Resolved Apogee Filter Wheel wont initialize

Discussion in 'General' started by NTusay, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    I have an Andor camera with an Apogee FW50-7S filter wheel. Everything was working fine with MaximDL 6.20. I updated to the latest version last night and now every time I go to setup filter and connect the camera it gives me an error saying the filter wheel could not initialize and it refuses to connect to the camera. I tried updating the drivers for the filter wheel and camera and USB ports and windows insists all drivers are up to date. I have no idea what to do but I need this resolved ASAP. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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  3. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    I would love to, but I am a student using the school’s telescope and software. I don’t know the email address we used to register the product in the first place and can’t complete the form.
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    In MaxIm, you can do a Help About and it will tell you who the software is registered to.
    Normally we provide support to the observatory director / whoever the software is licensed to.

    Since you're in a tight spot, let me suggest a couple things:
    Try turning the Threading options on for your devices.
    In MaxIm DL Pro, Camera Control Window.
    Options
    Check that the threading settings are on for both devices:
    threading.png

    If you have selected an ASCOM camera to use the ASCOM ANDOR camera driver, then you may need this patch that replaces the CCDPlugASCOM.zip

    Since I cannot guess which ANDOR camera you have, I'll also mention that if you are using the ANDOR Plug In for MaxIm, that it needs to be the version 2.xxx from Andor.
     

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  5. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    Thanks for the tips. I've located the registration info and have signed up for the software support.

    Meanwhile, I've turned on threading, downloaded and installed the patch as per the readme instructions. The problem persists.

    Incidentally, the camera I have is an iKon-L 936 model number DZ936N-BEX2-DD
     
  6. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Some possibilities:
    - Hardware failure of the filter wheel.
    - Does it show up in the Windows Device Manager?
    - Does the iKon show up in the Windows Device Manager?
    - Bad cable / bad power / bad usb hub
    - If you updated MaxIm from 6.20 to 6.21, it should have just worked, so am thinking it is something else.
    - By installing drivers etc that you may have broken the plug-in or high level drivers
    - Did you reboot the observatory computer and power cycle everything?

    You could try "divide and conquer".
    In MaxIm, you could set the Filter Wheel model to No Filters, or use "Simulator", then see if the camera connects.
    If that works, then you know the camera stuff is good.

    You could also set the Camera to "Simulator" and have the Filter Wheel model set to Apogee, Model FW50-7S and see if the filter wheel connects.
    If it does, then you know the filter wheel stuff is good.

    Did you backup the system before upgrading?
    You could restore the backup.
    You could also save the Configuration before experienmenting. File... Configurations. Then reload when done experimenting.
     
  7. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    Device manager is happy with both the filter wheel and camera. Bad cable seems unlikely as you said. All I did was update MaximDL and it had been working for several months prior. I did power cycle after installing the patch above.

    I tried using simulator for the filter wheel and the camera connected. The two together still won’t and the filter wheel by itself immediately popped up with the same error. So I think it’s safe to assume it’s a driver issue with the filter wheel.

    unfortunately I did not back up the system before upgrading so I can’t roll back to a previous version.
     
  8. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    We haven't had reports of problems with Apogee filter wheels and 6.21; so I think it is specific to your environment.

    Do you have the Apogee ASCOM Driver 5.5.4 installed? If so, have you tried selecting an ASCOM filter wheel, and then through the Advanced button, select the Apogee ?
    Like so:
    apo_fw_ascom.png
    You could check your machine for MaxImDL620.exe which is the installer for MaxIm 6.20, and it may be able to overwrite/restore things for you.
     
  9. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    I tried a complete uninstall of MaximDL and reinstalled the older .exe file to get the older version back. The filter wheel still won’t initialize.

    I updated and ran ASCOM diagnostics, which passed with flying colors. I got the updated 5.5.4 driver and tried to connect via ASCOM in the filter wheel settings. Here’s the new error message I get... (see the attached image)

    I don’t understand what it’s trying to tell me. I don’t understand what the problem could be.
     

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  10. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    This looks like the sort of message that comes up with there is a problem with the Apogee driver software.
    It could be the low-level operating system driver not talking to the ASCOM driver.
    I think you are going to need to contact ANDOR for support on that.

    MaxIm -> MaxIm ASCOM Plug In -> ASCOM Platform -> Apogee ASCOM Driver -> Apogee Windows hardware driver -> Filter Wheel

    Here's a few other things you can try that take MaxIm out of the loop:
    See if the hardware is working. This is the first and fundamental.
    Does Apogee provide a filter wheel test/exercise utility? Would be good to test that.
    ASCOM Platform Diagnostics - run that, see if there are any errors.
    ASCOM Platform Diagnostics - Choose Device, Choose and Connect to Device - Select Device Type - and then pick that filter wheel and set its properties, and check that it responds.

    If these things all work, then let me know, and we can try looking at MaxIm.

    Is your observatory computer internet accessible? e.g. do you have Remote Desktop/AnyDesk/TeamViewer on the machine? That way I might be able to remote in to the machine and have a look.
     
  11. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    I tried submitting a support ticket with Andor when the problem first presented itself and have not heard back. I can try again but am reluctant to believe they will respond.

    I ran the ASCOM diagnostics and everything passed. I didn't see any utility for the filter wheel from apogee specifically.

    I also tried a few suggestions offered to me by someone through a private message, deleting the config file, uninstalling and reinstalling as admin and running MaximDL as admin. All to no avail.

    I have a feeling it's an issue with the drivers but I've checked and rechecked the drivers a million times now, and I have no clue what I could be missing.

    Our observatory is internet accessible and we have TeamViewer on the machine. I would be happy to let you connect and poke around at some point. Feel free to message me privately and we can set that up if you like.
     
  12. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    PM Sent
     
  13. NTusay

    NTusay Standard User

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    Colin is a genius! Problem resolved. As suspected, it was an apogee drivers issue. Not sure why the update caused the error, but Colin diligently hunted down the problem and worked through it patiently and expertly with me. Thanks so much!!
     
    Bill likes this.
  14. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    This was a tricky one. Updating MaxIm triggered a problem related to Andor's drivers for Ikon cameras and Apogee filter wheels. I don't yet know the root cause.

    For anyone who has run into this:
    In MaxIm, make sure to go to Camera Setup, Andor Tech, Advanced and Discover camera; Repeat for Setup Filter, Apogee, select the filter wheel model. Advanced, Discover, set the model, and discover it.
    If it is incorrectly listed as a camera like an Alta U30, not as Filter Wheel, there is a problem.
    Resolution involved unplugging the filter wheel. Windows... Apps... Uninstall the Apogee drivers. Reboot. Reinstall drivers. Plug in camera. Discover it, and it should show up correctly.

    Along the way:
    Andor Tech has released updated drivers for the Ikon cameras.
    Andor Driver Pack - 2.104.30000.0 (CCD,ICCD & EMCCD)

    The Apogee filter wheel drivers and camera drivers and test programs are found under this not very descriptive title:
    Windows Driver and SDK Installer

    We found threading has to be OFF for the Apogee filter wheel and Andor Tech Ikon L936 camera when using the native drivers.
     

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