Problem with API guider and STT-8300M


#1

Hi -

i have an STT-8300M with the FW8G-STT OAG filter wheel cover. since i am using PHD2 for guiding, i must use the SGP API Guider shim to connect to the guide camera from PhD2.

i am having a problem where PhD intermittently reports that the guider camera is disconnected. this seems to be happening between exposures, possibly as a result of pausing guiding. there’s nothing terribly expository in the logs; both programs just report that the camera is no longer connected. on the last exposure that worked, the guider API returns kind of a long total time relative to all the previous exposures. one odd thing is that apparently SGP does not know how to parse the result codes coming back from the guider CCD as evidenced by lots of “status check: Unknown” messages in the log.

SGP version: 2.4.2.11
PHD2 version: 2.5.0
sbigudrv.dll: 4.88 build 4 (this is actually downrev and i will try with build 11 tonight)
sbigu32.sys: 2.41.0.1338

when i woke up this morning to find the sequence was aborted, i was able to reconnect PhD to the guider API, so it’s not clear that there was any kind of hardware issue. with any luck it’s as simple as PhD still trying to pull a guider image while the main image is being downloaded.

below is a link to a shared folder with the logs - check around 01:48 AM. thanks for any help with this issue.

thanks, rob

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6cW4ae2KyMJWklWeUdkWjVKa1E&usp=sharing


Connect/configure SBIG STT-8300M/FW8G-STT Filter Wheel
#2

Hi Rob,

I believe there is an easy fix for this. You can increase the camera timeout setting in the camera tab in the brain in PHD2. PHD2 2.5.0’s default value of 5 seconds is too aggressive for the SGP API Guider camera. Try a higher value like 60 seconds or 120 seconds.

In later versions of PHD2 we have increased the default setting and made the error message more descriptive (including instructions about increasing the setting.)

Andy


#3

OK thanks, i forgot to mention that i found that knob but only increased it a little bit; had not tried it yet. i’ll make it much higher.


#4

Also, in the 2.4.3 beta, we allow SBIG cameras to pause guiding during download. Many SBIG users have reported this successfully stops the issue you are experiencing from happening.


#5

thanks. could have fooled me though, i thought the logs indicated that guiding had been paused during download, then died during the resume.


#6

Pausing guiding during main image download is not an option in 2.4.2.


#7

not trying to tell you what your code does, but i’m referring to this in the log:

[10/13/2015 1:48:11 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG Camera status check: Unknown (15)
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG Camera: end exposure called…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG Camera: read data…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG Camera: starting readout…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG Camera: reading lines…

[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Image download state detected, pausing guider…

[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Pausing the auto guider…

[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] SGM_GUIDE_PAUSE message received…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Pausing auto guider…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Checking PHD2 state…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Pre-Wait : Guiding
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Sending to PHD2:
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Post-Wait: Guiding
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Sending to PHD2:
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Checking PHD2 state…
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Pre-Wait : Guiding
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Sending to PHD2:
[10/13/2015 1:48:12 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Post-Wait: Guiding
[10/13/2015 1:48:13 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Checking PHD2 state…
[10/13/2015 1:48:13 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Pre-Wait : Paused
[10/13/2015 1:48:13 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] Sending to PHD2:
[10/13/2015 1:48:13 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Post-Wait: Paused
[10/13/2015 1:48:13 AM] [DEBUG] [Auto Guider Thread] SGM_GUIDE_PAUSE complete…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG Camera: end readout…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SBIG read complete. Took 1971ms…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Camera Thread] SGM_CAMERA_CAPTURE complete…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Entering super dangerous loop to await image completion…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] TEMP - Current Event16: 4
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] TEMP - Current Event17: 4
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Image reported as complete. Continuing…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Collecting FITs headers…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] DATE-LOC time provided by SGPro (failed to retrieve from camera)…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SBIG Guider Camera status check: Unknown (12)
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] GatherFitsHeaders: Writing header info for last solve…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] GatherFitsHeaders: Writing header info from UI…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Clearing timed monitoring events…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Created full file name (file does not exist): Z:\nifty\STT-8300M\sgp\2015-10-13\heart_test_Light_600sec_1x1_G_G_0007.fit
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SBIG Guider Camera: end exposure called…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SBIG Guider Camera: read data…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SBIG Guider Camera: starting readout…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SBIG Guider Camera: reading lines…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SBIG Guider Camera: end readout…
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SgApi - Guider Capture Complete
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [API Guider Capture Thread] SgApi - Guider Image Added to Repo
[10/13/2015 1:48:14 AM] [DEBUG] [Unknown] SgApi - Guider image retrieved
[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Main Thread] Tried to display solved stars, but list is null
[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] ---------> Save file took 2036ms

[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Resuming auto guiding (settling)…

[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Checking PHD2 state…
[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Pre-Wait : Paused
[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Sending to PHD2:
[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [PHD2 Listener Thread] Could not process PHD2 input: “The camera has been disconnected. Please resolve the problem and re-connect the camera.”,“Type”:“warning”}" : Unexpected character encountered while parsing value: T. Path ‘’, line 0, position 0.
[10/13/2015 1:48:16 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] PHD2 GetPhdStatus - Post-Wait: Paused


#8

Ya… mystery to me. There is code in 2.4.2 to do this (the logs lines you made huge), but the option to toggle it on and off is hidden… so I am not sure how you managed to turn this feature on.

As I mentioned, this feature will be formally released in 2.4.3.


#9

ha no idea! i thought this might be tied to the fact that the guider API was in use, since it seems like a probable SBIG requirement that only one imager could be read out at any given moment.

rob


#10

alright! after increasing the camera timeout in PHD2 i had a full night of successful imaging last night. thanks andy for the suggestion. now if you can just do something about the clouds i’ll be all set.

rob


www.mainsequencesoftware.com