Camera Cooler Control

Discussion in 'Legacy Models (ST, STL, etc.)' started by Mike Hambrick, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    I am not sure if this is a MaxIm DL problem or a camera problem.

    I will typically run two sessions of MaxIm DL; one session for my STXL16200 imaging camera, and the other for my ST2000-XM which I use for guiding. One of the recurring issues that I have been facing is that the cooler control on one or both cameras will lock up. When this happens, the cooler will suddenly show a 0.0 Deg setpoint even though the cooler has been running and cooling. If I try to change the temperature setpoint the camera will not accept it, and in most cases the camera will become completely unresponsive. When this happens I can not even disconnect it and shut it down. Instead, I have to pull the plug on the power.

    The other night this happened with the ST2000, but rather than try to re-enter the temperature setpoint I just left it alone. The cooler kept running and cooling, but the temperature setpoint was showing zero. From what I can tell, the cooler output was also frozen at 63%. The camera was in guide mode at the time, and the guiding seemed to be normal.

    Here is a screen shot below. Note that the temperature setpoint was originally -17 Deg C

    I am running MaxIm DL Pro version 6.26, but this problem has been going on since version 6.22 or before. All of my drivers are up to date.

    upload_2021-4-5_16-2-52.png
     
  2. Terry Lenhardt

    Terry Lenhardt Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    62
    I've had similar issues using a single ST2000 XCM in dual chip mode where I needed to switch imaging chips to shoot dark frames. Cooler setpoints locked up as Mike mentions.
     
  3. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Now I am more confused than ever.

    I started up the camera indoors last night and got some really strange behavior. Based on what I saw, this seems to be either a problem with MaxIm DL or with the ST2000 camera. See the attached screen shots.

    1. I started up the ST2000 camera in MaxIm DL with no issues except that from the onset, the camera would not accept a temperature setpoint. The cooler was controlling to the default 0.0 Deg C setpoint. I tried shutting down and restarting MaxIm DL and reconnecting to the camera several times with the same results.
    2. I shut down MaxIm DL and restarted the camera using CCDOps. The ST2000 camera functioned completely normally, and I was able to enter whatever temperature setpoint I wanted.
    3. I restarted MaxIm DL and connected this time to my STXL 16200 camera. The STXL 16200 camera functioned normally and I was able to enter whatever temperature setpoint I wanted.
    4. I shut down and restarted MaxIm DL and tried the ST2000 again. This time everything functioned normally including the temperature control.
    I did not think about saving the logs until later in the process when I connected to the STXL 16200 camera. I noticed however in the logs that none of the temperature control commands are recorded in the log. This seems kind of strange.

    Mike
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,250
    Location:
    Earth
    Mike, I've never seen this behaviour except when there is a power or communication problem with the camera.
    Has this camera been in for service? There is a note about wrapping the power wires - what's that about?

    Check your USB doesnt have communication issues. Common cure here:
    https://forum.diffractionlimited.co...connects-turn-off-usb-selective-suspend.7848/

    Try changing Camera [Options] Advanced threading for the ST2000. (My screen shot assumes it is set up as Camera 2).
    threading_off2.png
     
  5. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Hi Colin

    • I put a thread on the forum a couple weeks ago about the power cable. It got severely pinched in the mount. When I stripped back the outer insulation to check the individual conductor wires, there were two of them that also had damaged insulation where I could see the bare wire. I wrapped them with electrical tape and was checking the function of the camera before re-wrapping the outer insulation. At some point I am planning to splice an additional length of 5-conductor cable so as to lengthen the power cable.
    • These cooler temperature problems have been going on for some time now, and pre-date the power cable issue.
    • I had to send this camera (Serial No 207051567) in to Bill Lynch in September, 2016 for repair. I had been working with Tim Puckett to try to figure out a way to use my ST-i camera to guide my old Astro-Physics 800 mount. It is a long story. In the end I shorted some of the guiding relay circuits in the ST2000 and Bill had to repair it. It
    • I have not ruled out communication issues, but I always make sure that the USB Selective suspend is disabled any time there has been a Windows update.
    • It is also confusing to me that the camera functions normally if I am running it off CCDOps.
    • Both threading boxes are checked for my camera.
    Mike
     
  6. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,250
    Location:
    Earth
    Try changing threading OFF. See if it behaves. Threading is like "multitasking" and the ST2000 is old enough that it has some limitations.
     
  7. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Will do Colin. I will keep you posted.
     
  8. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Hi Colin

    Unfortunately, it does not appear that changing the threading setting for the ST2000 camera and filter to OFF has solved this issue. I have had a couple of imaging sessions since changing the threading setting as you suggested. The first session on April 11 I experienced no issues. Both cameras functioned normally and I was able to set the temperature setpoint on the ST2000 wherever I wanted. The second session was April 20, and I experienced the same problem with the ST2000 where the temperature setpoint defaulted to 0.0 Deg C, but the cooler kept running and controlling the 0.0 Deg C setpoint. When I tried to change the temperature setpoint the camera quit cooling altogether. The STXL camera was running on another session of MaxIm during this time and I experienced no issues with it.

    I shut down the ST2000 and restarted the MaxIm session and reconnected to the camera. When I started the cooler the temperature setpoint was stuck again at 0.0 Deg C, but the cooler was at least running controlling to the 0.0 Deg C setpoint, so I left it alone and went on with my imaging session.

    Unfortunately, the MaxIm logs do not record temperature setpoint changes.

    Is there anything that you can think of that I should check to try to resolve this problem ? What about other programs running ? During my imaging sessions I usually have two sessions of MaxIm, Deep Sky Planner (Free software I got from OPT that I only use because I like their red screen for night vision), and Microsoft Word or Excel that I use to record notes from my imaging sessions. I also have a background program from Tech Smith called Snagit-12 that is always running. I use Snagit for screen capture. Sometimes I will have my G-mail open, and sometimes if there are any issues I will have the Diffraction Limited or Astro-Physics forums open.

    What about communication or power issues ? I run the STXL16200 off of my 12V DC power supply along with the mount, Dew heaters, and laptop. The ST2000 is run directly off the 120 VAC power supply that came with the camera. Both camera's USB cables are plugged directly into the available USB ports on my laptop.

    Any advice you can give would be very helpful. It would be nice to be able to get the full cooling capability from the ST2000.

    Mike
     
  9. Larry Phillips

    Larry Phillips Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    50
    I recently had problems with an old power supply on an ST-10. Perhaps a new camera power supply is in order. They do go bad after sometime, especially due to heat.
    Larry
     
  10. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,250
    Location:
    Earth
    Mike,
    We could do a Teamviewer session and I could poke around on your machine and see what I find.
    Developers tell me that the threading can be on for the ST2000.
    If you want to do that, click "send a private message" under my photo; I'll need the ID/PWD , your phone number and when you can make it available. I'd want everything powered up and ready to go.
    We don't need stars - can have a look during daytime if you keep roof closed.
    I'm more concerned there is some obscure system setting at work here.

    Larry's suggestion on the power supply is a good one. The electrolytic capacitors dry out over time, and then the supply gets noisy, which can lock up the camera.

    A photo of your setup would help.
     
  11. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Thanks Larry & Colin

    Colin - I will take you up on your Teamviewer offer. Maybe we can do this sometime in the next week. I will contact you privately.

    As for the possibility that there is a power supply issue, Does Diffraction LTD still sell the power supplies for the ST2000 ? This is not a straightforward 12o VAC to 12 VDC converter. It has three different voltage outputs; +12V @ 1.5A, -12V @ 0.5A, and 5V @ 5A.

    Mike
     
  12. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,250
    Location:
    Earth
    Mike - our repair expert @Bill may have something available. Contact him via email: bill (at) sbig (dot) com
    It's hard to find a supply with those voltages and super clean output. The USA's Energy Star requirements and other global country initiatives have forced the change from smooth-but-inefficient transformer-based linear power supplies to the lightweight, very efficient and some what noisy switching power supplies.

    Let me know when you are available to do the TeamViewer session.
     
  13. Larry Phillips

    Larry Phillips Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    50
    Mike, I got my replacement from Bill. It was a Mean Well brand. I then ordered an identical one from Online Components. If the ST-10 uses the same power supply as the ST-2000, it is a Mean Well USA P/N GP50A13D-R1B. Bill can tell you if they are the same..
    Larry
     
  14. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8,393
    Yes it would be the same. All the ST-7 series cameras use the same power supply.
     
  15. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Hi All

    Thanks for the details about the power supply. I will contact Bill Lynch.

    My existing power supply is a Glob Tek Model HES61-30.

    Colin had asked for a photograph of my setup. I am not sure that this is what he was really looking for, but let me know and I can take more photos. The photo is not really clear, so I will describe the setup.
    • The imaging camera is a STXL16200 with the FW8S-STXL filter wheel. The guiding camera is a ST2000-XM with CFW9 filter wheel.
    • Power to the STXL16200 comes from a Powerwerx 25 amp, variable voltage power supply (located on the cart). I set the output at 14 Volts. The 14 volt power feeds a Rig-Runner (mounted on the back side of the pier. I run the STXL camera, mount, dew heaters, and laptop from this power supply. When everything is running at steady state, it is pulling about 7.5 to 8.0 Amps. When the camera is in the cooldown phase the total draw is about 13 amps.
    • Power to the ST2000 camera comes from the Glob Tek power supply. It sits on the lower tray on the pier. It is plugged into the power strip on the cart.
    • There are two bundles of cables that are anchored to the handles on the back of the STXL camera. The bundle on the left has the USB cables for both cameras and the guide cable from the ST2000. The other bundle has the power cables to both cameras and the dew heater controller.
    Mike
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,250
    Location:
    Earth
    Thanks Mike, thanks - give us a sense of the whole setup. Often we can spot odd stuff like cable snags or other potential gotchas from a system photo.
    I'd appreciate a "closeup" of the cameras and their cabling, and cable connection to the mount.
     
  17. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    Hi Colin

    How about these. Unfortunately they don't show a lot of detail. Let me know if you would like for me to try to get a better photo.
     
  18. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    8,393
    As a general suggestion, having the cables simply drop off the back of the cameras like that is, in my experience, a big problem for smooth tracking and guiding. If the cable drags on the ground at all it will severely impact guiding.

    I always recommend tying the cables off to the scope or mount near to the pivot point. That reduces the lever arm.
     
    Colin Haig likes this.
  19. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,250
    Location:
    Earth
    Is the ST-9 guiding with the main sensor or the small guide sensor?
     
  20. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    My cabling arrangement has evolved quite a lot since I first got started in astro-imaging. I learned a long time ago to anchor the cables so that there is no strain on the connections to the camera or mount, but even then, they used to be all over the place, and I had to be very careful when slewing the scope so as not to have a cable get snagged. When I got the Astro-Physics Stowaway, I realized how much of a challenge it is to manage the cables with a short scope. What you see in these photos with the cables bundled together at the back of the imaging train is the best I have come up with so far.

    Mike
     

Share This Page