Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

donstim
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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by donstim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:40 pm

Still looking for help on this (although I will be traveling for the next 2 weeks and away from the scope). To summarize, some nights (not all):

1) ASI 294MC Pro camera will work fine for a while with no or few dropped frames. At some point, it starts to drop all frames. At first, it seems to help to either re-connect the camera, shut SharpCap down and restart, or switch the cable to my ASI 224MC camera and then back again to the 294MC Pro. After a short time, though, it starts dropping all frames again. After several iterations of the above to try to get it capturing frames again, none of the above procedures will restart frame capture. Neither does changing any of the camera settings in the camera control panel.

2) Brought camera inside and connected it to a different laptop (older laptop that I used to use) and observed the same problem. Could connect either laptop to the 224MC camera and not have any problems, but connected to the 294MC Pro all frames would be dropped (ZWO timeout). Both laptops were connected to AC power, so USB power saving should not be an issue (and all USB power saving features have been disable on both laptops).

3) After a period of time (at least an hour?) inside the house, the camera/SharpCap interface suddenly starting working fine again on both laptops.

This seems like a camera or driver/SDK problem? Any ideas on what could change over time that could cause the camera/SharpCap to start dropping all frames (other than USB power saving)? Is there anything else I could try to either pinpoint the exact cause or to work around it?

Why does SharpCap drop frames every second or two even when the exposure time is much longer than that?

Thanks,
Don

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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by admin » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:21 pm

Hi,

I can only really give an answer to the last part of your question – I think the reason that the frames drop every two seconds is because SharpCap is asking the SDK to capture a frame for say a 30s exposure and then after two seconds the SDK responds that the exposure has failed with a timeout error. Of course it's the reason behind that timeout error that is what we really want to know and have no idea about at the moment :-(

Cheers, Robin

donstim
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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by donstim » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:53 pm

Hi Robin,

It looks like Duane in the "bug reports" sub-forum was experiencing the same thing where the timeout was occurring much faster than the exposure time or the SharpCap timeout time:

Warning: 20:37:34.2578180 Thread:ASI Grab Thread#32 SharpCap.Cameras.ASI.ASICameraProxy.GetFrameData(Int32 timeout, BufferFrame frame) :: Fetching still frame from ZWO camera failed with ExpFailed, exposure is 8600.13, timeout is 14460
Warning: 20:37:34.3585751 Thread:ASI Grab Thread#32 SharpCap.Cameras.ASI.ASICameraProxy.GetFrameData(Int32 timeout, BufferFrame frame) :: Fetching still frame from ZWO camera failed with ExpFailed, exposure is 8790.41, timeout is 14669
Warning: 20:37:36.3213004 Thread:ASI Grab Thread#32 SharpCap.Cameras.ASI.ASICameraProxy.GetFrameData(Int32 timeout, BufferFrame frame) :: Fetching still frame from ZWO camera failed with ExpFailed, exposure is 10023.833, timeout is 16026

From internet searches, although this issue may not be real common, it has been reported enough to know that it is not issue isolated to one or two cameras. Should I seek help from ZWO or are you in contact with them?

Don

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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by admin » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:50 pm

Hi Don,

I think you would be best off talking to the guys at ZWO directly as I found that often manufacturers seem much more inclined to help the end user directly.

Cheers, Robin

donstim
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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by donstim » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:03 pm

Hi Robin,

I thought I'd update you a little bit on this issue. On ZWO's recommendation, I tried using their ASICAP software to see the frame dropping in SharpCap also occurs in other software. What I found out was that when this problem occurs, ASICAP indicated there were no frames being captured at all -- fps, total frames, and dropped frames were all zero. Although the camera remains connected to the computer and its power LED is on, something is preventing it from either taking or transmitting images.

This problem is intermittent, and I cannot find a way to reliably cause it to occur or fix it when it does occur. I suspect a poor connection in the camera somewhere. I am working with the vendor I purchased the camera from - High Point Scientific - on resolving this.

Thanks,
Don

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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by admin » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:54 pm

Hi Don,

Thanks for the update. Did you ever get a chance to try the camera on a second computer? I know it seems an odd suggestion but I have seen cases where particular models of camera just seem to have difficulty operating on particular computers (something to do with the USB port on the computer I think) and then work fine on other computers.

Cheers, Robin

donstim
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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by donstim » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:15 pm

Hi Robin,

Yes, I tried it in all 3 USB ports with 3 different cables on 2 different laptops. I think it is some kind of internal to the camera connection issue. I did not see anything obvious when I removed the camera front piece (which you do when cleaning the sensor and inside of the protect window). But a couple of times while the camera was not working I was able to get the images to be transmitted/received after I pressed on the white ribbon cable connection. I hesitate to bring this up, though, because this also did not work more times than it worked.

After mostly not working for 2 nights, the camera started working again the next day. It worked all through a 2-3 hour imaging session without a glitch and was still working the next day every time I connected it to check on it. (Been doing this regularly now.) Last night, it had a couple of hiccups, but shutting it down and reconnecting it resolved it. It then worked continuously for the rest of the 2 hour or so imaging session, and it has been working fine today.

The one difference in the last couple of nights compared to earlier in the week when it stopped working for a lengthy period is that I haven't been running the cooler. This was suggested by ZWO. But I don't think that was it because the last night it was not working I did not run the cooler either. I then plugged the cooler in, and it actually started working (for a very brief time). But I'll probably try it with the cooler tonight just to see what happens.

ZWO has asked me if they could take control of my computer to investigate the issue, and High Point Scientific is working on an RMA, but as long as the camera is not showing the issue, there's no point in having them examine a working camera. Intermittent problems like this are very frustrating! :(

Don

donstim
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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by donstim » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:15 am

Another quick update -- ZWO agrees that it is a camera hardware issue and that my camera needs to be sent back for repair. Thanks for your all your help in troubleshooting (you, too, Dave).

Don

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Re: Dropped frames ASI 294MC Pro

Post by turfpit » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:30 am

Cheers Don - glad you managed to resolve this.

Dave

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