STi died

Well, I lasted 3 nights before the STi died. It will respond to USB to load the driver (Camera with Firmware), but will not respond to programs like Maxim or CCDOps (had to load this to convince SBig that the camera was dead). After 4 days of trying various things, mailed it in to SBig for repair.

At the same time, Maxim is hanging when I click the Cooler button to adjust the setpoint. Maxim is also randomly hanging during imaging runs. Have to kil Maxim, exit FocusMax and ACP, restart everything. Maxim people sent me a replacement couple of files (CCDMaxim.dll, CCDPlugSBig.dll) which I replaced. The Cooler hang is fixed, but still randomly hanging during runs. It may be related to showing the Guiding graph; it hung once immediately after I clicked that button. Or not, who knows.

With the STi out of commission, I wanted to use ST2K for imaging HAlpha, with the 8300 acting as the guide camera. The ST2K cannot image through the HAlpha (or OIII) filter, so I need the separate guider. To do this, I set Dome configuration in ACP to have an intermediate length to the camera. The Sky90 is at 760, the Edge is at 490. I set the value to 650 mm in an attempt to make both scopes look out the dome slit. Closer to the Sky90 because it definitely needs to be clear; I think the guider might work even if the entire Edge is not looking out. The star might be misformed or something, but maybe will work for guiding.

Tried it, and it seems to work pretty well. Targets far to the South and North may be difficult because of the oblique angle of the scope to the slit. However, the Calif Nebula works fine in this mode.

Another idea – with different configurations, I may want to guide using either the ST2K, the STi, or the STF8300. To do this I have to go out and move the guider cable to the different scope. I found a phone splitter with 6 connectors (most of them only have 4). Seems like I could plug this into the guide port on the PMX, plug in the three guider cables from the cameras, and voila! all 3 should guide depending on which I am using. Only problem I can see: the signals from the active guider will be seen on the outputs of the other 2 cameras. I don’t expect that to be a problem, but I sent a note to SBig to double check there is no problem.

6 connector phone splitter for multiple guiders

6 connector phone splitter for multiple guiders

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