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ZWO Camera Drop while using Sharpcap

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:42 pm
by sandconp
I recently bought a Pegasus Power Pocket Advance which allows me to have all my power needs and USB hub and Dew Heater controls in one box. While using this box I have noticed that periodically I will use my connectivity to my ZWO imaging camera. At first I thought it was the Pegasus box but I tried using APT instead of Sharpcap Pro the other night and I did not have the same problem.

I have never seen this problem and if I use my generic 4 port USB hub or if I connect my camera directly into the laptop, there are no issues.

Could the combination of the Pegasus box and Sharpcap cause these kind of ZWO Camera drops? If I unplug and plug the camera back in, everything re-connects but I have to restart my imaging session.

I know that this is probably hard to believe that this could be a Sharpcap problem but when I tested APT instead, it rans for hours without any issues.

Re: ZWO Camera Drop while using Sharpcap

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:40 pm
by admin

sadly any time you start putting hubs or extensions between the computer and the camera you are taking a bit of a risk :-( if you are just getting intermittent failures then I would certainly be tempted to try adjusting the Turbo USB setting in the camera settings downwards (it may be an automatic and need to be turned to manual mode). This can definitely help with improved USB stability ZWO cameras.

Hope this helps, Robin

Re: ZWO Camera Drop while using Sharpcap

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:08 pm
by sandconp
It looks like mine is set at 80 with Auto enabled.

So would you suggest like going down to 40 and test that first or just disable Auto all together for Turbo USB?

I had another question not related to this issue.

When I start up Sharpcap I get this message:

It looks like you are taking long exposure images at a bit depth of 8 bits. You might want to change to a higher bit depth to capture maximum detail.

What does this mean and how do I eliminate the message?

Re: ZWO Camera Drop while using Sharpcap

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:40 pm
by admin

I would certainly do a test with auto disabled and the setting turned down to 40 to see if that solves your stability issues. It will also drop the frame rate (which may or may not be important to you). If you find it stable with a value of 40 you can then try turning it up a bit to find the optimum value.

On the other issue – SharpCap is warning you that you are possibly throwing away information in your images by using the 8-bit option of the camera to capture longer exposure images. You should switch the camera from 8-bit to 16 bit mode by changing the colour space option from RAW8 to RAW16 (or MONO8 to MONO16 if you have a mono camera).

Cheers, Robin