Chris Duston created a new topic ' Apogee camera failing to connect' in the forum. 2 months ago

I have an Apogee Alta U16M which is failing to connect to Ekos. A little background:

This camera was working, connected to SkyX on a Mac. It then spontaneously stopped working, and we have been unable to get any machine to connect to it. The power comes on, the fans come on, but the lights, which indicate some kind of driver recognition, do not function at all. All attempts to connect to the camera have failed, so I thought I would try debugging with Ekos.

So anyway, I try to connect and get this message:

2017-12-21T14:55:21: [ERROR] Unable to find Apogee CCDs or Filter Wheels attached. Please check connection and power and try again. 
2017-12-21T14:55:21: [INFO] Attempting to find Apogee CCD...

I have attached the logs here, but since I'm having multiple failures I'm really just trying to isolate the problem with the camera. For instance, there is this part of the logs:
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.650 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - Connection to INDI server is successful
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.650 EST INFO ][           org.kde.kstars.ekos] - "INDI services started on port 7624."
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "2017-12-21T14:55:21: startup: /usr/bin/indiserver -v -p 7624 -m 100 -f /tmp/indififo6cbb896e "
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "2017-12-21T14:55:21: listening to port 7624 on fd 3"
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "FIFO: start indi_apogee_ccd -n \"Apogee CCD\""
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "With name: Apogee CCD"
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "FIFO: Starting driver indi_apogee_ccd"
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "2017-12-21T14:55:21: Driver indi_apogee_ccd: pid=5229 rfd=4 wfd=7 efd=8"
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  "2017-12-21T14:55:21: Client 5: new arrival from - welcome!"
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.655 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - INDI Server:  ""
[2017-12-21T09:55:21.658 EST DEBG ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - Received new device Apogee CCD

Does anything in there suggest anything about the computer recognizing what camera this is? Or is that all INDI doing this stuff because I told it what to expect?

Thanks for any help you can come up with.


Sorry it's taken me a while to revisit this, I was trying other solutions.

I've attached two screenshots and the logs. Notice in the screen shots that the dimensions of the camera are correctly stated 765 x 510, but even with vertical binning at 4, the lower corner of the image still has a pixel value of 765 x 510.


Oh ok sorry about that. I just reproduced the problem and have attached logs. I think by "SBIG logs" you meant just turn the driver on, which I did. It should be at the end of this session.



Chris Duston replied to the topic 'Advice on controlling DSS-7 Spectrometer' in the forum. 7 months ago

Ok so the three modes we want to have access to are

Position Mode: YMINUS, XMINUS (no slit, no grating)
View Slit Mode: YPLUS, XMINUS (slit, no grating)
Take Spectrum Mode: YPLUS, XPLUS (slit, grating)

In principle, "Position Mode" should include some kind of repeated image-taking, like a "focus" mode, but I think that's easy to have enabled anyway.

So is this something you could easily add, or something I should try to develop myself?

I very much appreciate your attention to this, by the way.


Hello all, I'm getting some behavior which I didn't expect when changing the binning on my SBIG ST-402.

When I change the binning via Capture (taking a single image), the resulting image is a different size. For instance, if I choose 9x9 binning, the image scales from the original 765 x 504 pixels to 85 x 56. This is the behavior I expect.

When I go to take a sequence of images, and I change the binning size, unless I manually change the size of the image, the output is still 765 x 504 pixels. I think Ekos is actually doing something different, because the image *looks* different, but do I really have to manually change the size of the image?

(What I actually want to do is spectrometry with my DSS-7, so I want different vertical and horizontal binning, which can only be done with a sequence. That's why I'm looking at the sequencing tool, not just for my health :-) )



Chris Duston replied to the topic 'Advice on controlling DSS-7 Spectrometer' in the forum. 7 months ago

Ok well here is the "Control Port Connections and Conventions" appendix from the manual (in it's entirety!)

The SBIG relay port (AO/CFW/Scope Port) controls the motors in the DSS-7. The “X”
relays control the grating and the “Y” relays the slit. Commanding a relay for 0.2
seconds is sufficient to change the slit or grating position. The controls are as follows:
+X relay: rotates grating to clockwise limit
-X relay: rotates grating to counterclockwise limit
+Y relay: rotates slit in (visible through entrance port)
-Y relay: rotates slit out of way
Almost 0.5 ampere is drawn from the battery during actuation, so if you write your own
control software keep the relay times short to avoid exhaustng the battery.

So, since the SBIG driver header includes several AOs and CFWs, which presumably use the same relay port, so it should be pretty easy to modify those controls for the DSS-7?

If this is enough (like, I guess if you know what the "X relay control" and the "Y relay control" are on the AO/SFW relay port), I can open up my device and tell you exactly what the configuration should be. There are basically a set of three configurations of those (X,Y) positions we need, I just don't know exactly what they are without looking inside the box.


Chris Duston replied to the topic 'Advice on controlling DSS-7 Spectrometer' in the forum. 7 months ago

Thanks for the response - I'll investigate a bit more but here is what I know.

MaximDL uses "SBIG Universal" 6.12.0 to operate legacy SBIG cameras (see here: ), and they offer DSS support. So if you are using SBIG Universal Drivers already, it's likely the driver is in there.

As far as the protocol, I'll look around the existing Linux solutions for SBIG cameras. I haven't been able to make any of them run, but perhaps they will give clues as to how to talk to the DSS.



Chris Duston created a new topic ' Advice on controlling DSS-7 Spectrometer' in the forum. 7 months ago

I have an SBIG DSS-7 spectrometer that I am interested in using on something other than a windows machine (which the software runs naively on). The attached camera (ST-402) seems to work very well with Ekos, but it appears there are no options for something like the DSS-7. There is open source software available (for instance, see the bottom of and sbig-util on github). There is also the SBIG Linux Devleopment kit (which I assume is what Ekos uses, although I don't know).

So I want some advice about how to go about creating a very simple device to control my spectrometer. The functions I need could not be simpler - I need to be able to flip the slit into and out of view, and also rotate the diffraction grating.

I have some software development experience, but mostly scientific computing / C / IRAF / etc. But I am good at googling!



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