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On The Edge of Defeat

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#76 entilza

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 08:15 AM

The fact you can reproduce the problem is great John.  Would they have another PC or laptop there you could just test looping the camera for 3+ hours?  Is that something the tech service would offer?



#77 entilza

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 08:19 AM

Also you are guiding with MaximDL?  Does that use the ASCOM drivers for the ZWO or native?

 

PHD2 has native drivers for the ZWO maybe that would work better at least for your 3 hour loop test?



#78 Corsica

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 08:20 AM

John,

 

I get the fact that you have a direct USB cable from the guider to the PC.

 

However if the ASI1600MM could for any reason, at any level, be sharing an USB link I would suggest to lower the USB traffic setting down two 50% in the ZWO driver. Lowering a bit this value (below 100%) maybe a good idea anyway.


Edited by Corsica, 28 August 2019 - 08:21 AM.


#79 Corsica

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 08:28 AM

Also you are guiding with MaximDL?  Does that use the ASCOM drivers for the ZWO or native?

 

PHD2 has native drivers for the ZWO maybe that would work better at least for your 3 hour loop test?

You could try using the native driver directly, one never knows.

 

My understating however is that the ASCOM driver is just a wrapper, it runs the native driver beneath which implements the actual functionality.

You need to install the native driver for the ASCOM driver to work.

At the end it is the same thing, applications run the native driver code anyway.



#80 cfosterstars

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 08:53 AM

John,

 

As you know I just recently had as similar issue to you. This is the response that I got back from Main Sequence for SGP. I know that you dont have a hub and I have several so It still may have no bearing on your issue, but for what its worth:

 

Jared
Founder & Developer
11h
I am wondering if I can cause the issue again by going back to the 80/40 miss-match and if 80/80 would be free of the issue. Easy to test.

I’ve found that anything over 49 (even on a single camera) causes the USB to freeze up. YMMV, and I’d be interested to hear. Honestly…I don’t even know why this setting exists. It seems to be a large source of problems :man_shrugging:

Jared

Reply

jmacon
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Powered USB hubs are often the root of this kind of problem. I gave up on them years ago after isolating mysterious USB related problems. I had tried 3 or 4 different 3.0 hubs. Now all my USB devices connect directly to a USB port directly on the pc. I had to move the pc much closer to the mount so my cables would be no more than 10 feet long. I now run two USB 3.0 cameras (ASI1600, ASI183) on my dual scope rig, both running at 90%. No problems whatsoever.
Software Bisque recommends not using hubs for this reason.



#81 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:08 AM

I write software that uses USB devices in a high radio frequency environment. It is my opinion that USB is quite reliable.  This is based on several thousand users over a period of several years.  

One thing that does mess it up though is power management on a PC.  Nowhere have I read in this thread that all USB power management is turned off.  There are a couple of places for this.  One in the Windows control panel under Power, advanced there is an entry called USB Selective suspend.  This must be disabled.  In addition, in the device drivers advanced setting there is often an entry to prevent power management.

I would make sure that these are set correctly.

USB power management under Windows is a strange thing.  There doesn't seem to be any pattern as to when it will decide to enforce it.  However, when it does, the symptoms are just that the connection stops working. 

Also 5m is too long for a usb connection. If you are also using a tower like PC with jacks in the front of it, add another meter. Not only that, the USB connection is not shielded in the computer.  Use jacks that come right off the motherboard.

Other than these two items, I would look elsewhere.

Tom

The thing that concerns me is that you say that, “There are a couple of places for this.”  A long time ago, I triple checked every USB node to confirm that power management was turned off.  I run Windows 7 Pro and I’ve searched but I can’t find anything called “USB Selective Suspend” under the Power tab in the control panel.  Regardless, this suggestion begs an important question:  Does Windows randomly turn on USB power management over time?  I turned this stuff off when I got the computer, I installed the camera, and it ran just fine for 4-6 weeks before it started to randomly disconnect.  Are you suggesting that something has turned USB power management back on?  If that’s the case, how can Windows be trusted to run anything with a USB connection?

 

Yes, the USB jack on the computer comes straight off the motherboard.

 

Even though I don’t know the exact length, I agree that perhaps the length of the cable is too long.  I can’t shorten the cable by very much but I can replace the cable with a booster cable.  This is why I was considering the inline USB signal booster that I posted previously.  By the way, the cables that I’m using for my FLI camera and the ZWO camera are identical and I’ve seen zero problems with the FLI camera!  Hmm...could that be why FLI sells so many cameras for remote imaging even though they are so much more expensive than these cheap CMOS cameras?

 

John


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#82 jdupton

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:19 AM

John,

 

   I am not 100% certain but I think that Windows can change the settings based on the Power Profile you set up. Whatever is set in the Power Profile is applied when it is changed. I think if you choose a Power profile and then go change the settings in various places, they will remain set. If you then change the Power Profile, they are then set to what the Power Profile says they should be for that profile. If you change back to the original Power Profile, they now take on what is stored in the original profile but that may not be what you had manually set in other locations.

 

   Again, I am not sure of the low level details but this matches what I have observed at times on my Windows 10 Pro capture laptop.

 

   When in doubt, set the options in a custom Power Profile and then save that. Your settings will be restored when you need to change profiles and then later return to your "Imaging Power Profile". One more hint: Windows only surfaces about 60 settings in the Power Profile setup out of about 100 possible power related settings. There are third party tools that allow you full access to all settings if you need it. When creating your Imaging Power Profile, base it off the "balanced" or similar default profile as the "Low Power" or "Battery Saver" profiles change some settings that are not what you might like and are not surfaced in the setting choices you are given.

 

 

John


Edited by jdupton, 28 August 2019 - 11:21 AM.


#83 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:34 AM

John,

 

   I am not 100% certain but I think that Windows can change the settings based on the Power Profile you set up. Whatever is set in the Power Profile is applied when it is changed. I think if you choose a Power profile and then go change the settings in various places, they will remain set. If you then change the Power Profile, they are then set to what the Power Profile says they should be for that profile. If you change back to the original Power Profile, they now take on what is stored in the original profile but that may not be what you had manually set in other locations.

 

   Again, I am not sure of the low level details but this matches what I have observed at times on my Windows 10 Pro capture laptop.

 

   When in doubt, set the options in a custom Power Profile and then save that. Your settings will be restored when you need to change profiles and then later return to your "Imaging Power Profile". One more hint: Windows only surfaces about 60 settings in the Power Profile setup out of about 100 possible power related settings. There are third party tools that allow you full access to all settings if you need it. When creating your Imaging Power Profile, base it off the "balanced" or similar default profile as the "Low Power" or "Battery Saver" profiles change some settings that are not what you might like and are not surfaced in the setting choices you are given.

 

 

John

 

Well, Tomb18 was right!  I dug deeper and finally found the USB power setting under the control panel...and it was enabled!  All of the ports are set to disable power control so I don't know how or why they have multiple places to turn this stuff on/off or how the switches interact.  So now, I'll rerun my test to see if that fixes the problem.

 

As for the Power Profile, I set up a custom profile with everything set to stay on forever.

 

John


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#84 SXBB

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:55 AM

Hi John,

 

Unfortunately, any time Windows 10 updates it has a habit of switching the USB power saving back on.  I'm not sure about Win 7 but I'd be surprised if it doesn't also do it.  You can disable updates with some effort but of course, that's a double edged sword.  I've gotten in the habit of checking in device manager to see if power saving has been somehow re-enabled on any built-in or external hubs.  If you add a device that contains a hub such as the ASI1600, it will show up in device manager and may by default have power saving enabled.

 

Best,

 

Bruce



#85 robertimorrison

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 12:55 PM

John,

 

A couple of thoughts I’ve not seen above. I agree with the sentiment most people have expressed that power problems are a good, but not guaranteed place to look:

1) If you have another ZWO camera at home (preferably a 1600 if possible, but not essential as the power regulating design is probably similar across models) power both the 5v usb bus and the 12v camera power supply with a benchtop DC supply.   Rigging up the benchtop supply to the usb 5v bus will involve a bit of work with a sacrificial cable.  Then independently adjust down the voltage to both the 5 and 12v supplies to see if you can reproduce the hang.  Testing before you get on an airplane to rule root causes in or out seems a worthwhile endeavor.

 

2) I have no idea as to the status/quality of DSW’s AC power but for a remote rural installation it is possible, likely even that they are on the end of a long radial distribution line subject to all sorts of intermittent noise/transients/garbage on the AC system.  Its not inconceivable that some of this makes it through the DC power supplies and onto the DC power as well as the digital signaling.  Strange that it would impact only the ZWO equipment, but not impossible.  A frank phone conversation with a knowledgeable person at the local utility would reveal much, but finding that person with good and direct knowledge of the DSW specific distribution circuit will be hard.  A good-quality battery backup (with a true sine wave inverter and continuous DC rectification / AC inversion, so that you get a true AC filter) interposed between the wall plug and all your equipment will go a long way to ruling out AC power problems. 

 

I’ve used a ZWO 1600MM for 2+ years now (although for imaging, not guiding), and its been bullet proof for me – I don’t think I’ve seen a single hang of the type you describe.  Something strange and unusual at DSW with interacting with your 1600MM there.  You just have to find the something ;-) 

 

Bob Morrison



#86 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 12:57 PM

Well, USB power management wasn't the problem.  After disabling USB power management in the control panel, I ran another test and this time the camera only lasted about an hour before it disconnected.  No difference.

 

John



#87 PeteM

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:05 PM

John, by any chance have you looked at the events log for Windows(event viewer) and under system or application to see if anything anything sticks out?



#88 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

John,

 

A couple of thoughts I’ve not seen above. I agree with the sentiment most people have expressed that power problems are a good, but not guaranteed place to look:

1) If you have another ZWO camera at home (preferably a 1600 if possible, but not essential as the power regulating design is probably similar across models) power both the 5v usb bus and the 12v camera power supply with a benchtop DC supply.   Rigging up the benchtop supply to the usb 5v bus will involve a bit of work with a sacrificial cable.  Then independently adjust down the voltage to both the 5 and 12v supplies to see if you can reproduce the hang.  Testing before you get on an airplane to rule root causes in or out seems a worthwhile endeavor.

 

2) I have no idea as to the status/quality of DSW’s AC power but for a remote rural installation it is possible, likely even that they are on the end of a long radial distribution line subject to all sorts of intermittent noise/transients/garbage on the AC system.  Its not inconceivable that some of this makes it through the DC power supplies and onto the DC power as well as the digital signaling.  Strange that it would impact only the ZWO equipment, but not impossible.  A frank phone conversation with a knowledgeable person at the local utility would reveal much, but finding that person with good and direct knowledge of the DSW specific distribution circuit will be hard.  A good-quality battery backup (with a true sine wave inverter and continuous DC rectification / AC inversion, so that you get a true AC filter) interposed between the wall plug and all your equipment will go a long way to ruling out AC power problems. 

 

I’ve used a ZWO 1600MM for 2+ years now (although for imaging, not guiding), and its been bullet proof for me – I don’t think I’ve seen a single hang of the type you describe.  Something strange and unusual at DSW with interacting with your 1600MM there.  You just have to find the something ;-) 

 

Bob Morrison

 

Bob,

I've been thinking along the same lines.  I've got another ASI-1600MM-C sitting in my shop and a well regulated bench top power supply.  The harder thing is that I only have a Mac running parallels for the software.  That does actually work but it's not the exact same as what I'm using at the observatory.  I may need another PC for my new system (which is supposed to have two scopes) so I might have to spring for another PC sooner rather than later.

 

As for power at the observatory, I run my system through a UPS which should provide pretty clean AC power.  Also, they are running about 30 high end scopes out there so I don't think that line power stability is a huge issue.  Problems with the line power is very, very low on my list of possibilities.

 

Cable length is back at the top of my list right now.

 

John

 

 

PS   To top it all off, I just learned that the roof on the Alpha building at DSW is broken so it's closed indefinitely until they can get a welder out there to get it fixed.  It's broken because it's new moon, the weather is supposed to be clear, and the seeing prediction is good.  That bodes well for finding a solution to my problems.  Once I get it working something else is bound to come up!  tongue2.gif tongue2.gif tongue2.gif



#89 Mert

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:43 PM

Hi John,

 

Just FWIW I use a 5 meter long active cable directly from my

control pc to the ASI1600MCC I use.

I never ever had any problems with disconnects util the cable

( repeater whatever ) died.

Just bought another and up and running again.

When I touch the active side of the cable it is quit warm ( almost

hot to the touch ) after some hour(s) of use.

I'm totally unsure about the power requirements of the USB and only

use a USB2 conection.

Hope to read that you found the solution, you deserve it!!

 

Regards,

Mert



#90 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:45 PM

John, by any chance have you looked at the events log for Windows(event viewer) and under system or application to see if anything anything sticks out?

 No and I don't even know how to find them or read them, but I'll look into it...

 

John

 

Hi John,

 

Unfortunately, any time Windows 10 updates it has a habit of switching the USB power saving back on.  I'm not sure about Win 7 but I'd be surprised if it doesn't also do it.  You can disable updates with some effort but of course, that's a double edged sword.  I've gotten in the habit of checking in device manager to see if power saving has been somehow re-enabled on any built-in or external hubs.  If you add a device that contains a hub such as the ASI1600, it will show up in device manager and may by default have power saving enabled.

 

Best,

 

Bruce

 

 

Thanks.  I have updates switched off.  This PC is use as a controller and I don't want it updated.  All I really want is for it to just work.

 

John



#91 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:46 PM

Hi John,

 

Just FWIW I use a 5 meter long active cable directly from my

control pc to the ASI1600MCC I use.

I never ever had any problems with disconnects util the cable

( repeater whatever ) died.

Just bought another and up and running again.

When I touch the active side of the cable it is quit warm ( almost

hot to the touch ) after some hour(s) of use.

I'm totally unsure about the power requirements of the USB and only

use a USB2 conection.

Hope to read that you found the solution, you deserve it!!

 

Regards,

Mert

 

Ah...that's good to know.  That's the direction where I'm headed...

 

John



#92 PeteM

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:50 PM

John, just hit the windows 7 start button in the lower left and type Event in the box, it will come up in the search list (see below). It will default to the administrative view, which shows all the warnings and errors of the logs. That is a good place to start too.

 

event viewer.JPG

 



#93 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 12:21 AM

I just finished logging SDK communications using some software supplied by ZWO and the results are interesting.  I managed to catch a failure after about 1.5 hours of operation and it appears that the normal camera operation is being interrupted by cooler and power control commands for the TEC.  These three commands interrupt the start of exposure command and begin repeating indefinitely...which locks the camera.

 

00042148 8:54:21.384 PM [1496] [CCameraCool::AutoTemp]: fPreTemp25.00, now_temp25.00, deltaMs 3604, 0.000C/S

00042149 8:54:21.384 PM [1496] [CCameraCool::AutoTemp]: T25.00 p0.00 i-0.00 d0.00 cur0.00
00042150 8:54:21.392 PM [1496] [CCameraCool::SetPowerPerc]: fIPerc0.60 iDA254

 

As the camera runs, the FlPerc value (shown above at 0.60) continues to increase to a value of 2.20 where it finally stabilized.

 

When the camera fails, the above commands replace the start of the next exposure, which should look like this:

00042130 8:54:20.537 PM [1496] [WorkingFunc]: Long exp:Get one Frame 2000

 

All of this may be due to a hardware glitch or failure in the temperature control circuitry, but that's speculation on my part.  Maybe a USB fault could cause this issue, but I'm less certain of that now.  I'm back to thinking that this may be more likely due to a hardware issue in the camera itself.  We'll just have to see what the folks at ZWO have to say.

 

 

John


Edited by jhayes_tucson, 29 August 2019 - 12:22 AM.

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#94 astroian

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 03:06 AM

John,

That looks to me like the kind of firmware bug I sometimes have to fix in my day job. A rare combination (in your case not so rare) of hardware and software events that causes a crash. Hopefully ZWO can sort it out and give you new firmware to fix the problem.

Cheers,
Ian

#95 svenk123

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 03:49 AM

Hello John,

 

i have followed this thread for a while. I have the same camera (not the pro version) and similar problems in the past. I think the -Pro-Version seems to be a little bit improved.

Let me explain my experience.

 

- The ASI1600MMC requires external 12 V DC power to work properly. I have frame loss or capturing stopped completeley, when the camera is power via USB only.

I think the problem is, that the ASI1600MMC draws more current than USB can provide, when the EFW and other components are connected to the internal cameras USB hub.

 

- The USB cables are the main issue. The cables that came along with the camera were of bad quality and not long enough. I have tried several cables and found the following USB3.1 cables to work.

 

USB 3.0 Type A -> Type B cable 2m, Delock #82757

USB 3.0 Type A -> Type A(f) extension cable 2m, Delock #82753

This configuration works at full FPS about 4m.

 

To cross longer distances the following active repeater cable was the only one which worked ok.

 

https://www.club-3d....tecker_-buchse/

 

- I had no luck with active USB3 hubs between camera and PC. It seems that the ZWO drivers had problems when working with additional USB hubs. I think, i have read it in the changelogs of ZWOs SDK somewhere.

 

- When working with longer USB distances, you have to limit the USB bandwith in the driver settings. 60% was a good value, but it may depends on your host PC.

 

- The external power supply should be connected first and then USB. Otherwise i have strange behaivour of the camera then the EFW and Guide-Camera is connected to the cameras internal USB hub. USB enumeration failures, etc.

 

Another solution as mentioned here in this thread it to take a small headless PC and cross longer distances via LAN cable or WiFi. I think a small Linux machine running indigo server and PHD2 will fit all your needs and

you do not have to fight with Windows Updates during the night.

 

Clear skies

 Sven



#96 Morefield

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 12:08 PM

As I’ve just Installed my ZWO1600 I have nothing constructive to add other than to say I’m rooting for you and following the thread to cheer your eventual success!

I know the depths of the helpless feeling this sort of problem brings!

#97 Jon Rista

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 03:20 PM

I just finished logging SDK communications using some software supplied by ZWO and the results are interesting.  I managed to catch a failure after about 1.5 hours of operation and it appears that the normal camera operation is being interrupted by cooler and power control commands for the TEC.  These three commands interrupt the start of exposure command and begin repeating indefinitely...which locks the camera.

 

00042148 8:54:21.384 PM [1496] [CCameraCool::AutoTemp]: fPreTemp25.00, now_temp25.00, deltaMs 3604, 0.000C/S

00042149 8:54:21.384 PM [1496] [CCameraCool::AutoTemp]: T25.00 p0.00 i-0.00 d0.00 cur0.00
00042150 8:54:21.392 PM [1496] [CCameraCool::SetPowerPerc]: fIPerc0.60 iDA254

 

As the camera runs, the FlPerc value (shown above at 0.60) continues to increase to a value of 2.20 where it finally stabilized.

 

When the camera fails, the above commands replace the start of the next exposure, which should look like this:

00042130 8:54:20.537 PM [1496] [WorkingFunc]: Long exp:Get one Frame 2000

 

All of this may be due to a hardware glitch or failure in the temperature control circuitry, but that's speculation on my part.  Maybe a USB fault could cause this issue, but I'm less certain of that now.  I'm back to thinking that this may be more likely due to a hardware issue in the camera itself.  We'll just have to see what the folks at ZWO have to say.

 

 

John

Hi John! So sorry to hear that you are still having problems. I cannot fathom now frustrating this whole years-long ordeal must be at this point.

 

That said, this post of yours here seems to be the inklings of light at the end of the tunnel! I truly hope this leads to a working solution to your problem. You are one of the best imagers on these forums, it would be sad to see you shelve the hobby. I really hope you and the ZWO folks can get this issue sorted, get a firmware and/or driver fix implemented, and get this sordid ordeal behind you and let it fade into the past. I have found the ZWO guys to be very responsive when an issue is found with their products, and you seem to have some concrete information now about what might be occurring, so hopefully it will not take too long for them to get you some kind of fix.


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#98 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 04:45 PM

Hi John! So sorry to hear that you are still having problems. I cannot fathom now frustrating this whole years-long ordeal must be at this point.

 

That said, this post of yours here seems to be the inklings of light at the end of the tunnel! I truly hope this leads to a working solution to your problem. You are one of the best imagers on these forums, it would be sad to see you shelve the hobby. I really hope you and the ZWO folks can get this issue sorted, get a firmware and/or driver fix implemented, and get this sordid ordeal behind you and let it fade into the past. I have found the ZWO guys to be very responsive when an issue is found with their products, and you seem to have some concrete information now about what might be occurring, so hopefully it will not take too long for them to get you some kind of fix.

Thanks for your kind words Jon.  Right now I'm not sure if the light at the end of the tunnel is daylight or an oncoming train.  Sam helped me the first time this happened but now he's dumped me over to customer support  and I'm very concerned about what I'm hearing.  I won't go into everything that they've said, but here is just one example:

 

"2. Now we think even if you send the camera back to us, we probably won't be able to figure it out.
And replace a camera won't make a difference if we do not find out where the problem is since you have replaced a camera before."

 

We are still in the middle of the discussion (at least they haven't shut me down yet,) but I believe that they are saying that it's not their problem.  They are implying that the problem is with the controlling software, which in my case is MaximDL.  I'm still experimenting to try to understand what is going on but the problem may be due to the way that the guiding loop is implemented in MaximDL.  Something is going wrong, which causes the temperature control instructions to go into an infinite loop, which of course shuts down the camera.   The folks at DL are not well know for customer support but I may have to try to get them to fix it.  Otherwise, I may have to switch to another piece of control software like the SkyX or SGP.  I'm caught in the middle and it's going to be difficult to find a suitable fix that works with my hardware implementation.  Stay tuned and I'll provide an update when I know how to proceed.  I've got an all-consuming meeting most of next week so it may take some time to sort out.  In the meantime, my telescope only runs for random lengths of time before it hangs.  Grabbing maybe 2 subs over an 8 hour stretch of clear, dark skies with excellent seeing is not a very efficient way to gather data.  That's what was happening before the roof broke on the alpha observatory a few days ago.   tongue2.gif

 

 

John



#99 PeteM

PeteM

    Mercury-Atlas

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 05:57 PM

Have you tried running the 1600 via PhD to see if it pukes like you are experiencing with MaximDL? Seems like an easy test to see if the MaximDL code is causing issues.



#100 jhayes_tucson

jhayes_tucson

    Fly Me to the Moon

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 06:14 PM

Have you tried running the 1600 via PhD to see if it pukes like you are experiencing with MaximDL? Seems like an easy test to see if the MaximDL code is causing issues.

 

Yes.  As I said, "I'm still experimenting to try to understand what is going on..."




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