SBIG DL Imaging (SBIG Gen 3)

For this driver, please select DL Imaging on the Setup tab.

This driver supports USB and WiFi / Ethernet cameras controlled via the "Generation 3" DL Imaging drivers. This includes all STC, Aluma AC, Aluma CCD, and StarChaser models along with their associated filter wheels and AO accessories.

For "Generation 2" SBIG cameras (STF, STT, STX, STXL, STL, and older models) use SBIG Universal.

Important Note:  Under Setup tab Options you must turn ON both Access camera from separate thread and Access filter wheel from separate thread for this driver to work correctly.  This driver requires threading.

The latest version of the DL Imaging camera drivers are required. You can download them from http://www.diffractionlimited.com - browse to the section for your camera model and select the Downloads tab.  (The Gen 2 "SBIG Driver Checker" is not used for these cameras.)

Low-level Windows USB drivers are installed automatically from Windows Update when you plug in the camera. If they do not install for some reason, or you do not have Internet access, the appropriate files are on the memory stick included with your camera.

Note:  For MaxIm DL Version 6.24 and later this driver reports the DATE-OBS FITS keyword as the exposure midpoint. This provides the best compatibility with the StackPro feature available on many of the CMOS camera models.

DL Imaging cameras can support a wide variety of Readout Modes, which are selected on the Expose tab.  Depending on the model, this may include high speed / low noise options, alternate gain modes, StackPro in-camera stacking, dual-gain HDR imaging modes, and more.  Please refer to the camera documentation for detailed information on the various modes.

Connecting to the Camera

For USB operation, please connect the camera to the computer prior to opening MaxIm DL's Camera Control Panel.

To select available cameras, click the Advanced button.  USB cameras will appear immediately.  For WiFi and Ethernet cameras click the Refresh button to scan the network for cameras (Note:  WiFi cameras will likely require configuration to connect to your network; see WiFi Camera Network Configuration below for details.)

Available cameras will appear in the Devices list.  If your camera is not marked with an asterix (*) click on it.  It will highlight to show that it is the selected camera, then click OK to accept.

AO Configuration:  If you are operating an SBIG AO unit, such as the AO-8A or AO-X, then you will need to set the AO setting to Sensor 1 or Sensor 2.  If you are not using an AO unit then set it to Off. Please note:

To select and configure your camera, click the Advanced button.  The following dialog appears:

The DL::Config dialog will show all USB connected cameras immediately.  To see any WiFi or Ethernet connected cameras on your network, click the Scan button.

To configure a camera's advanced settings, click on the model/serial number under Devices, then click the Settings button.  The following options are available:

Camera Info

Under Camera Info details on the camera is displayed:

Additional technical information on the camera is also available.  Most cameras have a single sensor (Main sensor).  Some older models that supported external guide heads and self-guiding filter wheels also have a guide sensor (Ext Sensor).  The information for each sensor can be displayed by clicking on the appropriate tab. Available information may include:

ID - sensor index.  Usually 0 except for guide sensors, which are shown as 1.

R/O Modes - available readout modes.  Many cameras have optional readout modes, which appear in the Readout Modes drop list in the Expose tab.  See the camera user manual for details on their purpose and function.

Frame Type - displays the shuttering technology of the camera sensor; for example, CMOS sensors can be Rolling Shutter or Global Shutter.

Model - camera model identifier.

Exp Precision - the minimum increment that can be used to adjust the exposure time.

Filter Type - Type of sensor: 0 = Monochrome, 1 = Color,  2 = Sparse Color.

Cooler Min (C) - minimum sensor cooler setpoint supported by the cooler controls.  Please note that depending on ambient conditions and fan settings the camera may not be able to achieve this temperature.

Cooler Max (C) - maximum sensor cooler setpoint supported by the cooler controls.  Please note that the sensor will not regulate above ambient temperature.

eGain - The gain of the camera, in photoelectrons per ADU (at 1x1 binning in the first readout mode; some cameras will have a different gain when binned or in a different readout mode).

Substrate V - substrate voltage setting, when applicable (CCD only).

Min Exp Length - the minimum exposure supported by the sensor.  This will be slower for full frame CCD sensors that require a mechanical shutter; other sensors will support shorter exposures.

Flag - reserved for future use.

Max Binning (Dimension / X / Y) - Maximum horizontal binning available (X) and maximum vertical binning available (Y).

Pixel Count (Dimension / X / Y) - Number of horizontal imaging pixels available (X), and number of vertical imaging pixels available (Y)

Pixel Size (Dimension / X / Y) - Size of individual pixels in X (horizontal) and Y (vertical), in microns.

WiFi Camera Network Configuration

When connecting to a wireless network, your WiFi-enabled camera needs to be configured for the network's security Mode, SSID (network ID), and Passphrase (password). This can be done via the USB interface as follows:

  1. Connect the camera to your computer's USB port.
  2. Start MaxIm DL and and bring up the Config dialog.
  3. Click on your USB-connected camera from the Devices list. Information on the camera will appear at right.
  4. Under Network Config at top right, select your network security Mode, network SSID (network name), and if secured enter your Passphrase.  If the Passphrase needs to be entered in Hexadecimal (0-9, A-F) turn on the Hex check box; if it is text then leave this turned off. Turn on the USA/Canada check box if you are in those territories; this determines the range of network channels available to the camera.
  5. Once your selections have been made, click the Update button to send these parameters to the camera.
  6. The camera will reboot.
  7. Unplug the USB cable from the camera.  This will switch it to WiFi mode. Click the Scan button to confirm that it is visible on the network.

You can now switch the Camera drop box on the main Setup dialog box to WiFi, and connect to the camera.

Availability of this feature depends on Product Level.