Please derail this thread just a little bit. I'm worried about my iPolar because last time, I had to press the connect button 3 times. What did the techs say? Is it a crappy cable? Is the micro USB connector on the camera crappy?
It is not derail, I included it as anissue why I don’t use the supplied software for the polar camera. It really is that bad. I should’ve shot YouTube videos to Yakety sax playing in the background, of me pressing the connect button to no avail, and this is after having had a previous working connection to the camera.
And here I am lamenting whether or not I should get their guide camara setup, so that when I get my hyperstar later this week I can do some guiding. Then again I don't have to use their camera to do that.
Because you both asked, I will describe my issues and interaction with iOptron. If we want to discuss this in more detail, perhaps a new thread would make sense....
My iPolar issue is with the camera not being recognized. While I HAVE had a few occurrences where I had to press the connect button multiple times, that's not the main issue. My issue is the iPolar camera not being recognized by the computer. The iPolar software throws an error saying the camera can't be found and the iPolar camera is NOT listed in the Windows Device Manager.
For me, the issue got slowly worse. It started with the camera not connecting. When plugging into the iPolar USB plug on the back of the mount, I WOULD get the "bong" sound from my computer meaning the computer is recognizing a USB connection. However, the iPolar camera was not connected. Initially, if I removed the back, circular plate plate from the mount (where the iPolar USB plug is) the camera would be recognized. "Jiggling" these wires worked for about a month. Then, no amount of wire "jiggling" would connect the camera. One afternoon, I pulled the circular back plate off the mount, disconnected the USB plug from the PCB and cleaned everything with CRC quick dry electrical cleaner and a q-tip. When I re-assembled everything the iPolar camera worked. However, this only lasted a day. After this "fix" failed, the camera would not be recognized at all; no matter how much wire "jiggling" or contact cleaning I tried. Additionally, I tried multiple cables of various lengths, but none of the cable swaps made any difference.
I emailed iOptron, but did not receive a reply for about a week. After a week, I received a reply saying they were going to mail me some parts. This email with the promise of new parts came on 7/13 (13 days ago). I have received no parts from iOptron as of 7/26.
Three days ago I received an email from a different iOptron tech. This email included a .pdf with instructions on how to remove the iPolar camera. This email did not mention any parts or any of the previous correspondence I've had with iOptron on this issue. Here's my reply to this second email:
[reply email I sent to iOptron]
Thanks for the .pdf.
I removed the iPolar camera per the .pdf instructions and checked the connection at the back of the iPolar camera. It looked fine. I unhooked it, cleaned it with CRC fast drying electric cleaner and a q-tip and then re-attached the iPolar camera. This did not help. The camera was still not recognized by my computer.
I figured "in for a penny, in for a pound". So, I removed the saddle at the top of the mount. At the back of the saddle, I removed the two hex screws holding the USB hub to the saddle. Looking at the USB hub, I "jiggled" the wires that connect the iPolar camera to the printed circuit board on the USB hub labeled 'iPolar". After I "jiggled" these wires, I connected the iPolar camera to my computer using the USB plug at the back of the mount and the iPolar camera was immediately recognized. I re-attached the USB hub cover. I re-attached the saddle. I re-seated the iPolar camera. After re-assembly I again plugged my computer into the iPolar USB at the back of the mount and the iPolar camera was immediately recognized.
Given that "jiggling" the wires both at the USB plug on the back of the mount as well as at the connection to the USB hub in the saddle has restored communication to the camera, I suspect that one of the wires in the wiring harness has a short. The PCB connections seem okay, but wire "jiggling" will restore the connection.
In the past wire "jiggling" was a temporary fix. I'm concerned that this fix will also be temporary.
Is it possible to get a new wire harness that connects from the iPolar camera to the USB hub on the saddle, and a new wire harness from the USB hub on the saddle to the USB plug in the back of the mount? I suspect one of these harnesses has a short somewhere.
Finally, I received an email last week from John saying he was going to send me some parts. He verified my mailing address. He had the wrong mailing address, and I sent him an email with my correct mailing address. I have not received the parts yet. For the record, my mailing address is:
address line 1
City, State Zip
If it's easier for you to have a quick phone call, please feel free to contact me on my cell:
[end of email reply to iOptron]
I sent the above email on 7/23. I have not heard back yet.
So, I've been able to get the iPolar camera to connect after wire "jiggling", but this has been a sporadic and temporary fix (after two weeks of not being able to connect). As of Saturday, my iPolar camera would connect, but I haven't tried in the last couple of days due to clouds.
When my iPolar camera decided to stop working, I switched to Sharpcap for PA. According to Sharpcap you need at least 1 degree of FOV to polar align. My FOV with my EdgeHD 9.25 is ~50 minutes, but I am still able to get Sharpcap to successfully PA. I have had to restart the process a couple of times, but (so far) I've always been able to get a successful PA from Sharpcap. During the time using Sharpcap PA (rather than iPolar) I've noticed a substantial improvement in my PA statistics in PHD2 (reported as PA error in the Guising Assistant. I run GA for ~ 7 minutes prior to each imaging session).
I have not used the PA process in NINA yet, but I plan to give it a try soon. It would be easier to do everything in NINA. Right now I PA using Sharpcap or iPolar. After I PA I turn off the PA software and start NINA. Having just NINA would make things easier.
Edited to add.....
I just got an email from iOptron. I haven't received my parts yet because I had not yet paid the S&H to receive the parts. That oversight was my mistake!
Edited by dcm_guitar, 27 July 2021 - 10:10 AM.