AOX - reports movement, but isnt moving

Discussion in 'Guiding and Adaptive Optics - StarChaser and AO' started by Steven Mohr, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Ive reported this earlier, but had no response. The AOX very randomly doesn't start correctly on first power up.

    When the fault occurs, I can exercise the AOX in CCDOPS and movement is reported, however no noise comes from the AOX. In this state, if I try to calibrate in say CCDSOFT, the AOX doesnt move the star and fails the movement calibration routine. Ive now seen this with the Maxim trial version 6.12, whilst evaluating ACP.

    The way to fix this is to cycle the power to the camera. For a manual user, this may not be such a problem, cycling the cameras power to wake up the AOX, but, in a remote circumstance, and under a automated session, this will see the session's data being affected as the auto-guiding routine continues with only bumps to the mount. No error gets reported that the AOX isn't moving.

    I now turn on-off-on the cameras power at the beginning which seems to solve the issue. What can be the problem?
     
  2. Tim Puckett

    Tim Puckett Guest

    Hi Steven,

    Bill an others may chime in on this.
    Are you sure you are running the latest drivers and firmware?

    Just checking.
     
  3. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Hello Tim,

    I have the latest drivers and firmware. This has been a consistently inconsistent fault, no pattern. I have all cables at the camaera secured and bound into their positions. When the fault occurs, all the four actuators do not move. Ive positioned a microphone at the AOX to listen for the mirror movement as you cannot rely on the software information being displayed. More simply, I now double cycle the power to the camera at start up which seems to force the AOX to awaken each time.

    It has happened on two computers.

    I do not know how I could give you more information on fixing this.

    I now are running for the last two weeks without the AOX (still on the camera), to improve its reliability and I haven't had a bad run since.

    Steve
     
  4. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    Do you know the serial number for the AO-X?

    It also may be possible the serial cable is bad.
     
  5. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Since reporting this last year, my AOX normally required a power cycles to work. But now, it trick seems to no longer work. Even after numerous power cycles the AOX reports its moving, but nothing is happening. I have not tried a new cable, but I never take on or off this cable. It has always been connected.

    What should I do? Could the fault be in the camera?

    Steve :-(
     
  6. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    Which cable did you check specifically? Have you verified the I2C cable connecting the AO-X to the camera is secure?

    Is the LED on the AO-X active?

    Are your camera drivers up to date?

    What software are you using to connect to the AO-X and camera?
     
  7. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Hello Tim,

    Questions:
    1. Which cable did you check specifically? All cables have been secured for an extended period.
    2. Have you verified the I2C cable connecting the AO-X to the camera is secure? Yes
    3. Is the LED on the AO-X active? Yes
    4. Are your camera drivers up to date? Yes
    5. What software are you using to connect to the AO-X and camera? Maxim DL 5.24

    I have now had a friend offer to provide replacement cables to see if that makes a difference. The camera has been working for the last 12 months with scripts that cycle the power to the camera on start up to get the AO working [that is, turn on power, then off, then back on again - then AO mostly works]. Just turning on the power results in the AO looking like it's works, but the mirror does not move [CCDOps for example reports the mirror is moving, but there is no noise/ movement of the mirror].

    This simple trick of cycling the power is not working. I will leave the system until the cables are changed.

    Steven
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Hello Support,

    After another long period passing, more tests for the camera, more money spent on replacement cables, totally refit the camera cables and made braces to support all cables to ensure they cannot move whilst the rotator moves the camera, but the fault remains. The I2C cable was changed, and all checked as tight (to the filter wheel too). I spent a day trouble shooting the AO alone, trying to make it fail while I was on site, and the AO cycled the whole time - how frustrating! I could hear the little bugger grinding away with the exercise function run from Ops. Now on the first night clear, the system runs and the AO again is not working.

    I tried to exercise the AO from Ops and the program reports no error, yet there is no cycling noise coming from the AO. I deleted my SBIG log file and captured the SBIG log at this time the AO was not working, and it is attached. Next I cycled the power to the AOX until it was moving the mirror again, and I have attached a new log file for this period I could hear the AOX cycling.

    What I did notice was that the red LED was still, not flashing, when the AOX was not moving the mirror. Once I cycled power and the AOX was moving the mirror again, the red LED was also cycling on off. Does that mean something?!

    I hope someone can help me, I'm so upset and frustrated with this camera.

    Regards

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    What camera model are you using?

    My suspicion is it may be an issue with the I2C port on the camera. Do you have a filter wheel to test it with?
     
  10. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Hello Tim,

    I have the STXL-11002+SelfGuide Filterwheel+ AOX. Serials show in attachment.

    I have noticed that during a session the filterwheel can become unresponsive, i am unsure if this is an associated fault?

    I've just spent the last three hours trying to make the AOX fail. I have never seen the thing fail while I'm watching it, I always see the failure as an end result. I tried to cycle the power to invoke the stable LED on the AOX, but I couldnt. I slewed the telescope and rotated the camera angle to many different positions, but the AOX kept on working? Simulated the automated startup, but the AOX kept on working. What is different in the case where the LED goes stable, and mirror doesnt move? Sorry, I'm just writing to myself.

    Not sure how to problem solve this. I am totally worried if I send the camera to SBIG, they will never see this fault. I just cannot find the way to make it fault, that is, the AOX LED is stable, and the mirror doesnt move, but the controlling programs see the mirror moving.

    Not sure how to proceed.

    A friend suggested the fault may be possibly related to the USB connection I have, that is, via a powered hub? On my next visit out to the dome, I will try a 5m USB direct cable, from the camera to the PC, on its own internal hub - not shared with another device. If it still fails, then I can rule this out.

    Steve
     
  11. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Picture was lost...
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    Is your equipment powered via household AC, or are you running on batteries in your observatory? Are you using the supplied adapter for the camera?

    To be clear:

    blinking LED = functional
    LED off = test mode

    ....it should not be a "stable" (solid) LED.
     
  13. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    Hello Tim,

    Sorry for my delayed reply, away for work.

    The power supply to this camera is a medium sized off grid system (19,200kwh), with the camera having a 30amp dedicated 12vdc regulated supply. It is a very clean and stable power supply. For your questions purpose, this fault was present when previously running off the SBIG supplied power brick (part of my earlier tests).

    Upon the AOX not performing correctly, I confirm the LED status is stable, that is: on and not blinking.

    I have tried again to force the stable LED, but have been unsuccessful? The fault has been present for a very long time, coming and going; it is so frustrating. Just last month, I have a week straight the AOX simply wouldn't operate correctly, no matter how often I cycled the power. Now, the blasted thing is working.

    To confirm the arrangement of my cabling, everything is heavily restrained by cable ties and controlled by very flexible cable conduit. Even at the camera, I have now a plate that prevents the movement of the plugs into the camera, so under rotation of camera angle, these cables will not move. Yes, this camera is driving me crazy, since new +4 years now, looking at all avenues to get it performing consistently.

    I have special scripts controlling the cameras power and cooling. Once power is supplied to the camera in the evening, a 60sec wait period occurs for it to rotate the filter wheel, and then settle. It then has a 10min period at 10c degrees set point where it is assumed the heaters can kick in to warm the CCD front glass. Then over the next 20mins, the camera slowly creeps down to a -30c set point. Once a night is finished, the camera goes through a similar warm up, using a controlled warm up script that gently raises the CCD chamber from -30c to ambient over 20mins again. Once at this stage, power is switched off. The camera remains off for the daytime.

    I'm not sure what else to do to find this annoying fault?

    What is your suggestion to do?

    Thanks Tim,

    Steve
     
  14. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

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    I have been checking the AOX every night for the last week, and just like I checked moments ago, the blasted thing has been working. Now I should be happy, but as you can understand, there is no logic that I can see for why one moment it will not work, but then it will work?

    Regards,

    Steve
     

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