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NINA help please


MartinB
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For the last 16 years I have used MaximDL for my imaging.  The version I have now is failrly ancient but I really know my way around it and all it's foibles.  However, I want to use automated focusing and also my version of Maxim will either dither after every sub or not at all.  I have started using NINA and am slowly getting to grips with it (I am a slow learner!).  I have had 3 main problems, PHD2 kept stopping working because of connection problems with my ASI 120.  Solved by changing for a Lodestar but not sure why I was having this problem.  Occassionally the mount switches to slewing mode, weird  but I think I might be able to sort that out. I finally thought I had things sorted.  I ran through about 8 frames of my sequence with everything working perfectly but then this....

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After this the camera would not function.  The same problem came up after disconnecting and reconnecting. Eventually I gave up.  Went back to Maxim on my old computer and everything worked fine.  The camera had worked perfectly previously but then it was the guide camera connection that caused the problems!!

Has anyone encountered this and have a solution?

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I have no experience of Maxim, but I have experienced some issues with NINA and PHD with regard to level of comms traffic on the usb connection. This is with two usb 3 imaging cameras and two ASI 120s connected. If for example, I turn on the lights in the dome and have to reduce the dome cam exposure to milliseconds, then NINA (or the hardware) cannot handle the frequent downloads. If they are all up at seconds duration then no problem.

Having said that a single imaging camera and guide cam should be no problem.

If you don’t get a solution on SGL, it’s definitely worth posting on the NINA forum, I’ve always received prompt and knowledgeable responses to queries regarding NINA error messages.

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This sounds like USB connectivity issues on the new computer. NINA is quite good at reporting problems, but I doubt the problem will be with NINA itself (or PHD2).  I have found that if I change to a new computer or set up, I often get USB connectivity issues, and have to fiddle around changing ports and/or wires. It often just feels a bit random.

When you hit an issue - check the Windows Devices settings. You can see if everything that is connected and either rule USB issues in or out - i.e. does your ZWO camera disappear from the Windows Device list. If all OK, I guess worth double checking all drivers after that. If it is USB - make sure your USB cables are as short as you can manage, and that they are high quality. Note that quite a few people (including me) have reported problems with the flat ZWO cables provided with their cameras. I never use these. Most of mine are Lindy cables, which are pretty good. I should also say that USB3 can be more flaky that USB2, and if you're doing long exposure DSO imaging, you don't need to use USB3. I use USB2 cables with my ASi2400MC Pro.

When I got a new mini PC a few months ago, I ran everything for hours indoors to work out the best combination of ports and wires due to issues like this! I'm glad to say it's totally stable now, but I couldn't honestly tell you what the problem was apart from a general sense of USB being very sensitive to different ports, cables and cable lengths.

NB NINA allows you to use the native ZWO drivers, and I use these to connect. Same for PHD2 I think, although not totally sure. But no reason ASCOM should be a problem.

Oh, and I just spotted this, which might be useful? 

 

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