[SOLVED]Camera locked up? Driver issue?

CCD cameras (CMOS/CCD), DSLRs, telescope mounts, focusers, autoguiders, domes, Roll off roofs, etc..
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rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
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Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:46 am

Hello all,

I've got the rig setup again on the back patio and I let auto obs run last night while I slept.

Looks like it did fairly well for most of the night but when I got up this morning I noticed that I didn't have my skyflats. Looking at the log at the end there's an error that downloading from the camera timed out.

I've had this issue in the past, and it just happens at random. I think it may have to do with having two ZWO camera's and the interaction in the driver / ASCOM layer...

Here is a link to where I put the log file, this is the same folder from a different post so there are also some 10 min narrowband subs in there: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kdh25xc4w0yt ... qbQra?dl=0

@Hamza Touhami Any thoughts on the ZWO drivers? Do I need to swap from ASCOM back to Native drivers?

Edit - re-read and looks like it wasn't the guide cam this time but the main camera the 1600mm... I'm at a loss I've never had that camera give me any issues before.
Last edited by rottielover on Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Solved
rottielover
Posts: 128
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Location: Missouri, USA
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Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:55 am

On another note with this rig I think I've finally solved my backfocus issue. It turns out that the Moonlight focuser came with a 1.25" extension ring mounted on it. I never realized that this was not part of the main body of the focuser itself. Previously I was never able to get to focus with my flatneners as they would "bottom out" the focuser draw tube because the focus point was to far up. So I had been removing about 10mm of spacing between the camera and the reducer/flatenner ... Well I just removed that extra 1.25" that I didn't know was there! I've added back my 10mm tip/tilt plate and have the camera at 56.5mm of backfocus :)

Come on darkness!!
jason
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:39 pm

I may have had the lockups happen as well, as you know I have 2 zwo cameras as well...

I didn't understand yet if it was due to user error or if it was prism again yet but I have had it happen twice since trying out (lightly trying out) the latest update 10.3.60

I was using the direct drivers mostly but I sometimes use the ascoms as well. Driver state was poisoned, wasn't enough to unplug/replug in the hardware to get it working again, switching usb ports got it working though, and it affected both my 183mm and 290mm at the same time.

This could be noise to the issue... buuuuut it probably isn't.
rottielover
Posts: 128
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Location: Missouri, USA
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Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:26 am

Last night I ended up changing the main camera (ZWO 1600mm) to using the ASCOM driver as well. This is not ideal because I cannot change the Gain and Offset settings without disconnecting the camera and setting those in the ASCOM Driver before re-connecting the camera (I change Gain to 75 offset 10 for doing LRGB and I use Gain 139 Offset 20 for Narrowband).

Despite that minor inconvenience, this did seem to work for me last night and Prism completed an Auto-Obs session on 3 targets for the night.

I checked ZWO's website and they have not updated the native or ASCOM drivers for a while now, so I assume that ZWO must consider those drivers as stable.
rottielover
Posts: 128
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Location: Missouri, USA
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Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:09 am

Hey @Hamza Touhami ,

Here is my Auto-Obs log from last night, I'm still having issues but here is what I ended up doing to get going again:

After I was getting the errors I posted about in another thread I rolled Prism back to the prior version. That seemed to help at first (I was able to get guiding to calibrate first try) but then I started having issues with the mount not slewing. Then I thought maybe it's an eqmod thing, so I rolled it back from the Q version to the K version. That got the mount moving but I was not able to calibrate guiding. So I uninstalled EQMOD and then re-installled the Q (latest) version again. So I went ahead and let prism update to the latest version again and I was back up and running OK it seemed like after that.

However it seems something is still not right, Here are some of the highlights from the Auto-Obs log file, and I have put a dropbox link to the full log as well.

UTC 2019-09-19 04h49m23.025s : German mount detected : meridian flip is handled
...
UTC 2019-09-19 07h37m43.395s : [Telescope] ends up after meridian at RA= 01h21m10s DEC=-25°17'14'' mount flip willl be completed
UTC 2019-09-19 07h37m43.404s : [Guiding] Try stopping guiding
UTC 2019-09-19 07h37m43.412s : Guiding has been terminated
UTC 2019-09-19 07h37m43.421s : [Telescope] Slew to RA= 01h21m10s DEC=-25°17'14''
UTC 2019-09-19 07h37m45.302s : [Telescope] Waiting for 20s for backlash compensation
UTC 2019-09-19 07h38m05.353s : [Telescope] Tube is West side of pier aiming East
UTC 2019-09-19 07h38m10.362s : [Telescope] Mount flip cannot be done, mount setup is not properly defined, this object is canceled for safety reasons
UTC 2019-09-19 07h38m10.375s : [Telescope] Exposure will complete beyond Meridian angle = 0.67 h > 0.02 h
UTC 2019-09-19 07h38m10.386s : [Telescope] ends up after meridian at RA= 01h21m37s DEC=-25°17'14'' mount flip willl be completed

...

Later it tries to complete my auto-flats but the Camera "locked up" again:

UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.183s : [Flats] Mean : 1596 ADU
UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.195s : [Flats] Image too dark - exposure=2.56sec Coef=1.80
UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.210s : [Flats] Image record thresholds : 2048 à 3686 ADU
UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.219s : [Camera] back to "FULL FRAME" mode
UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.227s : [Camera] Image size X1=1 Y1=1 X2=4656 Y2=3520
UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.236s : [Camera] Prepare an exposure BinX=1 BinY=1 MirrorX=0 MirrorY=0 Rot=0 Time=2.56 sec
UTC 2019-09-19 11h32m09.284s : [Camera] Exposure has started
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.112s : [Camera] Fatal error, image readout has timed out.
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.123s : Fatal error : [Camera] Fatal error, image readout has timed out.
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.285s : [Weather conditions] Watchdog is terminating
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.294s : [Weather] : watchdog process terminated
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.303s : Execute error handling procedure
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.318s : Waiting, sidereal speed has been stopped
UTC 2019-09-19 11h34m12.327s : End of Automatic Observations.


This time I had setup BOTH camera's with the native ZWO driver (I know I know I should have used the ASCOM driver for one of them), it seemed to work ok for quite a long time though.

I have a fresh new USB cable for my main camera stilling in a box as backup, do you think this could be a cable going bad?

Full log file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lgzo4np5jwj9j ... s.txt?dl=0
rottielover
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Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:49 am

I've decided to try doing a wipe and re-load of the laptop. I'm going to uninstall all the software and drivers all the way down to ASCOM, run a registry cleaning tool, wipe the program files directories etc. Then I'll start reinstalling from ASCOM back up.

Kind needs to happen anyway since I have everything from the last 3-4 years of Astro on there all the way back to when I was using just my DSLR on a tripod only...
rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
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Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:24 pm

I completely wiped my laptop and reinstalled all software and drivers. Doing this seems to have fixed my issues.

I couldn't get any good data last night, and tonight I was able to get a 30 min sub done with excellent guiding. I still have a little ways to go but I'm sucessfully getting good looking subs on targets as I type this.

I'm going to marked this thread as solved. Maybe in the future if someone is having a lot of strange issues, you might want to consider a completely fresh start with your imaging computer, this worked wonders for me.
jason
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:18 pm

wiping your laptop (the windows installation?) is a very impactful activity... not great for a user to have to do to get software working. I know it works sometimes and is a tool of final resort... but it's just not great to have to even be forced to try that.

It's great if it works for you in this case and keeps working.... my experiences so far indicate this sorts of problems are not over and might not even be specific to you.

I didn't wipe my machines any time as of late however I have duplicated all of my issues on 3 different machines (compute stick, beelink - brand new, 2 weeks old, and thinkpad laptop)... problems in prism have been reproducible on other machines, so I can at least say I don't think these issues are the kind you should have to wipe your installs with. My lockups that I received on the weekend were on this new beelink system; I simply haven't tried it on other machines though.

I did uninstall prism and reinstall a few weeks ago, prior to 10.3.60 and it didn't help anything out. in the space of other crashes of the time.

Just keep an eye out for the lockup happening again. Hopefully it doesn't, but I wouldn't make a firm expectation.

Are you using ascom or the native drivers going forwards? Care to give a few minutes to test them both out? Maybe around dawn if you don't have issues prior if you don't want to poke the hornets nest?
Last edited by jason on Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rottielover
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Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:33 pm

For the moment I'm using native ZWO driver for both camera's and everything is running flawlessly thus far (except I just had some clouds start to roll in)

I'm going to let Auto-Obs run so that I get some data to process, but after tonight I'll try with the ASCOM camera drivers to see if there is any difference other than you can't change the gain and offset "on the fly" with the ASCOM drivers, only with the native driver.


I think my issue must have had to do with hold-over's from all the prior software I've tried. This laptop has been through 2 or 3 ASCOM versions, at least 4 versions of various drivers (zwo, moonlight, my GPS unit), not to mention all the other software packages I run and update (sharpcap, firecap, sgp, backyard eos). I'm a bit of a software junkie and collect them, but now that I'm up and running on Prism it's extremely nice to have just one place to worry about.

My big issue now is wanting to get the telescope status recorded to webpage feature working... Software Settings -> Prism Web Site

I have a local FTP and Web Server on my home network that I've setup, but I'm not sure how to make this work in prism.
jason
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:58 pm

rottielover wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:33 pm
prior software I've tried. This laptop has been through 2 or 3 ASCOM versions, at least 4 versions of various drivers (zwo, moonlight, my GPS unit), not to mention all the other software packages I run and update (sharpcap, firecap, sgp, backyard eos). I'm a bit of a software junkie and collect them, but now that I'm up and running on Prism it's extremely nice to have just one place to worry about.
For cameras and ascom, you really only have to worry about a few files and if there's copies around in specific directories laying around that prism can pick up.
For native drivers, prism is relying on "C:\Program Files (x86)\PRiSM v10\ASICamera2.dll"
I think this is all details it cares about for the native driver, and you will never have to care about another file.

I am noticing that file while named the same isn't the same file as the last 2 releases from the SDK. Some people have tried making their own implementations... but maybe it's just 3+ releases of ASI's driver's old (transparency in what and why helps answer these questions). I'll probably try and chase down what driver version they're actually using or figure out why it's not the latest release (v1.14.0715 changelog) With the way these kinds of things work, I might even be able to get away with dropping in the latest release and seeing how it works out.

For ascom, you only have to worry about files in this directory (not zwo specific):
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\ASCOM\Camera
You can just delete whatever junk you want in there if you think you've got conflicting files or have trouble again and install drivers again. ZWO puts their files in a ZWO directory in there.
rottielover wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:33 pm
My big issue now is wanting to get the telescope status recorded to webpage feature working... Software Settings -> Prism Web Site

I have a local FTP and Web Server on my home network that I've setup, but I'm not sure how to make this work in prism.
Not sure if I can help you here, I just have been using teamviewer so far. I wish I had a permanent enough setup going to justify webpages attempting what you are. I can tell you if you just want the files going somewhere, use a network mount and then just select it as the save directory. Lots of ways on "how" to remote something and if all of them involve windows running, then it tends to be smaller nuances mainly around is your network connection stable or can you deal with the screen.
rottielover
Posts: 128
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Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:39 am

wiping your laptop (the windows installation?) is a very impactful activity... not great for a user to have to do to get software working. I know it works sometimes and is a tool of final resort... but it's just not great to have to even be forced to try that.
I think you may have misunderstood, I did not do the wipe just for the sake of Prism alone. I have having these same results with other software packages as well (I own several) and was getting similar issues and results in those. For example, there is another popular sequence software, with that one when I would get camera issues it would manifest itself as being "stuck" in the image download phase. It would just sit there and act like it was trying to download the image forever.

Another guiding software that's popular I was always fighting with as well.

This probably should have clued me in to a more base-level issue somewhere but I'm fairly new to the hobby (3 years in).

Personally I think my particular issue might have been at the ASCOM layer, or maybe EQMOD (would not explain the camera issues).


Anyway, I only hope that by posting my personal experiences it might help someone else one day in the future.
jason
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:01 pm

rottielover wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:39 am
wiping your laptop (the windows installation?) is a very impactful activity... not great for a user to have to do to get software working. I know it works sometimes and is a tool of final resort... but it's just not great to have to even be forced to try that.
I think you may have misunderstood, I did not do the wipe just for the sake of Prism alone. I have having these same results with other software packages as well (I own several) and was getting similar issues and results in those. For example, there is another popular sequence software, with that one when I would get camera issues it would manifest itself as being "stuck" in the image download phase. It would just sit there and act like it was trying to download the image forever.
.
It would help keep things clear if you stated each software's names - it's fine to use their names and aids in posterity. It sounds like we have almost all the same softwares installed - I have phd2 , sequence generator pro, firecap, sharpcap, APT all installed because they have different strengths and at times serve as backups incase one of them is acting out - I make sure they aren't keeping the cameras opened at the same time. The last detail you mention where (sequence generator pro?) froze is pretty relevant information - was that happening recently as well? I had that happen only when I kept devices opened in multiple software (this was my fault if keeping either multiple ascom handles, the native driver or both opened at once) which is an expectable result. Haven't screwed that up in weeks to months though and freeze I got last week was when only prism and no other application was opened. The change log from zwo indicates problems like that have existed though - if you look in the changelog and search for thread, those kinds of bugs very often end up in indefinite hang. If I'm lucky I'll get in some time this weekend to see if I get a lockup again on my end.
rottielover wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:39 am
This probably should have clued me in to a more base-level issue somewhere but I'm fairly new to the hobby (3 years in).

Personally I think my particular issue might have been at the ASCOM layer, or maybe EQMOD (would not explain the camera issues).
I don't think you're at fault at all, and i think there's a good possibility nothing was wrong or not easily correctable if there was a driver problem. The area of influence in the ASCOM area is mainly to the directory I mentioned. EQMOD may influence the situation if it keeps open a camera handle - it doesn't seem like it... Everybody's got alot of software installed and most of the time that's fine... reinstalls aren't as necessary as they used to be either. If it works for you that's great but for all our sanity's software's shouldn't require this and the ASCOM itself doesn't really seem to be to blame for much these days.
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