183M having random download issues

Zenzanon
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:30 pm

183M having random download issues

Post by Zenzanon » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:54 pm

Hello,
I have 183m and have noticed some strange behavior. Notably, when I switch modes from mono8 to mono16, sometimes the camera will begin to slow down or stop and generally work erratically. Specifically, if I am capturing at 1s and frames are happily downloading, if I make the above change, the camera often seems to stop or take up to 2-3 minutes to resume downloading. Sometimes, it never recovers. The only way I have been able to restore some kind of 'normal' behavior is to toggle on and off the DDR option. This often 'kick starts' it again, but not always. Sometimes after toggling the DDR, it will work for 3 frames and then begin slowing down again to 1-2 minutes per frame (the frame counter for a 2 second exposure will show something like 3:02|-3.00 or worse). It's like the read from the camera is hung.

No amount of fiddling with the USB traffic or anything else will get things back on track.Even 're-connecting' the camera won't help. Even restarting SharpCap doesn't always work either short of disconnecting the USB port.

I have noticed a slightly more stability with DDR off, but that's only useful for longer exposures, anything shorter than a second and things obviously become unusable. That leads me to suspect something is not quite right with the DDR implementation.I may be wrong.

It's strange because I can get 152fps at mono8 at 1024x768 but sometimes when exposures exceed 2 seconds, it's starts going strange. For example, a 60 second exposure will start taking 2 minutes to download (4:10|-2:10) etc. Other times, the exposures seem to work as expected. It's somewhat random. It could work fine for 1 hour, then make a change to something and oops... back to taking minutes to download seconds long exposures.

Forcing Still Mode has no effect, in fact, it causes SharpCap to crash on occasion, so I stopped playing with it.

I don't know if it's the drivers (latest being used) or elsewhere. However, if I use the camera in TheSkyX via ASCOM I never have any issues.

The camera is on a USB 3 port directly on the laptop, no other devices.

Any insights?

Thanks

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Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by admin » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:39 pm

Hi,

Sadly there is been a number of issues like this recently with some models of qhy cameras on some computers. I am trying to put out new updates to the qhy SDK in versions of SharpCap as quickly as possible in the hope that the new SDK updates will slowly resolve these issues. In the meantime, there are experiments you can try like using a USB 2 cable or adding a hub to see if that helps.

I'm also hoping that a future version of the qhy SDK will allow me to spots that a frame has gone missing and reset the camera without needing user intervention. I already have this functionality for some other makes of camera, but the current way the qhy SDK works doesn't give me the option to do this qhy cameras.

Cheers, Robin

Zenzanon
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by Zenzanon » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:36 pm

Hello Robin,
A hub does not help. But, I haven't tried a USB 2.0 cable. It'l strangle the I/O but, hey it might make it work and give some insight. Sharpcap is currently running with the recent .dll provided as a 'current version' from the QHY site. I had to replace it manually.

Don't know if this helps any.

I'll post my results this evening.

Thanks

numchuck
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by numchuck » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:10 am

misery loves company -- I have the same camera and I think the same problem -- I posted in the bug reports forum -- it is not ideal ; but a work around that helped , was to , run the camera in SharpCapPro , but through ASCOM . That allowed my normal download speed . I suspect that the problem is with one of the updates from QHY . Sorry you're having trouble ☹️
Last edited by numchuck on Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

numchuck
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by numchuck » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:14 am

here is my post from the bug reports forum : okay . . . I don't think my camera is broken . . . If I select the camera , as normal , from SharpCap's menu , as "QHY183M" under the QHY Cameras sub menu , then I still have the super slow negative frame count problem . . . but . . . if I select the camera as "QHYCCD-Cameras-Capture" under the ASCOM Cameras sub menu , then my frame rate seems more normal , probably taking only an extra two seconds to download and then begin another frame -- in other words -- the green frame status bar goes negative for only 2 seconds . I think , last month , when I got my new QHY5III290 , I somehow disturbed the drivers , or SDK , or . DLL files for my 183M . QHY's website has proven difficult for me to navigate .

Zenzanon
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by Zenzanon » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:52 am

Yes, misery does indeed love company!

@Robin: the USB 2.0 cable did nothing.

Like NumChuck, I too have had moderate success with ASCOM for exposures greater than 1s. Less than 1s, I get negative numbers ie: slooooowww
With native drivers, it's the opposite. Less than 1s is fast, greater than 1s is sloooooowww to completely hung.

@Robin: Hope we can fix this soon, as it's now a real pain to use SharpCap Pro... starting to look for alternatives. TheSkyX (which I have) now includes live stacking. I'm using ASCOM there, because while the new X2 native drivers work, it doesn't work with the new QHYCFW3, so, back to ASCOM (sigh).

Hope you can light a fire under QHY, if that is where the problem lies or maybe find the problem yourself, if it's SharpCap.

Thanks

-John

Zenzanon
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by Zenzanon » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:26 am

One thing I've noted. When the camera starts to go wonky (and that is quite often), toggling the binning seems to 'reset' it back to normal operation. So, from 1X1 to 2X2 back to 1X1 and you're good to go and vice versa.

-John

Zenzanon
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by Zenzanon » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:29 am

Well sort of. it seems to far more problematic in mono8 than mono16. The toggle binning mode trick is kind of more or less effective in mono16. Mono8 seems to have a mind of it's own :cry:

numchuck
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by numchuck » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:02 pm

I tried early last week and late last week to create a help ticket through QHY's website . I tried also to create a user account so that I could post questions on their forum . But I never received confirmation or account set up info . Does anyone know of other ways to contact QHY ? or has anyone found a solution to this driver conflict ?

numchuck
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Re: 183M having random download issues

Post by numchuck » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:39 pm

progress report : last night I installed the very latest SharpCapPro . . . and . . . it worked ! ! ! My USB traffic had been set for 20 , for more than a year . Last month , when my frames began to hang , I tried every setting there was ; but nothing helped . But last night , the USB traffic setting was very effective , and repeatable . I ended up leaving it at 2 ; and my frame downloads were lightning fast . I still don't understand any of this -- maybe someday I can learn more -- but thank you , Robin , for all of your efforts . You rule !

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