Driver problem with sbig st-i and Skyx

Discussion in 'Specialty Cameras SG-4, AllSky, ST-I' started by Andrea, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Andrea

    Andrea Standard User

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    Hello,
    I have some problems with my ST-i that prevents me to reach a good reliability.

    Last year I was plagued by the 30008 error in skyx, a time out error.
    In September 2014 (22nd) I installed driver 4.81 build 1, that I got from a bisque user as a "beta driver".
    Even if I see it in the "change history", I remember this driver wasn't really available through the official driver checker distribution, because after the 22nd of septeber a previous one was offered by the program.
    In any case, this driver was able to solve all my problems so that for about 8 months everything ran properly.

    Last week I started having new issues: basically the imaging program (CCDAP) was not able to stop the guider and everything froze requiring the shutdown of skyx.

    Yesterday I updated the driver to the last version and after 3 hours of imaging suddenly I got again the 30008 error.

    I am imaging from remote so I realize this only in the morning.

    Shall I send you a version of this driver?
    Any advice is very welcome
    hanks a lot,
    Andrea
     
  2. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Staff Member

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    Hi Andrea,

    First thing's first, can you describe your setup? Are you using any USB hubs, extenders, etc?

    Also, I'll need an SBIGUDrv log file capturing the timeout in action. To turn on logging, open the SBIG Driver Checker 64, and follow these instructions: DebugLogging.png
    1) Click the "Debug Log" button on the bottom right of the screen.
    2) Click the "ST-i" button in the "Set Checkboxes" group on the right side of the screen. The checkboxes in box 2 of the attached image should fill up.
    3) Set your Log File path, using the "Set Path" button. Be sure to name it something you'll remember.
    4) Click OK to save your changes, and "Done" in the main window to close Driver Checker.

    When you submit your log file, please zip it to make sure it meets the upload limits of the site.
     
  3. Andrea

    Andrea Standard User

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    Thank you Adam.
    If I am right, you want to get the log with the new driver, right?

    my set up:
    windows 7 64 bit
    skyx CAO
    CCDAP5
    focusmax4
    scopedome driver

    HW:
    the PC has 4 USB
    port 1: paramount ME
    port2: dome
    Port 3: cloud watcher
    Port 4: hub that serves Sbig ST-i, Moravian G16803, FLI ATLAS
    the hub is connected with a very high quality cable , less than 5 meters
    the hub itself is a MOXA industrial grade wide range temperature, powered hub
    cables are strain relieved
    the hub is placed on the OTA

    this setup worked perfectly till last week when I started having issues (the ST-i couldn't be stopped by CCDAP)
    this is why I decided to update the driver after many months, but I started getting the old error (30008).
    Last year when I experienced the 30008 error the camera was directly connected to a pc port, but this didn't help.
    it helped a bit dedicating the internal usb hub of the pc only to the camera (I had the UPS connection on a second pc port but on the same PC internal hub.
    What really solved my issues was the beta driver installed in september.

    In my test (simultaneous sequences for main camera, guider and focuser operations) I have not been able to reproduce the error that always happen during an imaging run in the middle of the night.
    I am operating the telescope from remote.


    PS: i followed your instructions and setting the sbig st-i flags the three upper boxes for the two column on the left and the column on the right.
    no other flag is set. I hope is ok

    Thanks a lot,
    Andrea
     
  4. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Staff Member

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    That's correct — a log with the new driver, please. Those checkboxes are likely fine. You can also run the log with the "All" button checked, if you're worried about making sure the log has everything in it.

    For your own reference: TheSkyX error 30008 is a code for a driver issue (error code 8). For SBIG Cameras, error 8 is an Rx Timeout (an error receiving a response message from the camera). There are a slew of reasons this could happen, from firmware issues, to hardware issues, to driver issues. Hopefully the issue you experienced a few months ago is still fixed, and this is something new that we can diagnose and resolve quickly.

    Cheers,
    -Adam
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Andrea,

    You said, "Port 4: hub that serves Sbig ST-i, Moravian G16803, ..."

    It's a very bad idea to run the main camera and autoguider on the same hub. I've had problems doing that in my own observatory.

    Doug
     
  6. Andrea

    Andrea Standard User

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    Hi Doug,
    thank you.
    I undertsand your point, but Unfortunately with today's hardware in the observatory it is very difficult to avoid hubs or even repeaters (not my case).
    Also, I had the same issues last year when using a direct connection.
    An internal Pc hub, in my opinion, is not better in general than a 300$ dedicated and certified powered hub.
    The internal hub is shared too, so dedicating a pc port to the camera doesn't grant full bandwidht or priority.
    Last year I discovered that the UPS connection (on a second port of the PC but on the same internal hub) was upsetting the ST-i.

    in the last 3 months my new set up gave me unprecedented (for me of course) reliability, 100% of my remote runs were a success (using a 2014 build).

    I think the ST-i is a fine camera, and changed my life for hot pixels.
    In my experience it is also very sensitive to what happen on the usb.
    I hope we can find a fix through the driver, as the former version worked well.
    Thank you,
    Andrea
     
  7. Andrea

    Andrea Standard User

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    Hi Adam,
    I am logging the camera.
    last night I completed a full 6 hours run without any problem, now is cloudy but hoep to test again tonight or tomorrow.
    FYI, browsing the schedule of Windows, I noticed I was partecipating in the "customer experience program", with data collection going on in the middle of the night.
    This did't prevent successiful runs with the former driver, but I disabled it, just in case.

    Thank you,
    Andrea
     
  8. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    If you can't avoid hubs, then make sure the main camera and autoguider are on different hubs.

    Also make sure the hub the ST-I is connected to is a powered hub. The ST-I needs full current draw, and a cable with heavy gauge power wires. Use the cable that came with the camera.
     
  9. Gunny

    Gunny Cyanogen Customer

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    Hello Andrea,

    On the ccdap forum: http://ccdware.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9997083106/m/5527000776. This fellow is having a problem similar to yours, I believe.
    I also have (had ) a similar problem as you. Error message 208 "out of memory." Several sessions where imaging was halted in the middle of the nite due to tsx cao. My solution was to buy Maxim DL. So far I'm doing ok. I know this may not sound relevant, but it does draw attention to the fact that things can be going along fine for months, and then the cao problems crop up. John Smith pointed to tsx cao as the problem in my case after looking at my log. Tsx seemed to do ok as a planetarium platform, but the cao was a real train wreck and a work in progress for me. My problems with the cao started the same day as I downloaded db 8908. Prior to that, I hadn't experienced any problems. No solution ever came from bisque to solve the imaging shut downs. As far as I know, there has not been a solution to these problems.

    I'm also using an icron hub for both imaging and autoguider cameras. No problems using maxim and ccdap5 with 150 ft of cat 5 cable and I hope it stays that way.........Gunny
     
  10. Andrea

    Andrea Standard User

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    Hi Gunny,
    sorry for replying so late, I am just seeing the post.
    That was a different problem, in my opinion.

    FYI, my problems started with Maxim initially and I moved then to CAO.
    So I did quite the opposite of you (funny eh?)
    my feeling is that windows is also part of the solution for the ST-i (that it is very "sensitive" camera).

    Anyway, I think that I am not very far to solve my issue.

    Thank you Andrea
     
  11. Andrea

    Andrea Standard User

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    Hi Adam,
    just a short update.
    After starting the logging, I completed several full nights without a single issue (6 nights)
    One night I got the 30008 error but to my surprise the ST-i, skyx and CCDAP just went on, with the guider continuing to work and the run ending nicely a few hours later.

    I did check the log but I think something went wrong because the header is missing and the time starts at around 19000 (not sure how the time is calculated).
    I am not sure the above error has been logged properly.
    few nights ago I started a new log, but since now no problems.
    Let me know if you want to get the previous log, it is a 21mb log, and I will upload it on dropbox.
    if you tell me what to look for I can check it to understand if it is worth to send it to you.

    Also, can you confirm me that only one log is needed and I do not need to clean and start a new log every session?
    I shut the pc and devices down each night so I don't know if this requires a new log every night.

    Thanks a lot,
    Andrea
     
  12. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Staff Member

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    It's possible that the logging is slowing down the process enough that it's preventing the error from occurring... That's problematic when it comes to reproducing the error, especially since you don't want to run with logging on all the time if you can avoid it.

    You can submit one log file (it's not a problem), but you may want to zip the existing log every night, and start a new one for performance purposes. Writing to large text files can be slow. Why don't you send me what you have, and I'll see what I can glean from it.
     
  13. Gunny

    Gunny Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
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    Hello Andrea,

    I gave myself a year to get equipment ordered, electronics set in place, and have everything up and running. I'm self taught and been out of the hobby for 4 years, so the advances in the software were amazing to see. That said, the advances I've seen appear to be a two edge sword. I've spent the last three months acting as a test pilot and shaking out the problems associated with the new hardware/software. Rather curious how you really have to end up customizing the whole shebang to get everything to work. For me, as you noticed, tsx was a good planetarium program but lousy for customer service with the cao that they offer. What works for one guy/gal using the same equipment and operating system, may not work at all levels of functionality for the other fellow.
    My conclusion is similar to yours, I think in that windows enters into the equation. Once I updated to db 8908 and windows did an end run on me with their updates, problems really started up. I ended up going with maxim, and for the most part, it has solved a lot of the headaches, but cost more money of course.
    This hobby doesn't Promise You a Rose Garden, but the end results are worth the effort. The brand new sti camera that I got this week was a failure, so I'm returning it. Missed enough nights of imaging due to equipment/software maladies.
    Glad to see that you apparently are getting things to work. Lets all hold our breath with windows 10 entering the equation............................Gunny
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

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