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Re: Having a Problem wiith my Neximage - UPDATE

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  • ecarfar
    Bizzare, absolutely bizzare.....I thought I had my problem licked (see below) but nope! I tried to get an image tonight, loaded up the camera on the scope and
    Message 1 of 48 , Sep 3 7:11 PM
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      Bizzare, absolutely bizzare.....I thought I had my problem licked
      (see below) but nope! I tried to get an image tonight, loaded up
      the camera on the scope and started AMCAP.....nothing. Black
      screen. As soon as I pull the camera off the scope, the image comes
      alive. If I put it back, just as the camera barrel touches the
      diagonal barrel, the image freezes. If I hold the camera 1/16th of
      an inch away from the diagonal I can clearly see jupiter and focus
      it but as soon as the camera touches the scope...BAM the image
      freezes! I have no clue as to what might be causing this and I
      don't think I've read about anyone else having this problem. I'm
      not an electrical engineer, but it seems to me that it could be
      stray voltage? Sounds good to me. Anyway, I'm really fed up with
      this thing. It worked fine on my ancient laptop and $89 meade etx60
      scope last winter, but as soon as I put it on my new computer, 10"
      LX200 in a new observatory, it doesn't work right...go figure. Any
      advice on the new Orion imager or the Meade LPI?

      --- In neximage@yahoogroups.com, "ecarfar" <ecarfar@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello all, I have an update to this problem and I hope others will
      > benefit from it. I tried the imager on my old Toshiba laptop where
      > it worked last winter (it also has a 1.0 USB!). I reinstsalled
      the
      > AMCAP program and the drivers, hooked up the cmaera and it worked
      > fine leading me to beleive that something must be wrong on my
      > observatory computer. I thought about how I hooked it up and a
      > light went off over my head (like in the cartoons, really). I was
      > running rhe USB cable to a USB port on my flat screen monitor,
      which
      > uses another usb cable to go to the computer itslef. Remembering
      > that USB cords have a limited length before the data degrades, I
      > unplugged the camera from the monitor and hooked it directly into
      > the back of the computer and, VIOLA! it works great! I just
      ordered
      > a 16' active USB cable on ebay to make the run to my computer from
      > the telescope under the floor. Hope this prevents anyone else
      from
      > making this stupid mistake!
      >
      > Thanks for the support,
      >
      > Ed
      >
      >
      > --- In neximage@yahoogroups.com, "Cafarella, Edward M."
      > <ecarfar@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Thanks, I'll try all that. The reason I said it that way
      > ("putting the
      > > camera on") was because it wasn't working at all when I started
      > with the
      > > camera in the scope. I'd pull it off, shine a light into it to
      > make
      > > sure it was working, then put it into the scope. That's when it
      > froze
      > > or didn't do anything at all. I will try it on another
      computer.
      > Like
      > > I said, it did work well on my 6 year old laptop I would've
      > thought it
      > > should work on a brand new desktop. Just seems to me like it
      > might be
      > > an issue with the AMCAP program. I don't have enough experience
      > yet to
      > > work with another program. I do have a Meade DSI Pro and I know
      > that
      > > program works with their LPI so maybe the Neximage will work
      with
      > the
      > > Meade program????
      > >
      > >
      > > ________________________________
      > >
      > > From: neximage@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:neximage@yahoogroups.com]
      > > On Behalf Of Leonard
      > > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 12:40 PM
      > > To: neximage@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: Re: [neximage] Having a Problem wiith my Neximage
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Ed:
      > >
      > > If the problem is erratic while the camera is being handled
      > (you
      > > said, "put the camera on the scope and the window freezes"),
      then
      > there
      > > might be some kind of bad connection. You could open up the
      > housing (two
      > > small philips head screws) and wiggle around the connector where
      > the USB
      > > cable connects to the printed circuit board inside (if that's the
      > > problem, fixing it will be easy). You could also try it on
      another
      > > computer if you have one handy (maybe at work?). Could also be
      > that the
      > > USB connector contacts need cleaning on the NexImage cable
      and/or
      > your
      > > computer (not likely though because they have a pretty good
      wiping
      > > action, but still worth checking). Also, turn off everything
      else
      > that
      > > you can (to reduce possible sources of EMI) whilst still
      > maintaining
      > > computer and Neximage power and see if that changes anything ...
      > maybe
      > > try it inside the house away from the observatory. The only
      other
      > thing
      > > I can think of right off hand would be checking things out with a
      > > multimeter.
      > >
      > > Anyway, I have to get back to stippling a ceiling now. :-\
      > >
      > > - Leonard
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: ecarfar <mailto:ecarfar@>
      > > To: neximage@yahoogroups.com
      > > <mailto:neximage@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 9:58 AM
      > > Subject: [neximage] Having a Problem wiith my
      > Neximage
      > >
      > >
      > > Hi all, I've had mine for a little over a year, used
      > it
      > > a bit this
      > > winter and got some captures of Saturn and the moon
      > with
      > > my Meade 125
      > > and an old Toshiba laptop. I built an observatory
      > this
      > > spring and
      > > installed my 10" LX200 on a pier and also bought a
      > new
      > > Dell computer.
      > > The past few nights I've been trying to get the
      > Neximage
      > > to work but
      > > I'm having no luck. Sometimes the live window comes
      > up,
      > > sometimes it
      > > doesn't. When it does and I put the camera on the
      > scope
      > > the window
      > > freezes. When I open Amcap now, there's nothing
      > there,
      > > just a white
      > > screen. If I try to maximize the window all I see is
      > the
      > > menu bar and
      > > my desktop icons and a lot of random lines like the
      > > program has
      > > crashed. I can't understand what's happening. I
      > > uninstalled
      > > everything and reinstalled it. I'm running Windows
      > XP so
      > > vista isn't
      > > the culprit. Do I have a bad unit? Is it time to buy
      > > something
      > > else???? Please let me know if any of this sounds
      > > fixable.
      > >
      > > Ed
      > >
      >
    • Cafarella, Edward M.
      To further add to this discussion, I mentioned the problem of the freezing camera on the scope on another forum (the Meade ETX guys), one mentioned it might be
      Message 48 of 48 , Sep 7 8:17 AM
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        To further add to this discussion, I mentioned the problem of the freezing camera on the scope on another forum (the Meade ETX guys), one mentioned it might be a ground loop, I think someone here might've mentioned that too.  The reason the camera worked on my laptop is that the laptop was running on batteries and did not complete the ground loop the PC in my observatory is a desktop running on AC power.  The cure was to run a USB hub to isolate the ground.  Now I have no idea what all that means but when I ran my newly acquired USB hub/repeater to the camera last night I had no freezing problems. 


        From: neximage@yahoogroups.com [mailto:neximage@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of kkmonte@...
        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 2:32 PM
        To: neximage@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [neximage] Re: Having a Problem wiith my Neximage - UPDATE

        Yea thats what I think, it wasn't freezing, however when you put the scope in the camera, especially if you are out of focus, you won't see anything.  Usually what I do is crank the gain/brightness up and put the camera in the scope, then find jupiter.  When your way out of focus you might just see a huge blob that takes up more of the preview box.  as you focus it, it will get smaller until you have a real nice sharp bright bright white ball. 
         
        What scope are you using?  Can you track and keep jupiter in view for a while?  if you can then i suggest using 5fps because any setting over 5fps, the neximage will use compression (bad thing).  So once at 5fps, but the gain all the way to 0, and leave the brightness somewhere around the middle setting is fine.
        Then adjust the exposure time (1/10th of a second, etc) and move it up and down until jupiter looks pretty dim on the screen.  you can play with focus, etc.  But you want to go with the dimmest exposure setting you can just barely see.  You can always make the image brighter with photoshop after processing it.  So pick the exposure time, then if you need to you can put the gain up a little bit to make it a touch brighter.
        remember more gain = more image noise, so keep the gain as low as possible. 
         
        I think i remember reading that with jupiter's rotation speed, you don't want to image for any longer then 2-3 minutes or else processing the frames will produce a fuzzy affect in the cloud bands.
         
        Hope this helps.
        Ken
         




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