ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

idsteph
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ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by idsteph » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:59 am

I purchased a ZWO ASI183 MC Pro for use on a Dell Inspiron Intel 15 7567. The camera consistently dropped frames in all circumstances within Sharp Cap 3.1 using the ZWO Camera Option, ASCOM and Direct Show. I returned the camera and the supplier upgraded at my request to ZWO ASI 294 MC Pro. This new camera displayed exactly the same problems. I removed and reinstalled the drivers and all software. I shut of all power management controls to the USB connections within Windows 1o Device Manager but the problem persisted.

I then installed all the ZWO drivers and Sharpcap 3.1 on a different Laptop. A Dell Inspiron AMD 15 5576. The camera and Sharpcap worked perfectly. I tested captures for two whole days with multiple configs such as 40 240 second frames, 90 60 second frames and so on.

I contacted Dell believing this was an issue with the first Laptop. Much to Dells credit they replaced the Motherboard and secondary USB 3.0 Daughter board. The problems remain.

I then decided to abanon the firat Intel Laptop to concentrate on the AMD Laptop beliving the fault was a conflict issue. I then installed Astrophotography Tool on the AMD, retested Sharcap and it now behaves exactly like the Intel, dropped frames ans zero captures. I uninstalled APT but the problem remains.

I now have two high end Laptops which will not work with Sharcap 3.1. Interestingly APT works perfectly on both.


Grateful for any help or advice, I would really like to use Sharcap.

Thanks Ian, Perth Western Australia

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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by admin » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:55 am

Hi Ian,

as a starting point, have you tried all the steps in the Troubleshooting USB issues guide? viewtopic.php?f=18&t=349&p=1556#p1556

cheers,

Robin

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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by turfpit » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:37 am

Ian

Please post the requested information for one of the laptops.

For the purposes of this thread, the simplest configuration is:
  • Capture PC
  • Camera
  • ZWO supplied camera cable
The tests and information gathering can be done inside and do not require a telescope or mount. Configuration information can be acquired using USBtreeview and Microsoft's System Information tool (msinfo32).

The following information is requested:
  • An image of the left hand panel of the USBtreeview window with nothing else (except maybe mouse and keyboard) connected to the capture machine.
  • An image of the left hand side of the USBtreeview window with only the camera connected to the capture machine.
  • A USBtreeview full report.
  • A Microsoft System Information report.
  • Camera capture settings file.
Why are these needed?
  • Nothing connected gives a baseline of all the internal devices (webcam, card reader, Bluetooth, wireless) which appear on the internal USB bus.
  • Camera connected will indicate if the camera has connected as 'S' (SuperSpeed=USB3) or 'H' (HighSpeed=USB2).
  • USBtreeview report gives additional USB information & the version of the drivers on the machine.
  • Microsoft report gives all machine details such as CPU, RAM, disk, model of machine. The exact model helps as the USB chipsets can be researched for known problems.
  • Camera settings complete the picture.


Download USBtreeview from http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtreeview_e.html.

The Microsoft reporting tool is part of Windows and the program is called msinfo32.exe.

Steps:
  • With nothing plugged in to the capture machine, run USBtreeview and use the Windows Snipping Tool to grab the left hand pane.
  • With the camera only plugged in to the capture machine, run USBtreeview and use the Windows Snipping Tool to grab the left hand pane.
  • From USBtreeview do File > Save Full Report.
  • From Windows Search Bar or a Command Shell (black DOS box) type msinfo32 then File > Save . The resulting .nfo file can be quite large (3000 lines & 2.5Mb on my desktop) so zip the file before posting.
  • Run a capture test with the camera cap on, the capture-settings file is needed.
No personal information is contained in any of these reports. If there are any difficulties uploading because of file size, then a dropbox type scheme will need to be used.

Post the 5 files into your thread.

If applicable, set the Cooling to Off. This reduces the camera's power requirement from the USB bus.

Dave

idsteph
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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by idsteph » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:57 am

Please see attached files. These are from the Dell Intel Inspiron.

I am convinced this is a Dell/Intel USB Controller issue. I have noticed if I remove the mouse whilst capturing that causes frame drop. If I do nothing and just let the Laptop sit, it will capture without dropping albeit intermittently. It is as if something causes the processor to stop seeing the camera as if there has been a USB interruption.

Iam having trouble attaching the USB Tree Report

Regards Ian
Attachments
System Info Forum.rar
(79.94 KiB) Downloaded 45 times
Forum.docx
(52.74 KiB) Downloaded 44 times
Capture_00003 16_12_01.CameraSettings.txt
(704 Bytes) Downloaded 45 times

idsteph
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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by idsteph » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:58 am

Here is the USB Tree Report
Attachments
UsbTreeView_report.txt
(234.14 KiB) Downloaded 49 times

idsteph
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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by idsteph » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:59 am

In answer to Robins question and link, yes all options tried. Thankyou.

Regards

Ian

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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by admin » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:22 am

Hi Ian,

thanks for the further info - I know this sort of issue is particularly annoying since the hardware is working with other software on the same laptop. The typical cause of this is that the USB chipset on the PC and the USB implementation on the camera sometimes don't seem to work well together - for instance I have a VIA chipset USB3 PCI card and it is much less reliable with USB3 cameras from several different manufacturers than the USB3 ports that are built into my (Intel) motherboard.

In your case I am presuming that the USB systems work to a certain degree but not well. APT clearly talks to the camera in a way that does not cause problems with the USB system whereas SharpCap is obviously driving the camera in a subtly different way that is sufficient to trigger the problem. Unfortunately finding out what the root cause (the difference) is between the two is a matter of trial and error - hard to do if I had both misbehaving pieces of hardware here to test, harder at a remove of 12 time zones or so :( My one (vaguely educated) guess is that maybe APT never puts the camera into video mode, whereas SharpCap will be starting the camera in video mode and then switching to still mode when longer exposures are selected. If you are interested in testing I could create a trial version of SharpCap that avoided video mode to see if that helps.

One small suggestion - have you yet tried using a USB2 cable (or even a USB2 cable and USB2 hub) to connect the camera - I have seen a number of cases where dropping from USB3 to USB2 at least improves this sort of problem. Not useful if you are trying to do high speed imaging, but would work OK for longer exposures.

cheers,

Robin

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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by turfpit » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:46 am

Ian - Thanks for sending the requested info - I am digesting it now :| One question - when you are running a capture session, is the 294 camera plugged directly into a laptop port or via a hub. If hub then please post details including make & other devices connected. It would be worth running some tests on the bench:
  • camera connected directly to each of the USB ports in turn
  • camera cap on
  • manufacturer supplied cable
  • both RAW8 & RAW12
  • using the largest capture area available (this is the severest test on the hardware)


Try and tabulate the results, say in a spreadsheet something like the attached. Before you do the tests, watch out for Robin's answer to my question below.

Robin - from the camera settings file

High Speed Mode=Off
Turbo USB=40


Have we got a better combination of options to try for optimising USB performance (I have no suitable ZWO camera to test)?

Dave
Attachments
Camera USB Speed Test.xlsx
(12.65 KiB) Downloaded 44 times

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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by admin » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:57 pm

Hi,

the USB settings listed are the most appropriate for 'best stability, lowest frame rate' - which is what should be set when trying to track down this sort of problem.

cheers,

Robin

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Re: ZWO ASI 294 Dropped Frames

Post by turfpit » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:58 pm

Thanks Robin. Over to you Ian for some systematic data gathering.

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