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INDI Library v1.9.7 Released (29 Jul 2022)

Bi-monthly INDI Library released with new drivers and bug fixes.

Help! Should I buy a new guide camera, ASI120mm connection issues persisting

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I'm at wits end and could really use some help and input.

I am reconstituting my gear after a hiatus from the hobby.  My old laptop finally died so I upgraded to a Raspberry Pi 4 with astroberry pi on it.  However, I cannot seem to get the ASI120mm to work simultaneously with the ASI1600mm-pro.

Gear:
Raspberry Pi 4, 7" touchscreen, keyboard and mouse connected (via hub)
Imager: ASI1600mm-pro
Mount: Skywatcher EQ-5 w/o hand controller, I have the USB connect in the place of the hand-controller plug
Filter wheel: ASI electronic filter wheel mini
Guide Camera: ASI120mm   -this is the older, USB 2.0 that typically gives some trouble and is mentioned in a lot of threads around here and other boards
Powered USB hub: I Have the keyboard, mouse, and ASI120mm on this powered hub.
Software: INDI+EKOS

The symptoms are this: I can connect to the camera and start looping without much issue.  HOWEVER, the individual frames will start "tearing" where sections of the image are displaced.  This creates serious problems for autoguiding as the software tries to chase the torn images or loses the star altogether.  The same behavior occurs with PHD2 as with the internal guide software.

Initially, I had problems connecting to the ASI120 at all, but after setting it to RAW 8bit instead of 16, those issues cleared up.  Single frames can be taken without issue within EKOS or PHD2, but looping for guiding gives an issue.  I had read about power problems with these cameras, so I bought the powered hub, but the issue persists.  I can also loop images without issue when the ASI1600 is not connected.  I have also tried changing how the items are plugged into the raspberry pi.

with ASI1600mm on USB3 port I've tried: mount USB on the remaining 3.0 and the ASI120 on the USB2, and also with the mount USB on the available usb2.  I've also tried the USB2 hub with the asi120 on the USB3 port.  None of these combinations fixed the problem.

Given the amount of forum ink spilled about the ASI120mm, I'm very close to buying a different guider, but I could really use a recommendation on which would be a rock-solid solution.  This forum entry suggests the asi120mm-s (usb3) as a solution and there were others like it I saw.  I was also considering a different brand altogether, but now I feel gun-shy about it all because of the problems I'm having here.

Please help!
11 months 3 weeks ago #76219

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Hi Mike,

I had similar problems a number of years ago when I bought the older style USB2 ASI120MM (It was cheap in a sale). I ended up taking it back to the shop and upgrading to the new version as I could not get it to work consistently. Since then I have had no problems.
The ASI software drivers work pretty well with KStars and I have never considered changing it as it just works. It has only ever been used as a guider in an OAG system. I was also keen to keep the brand consistent for compatibility as my main camera is also a ZWO.
My advice would be to cut your losses and get a USB3 version.

Mike
iOptron CEM40G, SharpStar CF90IIApo with Moonlight focuser, ASI294MCpro, ASI120MM-S, DIY MyFocuserPro2, RPi4 8Gb 480SSD running KStars/Ekos/Indi under Ubuntu Mate 22.04, DIY flat box
Skywatcher Flextube 12" Dob, Meade LX75 8SCT, Skywatcher NEQ6Pro

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11 months 3 weeks ago #76236

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Thanks for the advice on this. Given the amount of digital ink complaining about the ASI120MM, I suspected the answer would be what you said. I went ahead and ordered the usb3 version just as you suggested.

Cheers!
11 months 3 weeks ago #76244

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No worries,
I have had mine for about 3-4 years and it has been rock solid the whole time. I don't think that you will regret it.
iOptron CEM40G, SharpStar CF90IIApo with Moonlight focuser, ASI294MCpro, ASI120MM-S, DIY MyFocuserPro2, RPi4 8Gb 480SSD running KStars/Ekos/Indi under Ubuntu Mate 22.04, DIY flat box
Skywatcher Flextube 12" Dob, Meade LX75 8SCT, Skywatcher NEQ6Pro

11 months 3 weeks ago #76254

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I had same issue with my old ASI 120MM (USB2), then I sold it somebody, who uses it in windows enviroment without any issue.
My final solution was the ASI 120MM-S (USB3). It works perfectly under linux. According to ZWO the ASI 120mm mini (USB2) should works also under INDI, but I did not want to take the risk again with an USB2 camera.
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11 months 2 weeks ago #76365

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