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Proper procedure to connect and power up camera and equipment?

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#1 rockenrock

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 04:16 AM

Hi,

I hope this is the correct place in the CN forums for this...

Is there a proper sequence (and why) to connect and power up the imaging system? For example I have the following (a little simplified):

-- Laptop with power brick, running Maxim DL6.

-- STT8300M camera with power brick and USB 2 cable to laptop.

-- Losmandy G11 / Gemini 2 with power brick connected by LAN cable.

 

I have seen written by a moderator in SBIG forum it does not matter.

        -- There is no mention I can find in the instruction manual of camera or on Gemini2 website.

I have email from the SBIG service technician saying connect everything, then turn on camera last.

 

What should I do  if  when Maxim DL crashes and I have to restart it or reboot the computer? Turn everything off and restart? Another 15 to 20 minutes to settle the cooling?

 

Should I follow a sequence to power down a system?

 

Thanks,

      Roger

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 pyrasanth

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 05:19 AM

In the event of a software crash, and this might not be possible, try & cleanly disconnect the devices from the various interfaces, an abrupt forced restart from task manager can leave the ports in an unstable state which can prevent re-connection requiring a reboot of the computer.

 

I've noticed that some devices take more kindly to be being power recycled. Others can be uncooperative if they originally had an active port connection and even a power reset sometimes does not free up the port being used.

 

On my computer I have everything ready with power plugs connected and then connect the mains supply which directly powers the 12 volt PSU that sends power to the rig runner back to the connected devices. I find it risky to plug devices in with power supplied. Some of the 12 volt connectors have enough play to generate a spark or worse a surge that can damage the device being connected.

 

I would turn everything on together by isolating the mains supply then applying power to the ready plugged in devices so they all get power at once.

 

If power gets disconnected to a camera being cooled it is only going to warm back up as fast as the ambient temperature allows and I would think thermal shock would be more of an issue with rapid cooling versus a gentle warm up.

 

The safest way in my opinion is to apply power in one go and if you need to disconnect with power the safest route is with a switch and not a potentially rocking 12 volt power connector in the socket.

 

Good luck and as always clear skies.


Edited by pyrasanth, 04 March 2019 - 08:00 AM.


#3 rockenrock

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 12:36 PM

Pyrasanth,

Thank you for your reply.

Can you explain more about "try and cleanly disconnect the devices from the various interfaces, an abrupt forced restart from task manager can leave the ports in an unstable state which can prevent re-connection requiring a reboot of the computer."  Are you talking software, power, cables? 

 

Do you know if USB connections susceptible to damage, and need a power up sequence? Maybe it is a "be safer" recommendation.

 

In my experience I have never known a USB product that had a sequence how to connect it. There are few USB products that also have power connections though. 

 

Thanks.



#4 pfile

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 12:50 PM

the first thing that i turn on is my 12V power supply, which is directly connected to my mach1.

 

everything else is behind another switch. when i flip that switch, my USB hub, my PC, my STT-8300M, my focuser and my rotator are all simultaneously powered on. i've been running my system like this for years without any trouble.

 

rob



#5 WadeH237

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:18 PM

I have all of my gear sharing a single power supply (or battery bank if in the field).

 

For an idea of gear, I have an Astro-Physics mount with a board hung on the side of the pier that has a WiFi router with 5 Ethernet ports, a USB hub and a RigRunner for power distribution.  The RigRunner supplies power to the mount, the router, the USB hub, an ASI1600 camera with ZWO filter wheel, an Ultrastar guide camera, a DewBuster controller and an Optec FocusLynx.  The mount and FocusLynx are connected to wire Ethernet ports on the router, the ASI 1600 is connected to the USB hub on the pier, and the filter wheel and guide camera are connected to the USB hub on the ASI1600.

 

I start the system by applying power to the RigRunner.  This powers up the mount and all other gear, except the laptop.  I wait a minute or so before booting the computer.  This gives the router time to assign IP addresses to the mount and FocusLynx.  I then start the computer.  It connects to the USB devices via the hub on the pier.

 

I start the software by connecting to the mount first via APCC (and Astro-Physics utility).  I then start TheSkyX and connect it to the mount via ASCOM.  Finally, I start SGP and use its "Connect All Equipment" option to connect it to the mount, the main camera, the guide camera (it starts PHD as a byproduct of this) and the focuser.  I am then ready for imaging.

 

To shut down, I use SGP's "Disconnect All Equipment", then shut down SGP.  Then disconnect TheSkyX from the mount and shut it down.  If I am going to park the mount in a particular place, I do this through the mount's ASCOM driver and then shut down APCC (which unloads the ASCOM driver for the mount).  At this point, all of the software is disconnected, so I shut down the computer.  After the computer has fully shut down, I remove power from the system and everything is off.

 

Repeat on the next clear night.


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#6 elmiko

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:59 PM

I do the same order as Wade. Seems to be the best way. If I power my laptop before my camera the camera doesn't connect when I try connecting in Nebulosity 4 , which I use for Aquisition.


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#7 psandelle

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 04:12 PM

I'm with Wade and elmiko on this. Laptop comes on last, or it might not see some of the items. If MaxIM (5.24 for me, though I'm going TheSkyX Pro finally, having had it for a long time but never transferring over) crashes, I just reboot the computer, and since I start with my items already powered before the computer boots, rebooting is basically the same thing. I've run all sorts of software from MaxIM to TheSkyX to Prism to...etc., etc., etc. and this way works for me (on three different laptops over the last 7 years). At the end of the imaging, I shut down the laptop, then unplug my main power connectors, then unplug from the items (camera, focuser, MGBox).

 

Paul


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#8 t-ara-fan

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 04:19 PM

I turn everything on in random order. Seems to work fine.

 

A major USB brainf@rt requires turning everything of and on again.



#9 rockenrock

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 03:04 AM

I'm with Wade and elmiko on this. Laptop comes on last, or it might not see some of the items. If MaxIM (5.24 for me, though I'm going TheSkyX Pro finally, having had it for a long time but never transferring over) crashes, I just reboot the computer, and since I start with my items already powered before the computer boots, rebooting is basically the same thing. I've run all sorts of software from MaxIM to TheSkyX to Prism to...etc., etc., etc. and this way works for me (on three different laptops over the last 7 years). At the end of the imaging, I shut down the laptop, then unplug my main power connectors, then unplug from the items (camera, focuser, MGBox).

 

Paul

Paul, Elmiko and Wade,

Thanks for your clear explanations. I think the main point is to not be connecting USB cables after things powered up, and to power up the laptop last so it will cleanly connect. The SBIG service guy says power the Camera last. So unless I have some connection problems I will do that.

I am wondering if the whole problem is some ground loop, even though all power bricks are connected to the same power strip.

I checked my laptop USB port and it has no power (won't charge phone) when laptop is off. If it did there might be a ground potential between it and the camera? 

Roger


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#10 pyrasanth

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 04:59 PM

Pyrasanth,

Thank you for your reply.

Can you explain more about "try and cleanly disconnect the devices from the various interfaces, an abrupt forced restart from task manager can leave the ports in an unstable state which can prevent re-connection requiring a reboot of the computer."  Are you talking software, power, cables? 

 

Do you know if USB connections susceptible to damage, and need a power up sequence? Maybe it is a "be safer" recommendation.

 

In my experience I have never known a USB product that had a sequence how to connect it. There are few USB products that also have power connections though. 

 

Thanks.

It is important to try & shut down connections to devices the right way. If you have a number of devices connected through an application like the SkyX or SGP then if one of the devices crashes don't exit the SkyX or SGP without trying to disconnect all the connected devices before you exit the main program. Remember that even if a device connects via a USB interface its protocol may not be what you expect as a number of USB type connections still use serial connectivity over USB as an example.

 

If an application hangs with connected devices and you are forced to stop the application with windows task manager thus taking out all connected devices it is often better to restart the computer as inconvenient as this may be however with SSD drives a reboot is not as bad as a mechanical drive reboot.

 

As for your question we can be talking drivers that crash hardware which can require a power recycle so any thing goes in that unexpected situation.

 

Sadly quite a lot of drivers still misbehave and recover badly from a crash.


Edited by pyrasanth, 05 March 2019 - 05:03 PM.


#11 jrsm

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 08:51 PM

Everything on my mount is powered by ca adapters powered from the same power bar. Usb ports are generally permanently connected to the PC.
The device manager shows the connections. I flip the switch on the power bar which powers all the ac adapters and then turn on the mount.
The only problem I run into is that usb usb connection from the active cable to the hub sometimes acts up - usb3 connections are easily contaminated. Disconnecting and reconnecting a few times seems to help.

#12 pyrasanth

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 04:15 PM

I've built a small switch panel for turning off or on the power to three connected devices. This is a lot safer than trying to plug a 12 volt power connector into a device in the dark & causing a possible voltage spike. The switches have different coloured LED's to show when power is on through the switch.




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