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ZWO EFW8 Thinks it is EFW5

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#1 airydisc

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:26 AM

I've been using an ASI1600MM with EFW8 for some time, and until recently it always worked perfectly (well, after I changed the T adapter to one with shorter threads so the Astrodon filters didn't hit it).  Recently, it seems to have lost its mind, selecting filters other than what I wanted.  Experimentation suggests that it somehow believes it is a 5 position filter wheel!  The advanced setup (using ASCOM driver) shows only the first 5 positions, as does TheSkyX (suggesting that the hardware is reporting itself as a 5 position wheel).  I mainly use Maxim DL for capture, and it always allows selection of more filters than are actually present or supported, but selecting any position greater than 5 is just ignored.  Worse, even with the first 5 positions I don't always get the position I want because the firmware seems not to care very much about the index signal that marks position 1 - most moves are just relative to where it thinks it is.  The only exception is that if you select a filter that causes it to land on position 1 (when that was not expected), it sees the index mark, changes its mind about what the current position is, and does another relative move to get to the position you requested.

 

Has anybody seen this or similar behavior?  Is it possible to re-flash the firmware in the EFW8?  Could something else be wrong?

 

Thanks,

Greg

 



#2 MapleEve

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:43 AM

Have you tried to fill all your filters in the ascom filter advanced settins?



#3 chongo228

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 08:09 AM

Have you tried the ZWO initialization program? I have to do this before using after I work on it/change filters and move the wheel by hand. When I use the program it spins the wheel for 30 seconds or so. I believe it is syncing back to the starting point of filter number 1. You're suppose to use it if the EFW gets poor accuracy.

 

See post 3

https://bbs.astronom...opic.php?t=7955

 

You can also download a interface to check and update firmware from the ZWO website.


Edited by chongo228, 20 November 2019 - 08:13 AM.


#4 airydisc

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 11:45 AM

Have you tried the ZWO initialization program? I have to do this before using after I work on it/change filters and move the wheel by hand. When I use the program it spins the wheel for 30 seconds or so. I believe it is syncing back to the starting point of filter number 1. You're suppose to use it if the EFW gets poor accuracy.

 

See post 3

https://bbs.astronom...opic.php?t=7955

 

You can also download a interface to check and update firmware from the ZWO website.

ZWO also responded with advice to run the initialization program, but it did not change anything.  I couldn't find the utility to update firmware that you mentioned.  Do you have a link to it?



#5 airydisc

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 11:47 AM

Have you tried to fill all your filters in the ascom filter advanced settins?

In the advanced settings it only shows 5 positions - no way to add any more.  I had previously defined all 8 positions, and it remembers the first 5 correctly, just doesn't show any more than that.



#6 chongo228

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:14 PM

ZWO also responded with advice to run the initialization program, but it did not change anything.  I couldn't find the utility to update firmware that you mentioned.  Do you have a link to it?

Manual for firmware update tool....

 

https://astronomy-im...rade Manual.pdf

 

What I think is the link to the tool....

 

https://astronomy-im...oftware-drivers

 

Go to that page and it's listed as EAF update tool under firmware updates. If I remember correctly this is how I got it. The same tool will scan for what device is connected and then install the new firmware. I believe it's the same tool for all ZWO devices....even though it says EAF it should scan and work for other stuff. For example I updated my EAF and one of my cameras with the same firmware tool. I had to do it twice....the first time it had an error when updating but I had more than ZWO one device plugged in which might have caused the error.



#7 airydisc

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 10:07 AM

I found the problem and got it working again.  It was not bad firmware, but operator error.  So that others may avoid the same situation, I'll explain:

 

Some time ago I was investigating some strange internal reflections when shooting a particular target.  After eliminating the most likely culprits, I examined the light path and immediately noticed 3 small holes right around each filter.  I am using 1.25" mounted filters, and these holes are there for the screws that secure 31mm unmounted filters.  The holes are right next to the filters, so you can't put the screws in from the front.  I considered putting them in from the back, but it looked like there wasn't enough clearance for the screw heads between the filter wheel and rear wall of the assembly, so I instead covered the holes with small bits of black tape.  I put the tape on the back side of the wheel, since it is much easier to avoid the filter body there.  There are also some larger holes in the filter wheel, and these are the "index" marks used to position the filter wheel.  There are optical sensors on the circuit board that align with these holes.  Knowing this, I was careful not to put tape over the larger holes.

 

At the time I ran the test with the holes covered I didn't realize that the EFW wasn't working properly (and almost forgot that the tape was there).  I discovered that it was this tape that was confusing the EFW.  I haven't got confirmation from ZWO yet, but I believe that what happened is that the index sensors work by emitting IR light that is reflected by the surface of the filter wheel and detected.  At each index hole the IR light passes through the hole, so there is no longer a reflection.  The problem is that my black tape looks very similar to the filter wheel in visible light, but is probably far less reflective in IR, so the sensor were seeing it as an index mark.

 

After removing the tape and running the initialization again the EFW seemed to be working less erratically, but was still showing only the first 5 positions.  On a hunch, I disconnected it (powered down) and reconnected.  It then showed all 8 positions, and now seems to work perfectly.

 

I still haven't solved the reflection puzzle, but that is another story.



#8 MapleEve

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 11:35 AM

I found the problem and got it working again.  It was not bad firmware, but operator error.  So that others may avoid the same situation, I'll explain:
 
Some time ago I was investigating some strange internal reflections when shooting a particular target.  After eliminating the most likely culprits, I examined the light path and immediately noticed 3 small holes right around each filter.  I am using 1.25" mounted filters, and these holes are there for the screws that secure 31mm unmounted filters.  The holes are right next to the filters, so you can't put the screws in from the front.  I considered putting them in from the back, but it looked like there wasn't enough clearance for the screw heads between the filter wheel and rear wall of the assembly, so I instead covered the holes with small bits of black tape.  I put the tape on the back side of the wheel, since it is much easier to avoid the filter body there.  There are also some larger holes in the filter wheel, and these are the "index" marks used to position the filter wheel.  There are optical sensors on the circuit board that align with these holes.  Knowing this, I was careful not to put tape over the larger holes.
 
At the time I ran the test with the holes covered I didn't realize that the EFW wasn't working properly (and almost forgot that the tape was there).  I discovered that it was this tape that was confusing the EFW.  I haven't got confirmation from ZWO yet, but I believe that what happened is that the index sensors work by emitting IR light that is reflected by the surface of the filter wheel and detected.  At each index hole the IR light passes through the hole, so there is no longer a reflection.  The problem is that my black tape looks very similar to the filter wheel in visible light, but is probably far less reflective in IR, so the sensor were seeing it as an index mark.
 
After removing the tape and running the initialization again the EFW seemed to be working less erratically, but was still showing only the first 5 positions.  On a hunch, I disconnected it (powered down) and reconnected.  It then showed all 8 positions, and now seems to work perfectly.
 
I still haven't solved the reflection puzzle, but that is another story.


Well that's glad to hear.

And one more thing, if the back space is not enough, you can just simply turn the back upside down and you can assemble it with more spaces.

That works with some thick ring filters like Astrodon.


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