"ERROR: camera not initialized (USB)"

Discussion in 'STC Series CMOS' started by Ian H., May 9, 2021.

  1. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Purchased the STC7 camera package with SC2 and AO. After successfully bench testing the camera and filter wheel, I proceeded to the next step to assemble and configure the SC 2, check to ensure the optical path was clear of the pick-off mirror, etc., but couldn't get the SC2 to connect / work. I powered it off, did some imaging with the camera to test it, which worked fine.

    Next day I tried configuring everything again, and got the following message in step 13.g of the SC2 manual: "ERROR: camera not initialized (USB)" (screenshot attached). Now it doesn't connect either device. But when I run the DL Config app, it sees both devices and the associated drivers, firmware etc.. I even downloaded the latest firmware just in case (it made no difference).

    Is this a hardware problem? I followed the steps in both the SC2 and STC7 manuals exactly.
     

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  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Hi Ian, we'll review and come up with suggestions.
    Which version of MaxIm LT are your running? e.g. MaxIm, Help... About ... current is 6.27.
    Launch the DL Config Utility. Which version of drivers? It shows in the upper left. 2.0.2 is the latest.
     
  3. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Hi Colin: currently running 6.26 on Maxim DL (i.e., LT version), driver version seems correct: "2.0.2.0". Thanks for your prompt help!
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    I think you've got a version mismatch in this case.
    In MaxIm, Help... Check for Updates.
    That should give you a link to get 6.27.
    Install that upgrade.
    Hopefully that fixes it.
     
  5. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    So, good news / bad news: good news - - updating Maxim DL to 6.26 fixed the "camera not initialized" error, and the software successfully "saw" both the STC7 and the SC2, but I went right back to the original connectivity problem I had on the first field test, though with a different error message: "error opening camera... could not find your camera w/S/N:0... please verify your camera can be discovered in the Advanced Setup dialog box before proceeding" (which I did, both pieces of equipment listed, refreshed, etc., no joy). Attached is a screenshot. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting several times (powering down, disconnecting, etc.) and no difference.

    Eventually I disconnected the SC2 altogether, but left it assembled so I could check for vignetting from the pic mirror, which I did find, made some adjustments, and I think it's okay now. I then set up another 'camera only' field test to get about an hour of exposures of M13 as a decent test subject, and it seemed to go well. (Using it on an NP101 which is F5.4, so I might still have to tweak the mirror position a little more - - I'll double check the images tomorrow.)

    I'm happy with the camera so far, and I'm doing short exposures so the absence of the autoguider and AO units is not really problematic yet - - but it will be when I move to a long focal length SC, which is the plan at some point. So what should I try next?
     

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  6. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Hi Ian,
    Check that the camera is showing up in the Windows Device Manager.
    You should see
    SBIG Camera - that's the STC-7
    SBIG Camera A and SBIG Camera B - the pair go together, they are "halves" of the SC-2 driver.
     
  7. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Hi Colin:
    Couple things: USB looked good, as you described. I proceeded to do a bench test (all I'm able to do tonight), and no change. Then I tried using step 12 settings for the camera and SC - - those settings seem to work. But again this was only a bench test - - I haven't tried the interface to my mount with a successful connection yet. I'll try that tomorrow night.

    Note that the SC manual repeatedly states it is compatible with the STC 7, but on page 17, you're only given two choices: Aluma cameras (step 12), or STF, STT, STX, or STXL cameras (step 13) - - the STC 7 is not mentioned for either setup. I guessed the second option since "STF" was closest to "STC" - - clearly I picked wrong. I'll try the unit in the field tomorrow night, with the adaptive optics unit installed. (And I have a straight through cable for the autoguider port, in case I run into the issue you mentioned before.). I'll let you know how it shakes out. Thanks!
     
  8. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Didn't get a chance to install the AO unit yet, but STC7 and SC work great now. And I did not have to use the straight through cable between the mount (Gemini 2 'mini') and the SC - - works fine with the supplied cable. If I have trouble with the AO unit, I'll be in touch. Thanks for your patience - - I should have thought to try the other setup option before I reached out.
     
  9. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Ok, thanks Ian. Let us know how it goes.
     
  10. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Hi Colin: So far my experience of this package has been a bit mixed, and I'm still trying to figure out how much is me, and how much might be either an equipment mismatch or an operational issue. The camera works well, predictably and repeatably, and using it on its own is pretty straightforward. (Image processing is still challenging, but I'm learning, and I'm convinced all the limitations are mine). The SC-2 did turn out to need a straight through cable after all, but I have yet to successfully guide exposures - - unguided 1 minute exposures are much superior to 30 second guided ones at this point. When I add in the adaptive optics unit, I can't focus the star images on the Starchaser anymore, unless I defocus the scope. Also, the shutter on the SC-2 slides freely, instead of being locked in place (though it seems to operate correctly during use). Just want to make sure that's not part of the problem.

    I have some more testing to do (and the weather has not been co-operative), but I was wondering if you have any other suggestions (other than backing off the aggressiveness setting, which I will try when I can). I started using this system on a 4" F5.4 refractor, and now I'm using it on an 11" F10 SCT; I know the focal length of the SCT makes guiding more challenging, but I'm actually having better luck with a different guide camera using PHD2 (though I'm still optimizing that setup). Per pixel size calculations, I now use a Barlow lens with the camera on the refractor, and it works great - - unguided.

    Does any of this sound familiar? Any suggestions? I'm in light polluted area (Bortle 7), and I know that's part of my issue (guide stars are not always easy to come by), but I'm wondering if there's something else I'm missing. (And I follow the manual for using all of this equipment - - to the letter.)

    Thanks and regards,

    Ian H.
     
  11. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    One quick answer - the shutter will flop around unless the SC is powered up and initialized. It is a linear electromagnetic shutter, a small magnet and coil make it work.

    Regarding the focus problem, can you tell me exactly what you have (including brand names/models/optical parameters)?
    Give me the combinations you've tried.

    e.g.. (making this up) - but in the order of the optical assembly
    Celestron Edge HD 11" f/10
    Moonlight XYZ Rotator Focuser
    Model 12345 f/7 focal reducer
    Baader Varilock adapter at 27mm
    AO-8A
    SC-2
    ACC13 spacer
    STC-7 camera

    Issue: when camera is in focus, I can't find focus with the SC-2 even if I move the pick-off mirror all the way out...
     
  12. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Initial Setup:

    Televue NP101, F5.4
    Stock focuser
    No focal reducer, but used with and without 2x Barlow
    2" Televue extension tube to reach focus
    AO-8A
    SC-2
    ACC-13 Spacer
    STC-7 Camera
    Losmandy G11 mount with Gemini 2 ("Mini"), connected with SBIG cable first, then switched to a straight through cable.
    • In this configuration, the focus of guide stars seemed less of an issue. Operable, but both with and without AO8A, tracking was noticeably worse than with an unguided exposure of equal or longer length. I could exercise the AO, calibrate the mount and the AO, but the guide star was frequently lost in operation, or the calibration would fail beforehand.
    Second setup:

    Celestron Edge HD 11", F10
    Stock focuser
    No focal reducer, no Barlow, no extension tube
    A-08A
    SC-2
    ACC-13 Spacer
    STC-7 Camera
    Losmandy G11 mount with Gemini 2 ("Mini"), straight through cable.
    • Unable to focus guide star sufficiently to enable use of SC2 & AO-8A. (I will try with just the camera and SC2 tonight, weather permitting.) I used the camera on its own last night for some planetary imaging, and it worked well - - except the software crashed at one point, and I needed to power down the camera and reboot it before Maxim could "see it" again. Was fine after that. Also, I tried guiding with another camera using PHD2, through a Shoestring USB interface, and it worked fine; I see there is an SBIG option in the guide camera setup of PHD2, so I will probably try that with the SC-2 as well (before adding in the AO-8A).
     
  13. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    And I forgot - - there's a Celestron T adapter (obviously) between the Edge and the camera assembly, threaded into the AO-8A.
     
  14. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    I'm going to ask @Brian Brown our AO expert to weigh in on the Calibration problem you are having.

    In MaxIm, can you check File.. Settings, Site and Optics tab have the correct location and correct optical parameters ?
    The guider will have the same parameters as the main telescope, so you can check the box.

    We may be able to provide a spacer that would help with this situation. I'll ask my colleague @Doug to have a look at this focusing issue.

    It should never crash - did it just quit unceremoniously, or was there an error message of some kind?
    Are you able to reproduce this?
    Can you forward the MaxIm log?
    It usually lives somewhere like:
    C:\Users\YOURNAMEHERE\Documents\MaxIm DL 6\Settings\Log
    with a filename like "20210721.log"

    One thing to check is Windows Power Management - MaxIm might have lost connection to one of the cameras.
    See this:
    https://forum.diffractionlimited.co...connects-turn-off-usb-selective-suspend.7848/
    Regarding PHD2:
    It's best to use the DLImaging ASCOM driver for the SC-2.
    PHD2 doesnt seem to be able to configure the properties of the ASCOM driver for some cameras (not just ours).
    PHD2 cannot run the AO.

    Install the DL Imaging ASCOM Drivers 6.4.7.0 (download).
    Launch ASCOM Diagnostics
    Choose Device
    Choose and connect to device (32 bit)

    Select Device Type = Camera
    [Choose]

    In the ASCOM Camera Chooser, select DL Imaging (Camera 2)
    [Properties]

    DL Imaging Setup
    Select the SC2 from the drop down.
    [OK] to finish DL Imaging setup

    [OK] to finish with the chooser and return the to the Device Connection Tester.
    [Connect]
    It should successfully connect to the SC-2.

    Quit, and then launch PHD2, and select ASCOM, DL Imaging (Camera 2) for the guide camera.
     
  15. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    That's a good point about the site and scope configuration - - I set it up for the NP101, but haven't added the specs for the SCT yet - - I'll do that tonight.

    A spacer sounds good - - and should work given I can bring it to focus with the primary scope focuser. If the ACC-13 is stackable, I could pick up a couple of those and try adding them one at a time. The only issue would be the length of the fasteners - - it would be great if you could configure a kit, and it would probably sell occasionally as an accessory package.

    There was no error message, but it started to stall during continuous imaging sequences: these were very short planetary exposures (0.08), and when I hit "start", nothing happened, so I stopped and restarted a couple of times, same thing, then revisited the exposure settings (going out of Stackpro briefly, then back in), then Maxim just spontaneously closed. Even after restarting it, refreshing in the "advanced" dialog box, it still didn't show the camera. (Again, only the camera was connected last night.) After I powered down the camera and powered it back up, restarted Maxim, it was fine, ran my planetary exposures without issue. Log attached, key event seems to be here:

    04:41:35$14 DLImaging: Retry 1/3 :: Promise timed out.
    04:41:40$14 DLImaging: Retry 2/3 :: Promise timed out.
    04:41:54$3 Disconnected from filter wheel 1 "DL Imaging+FW"
    04:42:04$3 Disconnected from camera 2 "DL Imaging"
    04:42:24$3 Disconnected from camera 1 "DL Imaging"

    (BTW, I'm assuming the timestamp is UTC.)

    I'll try the PHD setup you spec'd out here tonight. And no surprise about the AO - - I wasn't expecting it to in that setup.

    Thanks for your help!
     

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  16. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    From the log, I see MaxIm may have crashed after 4:42:24UTC, after it lost communication with the camera at 4:41:35.
    Check the Windows Power Management stuff as described in the link. I think a USB hub may have powered off, or communication was lost for some other reason (cable loose?). I can't tell.
    If it occurs again, I'll help you go further in diagnostics, including setting up CrashDumps.
     
  17. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    I'll check, but I don't think it's a USB power issue - - I've been into the settings before with other equipment, and I think I've set it up to not power down - - I'll verify. One other comment on Maxim crashing: it's happened a few times (maybe 3 or 4 over the past few months), and it's never in the middle of imaging - - it's setting things up, getting things connected, or when you start to execute your imaging script - - but not during. (That's the other reason I don't think it's a USB power thing - - my imaging scripts usually run 1.5 to 3 hours, and Maxim has never closed in the middle.) I've seen similar behaviour from Excel, etc., (on other laptops, not this one) but less frequently than Maxim does. It can be annoying, but not that big a deal since it doesn't impact the actual imaging product.
     
  18. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Ok, so it's not common, that's good.
    Can you have a quick look to see if there are any CrashDumps on your machine:
    C:\Users\YOURNAMEHERE\AppData\Local\CrashDumps
    They'll have a name like maxim_dl.exe.dmp
     
  19. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    So it's not a USB power issue - - as expected, I had already configured them to not power down. And I have not been able to find any CrashDumps on that laptop; in fact, "AppData" doesn't show up, so I just searched for anything like that ("*.exe.dmp"), nothing showed up. I downloaded the ASCOM drivers, but I did not get a chance to try that last night. (And obviously that won't address the focus issue anyway.). I did try the SCT with the camera plus the SC-2 (without the AO-8A), and the focus issue with stars is about the same - - maybe slightly worse; anyway, I was unable to focus to the point that the SC-2 recognized stars, though there were several to choose from. (I went to an open cluster, M39 to make sure.)

    Supposedly clear tonight, so I'll try again. But I want to make sure I haven't slipped through the focus point somehow - - though I think it's unlikely given I didn't have this issue on the refractor. Come to think of it, maybe I'll go back to the refractor, either tonight or Sunday night (supposedly clear), just to verify something hasn't gotten knocked out of place on the SC-2 between then and now. (But again, this is unlikely; it's never been dropped or mishandled in anyway, arrived in perfect condition, etc..) In any case, I'll try the ASCOM driver setup you suggested.
     
  20. Ian H.

    Ian H. Standard User

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    Hi Colin:
    So per above, I made sure it wasn't me overshooting the focal point. Attached is a screen shot of typical results - - that's about as focused as it gets with this combination of equipment (similar to the results with the AO-8A attached):

    Celestron Edge HD 11", F10
    Stock focuser
    No focal reducer, no Barlow, no extension tube
    Celestron SCT to 2" adapter
    SC-2
    ACC-13 Spacer
    STC-7 Camera
    Losmandy G11 mount with Gemini 2 ("Mini"), straight through cable.

    I had to click on the star for the SC2 to recognize it as such. I also tried drawing a box around the star image, but the results weren't much different.

    Also attached are sample exposures of 60 seconds guided versus unguided. I did try the ASCOM connection for the SC2 per your recommendations, and while PHD took the combination of equipment, it did not seem to control the camera (and I did download the ASCOM driver per your instructions - - everything seemed to connect correctly). But that was Friday night, not the session these attachments are from.

    If I can, I'll try with the refractor tonight to compare, but being a weeknight, it might not happen. (Two nights in a row of little sleep is not desirable.)

    Thanks,
    Ian H.
     

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