Monday, April 27, 2015

Guidecamera Update

I recently tried to use a Lodestar X2 guidecamera.  However, it appeared to be DOA.

Note how the average value of the dark and light frame on these two images are nearly identical.

The dark was taken with the camera pointed at the tabletop, no light allowed to reach the sensor.  The light was taken while pointing the camera at a desklamp with a pinhole in a layer of aluminum foil to prevent saturation.

After talking with Terry of SX on email, it appears that the camera has a hardware fault.  So it's going back to OPT today.  I expect a replacement in a week or so.

In the meantime, the reinstall of XP allowed a controlled install of drivers for the SSAG and the rest of the software used.  I did take the time to install a better hard drive for this notebook.  Decided against an SSD because of the cost of these for minimal performance boost.

Another small advantage of reinstalling the OS was that I was able to finally enable the graphics adapter to render a virtual desktop to allow using applications that force large windows.

Everything else seems to be working just fine!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hello XP... old friend, I've come to install you yet again.

Actually, this is the first time I've reinstalled the OS on this eeePC.

The slowest part is all the updates.  I applied SP3 before connecting to the web.  Did the registry hack to convert the OS to the POS version and ran Windows Update.

Just a few updates:

There were 2 rounds of 160 updates,  Then after installing .net, there were another 40 or so.  I'm left with one that won't finish, which is annoying.  Maybe sometime in the middle of the night it will finish.

At this point, it's backed up in the clean state and with the basic astro programs installed.  Later on, I'll try installing the SSAG and the Lodestar to see if those work.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Unhappy SSAG

Last night I setup the gear for the first time in more than a month and the SSAG decided that it was time to get confused.

I've blown away the drivers several different ways and reinstalled.  Tried a different SSAG and had the same error, so it's something about my machine.

Only major thing different that I did was install software for the Starlight Express Lodestar x2 -- a hopeful replacement for the SSAG.  Alas, the Lodestar appears to be DOA, which is why I went back to the SSAG.

Ended up using the Win7 laptop which also had its own problems with the SSAG, but at least I could use the driver under The Sky X.  Maxim and PHD2 didn't want to load the camera.  I'm not loading the Lodestar software on the Win7 machine.

Very weird.

Anyhow, tonight is a Montebello night and maybe I can get it to work by then.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fun Stuff from SV

Stellarvue usually puts on a tongue-in-cheek page on April Fool's day.

Here's the item from the site that I found chuckle worthy: