Maxim hangs STF8300

I have been having an irregular problem where ACP imaging would fail when Maxim gets hung on reading the camera. I start an imaging run and it fails after several images.

Symptoms:
– The cooling on the camera reports as being off. When the camera is restarted, it often gives a Filter Wheel err 7, or Maxim crashes.
– The exposing tab says “Reading”. Guiding appears to be continuing.
– Sometimes Maxim gets a filter wheel error 7.

I set up some tests, using only Maxim and the camera (no FocusMax, ACP, SkyX) running sets of 40-50 exposures and found that
a) the problem occurs if I guide on the camera simulator rather than STi.
b) the problem occurs if I have no guiding.
c) the problem does NOT occur if the exposures are 5 min or less. The original problem occurred with 30 minute exposures; it still occurs with 10 minutes.

Found that the camera drivers are out of date again via SbigDriverChecker. I updated the windows drivers, and also updated the camera firmware.

Initial test indicates that the problem has gone away; will need to keep an eye on this.

I also found a scary web post indicating there is a setting in the Power Settings tab which causes Windows to turn off power to a USB port if it hasn’t been used for a few minutes (unclear how many). I will turn this setting off, by default it is on.

Update: turned off the power setting, started to run a series of Darks. Keeps failing, similar to the previous problems. However, slight difference is it indicates “300 of 300” in the progress bar rather than “Reading”. So, will have to keep looking into this.:(

Update: well, it appears that the problem is due to a slightly loose USB cable. I went out and re-plugged in the cable on both ends, and it might have been slightly loose on the computer end. After that, a couple of tests worked OK. Crossing my fingers…

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