Saturday, September 29, 2012

CCD Camera Goes in for Repairs

My ST-8300M began acting erratic at a star party a couple of weeks ago. I was able to pull a couple of dark frames off it when it lost contact with my laptop. Subsequent tries to reconnect all failed. Either the camera couldn't be found by the camera control software, or Windows was declaring it an unidentified USB device.

Cable swapping and driver reinstallation ensued to no good effect. It was time to consult a higher source.

I contacted SBIG and they suggested trying to use another computer. I loaded the drivers onto my desktop computer and got the same results. SBIG suggested sending in the camera for diagnosis and repair.

Two days ago I mailed it to them. I expect to hear back in a couple of weeks, and then perhaps another two weeks for repair and the return trip. Which means I'll miss the best part of autumn, and imaging from the Heart of America Star Party. Bummer.

The fallback is to rely on my DSLR for some dark-sky imaging at HOASP. I think it would be nice to do some reflection nebula imaging, perhaps the Iris?

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