ASI120MM problems

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dwhite1
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ASI120MM problems

Post by dwhite1 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:00 pm

Hi,
I just purchased a new Dell Windows 10 laptop computer and Sharp Cap 2.9 locks up when I am adjusting the axis in Polar alignment. I am using the ASI120MM camera as guide scope. I have changed USB ports (usb2 and usb3) download the latest ASI drivers and rebooted the computer several times without success. When I switched to my older computer with Windows 10 (same version and OS build 15063.483) it works fine with no problems.

Any suggestions on what I can try to get Sharp cap to work on the new computer?

Thanks
Richard

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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by admin » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:42 pm

Hi Richard,

does the camera show up in the Windows Device Manager? If it does, does it also show up in the SharpCap cameras list and then not work, or does it just not show in the list at all?

cheers,

Robin

dwhite1
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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by dwhite1 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:25 am

Hi Robin,
The camera shows up under the SharpCap cameras dropdown list as ASI120MM Camera (ZWO Design).
I got an error message from SharpCap about a week ago but did not send it to you. Is the error file stored on the computer?

The lockup occurs after I start working in Polar Align and am trying to adjust the mount axis after the 90 degree rotation. When it locks up the FPS indicator in the lower left hand corner stops . I have to shut down SharpCap to try again.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Richard

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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by admin » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:15 am

Hi,

the 'ZWO Design' in the camera name tells me that you are connecting to the camera via its DirectShow (webcam) driver. This is not the best way to work with the ZWO cameras - you should also see the camera shown higher in the cameras menu in the "ZWO ASI Cameras" section. Selecting the camera from this section of the menu should give you finer control and better reliability.

If you are not seeing the camera shown in the "ZWO ASI Cameras" section then please make sure you have the latest ZWO drivers installed and are using an up-to-date version of SharpCap - see http://docs.sharpcap.co.uk/2.9/#Requirements for more information on ZWO drivers and DirectShow.

cheers,

Robin

dwhite1
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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by dwhite1 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:37 am

Hi,
I continue to have problems with ASI120MM and Sharpcap V 2.9.3086 and Windows 10 on an AVX mount without any scope. On 8/8/2017 after working with it for 43:55 minutes I was able to finally dial in the polar alignment. Although I had to manually move the slider up and down for the 43 minutes in order to refresh the frames, which was very frustrating.
Listed below are the Sharpcap setting, would you please give me some guidance on which setting should be adjusted.

Camera Controls
Quick Picks 2 sec
LX mode
Frame rate limit max
turbo usb 51
High speed mode off
Discard split off
Misc
Auto exp max brightness 50
Auto exp max exposure 30
Auto exp max gain 50
Image
Gamma 20
Brightness 20
Preview 483 frames (6 dropped) in 43:55 at 0.2 fps
Thank you for your assistance,
Richard

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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by admin » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:39 am

I'm afraid I'm not quite understanding which slider you are having to pull up and down and why. If you are having trouble getting the polar alignment to solve frames then that means we have to investigate in one part of the program, if the problem is getting frames from the camera to update at all then we have to look elsewhere.

cheers,

Robin

dwhite1
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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by dwhite1 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:55 pm

Hi Robin,
Thanks for your response. Let me see if I can explain what is happening.

While in adjustment phase of polar alignment the length of the arrow is not adjusting. The Previewing area at the lower left side of the screen is showing that no new frames are being seen. If I view different options in the Camera Control Panel by sliding the screen up and down the arrow moves and the previewing area is updated showing new frames.

Thanks,
Richard

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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by admin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:04 am

Ah, OK, so what you are seeing is that in the bottom left where there is a status of

'Previewing: 1234 frames (0 dropped) in ...'

you are not seeing the previewing cound increase and are perhaps seeing the dropped frame count increase.

My first question is do you only get this problem during polar alignment or does it happen all the time with this camera?

General troubleshooting steps for this sort of problem involve checking USB settings and connections as USB issues are the most common cause.

* Try different USB cables and make the cables shorter if possible. If you are using very long cables or extension cables try going back to a shorter cable to see if that helps. In particular a total cable run of over 4m without a hub can cause this sort of problem

* Try different USB ports on the PC/Laptop - sometimes these cameras can be a bit fussy about the USB port chipset/driver they are connected to.

* Check all drivers are up to date

* Turn down the Turbo USB setting to it's minimum value to see if that helps

I'd also suggest testing SharpCap 3.0 (you can install it alongside 2.9) to see if that helps. It has a newer version of the ZWO SDK which might help your issue.

cheers,

Robin

dwhite1
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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by dwhite1 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:24 am

Hi Robin,
Here are answers to your questions
Previewing 165 Frames (54 dropped) in 32:39 @0.1 FPS currently 0.0 FPS on new computer

PHD2 would not run

Tried following troubleshooting:
Replaced ASI120mm (not -S) cable with brand new cable
Tried both usb2 and usb3 ports
Reduced Turbo USB to minimum 40
Downloaded the latest drivers for ASI120mm (not -S)
Conclusion: Nothing helped

Tried SharpCap 3.0xxxx it did not appear to hang but since I do not have a Pro license I was not able to finish the polar alignment.

I can switch to my older i5 laptop Windows and everything works (SharpCap 2.9, and PHD2)

It appears that the camera may be the problem.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Have you had any problems with the ZWO ASI120mm-S camera?

Thanks
Richard

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Re: ASI120MM problems

Post by admin » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:44 pm

Hi Richard,

what you are seeing is definitely a problem with the frames locking up after a while in SharpCap 2.9 (the fact that the framerate is currently 0.0 fps is pointing at this). It's difficult to be sure if it is a hardware incompatibility between the camera and the new computer or some weird and wonderful software issue I'm afraid. I have a ZWO 120MM-S and have never had any problems of this sort with it. I also have a ZWO 120MC however, and while it works perfectly on my laptop it will not send any frames at all to my desktop computer (it once worked on that computer, so not a hardware thing). Somehow some software I have installed has upset the 120MC and I have never worked out what it is (or had enough time to really try to get to grips with the problem - that would probably mean re-installing everything from Windows upwards from scratch :( )

Thinking about this - especially the way that it is working for you with SharpCap 3.0, I think that the key difference is that in SharpCap 3.0 I started to use a different method of controlling the ZWO cameras for longer exposures (>0.5s). This is clearly more robust for you than the old method used in SharpCap 2.9.

As you might have guessed, SharpCap 2.9 is basically out of support now - I am not making any changes to 2.9 any more as 3.0 is available and I am working on 3.1. I'm not sure that I can think of much else to suggest that would help in this case I'm afraid without extreme measures like reinstalling windows (and I'm not even convinced that would work).

cheers,

Robin

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