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  1. #1

    Default Focus Max and hanging ACP

    New to ACP but very successful until this morning. Using TheSky Plan Capture I set up a run of 9 1200 second images (there would be no meridian flip). Set it to focus at the start and every 50 minutes. At the end of 9 images it was to shutdown.
    This morning, it had completed 6 images and the Focusmax main window was up, basically not doing anything. The console said it was waiting for an autofocus. No other errors. The real bummer was that it had been sitting this way for 2 hours, the entire system was waiting for something to happen so no shutdown happened. I am running FocusMax 3.4.19 and the latest hotfix of ACP.
    I have had successful overnight runs this last week, it has worked flawlessly. Any ideas why tonight it had a glitch?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Try starting FocusMax by hand before starting your runs. Check your FocusMax log for any strangeness. If you haven't yet done so, turnon FocusMax's "send log text to ACP" option. This is really useful because you see FocusMax's log info merged into ACP's log, and you can thus see it while running via the web. In FMx Open menu, Options, checkbox in lower left. See attached images.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Placerville, CA
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    I'm using ACP, FocusMax, MaxIM, and the RCOS TCC. I had this happening to me until I made sure that all of these were at the latest version. (The communication between FMax and the RCOS would drop out -- FMax would ask but the RCOS wouldn't answer so FMax waited till something happened.) Since upgrading the TCC software, all has worked extremely well.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Teri! I forgot to mention that...
    -- Bob

  5. #5

    Default Focusmax continues to hang

    Still having trouble, despite using all the help from Bob D and Mike Rice.
    I have upgraded to the latest FocusMax and have the latest versions of FW and SW for the TCC (I have TCC-1). I just now enabled the log focusmax to ACP to see what happens there. It is very strange, there is no error message in the console, the whole system hangs and requires me to ctrl-alt-del to stop both the rotate control and focusmax programs. Then, I can restart for a while. However, it could stop again at the next autofocus. Quite frustrated because I am stuck and cannot do unattended runs. What other things are there to look at?

  6. #6
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    On the offhand chance... do you have anything except FocusMax connected to the focuser? You do not need the TCC program running at all when using ACP etc. That prog is just a GUI to the RCOS ASCOM drivers (focuser and rotator), and ACP talks straight to the RCOS rotator driver, and FocusMax talks straight to the RCOS focuser driver. No need to have MaxIm connected to anything but the camera. No need to run Digital Domeworks, ACP talks straight to the ASCOM DDW driver.

    When you say the whole system hangs... does your mouse stop moving? If you open the Task Manager, is something hogging the CPU (Processes tab, sort by CPU%)? The fact that BOTH the rotator and the focuser appear to be problematic at the same time points to something with the TCC hardware or the driver(s). The fact that FocusMax can't eve n get going points to it's initial command to the RCOS focuser driver getting stuck inside the TCC and not returning. That will definitely freexe FocusMax, and anything (ACP) that has called IT.

    Maybe something in the above will be a clue/key??
    -- Bob

  7. #7

    Default More on FocusMax Hang with ACP

    Just to be clear, when I say hang, my computer is still running and I can do other things, but FocusMax and the Rotator Controller are non-responsive and I have to al-ctrl-del and end their tasks to get ACP in a state to run again.
    When FocusMax gets into this state and I click on it to try and close it, I get the Windows message window with the following:
    "An action cannot be completed because a component (RCOS) is not responding..." along with the button Switch and Retry, which are not effective.
    If I then try to close the Rotator Control program (note that TCC is not running, just this little app). I get the following:
    "Run-time error 2147418107 (800100005) Automation error. It is illegal to call out while inside message filter"
    The ACP console has no errors, it is just waiting for FocusMax to complete. When all this happens, I alt-ctrl-del and stop FocusMax and the rotator controller. Nothing is hogging CPU or memory resources
    Last night after this happened I reloaded the firmware in the TCC and started all over. It worked fine for about 2 hours, with lots of re-focusing. However, there were no meridian flips, which seem to make this worse.
    I agree about it being some TCC FocusMax issue.
    Once I open the rotator controller and connect, does it need to stay running or can I close it too?
    I do start TCC early in the evening to get the fans going and do a quick focus check. I then close it. I don't think anything is connected to anything else.
    Is there any order dependency in starting MaxIm, TheSky, FocusMax, ACP and ACP Planner?
    Thanks
    TC

  8. #8
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    Tom --

    Thanks for the detailed info, now it's making more sense.
    "An action cannot be completed because a component (RCOS) is not responding..." along with the button Switch and Retry, which are not effective.
    If I then try to close the Rotator Control program (note that TCC is not running, just this little app).
    This is the "RCOS_AE.exe" process that serves the RCOS focuser and rotator drivers. Once it gets stuck FocusMax gets stuck waiting on it, as will the Rotator Controller! The message is Windows' standard way (similar to it's "(not responding)" message) of saying that a callable component is "stuck". When you tried to exit from the Rotator Controller, it called into the rotator driver to disconnect and since the driver's host (RCOS_AE) is stuck, RotControl also suffered a failure.

    The bottom line to all of this is that the RCOS Drivers are the problem. If, after updating the RCOS stuff, things are running OK, then you've probably got it.

    The Rotator Controller for ACP should be running. It will self-start on demand, but I like to start it by hand, connect, and leave it running.
    -- Bob

  9. #9
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    I just talked with Mike Rice and he's going to try to give you a hand tonight. I'll be available for him too. But this is almost certainly a TCC problem. He says you saw a 0 in FocusMax for focuser position, this would indicate that FMx got bad data from the focuser. We'll do our best, though personally I'm pretty far separated from all of this, as is FocusMax and my Rotator Controller...
    -- Bob

  10. #10
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    One other thing I would mention is that I start the whole MaxIM, FocusMax, RCOS chain up by loading FocusMax and letting it start all of the other software. I sometimes had problems if I started things up by myself.

 

 

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