Binning instruction ignored


A few days back I finished imaging and then left a new sequence to collect some hours of bias + darks. The next morning I checked the files and was disappointed to find all the files were binned. The sequence showed binning set to 1.
Yesterday I decided to repeat the darks+bias collection so I prepared a new sequence and confirmed that binning was set to 1. I have just checked the files and all are bin=2.



A very careful check of the system has revealed a deeper problem. My connections were correct but the ASCOM/USB hub had switched cameras from my ‘main camera#2’ (=Ultrastar) to the guide camera! By directly connecting the camera to the laptop and not via the hub, it correctly downloaded the proper camera.

To do this check I had to switch off the camera after disconnecting from SGP. When I re-connected the camera and went to download a focus image (just to test), SGP crashed again and subsequently refused to do anything. I had to restart the laptop. This is fully reproducible. If a camera connection fault is announced SGP hangs on the message ad infinitum and then goes white when any key is pressed. Every time - suggesting that there is no error trapping on the camera connection.



Why are you using an ASCOM hub?



My configuration is this:

two cameras on scope(s) to an outside USB hub. (main camera-main
scope/guide camera-guide scope)
EQMOD to the USB hub to control telescope mount.
route USB3 hub 3m inside to laptop on one USB connection and connect to
ASCOM hub (EQMOD hub)
CdC planetarium program connected to ascom hub to control scope for
initial set-up.
PHD2 guiding to ASCOM hub
SGP to ascom hub to provide main camera control.

This seems a reasonable configuration - or did so until the last couple
of days. I see no alternative but I am always ready to try something else.

very grateful for any advice.



Thinking deeply about this:

I cannot see how I could not use an ASCOM hub;
SGP has to control both PHD2 and the telescope and the main camera. The
telescope (EQMOD) delivers the RA+dec so there has to be a common
connection for both and the cameras.

I could eliminate the outside hub by using 3m lengths of USB2 cable
feeding the laptop, or even bringing the USB hub inside using similar
cable lengths - but I cannot see how the ASCOM hub could be eliminated.




You don’t need the ASCOM POTH anymore. It’s built into the mount drivers these days. So, I’d skip that.

As for camera issues and hubs, in my experience, I’ve always needed one cable for each camera I’ve had. Now, I can have other devices on one of the cables; but I have to keep my guide camera seperate from the main camera.

Make sure the hubs are powered. They’re also the devices that fail on me the most. My last purchase (after about 4 cheaper ones in a year) was a Startech industrial model (4 port) and it’s lasted 2 years.


I only use powered hubs now after finding problems with download from
other hubs. I only use ASCOM POTH on my observatory main scope - not the
one currently under test. This one uses the EQMOD ASCOM hub.

The outside one is as described earlier. I started wondering about the
outside hub being unstable below ~10C or so - no specs available! To
connect cameras using cable only would need ~4m per device.

I wonder what other people do? I can’t see any way out of using the
outside (powered) hub (which I discovered later yesterday has a failed




The failed power supply makes sense.

Go with a startech industrial hub. I’m pretty happy with mine. Also, build yourself a box for all your gear to plug into at the mount that you can close up. I made mine out of Tupperware and it worked pretty well. I had two holes in the sides. One for the power/input cables and one for the cables going to the scope/cameras.

The downside to USB is it wasn’t really designed for repetitive use :tired_face: Always keep a spare cable or two around and an extra hub.