necessity of the shutter. As uou can see from Kevins pictures without the shutter, Blooming and read out artifacts will fast become a problem. I was hoping to not have to incorporate a shutter but the reality is "it is necessary". Look for shutters that have selenoids with a flat profile so the faceplate will not have to be raised by a lot(1/4 or 3/8 inch or so). I intend to place the shutter below the faceplate in some kind of spacer material (poster board or pelxi) and use spacers to raise the faceplate high enough to accomodate the shutter. As Kevin showed us in an earlier pic post we can use the cam circuit to power the shutter.


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4631108 - 06/09/11 09:39 PM

Quote:



FYI,Just recieved the above shutter. Better to avoid this one. The selenoid is designed such that the height will not allow the faceplate to fit close enough to the camera to be practicle.




Considering that the factory mount places the shutter 1.03" away from the focal plane of the sensor it should be pretty easy to build an enclosure for it.

I just bought one of these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200572637049

It ought to fit pretty well.


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gnabgib
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4631144 - 06/09/11 10:11 PM

Quote:

I think I got it going. I was getting way too much light to the sensor with the lens it came with. I took some black tape and made a pinhole in front of the CCD and I can see an image.




Jerry;
This is GREAT news! Of the two cameras purchased by Dave and myself the only problem was one of the power supplies had a bad cooling fan! It is a 24v 60mm square CHEAP computer fan AND these are noted for "short life spans". Easy fix though! I also have noticed that the date codes inside the cameras would indicate they were built in 2005. So relatively new.

Kevin


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4631216 - 06/09/11 10:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:



FYI,Just recieved the above shutter. Better to avoid this one. The selenoid is designed such that the height will not allow the faceplate to fit close enough to the camera to be practicle.




Considering that the factory mount places the shutter 1.03" away from the focal plane of the sensor it should be pretty easy to build an enclosure for it.

I just bought one of these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200572637049

It ought to fit pretty well.




Jerry,

Also glad you got the cam seeing right. I also picked up one of the shutters you posted. It will probably work out much better. For other users the cam shutters "might" be the only option. You and Kevin have an advantage having machine capabilities and know how. Any option would require some machinist expertise. Thanks for the dimension to sensor note. I took a look at the manual and saw the dimension photometrix gave. Looks like the 35mm shutter can work if one could machine a housing (have a housing machined). I haven’t received the other shutter yet and I am clouded in. I may experiment with getting the 35mm shutter working this week end. Perhaps others may be able to adapt a similar device if it works.


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4631295 - 06/09/11 11:49 PM

I'm planning to design a piece to hold the shutter I bought from Surplus Shed (if it looks like it will work) and to also hold a filter slide. The piece would be sandwiched between the flange and the camera. The slide would contain 4 or 5 2" filters. I might use a rack and pinion to actuate it with a knob (or a stepper, for remote operation). When I get the shutter (hopefully tomorrow) I can start. Probably won't get it designed until early next week and if I'm very lucky I might be able to machine it by the end of the week. Of course I will share the drawings with you all if it works.

Great news Jerry! And yes I did have the gain setting at 3. Will try 1 next time.

Alex, I was using the RSImage software and the frame grabber is installed in an old 1Ghz desktop - a Dell Dimension L1000R. I am only using that PC for capture.

Nice shots Kevin! Your frames look a lot like the kind of images that I see from the CCDs that we make at work, with blooming artifacts, a few warm columns, etc. - the sort of things that one gets with a large-area CCD that's made for astronomy. This is really exciting!

Clear skies --Keith


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4631427 - 06/10/11 01:57 AM

Now with the gain setting of one the manual says you should be using at least 2x2 binning. So 2 might be the sweet spot for high res capture.

You could use a small dc gear motor, couple microswitches, and a couple little relays for to make a relay logic controlled filter wheel. Thats what I did for the basic control of the turret on my cnc lathe. Since you only need to go in one direction and its fixed points a stepper is kind of silly. Or you could use something like an arduino or pic to eliminate the relays.


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Panza
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4631436 - 06/10/11 02:08 AM

Excuse my ignorance here:
Is there a way to avoid blooming other than cutting exposure time ?
Software for example ?


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sullij1
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Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: Panza]
      #4632003 - 06/10/11 11:49 AM

Quote:

Excuse my ignorance here:
Is there a way to avoid blooming other than cutting exposure time ?
Software for example ?




Hi,

There is no ignorance here, as far as I am concerned we all learn from eachother hence the only ignorant question is the one you don't ask!

If you find a software solution let us know, I postd this link earlier, it addresses the issue of blooming specifically. Looks as if blooming is a result of chip design and unless compensated for in a different design you simply have to deal with it. Here is the link:
http://www.ccd.com/ccd102.html


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4632636 - 06/10/11 06:26 PM

Hi guys, What is the latest consensus on how to connect this monster to a laptop? :-), or desktop is the only solution for now?

thank you, Shurik


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4632676 - 06/10/11 06:53 PM

I think unless you have a laptop that supports a docking station with a pci backplane or are willing to spend $1100 (new) on a PCMCIA to PCI adapter you will have to go with a desktop. I am messing with that mini-itx board but I cant get it talking. I need to try reinstalling the driver.

Uniblitz wants $545 for the VS35 shutter.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4632689 - 06/10/11 07:03 PM

Quote:

Hi guys, What is the latest consensus on how to connect this monster to a laptop? :-), or desktop is the only solution for now?

thank you, Shurik




I know that temporarly I am going with an old 1.6 gig desk top I found in the garage. I blew all my doe on on shutters and the cam. Still will have to buy misc nuts, bolts and connectors to get the shutter operational. Next will be parts like filters and a wheel. Just want to get imaging. Then I will go back after the laptop solution. The eaisiest way at present looks like the used dell and docking station with expansion slot. I wanted a new (to me) laptop anyway. Got one ya wanna sell?


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4632709 - 06/10/11 07:19 PM

Another option is a Dolch Pac 65. They are an old network analyzer that is just a luggable PC with cards. They have 4 PCI slots and can take up to a 800Mhz PIII. Fast enough for this.

http://cgi.ebay.com/DOLCH-PAC-65-NETWORK-SNIFFER-/200502413298?pt=BI_Analyzers&hash=item2eaee007f2


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4633946 - 06/11/11 01:12 PM

Ok, after doing some search on the net I came to the following conclusion (correct me if I am wrong , because I very much want to be wrong) this camera is suited only for permanent setup observatory that has desktop or it's alternative avalable. I don't see any of us shelling $1000 for magma adapter or carrying "portable desktop/monitor/spare
12V battery out in the field...I also can't envision how an old "network
sniffer" or its alternative is going to be happy with other astroimaging
applications that usually have to run at the same time during imaging session on the laptop (mount guiding etc.)

so I guess this takes this camera out of most important DSO astroimaging factor: going to the dark site..

Once again please let us know if you found reasonably priced and portable solution to the dreaded PCI

shurik


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4634067 - 06/11/11 02:17 PM

It just depends on what you are considering portable. I am already dragging around a 60+ pound scope, tripod, and accessories. An additional computer is not that big of a deal. You could make up a pelican case that has the monitor installed in the lid, computer below, wireless keyboard, inverter for camera power supply, and space to store the cameras, optics, and other do-dads. Get one with wheels and just drag it where you want to go.

As for the processor power of the sniffer, Its just a portable computer made by BSI with the Dolch cards added. You can put up to a 800mhz PIII, which is easily enough to run the camera, which has a recommended minimum of a 200MHz PII. And as long as you are not processing the images on the computer you should easily have enough power for guiding. None of this is processor demanding work.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4634375 - 06/11/11 05:54 PM

Quote:

Ok, after doing some search on the net I came to the following conclusion (correct me if I am wrong , because I very much want to be wrong) this camera is suited only for permanent setup observatory that has desktop or it's alternative avalable. I don't see any of us shelling $1000 for magma adapter or carrying "portable desktop/monitor/spare
12V battery out in the field...I also can't envision how an old "network
sniffer" or its alternative is going to be happy with other astroimaging
applications that usually have to run at the same time during imaging session on the laptop (mount guiding etc.)

so I guess this takes this camera out of most important DSO astroimaging factor: going to the dark site..

Once again please let us know if you found reasonably priced and portable solution to the dreaded PCI

shurik




For the "time being" the setup will be relegated to the backyard or an observatory. As Jerry points out, (in abbreviation) "where there is a will there is a way". I like you want to see this setup become more portable and will continue to seek out a way to make that happen. Keeping things in a reasonable budget will take time and research but I feel it is doable for a working guy. I will continue to keep folks posted as I earn my way to solutions. BTW here is a link to some more shutters like Keith is using.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ELECTRIC-SHUTTER-BRASS-LENS-8X10-VIEW-FIELD-CAMERA-/280651620117?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item415823df15


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gatsbyiv
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4634638 - 06/11/11 09:11 PM

I was finally able to clear some time to play with this thing today. Once I figured out that it was ridiculously sensitive, I was able to get it to do some indoor images. Even with .001 second exposures, it needed a dark room. Wow. So the good news for me is that it is a working unit. (And the seller included a shot he took with it before sending it on the CD.)

Now for mounting it. Are we sure these are not standard Nikon F-mounts? I measure 44mm, with a 0.5mm thread pitch. I am expecting a Nikon F T-ring any day now (seems the USPS has lost it), so I'll be able to try and know for sure.

This is going to get interesting adding a shutter and filter wheel...


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4634670 - 06/11/11 09:40 PM

Quote:

What a great community! Sounds like we are all aspiring to put together a system we would not otherwise be able to afford. I will do my part in researching solutions to the various issues. Many thanks to my skilled astronomy colleagues and their generous offerings. I have been searching for more portable solutions for my set up than a pc build (I too can mod one of my old pc’s but this limits portability). I have to set up and tear down during my sessions so I am looking to making that process as painless as possible. The pc box is fine for those of us that have a yard or observatory we can work with. Unfortunately that limits portability to a dark site without sufficient power. I was considering this gamer vid card expansion for the laptop to keep it portable. http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
Still coming in around the 200 dollar mark, it is better than the Magma price, this solution is a toss-up between the dock station laptop and the expansion card from a cost perspective. Perhaps it is doable for some members working on this project. Still looking for a surplus shutter solution.




the one we need would be ViDock 4 Plus ($279) ? we can't use half size or express PSI that most dock stations are equiped with ? still "somewhat pricey" but better than 1K from magma, assuming its a right size


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gatsbyiv]
      #4634673 - 06/11/11 09:44 PM

A Nikon F mount it a bayonet mount. The threads on the camera are larger than a standard T2 threaded mount.

This is what a F mount looks like, on my Redlake:


IMG_0486 by macona, on Flickr


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4634677 - 06/11/11 09:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What a great community! Sounds like we are all aspiring to put together a system we would not otherwise be able to afford. I will do my part in researching solutions to the various issues. Many thanks to my skilled astronomy colleagues and their generous offerings. I have been searching for more portable solutions for my set up than a pc build (I too can mod one of my old pc’s but this limits portability). I have to set up and tear down during my sessions so I am looking to making that process as painless as possible. The pc box is fine for those of us that have a yard or observatory we can work with. Unfortunately that limits portability to a dark site without sufficient power. I was considering this gamer vid card expansion for the laptop to keep it portable. http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
Still coming in around the 200 dollar mark, it is better than the Magma price, this solution is a toss-up between the dock station laptop and the expansion card from a cost perspective. Perhaps it is doable for some members working on this project. Still looking for a surplus shutter solution.




the one we need would be ViDock 4 Plus ($279) ? we can't use half size or express PSI that most dock stations are equiped with ? still "somewhat pricey" but better than 1K from magma, assuming its a right size




Again, the Vidock is PCIe, not PCI. Totally incompatible.


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gatsbyiv
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4634741 - 06/11/11 10:45 PM

Quote:

A Nikon F mount it a bayonet mount. The threads on the camera are larger than a standard T2 threaded mount.





Thanks for clarifying. Hope overcame reason for me. Bayonet != threads.

Where did we arrive on the best solution for mounting now that shutters are involved? Did Keith and Kevin bore out the nose and fix a t-ring in there?


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gatsbyiv]
      #4634883 - 06/12/11 12:40 AM

Quote:

Quote:

A Nikon F mount it a bayonet mount. The threads on the camera are larger than a standard T2 threaded mount.





Thanks for clarifying. Hope overcame reason for me. Bayonet != threads.

Where did we arrive on the best solution for mounting now that shutters are involved? Did Keith and Kevin bore out the nose and fix a t-ring in there?




Yep. Kevin has mine in his machine now.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4634954 - 06/12/11 01:41 AM

Quote:

Ok, after doing some search on the net I came to the following conclusion (correct me if I am wrong , because I very much want to be wrong) this camera is suited only for permanent setup observatory that has desktop or it's alternative avalable. I don't see any of us shelling $1000 for magma adapter or carrying "portable desktop/monitor/spare
12V battery out in the field...I also can't envision how an old "network
sniffer" or its alternative is going to be happy with other astroimaging
applications that usually have to run at the same time during imaging session on the laptop (mount guiding etc.)

so I guess this takes this camera out of most important DSO astroimaging factor: going to the dark site..

Once again please let us know if you found reasonably priced and portable solution to the dreaded PCI

shurik




My son dropped by today for a visit, he designs and builds computer systems for gov and industry. He is also a fellow amateur astronomer. I ran our portability issue by him. First he laughed and said we don’t pick easy projects. He does agree we made a score with the cams.

As far as a laptop solution go’s he stated that he is currently working on designing a vid card interface like the ViDock for the gov. He said Magma is a direct competitor of the company he works for and any solution like magma or Vidock will be pricey. He said the Star Tech X1 pcie to pci converter would probably work in the vidock at x1 speed but there will not be enough head room in the Vidock to accommodate the riser. You would have to modify the case. (mo money) Said too bad as Vidock is cheap for what it does. After spending the 250-300 hundred to mod the Vidock, the other solutions may be just as good.

He also said the mini itx solution that macona (Jerry) offered earlier was a better solution and probably the best way to go for a portable solution. He states by using a low power/low wattage board like this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=354328&CatId=7174
And a power supply like this http://igowarehouse.amazonwebstore.com/Pico-PSU120-12V-120Watt-DcDC-ATX/M/B0045KGQFE.htm?traffic_src=froogle&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=froogle
Coupled with a low power monitor will enable a cigarette lighter type power converter and power tank to be used to run the system in the field.

He also stated that the other solution that Jerry offered in the Dolch Pac 65 is close to what is really needed. Perhaps the ITX configured in a similar fashion.
As it stands right now a laptop “may” not be able to be cheaply worked in and you “may” be right. If anybody comes up with a lap top solution please let us know. I will continue to research that as time allows.

So Jerry, “congrats” On good suggestions you are tracking hot, straight and true.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4634973 - 06/12/11 02:15 AM

On the shutter end of the spectrum I received my Ilex today. Really nice! I think more will be coming on configuring those.

I also worked on the ROLLEI 35MM shutter today. Come to find out the solenoid actuator was nothing more than a lock actuator, so I will be able to remove the offending device. This will lower the profile of the shutter and allow for another actuator to be installed. Seeing how I own the crazy thing now, I am thinking of toying with the previously posted idea of using a RC servo to actuate the shutter if I can dig one up that functions at the voltage supplied by the camera circuit and small enough to fit in a modified housing.


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jsigone
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Reged: 12/27/08

Loc: Escondido--> San Diego, CA
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4634988 - 06/12/11 02:48 AM

The Dolch Pac 65 seems like the older version/non rugged to the ACME portable units I showed you(2-4K). Problem with those is the monitor res was design around the PII chips in them so maybe 800x600 screen res. And might even use the keyboard connector before the PS2 design. IMO you can build a similar rig with the mITX (pci slot version) I linked you. Here is a nice case I got from frys and comes w/ the PS for $40
http://www.frys.com/product/6145869?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

Use it to build your own portible by mounting a small LCD to the side panel via tilting bracket. Attached is what I'd build, you can save about $30 if you use a normal 2.5" laptop 160GB drive. But due to the portable design, small HD platters might get damaged from travel and "other" mishaps. The SSD are getting stupid cheap right now and I'd recommend those, just back up your data more often as if they crash they crash. I've seen them in the $50 range but sometimes w/ rebates and those suck to wait for.

Add that $40 case,keyboard,mouse and windows OS and your set. You can also drill in holes to mount a carry handle you can get from the hard ware store. For field use,you might need a 12v power inverter to run between the gear and the battery pack


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: jsigone]
      #4635448 - 06/12/11 12:00 PM

And there ya go, all for ~300 USD. ~ the same as we have been talking to get a laptop in the loop. Looks like the way to go.

Thanks for sharing! (Thats ma boy!)


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4635620 - 06/12/11 01:38 PM

Ok so can we please clarify: vDock has 3 versions of the unit Macona said they are PCIe and will not work (and I agree) because interface is different and that can not be modified, on the othe hand if it is only a physical dimension of the case, that one I can modify and have no problem of doing that, rather than building "portable" "mini" computer for the same money. I think both directions will be fine but the "hot" one will be the one like with all astro-gear that is used the most.

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jsigone
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4635730 - 06/12/11 02:48 PM

if the add in card was only pcie this would be slam dunk with the Vdock setup. That is pretty darn cheap! The version my company sells, One Stop Systems sells is about 4x that price. My dad did show me a pci to x1 pcie adapter, $60. This would raise the add in card a good inch which the Vdock case doesnt have. I'm sure this would work but not sure how clean the data transfer thru the adapter. Overcable products are done 2 ways. one is using a redriver chip in the laptop adaptr and expansion box. This is passive to the OS. Another way is by putting switch chips on both end, which would be detected by the OS. This is more expensive route so I doubt the Vdock uses this method. Over cable technologies is not compatable with every computer out there. Limiting factor is the bios of the host system, has to do with the timing clocks and IO. Adding the pci to pcie adds another pc to the puzzle. Long story short, u can get the Vdock, adapter, find a larger case only to find it doesn't work with your laptop given you do have an express card port. And if it does work I'm not sure what type of noise can be added going through the camera's scsi cable to the box thru a copper x1 cable to the laptop. When I get to the office tomorrow, I'll see what adapter i have or backplane we have that have a pci connector. The ones i know have a pciX connector and not exactly the same. These backplanes have a x4 cable port and we only have x1 laptop adapter with x1 to x4 cables.

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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: jsigone]
      #4635835 - 06/12/11 04:12 PM

Well this is the route I was planing to go:

PCI-->PCI/PCIe adapter (cost $30-$60)--> PCIe expansion/enclosure chassis... enclosure might need to be modified to fit (vidock, etc. cost ~$230)--> express card port on laptop...a million $$ question is would this scheme work ??

I think I figured why external PCI card enclosures (USB or PCMCIA compatible) are not that popular or hard to find: band width required by monster PCI video cards (who would be the main market for laptop gamers) can not be easily translated to conventional laptop external ports


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: jsigone]
      #4635843 - 06/12/11 04:18 PM

The Vidock connects to a laptop through ExpressCard, which is basically a 1x PCIe slot, one of the reasons they are cheap.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4635945 - 06/12/11 05:40 PM

Spent some time with the mini-itx board today. Uninstalled the PVCAM and roper software, upgraded to XP SP3, reinstalled everything and it works. Seems just as fast was the other machine which was a 3+ghz P4. Its a 1GHz Via C7 motherboard.

Now to get a case. I do have a 12V ATX power supply but it may be too small.


IMG_0515 by macona, on Flickr


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4636094 - 06/12/11 07:58 PM

Quote:

Well this is the route I was planing to go:

PCI-->PCI/PCIe adapter (cost $30-$60)--> PCIe expansion/enclosure chassis... enclosure might need to be modified to fit (vidock, etc. cost ~$230)--> express card port on laptop...a million $$ question is would this scheme work ??

I think I figured why external PCI card enclosures (USB or PCMCIA compatible) are not that popular or hard to find: band width required by monster PCI video cards (who would be the main market for laptop gamers) can not be easily translated to conventional laptop external ports




yes should work. Once you have the parts or want to guesstimate the height needed, a Hammond case would fit this build pretty nice. You'd have to demel out the cutout and insulate the electronics from metal.

http://www.hammondmfg.com/1457EMI_RFI.htm

Sold through DigiKey for $10-30 pending size and water seal.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: jsigone]
      #4636379 - 06/12/11 11:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Well this is the route I was planing to go:

PCI-->PCI/PCIe adapter (cost $30-$60)--> PCIe expansion/enclosure chassis... enclosure might need to be modified to fit (vidock, etc. cost ~$230)--> express card port on laptop...a million $$ question is would this scheme work ??

I think I figured why external PCI card enclosures (USB or PCMCIA compatible) are not that popular or hard to find: band width required by monster PCI video cards (who would be the main market for laptop gamers) can not be easily translated to conventional laptop external ports




yes should work. Once you have the parts or want to guesstimate the height needed, a Hammond case would fit this build pretty nice. You'd have to demel out the cutout and insulate the electronics from metal.

http://www.hammondmfg.com/1457EMI_RFI.htm

Sold through DigiKey for $10-30 pending size and water seal.




This was the way I was planning to go but the ITX setup is sweet too. Fortunately I have to work for the loot for either one- so I will have time to think about what will really work best for me. No big, I can run from an old PC for now. I hope the discussion on these solutions help others make the same decision.

Shurik, let us know how this works out for you if you pursue it. It helps everyone in the end.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: jsigone]
      #4636380 - 06/12/11 11:49 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

Today I worked on installing the Prontor shutter that I bought from Surplus Shed. (Its also available on Ebay for a few dollars cheaper, as Sullij noted; either way its a bargain as it is a ~$500 shutter for ~$50.) No problem with the shutter circuit, it is the right voltage and can supply enough current to actuate the solenoid - tried it out with no issues. So I've been trying to integrate it with the flange, and I've done as much as can at home (I need to use a milling machine and lathe at work to finish).

This is the shutter removed from its mounting flange and with the switch removed:


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4636386 - 06/12/11 11:51 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

Solenoid removed (if anyone tries this route please PM me as I took several pix of the sutter assembly that might be useful):

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4636399 - 06/12/11 11:58 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

I drilled a hole in the camera flange to accommodate the linkage piece that connects the shutter actuator pin to the solenoid shaft - the solenoid will be mounted on the flange but should be low enough so that it will not interfere with any component that is attached to the camera mount (I hope). I also cut four notches in the shutter body for clearance for the flange mounting bolts. This is the shutter and linkage temporarily mounted between the flange and the camera:

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4636401 - 06/12/11 11:58 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

And this is what it looks like opened:

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4636404 - 06/13/11 12:01 AM

Again, if this works I'll be happy to supply more detail to anyone who is interested. --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4636429 - 06/13/11 12:31 AM

Keith;
Just to clarify you stated the camera shutter circuit will drive this shutter? Also could you please provide a few dimensions of this shutter, the Surplus Shed site gives dimensions mounted on a plate! This looks promising.

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4636432 - 06/13/11 12:37 AM

I have been operating this camera using a T30 thinkpad attached to a docking unit that has a half length PCI slot.
So far this has proven to be fairly robust with no issues.
Image download times are 8 seconds using 1x1 binning. Running Windows XP.

Kevin


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4636541 - 06/13/11 03:53 AM

Kevin can you please post a picture of how does PCI card fit into that slot of your thinkpad, this might be by far the easiest solution, there are plenty of docking stations on ebay that have this slot, I thought was not going to work , but apparently I am glad I was wrong )

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4637069 - 06/13/11 01:35 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

Quote:

Kevin can you please post a picture of how does PCI card fit into that slot of your thinkpad, this might be by far the easiest solution, there are plenty of docking stations on ebay that have this slot, I thought was not going to work , but apparently I am glad I was wrong )




Here are a few picts of my thinkpad setup. Hope they help.

Kevin


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4637072 - 06/13/11 01:36 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Dock 2

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4637075 - 06/13/11 01:37 PM Attachment (48 downloads)

Quantix card installed in dock

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4637076 - 06/13/11 01:39 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

MY dock's specs. Make sure of your own laptops spec as there are quite a few versions of docking stations available for our different laptops!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4637206 - 06/13/11 03:25 PM

The docking station may be the way to go price wise. A t30 laptop sells for something like $150 on ebay. I do have a Dell PIII lappie at home. I think I saw the docking station for it on craiglist for about $40. That ought to do it and the screen on the dell is real nice and high res.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4637815 - 06/13/11 11:35 PM

I think Dock station/resurrected laptop will be the way to go , but I also found this

http://www.arstech.com/item--ssi2_pci.html

they customer support s***ks (they want money if you wish to discuss this product or anything on the phone), but it could be the way to go too...need comp geek to look at these components if it makes sense..


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4637832 - 06/13/11 11:47 PM

I forgot all about the arstech cards. I have a couple of the ISA versions at work from the last film. Dont know what they were trying to do with them.

The PCI ought to work, but I think they will be pretty darn slow. For the price of that I can pick up a Thinkpad T43 and docking station.

I got the Ilex shutter in today. Very nice and compact. But will not trigger off the internal connector. I think the high voltage pulse decays too fast for it to open. Odd since the Uniblitz specs a 70v pulse and hold at 5v.

But I can make it work, I believe. I can use the internal shutter driver to trigger a small circuit that will drive the Ilex shutter. The shutter has two micro switches inside it that activate when the shutter opens. It seems the shutter needs at least 24v to open and ~5v to hold. I can use the switches to change the voltage level once it is open. I will need a 24v source to operate it, I can get that though a DC/DC converter.

The hole pattern is very odd. I will have to transfer and measure.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4637864 - 06/14/11 12:10 AM

"The PCI ought to work, but I think they will be pretty darn slow."

Why is that ? , I thought USB2.0 should be plenty , we are not doing any fast frame high resolution video transfer... am I missing it ?


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4637876 - 06/14/11 12:15 AM Attachment (48 downloads)

Finished most of the shutter install tonight, still need to tweak a couple of things and it needs a light shield - but it works...Kevin, in response to your question the shutter operates directly from the camera, no interface circuit needed. When I get a chance I'll supply some dimensions, sorry its kind of late right now...

So here it is with the solenoid and linkage mounted on the flange:


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4637880 - 06/14/11 12:16 AM Attachment (44 downloads)

And here it is on the camera.

Edited by kw6562 (06/14/11 12:17 AM)


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4637902 - 06/14/11 12:29 AM Attachment (37 downloads)

And with the shutter open. Note that I had to sacrifice one of the screws for the solenoid, but I think three should be adequate. To be honest this is kind of a hack, although it does seem to work well. Normally I would plan things out better, but this was one of those "design-as-you-go" projects. If I were going to do this right, I would design a new flange that could accommodate the shutter without too much modification. But I can't wait to start using it!

Also tried out a 10m SCSI cable that I ordered through E-bay, no problems. Got lazy and decided not to incorporate a filter slide as I originally intended; bought a manual wheel and a 2" LRGB set instead. So a little bit more work and it should be ready to go. Clear skies --Keith


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4637963 - 06/14/11 01:14 AM

Changing from one interface to another will develop latency. If the card needs direct memory access it will slow down. USB2 is 480Megabit/sec or 60Megabytes/sec, though I have never seen past 40. PCI is at the very least double that and often quadruple that.

That card is more money than I am willing to risk for a maybe. By the time you have the card+power supply+enclosure you are double an old laptop and on par with a mini-itx.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4639110 - 06/14/11 06:32 PM

Quote:

I forgot all about the arstech cards. I have a couple of the ISA versions at work from the last film. Dont know what they were trying to do with them.

The PCI ought to work, but I think they will be pretty darn slow. For the price of that I can pick up a Thinkpad T43 and docking station.

I got the Ilex shutter in today. Very nice and compact. But will not trigger off the internal connector. I think the high voltage pulse decays too fast for it to open. Odd since the Uniblitz specs a 70v pulse and hold at 5v.

But I can make it work, I believe. I can use the internal shutter driver to trigger a small circuit that will drive the Ilex shutter. The shutter has two micro switches inside it that activate when the shutter opens. It seems the shutter needs at least 24v to open and ~5v to hold. I can use the switches to change the voltage level once it is open. I will need a 24v source to operate it, I can get that though a DC/DC converter.

The hole pattern is very odd. I will have to transfer and measure.





Macona;
I have been playing with one of the Ilex shutters. I have installed a 7805 voltage regulator across one of the mico switches to provide the 5vdc "hold" voltage. I also put a 22mfd tant cap across the coil to smooth out the transition. In the camera I have a 5vdc relay switched by the shutter circuit (to "pulse" is to short to harm relay) to control the Ilex shutter. If you look at the large resistor next to the big cap (technical I know) it has 24vdc coming straight from power supply. (pins 11 and 12 on connector) This operates shutter quite well! The shutter use about 50 milliamps current to hold open and about 200 milliamps at 24v to fire. I just ordered one of the "other" shutters to see how well it might work. The seller on EBAY has "quite a few" available. By the way if you do not reduce the voltage the shutter trigger coil gets pretty hot after only a few minutes. At 5v hold it never warms up.

.02 worth
Kevin


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4639270 - 06/14/11 08:21 PM

I am finding that the shutter opens much better with a 48v pulse, its kind of sluggish at 24v. I have found a little 5 to 12v input dc/dc power supply that is small enough to install in the shutter itself. It has a -24/24v output. Putting 330uf caps across the rails gives enough of a kick to open the shutter. Then 5v will hold it open.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4639339 - 06/14/11 08:58 PM

Oh yeah, be sure to put a diode across the coil as well. Otherwise the back emf from the solenoid can kill the cap and you sure dont want that pulse getting back in to the camera circuitry.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4640392 - 06/15/11 01:56 PM

I sent a message to Craig over at Stark Labs about getting PVCAM support in Nebulosity. He says he needs a loaner camera to program with. So I put a bid on one of the lower res quantix cameras on ebay.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4641273 - 06/15/11 11:55 PM

I ordered a little 3 watt DC/DC converter. It gives me 24, 48,and 72volts out with 5v in. Small enough to fit in the empty space of the shutter housing. I will use this to charge a capacitor which will give the initial drive pulse, then like Kevin, I will use 5 v to hold it open triggered with one of the microswitches. I plan on tapping off the 5v line feeding the fan. Basically make a Y splitter with the same molex connectors. I have a bunch left over from building my laser cutter. This will allow me to not modify the circuit board. The dc/dc converter is about $15.

Just got back from picking up a Thinkpad T43 off Craigslist. 1.86Ghz, 1G ram, 80G hard drive, bluetooth, wifi, 1400x1050 screen, $120. A dock is about $25 shipped off ebay.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4643185 - 06/16/11 11:52 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

I mounted the camera with shutter and filter wheel onto my main setup tonight. It was a frustrating start, as I was having issues with my guide camera and also with the Quantix - but the problems have been resolved and I am breathing easier. The main problem with the Quantix seems to be related to this ancient PC that I'm using - I had to disconnect the network to talk to the camera, but I didn't have to remove the network card itself. Weird. But now all seems okay, and I was also able to get the guider working (totally unrelated to the Quantix). Its partly cloudy and a full moon so I'm not trying anything too aggressive, just wanted to see if everything could be balanced and especially wanted to find out if the Moonlite focuser could handle the filter wheel and camera. So far so good, I was able to balance it and guiding looks good (except when clouds come in) and the focuser seems to be able to handle the load. Trying a few minutes of Ha of the Crescent but I don't expect too much for this trial run. This is what the setup looks like with the camera mounted. --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4643242 - 06/17/11 12:41 AM

Looks good. My Moonlight focuser shipped today. The owner seems like a real nice guy. I just got the manual version. I might modify it later for powered focus, I have a very nice micromo swiss made motor that would be perfect.

Are you using computer controlled focus?


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4643270 - 06/17/11 01:08 AM

Yes, I have a DC motor and Shoestring FCUSB. I also built a position indicator for it with a dial indicator and an Arduino for a USB interface. And you're right, they are very helpful (and the anodized finish is really nice). --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4643323 - 06/17/11 02:04 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

This is 12X100s at gain=3 Ha. I'm learning a bit about processing the files - for one thing, I'm using ImageJ to break the tifs into individual files and maintain them as 16-bit. Poor night due to clouds and moon, and I probably wasn't focused well, also no flats taken. But its a start...--Keith

Edited by kw6562 (06/17/11 02:05 AM)


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4644053 - 06/17/11 01:09 PM

What are you using for a color wheel?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4644798 - 06/17/11 09:14 PM

Orion manual 4 x 2" and LRGB filters. Right now I have a Ha in place of the red. --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4644804 - 06/17/11 09:19 PM

Looks like I am buying one of the Optec IFW sets with the LRGB filter sets.

The seller with the Ilex shutters has posted more:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200620790705&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:VRI


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4645034 - 06/17/11 11:33 PM

IMPRESSED, Good work Keith, I too was thinking about a safety catch for the cam. "Smart" don't want that thing hitting the ground. Been working on circuit tests and talking to engineers at the co I work at (we build science stuff). Will post some data later ( working on it ). I am working on a solution similar to yours for the Ilex shutter ( linear actuater that works at 6 volts, no circuit mods). BTW did the actuater ( shutter selinoid ) work as planned with the software?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4645545 - 06/18/11 09:58 AM

Thanks Sullij - Yeah, I was kind of paranoid about the camera/filter wheel slipping out of the focuser and hitting the ground, so I put a safety chain on one of the 1/4-20 mounting holes on the camera body and connected it to the carrying handle on the SCT. That's the only place in the optical train that is not a threaded connection. I've never had a problem with it but I didn't want to take chances.

I lucked out with the shutter - the solenoid is 24V and holds at 4V so it didn't require any interface circuit. The camera driver circuit can supply enough current to operate it and there is a protection diode across the connector so I only had to hook it up. My big issues, as you may recall from my earlier posts, were mechanical - there were several modifications needed to get the shutter to fit in the flange and operate correctly. But it works well and the software runs it without problems.

I hope no one minds me doing this, but I want to caution everyone who might open up the camera to take precautions regarding ESD (electrostatic discharge). The CCD and many of the other components in the camera are very sensitive to static and even though it is summertime and usually humid one should be careful. The CCD is a Class 0 device which means that the damage threshold is <250V, which is not very high and some pins, such as the reset gate, are a lot lower. At least wear a grounded wrist strap, and use a grounded dissipative mat if possible. If you use a soldering iron make sure that the tip is grounded. For the shutter pins I'm sure there isn't a problem, but when working on a device that contains sensitive components it is "best practice" to act as if everything is at the lowest class in the device.

Sorry, when working on flight components we are positively religious about ESD mitigation so I felt the need to pontificate...

--Keith


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4646745 - 06/18/11 11:12 PM

Quote:

Thanks Sullij - Yeah, I was kind of paranoid about the camera/filter wheel slipping out of the focuser and hitting the ground, so I put a safety chain on one of the 1/4-20 mounting holes on the camera body and connected it to the carrying handle on the SCT. That's the only place in the optical train that is not a threaded connection. I've never had a problem with it but I didn't want to take chances.

I lucked out with the shutter - the solenoid is 24V and holds at 4V so it didn't require any interface circuit. The camera driver circuit can supply enough current to operate it and there is a protection diode across the connector so I only had to hook it up. My big issues, as you may recall from my earlier posts, were mechanical - there were several modifications needed to get the shutter to fit in the flange and operate correctly. But it works well and the software runs it without problems.

I hope no one minds me doing this, but I want to caution everyone who might open up the camera to take precautions regarding ESD (electrostatic discharge). The CCD and many of the other components in the camera are very sensitive to static and even though it is summertime and usually humid one should be careful. The CCD is a Class 0 device which means that the damage threshold is <250V, which is not very high and some pins, such as the reset gate, are a lot lower. At least wear a grounded wrist strap, and use a grounded dissipative mat if possible. If you use a soldering iron make sure that the tip is grounded. For the shutter pins I'm sure there isn't a problem, but when working on a device that contains sensitive components it is "best practice" to act as if everything is at the lowest class in the device.

Sorry, when working on flight components we are positively religious about ESD mitigation so I felt the need to pontificate...

--Keith




Keith can you show us a pic of how you have the black and red leads connected on the camera circuit board. I must not be connecting my shutter to the right connections.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4646783 - 06/18/11 11:33 PM

I'm sorry, I don't have a pic of that but I'll take one when I take the camera off the scope tonight. But Kevin has a pic on page 1 of this thread. --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4646791 - 06/18/11 11:40 PM

Hi,

I saw Kevins pic but he is not tapped in on the curcuit in the photo. Thanks for the prompt reply!


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4646795 - 06/18/11 11:43 PM

Not certian but I think Kevin is still wresetling with the circuit too.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4647409 - 06/19/11 12:31 PM

Quote:

Not certian but I think Kevin is still wresetling with the circuit too.




Not anymore! I have decided to use the same shutter as in Keith's camera. It works directly off the camera using the connector indicated in my first pict of the cameras insides. Although a bit bigger then originally planned this shutter is solidly built! I will post a photo in the next day or so to show what my setup has become. Just need to borrow a camera (no pun intended). I am away from home so at mercy of friends.

Kevin

By the way "Nice photo Keith!!"


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4647439 - 06/19/11 12:54 PM

Ok, Just picked up the shutter off ebay. I went back and saw the photo the Keith was refering to where Kevin "is" tapped in to the same pin out I have been using.( must of used his reference) Prior to using this pin set, I measured the current with my multi meter and get only a steady ~6.5 volt signal when the shutter is activated. What might I be doing wrong?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4647447 - 06/19/11 01:00 PM

You need to have a load on the connector to get an accurate reading.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4647448 - 06/19/11 01:01 PM

BTW, Happy Fathers Day to all it applies to!

Clear Skies


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4647454 - 06/19/11 01:03 PM

Quote:

You need to have a load on the connector to get an accurate reading.




Thanks Jerry. That helps.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4647682 - 06/19/11 03:41 PM

Quote:

You need to have a load on the connector to get an accurate reading.




Also keep in mind the "higher voltage pulse" used to open the shutter is fairly short in duration!


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4647841 - 06/19/11 05:56 PM

A scope would be the ideal thing to measure the pulse.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4648437 - 06/20/11 02:19 AM

I drew up made the adapter plate for the shutter. It turns out two of the holes in the existing bolt pattern for the lens mount match up with two of the holes on the Ilex shutter. If anyone want the drawing for the adapter plate or the hole layout on the shutter, let me know.


IMG_0531 by macona, on Flickr

Chewed the part out on the cnc mill and counterbored and tapped the needed holes. We are having some stuff heading out to anodizing at work so I will throw the plate in with the rest.

Edited by macona (06/20/11 02:21 AM)


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4649840 - 06/20/11 08:10 PM

I got the little DC/DC converter this afternoon. It looks like it is going to work great. I just breadboarded it with a bunch of jumper wires and it triggers it real nice. The converter has an unregulated output. The 48 v line floats about 80v with no load so it charges a capacitor real nice. The pulse opens it and one of the micro switches in the shutter switches the coil to 5 volts to hold. Now I just need a tiny little relay to get it all in the shutter.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4651134 - 06/21/11 02:26 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

A few picts of my shutter housing.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4651141 - 06/21/11 02:29 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

The new parts compared to the "plate" that came with camera.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4651165 - 06/21/11 02:38 PM

Got a face on and internal shot? Quite a difference!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4651171 - 06/21/11 02:39 PM

Never mind. Thanks!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4651198 - 06/21/11 02:50 PM

Very clean, looks like the way to go.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4651524 - 06/21/11 05:56 PM

That's definitely the way to go, in my opinion - much cleaner than my hack. Very nice! --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4651537 - 06/21/11 06:08 PM

man this thing will never work with my mak-newt!!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: jsigone]
      #4651583 - 06/21/11 06:37 PM

Quote:

man this thing will never work with my mak-newt!!




That's ok, you can borrow my 5 inch.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4651588 - 06/21/11 06:42 PM

Happy 1st day of summer and clear skies to all!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4653930 - 06/23/11 01:30 AM

Got my docking station for the thinkpad today. Got the card installed and ready to go.

Almost had my shutter working. Goofed somewhere and shorted out the dc/dc converter. Another is on its way. grrr...


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4654401 - 06/23/11 11:17 AM

Got the German shutter yesterday, hooked it up and sure nuff, worked like a charm.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4659036 - 06/26/11 01:47 AM

Got my shutter together today and it works nice. Still have not hooked it to the quantix but there should be no problem. Heres a pic and a video. The wiring in the shutter turned out to be a mess. Oh well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL2c0EoPM8c


IMG_0674 by macona, on Flickr


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4659040 - 06/26/11 01:48 AM

That's pretty cool.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4659990 - 06/26/11 03:23 PM

Thanks.

I still have this shutter. the vid and pic will prove usefull if I need to go this route.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4660003 - 06/26/11 03:33 PM

Here is how I am now, ready to go. Thanks largely to Kevin and his awsome housing. I am including pic of the camera connector, The shutter and housing (I blacked every thing to avoid internal reflection), and the complete assembly.
Working on an old PC to run the cam for now. My son got me the ITX motherboard and a hard drive for fathers day, so I will persue that build when money permits.


5121 by Sullij1, on Flickr


5122 by Sullij1, on Flickr


5123 by Sullij1, on Flickr

It all works fine. Thanks Kevin for yor support!


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4660669 - 06/26/11 11:10 PM

I decided to make some chips today. I had drawn up the modifications to the old lens flange I needed to make and plugged them into my CAM software and made up some toolpaths for the mill. First I made a fixture plate to mount the lens adapter to. Took a chunk of used 1/2" aluminum and faced it off and drilled and tapped the 4 holes that the plate mounts with. Mounted the adapter down and loaded the g-code and crossed my fingers.

First with a 1/2" variable flute end mill the machine faced off the nose to the new height (Which was calculated with the index of refraction of the quartz window on the camera to be the same as the standard Nikon flange focal distance), then the inner clearance was cut away and the lever clearance was cut.

Next a 3/16" 3 flute was used to cut the remaining profiles needed for the Nikon flange.

Last the 4 mounting holes were spotted and drilled #55 for the 1.6mm screws that hold on the flange.

Looks like everything is where it is supposed to be. I dont have a tap for the flange screws nor do I have long enough screws to mount everything to the camera so that will have to wait.

Here is some cnc porn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VhJkG036I

And a couple pics:


Quantix lens flange by macona, on Flickr


Quantix lens flange machined for nikon adapter by macona, on Flickr


Quantix lens flange with Nikon adapter by macona, on Flickr


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4660773 - 06/27/11 12:59 AM Attachment (37 downloads)

Wow, nice work!

I'm sorry I haven't been much help lately, been busy with non-astronomy matters, like work...One thing that I did was I bought a new PC to run the camera. But I didn't want to spend a lot so I bought an "off-lease" IBM Lenovo 3GHz Pentium 4 with 2GB of RAM and Windows XP Pro SP3 for about $250. from TigerDirect. I ended up replacing the hard drive with a 1 TB drive and partitioned it to run Ubuntu Linux as well as XP. I found that I had to use an older driver from the Photometrics website in order to connect to the camera but it works great (my old machine wouldn't always connect, but maybe I should have tried an older driver on that one as well). RSImage works fine but MicroManager doesn't (it can read the camera but doesn't operate the shutter). For the moment I'll use RSImage but it will only take 10 exposures in a sequence due to limited memory allocation (and I haven't figured out if there is a way to change that).

When you take a sequence and save it as a tif file the images are saved as individual frames. To break the file into individual 16-bit tifs I wrote a macro for ImageJ (which is freeware and I highly recommend downloading it). The macro:

open();
dir = File.directory
Stack.getDimensions(width,height,channels,slices,frames)
run("Stack to Images")

for (i=0; i<slices; i++) {
name = getTitle();
saveAs("tiff",dir+name);
wait(500);
close();
}

(Please note here that I am as much of a hack programmer as I am a hack machinist...Pros please don't laugh too hard...)

DSS and Nebulosity work fine with the 12-bit data. I scale the data by 16x in Nebulosity to make it a little easier to use the sliders but it isn't necessary to do that.

This is 25m total of LHaGB of M57 at f/10 in the EdgeHD:

CCD temp. -30C
L: 10X30s no binning
R(Ha): 2X300s 2X2 bin
G,B: 10X30s 2X2 bin

Only slightly cropped for channel misalignment. Some dust rings are visible. Didn't take enough blue data but this was only a test anyway. Full image at Flickr. --Keith


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4660784 - 06/27/11 01:14 AM

oooOOOOOooo! to both of you, very nice! And BRAVO to the first well done LHaGB. FOV is killer!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4660791 - 06/27/11 01:28 AM

Wow, I cant wait to get this thing up and running. My optec filter wheel should be here this week. According to tracking it is in town but waiting for clearance (Seller was in canada).

I did get my moonlight focuser last week. What a piece of work! The nicest anodizing I have ever seen.

Of course I need clear skys which I can count on one hand for the last month. grrr...

Oh, I also got a really nice Nikon 200mm macro telephoto lens. Planning on piggybacking it on the scope. But it also takes freeking amazing macro photos. If you are interested check out my flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67292116@N00/sets/72157627041373036/


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4661407 - 06/27/11 01:15 PM

Hi. Just came across this. I've just received 3 of these cameras for a prototype instrument. I haven't got the funding yet for the other bits I need, but decided I couldn't let these cameras slip by. I'll be running all three simultaneously, which I believe the software allows.

On another project, we had a meeting with Princeton Instruments. I mentioned these and the sale rep said that they originally cost about $60k a piece.

Anyway, I'll try to share my experience as well.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4661431 - 06/27/11 01:22 PM

TOO FUNNY I feel so much better knowing that. It won't be so bad now when my wife gives me those "is it really worth it" looks.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4661445 - 06/27/11 01:25 PM

I'm not so sure my wife would appreciate the original value as well!

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4661804 - 06/27/11 05:23 PM

Quote:

I mentioned these and the sale rep said that they originally cost about $60k a piece.






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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4662321 - 06/27/11 11:33 PM

Got the shutter mounted. At least temporarily. Screws not really long enough.

Got ready to wire things in. Not going to work, two problems. Shutter pulls too much from the 5v rail and the shutter connection works differently that I was expecting. So the plan now is to pull of 24v off the big capacitor and run a 24 to 5v dc/dc converter to supply power to the shutter and run a relay off the shutter connection to activate it. I can attach it all to the lid.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4662332 - 06/27/11 11:43 PM

How much current does your shutter draw?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4662458 - 06/28/11 01:53 AM

Jerry.

I hope this link works http://www.electromechanicsonline.com/product.asp?pid=9

I ordered one of these custom made for 6 volts DC. Order the amount of throw and return you need on the return spring. I screwed up and got a push instead of pull. But when I mocked it up to the manual shutter it had plenty of push to activate the shutter. So I assume it would have plenty of pull to do the same. You would need to figure a way to seperate the current selenoid in the shutter and mount this one. No sweat for you.... about 30 bucks shipped and no need to mod the circuit. It worked fine off the current circuit.


512selenoid by Sullij1, on Flickr

Just trying to help.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4662463 - 06/28/11 02:03 AM

BTW, check out all th choices under the selenoid section on the web site, looks like they whip up anything you want.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4662468 - 06/28/11 02:20 AM

I had everything to complete my master plan. I found on the circuit board next to the big capacitor there was a spot for another cap and that was in parallel with the main cap. So I pulled off my 24v to feed the DC/DC converter from there. I found a small relay that would be triggered by the existing shutter driver. Tried 24 and 15v but neither would hold. Finally a 12v relay did the trick. Wired everything up. +5 from the DC/DC converter goes to the +5v supply line in the shutter and to the common on the relay. The NO line goes to trigger on the shutter and ground goes to ground.

Works like a charm. You really need a shutter with this camera. All the issues I had before with overexposed images are gone. The difference is night and day. The laptop works great too.

There may be one problem with changing the solenoid to a lower voltage one. I believe part of the reason they design it to trigger at a high voltage and hold at a lower is so when the shutter is released the magnetic field in the solenoid collapses faster and the shutter closes sooner and faster.

Anyway, I am a happy camper now. Just need to find some screws of the appropriate length.

As usual, a couple pics, one with an old 35-70 zoom Nikon lens attached. One of the guts. The silver thing with the white thing attached to the lid is the dc/dc converter and the relay.


IMG_0695 by macona, on Flickr


IMG_0692 by macona, on Flickr


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4663689 - 06/28/11 06:37 PM

Ok, I must be doing something wrong. Two different cameras both failed to be detected by the RS Image software. I get a PVCAM error code = 0 message. Has anyone else had problems with this. I used the disk shipped with the cameras for the drivers. Do I need to have the computer search the internet for updated drivers? I'm running a PC with XP SP3. I thought I could get by without having to access the internet.

Thanks in advance!


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4663707 - 06/28/11 06:46 PM

Hi Sam - Try one of the older drivers on the Photometrics website - I'm using 2.6.9.3 without problems link --Keith

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4663711 - 06/28/11 06:51 PM

Quote:

Ok, I must be doing something wrong. Two different cameras both failed to be detected by the RS Image software. I get a PVCAM error code = 0 message. Has anyone else had problems with this. I used the disk shipped with the cameras for the drivers. Do I need to have the computer search the internet for updated drivers? I'm running a PC with XP SP3. I thought I could get by without having to access the internet.

Thanks in advance!




I had the same problem when I first tried to detect the camera. I downloaded a legacy driver from Photometrix and installed it. I also used a verification tool within the software that identifide the cam status. All worked fine after that. No problems from that point forward. someone else had the same issue. The dialog is contained somewhere in the thread.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4663712 - 06/28/11 06:51 PM

Yes, I have had that problem a several times. Dont turn on the camera until after the machine has fully booted.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4663715 - 06/28/11 06:53 PM

Thanks, Keith. I'll give it a try.

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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4663727 - 06/28/11 07:02 PM

Quote:

Yes, I have had that problem a several times. Dont turn on the camera until after the machine has fully booted.




Agree, I think that will be in my unwritten procedure.


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4665941 - 06/29/11 11:07 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Just wanted to post this for laughs...This is my "control center" in the corner of the living room, looking out onto the deck where the roll-off is located, and that's me on the right. The laptop on the left is the main PC for the scope, including the "other" cameras. The monitor in the middle is connected to the desktop running the Quantix. The laptop on the right is dedicated to guiding through the ST4 jack. What a nerd...

Working on Ha of North America/Pelican tonight, as you can see...Clear skies --Keith


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4666143 - 06/30/11 02:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Ok, I must be doing something wrong. Two different cameras both failed to be detected by the RS Image software. I get a PVCAM error code = 0 message. Has anyone else had problems with this. I used the disk shipped with the cameras for the drivers. Do I need to have the computer search the internet for updated drivers? I'm running a PC with XP SP3. I thought I could get by without having to access the internet.

Thanks in advance!




I had the same problem when I first tried to detect the camera. I downloaded a legacy driver from Photometrix and installed it. I also used a verification tool within the software that identifide the cam status. All worked fine after that. No problems from that point forward. someone else had the same issue. The dialog is contained somewhere in the thread.




downloaded all kinds of drivers mentioned here , sam problem error code =0 , no other soft also recognizes it...can someone post detailed instructions how to solve this?? any particular order computer-cam-soft have to be turned on?? any other tricks?? this is really frustrating, also can someone post a link to verification/detection plugin or software to verify connection


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4666554 - 06/30/11 10:50 AM

I'm still continuing to get the same issue as well after trying the suggestions here.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4666716 - 06/30/11 12:17 PM

I found this readme file and am trying to follow it. Will let you know if I succeed.

Windows Install Notes PVCAM 2.6.9

19-JAN-2004



PVCAM version 2.6.9 has been modified to improve stability and fix an issue with installation on a Windows XP computer.

The installer will prompt to update the firmware located on the PCI interface card, if needed. It is STRONGLY recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of the PCI frimware.



INSTALLATION:


(1) Installing PVCam On a Clean System

If installing PVCAM on a system that has not had a prior
installation of PVCAM, follow these instructions.

1. Do not install the PCI card!
2. Run the PVCAM install program (PvCAMSetup.exe) from the
CDROM or hard drive. Choose to exit the install without rebooting.
3. Shut down the computer and install the PCI card.
4. Restart the computer. You can run RSConfig if you want to change the
default name of the camera, but this is not necessary.
5. Run PVCAMtest, found under the Start menu at
"Start->Programs->Roper Scientific->PVCamtest",
to verify that everything is working correctly.
6. (Optional) Run RSImageSetup.exe on the CDROM or hard drive
to install the RSImage application.


(2) Installing PVCam V When An Older Version Was
Previously Installed

To check if an earlier version of PVCAM has been installed on
your computer, do a search of your hard disk(s) for the file
PVCAM32.dll. If this file exists on your system, right click
on this file, select Properties and check the version tab.
If a version tab does not appear, your version is earlier
than 2.5.8.

Upgrading from Version 2.5.8 or later

1. Run the older install and select the "Remove" option to
uninstall the older version. Alternatively, use the Windows
"Add/Remove" software function in "Control Panel" to remove it.
2. Run the installer and install the new version following
the instructions presented.
3. Run PVCamtest to verify that everything is working correctly.



Upgrading from Versions earlier than 2.5.8 only!

***** FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS ONLY IF YOU ARE UPGRADING *****
***** FROM A VERSION OF PVCAM EARLIER THAN 2.5.8 *****

This version of PVCam includes changes to the PCI driver
which require a name change in the system device list from
"Camera Adapter" to "Roper Scientific Camera," and a name
change from pmpcint.sys to pmwdm2k.sys.

For Windows 2000 and XP users: Due to the nature of Windows 2000,
simply removing the old driver is not enough to allow the new
driver to be used. Most of the steps necessary to remove the old
driver are done by the install program. However, there are several
steps that must be done manually.

The following steps must be done to install the new driver
correctly:

1. Turn off the computer.
2. Remove the Roper Scientific (Photometrics) PCI Card.
3. Turn on the computer. Windows will remove the missing
card from the device list.
4. Run the older PVCAM install program and select the "Remove" option to
uninstall the older version. Alternatively, use the Windows
"Add/Remove" software function in "Control Panel" to remove it.
5. (Win 2000 & XP only) Using the Windows Find Files program from the Start menu,
do a search for files named *.* AND containing text
"PMPCINT" in the C:\WINNT\INF folder, and delete those
files. If your Windows folder is not named WINNT,
substitute your folder name for WINNT.
6. Run the PVCAM install program (PvCAMSetup.exe) from the
CDROM or hard drive. Choose to exit the install without rebooting.
7. Shut down the computer and install the PCI card.
8. Restart the computer. You can run RSConfig if you want to change the
default name of the camera, but this is not necessary.
9. Run PVCAMtest, found under the Start menu at
"Start->Programs->Roper Scientific->PVCAM->PVCamtest",
to verify that everything is working correctly.
10. (Optional) Run RSImageSetup.exe on the CDROM or hard drive
to install the RSImage application.


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4666823 - 06/30/11 01:06 PM

Finally! I now have it working. The trick was to run the rsconfig program. Before I did that, I continued to get camera not found when running the pvcamtest.

Hopefully this gets me going now. Shurik, follow the installation steps above and then run rsconfig.


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4666878 - 06/30/11 01:30 PM

I am now getting images through the RS Image package.

Thanks to all for their suggestions!


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4666896 - 06/30/11 01:45 PM

Quote:

I found this readme file and am trying to follow it. Will let you know if I succeed.

Windows Install Notes PVCAM 2.6.9

19-JAN-2004



PVCAM version 2.6.9 has been modified to improve stability and fix an issue with installation on a Windows XP computer.

The installer will prompt to update the firmware located on the PCI interface card, if needed. It is STRONGLY recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of the PCI frimware.



INSTALLATION:


(1) Installing PVCam On a Clean System

If installing PVCAM on a system that has not had a prior
installation of PVCAM, follow these instructions.

1. Do not install the PCI card!
2. Run the PVCAM install program (PvCAMSetup.exe) from the
CDROM or hard drive. Choose to exit the install without rebooting.
3. Shut down the computer and install the PCI card.
4. Restart the computer. You can run RSConfig if you want to change the
default name of the camera, but this is not necessary.
5. Run PVCAMtest, found under the Start menu at
"Start->Programs->Roper Scientific->PVCamtest",
to verify that everything is working correctly.
6. (Optional) Run RSImageSetup.exe on the CDROM or hard drive
to install the RSImage application.





OK this worked ! the trick was to install driver while PCI card is out ( I simply removed laptop from docking station and run driver install) shut down the laptop , re-connect to docking station , turn it back on, also after that install RSI image and voila ! :-) I can even use maxim DL to run it , which is way more familiar for me...so now step 2 and 3 shutter and 2" nose adapter , thank you everyone for contributing !


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4667463 - 06/30/11 08:19 PM

All 3 of my cameras are functional. I'll next see how the multi-camera operation works.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4668372 - 07/01/11 11:34 AM

Well, it will run multiple cameras, but not simultaneously. I was probably expecting too much! Does anyone know if simultaneous operation can be performed with other imaging programs?

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4668425 - 07/01/11 12:15 PM

I did find that PVCam does support simultaneous triggering of multiple cameras. I'm not yet sure that RSImage has that. It only lets me pick one camera at a time.

Guess I'll need to dig around.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4668589 - 07/01/11 02:04 PM

Hi Sam,

Email photometrix or call them. They seemed willing to help macona.


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4668727 - 07/01/11 03:44 PM

You will probably have to write software to do that. The RSImage software is very basic for very simple tasks. Anything beyond the dead simple you will need something custom.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4668752 - 07/01/11 04:01 PM

I downloaded a freeware program called microManager. It is designed for microscopy. It claims to have multi-camera operation. Haven't yet tried it, but hopefully it will give me at lease some capability.

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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4668857 - 07/01/11 05:09 PM

I posted a link to uM earlier. Keith tried it but it wouldnt control the shutter which shouldnt not be a problem for you. I think it should control it though as I saw a log dump from someone having an issue and there was some shutter flags. So it may just be a bug.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4668869 - 07/01/11 05:17 PM

I've got a query in to a Roper sales rep who I have interacted with before. I also informed him about this forum! I also told the vendor that we bought these cameras from about this forum. He thought it was way cool. He indicated that he might join in to offer some guidance.

Edited by SBarden (07/01/11 05:18 PM)


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4669002 - 07/01/11 07:03 PM

Hello Group, Does anyone have an access to a machine shop...all of my focusers are 2" and I have a 2" nosepiece with respective 2" threads, Quantix nosepeice has enough material to turn and thread it to accept 2" threaded adapter, has anyone done it already? thank you, Alex

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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4669975 - 07/02/11 12:06 PM

Hi Alex - I can turn the piece to accept a T-thread adapter like I did for mine, but I don't have much experience cutting threads so I can't help you there. Look at Kevin's pictures on page 3 of this thread. --Keith

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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4671138 - 07/03/11 02:22 AM

Quote:

Just wanted to post this for laughs...This is my "control center" in the corner of the living room, looking out onto the deck where the roll-off is located, and that's me on the right. The laptop on the left is the main PC for the scope, including the "other" cameras. The monitor in the middle is connected to the desktop running the Quantix. The laptop on the right is dedicated to guiding through the ST4 jack. What a nerd...

Working on Ha of North America/Pelican tonight, as you can see...Clear skies --Keith




Hi Keith,

What was you exposure and gain settings to get the north american like that and what scope were you using?

Looks good. I am attempting the same with my EDQ 65 right now and am not getting that kind of contrast.

Thanks,

Joe


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4671148 - 07/03/11 02:42 AM

BTW, did you bin at all?

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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4671160 - 07/03/11 03:08 AM

was that a stack or single exposure?

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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4671868 - 07/03/11 03:21 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Hi Joe - Sorry for the late reply. The image on the screen in the pic was a single 5 min sub through a Ha filter. The gain setting was 3, it was not binned, and the CCD temp was -30C. It was exceptionally clear that night for my location. The Ha filter is not a commercial filter, it was made for me by a friend in his coating lab and it has a fairly broad pass band, about 10 nm FWHM if I recall correctly. I posted a HaGB in another thread link.

Last night was mostly cloudy so I fooled around with MicroManager and got it to work when I made a new configuration file. I don't know what I did different. There is a line profile tool that could be useful for focusing (screen dump attached) and some other useful features, but it crashed twice for no apparent reason. I need to play with it some more. For the moment RSImage will have to suffice. Has anyone used Maxim with this camera yet? I might be willing to make the investment (don't tell my wife) if it works reliably with PVCAM. --Keith


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4671928 - 07/03/11 03:58 PM

Hi Keith,

You sound like me, "don't tell my wife". (If I had a dime) Thanks for the reply. I checked the other thread. Good go! Did the frame seperator code you gave earlier work right? When you have time (I know its the 4th weekend) Could you explain what file the frame seperator code is inserted into and where.(if it's working for you) Sorry, even less of a hack than you. I will check out MicroManager. It definetly has some features that will help. Please let us know if you get it rolloing right and post some more code hack and tell us how. Clouds were messing me up last night too, so things didn't turn out that great. Will post some images of my humble setup soon. You canon photo of the NA actually looked beter, you said the the Quantix image is more a sampling issue from the 3" of the EDQ? Still a good go. Thanks again for your time and effort.

Joe


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4672005 - 07/03/11 04:38 PM

Here is the humble setup I have now. The ITX is in the
case.


512setupquantix!!!!!! by Sullij1, on Flickr

AT65EDQ ready to go


512mount!!!!!!! by Sullij1, on Flickr

And the NA one 180 sec from light polluted and foggy sky shot through a sucker hole (LUMI Only)NA is on its side with with mex pointing left. No time to frame or stack. Clouds were rolloing in fast



512NA by Sullij1, on Flickr

Some questions have been made about long readout time for the cam. I can say that mine reads out and posts and image almost immediately. No noticable delay. The focus function reads ~ 2 or 3 frames befor the frame is posted as an image but mine gives me a frame eaisly at 3 sec delay betwen frames (if that)making focus easy.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4672189 - 07/03/11 07:03 PM

Quote:

I sent a message to Craig over at Stark Labs about getting PVCAM support in Nebulosity. He says he needs a loaner camera to program with. So I put a bid on one of the lower res quantix cameras on ebay.




Hi Jerry,

Were you able to get Craig Stark a Quantix rig? Any word on Craig being able to work these into nebulosity? That would solve most of the software problems.


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4672758 - 07/04/11 03:26 AM

No, I have been keeping an eye out for a camera. There are a couple more on ebay, 1.4mp models. One no power supply and one no acquisition card. The cards seems to be $100 to $150 or so.

Maxim does have a 30 day full functioning demo available so I am going to give that a try when things are ready to go. I just got my wedge in the mail yeaterday and want to do a little modification before I use it. Its decent but I can make it better. Laika is on a production break for this week so I have some time to play.

I think I am going to have to get a light pollution filter for where I am. Looking at the LP map I am in a red zone. Ugh...


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4674636 - 07/05/11 02:08 AM Attachment (47 downloads)

Just got back from the Golden State Star Party near Adin Ca.
I had a chance to use the "Quantix" on a 10 inch F/7 cass and thought I'd post a few preliminary picts. I used Maxlm V5 for camera control. Hope you all are encouraged to get out and use your new cams!

Kevin


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gnabgib
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4674637 - 07/05/11 02:09 AM Attachment (40 downloads)

And one more!!

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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4675118 - 07/05/11 11:54 AM

Kevin, can you please post your shutter solution with all parts references needed to make it work and how you housed/connected it? I saw multiple attempts in earlier posts, I was not sure which one of them finally worked, thank you, Alex

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4675279 - 07/05/11 01:48 PM

Alex;
I ended up using a very nice shutter available on Ebay ( item number 280660888016 ) that works directly off the camera shutter circuit. (see earlier picts page 1 showing camera circuit boards ). On page 9 of this forum are a few picts of a housing I made to use this shutter.

Kevin


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4675590 - 07/05/11 05:00 PM

Thanks Kevin, I found it ! But I am planing using this cam on Newtonian and it has very low profile focuser, so the distance to CCD is critical and my feeling is that if this shutter requires additional housing, the cam will not reach focus.....based on your experience can this shutter be attached without the need of additional space/housing infront of the CCD?

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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4676287 - 07/06/11 01:20 AM

With my mod it puts the sensor plane at the same distance as a Nikon camera. So if you can use a standard SLR or dSLR you should be able to do it. Its more work to do electrically as you need to build a circuit to drive the shutter.

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4676318 - 07/06/11 01:51 AM

The distance to focus may become an issue for some of us. I was talking with the imaging guy at OPT the other day and showing him the setup Kevin and I have. He thinks the housing may have to be reduced in height. He noted that by the time we add a filter wheel, filters (you have to count their thickness) and the adapter bezels for the prime focus adapter and the camera to wheel adapter we could be as much as 53mm of additional spacing. I know that I am already at 4.5 inch of draw to reach focus on my AT65. I don’t have another 2 inches of reliable draw tube to work with, So compromises may have to be made when the filters are added to the train. Keith's rig using this shutter seems to work, I don't know if Keith is using the filter wheel on his EDQ but he seems to be reaching focus on his Edge with the wheel. Hopefully he will chime in and give us the skinny on the focus issues for both rigs. I think he is the first user to incorporate a wheel in the train. I don't know how his CCD distance compares to the housing Kevin set up.

Keith can you give us a dimension using the original faceplate? I think it will only be the diff in thickness of the shutter base. As you can see on page 8 from Keith’s photo the solenoid will be an issue for a low profile focuser. Jerry's Ilex rig may be a better option for you to look at. I don’t know if Kevin has had an opportunity to add a wheel to his housing. I can’t afford the wheel right now so I am hoping Kevin can expand. I am interested in seeing the dimension difference in CCD to chip between Keith’s set up and the one Kevin is using. Any help fellow modders?

BTW the imagers at OPT upon seeing the Quantix and hearing the price said . and immediately went to ebay!


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4676524 - 07/06/11 08:07 AM

I'm getting ready for work right now but I'll post some dimensions tonight. I am using a filter wheel with the Quantix on both scopes and am able to focus without problems. I have a Moonlight focuser on the EdgeHD which increases the focal train enough to put the CCD outside of the desired distance for the scope but it doesn't seem to be a significant issue.

Worked with uM last night, this time okay for the most part but still buggy, had to reboot a couple of times. Will post some results later. --Keith


NICE PIX KEVIN!


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4676824 - 07/06/11 11:30 AM

Quote:

The distance to focus may become an issue for some of us. I was talking with the imaging guy at OPT the other day and showing him the setup Kevin and I have. He thinks the housing may have to be reduced in height. He noted that by the time we add a filter wheel, filters (you have to count their thickness) and the adapter bezels for the prime focus adapter and the camera to wheel adapter we could be as much as 53mm of additional spacing. I know that I am already at 4.5 inch of draw to reach focus on my AT65. I don’t have another 2 inches of reliable draw tube to work with, So compromises may have to be made when the filters are added to the train. Keith's rig using this shutter seems to work, I don't know if Keith is using the filter wheel on his EDQ but he seems to be reaching focus on his Edge with the wheel. Hopefully he will chime in and give us the skinny on the focus issues for both rigs. I think he is the first user to incorporate a wheel in the train. I don't know how his CCD distance compares to the housing Kevin set up.

Keith can you give us a dimension using the original faceplate? I think it will only be the diff in thickness of the shutter base. As you can see on page 8 from Keith’s photo the solenoid will be an issue for a low profile focuser. Jerry's Ilex rig may be a better option for you to look at. I don’t know if Kevin has had an opportunity to add a wheel to his housing. I can’t afford the wheel right now so I am hoping Kevin can expand. I am interested in seeing the dimension difference in CCD to chip between Keith’s set up and the one Kevin is using. Any help fellow modders?

BTW the imagers at OPT upon seeing the Quantix and hearing the price said . and immediately went to ebay!




Sorry, in my earlier post I said "the dimension difference in CCD to chip" - I meant "CCD to adapter flange" to reach focus as explained here. "Another problem is to adapt the camera flange to a T-thread adapter which fits the CCD imager and still keep the total thickness of the adapter short enough so that infinity focus of the lens will allow it to focus on the CCD chip. This requires a very short adapter in most cases." Taken from http://www.mapug-astronomy.net/ragreiner/adapters.html

I hope my statement makes better sence now. Sorry.


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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4676854 - 07/06/11 11:49 AM

Sorry about grammer, spelling and terminology, I cant always pull all that together. I hope I got the point across.

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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4676874 - 07/06/11 11:57 AM

In Kevin and my case it may be the height of the housing (the adapter flange) not the T ring. I am hope it is a no never mind. Perhaps the math will work in our favor.

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AITech
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4677136 - 07/06/11 02:19 PM

Just wanted to drop in and hope everyone had a great 4th. Great pics Kevin! Glad to see there is some traction on the shutter and adapter issues. We honestly didn't know this was an issue until after we sold the cameras.

I will be more than happy to give status updates of any new cameras we get in.


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: AITech]
      #4677232 - 07/06/11 03:14 PM

AIT,

Thank you,(from us working stiffs) any chance on recovering the original shutter housings for us?


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AITech
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4677348 - 07/06/11 04:16 PM

Unfortunately, I don't think they ever existed.

The company that we are working with to "recycle" these cameras originally purchased about 200 of them so Roper, I am sure, was more than happy to do any customizations that they asked. In our field, it is common to shutter the light source, not the CCD so it wasn't apparent to us at first when we were selling these that the shutter was so important.

We had a housing that we purchased off of eBay that worked, so I would imagine that is your best bet for a standard cost effective solution. I am wondering if the cameras that are on eBay now with the cheaper CCD's might have a shutter on them that would work.

Cheers,
David


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gnabgib
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: AITech]
      #4677648 - 07/06/11 07:03 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Here is a drawing of the shutter housing I made. The cover plate (not drawn) is .250 inch thick and has a standard t thread opening. The depth is mainly from the need to house the shutter solenoid. My future idea is to incorporate a filter wheel between the cover plate and the shutter. My housing measures 1.7 inch from the outside surface of the cover plate to the "window" of the ccd chamber.
Hope this answers some questions.
Kevin


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gnabgib
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4677652 - 07/06/11 07:09 PM

If someone comes up with a thinner shutter then the 1.3 inch dimension can be adjusted accordingly. Since the shutter solenoid sits against the inside wall (see page 9 )there is room for some sort of filter slide or wheel,drawer etc. I have not had time to work on this yet. Open to input and suggestions.

Kevin


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shurik
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4677654 - 07/06/11 07:11 PM

Great thank you Kevin, so would it be correct to assume that total distance would be 1.7 inches + depth of the CCD chamber (has anyone measured this by chance already?)

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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: shurik]
      #4677666 - 07/06/11 07:21 PM

The dimensions and locations of the sensor in relation to the housing are in the manual.

David, all the other variants of this camera that have a smaller sensor use a smaller 25mm shutter, for this sensor a 35mm shutter is needed.


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gnabgib
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4677693 - 07/06/11 07:39 PM

Quote:

The dimensions and locations of the sensor in relation to the housing are in the manual.




Page 35 of manual, window to ccd sensor .45 inch
Interesting to note that the original Photometrics shutter housing is 1.88 inch from ccd sensor to outside surface! My housing is only about 1/4 inch longer!

Kevin

Edited by gnabgib (07/06/11 07:43 PM)


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4677816 - 07/06/11 08:55 PM

You are looking at the wrong dimension. .5" from the front of the camera to the sensor. '

I dont think their drawing is completely accurate. Nikon F mount spec is 46.5mm from the flange to the surface. Using their dimensions it would mess up the focus on lenses. You could not get infinity focus.

With your mount it puts the front face 2.2" from the sensor which I think is not too bad.


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4678025 - 07/06/11 11:01 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Quote:


Keith can you give us a dimension using the original faceplate?




Below is a very rough sketch of the optical path. I measured about 1.62" from the window to the filter wheel housing, which includes the flange and the 10mm T-thread spacer (which I show as 0.5"; as I said its a rough sketch). Bottom line is that Kevin's very nicely designed holder is about the same distance if one were to use a short adapter to attach a wheel. --Keith


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4678039 - 07/06/11 11:07 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

This is a pic of the camera for reference. Note the sophisticated light blocking material that I used to cover the gap created by the shutter. --Keith

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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4678070 - 07/06/11 11:23 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

Took this last night - M16, Ha, 6X5m, no binning, EdgeHD 8" f/10 . Don't look too close - this is a very difficult object for me as it is low in my sky and there is only about a one hour window between obstructions, and seeing was poor, and I had guiding issues (excuses, excuses)...This is the full frame of the CCD, no cropping. --Keith

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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: gnabgib]
      #4678110 - 07/06/11 11:59 PM

David,

Thanks for the reply. Don't know if U don't ask! Kevin thanks for the drawing and the awsome housing.

I did some research on CCD to flange distance,adding filter wheels etc. Also some research on similar conversations re the filters and wheels here on cloudy nights.

From what I have gathered, I have concluded (for my situation) that having the 4.5 inches of draw on my EDQ is a good thing. If I understand the process correctly. (correct me if wrong) I will have to potentially subtract 2.5 inches from my refractor draw to accomodate a wheel and filters. That leaves me to have to draw only 2 inches focuser to reach focus. Keith already stated he reaches focus with both his SCT (with focuser)and his refractor.

Keith is ~2 inches of draw for the EDQ to reach focus the right number from the draw tube?

If so, Good news for all of us going with F6, F5 with 4 to 6 inches of draw and F10 SCT type scopes "similar" to Keiths. Seems the SCTs will have few problems because of the way they focus with the mirror, No more mods necessary. Even with the additional .25 inch on Kevin's design. (looks like the focus draw math is in our favor)

The newts face a different issue with the lack of draw. But if 2 inches of draw with wheels etc. becomes the magic number then even the newts "may" hit focus with Kevins design.

Please share with other users any solutions you all come up with to get the Newts in the show.

Joe


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4678122 - 07/07/11 12:09 AM

Keith and Kevin keep it up with the pics, you are way ahead and proving for us all that good old fashion Yankee ingenuity still works. Thanks,

Joe


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4679222 - 07/07/11 03:57 PM

Hi Keith,

Did you have buffer problems (Camera image buffer read failed) when running microManager? Could you please post your configuration file? Perhaps I jumped the gun, I set up a file for two cameras, I should try only one at first. I'm also guessing that my computer may not have enough memory (only 512MB).

Thanks,


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4679319 - 07/07/11 04:47 PM

I've set up a config file for only 1 camera. It gives me the same error, but, if I set the exposure to 1000 ms or larger, it works! It seems to only fail when the exposure is less than 1000 ms. Hmmmm, I wonder why?

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4679359 - 07/07/11 04:57 PM

I reloaded the dual camera configuration. It works fine for camera1 as long as the exposure is 1 second or longer. Camera2 failed with the buffer error. The multi-camera plugin appears to work, but it is apparent that my computer does not have sufficient memory to read out both cameras. One is read out, but the second one fails.

At least I think I'm getting closer to multi-camera operation.

Edited by SBarden (07/07/11 05:44 PM)


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4679641 - 07/07/11 07:10 PM

Well, unfortunately, the PC I am using maxes out at 512 MB memory.

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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4679915 - 07/07/11 09:12 PM

Wow, how old of a computer do you have that limits you to 512M ram?

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4680298 - 07/08/11 01:01 AM

It's a loaner from work. I have a Mac and a notebook, not a desktop, so had to borrow this one.

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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4680320 - 07/08/11 01:28 AM


Hi Sam,

A gig or 2 of memory might put your issues to rest. Sounds like you need a better desk top or think pad type lap top similar to Jerry and Kevin.


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macona
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4680431 - 07/08/11 04:36 AM

Go down to goodwill or other thrift or surplus stores. I often see higher end P4's going for $10 to $15. Then dump a couple gigs of ram in it.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: macona]
      #4680670 - 07/08/11 09:27 AM

Thanks. Yes, it sounds like I'll have to invest in something like that. For now, I've been buying bits and pieces for the instrument that I want to hook these cameras up to. Just bought a half wave plate for 1/3rd the cost of a new one ($300 rather than $900). I'll make do with RSImage on the current PC for now.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4680858 - 07/08/11 11:15 AM

I'm wondering about this PC. It is a Dell P4. I'll have to double check with our IT person on this. It seems like it should be able to accommodate more than 512 MB of memory.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4681428 - 07/08/11 04:07 PM

I don't know if anyone is interested. There may be an optical camera that is ideal for these detector systems. A while ago, Surplus Shed started selling a very fast 6-inch triplet and a negative doublet that went with the lens. Many have tried to make something out of those lenses, but with little success.

Surplus Shed is now selling the full optical system. I've bought one and indications so far are that it is a wonderful lens. I haven't yet attached my quantix to it, but believe that it will work great. I've been posting information as I learn it on the forum that was originally started a few years ago for the 6-inch f/1.6 lens.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=4681366&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=all&fpart=2&vc=1&PHPSESSID=

Cheers.


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4681798 - 07/08/11 07:01 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

I saw that and was intrigued - it looks like it has a similar shutter to the one that some of us are using. If I hadn't bought an AT65 for wide-field at NEAF I would consider it...

Sam, I apologize for not responding to your earlier questions but it sounds like you found the same shutter timing issue that I had - minimum 1000mS for some reason. I doubt this will help but here is the config file:

# Generated by Configurator on Sat Jul 02 22:01:27 EDT 2011

# Reset
Property,Core,Initialize,0

# Devices
Device,Camera-1,PVCAM,Camera-1

# Pre-init settings for devices

# Pre-init settings for COM ports

# Initialize
Property,Core,Initialize,1

# Delays

# Roles
Property,Core,Camera,Camera-1
Property,Core,AutoShutter,1

# Camera-synchronized devices

# Labels

# Configuration presets
# Group: Channel

# Group: System
# Preset: Startup



# PixelSize settings

As you can see there isn't much in it.

A couple of uM things I found:

1 - There is a "Sequence buffer size" setting in the options. I set it to 500MB. I assume that it will limit the number of frames that you can take in a sequence without saving to disk. But...
2 - I use the "Multi-D Acquire" mode to take a sequence and saved them to disk, which is far safer than RSImage. But I tried to stop the sequence at one point (when my target, M16, went behind a tree), but it didn't stop the exposure that it was taking, which left the shutter open when I slewed to the next object. As a result there was a nasty bright star trail on the image. This left a residual charge image on the CCD that did not clear out in the next exposure. Which leads me to...
3 - The "Property Browser" under tools is very important. In there I increased the number of clear cycles to 10 and took several short exposures to help remove the charge. One thing to be aware of is the CCD temp setting - for some reason it was set to -5C but I've been operating at -30C.
4 - Of course, now that I write this I found that you can set defaults for everything in the config file...


Re the PC - I also had an old Dell with only 512MB of RAM when I first installed the card, so after confirming the operation of the camera I bought a cheap used P4 with 2GB of RAM; see my post near the bottom of page 9.

--Keith


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4681821 - 07/08/11 07:09 PM

The SS optical assy does have the same shutter, so the camera could operate it directly.

Sam, out of curiosity, I think you said that you want to operate 3 cameras - are you trying to make a simultaneous RGB or narrowband system, or is it for photometry? (If you can't tell us, I understand...) --Keith


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #4681828 - 07/08/11 07:13 PM

Quote:


Keith is ~2 inches of draw for the EDQ to reach focus the right number from the draw tube?





Sorry for the late reply (again!), Joe - I seem to remember that the tube scale was around 4 or 5 (cm) at focus so that's about right. --Keith


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sullij1
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4682081 - 07/08/11 10:07 PM

Keith,

Thanks for keeping up. Hukuna Ma Ta Ta!


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4682206 - 07/08/11 11:33 PM

Hi Keith,

Thanks for the tips.

I've got a couple of things that I'm trying to pursue. The 6-inch camera is just for fun.

The 3 cameras are for an instrument concept that is basically a hyperspectropolarimeter. It would produce 2-d spatial images with spectral and polarimetric information. I work at the National Solar Observatory. Spectropolarimetry is critical for the study of solar features. I've got an idea for an instrument that should make those observations much more efficient. It should also be applicable to other night time astronomical studies.

Unfortunately, my organization doesn't have the funds to let me make a prototype and this venture is outside of what I was hired to do, so I'm trying to get it done on my own funds and time. I've now got basically everything except the key technical components. The company is going to send me some rejects that should be good enough as a proof of concept.

I am wanting to keep a lid on the specifics, but I'll be happy to show results as I achieve them to this group. It just might take a while. I don't make a whole lot of progress since this has to be done outside my normal duties.


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seryddwr
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4682256 - 07/09/11 12:17 AM

HEY! You work at Sunspot. I'll probably bump into you this fall. I'm working with Thomas Rimmele.

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: seryddwr]
      #4682264 - 07/09/11 12:20 AM

I work for him as well! I am managing the adaptive optics effort for the ATST.

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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4682338 - 07/09/11 01:07 AM

That sounds like an interesting project and a fascinating place to work, Sam! My employer just finished building a telescope not too far (by my remote distance) from where you are for the Air Force. First light was in February. We also have built a number of CCDs for AO applications. I don't think that we have done much for solar astronomy except that we made the CCDs for the EVE experiment on the SDO (we have a technique to enhance QE for short wavelengths).

Its unfortunate that you have to fund your own pet project. We have similar issues. I have found in the past that sometimes having limited resources forces you to be creative and you can get the job done anyway and learn something along the way. But I'd rather have it the other way around...

Are any of the fires affecting you or are they further north? --Keith


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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4682774 - 07/09/11 10:07 AM

Hi Keith,

Which company do you work for? I used to work at NOAO in Tucson, then moved to the AAO in Australia in 2003. Started at NSO just last year.

We had a slight scare a couple of weeks ago with a fire called the little Lewis. It was due east from us and about 12 miles away. Fortunately, it didn't blow up like many of the others. The Donaldson fire is the next closest, but it is far enough away not to be a threat.

Monsoons are supposed to kick in this week. We really need the rain. Fortunately, we had a fairly good soaking on the 4th.


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4682876 - 07/09/11 10:55 AM

I work for the Advanced Imaging Group at MIT-Lincoln Lab. We have built CCDs for a number of applications including the Chandra AIS and PanSTARRS. Glad to hear that the fires are far away from you - hopefully it stays that way! --Keith

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4683158 - 07/09/11 01:20 PM

Thanks. Clouds are building up this morning. Hopefully it will rain, but there is always some lightning.

How are the PanSTARRS devices coming? Are they all just waiting for Mike to thin them at the UofA?


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kw6562
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4683242 - 07/09/11 02:06 PM

Mike is our competition! We have our own thinning process that works at the wafer level; I think he thins individual chips. IfA has been getting good data from GPC1 I believe (I think they found a comet recently), and the devices for GPC2 are coming along. From what I gather its astronomy on the cheap - synoptic survey capability for a fraction of the cost of, say, LSST. But that is my own opinion, not that of my employer...--Keith

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SBarden
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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: kw6562]
      #4690321 - 07/13/11 01:37 PM

I've noticed a bit of moisture on the inside surface of the window on one of my cameras. Has anyone ventured to see if they can change out the sieve or pull another vacuum?

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Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: SBarden]
      #4690520 - 07/13/11 03:55 PM

Sam,


Stop bothering with that and tell us if the Surplus Shed f/1.2 lens produces a decent image!!!


Jim


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SBarden
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