ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

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donstim
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:12 pm

ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by donstim » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:36 pm

I have been having an intermittent problem with my ASI 294MC Pro camera dropping frames in SharpCap. When it starts doing this, I can usually get it to start working again by either shutting SharpCap down and restarting it or disconnecting and reconnecting the camera. This will work for a short time, but after going through this a few times, even that doesn't work and all subsequent frames will be dropped.

According to the SharpCap log, the frames are dropped because of ZWO timeout. This timeout will occur at intervals of about a second even though the exposure time may be 15 seconds. According to the SharpCap developer, the reason that the frames drop every second or two is because SharpCap is asking the SDK to capture a frame for say a 15s exposure and then after one or two seconds the SDK responds that the exposure has failed with a timeout error. Why it does that is not known.

Additional info: I also have an ASI 224MC camera. I can switch back and forth between the cameras when the 294 is dropping frames, and the 224 will be working fine. I also have 2 laptops. (USB power saving is disabled on both.) When the 294 is dropping frames, it will do that on both laptops. The other night when the problem occurred, I brought everything inside. After about an hour, the camera began operating normally again.

Katherine.Tsai
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:24 am

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Katherine.Tsai » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:22 am

Hi Sir/Madam,
Did you change the USB cable?
Does 294 also drop frames in other software such as ASICAP?
Did you try short exoposures? Will it drop frames when do short exposures?

donstim
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by donstim » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:58 am

I did not change USB cables. The same cable works fine with the 224 camera. Changing exposure length does not have any effect - the problem persisted with short and long exposures. I do not have ASICAP, so I do not know if it would work okay with that software.

Tapio
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Tapio » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Hi,
I'm having the same problem with ASI294MC Pro cooled used as an allsky meteor and aurora camera. It's very intermittent, sometimes doesn't happen for several days, sometimes up to 3-4 times a day. SharpCap Pro version doesn't seem to matter. Closing and restarting SharpCap doesn't fix it, but starting ASICAP, closing it and then restarting SharpCap always helps. This can happen regardless of exposure settings and whether previewing or capturing. I'm using a high quality USB-cable that normally produces no dropped frames or artifacts. Other than this the camera has worked very well for almost a year now. Just hoping you would make a cooled APS-C camera with a modern BSI-sensor, like IMX571, so the allsky view would not be clipped. Suitable manual lenses are rare.
Thank you, Best Regards,
Tapio

Katherine.Tsai
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:24 am

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Katherine.Tsai » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:20 am

Hi, donstim and Tapio,
Did you connect the 12V power cable?

Katherine.Tsai
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:24 am

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Katherine.Tsai » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:20 am

Hi, donstim and Tapio,
Did you connect the 12V power cable?

Tapio
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Tapio » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:14 am

Hi Katherine,

Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, the original ZWO 12V power adapter is connected. Never had a problem with it. The cooling would not work without it. Short mains power outages happen maybe once or twice a year but are not related to this. Haven't noticed any fluctuation of mains 230V voltage and computer stays on when the camera starts to drop frames. Should I try to capture some log files with SharpCap and ASICAP?
Best Regards, Tapio

donstim
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by donstim » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:20 pm

Yes, I always have the 12v power attached to run the cooler. Not to lead you down the wrong path, but the problem seemed like it could have been connected with the temperature. The last time it occurred, the camera had gotten noticeably chilled. It began working correctly again only after it had been inside for a while and warmed back up. At least, that's what it seemed like.

Tapio
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Tapio » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:13 pm

In my experience, there's no temperature connection. Cooling is necessary to keep air circulating inside the heated dome enclosure to evaporate moisture from outside it. Also of course to keep the amplifier glow from ruining the picture at high gain (>400) needed to capture the stars to about mag 3-4 with exposure times less than a second. The exact target temperature is not critical, it's set so that the cooler is running at 10-20% most of the time and rarely below zero Celsius.

The frame dropping can start at any moment. Frame cropping is always on and 2x binning is used almost all the time, so there's not much data to deduce if those would be related to the problem. I start ASICAP without crop and no binning, after that SharpCap works again.
Best Regards, Tapio

Katherine.Tsai
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:24 am

Re: ASI 294MC Pro dropped frames

Post by Katherine.Tsai » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:43 am

donstim wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:20 pm
Yes, I always have the 12v power attached to run the cooler. Not to lead you down the wrong path, but the problem seemed like it could have been connected with the temperature. The last time it occurred, the camera had gotten noticeably chilled. It began working correctly again only after it had been inside for a while and warmed back up. At least, that's what it seemed like.
Did you connect the camera via a hub or connect the camera directly to the computer?
And I would like to know what is the ambient temperature when you are using the camera since you mention the temperature.

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