Well, I was having this issue with the ASI1600MMC-P as well. The QHY seems a lot more reliable, less disconnects, but it still happens. Any suggestions to get this sorted out would be helpful as I really like this camera with this setup. I am running the latest Ekos, INDI, and Linux drivers for the QHY163M.
When the camera stops responding, I can't connect or disconnect from it. I have to go outside and unplug it from the RP3 to get it connected back in Ekos. After that, it will work again. It seems to be random. It will happen during focusing or just when doing an imaging run. I have updated everything. All other equipment stays working just fine, mount and focuser. After having it happen quite a few times, I feel like the issue is something freezing with the upload. It says it finishes capturing the image, but then just hangs there and no image ever arrives. The iwconfig shows the connection at 65Mb/s, but it takes an 8Mb image about 9 seconds to download. Could it be a connection issue of some sort?
I've attached two Ekos logs from tonight that show two disconnects from the QHY
Hi, is your asi directly connected to the RPi (and other devices)? What I have observed is that stability increases when using a powered usb hub. When I was testing the rock64, with only the asi cam directly connected, all fine. Once I plugged in a WiFI dongle, I could not anymore connect to the asi. I suspect that the board could not provide the required current anymore to the different USB ports.
I don't really know what to say other than I have no luck at all with USB3 cameras. I bought a 12V 5A power supply and a pluggable 5A powered USB3 hub. The camera will still disconnect if I am using a USB3 cable. I am still using the USB3 cable I got with the QHY camera. I tried this setup with a very high quality USB2 cable and it seems to have resolved the issue. I have a higher quality USB3 cable on the way, we'll see if that makes a difference for the USB3 connection. For now it looks like I'll be sticking with the USB2 cable.
Okay, after much more troubleshooting I think I have this narrowed down to the USB cables. Hard to believe that the camera is unhappy with 2 USB3 and 2 USB2 cables. I found another high quality USB2 shorter (6ft) cable that the camera seems to be happy with (plugged into the RP3). I have the USB speed at 40 and am saving the images locally to the RP3, but I've gotten about 80 images in a row now without a disconnect. That is by far the best it's done so far. I'm using filezilla to grab the images when they are done.
Okay, so after I just shot 160 images in a row without issue, I tried to do a focus. I got one image to transfer over via Ekos and selected the star, then tried the focus. It then tried to capture and send another image and locked up. I'm guessing the issue here is going to end up being how INDI is sending the data over the WIFI to Ekos. Something is happening that is causing the image to fail the upload to the client and that is locking the camera up. My best guess as of now. When I was not doing any kind of live preview of images at all in Ekos, the images were being shot and downloaded directly to the RP3 wtihout issue. When I tried to get a preview for focus in Ekos, it failed the upload and locked up the camera. This seems to be a recurring pattern. A further test I will try is running an ethernet cable to the RP3 to see if that helps.
When there is a lockup / disconnect, I have to restart the RP3 to get it working again.
To follow up a bit more on this. I was able to get 5 sets of 40 images from the camera by avoiding transferring data to Ekos. I stopped about half way through to do a manual focus. After the 5th run, I decided to give an auto focus a try and the camera froze up and stopped responding. Rebooted the RP3 and all was good again. I am really starting to suspect this issue is being caused by either 1. The way Ekos is sending the commands to get the images 2. The data transfer of the images from the PR3 to Ekos. If I avoid any image data transfers to Ekos by storing the images on the RP3 and using an FTP to get them, it all functions correctly.
So, figure I'll keep talking into the void here in case someone else runs into these issues.
I've been running tests today with the RP3 hard wired to the router via ethernet.
1. I switched back to the stock USB3 cable.
2. USB speed set to 40
This seems to have had a major impact on the data transfer rates. The RP3 built in 2.4ghz wireless would take about 15 seconds to transfer an 8mb image to the client computer. Now it takes about 8 seconds. I am able to run a continuous "framing" stream from Ekos without issue now. I really think the issue here may have been the cheap RP3 wifi module dropping data packets which was causing issues with Ekos and freezing up the camera. Since running the ethernet cable it all seems to work okay even on USB3 going through a USB3 hub. I'll continue to run tests.
It may be worth looking into how Ekos handles shoddy data connections over wireless networks?
For now my approach will be to only use the image data transfers to Ekos for focusing and solving. The images will be shot and written to the RP3 for retrieval over FTP. This saves a lot of time waiting for images to download that could be going to exposure time as you can download over FTP while the system is shooting. I also plan to get a higher quality USB 5ghz dongle for the RP3 to see if that will help with the Wifi transfer issues.
After playing a bit more, I had it switch back to transferring the images to the client. This eventually crashed again even over ethernet (got much further first). When I FTP one of the images down from the RP3, it takes about 1.5 seconds. When I let it transfer the image over via Ekos, it takes about 8-9 seconds. I'm pretty sure there is a data transfer problem here going on between INDI on the RP3 and the client for larger images. I'm not sure how Ekos is transferring the data, but it is extremely slow compared to regular FTP. It may be best to have it write the image to the RP3 then transfer it over?
The only thing I can verify for sure is that it is a bit more stable wired over ethernet, but doesn't work reliably if I transfer the images from INDI to the client using Ekos. If I write them to the RP3, then FTP them over, it works.
Alright, this will probably be my last post here on this topic. I got the camera working. Here is what I did.
1. Ethernet cable from (RP3 to router.)
2. High quality USB2 Cable (Camear to HUB)
3. 12v 5A power supply
4. Powered USB3 hub
5. USB Traffic set to 0
6. Save images as sequence goes to RP3, use FTP to get them over.
I was able to get 7 sequences of 35 X 40 second images without issue, running autofocus and plate solves between each sequence in Ekos.
Working well now.
Thank you for taking the time and effort, not only to work through your QHY problem, but to post how you got to the solution. I feel far too many times these problems are specific to hardware and software timing, signal noise, power issues, and in some rare cases, user settings. Today's competitive market, coupled with the cost of production changes, has resulted in a large number of 'short cuts' to get a product out in a hurry.
In defense of the forum, I want you to know that someone is reading your posts.