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FireCapture suddenly struggling with dropped frames ... possible causes?

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#1 DMach

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:13 AM

During my last two imaging sessions, I've noticed that FireCap is lagging badly when it comes to frames captured versus saved.

 

For smaller ROIs (e.g. on the planet only) it's still fine, but wider shots (including the moons) now lag badly whereas they previously they were a non-issue.

 

None of my settings have changed, similar ROI sizes, same laptop, same USB port etc ... any suggestions as to what might cause this/how to troubleshoot?

 



#2 PDB

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:41 AM

Hi,

 

could you give some more info on camera type an OS type used.

 

I also noticed some frame/connection loss during my last session with the ZWO cam which never happened before. But it did not only happen with FireCapture, but also my other capture progam (very trusted astrogenika) also had the same behaviour. Nothing changed on the system except probably a Win10 update.

 

What happened looked very much like the problems I had when running Linux/Firecapture on the same box. The Linux USB handling could not keep up with the data stream from the camera. Installing W10 on that same system never gave a problem until now .... So that is why I think the problem may well be within the OS.

 

Paul


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#3 DMach

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:21 AM

Good point, I should specify that:

Camera is an ASI290MC. I also have an ASI294MC but haven't used it recently.

Connection is via a USB3 port and cable.

OS is Windows 10. And yes, I do seem to recall some updates being pushed through recently.

I routinely quit all unused programs during imaging, and temp disable antivirus.

#4 kurbs

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:57 AM

Microsoft thinks it is the universal solution to everything. Those updates replace the driver that came with the camera with Windows drivers. I had a similar issue with USB 3 and uninstalled the driver and re-installed the scanner driver it screwed up. Worked fine after that.


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#5 DMach

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:33 AM

Microsoft thinks it is the universal solution to everything. Those updates replace the driver that came with the camera with Windows drivers. I had a similar issue with USB 3 and uninstalled the driver and re-installed the scanner driver it screwed up. Worked fine after that.

Hmmm, that might explain the other strange behaviour: when I first tried to start FireCap, it initially didn't recognise the camera ... and then after re-started Firecap, it quit with a "lost connection" message. Only after the third time running FireCap did it load successfully.

 

I tried reinstalling the ZWO drivers, but still getting weird behaviour ... is there something I need to do to "force" the use of the ZWO drivers?



#6 kurbs

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:26 AM

Hmmm, that might explain the other strange behaviour: when I first tried to start FireCap, it initially didn't recognise the camera ... and then after re-started Firecap, it quit with a "lost connection" message. Only after the third time running FireCap did it load successfully.

 

I tried reinstalling the ZWO drivers, but still getting weird behaviour ... is there something I need to do to "force" the use of the ZWO drivers?

There are still a few options you can try. As far as forcing the ZWO drivers....

 

 In Device Manager in the control settings you can roll back the driver. When you do this it should show the prior ZWO drivers. If not, you need to tell it to change the driver. In which case you use the ZWO disc and tell it to go to that disc to grab them. I think you can also load the driver from ZWO website if they have 1 more recent from yours.

 

1 thing to try...load SharpCap on. Its free. See if it has any issues. If it does, load FireCap onto a desktop or another laptop and see if its an issue as well. That can help determine where the issue is and how to fix it. 



#7 PDB

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:31 AM

Microsoft thinks it is the universal solution to everything. Those updates replace the driver that came with the camera with Windows drivers. I had a similar issue with USB 3 and uninstalled the driver and re-installed the scanner driver it screwed up. Worked fine after that.

Well not always ...

I checked the driver on my system, still the original ZWO driver, but that one being very old (2014) I dowloaded the latest driver from ZWO site and installed it. But also unplugged an plugged my cables in the USB connection. No more capture errors lost connections.

 

So not sure what solved my problem, the driver or the cable connections. These connections especially very fast USB3 rely on good cables and contacts. (So I gues this was a cable connection issue)

 

Paul


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#8 kurbs

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:00 AM

Well not always ...

I checked the driver on my system, still the original ZWO driver, but that one being very old (2014) I dowloaded the latest driver from ZWO site and installed it. But also unplugged an plugged my cables in the USB connection. No more capture errors lost connections.

 

So not sure what solved my problem, the driver or the cable connections. These connections especially very fast USB3 rely on good cables and contacts. (So I gues this was a cable connection issue)

 

Paul

Good point on the connectors. Connectors can get dirty and cause problems for sure. As well as the camera port. Old IT trick...lick them clean and plug em in lol. A VERY light cleaning with a good electronic cleaner can determine that in a minute if the connectors and cable are not hosed. Make sure they sit snug in the ports. If not that's certainly a possibility.

 

But I think the updated drivers may have been the issue. That's why I suggested checking ZWO site for newer drivers. I have seen Windows 10 mess with too many vendor devices as far as drivers go. For some reason it seems the vid cards and scanning devices are the worse. My Win10 updated on my home server and messed with the Fireball and the monitors to the point I could not make proper adjustments until I reverted back to the vendor drivers. I disabled the update on those USB drivers as well so Windows could not change them again.

 

I have had to change a ton of those drivers back for hospitals and pharmaceutical imaging and scanning  / camera devices and PCI cards / monitors after updates.




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