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SBIG CCD Software for Linux
Developed at St. Cloud State University Author: Jeff Ward
URL: Email:

Shiny is a Linux/KDE/Qt - based program for controlling various CCDs from SBIG. In addition to basic CCD operations, Shiny includes a feature specifically for looking at spectral images and creating quick wavelength vs. intensity plots. This software was developed for an astronomy research group at St. Cloud State University that wanted to move their image acquisition stage away from Windows and onto Linux where the rest of their work was done.

Building from source

Before building the source code, make sure that you have both Qt and KDE versions 3.0 or later properly installed. For more information on this, see To build the source, issue the following commands:

        make install (as root)

(Optional): By default, SHINY will be installed in ($KDEDIR)/bin. If you want to install elsewhere, append "--prefix=/some/directory/here" to the "./configure" command.

Program Notes

Shiny supports SBIG parallel and serial port CCDs. It was written using Steve Ashe's libsbig driver which claims support for the ST-5C, ST-237, ST-7, ST-8, CFW8, and AO-7 CCDs. However, I have access to only one of these -- the ST-8 -- and cannot guarentee that the rest will work perfectly with Shiny. On the other hand, I cannot think of any reason that they wouldn't, and trying should neither bring an end to the world nor break your equipment.

The wavelength display feature for the wavelength vs. intensity plots requires a few warnings. First, as far as I know, this will only work with the SBIG SGS spectrograph. Second, the wavelengths shown are not entirely accurate. To calibrate, I used four lines on the mercury spectrum and found a linear equation through these points. The result is close, but not exact.

A couple of things need to be said about the ST-6. First, it requires a head offset to be set. SHINY will figure this offset automatically, but every now and then it can be off by one or two counts. The value varies from one CCD to another, but never really changes for the individual CCD. Once a good value has been found, it should be fine to just use that value all the time and avoid the lengthy process of auto-detecting it. If you have problems with images comming back from the ST-6 (i.e. many pixels with a value of exactly 0 or 100) try adjusting this offset (in the CCD Details window).

Also regarding the ST-6, there is a strange 750x121 mode. You can use this mode (for some reason, I don't think CCDOPS for Windows lets you use it), but you can not crop the image in the Grab Image window.

Any questions and comments are greatly welcome (see email address at top). I would even love to know if you got everything working and find this thing useful.

-Jeff Ward

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