Author Topic: LX problems so did Saturn instead  (Read 5290 times)

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Carole

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LX problems so did Saturn instead
« on: Mar 22, 2009, 00:21:09 »
Still having problems trying to get LX to work.  John has checked my settings on my laptop but also can't get it to work, so Jim lent me his Atik Camera 1HS 11.  I did not have any better luck with this either (So with two cameras not working it must be something to do with the laptop).  I really do need some help with this as I am not technical enough to sort this out, John has kindly offered to take another look at things.   

So as not to have a totally wasted evening I turned the camera on Saturn.  With my new telescope Saturn was so small it just looked like a star and seeing was awful.  So I put on the 5 x powermate and managed to capture the attached which I think is a great improvement on my first image of Saturn.

It is strange because Jim's camera would only be recognised as a Toucam on K3. K3 would not accept it as an Atik camera.  I changed the settings however to an Atik B&W camera (which it is), and yet when I went into Registax to process it Registax said the AVI was in colour!!!!!???

Anyway, this is my image which I am quite pleased with as there is a faint trace of bands around Saturn as well as the "edge on" rings.




Carole
« Last Edit: Mar 22, 2009, 00:28:44 by Carolepope »

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #1 on: Mar 22, 2009, 00:28:20 »
Whoops forgot all the techie stuff:
I did about 15 minutes imaging and as LX wasn't working had to go back to AVIs 5 fps.
1479 frames out of 1482 (not many dropped).

5 x powermate,
Atik 1HS 11 CCD Camera & 5 x Powermate
WO Megrez 72 APO telescope
on  a CG5 GOTO equatorial mount
Taken in my back garden, using K3CCDtools and Registax
Processing in wavelets only.

I must say I am noticing the difference with a decent equatorial Mount.  The image was so steady there is no way I could have put a 5 x powermate on with the ETX and done 15 minutes exposure.

Carole

doug

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #2 on: Mar 22, 2009, 08:39:25 »

     That`s a nice one, Carole. Just for information for you, the April edition of SKY at NIGHT mag`s CD has a "self-stacking" programme on it.  If you are interested, I will lend it to you... if it helps.  :)
Always look on the bright side of life ...

Ian

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #3 on: Mar 22, 2009, 09:30:26 »
Carole,

if you're having problems with both cameras I'd take a look at the parallel port setting on the laptop. Firstly, you are using a parallel port built into the machine and not a USB adaptor? Apparently they rarely work.

Secondly, there are at least three different ways a parallel port can be set to operate. This is changed in the laptop BIOS which can usually be got at my pressing a button (usually the delete key) as the machine is first powered up. The three flavours are bi-directional, EPP and ECP. Right now, I can't remember which setting you need, but as there are only three settings try each one in turn.

While you are in the BIOS check to see what address the parallel port is set to as well. This'll be a hex number (that is, digits are 1-9,1-f - base 16) it could be 378h to 37fh or similar. You'll need this to tell the capture software where to find the parallel port.

MarkS

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #4 on: Mar 22, 2009, 10:01:37 »

Carole,

That's a good image of Saturn.  It's one to remember with those lovely "edge on" rings.

Mark


JohnP

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #5 on: Mar 22, 2009, 12:25:35 »
Ian - Carole is not using parallel port for LX exposure - it's done through serial - I'm going to give her camera a go on my laptop so we can isolate if her laptop is issue....

John

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #6 on: Mar 22, 2009, 13:11:32 »
Thanks Doug.  

Thanks Ian, I will have a try at what you suggest, however I just want to clarify what a parallel port is.  I am plugging directly into the lap top with both USB and serial port (on SC3) and USB and a different port (which I don't know the name of with Jim's Camera.  I thought a parallel port was an adapter you could use to plug into the USB port if you don't have a serial port etc on you lap top.  Am I wrong?

Quote
Apparently they rarely work.
GREAT!!!  That's all you need when you are venturing into the unknown!!!

Quote
This'll be a hex number (that is, digits are 1-9,1-f - base 16) it could be 378h to 37fh or similar. You'll need this to tell the capture software where to find the parallel port.
.  Hmmm a bit over my head that bit.

Would it be OK if I report back what I find?

Carole

PS: Ah, I see John has posted while I was doing this and has confirmed the definition of parallel port.



Carole

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #7 on: Mar 22, 2009, 13:14:45 »
Thanks Mark.  The seeing was really bad last night I am amazed the camera managed to pick that up, especially the bands. 

It does reassure me that I am making progress, albeit VERY SLOW.

Carole

Ian

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #8 on: Mar 22, 2009, 14:12:50 »
Ian - Carole is not using parallel port for LX exposure - it's done through serial - I'm going to give her camera a go on my laptop so we can isolate if her laptop is issue....

John
Cool. Carole, ignore everything I said, it doesn't apply to your camera. There is plenty of evidence that USB serial adaptors work fine with serial LX cameras :)

Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #9 on: Mar 22, 2009, 16:05:10 »
Quote
USB serial adaptors

Just a note carol.
You need to plug the usb to serial adapter in to the same usb port you originally used.
If you plug the usb serial adapter in to a different usb port, you get a different serial port!!

I have 6 usb ports on my laptop, and each one will generate a different com: port when the usb is plugged in.

i.e.
If last night you pluged it in to the top usb port, it might have been allocated serial port com3: for example.
If you plug it in to the bottom usb port, it will now be a different port, com4: for example.


So if you've pluged the usb adapter in the top port, set you camera up to work, with the com: port, and then pluged in to the bottom
one you need to change your com: port in the software.

Mac.
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Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #10 on: Mar 22, 2009, 18:28:43 »
Quote
USB serial adapter
  Bit unclear what you mean by adapters, I don't have an adapter at all, just USB plug straight into USB port, and Serial plug into serial port.  (In which case do the same instructions apply?) 

However that is a good point about which USB port I use, because I only have two top and bottom, and I have always used the bottom one, maybe I should try the other USB port.  Having said that I tried taking LX exposures (in the same way John tried, i.e. allowing a little light to come in via the cap and watching for the screen to brighten over a 30 second exposure - which is never does!!!) and tried Com1, Com2, Com3, Com4 and none seemed to be any better than the other.  However I think there are a few more options on this, so perhaps I'll give them a go as well. 

It's all so frustrating, because I'm trying so hard to do everything right and just being thwarted by a stupid thing like this.  I've bought all the equipment, can align OK, get the object on the screen and then can't do anything with it.

Thanks for all your help guys.  I just wish I could come to the next imaging session as if I haven't got it sorted by then, perhaps one of you could find out what is happening.  Hopefully John will be able to suss it out before then.

Carole

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #11 on: Mar 22, 2009, 18:31:31 »
PS:
Mac, is there any way of identifying which Com port you need to use?

Carole

Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #12 on: Mar 22, 2009, 18:57:31 »
yup.

open control panel
open the system icon
click on hardware
click on device manager
click on the little plus next to ports.

it will list all the com ports attached to your system.
either real or usb com ports.

Just set the correct com port on the software you are using.

i thought you were using these.
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Ian

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #13 on: Mar 22, 2009, 19:50:09 »
yup, Mac's got a good point. I get fed up with my Artemis wandering around the various addresses if I plugged it in differently.

My suggestion Carole, to keep it simple, once John gets it working make a note of *exactly* where all the cables are plugged in, and make sure they all go the same place every time. When I got fed up with playing "hunt the com port" on mine, I bound up all the wiring into a star shape, with the mount, camera, PC, hand controller and battery being at the points of the star. The centre of the star is attached to the tripod. Cable ties or tape work, although  I used special spiral binding, but that's a pain to use. Anyway, it means I don't have wires running all over the place like a rats nest and I can tell easily if I've not plugged anything in.

JohnP

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #14 on: Mar 22, 2009, 19:58:50 »
Just so everyone knows - I spent an hour around Carole's a week or so ago trying to get her camera working. She has a USB & serial port on her laptop. The serial controls LX & the USB is for download etc. I checked which com ports were which in Device Manager & then put appropriate settings into K3. Camera does still not appear to work correctly in LX mode (or at least how I would expect it to work) so I suspect problem is either hardware with camera (i.e. LX not working or cable issue etc.) or something with the actual laptop. Next step is to isolate laptop by trying it on mine - hopefully I can pick her camera up this week sometime & do a test.

Will keep you updated, John

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #15 on: Mar 22, 2009, 21:02:24 »
Thanks John,

and thanks every-one else it's all useful information for better understanding.

I'll wait for John to check.

Carole

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #16 on: Mar 24, 2009, 21:29:25 »
John took away my camera and laptop today and has confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the camera as it worked fine on his laptop.  He has very kindly spent a lot of time today trying to get it to work and has been unable to and says it has to be an issue with the laptop but does not know what can be wrong.  (He's also tried eliminating the serial port but that didn't make any difference).  (I have forwarded John's E Mail to Ian so he can see what John has done as John wondered whether Ian might have any more ideas).

So I'm pretty stuck now unless I buy a new laptop by the looks of things.
Like Fay I don't want Vista, has any-one any further ideas or suggestions?

Carole

Ian

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #17 on: Mar 24, 2009, 22:55:14 »
didn't get any email from you carole, did you use the yahoo addy?

Serial ports are in theory at least simpler than parallel ones. Not helpful, I know...

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #18 on: Mar 24, 2009, 23:10:38 »
Whoops, I think I might have E mailed you at Thrupoint even though you are in my address book at Yahoo. 

Will send again

Carole

Ian

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #19 on: Mar 24, 2009, 23:15:54 »
got it now, thx. I'll have to sleep on it.

Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #20 on: Mar 25, 2009, 15:07:51 »
If you want me to have a look, i'm more then happy.
It might be worth bringing it to the meeting on thursday.

Mac.
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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #21 on: Mar 25, 2009, 17:06:02 »
It's weird Carole's laptop does have a dedicated RS232 - I tried giving the port a different number & also installed my USB to RS232 but regardless of what I tried I could not get camera to work in LX mode. However, It worked no probs on my laptop with the same USB to RS232 adapter. Camera seems to work in normal capture mode on her laptop though.

All I can say is laptop seems quite unstable - I had to do a lot of rebooots etc. so maybe there is a conflict somewhere. The only thing I could suggest is a total reformat of hard disk & put in drivers/ try again... I'll leave it to you comuter pro's...

John

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #22 on: Mar 25, 2009, 17:20:07 »
John,

I have travelled for years on a train and I would not know where to start with this problem, so I'm not sure being a comuter is a qualification for hardware setup.

Chris

JohnP

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #23 on: Mar 25, 2009, 17:30:33 »
Ha.. Ha.. Just testing you mate.... :-) Sure you learn how to fix loads of things while your commuting on that train so a laptop shouldn't be any problem...

COMPUTER PRO's.......

John.

PS - I feel like crap today - sore throat, blocked nose etc. so blame typo on that...

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #24 on: Mar 25, 2009, 18:41:27 »
Quote
If you want me to have a look, i'm more then happy.
It might be worth bringing it to the meeting on thursday.
If you wouldn't mind Mac.

I'll bring the camera, laptop & installation disk (forgot to give that to John), to the meeting tomorrow.

Many thanks Mac.

I already E mailed my thanks to John for all the time he has put in on this, but this is a public thank you as well.

Sorry to have to burden others with this.

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #25 on: Mar 25, 2009, 21:18:00 »
Carole, that is quite a nice & Saturn, hope you get your problems sorted.
It is healthier to be mutton dressed as lamb, than mutton dressed as mutton!

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #26 on: Apr 15, 2009, 09:57:01 »
Mac,

Can I bring my laptop and camera to the next meeting for you to take a look at?
Will you be there?

Please take it away with you as I imagine you will need some time on it.  I'll see if I can arrange for some-one to bring me over to you to pick up when you've finished.

Jim you spoke to me about using a ?parallel port but I think John's already tried that.  I'll also bring your camera back to you at the meeting.

Carole

Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #27 on: Apr 15, 2009, 19:27:15 »
aye, that'll be no problems,
I've got my head stuffed in my degree at the mo,

got to get the last project finished by next week.
Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
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Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #28 on: Apr 16, 2009, 08:50:36 »
Thanks Mac, Ken's bringing me to the meeting, so hopefully he'll help me carry things.  Glad you will have finished your degree work before I lumber you with this.

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #29 on: Apr 24, 2009, 15:24:14 »
Update,

Had a good look this morning at your PC. (about 10-12 mins, any longer and its normally a very serious problem.)

As i said last night the parallel port was only set up as Bidirectional as opposed to EPP (Extended parallel port).

However on booting and checking the bios again this morning the PC hadn't saved the settings.
There might be an issue there with the bios, but it might have been me just forgetting to save the settings.
i'll check again next time i have a look at it.

Problem 1). It looks like your windows, might need to be reinstalled, as its constantly Blue screening, as well as generating errors on boot.
                (i'll look in to that next week and se if it can be fixed easily).

Problem 2) The camera didnt like to be used from windows explorer. (Normally you get a link similar to a hard disk, that when you click on it you can see the video image)
               This would indicate that the drivers have either been corrupted or havent installed correctly or the camera is faulty..
               removed and reinstalled the drivers and now the camera works in Explorer. (Indicating the camera and drivers are now all ok.)

Problem 3) Top USB MIGHT not be working correctly  or a cable fault on the connection to the camera! see below.

Using K3 i was getting images from the camera, tried it on 5secs 10 secs even 60 secs.
Everything was fine, Getting dark images, light images, ect,ect.
BUT, it then threw the error, unable to identify USB device, please replug.
The fan on the back of the device was slowing down and speeding up, ever so slightly, just before the error.

Possible reasons for this is that the USB port is not able to supply enough power to the device or cable problem to the device, or even the camera starting to fail.
However, changing to the bottom port, seemed to rectify the problem,
and the camera worked again with out a hitch, untill i tried to move the camera to a darker location.
When i moved the camera it stopped responding, same error, but on closer inspection, if i moved the cable near to the cable tie,
I could get the camera to fail with the error, (possible break in the camera cable at the cable tie)
So there might be an issue there with the cable, or it might be a coincidence, and just be a power issue with the usb ports.

I'll have a longer play with it next week, and see if i can sort out your windows problems as well.

Mac.
Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
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Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #30 on: Apr 24, 2009, 18:12:56 »
Many thanks for your efforts Mac.  It is definitely a poblem (or problems) beyond my capabilites to sort out. 

I'll wait to hear from you.

Carole

Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #31 on: Apr 28, 2009, 14:36:19 »
Update.

Wow, what a state :o :oops: :roll: :oops: :o

I'm currently working on your PC to sort out the windows problem.

SPYWARE, you had 143 infections :oops:
Just in the middle of virus checking, and the current count at the moment is zero, so thats looking good,

As for the Blue screen of death and windows crashing. BSOD.

I've disabled all your startup goodies, as you dont actually need them, as they will run when you run the main program anyway.
plus the fact it saves on memory usage, and as you only have 512Meg its pretty small.

It seems to have cured it. I;ve been using it for two hours and it hasn't BSOD yet.

Fragmentation :o
Wow, I can safely say that your disk hasn't been defragmented ever.
so thats in the process of being defragmented, so you should notice a huge speed increase. 90% of all your files
were fragmented. The worst one being the paging file which had over 15000 fragments :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o.

That alone will seriously slow the computer down.

Once these have finished, i'll use your K3 again, 
the EPP setting was fine, so i probably forgot to save the setting first time round.
hopefully it will still work without any problems.
Once thats fixed i'll try and get your pc back to you, it will probably be thursday, but if time allows it might be wednesday.

Mac.

Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots.

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #32 on: Apr 28, 2009, 16:07:23 »
Blimey Mac,

I bought this laptop 2nd hand off Robert last year, and the only time I have used it online was to download K3 so how it got all that spyware on it I don't know.  However I don't think I have any anti-spyware on it so might have to look into that.  Didn't think I would be using it on line any more, so didn't bother as I always transfer my AVI's etc onto a memory stick and then onto my desk top once I have done them and do all the processing etc on the desktop.

I had thought I had done a defrag on it, but maybe it was my previous laptop I was thinking of.  As for programs I don't need I am never quite sure what is needed and what is not and in trying to delete unwanted things on my last laptop I mucked it up never to be useable again, so I have been frightened to attempt it on this one.  Please feel free to delete anything other than what I need for imaging, that is all I use the laptop for. 

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I am out part of the day but my husband should be in.  I will be in in the evening.
On Thursday I have a hospital appointment and will be out from 10.30 - 1pm ish and again my husband should be in most of the time apart from going to and from playschool with our grandson.  We will both be out in the evening.

I'll send you the home Telephone number and address by PM.  Are you sure you don't want me to come and collect it from you?

Many thanks for all your hard work.

Carole



JohnP

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #33 on: Apr 28, 2009, 16:15:34 »
blimey Mac - how much do you charge an hour....  :lol:  :lol:

Seriously glad I didn't try & sort this out.... I would have failed miserably

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #34 on: Apr 28, 2009, 16:43:12 »
Crikey, Mac!!!!
It is healthier to be mutton dressed as lamb, than mutton dressed as mutton!

Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #35 on: Apr 28, 2009, 17:32:44 »
Well its nearly finshed defragging, 35% to go.
I'll go through and remove some of the software that you probably wont use,
I've deleted most of the junk before i started and that was about 4 Gig!
Temp files ect,ect.

It might be feasable to totaly reformat it at some point in the future and do a completly fresh reinstall of windows,
and just reinstall the stuff you are going to use.
its far easier then trying to uninstall them and remove all the orphaned files.

I've put some spyware removers on it for you , as well as some defraging software,
as you are only using it for imaging, running it every couple of weeks will be fine.

Mac.

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #36 on: Apr 28, 2009, 17:47:52 »
Mac is like having a good doctor!!!!!
« Last Edit: Apr 28, 2009, 21:32:21 by Fay »
It is healthier to be mutton dressed as lamb, than mutton dressed as mutton!

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #37 on: Apr 28, 2009, 19:16:26 »
Feeling very embarrased about the time you have spent on this Mac.
 :oops: :oops: :oops:

Many many thanks

Carole



Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #38 on: Apr 29, 2009, 18:52:49 »
tis done. :lol:

I've spent all afternoon videoing my carpet with your camera.
approx 2 hours. on long exposure,
ive played with 5secs up to 300 secs and everything seems to be working.
had a wiggle with the leads and couldnt get the thing to crash or to stop responding,
 
however it was pluged in to the bottom port all the time.

I've put some planaterium software on your machine for you and moved all the junk off the desktop in to your documents.

I think i might have sussed out your battery problems as well.
It might be your power supply. Its only rated at 65W and is only just able to run the laptop, with a tiny amount spare left to charge the battery.
If you leave it on for hours the battery eventually charges up.

but if you turn of the laptop and leave it plugged in then the battery will charge fully a lot quicker.

Another thing is to fully discharge your battery every once in a while.
that way the zero point of the battery gets reset, so you should get a more accurate value of the amount of remaining charge left.

Or it could be that your battery is just dead. and on its last legs.

Mac.

ps If you watch the second video you can see the sunlight as it passes over the camera and starts to filter throught the carpet.




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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #39 on: Apr 29, 2009, 21:01:00 »
Phew, :angel:

Many thanks Mac for all that you'll have to let me know how I can repay the favour.
I guess it's too late to offer to do typing for your exam (once my shoulder is better, although I am managing to type better than I was already - even with the sling - if I can put the keyboard near my right hand).

I'll have a chat with you about everything when I see you.

I am not actually able to use my telescope and camera at present because of my broken shoulder.  I am hoping the sling will come off in a week or so, and then I have to get my arm and shoulder joint working again, so don't make a special effort to deliver it unless you are already over this way.  Otherwise I can collect it at the next meeting.

You have certainly done a thorough job.

Many thanks
Carole




Mac

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #40 on: Apr 29, 2009, 21:44:09 »
Quote
Many thanks Mac for all that you'll have to let me know how I can repay the favour.

I was thinking along these lines. ;)
http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Takahashi_TOA_150_OTA_and_Finder.html
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If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots.

MarkS

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #41 on: Apr 29, 2009, 22:54:11 »

No, you don't want of those - the website says the Takahashi is only monochrome:

"This new design like its smaller companion the TOA-130 is absolutely color free."  8)

Mark




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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #42 on: Apr 29, 2009, 23:00:32 »
cool, it'll save you £100 on filters then.

And you don't need one of those really expensive astro cameras that's had all the colour sucked out of the CCD chip. That's what makes them expensive you know.

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #43 on: Apr 30, 2009, 07:39:35 »
Oh gawd!!!

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #44 on: Apr 30, 2009, 10:51:27 »
Mac,

You've done a wonderful job sorting that laptop out.  I feel more than a bit guilty after reading about all the work you've done, especially as I sold it to Carole in the first place.  In my defense it was cheap, had XP-Pro and was patched up with the latest updates and free (as far as I could see) from nasties.  It was my daughters laptop before I sold it so I wonder whether those temp files were a hangover from then.  4Gb is a lot of files especially as the HD is so small, though I thought I'd done some cleanup !

Thanks again, I owe you a few beers ... maybe at the next DSC?

Robert

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2009, 09:47:29 »
Robert,

It's me who owes Mac, who very kindly delivered the laptop back yesterday and I offered him amongst other things a few beers, but to my surprise he doesn't drink, so will have to find another way to repay him.

Carole

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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2009, 09:58:41 »
 :o
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Re: LX problems so did Saturn instead
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2009, 20:33:39 »
I thought drinking was a criteria of membership  :oops:
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