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TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:48 pm
by backroadrider
Hi,

I am trying to use your new ASI6200MC-Pro Camera and 5-position 2" ASI filter wheel (EFW) with TheSkyX Pro build 12503 (latest). I have installed the latest X2 plugins for both camera (2.0.2.9) and EFW (1.0.0.3).

I use a filter wheel with this camera because I often use a Baader Neodymium filter to reduce skyglow; and I use a black-out filter for dark subframes. I have been using a Starlight Xpress filter wheel, but wanted to switch to your EFW because it is smaller and I can directly screw-mount the EFW to the front of the camera by removing the camera tilt adjuster.

Unfortunately, when using both the EFW and ASI6200 camera, TSX constantly throws Memory Error 205 when:
1. Switching exposure modes
2. Using auto-dark reduction
3. Using @Focus3

and crashes completely when trying to live-stack.

Strangely, the camera works just fine if I don't connect the EFW, so it seems the EFW and camera X2 plugins are interacting negatively in some way.

Thanks for your help!

Steve

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 4:12 am
by Moson
Maybe you could try install ASCOM driver. About your crash problem in live-stack, you could test in our ASIStudio software.

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 11:43 am
by backroadrider
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

The camera works fine in ASIStudio.

I use TheSkyX (TSX) because I prefer native X2 plugins over ASCOM. I also use CCD Autopilot (CCDAP) for automation which integrates well with TSX (TSX controls everything) and does not require ASCOM. Bottom line is that I would prefer not to use ASCOM. HOWEVER, I will try the ASCOM driver tonight and see what happens.

Also, since my original post I reinstalled the latest X2 drivers from your website. Interestingly, the filename was the same (2.0.2.9), but it changed the "Driver version" in the TSX camera dialogue from v2.8 to v2.9.

After updating from v2.8 to v 2.9, the memory errors are now much less frequent but they still occur randomly during imaging and focusing. When they occur during an automated CCDAP session, it causes the session to abort which is very discouraging because it ruins an entire evening of imaging. For example:

00:04:38 Leo Triplet, exposing...
00:04:39 I:TI1, CCDSoft2XAdaptor.CCDSoft5Camera.1 says Error: memory error. Error = 205. <=== CCDAP ERROR MESSAGE
00:04:39 Clear, Dry, Dark, Sky: -27.5°C, Ambient: 7.4°C, RH: 48%, Wind: 2.0 KPH,@ 12:04 AM,
00:04:40 *** Aborting session due to data acquisition failure

Again, if I do not use the filter wheel then the camera works without problem in TSX & CCDAP so it seems there may be some interaction between the plugins for the filter wheel and camera?? I will let you know what happens when using the ASCOM driver for the filter wheel.

Thanks!

Steve

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 3:22 am
by Moson
Thanks for your feedback, and I'm looking forward to your result of using ASCOM driver.

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 5:04 pm
by backroadrider
Hi,

I used ASCOM drivers for just the filter wheel and my automated CCDAP run crashed due to a memory error on the 27th image.

So, this morning after the session terminated, I tried the other combinations of ASCOM and X2 drivers (ASCOM camera - ASCOM EFW; ASCOM camera - X2 EFW) and all of them produced the same result in TSX which was either a memory (X2) or command (ASCOM) error after 10-20 exposures. I also tried just the camera without any filter wheel selected using both ASCOM and X2 drivers and these combinations also produced memory errors.

That said, the camera was now producing errors more frequently than before so I looked for some other factors that could be causing the problem. One thing I noticed was that the memory allocation for TSX had increased to 2.2GB (normally it's around 1.7GB during imaging). I also checked to see if I had corrupted any system files (sfc /scannow) and, although I did not find any integrity errors, for good measure, I ran the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth) rebooted and tried TSX again.

I immediately noticed in Task Manager that the memory usage of TSX was back down to around 1.6GB to 1.7GB. I also was able to collect 150 bias images directly through TSX without any issues (no memory errors).

Next, I loaded CCDAP. With TSX running linked to CCDAP, memory allocation jumped to 1.88GB. However, I was able to collect another 100 bias files without any issues. During the process of collecting the bias files through CCDAP, memory allocation in TSX increased to around 1.9GB and would occasionally jump above 2GB when an image was downloading, but the memory allocation never reached the 2.2GB I was seeing when I was getting consistent memory errors.

At this point I am at a loss to know what is causing the problem. I suspect it may have something to do with total memory allocated to TSX during imaging. At this point, it looks like as long as the memory allocation to TSX remains below 2GB, I don't have any problems. However, once it reaches above 2GB, I am getting error messages.

I will keep experimenting to see if I can find a consistent link to something that may be causing the problem. In the meantime, any suggestion you may have would be helpful.

Thanks for your help!

Steve

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 2:20 pm
by backroadrider
It appears the problem is a memory allocation error related to the limitations of 32-bit TSX Pro as it tries to allocate memory above about 2GB. TSX is very memory hungry - on my Windows 10 machine, it requires approximately 1.8-1.9GB to run while imaging. When used with automation software (CCD Auto Pilot) the memory allocation can exceed 2GB. Once memory allocation approaches 2GB, the large image from the ASI6200 can cause an error in TSX as it attempts to allocate memory to process the image. Below is the error message from a CCD Auto Pilot log file:

23:43:49 Leo Triplet, exposing...
23:43:50 I:TI1, CCDSoft2XAdaptor.CCDSoft5Camera.1 says Error: memory error. Error = 205.
23:43:50 Clear, Dry, Light, Sky: -27.1°C, Ambient: 5.1°C, RH: 48%, Wind: 5.0 KPH,@ 11:43 PM,
23:43:51 *** Aborting session due to data acquisition failure

Unfortunately, with the current X2 plugin (v2.9), the ASI6200 camera simply does not work with TSX once TSX memory allocation exceeds 2GB.

Steve

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Tue May 12, 2020 6:06 pm
by backroadrider
By the way, the fact that memory errors begin to occur at just above 2GB of RAM allocated to TSX suggest some sort of problem with the X2 driver. 32-bit apps like TSX should be able to access up to 4GB without any problem.

Steve

Re: TSX Memory Errors when using ASI6200MC-Pro and EFW

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 3:57 am
by Moson
As you mentioned, the TSX is very memory hungry, so does the ASI6200MC. You could use ASIStudio software, and update the latest driver. If you still encounter the same problem, you could send an e-mail to support@zwoptical.com.