STXL Timeout Errors

Discussion in 'STX and STXL Series Cameras' started by Robert Mueller, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    7,336
    If the problem is related to timing, it may be that the logging - which slow things down a little - reduces the probability of the error. Kinda like a software Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It may take longer to produce the error with logging turned on.
     
  2. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    OK I decided to run an automated session last night as described before. I did turn on Enhanced SBIG Logging. No errors over about 6 hours.

    I started with an aborted run due to an error but I'm not sure the SBIG logging was catching the error. In any case here is a dropbox link to the gigantic log file:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/osbdmyo9xukawpx/STXL_LOG_10_4_16.txt?dl=0



    It looks like this error may be related to the camera/focuser being unresponsive. Here is the end of the CCDAP log showing the error:

    0:51:34 Plate solving...
    20:51:35 Telescope RA: 20 19 10.2, Dec: +40 48 55
    20:52:19 D:\Users\Owner\Pictures\AstroImaging\SyncImages\Sync_20161005_205135.fit
    20:52:24 Stars: 972, FWHM: 0.3 arc-sec.
    20:52:24 Solved RA: 20 18 16.0, Dec: +40 43 37, PA: 0.1 (4.1s)
    20:52:25 Plate Solve Time: 50.4 sec.
    20:52:25 Pointing error (arcmin): RA -0.1; Dec 0.0
    20:52:25 Try 1 slew error: 6.6 arc-sec
    20:52:25 Telescope RA: 20 19 10.1, Dec: +40 48 55
    20:52:26 Series Loop 1 of 1
    20:52:27 Series 1, 4 Exposures, 300 sec., 2x2, H filter
    20:52:29 FoFM1, CCDSoft2XAdaptor.CCDSoft5Camera.1: Error: command failed. Error = 206.
    20:52:29 Unable to move focuser
    20:52:30 Telescope RA: 20 19 10.1, Dec: +40 48 55
    20:52:30 Exposure 1 of 4
    20:52:31 Guide exposure for this series manually set to 0 sec.
    20:52:31 Periodic refocus due
    20:52:35 FoFM1, CCDSoft2XAdaptor.CCDSoft5Camera.1: Error: command failed. Error = 206.
    20:52:35 Unable to move focuser
    20:52:35 Focusing using L filter...
    20:52:36 Telescope RA: 20 19 10.1, Dec: +40 48 55
    20:52:36 Getting focus stars...
    20:52:45 Focus stars available: 1
    20:52:46 Focus stars available: 2
    20:52:51 Focus stars available: 3
    20:52:51 Moving to focus star number 1, HIP 98194 @ HA: 1.5 at 71.6 deg. altitude
    20:52:51 Slewing scope...
    20:53:00 Slewed to RA: 19 57 49.2, Dec: +40 25 13
    20:53:00 Mount settling for 3 sec. after slew.
    20:56:33

    An application error occurred. Please contact support with the following information:

    Error: command failed. Error = 206.

    If it exists, the script d:\Users\Owner\Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\RunOnError.vbs was run

    The above information is on the clipboard so you can paste it into notepad or another application.

    Robert Mueller
     
  3. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    I have discovered that the STXL camera still has timeout issues with the newest driver. At first I was encouraged doing normal imaging sessions. Last night while collimating a scope and running Sky X continuous exposures 0.3 sec I had 7 separate SBIG transmission timeout errors. While running continuous exposures, I was also jogging the scope to recenter a star in a subframe periodically.

    Robert Mueller
     
  4. Rick McAlister

    Rick McAlister Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Robert,
    I have to admit that I too experienced this time out since upgrading to the new driver, but only once. After re-tightening the strain relief on all the USB cable connections, I've not seen the problem since. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it might be worth checking on your system, if you haven't already.
    - Rick
     
  5. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    Rick,
    I understand....However in my case I had 4-5 all night imaging sessions with no errors. Then when I try very short exposures continuously I get multiple errors is a short period of time. I think this should point to a continuing issue.

    Never the less I will check cables again and make sure. I wonder if others are seeing success with the new driver?

    Robert
     
  6. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hello Robert,

    I have not experienced a timeout error since he last update. I must confirm that my failures where twofold:

    1. The driver, and
    2. A problematic filter wheel.

    Now with #2, the fault always occurred with focusing runs, the same senario as youre collimating setup. Fast repeated cycles. Here the filter wheel failed to reach the closed position and the camera just waits for that to happen, then you get the timeout message. The filter wheel requires MANY repetitive cycles for this to happen, exactly like would have happened in your circumstance.

    Perhap you could bench test like i did, with an open camera, so you can watch the performance of the wheel. If it fails, it wont make it to the closed position. Its visibly easy to see. The bearing was the fault. Gritty. The new replacement was so smooth relative to the old.

    Just an idea.

    Steve.
     
  7. Rick McAlister

    Rick McAlister Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    My suggestion was merely a long shot. Although, I run the AOX guide camera often as fast as a quarter second without fail, I haven't run the main at such short exposures since the driver update. Unfortunately, my observatory computer had its hard drive for lunch a few days ago and I'm grounded until next week. Hopefully someone else can run the experiment and provide some independent data. If not, I'll try it when I get running again.

    - Rick
     
  8. Rick McAlister

    Rick McAlister Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Robert,

    I’m back in business. And, I want to follow up on my promise to try to replicate the timeouts you were seeing with short exposures on the current driver/firmware build.

    When I installed the new (better, cheaper, faster) observatory computer, as an experiment I first ran the STXL through the MX+ through-mount connection (which is merely a built in hub). I also run my focuser/rotator through that hub. I immediately saw random STXL timeouts, even just doing dark or bias frames. Adjusting the timing on the focuser/rotator alleviated the problem a somewhat, but not completely. I still experienced a timeout every 40 or 50 exposures. Note that in this configuration, mount control, focuser/rotator control, and the SBIG STXL imager, guider, AOX and filter wheel all share the same external hub (in the mount) and that runs off a single physical port of an internal hub in the computer. This is historically a recipe for disaster anyway.

    I then re-cabled and reconnected the STXL directly to an unshared internal USB hub, and verified its isolation with USBTreeView. Using TSX, I ran continuous exposures at 0.35 seconds, 1x1 binning, autodark, full frame (unsaved) for over 2 hours without failure. At about 8 seconds total turnaround time between successive image downloads, that’s pushing a minimum MTBF of over a 1000 cycles (which is equivalent to a couple of weeks of full night’s shooting for me… like I ever got in a full night’s shooting every night for two weeks – Ha!).

    Anyway, based this admittedly limited test, I have to say that the latest STXL driver/firmware update seems pretty robust, given a healthy hardware and software set up. Prior to this build, I was able to generate failures using essentially the same test rig under similarly congested conditions on a slower computer. Of course, as the saying goes – absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But there you go.

    Best of luck,

    - Rick
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  9. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    Rick,
    Thanks for sharing your results. I do run my STXL 11002 connected directly to my PC. My testing that produced timeouts only occurs with the short exposures (so far). The scope that uses this camera will be down for some time so I won't be imaging or running any tests.

    I hope you have stable operation from this point forward.
    Robert Mueller
     
  10. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    7,336
    We always recommend that the camera have it's own connection to the computer, not shared via a hub with other equipment. This is especially true for autoguiders, which generate a substantial volume of data almost continuously. I've actually seen a situation where running the autoguider caused other equipment to drop off a USB bus - it happened in my own observatory.
     
  11. Rick McAlister

    Rick McAlister Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Doug, et. al.

    I debated about whether I was exposing myself to personal abuse by bringing this up, but I think it's also important to clarify one point that seems to get overlooked every time this topic shows up: that is, connecting your device directly to your computer does not guarantee that it isn't still competing for a hub bandwidth resource. To my knowledge, with any of today's PC's, all USB connections go through internal hubs. And, it's rarely clear which USB connection plugs are "hubbed" with other USB connection plugs, just by looking at them on the back, or front panel. Worse, some computers hook internal devices like built-in cameras on laptops to ports on the same internal hubs that have external connections, and you have no idea. In the USB map below, I've got a least two sets of devices on separate physical connections that show up on the same internal hub, competing for its bandwidth. In this case, however, I've "tuned" the connections by moving the physical connections around so the SBIG Camera, for instance, has it's own hub. Normally, I only allow slower, less time-critical devices like the dome controller, or dew heaters to share a hub, if I can. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to do this kind of tuning without a software tool like USBTreeView, which will give you a map of internal (and external) hubs and ports, and what they're connected to. With it, it's dead simple. That tool is free at http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtreeview_e.html. I've found it invaluable in ensuring that I've got true isolation on bulk-data, high throughput, timing-sensitive devices like the STXL.

    My humble apologies if this already obvious to everybody else, but there you go...

    - Rick


    upload_2017-3-3_9-58-24.png
     
  12. Richard Asarisi

    Richard Asarisi Standard User

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    47
    Guys what version drivers and firmware are you running? Should I update to 2.51?

    upload_2017-3-5_17-6-43.png upload_2017-3-5_17-7-3.png
     
  13. Rick McAlister

    Rick McAlister Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    I'm running 2.51 (and everything else up to date). I've got no complaints. - Rick
     
  14. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    I'm up to date with same version as Rick. I have had a few timeouts after updated as posted above but currently camera is off my scope.
    Robert Mueller
     
  15. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Robert Mueller — Do you have any SBIG Driver logs demonstrating the issue, so I can investigate?
     
  16. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    Adam,
    Sorry I don't. I thought the latest driver fixed my problem in early testing as I was able to image several sessions without errors. The problem resurfaced when I was collimating a scope with continuous short exposures using a subframe.

    My scope has been taken down so the camera is inactive. I'll let you know if I can figure out a bench test.
    Thanks,
    Robert
     
  17. Adam Robichaud

    Adam Robichaud Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Ottawa
    That's OK. If you can come up with a bench repro, that will help our case. It's also possible this is a new issue, with similar symptoms to the original fixed issue — but we won't know for sure until we can reproduce the problem. I'll run some tests of my own and see if I can produce anything.

    Cheers,
    -Adam
     
  18. Martin Pugh

    Martin Pugh Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    199
  19. Steven Mohr

    Steven Mohr Standard User

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Not sure it you have resolved this?

    I havent been at the forum for a while now, but I see this issue as one similar to what I had years ago with my STXL. It wasnt a USB issue for me [as I first though it was], but a main camera shutter issue. The shutter was getting stuck as it rotated around, never getting back to its home position. Always happened on a focusing run - when the shutter was most active. It would fix itself on a power cycle. I ran the camera open to watch everything move during the camera cycle. Thats when I found the shutter sitting not where it was supposed to on the hang. I changed the bearing and it never happened again.

    Just a thought.

    Steve
     
  20. Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller Standard User

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    Steve,
    The scope I run this camera on has been out of commission for months. Now that I have just gotten up and running again the problem persists when running short continuous exposures.

    Can you elaborate on how you fixed the camera?
    Thanks,
    Robert
     

Share This Page