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On The Edge of Defeat

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#26 Bart Declercq

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:04 PM

I concur with everyone talking about powered hubs or powered extension cables - the ASI1600 really likes stable and strong power over USB.

 

Not saying that's your problem, but it certainly could be and is easy enough to fix.


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#27 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:17 PM

I'm wondering if this extender might be worth trying. 

https://www.newnex.c...ve-repeater.php

 

I'm slightly concerned that it's not externally powered; but, the advantage is that it would be trivial to insert into the existing cable at the camera end by one of the guys at the observatory--without tearing anything apart.  If it works, then I'm golden.   I suppose that I could also send a powered cable just to try it.  If it works, then I'd have to fly out one more time to replace the USB3 A/B cable that's already running from the PC to the camera up through the mount.

 

John



#28 MikeMiller

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:42 PM

I would be concerned about a repeater for something like USB3. The one you linked says "3.1 Gen 1", but the actual device says 3.0 on it. I wouldn't trust any device that isn't "USB 3.1 Gen 2" or newer.

 

My Atik Horizon absolutely refuses to cooperate with my older laptop that is probably only USB 3.0 spec. It also will not work with a hub or anything other than plugged straight in to my Intel NUC. However, when using a brand new 6 foot cable, and plugged directly into the NUC, it works fine.

 

Here is a confusing but accurate explanation of "USB 3.0" "USB 3.1 Gen 1" and "USB 3.2 Gen 2":

https://www.tomshard...sher,29933.html

 

Its a rehash of the old USB2 "full speed" vs "hi speed" debacle of the early 2000s. I think the USB consortium makes things confusing on purpose.



#29 BenKolt

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 02:09 PM

I'm also real sorry to hear that your troubles continue.  I was intrigued from the beginning with your choice of the ASI-1600MM-C and then the Pro version as large FOV guide camera.  This is something that I've been interested in doing with my C11, but not critical enough for me to do something about it.  However, with your trouble, I hesitate to change anything at this point!

 

I am reluctant to offer any advice to you on this matter as you have worked through it thoroughly.  My only comment is that if you decide to rip equipment out of DSW, I do hope that you can at least temporarily set things up at home in Oregon and continue to (1) make fantastic images and (2) work through new designs and equipment more easily and leisurely.

 

Best Regards,

Ben


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#30 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 02:53 PM

I've written extensively about the problems that I've had with PCs, mice, and USB hubs on my remote C14 out at DSW.  After struggling for over a year with random disconnects from my original ASI-1600MM-C I replaced it in early June with a brand new ASI-1600MM-C Pro.  At first, it worked flawlessly and it would run all night without a single problem; but, the idea that my problems were over were short lived.  By mid-July, my filter wheel and focus system started going off-line at random intervals.  The USB hub that they were connected through on the camera got to the point where they would simply disappear after about 10-15 minutes.   That shut down my whole system--making it unusable.  These were the only two devices connected through the camera hub so I flew back out to the observatory and ran yet another cable up through my mount to a separate industrial quality hub to run these two devices.  And sure enough, that worked perfectly!  Unfortunately, the hub problem appears to have been just the tip of the iceberg.   Now the camera dies every session after only a couple of frames.  Last night with perfect seeing and dark skies, I got exactly two subs out of an 8 hour session before the camera went tango-uniform.  This camera has been in service for slightly under 90 days and it's definitely dead.  This failure is different than the failures of the first camera.  When it would hang, the first camera could simply be stopped and restarted.  This current problem causes the camera to completely freeze up.  The only way to get it restarted is to disconnect it from the ASCOM driver and then to restart it.  The camera is connected with a single USB cable directly to the PC so there's a tiny possibility that it could be the cable (which is also slightly less than 90 days old.)  I'll have someone out at DSW check the cable but I'll be stunned if that's the problem.  I just can't understand how so many folks can use this same ASI-1600 camera without any problems.  I've now had two and experienced a 100% failure rate.  And yes, I've triple checked:  I have all of the most current drivers for everything.

 

On top of all of this, the folks at TeamViewer declared out of the blue that I'm a commercial user and kicked me off.  I don't know what precipitated that action since I use one computer to connect to one computer and I've never even come close to violating their personal use policy.  Fortunately, I've had Chrome desktop standing by as a back up it it's been working fine.

 

I'll have to add up the number of trips I've made from Oregon to DSW, but it's a LOT.  My wife is so sick of hearing about all the problems that I won't even bring it up at home any more.  After huge struggles, I've been able to produce one image in June, another in early August, and nothing since.  My system is continuously down because of crummy, unreliable gear (well, that and there were the mice a while back.)  To be fair, my AP mount, FLI cameras, and Optec focusing system have been mostly flawless.  The really big problems have mostly been with Cappuccino computers and ZWO cameras.

 

So I find myself on the edge of a precipice looking down.  I'm either flying out to try one more time to fix this thing or I'm flying out there to rip it all out and give up.  I can't keep doing this so it's down to about 50:50.  I can't keep imaging from Oregon so this may be the end for a while.  I've got a new 20" on order so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  I'm sure not sending it to Chile after this experience.  Maybe I just need to regroup for a while.  I'll talk to the folks at ZWO but unless I can come up with a more reliable path, I might be done.  I value persistence but I'm pretty aggravated.

 

 

John

I had teamviewer kick me off 2 weeks ago. SAME THING. I've been retired for 9 years and was self employed (no reason to talk to other staff).  I use teamviewer from my desktop to my domePC and to my basement PC.  it's RARE as I use remote desktop first (it has higher res) but it drops out more frequently. When i get annoyed I load up team viewer. Also team viewer is the only one that works away from home - if I want to image from my laptop or ipad from my daughters home. Almost always all night long. (I wonder if that flags it?) I suppose TO don't need to leave it running as I go to bed about 12am anyway why leave it run unitil 8am?   Maybe I'll do that.

ANYWAY - I entered the feedback form.  It said do it only once or it will slow it down.  I waited 2 weeks and they just replied saying they reviewed my account and determined it's not commercial.  So I'm back on.  I used something called  NOMACHINE while it was shut off.  Nice to have an alternative. ITS FREE.   

I appreciate team viewer lettting us in for free - so I have no gripes.  I think if you were really commercial you would  "PAY" because for 2 weeks it said I was limited in use time and I could pay.  (I can't justify the cost for my hobby). I did offer in my feedback to pay 37.00 one time for the software.   Anyway - they have the right and being a photographer by profession for 30+ years I understand and am aware of copyright infringement.

The only thing I didn't like is I'm EXTREMELY honest and I took a bit of offense to being called a thief.  I figured it was software only flagged and a real person would see the light.

I also gave them permission in my feedback to   listen in, look in, record or otherwise look at any of my usage (even live) as I have nothing to hide.  Anyway Seems to be something new they're doing probably to get companies to pay up.

 

I have a powered USB3 for 2 years and no problems.  RECENTLY my 094 was getting black lines in the subs.  Someone said run a direct line and by pass it. I did and it didn't help but I found that if I switch from the ASI camera(2) driver to the ASI094 driver the lines go away.  I have 7 ports in the hub and all are in use with no issues. I have another smaller unpowered 4 port hub for lesser gear(mouse, keyboard mount etc). 

On a nuc pc.


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#31 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 02:55 PM

Oh forgot to say - I did have problems with gear in a non powered hub when I first started out.  I switched to a quality 3.0 powered  (12v) and it's been fine. 



#32 BKMaynard

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:26 PM

We all have our goals in mind with hopes of cranking out  APOD's every week. Trying to keep things working on complex systems when you're 1000 miles away, as you are quite aware, can drain every ounce of enjoyment out of this hobby. I think instead of going bigger and more of this and that, go the other way. Smaller, more simple setups that don't require a PhD to run.


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#33 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:30 PM

I would be concerned about a repeater for something like USB3. The one you linked says "3.1 Gen 1", but the actual device says 3.0 on it. I wouldn't trust any device that isn't "USB 3.1 Gen 2" or newer.

 

My Atik Horizon absolutely refuses to cooperate with my older laptop that is probably only USB 3.0 spec. It also will not work with a hub or anything other than plugged straight in to my Intel NUC. However, when using a brand new 6 foot cable, and plugged directly into the NUC, it works fine.

 

Here is a confusing but accurate explanation of "USB 3.0" "USB 3.1 Gen 1" and "USB 3.2 Gen 2":

https://www.tomshard...sher,29933.html

 

Its a rehash of the old USB2 "full speed" vs "hi speed" debacle of the early 2000s. I think the USB consortium makes things confusing on purpose.

 

Mike,

Thank you.  I read this article and it is informative.  I then went and reviewed all of the ZWO manuals along with my computer manual.  Both the ASI-1600MM-C Pro and my computer use USB 3.0 ports.  Furthermore, ZWO supplies USB 3.0 cables and says nothing about USB 3.1 gen 1 or gen 2--anywhere.  Why would a USB 3.0 repeater not work for a USB 3.0 camera attached to a USB 3.0 port on my computer?  

 

Frankly, if USB standards all that sensitive, this all strikes me as a total house of cards and it's surprising that anything works at all.  The one thing that I keep coming back to is that this camera worked just fine for 6-8 weeks before going wonky.  Perhaps a voltage regulator failed, the cable went bad, or some other thing caused the voltage at the camera to hit some threshold where it falls off line.  Something has gone wrong and I'm trying to figure there's some simple might fix before I have to go out there again.

 

John


Edited by jhayes_tucson, 26 August 2019 - 03:31 PM.

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#34 Bart Declercq

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:47 PM

I'm wondering if this extender might be worth trying. 

https://www.newnex.c...ve-repeater.php

 

I'm slightly concerned that it's not externally powered; but, the advantage is that it would be trivial to insert into the existing cable at the camera end by one of the guys at the observatory--without tearing anything apart.  If it works, then I'm golden.   I suppose that I could also send a powered cable just to try it.  If it works, then I'd have to fly out one more time to replace the USB3 A/B cable that's already running from the PC to the camera up through the mount.

 

John

I'd have *a lot* more faith in a powered cable than in this thing.



#35 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:02 PM

I'd have *a lot* more faith in a powered cable than in this thing.

Thanks Bart...I guess that's what I'm looking for.  I don't have experience with either method.

 

John



#36 DuncanM

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:08 PM

The ASI 174MM/QHY5III174 has a very large sensor and might be a replacement for the ASI1600 ( I see this has been suggested). 

 

I'm having a hard time visualizing your setup, but I wonder if you can have a guidescope/guidecamera on the OTA, to act as a b/u guiding system?



#37 Rac19

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:27 PM

As I said right up front, I don't have any hubs between the PC and the camera.  It's a direct connection with a single cable.

 

John

There seems to be a lot of discussion around USB hubs but I guess I didn't read carefully enough. Anyway, I had problems even with a powered USB hub and eventually went for the Mini PC mounted on the 'scope, directly connected with short USB cables. In fact, I sourced shorter than normal (1 m) USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables to reduce tangling.



#38 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:21 PM

Probably way overkill, but the fli 8300 camera might do the trick and downloads frames lightning fast. Spendy though.

Also might want to look at the QHY9 or as you mentioned, the QHY equivalent of the 1600 camera.

Either way, I hope you get this sorted. After following your experience, I am avoiding any remote setups.

#39 Churmey

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:30 PM

John,

 

I run a local remote setup.  I own 4 ASI cameras and have had issues with USB 3 with all of them at one time or another. What I found is this - USB 2 is simply more stable.  In addition, I have limited my USB length, between devices, to as short as possible. Typically no longer than 3'.  Lastly, and most importantly, for my data transmission, I went to a USB 2 hub to CAT6 using the below linked Transmission and Receivers.  I now transmit my data, underground, over 120 ft to my scope, and haven't had the slightest issue.  It's true that USB 3 is faster, but honestly I can't tell a huge different when I run two ASI183MC/MM-Cool's at the same time (hi res cameras). Maybe a second, at most, with my setup.  Just something to consider.

 

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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#40 kingjamez

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:32 PM

USB3.0 is a noisy protocol, have you ever seen the RF spectrum of a USB 3.0 chipset? To that end, a repeater sounds like another failure point and additional places for noise to amplify.

Do you need USB3 for your guide camera? Using ROI once you have found a guide star I'd wager that USB2.0 would be "good enough" and likely far more stable if indeed USB is the issue.


You might be able to throttle to USB2 via the OS but a USB 2.0 cable will certainly do the trick.

Edit: Churmy and I were typing the same thing at the same time!

-Jim

Edited by kingjamez, 26 August 2019 - 05:35 PM.


#41 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:47 PM

USB3.0 is a noisy protocol, have you ever seen the RF spectrum of a USB 3.0 chipset? To that end, a repeater sounds like another failure point and additional places for noise to amplify.

Do you need USB3 for your guide camera? Using ROI once you have found a guide star I'd wager that USB2.0 would be "good enough" and likely far more stable if indeed USB is the issue.


You might be able to throttle to USB2 via the OS but a USB 2.0 cable will certainly do the trick.

Edit: Churmy and I were typing the same thing at the same time!

-Jim

Thanks...that's simple and worth a try.  I agree that USB2 is plenty fast enough for a 128 x 128 transfer.

 

John



#42 mclewis1

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:49 PM

John,

 

That repeater you linked to above is a nice little device. Every active USB extension cable and USB hub uses equivalent circuitry. If however I suspected power problems a repeater such as that would be one of the last things I would add to my setup. The chipset used will indeed re time the USB signals (and if you were pushing the 5M cable length I might have a different opinion) but it will also use power, power that could be in short supply if your assumptions are correct.

 

I like the idea of a passive but powered USB cable as a troubleshooting step. It would come as close to 100% as practical in removing USB power to the camera as a possible issue.

 

Back stepping to USB2 would be an interesting troubleshooting step as well.



#43 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:50 PM

John,

 

I run a local remote setup.  I own 4 ASI cameras and have had issues with USB 3 with all of them at one time or another. What I found is this - USB 2 is simply more stable.  In addition, I have limited my USB length, between devices, to as short as possible. Typically no longer than 3'.  Lastly, and most importantly, for my data transmission, I went to a USB 2 hub to CAT6 using the below linked Transmission and Receivers.  I now transmit my data, underground, over 120 ft to my scope, and haven't had the slightest issue.  It's true that USB 3 is faster, but honestly I can't tell a huge different when I run two ASI183MC/MM-Cool's at the same time (hi res cameras). Maybe a second, at most, with my setup.  Just something to consider.

 

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif 

 

120' is automated...not remote!    Trust me...move that scope 1000 miles away and you'll have 10x the problems.  But, thanks for the suggestion...that's easy enough to try.

 

John


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#44 Churmey

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:52 PM

lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

120' is automated...not remote!    Trust me...move that scope 1000 miles away and you'll have 10x the problems.  But, thanks for the suggestion...that's easy enough to try.

 

John

Ha ha...you are so correct, indeed I would. Sorry, yes, automated.



#45 AsmCoder8088

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:54 PM

Surprised no one has mentioned AnyDesk.  It is similar to TeamViewer, but has none of the 'commercial use' problem.



#46 Noah4x4

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 01:18 AM

I have not read the entire thread but I have a similar Atik Horizon and USB was a nightmare.

 

My solution, Windows Remote Desktop with RemoteFX compression disabled. Frees up your full 433 Gbps on a 802.11ac network. Now see your kit fly in full 4K UHD! 



#47 fate187

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 02:16 AM

Hi John,

 

feel your pain! I am currently in the process of rooting the cause of some artifact in my images. The good and few nights go by without proper imaging, only with testing of the set up. Yesterday I thought I have a good plan to find the cause of the problem. But after some hours only one options is left, being the worst possible. There are still some things I could try though.

 

I hope you don't give up. There are always alternatives. I already see one on the horizon if I cannot find a solution for the problem. As for yours I would say try a different brand or different camera chip. But don't give in ;).

 

And as frustrating as it might be, just on the edge of defeat as you say, yesterday I had a chance to watch the sky without the constant starring on the monitor to look for the frames coming in or not. With nicely dark adapted eyes the milky way was beautiful. Those moments make up for quite a lot :)

 

best regards and good luck

Michael



#48 spokeshave

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 07:06 AM

I'm wondering if this extender might be worth trying. 

https://www.newnex.c...ve-repeater.php

 

I'm slightly concerned that it's not externally powered; but, the advantage is that it would be trivial to insert into the existing cable at the camera end by one of the guys at the observatory--without tearing anything apart.  If it works, then I'm golden.   I suppose that I could also send a powered cable just to try it.  If it works, then I'd have to fly out one more time to replace the USB3 A/B cable that's already running from the PC to the camera up through the mount.

 

John

John:

 

It depends on what problem you are trying to solve. The extender in your link is nothing more than a repeater that is intended to extend the cable reach without loss of data integrity. With cameras, loss of data integrity typically manifests as dropped frames, not dropped devices. Since you seem to be losing the device, that tends to point to a power problem, not a data integrity problem. The USB specification provides a Vbus voltage of 5V for the device to use as it pleases. The specification limits the current on Vbus to a total of 500mA, but that is shared by all devices on the root hub. Depending on the root hub architecture, the Vbus voltage can drop considerably when the power limit is exceeded. The USB specification allows Vbus to drop to 4.75V at 500mA, but beyond that, there is no specification. If the root hub has a load of 600mA, the Vbus voltage could be substantially less than 4.75V, and if it drops too low, the connected device will often fail. It is also a dirty little secret that many host controllers are not standard-compliant and will drop voltage below 4.75V on Vbus well below the 500mA load. Voltage drop is also not necessarily static. As corrosion develops on the contacts (all contacts corrode somewhat) ohmic losses can increase and a connection that worked fine when connected can degrade over time. That's why some have suggested a powered cable. It will maintain a Vbus of 5V up to a much higher load than 500mA. I'm inclined to agree that your problem is more likely related to a voltage drop on Vbus than transmission data loss. 

 

Another thing to consider is how many root hubs your PC has. Each root hub should have its own 500mA of power headroom. If all of your devices are connected to one root hub, you could be overloading the hub. You can check Device Manager to see how many root hubs you have, and the properties page may tell you which devices are connected to the hub. In case you are not already aware, the external USB ports do not necessarily uniquely connect to a root hub. So two or more devices connected to separate USB ports on the PC may well be sharing the same root hub and the power it provides.

 

Tim


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#49 astroian

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:29 AM

John,

I sympathise with your ongoing problems. I get upset when my system goes wrong and it’s only 10 feet from the house!

I believe you are using an ONAG as part of your guiding solution and I understand why you have chosen the large format ASI1600 as a guide camera to pair with it ( I also have an ONAG). As another possible solution to your troubles have you considered using the new full frame guiding software from Innovations Foresight (I think it’s called SkyGuard) in conjunction with the Ultrastar guide camera. My understanding is that this software can guide on very faint stars, far more so than we would normally consider usable. I think you found the Ultrastar to be reliable so maybe this would work for you. You might have more software problems than hardware but at least these can be fixed without having to make a long journey.

My apologies if I’ve got your use of the ONAG and Ultrastar wrong, I going on memory of other posts and my memory is the most unreliable part of my system!

Good luck, Ian

#50 WadeH237

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 09:12 AM

Since you seem to be losing the device, that tends to point to a power problem, not a data integrity problem.

Along those lines, this is a good item to have in the tool kit for troubleshooting USB power issues.




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