I recently purchased a new ZWO 1600MM Pro (mono) camera along with and EFW, ZWO guider, and ASIAir. I currently own several CCD cameras from SBIG along with a QHY-168C one-shot color camera. I wanted to see how the monochrome CMOS sensor cameras work and I decided on the 1600MM monochrome model from ZWO. It arrived a few weeks ago and we finally had a few clear nights here in Michigan where I could try imaging with this new camera.
I have been imaging the night sky for 50+ years and started using CCD imagers after building my first CCD camera in 1994. Sorry for all the detail but, I wanted to let everyone who reads this post that I am not new to imaging.
I have used several image capturing programs over the years but today I only use two on a regular basis, The Sky X with its camera plug-ins, and Sequence Generator Pro. I also own Nebulosity v.4.1 but only use this software to align and stack images. Now the reason for this post:
My computer is a Windows 10 laptop and have installed all of the recent ZWO drivers from the ZWO website. After setting up my ZWO 1600MM Pro camera in SGP I was able to take a few test images and things seemed to be working properly. While focusing the camera or trying to take a series of images the image downloads would hang after taking around 5 - 8 images. I restarted the software, checked the camera and software setting and tried several times with the outcome, download hang.
I checked posts on the Internet regarding this issue and found that many users replaced USB cables and hubs to correct this issue. After trying several different USB cables and hubs, along with connecting the equipment directly to my laptop's USB ports and not into a USB hub, my camera still hangs on downloads. This is what I have discovered so far:
The 1600MM Pro will connect to both SGP and The Sky X, it appears to take the image but hangs during the downloads. I tired using Nebulosity and my camera will not connect to it at all. I received the message "Cannot find ASI camera" or something along those lines.
My friend owns a ZWO 1600MM (Non-Pro version) and using his camera I can connect to both SGP and Nebulosity and downloads work fine using all of my observatory USB hardware and cables. However, his camera still will not download an image while using the Sky X. I have adjusted the bandwidth settings to their lowest value and the downloads still will not work under The Sky X.
Before I return this equipment to the vendor for I refund, I was hoping someone may have a fix for these issues I am having with my ZWO 1600MM Pro camera? I may have received a defective camera, not sure. It is troubling to me that my friends ZWO 1600MM camera works on all of my software except The Sky X as I do use this software to control a Paramount ME.
Thank you in advance for your help!
I have seen reports of problems downloading images when using USB3 ports on older computers. Perhaps that's where your problems originate from?
Can you try it in ASICAP?
Does it work in ASICAP?
Here is what i have found out so far:
With a freshly rebooted laptop and camera - if i plug the ASI1600 and that alone to my laptop, i can download images in SGP without any problems.
At this point - If i plug anything into the ASI1600 usb hub, i hear the disconnect sound (USB crashes). I can still connect to the camera in SGP, but downloads will fail after a couple of images. When the USB has crashed, the only way to recover it is with a reboot of camera & laptop.
As i have three USB connections from the EAF focuser, EFW filter wheel and ASI290 guidecam that i ideally would like to connect to the ASI1600 hub, the only way i can achieve this without any USB crashes and subsequent SGP download hangs are:
1) Unplug the USB to the ASI1600 and remove camera power
2) Turn off the laptop
3) Connect all accessories to the ASI1600 usb hub
4) Power up the camera, plug in the usb to the laptop
5) Power on the laptop
As i just spent the two first nights of the season where imaging were possible of trying to resort this mess, i have decided to simply not use the usb hub on the ASI1600 and instead run an usb extension cable to a small 4-port usb hub on the telescope and connect this to a different usb controller than the one the camera is at. I am currently running the ASI1600 USB speed at 40Mb/s, maybe i can increase the speed if i use it alone on the usb controller. Further research to be done.
Oh, on my laptop i have two USB-A ports. If i plug the ASI1600 to the right one (USB 2.0), i will get "Unable to connect to ASI camera", so i have to use the left USB 3.0 controller. I would have expected it to run just fine on 2.0 but...
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I have continued the testing using different USB cables and my download issues still exist.
I have tested the camera using a very short USB 3.0 cable and it appears to function well. I also tested ASICAP using the short cables and it works as well.
What I find strange is that ZWO as offered little comment on this problem as it appears several ZWO users are seeing the same issues. I own a QHY 168C USB 3.0 camera and it functions just fine using a 25 ft. USB 3.0 driven cable connected to a USB 3.0 hub. My friend’s ZWO 1600MM (Non-Pro) camera also works using the cabling described above.
I noticed my USB ports on the back of the 1600MM Pro appear to be useless. As soon as I plug in my filter wheel, or guider camera, the 1600MM Pro stops working.
With all of my other USB 3.0 devices working correctly except for my 1600MM Pro camera, I am starting to think there is a design flaw with the 1600MM Pro’s USB 3.0 port or it's driver software. They may not meet all of the USB 3.0 standards. It would be nice if ZWO typed up their comments regarding these posts?
It seems like there is some problem with the hub, you can send the camera back for reapir.
Please send an email to email@example.com and add a note: ASI1600MM-Pro USB hub fail.
Thank you in advance.