Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

ASI2600MC-Pro USB Issues - Test Report & Findings

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Domer

Domer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 12 June 2021 - 07:44 PM

For all of you ASI2600MC-Pro users who have been experiencing issues taking exposures or downloading images from your camera, the attached test report may be of interest to you.

 

I ran some tests with my ASI2600MC-Pro and measured current draw on the USB interface and the 12VDC power input jack.  It's important to note that in spite of what the ZWO manual states, you absolutely MUST connect the 12VDC power supply for the camera to be able to take images and download them reliably.

 

Separately (but not unrelated), some people recommend using USB 2.0 cables for higher reliability at the cost of somewhat slower image download speeds.  ZWO strongly recommends using USB 3.0 cables to connect to the camera, and that's what I do.  But it can be tricky - I have one 3m cable that is rock-solid reliable, so I bought a 2nd one of the exact same type as a spare and my laptop doesn't even see the camera when I use it.  I also have a triple-shielded 0.6m cable that doesn't work at all, while a 1m version of that same cable from the same manufacturer works flawlessly.  So in my experience, using a high quality cable helps, but is no guarantee - it's very "hit-or-miss".  But in general, I agree with some of the suggestions made in other threads - keep the cable short, don't use USB hubs (connect directly to the camera), and try different cables until you find a couple that work (and always bring a spare).

 

 

Attached Files


  • nemo129, jdupton, RazvanUnderStars and 2 others like this

#2 jdupton

jdupton

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,449
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Central Texas, USA

Posted 12 June 2021 - 09:43 PM

Domer,

 

   Well done!! Very well done, indeed. I just love this sort of testing. Many times I have said that we learn so many ways to improve our use of equipment when we fully understand how it works in the first place. Your report is an excellent example of this.

 

   I will read through the report more carefully when I'm more alert. I think I have a question or two about the results from Test #3 as that surprises me also. Once I think about it, I may have a suggestion for a slightly different test based on that unexpected result. I will also have a couple of observations and comments on other findings but need to clarify them in my own mind before writing up the commentary.

 

   Thanks again for doing this testing. This can explain a lot of things users of this camera report as odd issues.

 

 

John


  • Domer and teashea like this

#3 len2376

len2376

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2019
  • Loc: North Wales, UK

Posted 13 June 2021 - 11:46 AM

Not wishing to nit-pick but in the interests of accuracy:

 

Conclusion 1. In spite of what the ASI2600MC-Pro manual states, the 12VDC supply is absolutely required in order to

take exposures.

 

As I stated on the oily window thread: When I first tried my ASI2600MC out I found I couldn't take long exposures. Then I saw the reference on the ZWO FAQ / Forum about exposures greater than 2 seconds. https://bbs.astronom...s-over-2-second

 

So my short daylight test exposures were fine. Not what I and I would imagine anyone else would use this camera for but definitely not 'absolutely'.

 



#4 EmeraldHills

EmeraldHills

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,261
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Louisville, Kentucky

Posted 13 June 2021 - 11:58 AM

Domer, I just assumed my 2600 was eccentric. I'm running it through an Icron USB Raven 3104, which serves up a true vanilla USB port, protocol variable, to each of 4 devices regardless of ports -- then converts signals to ethernet up to 100 meters remotely. The 2600 does indeed present as a USB3 device, but without 12V power, the camera disconnects and becomes useless. WITH 12V power, however, (thankfully) the camera stays connected and remains dependable for a seemingly unlimited number of hours. (I've tested it up to 6 hours without a hitch so far over a 200-meter distance.) So my anecdotal findings support your theory. 12V is a must.


  • Skysmacker likes this

#5 TelescopeGreg

TelescopeGreg

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,219
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Auburn, California, USA

Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:58 PM

My experience...  Imaging without the 12v power depends on the mood of the camera.  I tried it earlier and it failed.  More recently it succeeded, and I posted a retraction.  Just now, failed again.  So, you're on the edge of possible, certainly not reliable.

 

Bottom line, use the 12v.


  • Domer likes this

#6 MJB87

MJB87

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,913
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 13 June 2021 - 05:08 PM

I've never had an issue with the ASI2600MC-Pro. I always use 12v power and high-quality USB cables. My connection goes through a hub (Gearmo) and has one run that is 25 feet (Tripp-Lite repeater cable).

 

No problems. YMMV.


  • Skysmacker and teashea like this

#7 Domer

Domer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 13 June 2021 - 05:14 PM

My experience...  Imaging without the 12v power depends on the mood of the camera.  I tried it earlier and it failed.  More recently it succeeded, and I posted a retraction.  Just now, failed again.  So, you're on the edge of possible, certainly not reliable.

 

Bottom line, use the 12v.

Greg,

 

Although I haven't tried this myself, others have stated that it can be powered over USB if the exposures are kept very short.  But that would not be a typical use case for this camera unless you're shooting the sun so it doesn't seem very relevant to this issue.  Depending on what exposure times you were using when you ran your tests it may have worked sometimes and not others.


  • teashea likes this

#8 teashea

teashea

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,991
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Posted 13 June 2021 - 07:17 PM

For all of you ASI2600MC-Pro users who have been experiencing issues taking exposures or downloading images from your camera, the attached test report may be of interest to you.

 

I ran some tests with my ASI2600MC-Pro and measured current draw on the USB interface and the 12VDC power input jack.  It's important to note that in spite of what the ZWO manual states, you absolutely MUST connect the 12VDC power supply for the camera to be able to take images and download them reliably.

 

Separately (but not unrelated), some people recommend using USB 2.0 cables for higher reliability at the cost of somewhat slower image download speeds.  ZWO strongly recommends using USB 3.0 cables to connect to the camera, and that's what I do.  But it can be tricky - I have one 3m cable that is rock-solid reliable, so I bought a 2nd one of the exact same type as a spare and my laptop doesn't even see the camera when I use it.  I also have a triple-shielded 0.6m cable that doesn't work at all, while a 1m version of that same cable from the same manufacturer works flawlessly.  So in my experience, using a high quality cable helps, but is no guarantee - it's very "hit-or-miss".  But in general, I agree with some of the suggestions made in other threads - keep the cable short, don't use USB hubs (connect directly to the camera), and try different cables until you find a couple that work (and always bring a spare).

very good info



#9 Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,146
  • Joined: 16 Aug 2020

Posted 13 June 2021 - 08:18 PM

For all of you ASI2600MC-Pro users who have been experiencing issues taking exposures or downloading images from your camera, the attached test report may be of interest to you.

 

I ran some tests with my ASI2600MC-Pro and measured current draw on the USB interface and the 12VDC power input jack.  It's important to note that in spite of what the ZWO manual states, you absolutely MUST connect the 12VDC power supply for the camera to be able to take images and download them reliably.

 

Separately (but not unrelated), some people recommend using USB 2.0 cables for higher reliability at the cost of somewhat slower image download speeds.  ZWO strongly recommends using USB 3.0 cables to connect to the camera, and that's what I do.  But it can be tricky - I have one 3m cable that is rock-solid reliable, so I bought a 2nd one of the exact same type as a spare and my laptop doesn't even see the camera when I use it.  I also have a triple-shielded 0.6m cable that doesn't work at all, while a 1m version of that same cable from the same manufacturer works flawlessly.  So in my experience, using a high quality cable helps, but is no guarantee - it's very "hit-or-miss".  But in general, I agree with some of the suggestions made in other threads - keep the cable short, don't use USB hubs (connect directly to the camera), and try different cables until you find a couple that work (and always bring a spare).

Thank you for the information and shedding light on the operation of the 2600 camera.  Now my question is,  is this true of all ZWO cooled cameras and  what about the QHY cooled versions???         Joe



#10 Woodbridge_Dave

Woodbridge_Dave

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 175
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2009

Posted 14 June 2021 - 06:13 AM

Not sure of the purpose of this testing because under what conditions would you run the camera unpowered ?


  • Skysmacker likes this

#11 MJB87

MJB87

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,913
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 14 June 2021 - 06:33 AM

Well, there is power and then there is power.  Many of us have at times used ZWO cameras without bothering to power the cooler (and perhaps dew heater). So we just plug in the USB cable and use the USB power to run the camera sensor. The 12v power supply remains unattached. The question here is whether that is adequate for the ZWO2600MC-P or whether this camera, perhaps unlike some others, requires the 12v additional power at all times.



#12 Domer

Domer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 14 June 2021 - 10:08 AM

Not sure of the purpose of this testing because under what conditions would you run the camera unpowered ?

This issue first surfaced for me when I was running equipment tests prior to a weekend imaging session.  I was testing my LED panel brightness to ensure I could get proper flat exposures, testing my EAF with various telescopes and camera lenses, verifying that my guide camera was correctly set up with PHD2, etc.  So yes, there are numerous reasons why one would want to use the camera without cooling it.



#13 Domer

Domer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 14 June 2021 - 10:09 AM

Well, there is power and then there is power.  Many of us have at times used ZWO cameras without bothering to power the cooler (and perhaps dew heater). So we just plug in the USB cable and use the USB power to run the camera sensor. The 12v power supply remains unattached. The question here is whether that is adequate for the ZWO2600MC-P or whether this camera, perhaps unlike some others, requires the 12v additional power at all times.

Spot on.  And based on my experience and the controlled tests that I ran, USB power is insufficient to operate the camera reliably.



#14 MJB87

MJB87

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,913
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 14 June 2021 - 12:10 PM

I'm not an electrical engineer but I wonder if the 5V power from USB isn't adequate for this sensor and it needs 12v.



#15 Domer

Domer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 14 June 2021 - 01:07 PM

I'm not an electrical engineer but I wonder if the 5V power from USB isn't adequate for this sensor and it needs 12v.

It so happens that I am an EE smile.gif .  It's not a voltage problem - the camera appears to have a built-in current limit on the USB interface that prevents it from drawing more than ~800 mA, causing it to reboot when the current demand exceeds that limit.  The Acroname USB hub I used for the testing is capable of supplying 4000 mA but it never got anywhere near that.  The camera got to a little over 800 mA and then rebooted.



#16 TelescopeGreg

TelescopeGreg

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,219
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Auburn, California, USA

Posted 14 June 2021 - 02:36 PM

The camera got to a little over 800 mA and then rebooted.

Just curious, what indication do you get that there was a "reboot"?  All I see is a hang.
 



#17 Domer

Domer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 14 June 2021 - 02:43 PM

Just curious, what indication do you get that there was a "reboot"?  All I see is a hang.
 

The current level dropped back to ~360 mA, the same as when the camera was first powered on and before it was connected to NINA.  Also, although NINA "thought" it was still connected, it could not communicate with the camera.  I had to disconnect it (using the disconnect button in NINA), then reconnect it, at which point the current draw increased to the ~420 mA level (same as before) and NINA could then communicate with the camera again.  When I tried to do another exposure, the exact same pattern was repeated.

 

I have a CSV output file of the current draw from the Acroname hub.  When I initiate an exposure, the current draw increases to about 800 mA for roughly 330 msec before plummeting and then stabilizing back at ~360 mA.  It never actually reaches the 900 mA allowed by USB 3.0, and certainly never gets anywhere near to 4000 mA that the hub can supply.  So the camera itself is doing the current-limiting.  My suspicion is that when the current limit is reached, the internal voltage drops below a threshold that triggers a reset.


Edited by Domer, 14 June 2021 - 02:45 PM.


#18 TelescopeGreg

TelescopeGreg

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,219
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Auburn, California, USA

Posted 14 June 2021 - 03:31 PM

The current level dropped back to ~360 mA, the same as when the camera was first powered on and before it was connected to NINA.  Also, although NINA "thought" it was still connected, it could not communicate with the camera.  I had to disconnect it (using the disconnect button in NINA), then reconnect it, at which point the current draw increased to the ~420 mA level (same as before) and NINA could then communicate with the camera again.  When I tried to do another exposure, the exact same pattern was repeated.

 

I have a CSV output file of the current draw from the Acroname hub.  When I initiate an exposure, the current draw increases to about 800 mA for roughly 330 msec before plummeting and then stabilizing back at ~360 mA.  It never actually reaches the 900 mA allowed by USB 3.0, and certainly never gets anywhere near to 4000 mA that the hub can supply.  So the camera itself is doing the current-limiting.  My suspicion is that when the current limit is reached, the internal voltage drops below a threshold that triggers a reset.

Ah, makes sense.  Thanks.

 

I have a meter that can monitor current on the 12v line.  If I can work out the connectors (power pole vs 5.5mm), I'll give that a try to see what the sensor is doing during longer exposures.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics