STF-8300M downloads hang following driver update

This weekend I updated the drivers and firmware for my SBIG STF-8300M camera, I decided to test run everything by gathering dark frames and immediately ran into issues were SGP would hang up on the download - thinking I might be having some other problem I configured CCDOps to gather focus frames from my STF-8300M using 60 second exposures, and a second instance of CCDOps running my ST-i guider also running focus frames with 0.1 second exposure - this configuration ran for 8 hours straight with no issues, based on this I don’t think there is a problem with my USB interfaces. I configured SGP to gather 20 dark frames with 60 sec, 20 with 120 sec, and 20 with 300 sec exposures. SGP would hang on the download after some amount of frames ranging from 3 frames to as many as 24 frames, when it was hung up the temperature data from the camera would stop updating - on one run the file downloaded BUT the temperature field in the file name was NA, the files on either side of it had temperature values, I’ve NEVER seen this before. Prior to the update of the driver I have run SGP for 9 hour stretches with no issues night after night. I also tested another software application called SBIGControl, it also hangs on download after capturing some random number of images. I am not exactly sure why CCDOps works, maybe it uses different software methods to access the driver ?

Here are a couple of log files

sg_logfile_20161121182747.txt (115.3 KB)
sg_logfile_20161121184214.txt (234.0 KB)

@csduffey I can’t be 100% sure. Your USB cables are likely just fine. In the logs you attached, each one shows errors with ancillary queries (and not primary CCD operation). The first one exhibits spontaneous errors with the TEC:

[11/21/2016 6:39:30 PM] [DEBUG] [CP Update Thread] SBIG Error while caching cooler status: TX_TIMEOUT

The second log exhibits errors when the CFW position is queried:

[11/21/2016 7:23:48 PM] [DEBUG] [CP Update Thread] SBIG Error while querying CFW device (position): RX_TIMEOUT
[11/21/2016 7:24:18 PM] [DEBUG] [CP Update Thread] SBIG Error while querying CFW device (position): TX_TIMEOUT

I don’t have your camera to test with, but I’ll update my SBIG drivers and run a similar sequence with the SBIG STF-8300M sim.


Using SBIG driver 4.96 build 3, I have run hundreds of images through SGPro using the SBIG provided STF-8300 sim using camera firmware version 2.00. No issues were presented…

This means that the issue is either:

  • With camera peripherals that my test did not use (ports, hubs, cables, etc)
  • Or might be a camera timing issue that SGPro is not handling well… not sure about this one since the STF-8300 is SGPro’s most popular SBIG and we have not had a rash of complaints here. Anything’s possible though…

Well that’s disappointing but I think it is a very subtle timing issue - I found that if I run my laptop in “green” mode where it drops the clock speed it will run forever - but I didn’t use to have to do that - I also discovered some other issues - one of them is with my ST-i guider running from PHD2 - the images now have vertical streaks that are always n the same spot and fortunately can be cancelled with dark images - but again something new and probably related to USB transfer since the ST-i and the STF-8300 share a common driver - the guys a Diffraction Limited are looking at it too and if I can get the problem to occur with debug option on in the driver they might be able to find the issue - although I wonder if running it in debug will alter things enough to keep it from failing - thanks for digging in !!

So Diffraction Limited sent me the old drivers and that has fixed the issue, back to my normal stable configuration, the SBIG driver that seems to work fine is V4.94 Build 1, the driver that was unstable for me was V4.96 - this was running on a Lenovo Laptop Y70-50 with Windows 10.