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08 Apr 2018
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TOPIC: Orion Starshoot Autoguider

Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11096

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The SSAG and the QHY5 are the exact same hardware, just reporting different usb vid/pid. I experimented with ours a few years ago, re-programming the eeprom in the camera to swap vid/pid between them, and they both worked fine with either vid/pid programmed in. The orion drivers were happy with both of them using the orion vid/pid, and the qhy drivers would recognize and use both when programmed with the qhy5 vid/pd. At the time we were using win98 on the computers at the telescopes, and found the orion drivers to be more stable, so left them both programmed as ssag. That was quite a number of years ago.

When we were using them, we isolated our most problematic conditions. These cameras require full power available on a usb plug, and they will get very sick if the port it's plugged into doesn't give the full 500ma, many hubs do not give enough power on individual ports. The other issue we ran into, they dont 'play nice' when on the usb bus with other high bandwidth gadgets, so if we had frames streaming from the qhy5 while an image was being downloaded from the other camera (same issue with both the dslr and the sx cameras) plugged into the same usb hub, the qhy5 would eventually freeze up and the ONLY recovery seemed to be to go out to the telescope, unplug it, and plug it back in. the work-around to that was to stop taking frames from the guide camera while the imaging camera was downloading, it was possible because we were using software we wrote here. The other work-around that worked well for software where we couldn't control that, ensure that the qhy5 was plugged into a port on the computer that was NOT shared with anything else via a hub.

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11103

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I think my SSAG may have given up the ghost more or less. I can not connect to it at all in windows 10. It's possible that this previously working computer isn't giving enough power to the port now. I connect to it in my INDI system running on Linux Mint and can even sort of capture images. They are either entirely white, grey or black with no detail. I am not sure what has tipped over here, but it might be time for a new autoguider here. :(

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11109

Nice discussion on the original Orion Starshoot and QHY5 being the same hardware. As for changing or programming the VID/PID, I generally would not go there. There is no need since the camera is essentially, a QHY5 with a different VID/PID. On Linux, you have control over the udev rules, therefore, its possible to direct any device to any driver you wish.

This line in the 85-qhy.rules in the /lib/udev/rules.d should get the driver loading.

# Orion SSAG
ATTRS{idVendor}=="1856", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0011", RUN+="/sbin/fxload -t fx2 -I /lib/firmware/qhy/QHY5.HEX -D $env{DEVNAME} -s /lib/firmware/qhy/QHY5LOADER.HEX"

From a terminal screen run a lsusb and see the devices. If your camera is present and the udev did load the driver, you are going to see something like this line on the lsusb:

Bus 002 Device 007: ID 16c0:296d Van Ooijen Technische Informatica

If your lsusb gives you another address for the camera, I suspect your camera has somehow gotten lost or reprogrammed.

Don't worry, your camera is probably still alive.
Dan

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11110

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In our case, a few years ago, I did change the vid/pid because at the time we were using windows computers, and the drivers that came with the orion were more stable than those that came with the qhy. We wanted both using the orion driver set.

I agree, on linux, it makes no difference as we can fix it up in other ways.

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11113

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Astrodan,

Thanks for that informative post. I do indeed have that line in my firmware and the device does show up when I issue the lsusb command.

I can't seem to get it to really cooperate with either INDI or PHD2 though. I am very open to the possibility that I am doing something wrong. It wouldn't be the first time. I don't have a preference as to which way I control it as long as it works. I don't have the patience right now to compile lin-guider to give that a try. Any suggestions on getting it to work would be greatly appreciated.

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11117

myxlflik wrote: Astrodan,

Thanks for that informative post. I do indeed have that line in my firmware and the device does show up when I issue the lsusb command.

I can't seem to get it to really cooperate with either INDI or PHD2 though. I am very open to the possibility that I am doing something wrong. It wouldn't be the first time. I don't have a preference as to which way I control it as long as it works. I don't have the patience right now to compile lin-guider to give that a try. Any suggestions on getting it to work would be greatly appreciated.


If you have TeamViewer installed, I can login and try to check it out.

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Jasem Mutlaq
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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11118

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Unfortunately I do not have teamviewer installed at this time. :(

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11119

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myxlflik wrote: Thanks for that informative post. I do indeed have that line in my firmware and the device does show up when I issue the lsusb command.


these cameras have no firmware on board, it is loaded when they enumerate the first time. What you _should_ see happen, the camera first presents one vid/pid combination to the usb subsystem, then after fxload puts the firmware into it, it will re-enumerate with a different vid/pid. I dont remember the numbers offhand, but, the first step in troubleshooting is to look at the logs from dmesg and see if the camera goes thru the two step process, first with one vid/pid, then re-enumerate after the firmware has loaded.

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Last Edit: by gerryr. Reason: typo

Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11120

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I may have just had an A-Ha! moment. I decided to reset the QHY5 settings to default and restart the connection. At that time, it gave me an error that the CCD and Telescope information were missing. That's because they are not connected right now. I think in my efforts to get things working I changed a setting in there. To test, I built a new INDI profile using CCD simulator and Telescope simulator. I then clicked on calibrate in the guiding and now I am seeing live imaging in the guide camera. I am still not sure it's 100%, but I have a better level of confidence to try it out tonight. I will follow up once I know more.

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11135

John,
Unfortunately, I have not yet tested the latest Lin_guider release, but, compiling it is not a problem and you should not fear that its difficult or time consuming. Just as an FYI for you or others, here are the necessary steps done on LInux Mint Mate 18 to build Lin_guider:

1: Get the package here: sourceforge.net/projects/linguider/
2: Get its firmware here: sourceforge.net/projects/cccd/?source=recommended
3: Do NOT extract or install them just yet. You do not want the firmware udev rules to accidentally interfere with your present KStars rules. I seem to recall these udev locations no longer conflict, but, its best to back up by renaming your present 85qhy.rules to something else, or copy them to a safe location.
4: You will need some dependencies. Depending on your particular operating system you may use the Software Manager, Synaptic Package Manager, or, even a terminal screen using something like: sudo apt-get install XXX where XXX is the package name.
5: Here's what you should need: fxload, build-essential, libqt4-dev, libqt4-dev-bin, libusb-1.0.0, libusb-1.0.0-dev, libftdi-dev, gdebi
These are small and usually not difficult using a terminal screen on a Debian based operating system.
6: Once the dependencies are installed, you can probably open your download directory, find the package firmware-ccd_1.3_all.deb. Double click on it and open with gdebi. It should ask for your password and install. If you want, this can be done from terminal with something like this:
sudo gdebi '/home/dan/Downloads/firmware-ccd_1.3_all.deb' Where you will have to substitute your home directory name for dan or the pathway you put it in.
7: Now for the Lin_guider. Again, depending on your operating system, you might use the GUI to go to the download directory, right click, then click the extract here. Or, from terminal use the command: tar -xjf /home/dan/Downloads/lin_guider-4.1.0.tar.bz2
Either way, you should find a folder called lin_guider_pack. Inside that folder is another folder called lin_guider.
8: In terminal use the cd command to change your directory. For example: cd /home/dan/Downloads/lin_guider_pack/lin_guider then enter.
9: In terminal use: ./configure then enter.
10 in terminal use: make then enter.
Lots will happen after that enter. Just wait until done. Once it stops compiling, you can use your GUI to execute the lin_guider. Or from terminal: ./lin_guider then enter.

Forgive my improper typing of code instructions, but hope this helps. IMHO, its worth the effort.
Dan
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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11139

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Dan,

Thanks. I will definitely give this a try. I am guessing that I would just leave the SSAG out of the indi configuration entirely if I am using lin_guider correct? As far as I can tell, Ekos only has hooks for the internal guider and phd2.

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Orion Starshoot Autoguider 1 year 6 months ago #11159

Yes, definitely, you should not check for a guider in Ekos. The KStars internal guider is Lin_guider, btw.

Now, If all goes well, Lin_guider will open at the end of my last post. Once opened, you must change its configuration to the QHY5. This is done only one time and Lin_guider will save the settings. It is a little odd because you will stop and restart Lin_guider a few times.

Access is easiest by clicking the icons on the second line at the top of the Lin_guider screen. Click the left one, it will open a small window for the camera settings. On that window under Camera Device, select the QHY5 from the drop down. You will be told that you must restart for the setting to be saved. Set in the guider scope parameters, connect your camera, and, close Lin_guider, then restart it. Its not automatic in doing this. If all went well, Lin_guider is not telling you it needs the firmware for the camera and the camera will begin to function. The lower half of the camera setting screen should then allow you to set camera parameters for your particular needs. For a first time, I would recommend: set exposure to 1 second, set the frame size to the 512 setting, set gain to 100, check the BW box, check the half fps box. Once all these are set, click OK and close / restart.

On your next open, click the telescope icon. Here, under Device, click QHY5 from the drop down. Again, click OK at the bottom, close, and restart.
On your next open, click the third from the right icon. Its called Calibration. Set square size to be 16. Check the two axis box. Check the auto mode box. Set the time for time wheel for say 10. (I think it might default to something like 20) Again with the OK, close / restart.

You're almost finished. At this point, the Orion should automatically be taking frames with hot pixels showing, at 100 percent gain, every second. If not, we probably do not have the firmware installed in the proper place, the udev rules installed, or permissions to operate the device. But, if things are working, then click the second to the right most icon. Its called Guiding.

If you use an external guide camera, I would set guiding rate to .1, put in the camera parameters, set Y scale to 5, set Q-ctrl,% to Full, Minimum Pulse to say 5 and 5. Again, you must exit and restart the program to get these saved. After that, you are on your own.

Best wishes,
Dan

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