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Cyanogen "Maxim DL/CCD" Image Processing and CCD Camera Control Software, Version 2.0

MaxIm DL Screen
Click for full-size view

The camera control package you've been waiting for, MaxIm DL/CD is the perfect tool for amateur and professional astronomers using the Windows 95/98/NT platform. MaxIm DL lets you take control of your CCD imaging!

Forget the intimidating manuals and complicated commands and interface; with Maxim DL/CCD very powerful CCD control and image processing capabilities are now within your reach.

MaxIm DL/CCD was developed to meet the specific needs of astronomical CCD imaging. The elegant MaxIm CCD user interface was designed by a professional engineer with years of experience with CCD imaging. The user interface provides the operator instant access to all camera (and autoguider) controls at all times. MaxIm CCD is fully integrated with the included MaxIm DL image processing package, MaxIm CCD lets you continue working with images during the course of an exposure! With the release of Version 2.0, MaxIm DL is now even more powerful.

Dual focus/expose controls permit you to adjust two preset camera settings:

  • one for focusing and centering, and

  • the other for taking images.

The autoguider controls are second-to-none, with advanced features including real-time guide star display, manual or automatic star selection, and declination adjustment. For the revolutionary dual-CCD cameras such as the Model ST-7 and ST-8, you can autoguide while taking image sequences or tricolor sets, no need to restart the autoguider on each exposure! Maxim CCD even works with the SBIG Model AO-7 Adaptive Optics tip/tilt module. MaxIm DL/CCD supports a good selection of other CCD camera models, filter wheels, and autoguiders too; for a complete list please see the tables below.

Version 2.0 includes support for ActiveX camera scripting, including autoguider and filter wheel control! ActiveX is built-in; no need to purchase an extra scripting package. Maxim CCD is ASCOM Compliant too!

Why use MaxIm DL/CCD? Click here to find out more!

MaxIm DL Links:
Feature List MaxIm DL image processing features Image Gallery MaxIm DL Image Gallery
MaxIm DL - CCD Image Processing Software Earth Centered Universe add this super
value planetarium and telescope control
software to MaxIm DL/CCD for only $24!
MaxIm DL - CCD Image Processing Software Why use MaxIm DL?
Download a Demo What's New in Version 2.0? Download a Demo Download the free demo version
of MaxIm DL
Customer Testimonials for MaxIm DL

Introduction to MaxIm DL/CCD Camera Control:
Please refer to our Maxim DL page for a detailed description of the software image processing features.

Control Box Window Left: Maxim CCD Control Box Window (within Maxim DL).

The MaxIm CCD control box is opened from within the MaxIm DL software suite. Once started, Maxim CCD remains operational until the program is shut down, even if it is not visible. Unlike many other software packages, all image processing functions remain active during an exposure.

Using the Expose tab, you can select exposure duration, type, set a delay time, select the filter wheel position, and enable exposure sequences. No typing is required just use the mouse!

Status of the CCD camera is displayed for the exposure, including shutter position, setting of the head cooling temperature, time, and sequence information.

Settings Window Right: Settings Window.

The Settings tab permits you to set the subframe and binning settings for your CCD camera, as well as enable auto calibration.

The subframe settings can be adjusted by dragging the mouse on the image. The subframe selection is automatically adjusted when the binning level is changed. 

Various camera control options can also be set using the Options button.

Sequence Window Left: Sequence Window.

The Sequence tab allows you to specify an automatic sequence of exposures. You can specify a tricolor sequence when using a compatible filter wheel.

A sequence number and color band is automatically appended to the file names. For example, the first image produced by the settings shown would be "".

The Focus tab provides a duplicate set of exposure controls which are independent of the main "Expose" controls. Some cameras also default to their "fast" readout mode (slightly lower quality) when this tab is used.

The convenient subframe controls can be set using the mouse or automatically, giving you the fastest focus update rate.

All of the settings work as for the Expose and Settings tabs, but remain at their previous settings. Once focused, this is very handy for locating objects. Simply set a short exposure with a high binning factor. This allows quick snapshots to help center the object, without having to change your main exposure settings.

Sequence Window Right: Focus Window.

The Inspect tab provides you with information which is helpful during focusing of the telescope onto the CCD.

The brightest star in the frame is automatically located. Peak brightness and full-width half maximum (star diameter) is displayed, along with a convenient 3-D representation of the star image.

For convenience, some of the focus controls and displays are also duplicated in this tab.

Sequence Window

Above Left: Inspect Window.

The Guide tab has many advanced autoguider control capabilities. It can operate either an dual-chip camera - either the ST-7 or ST-8 (patented by SBIG), or secondary autoguider camera. Advanced features include a "Move To Mouse Position" control, and continuous viewing of the guide star window.

For users of the SBIG series ST-7/8 cameras, the guider control will even allow you to take a sequence of tricolor exposures while guiding; this is something which no other software package can do!

Monitor autoguiding operations with a track log, or introduce varying offsets using the new Offset Tracking feature.

Guide Window Left: Guide Window.

The Setup tab allows you to select a CCD camera, autoguider, and filter wheel. Many different models are supported (see below).

The Restart button is a convenient feature which allows you to restart the CCD camera, autoguider, and filter wheel without having to reset any of the settings.

The temperature controls for the main camera are also located here

Setup Window Right: Setup Window.

On-line help is a great convenience, especially when you are working in the field. We include two types of context-sensitive help: "What's This?" help, where you can ask for information on each control, and regular help where you can ask for a complete summary of a particular dialog box. There is also general information that can be accessed through the help menu. About 70% of the user manual is on-line.

The trend in the software industry is to eliminate the user manual in favor of on-line help; Cyanogen and Company Seven believe this approach is a mistake. And so while there are on-line help supplements to the traditional instruction manual, on-line help doesn't replace it. This software includes a well written, spiral bound, comprehensive user manual. It includes tutorial information, tips, and explanations of all program functions.

And of course, we will keep real live people at Company Seven and at Cyanogen available to help you should the documentation and on line help features still leave you confounded.

MaxIm CCD Equipment Support List
Camera Manufacturer Model Operating System
Apogee Instruments AP, KX, SPH, AM, parallel port New! Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-4 Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-5 serial New! Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-5C Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-6 Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-7, ST-7E Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-8, ST-8E Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-9E New! Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-237
Santa Barbara Instruments Group AO-7 New! Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Celestron PixCel 255 Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Celestron PixCel 237 Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Finger Lakes Instruments Contact FLI for information Windows 95/98 only
HiSIS HiSIS-22 Windows 95/98 only
Starlight Xpress MX5 Windows 95/98, Windows NT New!
Starlight Xpress MX5-C (single-shot color) Windows 95/98, Windows NT New!
Starlight Xpress HX516 Windows 95/98, Windows NT New!
Meade Pictor 208XT Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Meade Pictor 216XT Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Meade Pictor 416XT Serial SCSI New! Windows 95/98, Windows NT
Mead Pictor 1616XT Serial SCSI New! Windows 95/98, Windows NT

Filter Wheel Manufacturer Model Notes
Santa Barbara Instruments Group CFW-8 Control via SBIG ST-5/6/7/8/9 or parallel port
Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-5C/ST-237 Internal Filter Wheel Also supports PixCel 255, PixCel 237
Santa Barbara Instruments Group CFW-6A Control via SBIG ST-6/7/8/9
Homeyer MFW Filter wheel Control via SBIG ST-5/6/7/8/9 or parallel port
Optec Filter wheel Control via SBIG ST-5/6/7/8/9 or parallel port
Meade Pictor 616 Filter Wheel Control via Pictor 416XT or 1616XT
Direct PC Parallel Port Control SBIG, Homeyer, Optec models Windows 95/98, Windows NT New!

Third-Party Plug-In Drivers Available From Notes
Integrated Scientific Imaging Systems from ISI Filter wheel and camera support available; contact ISI to obtain drivers
Custom Camera Plug-In Kit Company Seven or Cyanogen Kit includes sample "DummyCCD" driver, with source code. Also supports filter wheels and autoguiders.
More To Come!

This is what some of our users are saying about MaxIm DL/CCD

"...offers complete control of the CCD experience, from image acquisition to final processing, in a single application"
- Sky & Telescope magazine, December 1998
Read the
Sky & Telescope Review

"Far and away the best CCD control and image processing program for Windows 95." - Dave Harvey, University of Arizona

"After many years of using many image processing programs, I find that MaxIm DL is the fastest for calibrating and processing my images.
Maxim DL has saved me a lot of time." - Tim Puckett

"It's a wonderful camera control package. For the first time in two years I'm beginning to feel that I am in control of the camera, and not vice versa."
- Larry Denmark

"Maxim DL/CCD has been working wonderfully. I find the program intuitive...
Imaging sessions are now much more productive" - Dan Knauss


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