Cannot connect two SBIG cameras, et al....

Discussion in 'General' started by Chris Anderson, May 28, 2016.

  1. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
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    Lamasco, KY US
    First off, sorry if this is in the wrong forum spot. I tried numerous searches, but my specific issue didn't come up.

    Second, let me say that my trial version of Maxim DL is working great! I flew past my issues with CCDSoft, and was able to connect my ST-8300M, FLI Atlas focusing device, my AP 900 mount--all while integrating with FocusMax v.4. This is a huge leap forward for me.

    I did have two small issues I wanted to ask about....

    1. I have an ST-8300M I use for imaging, plus CFW-8300. And an ST-iC and Guiding Kit for...er...guiding. Today, I was setting up Maxim DL Camera Control>setup. It seemed I could only get the cameras to load by alternately unplugging one or the other. That is, I could "see" both the ST-8300M and ST-i (using SBIG Universal and picking the specific camera in "Connect To"), but if both were connected all I got was a blue circle when trying to connect. They would both alternately "click and clack", but only if one was unplugged. In short, I was unsuccessful in hooking both up at the same time. All drivers should be up to date.

    Initially, both these cameras were running through a "Plugable 7-Port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub with 25W Power Adapter". Smelling a rat, I tried just plugging in both cameras to the two available USB ports on my laptop. That didn't help. No way to connect both the imaging camera and guiding camera simultaneously. I wish I had paid closer attention to the ports that came up, but when the ST-8300 was plugged in, I think I recalled a bunch of parallel port options for the ST-i, yet when the ST-8300 was unplugged, ST-i was a second "Connect To" camera choice. So the software was alternately seeing both cameras.

    I am also running both cameras on Bluerigger 15' USB 2.0 repeater cables. But the hub is USB 3.0? Issue?

    I'll try and take better notes tomorrow...further:

    2. The ST-8300M does not like the USB hub at all. I definitely had to plug it directly into the computer to get it to work at all.

    Is there a reliable powered hub for my situation? I have about five USB devices in my observatory (soon to be six when I get the dome automated I suspect) and only two USB ports on my laptop. I had initially chosen to use a second stand alone computer running, say, CCDOps for the guiding ST-i. But if MaximDL can handle two cameras (imaging/guiding) at the same time, why bother? Unless I can't it to work!

    Thanks for the support. Best observatory day I've had in awhile, small issues notwithstanding....

    Thanks! CG
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  2. wglogowski

    wglogowski Standard User

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    Did you ever get your problem solved? I just had your same problem last night. I recently purchased an ST-i and I'm wondering if I made a big mistake? I also can't establish a connection to both cameras at the same time. I tried to find the SBIG camera support forum but like you, I could not find any link. I'm going to try to actually call today and see if I can get a real person on the line. I'll tell you what they say if I get through.

    Walter
     
  3. wglogowski

    wglogowski Standard User

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    Well, I called the Diffraction Limited/SBIG support number in Ottawa just now. The phone number is no longer in use!! They also do not have any email link for tech support just the link to this forum. So, I emailed Tim Puckett directly. If I hear back from him I'll let you know. FYI, I tried the Cloudy Nights forum suggestion and it does not work. You can't connect both cameras at the same time. I'm worried that I will have to take a hit and sell the camera and lose money just to purchase another guide camera from a different manufacturer.

    Walter
     
  4. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    If you navigate to the main forum page and look down the main fourm catigories, you will see "SBIG Products (Public)" for camera support, and "Cyanogen Software (Registered Customers Only)".

    The phone is in use...all I can think is you possibly called the wrong number? (613) 225-2732. However, there is not much we can do over the phone, as I will need some files from you both, ect. So it is better to just post here and our other developers can jump in too.

    Are your SBIG drivers up to date using the SBIG Driver Checker program?

    Can you both send your "Settings" folders for MaxIm DL so we can see what settings you have? Please zip and send us your "Settings" folder located in "My Documents/MaxIm DL 6".

    Can I assume you are both using the latest MaxIm DL v6.13?
     
  5. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lamasco, KY US
    Tim:

    Thank you for your response! I'm still very much in the learning phase on my end. I am currently using the latest release of MaxIm 6 trial version. Naturally, the first thing I did was try and set my cameras up. As in the OP, I have flighty issues, but I don't really think it is related necessarily to MaxIm. All drivers are UTD. SBIG Drive Checker, yes.

    In my cursory research on the issue-- it has rained practically every night here since I found the problem-- I think several things are afoot. First, I am running 15' repeater USB extenders into a powered hub I don't think my ST-8300M likes at ALL. If I at least bypass the hub, the 8300 works fine. Now, plugging up the ST-i while the 8300 is connected kills MaxIM. But I can alternately "see" each camera--just not both at once. To this latter issue, I think their may be a power issue regarding the ST-i? That seems to be a recurring problem when using long USB cables (even though mine aren't really "long"..maybe 20' total including the USB extenders).

    Regarding the USB extenders, at the time, several years ago, I purchased the best of the best, IIRC.

    My first course of action is to try an "industrial" USB hub, one that is powered by 24vDC. A StarTech.com Mountable Rugged Industrial 7 Port USB Hub (ST7200USBM). Failing that, I may move said industrial hub closer to the scope and cameras, and lose the USB extenders. If that doesn't work, then maybe one of those Icron RangerĀ® 2304 USB 2.0 Extender - Four-Port that Astro-Physics sells and run CAT cable to handle the data. But they are pricey. And I'm not really dealing with distances they were designed for...

    I only have two USB ports on my astro computer, so I am kind of married to a hub of some kind...

    I'll have a go to the software side of it this weekend, and send my settings files. I wanna try one more time under more controlled circumstances!

    Thank you!

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  6. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Cyanogen Customer

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    Walter:

    I bought my ST-i several years ago, along with the guide scope kit. Only recently tried to get it all working. My original idea was to use a stand alone PC to run the ST-i, and a main PC for imaging with the 8300. Probably CCDSoft for both. But CCDSoft will not recognize my FLI focuser. So when I found out MaxIM can run two cameras as well, thought I'd give it a try. But stumbled getting it running. I think the ST-i will be a great guiding system once we get it running. Haven't heard anything bad about it.... We'll get there!

    CG
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  7. wglogowski

    wglogowski Standard User

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    Tim Puckett replied to an email that I sent to him almost immediately. I have not had time to call him back which is what he suggested. I won't be able to call him until Monday. I also am using CCDSoft, it's a great simple interface that has served me well over the years. I also tried to use Sequence Generator Pro just to see if an all in one software solution would be able to establish a link with both Cameras and the trial version of Prism Pro but both did not work.

    All of my drivers are updated so I think it's just a problem with running two SBIG cameras at the same time. As for the phone number I tried twice using the correct number ???? Maybe it was just a glitch since I'm calling from the US to Canada.

    I'll let you know what Tim tells me when I call him.
    Walter
     
  8. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Cyanogen Customer

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    I dumped CCDSoft due to lack of support (legacy). And, when my laptop became self-aware a few weeks ago and updated itself to WIN10, CCDSoft stopped working. It would not find my focuser anymore. At any rate, are you using MaxIm now, then? CG

     
  9. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
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    I think I have solved my dual camera connection woes. It is as I suspected, but an interesting combination of elements came together to thwart my attempts! USB 3.0 BAD!

    First of all, this turns out (naturally--I suspected it was something hardware related) not to be a MaxIm issue. I am running numerous Bluerigger USB repeater cables plugged into a USB hub. At first I thought the ST-8300 did not like the hub. Adding a new Startech hub didn't solve the issue, so I narrowed that problem down to the repeater cable. Went with both straight-through cables on the 8300 and ST-i, and had some success. But still failures.

    My problem boiled down to a USB 2.0/3.0 issue. My Asus laptop has one 2.0 and one 3.0 port. Neither my ST8300M nor ST-1 will work with a USB 3.0 port. I assumed backward compatibility. Or, there is something wrong with my laptops 3.0 port (though nothing to indicate this--other peripherals work). This took me a while to deduce, but finally nabbed it. Kind of feel like an idiot here! So, going back to the Startech USB hub, if both cameras are plugged into it (it is a 2.0 hub), and I connect the hub to my 2.0 port, viola! Instant connection to both cameras. If I plug the hub into the 3.0 port, it locks up MaxIm (as well as CCDSoft and CCDOps) and hangs. Alternately said, that's why I could get one camera to work (on the 2.0 port) but then when I tried the second camera on the 3.0 port, the program hangs.

    So the industrial Startech hub I bought may have been for naught. But I'll keep it anyway. The repeater cables were an issue for the ST-8300, so I am dumping all of them and going with straight cabling. I'll park the hub under the scope instead of running long lengths of USB.

    Chris
     
  10. wglogowski

    wglogowski Standard User

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    So last night I gave connecting to both cameras another try. Still no success but then I got the idea that I should try to download the new version of PHD. That version works. Like the post that I have seen the trick it to first load PHD2 and you can then select which camera to connect. After you are connected you can go back to your imaging software and connect to the imager. So, I guess the problem is solved.
     

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