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Trying to locate Gary Jarette - Kiss focuser for QSI camera

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#1 Tonk

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:21 AM

Does anyone know if Gary is still making and selling these Kiss focuser add-ons for QSI cameras?

I've tried to contact him via an email he published via a Youtube presentation of his product. The email hasn't been rejected (so the address is real) but I've got no reply. So wondering if anyone has been in contact recently?

TIA



#2 Synon

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:52 AM

You could try the QSI yahoo group too, I've seen him active on there in the past. 

 

I've never owned one but it looks like a well made focuser, nicely machined. This is nothing against his product, but his presentation about how to install the guide camera using the stock QSI mounting is wrong. With the stock installation you don't need to turn the guide camera to bring it to focus, nor do you ever end up twisting the cable when following the instructions provided by QSI. I don't know if people just don't read the instructions from QSI, but if you are trying to solve the "problems" he brings up in the video... well... they are invented problems. If you switch your guide camera out frequently I could see the appeal to buy one of these.


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#3 Tonk

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:14 AM

OK - cheers - solved. Gary has just got in touch a few minutes ago. He's been out camping in the desert! And he does still make these very nice devices :)



#4 Tonk

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:18 AM

With the stock installation you don't need to turn the guide camera to bring it to focus, nor do you ever end up twisting the cable when following the instructions provided by QSI. I don't know if people just don't read the instructions from QSI, but if you are trying to solve the "problems" he brings up in the video... well... they are invented problems. If you switch your guide camera out frequently I could see the appeal to buy one of these.


 I'm running a remote rig with specialist non-parfocal filters from different manufacturers with significantly different focus positions. The guide camera needs refocusing after certain filter changes to compensate the changes made by the main focuser and this has to be done automatically without human intervention. I'm motorizing the Kiss focuser to enable this. 5 of my filters are near parfocal while 3 have very different positions being for one thinner. This is not normally a problem for  those that stick to parfocal filter sets :)


Edited by Tonk, 18 June 2019 - 12:18 PM.


#5 Synon

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:22 PM

 

 I'm running a remote rig with specialist non-parfocal filters from different manufacturers with significantly different focus positions. The guide camera needs refocusing after certain filter changes to compensate the changes made by the main focuser and this has to be done automatically without human intervention. I'm motorizing the Kiss focuser to enable this. 5 of my filters are near parfocal while 3 have very different positions being for one thinner. This is not normally a problem for  those that stick to parfocal filter sets smile.gif

 

Roger that! Perfect use case for it then, I'm sure you will be very pleased with the focuser. 


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#6 PRejto

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 02:35 AM

Hi Tonk,

 

Gary made me this adapter which works quite well on my SX Maxiwheel/SX-46 rig.  I'm using a Microtouch motor on the Starlight instruments 1.25" focuser. Works very well!

 

Peter

 

http://starlightinst...ory&path=37_109

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Edited by PRejto, 23 June 2019 - 02:39 AM.


#7 Tonk

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:05 PM

Thanks Peter,

How are you finding your SX-46? I have a SX-46 on a maxiwheel too.



#8 PRejto

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:24 PM

Hi Tonk,

 

Well, after a year of utter frustration involving 4 board changes, driver changes, expensive linear power supplies, multiple rewiring attempts, elimination of Mount Hub power distributor, finally a board was sent to me that has totally eliminated all issues. I reflashed my camera to stop the cooling from turning on /off with short exposures. I have not noticed any noise issues in doing so and it is nice to be able to shoot bias frames and short flats without the cooling going all over the place. Finally I am completely happy with the camera. It works as it should have from day one. I don't appreciate having been a beta tester for SX...it cost me a fortune in remote imaging fees trying to fix things. But, in the end it has worked out but was probably the most frustrating experience I've ever had in this hobby.

 

For anyone reading this thread let me conclude that you can buy this camera with confidence! But, think a nice thought and a "thank you" for those of us that got the camera to this point.

 

Peter

 

PS Tonk, are you aware of an ASCOM driver that works with the SX?


Edited by PRejto, 23 June 2019 - 06:23 PM.


#9 Tonk

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:19 PM

Well, after a year of utter frustration involving 4 board changes, driver changes, expensive linear power supplies, multiple rewiring attempts, elimination of Mount Hub power distributor, finally a board was sent to me that has totally eliminated all issues.


Good to hear the last bit!!!!

Mine is #3 and has never worked correctly - I've had 3 board changes (last was last October) and still its not correct in its functioning. In fact it was me who found the original USB interrupt issues 14 months ago and loaned my camera back with most of my rig gear for 3 months to enable analysis and a new circuit/board redesign (I personally drove the gear to their office). It seemed to be working OK until I noticed it was extremely insensitive in 1x1 binning mode when using NB filters. An evening of taking exposures from 10s to 20m using a Ha filter and plotting median pixel values showed that it was extremely non-linear with a huge offset bias added. I'm waiting for a replacement camera but wondered after al my troubles what I was going to get back.

#10 Tonk

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:22 PM

PS Tonk, are you aware of an ASCOM driver that works with the SX?


Yes - the link is on the SX website and it leads here - http://www.daddog.com/ascom/sxcamera

#11 PRejto

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:30 PM

Tonk,

 

Ask Terry for the latest board. It has a capacitor added across the power inputs that seems to have solved all the USB interrupts.

 

I am really curious about your NB imaging results because I also feel that there might be something quite odd going on.  When I compare my Ha images taken with my Moravian G2-8300 to the SX-46 it seems like the camera is quite a bit less sensitive. I'd forgotten about this because of so many other issues concerning the camera just dropping connection randomly. So, I take it that you still do not have your camera back from SX? What is Terry saying to you about the delay? Does he agree that there is an issue with NB filters?

 

Peter



#12 Tonk

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 12:53 AM

The USB interupts was solved by a total redesign of the board done last June/July. It now uses an entirely different A/D converter chip that supports suspended block transfers. The capacitor you refer to is a later fix being a filter added to the precision reference voltage input of the A/D converter - if function is to reduce noise during the A to D conversion. Its all in hand - SX have conceded that my board has a real fault (not a design issue) and I'm getting a totally new camera - i'm just waiting for it to arrive in Spain.



#13 PRejto

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 02:32 AM

Hi Tonk,

 

I don't agree totally with what you have said about the disconnects. I had the very latest board from Terry that supposedly fixed all the disconnects. It certainly reduced them but did not eliminate them as far as my camera is concerned. The capacitor I'm speaking of is a large cap across the DC input. Terry basically just soldered it on before shipping the board to me. Without it my camera would hang and not run through a Mount Hub compact, even using a powerful regulated linear power supply. With it, the camera now runs through a Mount Hub compact without issue. Without it the USB would hang randomly with either SX camera. That is, guiding with the Ultrastar, I would find that something would cause either camera to hang. When that happened both cameras fail. The capacitor seems to smooth out the power drawn by the cooler. The cooler previously would trip up the USB driver. 

 

So, is Gary making you an adapter like mine? What focuser are you going to use that you can motorize in conjunction with his gear? I suppose you might have seen the Optec offering that will focus a guide camera?

 

https://www.tolgaast...xis-guider.html

 

Peter



#14 Tonk

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 10:26 AM

So, is Gary making you an adapter like mine?


No - my guide camera is on a QSI OAG - I'm adapting one of his KISS focusers. My rig is a dual piggy back system with the guider is on the second scope
 

 

I don't agree totally with what you have said about the disconnects. I had the very latest board from Terry that supposedly fixed all the disconnects.


Not surprising as the problem you have just described was *not* my problem.  smile.gif

For me nothing disconnected on the USB side of things. What was happening was the image file downloaded was randomly truncated or just absent and it depended on the rate of interrupts generated by *other* USB devices (I have 15 USB devices on my rig). The camera would still operate the shutter OK and start the next image in the sequence.

The reason for the failed images was straight forward - the SX-46 requested highest priority for access to the USB bus to complete the image data transfer in one transaction - however this doesn't work as intended as the bus controller can refuse or interrupt the request if it thinks that some other device has been held up too long - hence the random image download failures. The solution for SX was to adopt a different A/D converter chip that could respond to hold-and-wait requests. This fault was only on the original production  board in the first camera batch produced mid 2017  (I had camera #3). The fault I observed depended on the number and nature of *other* USB devices connected to a common hub  - especially low baud rate serial devices like weather stations and SQM devices that report every few seconds.

When did you get your camera? - I got mine Oct 2017.


Edited by Tonk, 24 June 2019 - 10:28 AM.


#15 PRejto

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 09:44 PM

OK, that is very interesting because their were actually two failure modes I would observe with the camera. The first would be a hung usb driver that would simply stop functioning even though the camera would show as connected in TheSkyX. The second sounds just like your problem. The download would be blank (or absent?) and the camera would continue to expose a sequence. The driver would show connected but on disconnecting the camera the camera would not reconnect unless first powered down.

 

I cannot imagine how you would intend to motorize the KISS focuser! Would you please share your thinking here?

 

My camera was purchased in March 2018. I guess about 4 months after yours. I think we are both very early adopters. Mine arrived with a totally inadequate power supply...that was the first of a slew of problems.



#16 Tonk

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 03:53 AM

I cannot imagine how you would intend to motorize the KISS focuser! Would you please share your thinking here?


Sure. Plan is cut a 3mm thick square aluminium plate (exact size yet to be determined), with center hole = diameter of main body of KISS focuser. Make a circular 4  mm deep aluminium collar; ID = diameter of KISS focuser; OD +4mm. Drill and tap 3 x 2mm radial holes around mid height of collar @ 120deg intervals to take 3 x M2 thumb (or grub) screws so collar can be tightened on to the KISS body. Drill 4 x M2 holes @90 deg intervals around center circumference of top face of collar and likewise on square plate and tap threads. Use countersunk M2 bolts to join collar to plate. Plate has 4 radial guide slots cut facing into plate corners to take 4 mini timing belt pulley axles. One side of the square plate will have holes drilled so an additional plate with a stepper motor can be fitted to it. The two plate design is so I can experiment with various motors. A 3mm wide timing belt will be run round a pulley on the motor shaft and round the 4 pulleys around the outside of the KISS focuser, set at the level of the KISS brass thumb wheel. The last step is taking off the bass thumb wheel from the KISS and turning it down and cutting teeth to match the timing belt pitch. I've opted for slots on the square plate so the pulley positions can be adjusted to mate the timing belt with the modified KISS thumb wheel and to take up slack in the belt.

There are variations to this involving a pair of 1:1 gears + an extra timing belt pulley if the thumb wheel mod doesnt work out (got to get circumference = exact multiple of belt teeth pitch)

#17 PRejto

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 07:02 PM

Interesting!  I'd like to see this when it's finished.

 

So, if I understand you correctly you intend to basically drive the thumb wheel with the belt thus using the focusing screw that Gary supplies on the KISS? My only comment would be that the pitch of the screw thread is such that there is quite a bit of slop and adjustments are not all that fine. In other words, huge backlash on reversal. I'm sure if you move back and forth with your belt drive you will find focus but I rather doubt you can just set a position with the stepper and expect to go to a specific focus. I actually talked to Gary about using a finer pitch on the screw but he convinced me that it would hardly matter for its intended use. Maybe this doesn't matter for your intended use either, but, this is why I decided to go with a motorized FT focuser...it is highly repeatable.

 

Peter



#18 Tonk

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:45 PM

Sure if the original threaded screw doesn't  work out that well then I'll swap that out for something better. Suck it and see approach. 




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