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ASI 290MM dropping many frames when guiding

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#1 IonClad

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:44 PM

Anyone experienced all frames being lost from an ASI 290MM mini? I'm losing contiguous blocks of 3-15 seconds worth every 20-30 seconds while guiding right now.

 

Tried many USB cables, making sure the cables are clean, USB hub and direct laptop port, different laptop ports, varying exposure times, altering the USB limit in PHD2, and rebooting the system. Everything worked fine until a few days ago, and nothing should have changed since then. I've basically disassembled and reassembled everything tonight and it's still dropping frames. Using the ASCOM drivers, which as I said worked fine before. Cables tested are between 3 and 10 ft, which worked fine before. First experienced this about 2 days ago, and it seems to be getting slowly worse.

 

Any suggestions of other things to try? Would appreciate any input.


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#2 PirateMike

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:00 PM

Believe it or not, electronic devices do fail. Have you considered that you may actually be facing such a case right now?

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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Edited by PirateMike, 03 March 2021 - 11:04 PM.


#3 IonClad

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:26 PM

I'd considered that the camera might be failing internally for some reason, but it seemed prudent to check the external connections and software first to rule those out as factors. In my experience similar hardware usually failed with corrupted data rather than neatly dropped frames, so I thought I'd see if anyone else had encountered these same symptoms before.


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#4 PirateMike

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:53 PM

It appears to me that your camera is failing. It might be wise to plan the purchase of a replacement so that you may return to guiding as soon as possible.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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#5 dclt

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:59 PM

I'd considered that the camera might be failing internally for some reason, but it seemed prudent to check the external connections and software first to rule those out as factors. In my experience similar hardware usually failed with corrupted data rather than neatly dropped frames, so I thought I'd see if anyone else had encountered these same symptoms before.


How old is your camera? I am using the same exact model as my guide cam & do not have issues. I did run into some dropped frames at one point but it was a focus & exposure time issue. What exposure time do you normally guide with?
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#6 IonClad

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:35 AM

How old is your camera? I am using the same exact model as my guide cam & do not have issues. I did run into some dropped frames at one point but it was a focus & exposure time issue. What exposure time do you normally guide with?

It's about 4 months old. No drops or anything that would be an obvious cause. I usually use 0.5-2 second exposures. I know many people use longer, but I need to guide out a 13 second periodic error in my mount until I find a way to mitigate it.



#7 michael8554

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 08:59 AM

Post the GuideLog and DebugLog on the PHD2 help forum.

 

Instructions on how to upload in the Help menu.

 

If the guiding session was very long give them approx times of where the problems are.

 

https://groups.googl...pen-phd-guiding


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#8 alphatripleplus

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 09:12 AM

You can test whether it is a problem with the camera by testing its ability to take frames (not guide) with other software. For example, you can try and take the same duration exposures with SharpCap and see if it is dropping them in the same way that it is dropping them with PHD2.



#9 IonClad

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I have been unable to reproduce the problem inside with several hours of continuous testing, meaning the camera seems to work fine in PHD2 when not being used for guiding. I even stuck it in the fridge top see if the temperature drop would provoke the issue (it did not). That suggests there's something about the environment causing the dropped frames, but the main difference is only a few dozen feet of movement from inside to outside and a drop of 30-40 degrees F. Still saw the dropped frames issue last night after that indoor testing.



#10 sn2006gy

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 04:53 PM

Sometimes ZWO drivers seem to go crazy and if you switch USB ports or move things around you may have stale drivers.  I'd disconnect your 290 (from usb) and in Windows:

 

Click Start -> Type "Device Manager" -> Click "View" then "Show hidden devices" and delete all the 290mm devices you have in the imaging devices area.

 

Then re-connect your 290 and let it re-find it.

 

That usually corrects this for me.


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#11 IonClad

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 09:08 PM

Sometimes ZWO drivers seem to go crazy and if you switch USB ports or move things around you may have stale drivers.  I'd disconnect your 290 (from usb) and in Windows:

 

Click Start -> Type "Device Manager" -> Click "View" then "Show hidden devices" and delete all the 290mm devices you have in the imaging devices area.

 

Then re-connect your 290 and let it re-find it.

 

That usually corrects this for me.

Tried it, no difference. Installs are all within the past few months, so not many old drivers could be hanging around. Appreciate the suggestion.



#12 RogerM

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 09:27 PM

to add to what sn20056gy mentions and just in case that it's not the base OS driver(s), make sure that you are consistently connecting all of the USB devices into the same respective port every time then try running the ASCOM Diagnostics app's "run diagnostics' to see if it detects anything.



#13 IonClad

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:28 PM

to add to what sn20056gy mentions and just in case that it's not the base OS driver(s), make sure that you are consistently connecting all of the USB devices into the same respective port every time then try running the ASCOM Diagnostics app's "run diagnostics' to see if it detects anything.

Diagnostics found 18 fails and 0 exceptions. From the log the fails all seem to be related to DeltaUT1 date/time tests.



#14 RogerM

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 07:42 PM

Diagnostics found 18 fails and 0 exceptions. From the log the fails all seem to be related to DeltaUT1 date/time tests.

I'm at a loss as to this report, I'm sorry.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I have been unable to reproduce the problem inside with several hours of continuous testing, meaning the camera seems to work fine in PHD2 when not being used for guiding. I even stuck it in the fridge top see if the temperature drop would provoke the issue (it did not). That suggests there's something about the environment causing the dropped frames, but the main difference is only a few dozen feet of movement from inside to outside and a drop of 30-40 degrees F. Still saw the dropped frames issue last night after that indoor testing.

Going back over prior posts answered my next question as to what software you are running the 290 on.  Environmental may be just a part of the issue.  How about from a hardware perspective, did you change anything on the mount between the time everything operated satisfactorily vs as of late?  This latest test you disconnected the 290 physically from the rig yes?  From past posts about errors of the communication kind, one such post revolved around an issue that was later found to be temperature related...a component shrank just enough to cause a short situation...

 

Just tossing out thoughts to consider.  If everything worked before then something either has physically changed, software/driver got corrupted (happens) or quite possible that the 290 has become internally intermittent.  I've had mine for about three months now, connected to three different systems (windows-based, iOS/ASIAir based and on my MacBook Pro) and so far I've not had any data coms issues arise.



#15 IonClad

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 09:26 PM

I'm at a loss as to this report, I'm sorry.

 

Going back over prior posts answered my next question as to what software you are running the 290 on.  Environmental may be just a part of the issue.  How about from a hardware perspective, did you change anything on the mount between the time everything operated satisfactorily vs as of late?  This latest test you disconnected the 290 physically from the rig yes?  From past posts about errors of the communication kind, one such post revolved around an issue that was later found to be temperature related...a component shrank just enough to cause a short situation...

 

Just tossing out thoughts to consider.  If everything worked before then something either has physically changed, software/driver got corrupted (happens) or quite possible that the 290 has become internally intermittent.  I've had mine for about three months now, connected to three different systems (windows-based, iOS/ASIAir based and on my MacBook Pro) and so far I've not had any data coms issues arise.

No problem, appreciate you trying to help. I posted in the PHD2 forum, but no response yet.

 

Nothing hardware or software changed when this started, and it's actually warmer outside now than it was when I had no problems (but also colder than when it was also working). I did disconnect the 290 physically and swapped every cable and port connecting it to the laptop.

 

As for software, I updated the bios, removed the camera duplicates from device manager, and switched from the ASCOM driver to the native ZWO one with no change. I also tried the "use subframes" option in PHD2 so that the total guide cam data transfer is minuscule. The lapses in the guide camera do not coincide with data transfer from the imaging camera.




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