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QHY294M connection problem

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#1 Rasfahan

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:04 PM

Hello, everyone, and thanks for any pointers (and many thanks for reading this lengthy post):

 

I'm on my third sample of the QHY294M (one had a sensor defect, the other an USB port malfunction). This is the first time I tried out this sample - so it has never worked correctly for me. My vendor hasn't answered to my inquiry yet (but I emailed them just yesterday and I'm sure they are kinda sick of these problems, too). QHY support is in some late-summer holiday for a few days, I hope they will respond afterwards.

 

This time around, the camera works fine for about 1.5-2 hours and then downloading of images stops, the camera stops responding. Sometimes the connected software (Voyager, NINA, SGP) hangs at that point, sometimes not. Many times, it starts showing strange values for sensor temperature (like -2351C). This is independent of using ASCOM or the native drivers. At that point, in the settings the camera is often seen as if connected by USB 2.0 ("This device could be faster if connected to an USB 3.0 port"). It is fixed by the following protocol: 

  1. Disconnect the camera from both power and USB
  2. Reconnect power, then USB. The device now shows up with the following errors: "Unrecognized device: Port reset failure. Driver error."
  3. In the settings, "disconnect" the device
  4. Disconnect power and USB
  5. Reconnect power, then USB

Skipping any step leads to an "Unrecognized device".

 

I use the lastest beta drivers because the "stable" drivers are from 2019 and do not recognise the camera. I tried older drivers, but after connecting to the camera with newer ones, those do not recognise it anymore (probably because of a firmware update). That the above procedure is necessary keeps me hoping it's some driver/software problem instead of yet another hardware defect.

 

Fixes I tried:

  • I used 3 different USB cables that work fine for other USB 3.0 cameras (two cooled ZWO and one uncooled QHY), including the original QHY cable. The shortest is 30cm.
  • I tried this now on three different computers (with each of the cables), one of which never had any astro related SW installed before, to rule out any lingering driver issues. These were my Astro-dedicated NUC, a Dell 20" Tablet and a gaming desktop. None of them have any issues with other equipment. The NUC is probably the most trouble-free computer I ever owned (and I'm a die-hard Mac user).
  • I have turned off any USB-realted energy saving in the settings and also in the device manager for any USB-hub-like or PCIE device that I could find.
  • The camera is connected directly to the computer, no hubs involved.
  • I switched power supplies from a Baader outdoor supply (12V 5A) to a high-quality lab supply (12V, 50A, regulated to 5A - camera says 3A max). There's no power spike when the problem begins

Fixes I am planning on

  • Install INDI/EKOS on a Linux VM or my Mac to see if it's a driver problem
  • Try a powered USB hub
  • I ordered some new USB cables, should arrive tomorrow

If anyone has anything more to add, I would be grateful for any hints. Sorry for the long post, didn't want to skip anything important.



#2 pyrasanth

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:46 PM

I had a QHY168C and it suffered from stability issues as well as noisy downloaded frames. These issues disappeared when I purchased a Startech rugged industrial USB3 hub and set the internal jumper from bus to external power (open the metal case and switch the jumper on the pcb- not documented in any manual I've seen). With the jumper set from bus to external power it will not work until you connect an external power source and this means that the USB3 ports are not current limited from 900 mv bus power.

 

I think the QHY cameras have punished a lot of users with poor quality drivers and the need to take far closer inspection of the USB setup than normally required.

 

Irrespective of cooling being on or off my camera would not function until I connected an external PSU.

 

I hope you get the issues resolved.


Edited by pyrasanth, 20 September 2021 - 01:48 PM.

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#3 dghent

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:52 PM

The wild sensor temperature readings are indicative of a drop-out in USB communication, but of no particular cause.

 

You might also want to double check that the USB driver installation isn't bonged up:

  1. With the camera disconnected, right click Start and open Device Manager
  2. Go to the View menu and select Show hidden devices
  3. Expand the AstroImaging Equipment section
  4. Right click QHY5IIISeries_FW, select Properties, and then the Driver tab
  5. Press the Update Driver button, and select Search automatically for drivers
  6. Also do steps 4 and 5 for the QHY5IIISeries_IO device
  7. Plug in the camera. Verify that it is on the newer device driver version
  8. After the above steps are done, and barring any deeper issues, the driver and firmware loader for the camera should be updated to the version that was installed.


#4 Rasfahan

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 02:24 PM

I had a QHY168C and it suffered from stability issues as well as noisy downloaded frames. These issues disappeared when I purchased a Startech rugged industrial USB3 hub and set the internal jumper from bus to external power (open the metal case and switch the jumper on the pcb- not documented in any manual I've seen). With the jumper set from bus to external power it will not work until you connect an external power source and this means that the USB3 ports are not current limited from 900 mv bus power.

 

I think the QHY cameras have punished a lot of users with poor quality drivers and the need to take far closer inspection of the USB setup than normally required.

 

Irrespective of cooling being on or off my camera would not function until I connected an external PSU.

 

I hope you get the issues resolved.

Thanks for the heads up, I didn't know about industrial USB hubs.

 

The ones from Startech I found here are €180 (about $220) and have a "DIN-Rail" power connection. This is expensive and would complicate my setup quite a bit (I currently only run USB and 12V power up to a UPBv2). If I run into more USB issues, I will certainly consider them. For now, my Pegasus UPBv2 connects to all other equipment nicely. I've never had USB connection problems before, and if this camera doesn't want to play nice with my computers, I think the camera needs to go.



#5 Rasfahan

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 02:37 PM

 

The wild sensor temperature readings are indicative of a drop-out in USB communication, but of no particular cause.

 

You might also want to double check that the USB driver installation isn't bonged up:

  1. With the camera disconnected, right click Start and open Device Manager
  2. Go to the View menu and select Show hidden devices
  3. Expand the AstroImaging Equipment section
  4. Right click QHY5IIISeries_FW, select Properties, and then the Driver tab
  5. Press the Update Driver button, and select Search automatically for drivers
  6. Also do steps 4 and 5 for the QHY5IIISeries_IO device
  7. Plug in the camera. Verify that it is on the newer device driver version
  8. After the above steps are done, and barring any deeper issues, the driver and firmware loader for the camera should be updated to the version that was installed.

 

Ok, it said nothing to update, but I‘m still running a trial now.



#6 Wilsil

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:17 PM

There was a post on QHY facebook page regarding this issue.

It was mentioned to download the latest drivers from their website to solve it.


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#7 Wilsil

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:19 PM

Here it is https://m.facebook.c...p&ref=bookmarks


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#8 Rasfahan

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 12:49 AM

 

There was a post on QHY facebook page regarding this issue.

It was mentioned to download the latest drivers from their website to solve it.

Thanks a lot for that. This is not mentioned in the release notes. Also, this probably is the culprit: The camera is stuck at firmware 21-9-9 instead of 21-9-15. This is even after connecting to the formerly "clean" PC where only the newest driver software was ever installed.

<huge rant deleted/>

Does anyone know how to force a firmware update on these cameras?



#9 rockstarbill

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 12:51 AM

Thanks a lot for that. This is not mentioned in the release notes. Also, this probably is the culprit: The camera is stuck at firmware 21-9-9 instead of 21-9-15. This is even after connecting to the formerly "clean" PC where only the newest driver software was ever installed.

<huge rant deleted/>

Does anyone know how to force a firmware update on these cameras?

Normally you need to unplug the camera, install the latest driver, then plug the camera back in. 


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#10 Rasfahan

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 12:56 AM

Normally you need to unplug the camera, install the latest driver, then plug the camera back in. 

I've tried that. Also tried removing/uninstalling drivers via device manager before the reinstall. In device manager, it shows correct driver versions for both the QHY5IIISeries_IO and the QHY5IIISeries_FW. When connecting the camera, it takes quite some time to come up and there are several of the connect/disconnect sounds, so I assume the FW update is attempted but fails for some reason.



#11 rwstanley

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 10:43 AM

I don't know if you've solved your problem or just given up and sold it but I seem to have found a solution to this.  I am using The SkyX CAO for acquisition and when using their X2 driver instead of the Ascom driver it seems to be solid.  I've had 3-4 nights of sessions without a problem where I wasn't getting even 1 night before. I had the same problem when loading the new driver and plugging in the camera, it showed the old firmware.  I contacted QHY and after several emails they just suggested I return the camera.

 

-Ron



#12 TareqPhoto

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 10:48 AM

I have an issue with QHY294M lately also, regarding the connection, i did imaging with telescope outdoor and it was fine and complete, when i moved inside and tried to take dark frames the camera kept disconnecting millions times, i couldn't do full dark frames until next day after like many times with 4 different USB cables, finally i was able to connect and complete dark frames, so i decided to upgrade, and i will test it again later or next time.



#13 Rasfahan

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 10:57 AM

Yes, that's the point where I am (return was suggested). I'm in contact with my vendor about it. Using TSX is not an option for me, I'm not going to purchase that for this camera. I'm using Voyager with the native driver (or ASCOM - doesn't matter which). I will not sell off a camera that doesn't work for me, of course, especially since it's still covered by warranty.



#14 TareqPhoto

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 11:06 AM

I wonder if ZWO version also have the same issue, i am planning to sell my ASI1600mm one day and upgrade to ASI294 instead of QHY only because of filter size i have, and i doubt if only QHY has issues here.



#15 rwstanley

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 11:14 AM

I don't know about the ZWO camera.  It doesn't seem like too many are complaining about it here.  I had 3 copies of the ASI 1600M and they all had problems although like with the QHY 294M I was an early adopter.undecided.gif

 

-Ron



#16 Rasfahan

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 11:37 AM

My ZWO cameras „just work“, but the 183MC has quite some tilt.

#17 TareqPhoto

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Posted 30 September 2021 - 03:01 PM

I don't know about the ZWO camera.  It doesn't seem like too many are complaining about it here.  I had 3 copies of the ASI 1600M and they all had problems although like with the QHY 294M I was an early adopter.undecided.gif

 

-Ron

I have QHY163M since 2017 and it is still going great with connections, ASI1600 also, but QHY5L-II-M has issue of connection which i am trying to solve recently, then there is QHY294M which i didn't use much yet, only two or three times only, so i can't judge yet, and my ToupTek IMX571C is like a workhorse with connection. 



#18 Yilia Yu

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Posted 08 October 2021 - 12:19 AM

Hello, have those problems been solved? 



#19 Rasfahan

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Posted 08 October 2021 - 12:35 AM

I have sample no 4 now. No issues taking the dark library (extensive: LGC, HGC, 11M, 47M, 0C, -15C). I am cautiously optimistic.

#20 rwstanley

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 10:26 AM

QHY has issued a new All In One driver which I downloaded and installed and it seems to be stable and has updated my camera's firmware to 21-10-11.  I left the camera downloading .35 sec images continuous for about 45 minutes last night and it didn't hang.  It can be downloaded at the bottom of the page here.

 

-Ron



#21 TareqPhoto

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 01:45 PM

QHY has issued a new All In One driver which I downloaded and installed and it seems to be stable and has updated my camera's firmware to 21-10-11.  I left the camera downloading .35 sec images continuous for about 45 minutes last night and it didn't hang.  It can be downloaded at the bottom of the page here.

 

-Ron

That is a great news, mine doesn't have issues but only last time it kept disconnecting a lot for no reason, but then i fixed the cable somehow then it was fine, i don't mind updating if it will fix any issue or bug anyway.



#22 dghent

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 04:49 PM

The newest QHY USB drivers introduce a firmware update for all USB3 cameras. The update changes how the camera sets up its USB controller, where is now disables low power and deep sleep states for the connection back to the PC. Unless the PC ignores it, it will prevent the PC's USB controller and driver from forcing the connection into a low power state, which can cause a connection reset.


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