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Old 20-01-2012, 10:33 PM
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Starshoot Autoguider with CCD Soft

Anyone here managed to get a starhoot autoguider working with CCD Soft ?

If so what drivers did you use ?
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  #2  
Old 21-01-2012, 08:07 AM
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I pretty sure you cannot. I tried. The qhy5 works with the ascom plug in.

Brett
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Old 21-01-2012, 11:36 PM
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Won't work despite being told by Bisque brothers that it would work. I now have an unused copy of CCDsoft. I only use it for PEC and then it goes back to sleep on the hard drive.

There was apparently some driver developed by a third party but he withdrew support and his driver was removed from his site. The link at SB does not work properly (or did not work last time I checked).

SB sell this CCDsoft which has little to no driver support for lots of modern CCD cameras.
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Old 22-01-2012, 12:01 AM
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Ok thanks guys. Thats what I figured.

PHD Guider is doing a great job for me, but I am about to start using CCD Autopilot and it seems to only connect to CCDsoft or Maxim Dl for guiding.

When my STF arives it is comming with the Sti guider which is supported in CCDSoft so I will be ok then

If only sbig would ship the damn thing
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Old 22-01-2012, 12:36 AM
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I use Maxim DL with the SSAG and it works well. Not sure how well it will go until total automation, but so far it has been working.
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Old 26-01-2012, 01:55 PM
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Goodness knows why, but I'm sure I've read a developer lamenting how hard it is to get the SDK off Orion. You think they'd be bending over backwards for everyone to be able to interface to such a common camera.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:29 PM
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For those that may be interested I went down this path re SB and an ascom camera driver. The one at the ascom site supplied by SB is crippled and won't load while that on SB is a beta version that also doesn't work. I was able by various hard work to get a copy of a CCDSoft ascom camera driver that does work. I needed it to drive my Qhy10camera with CCDSoft.
If interested in a copy pm me with your email address and I'll send you a copy. Theo and I went down this path a while ago and both reached the conclusion that SB sux.
Allan
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allan gould View Post
The one at the ascom site supplied by SB is crippled and won't load
Software Bisque does not supply or maintain the drivers and plug-ins at the ascom-standards website. Those are written and supported by Evan Warkentine and Bob Denny. This is made very clear in the associated readme files.

Evan Warkentine regularly updates his plug-ins and uploads them to his files area on the Software Bisque website. Currently the download links associated with Even's plug-ins on the ascom-standards website may not be quite as up-to-date. That may change, particularly if the way the ascom-standards website links to the downloads themselves is ever changed. Evan currently places his updates on the Software Bisque website only because he can't as conveniently cause the ascom-standards website to be updated. That may also change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allan gould View Post
while that on SB is a beta version that also doesn't work.
The plug-ins on the Software Bisque website are written and supported by Evan Warkentine, not by Software Bisque. This is made very clear in the associated readme files.

UPDATE: Note that Evan has made an update today to fix a problem related to Starshoot autoguider ASCOM driver behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allan gould View Post
Theo and I went down this path a while ago and both reached the conclusion that SB sux.
ASCOM support within TheSkyX and CCDsoft is written by and supported by users just like yourself (Evan and Bob). I don't think they deserve to be told they "sux." Software Bisque not only provide Evan and Bob with support so that they can create and maintain these plug-ins for you, they also produce excellent software themselves and provide excellent support for that software. I don't think they deserve to be told they "sux" either.

The ASCOM support available from within TheSkyX and CCDsoft is extensive and well user tested. Like everthing ASCOM related, it is extremely easy to install and use. In my option, Evan, Bob, and everyone else involved who made it possible deserve a hearty round of applause!

The ASCOM driver for the Starshoot autoguider may have a few quirks that have made it difficult to deal with (you can talk to Orion about that), but with some additional effort Evan has gotten it to work. YMMV but other users are now successfully using the Starshoot autoguider with TheSkyX and CCDsoft. Note that CCDsoft can display color imagery, but TheSkyX cannnot yet do so.

Anyone interested in getting the Starshoot autoguider to work with TheSkyX and/or CCDsoft should see Evan Warkentine's files area on the Software Bisque website for the most up-to-date plug-ins:

https://www.bisque.com/sc/members/evwark/default.aspx
https://www.bisque.com/sc/members/ev...s/default.aspx
https://www.bisque.com/sc/members/ev...omCam.zip.aspx

You'll also need the ASCOM 6 platform and the ASCOM driver from Orion. Be sure to read all the associated readme files.

Last edited by frolinmod; 09-02-2012 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:50 AM
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Hello Ernie (and all),

I read this thread with interest because I have long been looking for a way to use the Orion Starshoot Autoguider with Ascom. However, I believe you are incorrect here and might be relying on a post at SB:
http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/p/14...809.aspx#58809
This post is about the Orion Starshoot Pro V.2 not the Autoguider camera.

I have been in touch directly with Evan and he wrote that there is no Ascom driver for this camera (the autoguider) but that it is essentially the same camera as the QH5Y. The Ascom driver for the QH5Y will not work with the Orion camera. He indicated that some users may have flashed the Orion camera to a QH5Y but cautions that this may "turn the camera into a brick!" (Interesting idea though). He also said that he has tried on a few occasions to work with Orion on developing an Ascom driver but that they are unresponsive. (I've urged him to try one more time!)

I'm ressurecting this older thread just to clarify as I know a lot of people want this function for the camera. If I get further info on how to convert an Orion to a QH5Y I will post it!

PS I agree with your comments in response to negative comments about SB. They have nothing to do with these issues. People like Evan need to be thanked for their very hard and valuable work. Perhaps the "vitriol" should be directed at Orion...

PPS: There used to be an Ascom driver for the original Starshoot Autoguider that was posted here (broken link). Does anyone have this old driver?

http://www.astrosoft.be/RELEASE/SSAGINST.exe

Last edited by PRejto; 10-04-2012 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRejto View Post
Hello Ernie (and all),

If I get further info on how to convert an Orion to a QH5Y I will post it!
!!!! USE THIS INFORMATION ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!!

The QHY5/Starshoot/QGuider etc were, at one point in time, all the same camera, the only difference was the VID/PID settings in the camera's firmaware which could be set/reset using the attached VIDPROGRAM tool, to use it:

Click on "Start", then select "Run".
Enter "CMD" to start a dos shell.
Change directory to where you have the program stored. eg C:\Qguider\ .

Then

VIDPROGRAM on its own returns the current firmware settings.

vidprogram/? Displays the options.

I really, really suggest that you make a note of the programs returned values so you can reset in the event of trouble. If you get any error/oddness at this point STOP!

NOTE: IIRC you must unplug/replug the camera after each vidprogram operation (even the read operation) before using vidprogram again.


If your camera has responded ok to then you can try the following

USAGE : VIDPROGRAM o Programs the QHY CMOS VID/PID (1618:0901)

USAGE : VIDPROGRAM vvvv pppp Programs the given VID(vvvv) PID(pppp)

BOTH VALUES MUST BE IN HEXDECIMAL vvv is limited to 16C0 // 1718 // 1618

You can double check that it has worked by running vidprogram again without any options. It will display the VID and PID values of the camera.

I did this a while ago to get my QHY5 to be a Qguider so I could use it with Guidemaster - and it worked. I have is re-set to QHY5 these days as that model is now widely supported.
Attached Files
File Type: zip VIDPROGRAM.zip (40.6 KB, 18 views)
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
!!!! USE THIS INFORMATION ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!!

The QHY5/Starshoot/QGuider etc were, at one point in time, all the same camera, the only difference was the VID/PID settings in the camera's firmaware which could be set/reset using the attached VIDPROGRAM tool, to use it:

Click on "Start", then select "Run".
Enter "CMD" to start a dos shell.
Change directory to where you have the program stored. eg C:\Qguider\ .

Then

VIDPROGRAM on its own returns the current firmware settings.

vidprogram/? Displays the options.

I really, really suggest that you make a note of the programs returned values so you can reset in the event of trouble. If you get any error/oddness at this point STOP!

NOTE: IIRC you must unplug/replug the camera after each vidprogram operation (even the read operation) before using vidprogram again.


If your camera has responded ok to then you can try the following

USAGE : VIDPROGRAM o Programs the QHY CMOS VID/PID (1618:0901)

USAGE : VIDPROGRAM vvvv pppp Programs the given VID(vvvv) PID(pppp)

BOTH VALUES MUST BE IN HEXDECIMAL vvv is limited to 16C0 // 1718 // 1618

You can double check that it has worked by running vidprogram again without any options. It will display the VID and PID values of the camera.

I did this a while ago to get my QHY5 to be a Qguider so I could use it with Guidemaster - and it worked. I have is re-set to QHY5 these days as that model is now widely supported.
The problem with this methid is that you have to have the old drivers running on the puter for vidprogram to work. Mine is also set to a qguider as this worked better originally. I haven't been able to change it back to a QHY5 so it will work with the ASCOM drivers. For the moment I'm leaving it as a qguider as this works well with guidemaster.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:15 PM
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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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Old 11-04-2012, 10:39 PM
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Fascinating stuff.
You really have to wonder what Orion's reasons are for sitting on any useful code that might make the SSAG more widely embraced. Sigh.
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