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Pole Master lag and redraw issues

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#1 mlnewton

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 06:50 PM

Anyone having an issue with Pole Master screen refresh lagging two or three seconds behind physical adjustments? My previous laptop died after less than a year (HP running Windows 10).  Polemaster worked fine on it. My replacement is an ASUS gaming laptop with USB 3.0 ports and SSD + SATA drives. This new laptop runs all my astrophotography and sky chart programs well... except Pole Master. I have seen similar issues going back to late 2016. It may have something to do with DirectX but that is all I have seen. I am a Mac guy so much of that is voodoo to me.

 

HELP!

 

Louis in Winston-Salem, NC



#2 chadrian84

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 07:15 PM

Yes... I have the same problem with my new Acer laptop with Windows 10 Pro, hex core i7-8750H, GTX1060, 16gb Ram, 1TB SSD.  The PM works fine on my other slightly older Windows 10 Pro laptop.  I started a thread on the QHY forum about this.  I've spent many hours trying everything I can think of with no luck.  QHY's latest recommendation is to try "playing a song in the background when running polemaster" because this may somehow help it.  I haven't had a clear night to test this potential trick yet.  

 

If you get this figured out please post the solution here.  It wouldn't hurt to join the QHY forum and let them know you're also having the problem (maybe then they'll actually get it fixed).


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#3 ShortLobster

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 07:30 PM

I had this issue and resolved it by playing a video in Windows Media Player on repeat. I believe it is somehow related to power saving settings interfering with USB traffic, and others have solved it by modifying those settings. 


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#4 mlnewton

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 07:34 PM

Chad, I saw a QHY forum post where a QHYtech recommended the song or video trick. The poster said it made little difference to their performance in PM. I looked at the DirectX control panel and saw nothing that would affect PM performance. I wonder if there is still a “run in compatibility mode” setting in Windows. Years ago that used to cure a bunch of ills.



#5 mlnewton

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 10:44 PM

Shortlobster, I have located the power settings that regulate power to usb devices and modified them to keep power on all the time. The settings are buried pretty deep in the control panel but this may be the key. Playing a song or video may force power manager to remain on continually. How that controls power to USB ports I have no idea. When we get some clear skies in a couple of days, I will report back. I also put PM into compatibility mode. Bad science doing two things at one time but if it works...



#6 mlnewton

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 10:38 AM

The lagging screen redraw may be related to screen resolution? I will test at a lower resolution when skies clear and report back. My new laptop defaults to a very high definition/resolution screen unlike my dead laptop that used a lower resolution by default. 



#7 chadrian84

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 11:54 AM

I think I tried compatibility modes and it wasn’t helping. The resolution on my laptop #1 where it works is the same as laptop #2, where PM lags, so I don’t think that’s the issue. Both are 1920x1080.
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#8 mlnewton

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 03:11 PM

In my exchanges with QHY, the best they have to offer is to run a video or music in a loop or to download their newest QHYccd.dll file from the Developer link. On my own I am trying the battery conservation settings to make sure usb devices are not turned off while not in use. I will see if any of this works tomorrow night when we are finally clear here.



#9 mlnewton

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 11:24 AM

Here is the latest on Pole Master screen lagging from QHY. Have not tested their recommendation yet but here it is. Go to their site and locate the Development tab at the top right. Select the SDK download and open that. After it unpacks, locate the qhyccd.dll file and use it to replace the same file in the Pole Master directory. It will require a restart to take effect. The old file is several years old and the new one is recent. Additionally, running a looped video while using PM also stops the lagging but I feel this is a less than desirable “fix”.

 

Note:  Tested out the replacement .dll file last night and it was totally ineffective. My out of the box new imaging laptop is also afflicted with this bothersome lagging. Running a short video in an endless loop does “correct” the issue.


Edited by mlnewton, 26 January 2019 - 10:01 AM.

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#10 mlnewton

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 06:02 PM

Latest indications are that something called “hyperthreading” may be the root problem. The latest versions of Windows has excluded the ability to edit or change this BIOS component. Perhaps this is why QHY has been slow in correcting this issue...



#11 DuncanM

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 09:00 PM

I wonder if it would help to assign the Polemaster thread to a specific processor core?



#12 chadrian84

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 09:50 PM

To follow-up:  Having Stellarium open and minimized fixes the problem for me.  A YouTube video works as well.



#13 mlnewton

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 10:12 PM

I run a short video in a loop and that works. I have pretty much given up on QHY fixing this. 



#14 BlueGrass

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 10:35 PM

If hyperthreading is involved, it can typically be disabled in the BIOS at boot on most systems. Not familiar with these newer laptops. Hyperthreading allows Intel CPUs to create secondary CPU cores in addition to the physical cores. For example, a dual core CPU is seen as a quad core. In the past, I've had engineers using distributed computational modeling software wanting all the hyperthreading disabled on the various node systems because it decreased the overall performance of the software. From my experience, playing a video or music playlist typically keeps windows from activating the screen saver or system power profile. Sounds like this behavior is what is helping with the PM software .. confused1.gif



#15 mlnewton

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 11:14 PM

 I have been using the running video trick but users should not have to do that.The latest versions of Win 10 have removed the option to edit the portion of the BIOS containing the hyper threading controls. I checked it about a month ago it it was a no go. Of course, I am a Mac guy and may have missed something but I followed the instructions from MicroSoft to the letter. It appears to be a combo of hyper threading and battery life controls. I have been using the looping video tick for some time now but users should not have to do that.


Edited by mlnewton, 13 March 2019 - 11:21 PM.


#16 BlueGrass

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 12:48 PM

 If I'm not mistaken, the disabling of hyperthreading or multi-core support in the system's BIOS is a separate issue from the core thread assignments or parking done within Windows itself. Rebooting your system and entering into the BIOS setup, before Windows loads, will give you access to the various options available to any OS you run on that system, whether it's Windows or Linux. If you're not comfortable doing this, check the system documentation on the manufacturer's website and see if there's a document on the various BIOS settings and what they do. This will tell you if you can disable multi-core support. With a few exceptions, outside of Windows itself, few applications are really designed to detect and use multi-core environments. For astro software, PixInsight is one of the main heavy lifters when it comes to multi-core, multi-thread support but I'm sure there may be a few others. The main point in disabling multi-core support is that Windows itself, and the multiple applications you might run under Windows, will suffer a performance penalty because you're essentially reducing the processor capabilities of the system.

 

 My inclination is that the problem is tied to the USB subsystem and any throttling being done by Windows to conserve power on that bus and that maybe the QHY software is accessing the PoleMaster camera outside of the normal avenues Windows provides?  Obviously, it does seem that QHY needs to re-write the Polemaster software to enable it to run regardless of the power settings or number of cores currently enabled, IF .. the problem in their software really is tied to these two areas. Other capture software such as SGP that also accesses imaging devices via USB don't seem to have this problem?  One last thought and a test for those who have SharpCap: Since I believe SharpCap can detect and use the PoleMaster camera, does SharpCap have the same re-draw, update problems? If it does, then that would point to the camera driver as the possible problem. I know comparing imaging capture software such as SGP to the Polemaster is somewhat mixing apples and oranges so a SharpCap test would be more inline with using the Polemaster as a live view device...  and you're right: You shouldn't have to play a movie to use the software ... lol.gif


Edited by BlueGrass, 14 March 2019 - 01:01 PM.


#17 mlnewton

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:07 PM

George, I did enter the BIOS at startup and the expected checkbox for hyper threading was not there but was shown in the examples given on various sites addressing issues with it. I use SharpCap almost exclusively for CMOS imaging and it performs nearly flawlessly. 

 

I believe the battery saving routines controlling USB are a culprit to be suspected. I have modified every setting controlling this that I can find and it has some effect but after a minute the lagging returns. 

 

I have been in contact with QHY and they have offered a few possible things to try. The only one that works is running a media file in a loop in the background. Perhaps, when their sales falter enough, they will give it appropriate attention. 

 

My previous HP laptop did not show this issue while running Win 10. A new ASUS laptop and my current Lenovo  both are afflicted.

 

Thanks for your input.


Edited by mlnewton, 14 March 2019 - 02:28 PM.


#18 BlueGrass

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:31 PM

One last thought, since QHY suggested replacing one of the driver / application DLL files, that also makes me think they're focusing on the problem being a lower-level driver issue. Since you have SharpCap, then you can test if it suffers the same performance problems when connected to the PoleMaster camera ..

 

 There are so many factors involved when trying to troubleshoot this type of problem, particularly when not all systems exhibit the same behavior. The various laptops you've tested could have different system board chipsets... Since you've been in contact with QHY, if you haven't already, I'd suggest you provide them with the make and model of the affected systems as well as the make / model of the systems that perform normally. That could help them resolve any driver issues between USB chipsets and Windows system drivers ...  



#19 mlnewton

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 02:27 PM

One other reference I just rediscovered states that the i7 processor does not play nice with hyper threading and certain 32 bit software, which PM is... My older HP is an i5 and it works. I haven’t tried it on my MacBook Pro but my understanding is that there is lagging on them, too. I guess I will just keep looping a video until QHY does an appropriate update.


Edited by mlnewton, 14 March 2019 - 02:31 PM.


#20 Art Morrison

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:21 AM

I have this problem also, using a Lenovo Legion Y7000 laptop with windows 10 64 bit. That laptop, like many gaming laptops now uses two graphics adapters that are auto-selected. I went into device manager and right-clicked the integrated display adapter and disabled it, so it only uses the Nvidia adapter. After rebooting, Polemaster responded much better. Delay was only a fraction of a second. Have not tested at night yet in an actual alignment session but the 20 second lag I was seeing is gone. Crossing fingers...



#21 mlnewton

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 10:02 AM

Art M. Mine also is a Lenovo Legion Y gamer. Not sure of the series but will check out what you tried. Hope to get out tonight after the clouds pass. Will post my results.

 

Mine is a Y-530.


Edited by mlnewton, 02 April 2019 - 10:05 AM.


#22 Art Morrison

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 11:55 AM

Art M. Mine also is a Lenovo Legion Y gamer. Not sure of the series but will check out what you tried. Hope to get out tonight after the clouds pass. Will post my results.

 

Mine is a Y-530.

Just be aware that you will loose screen brightness control when you do this (it went to max on mine). Also, you do not need to reboot for this to take effect so I would disable it, do the polar align, and then re-enable. Good luck. Also, SharpCap Pro behaves the same way as the Polemaster software when connected to the Polemaster camera - i.e. 20 sec lag time between screen updates.


Edited by Art Morrison, 02 April 2019 - 12:14 PM.


#23 mlnewton

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 01:54 PM

Thanks Art. I observed the same effects and anticipated changing the integrated media adapter back if the results of the change bothered me. But, it is probably about the same bother as having to run a video in the background. I expect your fix will be effective though. Skies are clearing even as I write this (it was snowing an hour ago) so I plan on going out.



#24 Art Morrison

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 05:29 PM

Thanks Art. I observed the same effects and anticipated changing the integrated media adapter back if the results of the change bothered me. But, it is probably about the same bother as having to run a video in the background. I expect your fix will be effective though. Skies are clearing even as I write this (it was snowing an hour ago) so I plan on going out.

I have been playing with the settings and trying different things. Here is the best I have so far. Instead of just disabling the integrated adapter, go to Nvidia control panel and select "Use the advanced 3D image settings" and then choose "Manage 3D settings".  Under the programs tab you can customize the graphics for each program without having to change the global settings. You have to browse and add polemaster, then choose Nvidia graphics specifically for it. This works also. There is some sort of super tiny text scrolling through the screen though.  Then I replaced the old 2016 qhyccd.dll with the new one from the QHY SDK  site. It is dated 2019 so a much more recent file. This action eliminated the weird text artifacts scrolling in the screen and everything looks good now. Polemaster refreshes about 4 to 5 times a second now. 



#25 mlnewton

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 10:30 PM

OK, went out tonight and tried Art’s PoleMaster fix and it works. It has some drawbacks related to display but the lagging stops when the gamer enhanced video card is disable in device manager leaving only the Nvidia card functioning. My recommendation is to disable for polar alignment then reactivate for regular use. Thanks Art... good catch.




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