Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

stargazine_ep28_banner.thumb.jpg.b94278254f44dd38f3f7ee896fe45525.jpg

badgers

Help - Atik 460ex

Recommended Posts

I got setup tonight as usual booted up Maxim DL and took a few test shots on my Atik 460ex to get focused.

Every image I get back has got horizontal single pixel white lines. One large one and one smaller one.

I've rebooted, changed all the cables tried another power-supply etc. etc.

Any advice ?  I'm not doing anything different to my usual setup.

I don't know what I'll do if the camera is broken, it's the single most expensive thing I've bought.....

It's 16 months old, so I guess it's out of warranty :(

post-19171-0-68954500-1381864792_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ping an email to Atik Anton - they are very good.  Maybe a silly question but your battery and USB cables are OK?   Yes, I know everyone says yes to simple troubleshooting questions like that but truly have you tried changing/swapping things?  Different USB port etc on your laptop etc?  I have found these cameras very susceptible to power issues and batteries on their way out, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... also, is this with it cooled down?  Have you tried different temps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to my world :( This is a partial column defect, it's not covered by the warranty and all the manufacturers will tell you the same :(

It stacks out with bias/dithering though :)

(Edit) Mine was purchased brand new and came with one of them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to my world :( This is a partial column defect, it's not covered by the warranty and all the manufacturers will tell you the same :(

It stacks out with bias/dithering though :)

I'd suggest starting a stink on Facebook - the power of social media should not be underestimated. £2300 spent on something that has such a fundamental issue after just 16 months?  That is not acceptable in my opinion even if there are workarounds.

https://www.facebook.com/atikcameras?fref=ts

They will soon take notice.

I am based in Nottingham - if you want to try some of my stuff in a process of elimination I am happy to lend it you Anton/Stephen.  I am always in Derby/Cambridge.

Edited by kirkster501

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arghghgh

I had a lodestar like this with 3 of them on arrival, but FLO kindly replaced it.

I don't get how it just appeared overnight.

I guess I'll have to redo all my bias frames and darks....

I'm not a happy camper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

to answer questions the questions above.

Yes, I've tried cooled, uncooled and different temperatues.

I've gone through 2 power supplies

I've tried 3 USB cables.

I've tried another windows box.

looks like its here to stay.

Edited by badgers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, this is not the end of the Earth (even though I thought it was when I opened my brand new 460) :)

Cosmic ray strikes ... that's the usual culprit and the bottom line is this - it won't impact your images at all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anton, I'd still raise this with your supplier and see what they say - it's not that far beyond the warranty period

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...temps?

I always fire off bias every time anyway, only takes a few mins.  And just build the darks library at the temp you image at.  Simples :)

That said, I'd still be onto Facebook and raise a case wit Atik direct explaining you are not a happy bunny.  Gee, the Rubbish weather we get my camera has only been out four times in the four months I have bought mine, running down the warranty!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, this is not the end of the Earth (even though I thought it was when I opened my brand new 460) :)

Cosmic ray strikes ... that's the usual culprit and the bottom line is this - it won't impact your images at all!

I am electronics engineer by training - trust me ;)  The CCD transistors constitute a very, VERY thin layer on top of the substrate.  Its just a few microns thick.  Any tap, or bang, or thermal shock can minutely crack the substrate beneath and break the CCD transistors directly above the crack.   That is a possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes thanks for the reassurance Stephen, I should probably not panic.

I was all set to pack up and not bother tonight... But I'll go out anyway and get some imaging done. I'll see how it looks after bias subtraction tomorrow.

The camera was from Teleskop Service, I'm not sure how their customer service are for things like this.

Thanks again for the support

Anton

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bias and Dark frames will soon sort this out. I had a similar issue some time ago with another manufacturer and they too denied culpability and to my surprise were supported by the retailer whose opinion I would trust (it wasn't FLO by the way) so I believe that this is just 'one of those things' that we have to contend with. My Bias frames were enough to completely resolve the issue which is not necessarily a manufacturing fault - apparently a charged particle 'hit' can cause this.

All of that said, I was not a happy bunny at the time and if the manufacturer will take the hit then more power to you - mine wouldn't but then I won't be buying another imaging camera from that manufacturer again either!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OOpps, I must be a slow typist - most of what I just typed has already been covered :embarrassed:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am electronics engineer by training - trust me ;)  The CCD transistors constitute a very, VERY thin layer on top of the substrate.  Its just a few microns thick.  Any tap, or bang, or thermal shock can minutely crack the substrate beneath and break the CCD transistors directly above the crack.   That is a possibility.

Yes, I guess so...

And yes, I will be onto Atik regardless and see what they say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes thanks for the reassurance Stephen, I should probably not panic.

I was all set to pack up and not bother tonight... But I'll go out anyway and get some imaging done. I'll see how it looks after bias subtraction tomorrow.

The camera was from Teleskop Service, I'm not sure how their customer service are for things like this.

Thanks again for the support

Anton

Teleskop service customer service is second to none.  Brilliant.  You will have no issue from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good to hear!

I took a punt on them for the Atik due to currency fluctuations.... The following week FLO had them on special offer about £200 cheaper : )

I'll drop them a line in the morning, but it's hopefully fixed with the bias frames assuming the defect is consistent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a punt on them for the Atik due to currency fluctuations.... The following week FLO had them on special offer about £200 cheaper : )

I'll drop them a line in the morning, but it's hopefully fixed with the bias frames assuming the defect is consistent.

Don't be too hard on them Anton, as others have said it should not be a cause for concern :smiley:

Here at FLO we have occasionally swopped cameras, both in and out of warranty, but only as a goodwill gesture. It isn't something we or the manufacturers consider a fault. It is a type of readout artefact which is common with larger CCDs (regardless of camera manufacturer). The value of the pixels in the line is usually so low that under normal imaging conditions it would not be seen. The reason for calibration is to remove such artefact's. SBIG published an article on the subject Dark Frames and Column Defects which is worth a read. 

HTH, 

Steve 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Steve, my defect looks almost identical to the one in Figure 2 of the SBIG PDF, so hopefully will vanish away with bias and darks.

I was more worried about some electronic or power issue, the more reading I do now the more I see how common these are.

I feel like a bit of a wally now for over-reacting.....

But I love that Atik : )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything to report from Atik Anton?  Very interested to hear how this progresses.

Rgds, Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anton, I'd still raise this with your supplier and see what they say - it's not that far beyond the warranty period

I'd agree with this.

I get that CCDs are not perfect unless you're willing to spend a lot for the top graded chips which aren't necessary for astro work, and that cosmic ray strikes can cause this, but still worth seeing if you can get it replaced as a goodwill gesture.  If nothing else it will impact on the second hand value of the camera...

Edited by x6gas
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suggest starting a stink on Facebook - the power of social media should not be underestimated. £2300 spent on something that has such a fundamental issue after just 16 months?  That is not acceptable in my opinion even if there are workarounds.

https://www.facebook.com/atikcameras?fref=ts

They will soon take notice.

I am based in Nottingham - if you want to try some of my stuff in a process of elimination I am happy to lend it you Anton/Stephen.  I am always in Derby/Cambridge.

They won't and they can't. This is fundamental to all CCD chips and is not covered either by the chip maker's warranty or the camera maker's. It has absolutely nothing to do with which make of camera you have. It just comes with the turf and arises from cosmic ray strikes, I think. It isn't a 'fault' in the normal sense of the term. Most of us have had these to deal with after a while and deal with them you can.

Bias and dither are very effective. Some stacking softwares (like Astro Art) also allow you to identify the pixel column by number and it will be corrected in stacking. (Mouse over the bias to read the number of the comumn.) I have never actually tried this so can't say how well it works. You can try a free download of AA5 to try it though.

I also thought up a simple way of doing it in Photoshop, viz;

Copy layer.

Bottom layer; Filter, Other, Offset. Move the bottom layer a pixel or two to the left or right.

Top layer, use a small eraser to run down the column, replacing it with the offset pixels from the bottom layer.

Flatten.

Done.

Don't worry, this one pixel column defect is very common.

Olly

(Sorry, when I wrote the above I'd only seen the first page of the thread so I'm a bit repetitive. Let me tell you that I use a camera down here which has been an APOD and competition winner in the hands of its owner and the columns on that would make your hair curl - a fate from which I'm mercifully exempt!)

Edited by ollypenrice
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no expert on the problem, but it'll be well worth researching EU law on warranty periods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no expert on the problem, but it'll be well worth researching EU law on warranty periods.

I think you'll find the chip manufacturs are well covered by their legal departments. We are talking about Sony and Kodak here...

However, I also think that the manufacturer's sites should be clear about this. For the 11000, my own Atik, this is certainly the case. See the paragraph entitled 'CCD Grades' on this page; http://www.atik-cameras.com/products/info/atik-11000

Yet another idea, though not one I've tried;

Artemis capture allows you to 'rotate 180.' If you do this you have to rotate your darks and flats accordingly. I wonder if it might be worthwhile to shoot half a run rotated and half a run not, thereby halving any defects? Just thinking out loud...

Olly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.