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Old 11-04-2012, 09:15 PM
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PRejto (Peter)
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PRejto is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
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I have received a further message from Evan Warkentine that he has given me permission to repost here. It may clarify a few issues:

"I think there's a little confusion between the different StarShoots. The StarShoot Pro does indeed have an Ascom driver, and it should work just fine in either TSX (where it displays greyscale data with the distinctive banded pattern you'd expect from a bayer-masked camera), or in CCDSoft (where it functions in color, as it should).

The StarShoot Autoguider is a different animal. As I understand the full history, Craig Stark (of PHD Autoguiding) proposed the camera's basic design to QHY, who created the QHY5 as a simple, low cost, but high performance camera for autoguiding. It was later picked up (I'm not sure how this transfer went) to Orion, who used the same hardware but with their own firmware implementation. There's an an Ascom driver for the QHY5 that could easily control the Orion camera, but the firmware difference prevent this. QHY does have a firmware flash utility that can (I've heard) replace Orion's firmware with its own. But this isn't something I've tried myself, will certainly void your warrenty, and as I've mentioned, it can render your camera useless if something goes badly.

But there's a little more to the story. An Orion employee (who I understand is no longer with the company) created a series of open-source code libraries for controlling the StarShoot Autoguider. When Orion found out about this, they embraced the project by buying it out, and closing the source. It's this code that allows PHD to control the StarShoot, and this code could very easily form the basis of an Ascom driver for the StarShoot... but they seem unwilling to release this code back into the wild. I might ask again, but they don't seem very excited about the idea. Maybe there's still some of the original open-source stuff floating around somewhere...?

By the way, QHY cameras are all a little bit strange. When most cameras return their data to Ascom, they create an array of pixels in X,Y order. QHY cameras return Y,X ordered pixels, and I only found out about that pretty recently. Older versions of my driver will generate an error when they see that the X/Y axis is flipped, which is probably why allan gould wasn't having too much luck with his camera. As frolinmod points out, the newer version of the software (on the Bisque site) should fix that problem, as would taking perfectly-square image subframes, although that's probably not much of a long-term solution."
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