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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Scottsville, Virginia
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    Default MaxIm guider binning spontaneously changing to 1x1

    I've been guiding with this system for a long time but every 6-7 years I need to get the RC mirrors re-coated so I switch out the ota's and use the FSQ-106 while the RC is OOS. The system is back together and I've been working on getting the guider calibration done now for the RC. I'm using MaxIm v6.12 which has been working reliably for a few months now. So I tried the guider calibration script in ACP after setting the guider settings in MaxIm. I had it set to bin 3x3 and the max/min settings as well as the timings, just as if I were calibrating in MaxIm. Seems the script ignored at a minimum the guider bin rate and calibrated at bin 1. Of course this fails for guiding at bin 3 so I tried again after manually calibrating in MaxIm with the settings I use. The script still ran at bin 1 even though MaxIm showed Bin 3. Not sure what else I could have done. So I calibrated again in MaxIm using my bin 3 settings and started Expert. First focus as expected and then started a imaging run but again started the guider at bin 1 which caused guiding to fail as it was calibrated at bin 3. In frustration I closed all programs, restarted the computer and started everything back up. This time expert focused and started an imaging run with the guider now running at bin 3. I have no idea why this has happened but it isn't the first time it's happened and I haven't a clue what I did before. This seems to happen if I switch out OTAs and recalibrate. Otherwise I use the same calibration for years without issue. I don't see anything in the script setting a bin rate but it does apparently use acquiresupport and I have no idea what that sets but I think this is an issue with ACP reading the guider settings or MaxIm not getting read properly. Is this the issue mentioned in the Release Notes "corrupted MaxIm's GuiderArray property"?

    Steve
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
    AP1200GTO
    Tak EM200
    AP 92mm Stowaway
    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
    ST10XME/CFW8
    Pyxis 3" Rotator
    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
    MMOGA
    12' Astro Haven Dome

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    30,904

    Default

    Last part first: No it's not the GuiderArray property thing. I have seen this as well but it has been a few years. ACP never touches the binning of the guider camera. If you see it again you might want to ask the folks at Diffraction. Maybe they have an idea. I'm sorry but I don't on this one...
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Scottsville, Virginia
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    1,207

    Default

    Thanks Bob, I'll post to the SBIG/MaxIm forum and see what they come up with. I'll post back in case someone else experiences this as well for reference.

    Steve
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
    AP1200GTO
    Tak EM200
    AP 92mm Stowaway
    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
    ST10XME/CFW8
    Pyxis 3" Rotator
    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
    MMOGA
    12' Astro Haven Dome

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rowe, New Mexico
    Posts
    148

    Default AO-X bin settings

    Hi Bob...
    Where are the settings for AO-X binning for Locate and for Track? The obvious settings on the Maxim side do not 'stick'. I haven't found any settings in ACP Preferences for guider/AO-X binning. The issue is that ACP sometimes says there is no guide star when clearly one is available. An earlier post correctly points out that settings in Maxim Camera Control Guide tab, settings button, binning have no effect on similar settings in AO Control

    This problem has to do with the guide star acquisition process I've witness on my system. ACP does the following:
    1. Locate: exposure 5 seconds, bin 1; there is no obvious place to set binning, but I believe the exposure setting comes from ACP guiding preferences
    2. Locate again, but with 0.05 seconds, bin1; this is where the guide star is potentially not seen which leads to guiding failure. I think the 0.05 corresponds to the maximum track time set in ACP guiding preferences; again, I've no idea where the binning gets set buit it would be better if my setting of 3 were maintained to give the short 0.05 second exposure half a chance of succeeding.
    Notes:
    SBIG AO Control - changes to binning in Locate tab only "stick" if you click start afterwards. To test this, change binning, go to another tab and return. Binning reverts to prior value. Not sure if this matters, but it is strange and undocumented as far as I can tell.

    Using latest build of MDL v6
    Last edited by Lloyd Smith; Apr 22, 2016 at 03:59.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Default

    Where are the settings for AO-X binning for Locate and for Track?
    There are none. ACP doesn't touch the binning settings for the guider or AO. Yours is the second recent report of binning reverting to 1 spontaneously. This is going to need to go to Diffraction. I wonder if this is part of the problem with

    I think the 0.05 corresponds to the maximum track time set in ACP guiding preferences
    It is the minimum guide exposure duration in ACP's Guiding preferences.

    I will move this onto the thread for the other report so they stay together.
    -- Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Black Forest, CO
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Bob, I know this is an old thread, but there appears to be something really wonky with the communication between ACP & Maxim when it comes to using an AO device. I'm using an AO-L. This does NOT happen if I'm just using the internal or remote guide head.

    Example 1:
    Binning Mode set in Maxim for my off-axis guider = 3x3
    Calibrate AO Drive through Maxim - works as expected
    CalibrateGuider.vb through ACP - binning modes change erratically, sometimes to 2x2, sometimes 1x1. Even with guider exposure times up and over 10 seconds on a Mag 6 star, Maxim will not calibrate the drive. Maxim throws an error stating there is "not suitable guide stars in the frame), even though this star has over 20,000 counts.

    Example 2:
    Using ACP, could be doing single image, even with binning in Maxim AO set to 3x3, it erratically will change the binning to something less again, sometimes 2x2, sometimes 1x1 when doing the guide star locate. Once it starts tracking, it goes back to 3x3. The problem with this is that if it does the locate at 1x1, sometimes it tries to guide on a hot pixel (because Maxim removed dark frame subtraction in AO Locate back in June - July 2017). I have no idea why they did this, but they did.

    So, if this truly is a Maxim problem, I'm not sure how to even address it with them. They'll probably throw it right back in the ACP court because running directly from Maxim, it works.

    I'm trying to come up with a workaround. The question I have for you is, what exactly does CalibrateGuider.vb set in preferences? Just the Guide Sensor Rotation Angle? Other values? If that is the case, I can try to do a drive calibration without the AO and set that value manually.
    Matt Russell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rowe, New Mexico
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Hi Matt,
    I think I'm the last one to bring this up. Hope this helps. I'm working with an STX16803, AO-X, remote guide head and MMOAG. I could only get this to work with with Maxim v6.13 and have not upgraded since. If I recall, Diffraction sent me several DLLs to install before everything started working correctly. Some changes in reported binning still occur, but with no ill effects. I have Locate set to bin 3, but it reverts to bin 2 in the SBIG AO Control box--these days I just ignore it. Not sure what it is actually doing, but it finds a guide star 99% of the time with no issue. Track is set to bin 3 and it stays on bin 3.

    On a related know in case you didn't see this, but:

    "If you have an AO, disable it temporarily and do this using conventional guiding. For the AO, conventional calibration is needed only to determine the guide sensor angle. The AO drive does not need calibraing [sic] (see Using Adaptive Optics)."

    To do this I switched from "SBIG w/AO" to the standard "SBIG Universal". CalibrateGuider does it's thing and updates the guider sensor angle in ACP Preferences. Either before or after this do the AO calibration in the normal way as in your Example 1 using Maxim only (don't forget to switch to SBIG w/AO).

    -Lloyd

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Black Forest, CO
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Thanks Lloyd. I was thinking that the guide sensor angle was it. I have done that and it worked.
    Matt Russell

  9. #9
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    Default

    Thank you Lloyd.
    -- Bob

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denny View Post
    Last part first: No it's not the GuiderArray property thing. I have seen this as well but it has been a few years. ACP never touches the binning of the guider camera. If you see it again you might want to ask the folks at Diffraction. Maybe they have an idea. I'm sorry but I don't on this one...
    So this happened at Notre Dame and when all else failed I disconnected the camera and exited MaxIm. I then restarted MaxIm and reconnected to the camera and it then guider at the bin 3 rate.

    I posted to the MaxIm forum and Owen responded with "Steve, by design the bin setting used by automation is deliberately kept separate from the bin setting in the GUI. The default value is 1. Automation clients such as ACP must set the GuiderBinning property if another value is desired.

    - Owen - "

    I asked for further explanation but haven't heard anything back.

    Has something changed? I've always calibrated at bin 3 and guided at bin 3 but have had this happen every so often and on several different systems. It finally goes back to doing the correct bin rate but have no idea what was done to do so. I'm hoping closing and opening MaxIm is maybe writing something to the settings file but have no idea whatsoever, it's pure speculation on my part.

    -Steve
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
    AP1200GTO
    Tak EM200
    AP 92mm Stowaway
    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
    ST10XME/CFW8
    Pyxis 3" Rotator
    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
    MMOGA
    12' Astro Haven Dome

 

 

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