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Guiding Failures and Camera Disconnects

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#1 bjulihn

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 01:05 AM

Hi All;

 

Looking for Troubleshooting Suggestions. Last night I set up my iOptron iEQ30 pro mount, with ASI071 Pro C imaging camera and ASI120mm mini guide camera. I use NINA for imaging and PHD2 ver 2.69.4 for guiding. I have a mini pc on the scope and all connections are through a USB hub. I manage imaging on my laptop in the house over WIFI with Teamviewer. This has worked fine until last night. The one major change in this setup is that I sold my QHY 183C camera and replaced it with the ASI071 camera.

 

I got up and running including guiding when I got an error message on PHD2 saying the camera had disconnected. I reconnected and restarted guiding. From this point on it would not correct or even successfully calibrate because the RA axis would not accept corrections or  move during calibration. Since only RA was stuck, thought cables. I shut down the mount reconnected all cables and switched the mount cables between the dec axis and the hand controller. No change in behavior on restart. I bailed and went to bed.

 

Today, I setup again in the same way. I ran "guiding assistant" to test guide setting. Everything worked fine including guiding. Then . . . PHD2 gave me a camera disconnect error and NINA started giving me failed to download image errors. I reconnected PHD2 and again, no movement in RA and thus calibration failed! I disconnected the USB hub and plugged it back in and then reconnected all devices. No change!

 

So, my suspicions lie with the mini-pc to USB Hub connection. It is strange that it works briefly before failing each time but it does not appear to be a cable issue. And cable distance from USB Hub to mini-pc is only a foot. The wifi connection to the mini-pc is solid as well. The only other thing I am wondering so far is if having 2 ASI cameras is causing some kind of conflict with the drivers.

 

Ideas???

Brad



#2 michael8554

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:35 AM

Guide Assistant turns off RA and Dec guiding - RA off to measure Periodic Error, and Dec off to measure Polar Alignment Error.

 

So doesn't test guide settings !

 

Same-brand camera conflicts are common with PHD2.

 

Not PHD2's fault, it's the drivers.

 

Worth looking through the PHD2 Help Forum for cures, there's been plenty of posts:

 

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

 

Try a guided run without the main imaging camera plugged in, which will confirm all you guiding kit and cables are okay.

 

Then close PHD2, power up the imaging camera and connect to it's software, then plug in the guidecam, open PHD2,  and select the correct ZWO driver in the Equipment Setup in PHD2.

 

Good luck !



#3 Midnight Dan

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:14 AM

I've had this same problem and others have reported it as well.  I think I have it fixed, but I've only run one night error-free so not 100% sure.

 

It seems like there are some issues either with PHD or the ASI drivers.  I updated everything, even though I had already updated fairly recently.  I found there were minor updates available for ASCOM, the ZWO native drivers and the ZWO ASCOM drivers.  I also replaced some of my USB cables that were questionable.  The flat cables that ZWO provides with their cameras are substandard and should not be used.

 

In addition, if you look at the release notes for the latest development version of PHD2 (Dev 4), it states that it uses an updated SDK for ASI cameras.  In other words the normal, release version of PHD2 has an outdated SDK.  So I'd recommend installing the Development version.

 

Prior to these changes, I could look at the PHD log for a night and find MANY times where the guide camera disconnects and reconnects.  At some point during the night, one of the attempted reconnects fails and it ends up connecting with the main imaging camera instead, which causes SGP to stop imaging and everything goes out to lunch.  After these changes, the PHD log is clean and shows no disconnects.

 

-Dan



#4 bjulihn

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:59 PM

Thanks for those replies guys! I went back out last night and shutdown the cameras and NINA and rebooted the mini-pc. The reconnected everything and it worked fine the rest of the night until I was taking flats and tried to stop guiding in PHD2. It immediately lost connection to the camera and repeated the loss of corrections in RA. I will check my drivers. I did have PHD2 2.69 dev for version installed. But I will check my native and ASCOM drivers.

 

Michael8554, I know Guiding Assistant shuts down tracking but it restarts it when done. The problem always begins once I lose connection to the guide camera. I am thinking it is an ASI driver conflict.




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