Various issues with QHY183C

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bmcclanahan1223
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Various issues with QHY183C

#1

Post by bmcclanahan1223 »

I have been experiencing lots of strange behavior with my new to me QHY183C camera in sharpcap 4, both 32 and 64

Sometime everything works great.

Sometimes I get strange color shifts like the image control color gains have been adjusted.

Sometimes the cooler control works. Sometimes it works, but only if I set the power, not if I try to set a temp. One time I was even getting random readings on the temperature set point and readbacks up to 5000°

Sometimes frames are read from the camera without issue, sometimes I cannot get any frames to show up in sharpcap. The exposure counter just keeps cycling up to 60s and then resetting no matter if onset the exposure to 1s or 8s or anything.

I can’t really pin down what causes it to start or what helps resolve it other than if I use the QHY EZ cap program, the camera always works. Which seems to rule out any hardware or cabling issues.

Sometimes it seems issues start when loading a capture profile or doing anything that reconnects or reinitalializes the camera. usually after I use ez cap, the camera will then work in sharpcap.

I have had a few crashes and sent the burly reports

Some additional discussion here. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/8054 ... ry11627420

Happy for any guidance for what to look for or additional info to provide.

Thanks

Bryan
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#2

Post by admin »

Hi Bryan,

I think I have tracked down at least one of your uploaded bug reports from yesterday (9th Jan) (at least, it was a QHY183C and the user name is bryan :D ).

I can see that it was actually quite a long session using the camera from about 21:19 EST until you finally hit problems about 3 hours later. During that time you changed settings on the camera 11 times in a way that caused SharpCap to stop and restart the camera, and it looks like after the final change the camera stopped responding properly - certainly SharpCap got an error when asking for the first frame.

I can see it was the capture profile 'Gain 10' that was being loaded just before the problem - that was the first time that particular profile was loaded, so it *could* be something in that profile causing the problem (worth testing a few times). Sadly, I think it is more likely to just be random chance though :(

To be honest, this is one of the worst sorts of bug to fix - it happens infrequently and 'at random' (in the sense not having found a pattern to it). It's also happening in QHY code rather than in my code, so I can't add extra logging to try to track what is going on. Finally, it's happening with a camera I don't have, so I can't reproduce the same issue in the same circumstances here.

However, all is not lost...

1) QHY has a way to make their SDK dump diagnostic data - put the attached file below (qhyccd.ini) in the SharpCap folder in program files (the same folder as SharpCap.exe). This makes the QHY SDK write lots out diagnostics, but unfortunately in order to see them you need to run a program called DebugView - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysint ... /debugview .

If you run your camera with the qhyccd.ini file in place and DebugView running you should see lots of text scrolling past. Leave DebugView running and if the camera misbehaves, do File->Save As in DebugView to save all the information to a log file. Send that file to me (and I will send it on to QHY if it makes no sense to me).

2) Keep looking for patterns - if you can find a way to make it break reliably then we have taken a big step forwards - that gives me the chance of trying the same with the cameras I have here (maybe they will break too) and QHY the chance to test in their labs using the 183C.

cheers,

Robin
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MarMax
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#3

Post by MarMax »

Thank you for starting this discussion Bryan. I have a QHY183C purchased new in September 2021 that I've used five times. The first three times I used it everything worked as normal as it could with my limited knowledge of SharpCap 4.0 Pro. All the parameters seemed to behave and white balance R-G-B all worked as expected.

On the 4th and 5th nights using the 183 the colors went all crazy. I did not have any crashes of either the camera or SharpCap. I did not check to see how the cooling was working when this happened so I can only report the color balance problem. Upon further troubleshooting and a couple of software uninstall and reinstall attempts (both the QHY drivers and SharpCap) the 183 just stopped all together and would not be recognized in SharpCap.

Assuming the camera failed I started an email dialog with QHY and ended up sending the 183 to QHY in Santa Barbara, CA for testing and it tested fine. So now the camera is headed back to me but I'm still fairly certain that it's just going to do the same thing again. Once I receive it I'll report back on how it works.
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#4

Post by admin »

Hi,

when you do get the camera back, the QHY log as described above might reveal something about what is going on, even if it is not showing up in SharpCap - please post your results if you have the time. I have seen this happen before when you get enough little bits of information from different people, suddenly a pattern emerges that was not visible before.

cheers,

Robin
bmcclanahan1223
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#5

Post by bmcclanahan1223 »

Thanks Robin, I setup the logging on my computer last night. I’m going to try to replicate some of the issues indoors.

As you said, it puts LOTS of stuff in the debug output the files grow big pretty quickly. Is the best way to attach the logs here, or send them another way?
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#6

Post by admin »

Hi,

The forums will limit you to 1Mb file size, although if you put the log in a zip file you will probably get several meagbytes of log before the zip grows to 1mb. If it is bigger than that then you can either email it to me or upload to dropbox/google drive/onedrive and share a link.

cheers,

Robin
MarMax
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#7

Post by MarMax »

I just got the 183 back from QHY and was able to get it working with the laptop. For now I'm just making sure it works with some daytime testing and going to re-do a dark library. Something interesting in creating the dark library when I got to 30 second exposures is a delay in writing the files. I'm taking 20 darks at 30 seconds and I'd say about 4 of the 20 frames counted up to almost 60 seconds (30 seconds of delay) before incrementing the counter for the stack. This situation also used to occur while live stacking with this camera.

From all the material I've researched regarding the 183C the standard recommendation is to set USB traffic to zero (0). So this is where I've been running it.

I will install the qhyccd.ini file as you suggest for my next EAA session and hopefully the camera will just behave. If not I'll try and save a log file for you.
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#8

Post by admin »

Hi,

the delay sounds like frames going missing to me - SharpCap sets the timeout for single frame capture to 30s for QHY cameras, which means that after (exposure length + 30 s) it will give up on the current frame and try again.

Details should be in the SharpCap log (no need for qhyccd.ini for this) - probably a message starting 'GetQHYCCDSingleFrame gave an error ....' . If you have the log it would be useful to see it to confirm if that is the case and check to see that the capture continues with the next frame.

cheers,

Robin
MarMax
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#9

Post by MarMax »

Robin,

Yes, frames going missing sounds about right. The 183 has always done a bit of this. I have not noticed it with the 533 or the Player One Neptune-CII. The log file must refresh each session so I'll have to remember to check it the next time I notice frames going missing. I've also placed the qhyccd.ini file in the SharpCap folder.

What do you recommend for the USB traffic setting for the QHY183C?
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Re: Various issues with QHY183C

#10

Post by admin »

Hi,

the log files from previous sessions are preserved (they are all named with the date/time of when you started running SharpCap each time), so you can go back and find the right ones if you want.

The normal rule of thumb for the USB traffic setting is to turn it down to increase performance (frame rate) and turn it up to increase stability/reliability. Since you are seeing some issues with stability, turning it up a bit (5, 10?) might just help. Certainly the problems I have seen with stability have usually been at very low values (0-3). Note that this is not with the 183, since I don't have one of those, just general experience with QHY cameras.

cheers,

Robin
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