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SMRussell
May 10, 2012, 13:47:22
Hi all

I purchased this camera in late February to record the June 6 transit of Venus. Work and travel have prevented me from starting using it till last week.

I can't get this camera to work:

- the driver (2.2.11) wouldn't install on the laptop I plan to use for the event. It would hang at the end of install and eventually report a time-out. IC support had me uninstalling webcam drivers, etc, etc, all to no avail.

- the driver installed OK on my main home PC (once I got home - one week lost).

- the camera worked fine for a few minutes. I was able to change resolution, settings, etc and see live images.

- IC Capture started reporting failure to "deliver images" messages

- I tried reinstalling the driver on the laptop. It worked this time.

- I'm having the same problems on the laptop now. Neither computer will show live images, regardless of the resolution, unplugging, etc.

- Most of the time it shows the correct camera model, but no serial number.

- The "Device Properties" dialogue shows NO controls under the exposure tab. It did when the camera was displaying live video.

IC's support guy is blaming my computers, USB cables, etc. I don't think he's right. The symptoms look to me like a hardware problem, or a bad driver.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give. That June 6 deadline is looming fast.

Thanks!

Cheers,
Steve.

Stefan Geissler
May 10, 2012, 17:58:41
Hello Steve


- the driver (2.2.11) wouldn't install on the laptop I plan to use for the event. It would hang at the end of install and eventually report a time-out. IC support had me uninstalling webcam drivers, etc, etc, all to no avail.


Please let me know, which laptop and Windows version you use.


- the driver installed OK on my main home PC (once I got home - one week lost).

Points to a problem with your laptop?


- IC Capture started reporting failure to "deliver images" messages
- I tried reinstalling the driver on the laptop. It worked this time.

Strange, because computers usually do not change behavior from their own.


IC's support guy is blaming my computers, USB cables, etc. I don't think he's right. The symptoms look to me like a hardware problem, or a bad driver.

That is me!

Did you had a look at http://www.theimagingsourceforums.com/faq.php?faq=ic_camerahandling#faq_ic_pismusb ?

SMRussell
May 11, 2012, 00:49:18
Hi Stefan

The laptop is an Acer Aspire 5536G. The PC is custom built, with a quad core 3.2GHz processor. Both are running Win7x64.

I agree it's strange that it took several attempts to get the driver to install. Worked first time on the PC. The camera doesn't work now on either machine.

I have looked at the idle state issue. Your software is intended for Intel CPUs. When the camera did work, I saw evidence of dropped data (noise streaks) so this may be an issue. However, I don't think it explains black screens = no data at all.

I've been dealing with the APAC support guy Samuel. I've come to this forum to get a second opinion and hopefully resolve this issue before the transit next month.

Thanks.

Steve.



Hello Steve



Please let me know, which laptop and Windows version you use.


Points to a problem with your laptop?



Strange, because computers usually do not change behavior from their own.


That is me!

Did you had a look at http://www.theimagingsourceforums.com/faq.php?faq=ic_camerahandling#faq_ic_pismusb ?

Stefan Geissler
May 11, 2012, 10:04:07
Hi

The ACER laptop has an AMD CPU. The AMD CPUs have a not well designed Southbridge, which slows down and interrupts the USB 2.0 data transfer. I suppose, I already wrote this to you, which you meant by "IC's support guy is blaming my computers". In this case, only an USB 3.0 adapter may fixes the problem.

A similar case is at http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?14305-does-usb-work-on-amd-south-bridge
Similar in Linux: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/260891
About slow USB http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=28883&sid=04b97fda88111de75a8e2473e30a017b


About the Quad Core computer, I suppose it is an Intel CPU, not AMD. Therefore, the camera must run on it.

I wonder, what you mean be "driver would not install". Did you got any error messages, like "Code 10, the device can not start" or similar?

SMRussell
May 11, 2012, 14:53:54
Hi Stefan

Thank you for your reply.

I appreciate that you are very busy, but I'm disappointed that you haven't read my emails very carefully, since I have already answered most of your questions.

- As I told you, my earlier support contact was not you, but Samuel in Taiwan. Support tickets from Australia are sent to the APAC centre. As I said, I was looking for a second opinion via the community forums.

- As I told you, the camera worked fine at first with my home PC (with some noise bars at full resolution), then completely stopped working. I then tried moving it back to the laptop, and it still didn't work there. That's two computers that it does not work on.

- As I told you, the error that I received using the install wizard on my laptop was that it hung at the very end of the install, then timed out. Sorry, I did not write down the exact wording of the message that appeared two weeks ago. It clearly mentioned "timeout" though. I'm sure you can find it in your codebase. A week later, it worked fine. Very strange.

And very frustrating. It's been two weeks since I've tried to get the camera working. So far the responses I've received from IC haven't been very helpful. I hope you'll take the time to read this and my previous emails more carefully so that we can diagnose what the problem with my camera is.

Thanks!

I don't understand what your links to AMD's alleged USB performance have to do with the symptoms that I've described to you.

- The first is 4 years old, and for a specific Gigabyte ******board where the USB didn't work at all, was running Linux, and needed a BIOS upgrade or kernel patch. I don't have that ******board, am not running Linux, and am experiencing no USB problems with either of my computers, except when I try to use my DFK camera.

- The second is for a bug in an old version of the Ubuntu Linux kernel. It has nothing to do with AMD chipsets in general, or with the issues that I am having: I'm not running Ubuntu.

- The third makes the claim that some AMD Southbridge chips (not CPUs) provide significantly slower USB performance than their Intel equivalents. However, others on the same thread disagree.

If that's all the evidence you've got, then your claim that it's an "AMD CPU" (sic) problem is rubbish. If IC's USB drivers are having problems with AMD chipsets, my guess is that's a problem in the _compiled_ driver code, since so many other high-bandwidth USB devices work fine with my computers. What dev environment are you using to create the driver? What optimisations is the compiler using?

But even if you're right that AMD chipsets are the problem, the issues I'm having have nothing to do with USB speed. I'm well aware that 5Mpx colour video at 5-6FPS is pushing the limits of USB2 performance. To be honest, I'm amazed that it can work at all. I was guessing that you have some very clever firmware to make it work.

But I'm no longer trying to do 5Mpx video, even though it did work for a few minutes. As I told you, I can't even get the camera to work now at 640x480 monochrome at 10fps on two different computers. My laptop's webcam is a USB device, and easily outperforms your camera which can only produce error messages, rather than images. Your driver can't even read the camera's serial number reliably, or allow me to adjust camera exposure settings, etc.

As I said, I hope that this time you'll read the messages I've sent you more carefully, and will be able to provide accurate and useful advice on how to resolve this very frustrating problem. As I explained to Samuel, the transit of Venus on June 6 will not wait while Imaging Source's technical support works through its canned responses blaming AMD for symptoms I don't have.

Bottom line, IMO? My DFK camera does not work because of a hardware or driver problem which is not AMD's fault. My guess is an intermittent USB connection, probably a cold solder joint.

Cheers,
Steve.

Stefan Geissler
May 11, 2012, 17:03:07
Steve

Thank you for your comments. I accept them as they are.

However, I am not wrong regarding the AMD hardware. On my ten years old AMD Athlon 1400+ this is no problem, this is correct, but with the newer AMDs the problems began.

If you can not get the DFK 72AUC02 working, then you should give it back to your astronomy dealer. He should exchange the camera and then you may try again.

However, the 72 camera does not run well on AMD hardware.

SMRussell
May 12, 2012, 15:18:50
Hi Stefan

Thanks for your reply.

Your claim that it is AMD's fault that IC's software doesn't work on some computers is hard to believe.

AMD wouldn't be in business today if you are right that the problems began 10 years ago. Think of all the cameras, scanners, phones, disk drives, flash drives, 3G wireless dongles, video capture devices, et al, that have come along since then, and they've ALL worked fine.

But for some reason, IC's cameras don't work at all. Can IC really blame AMD for this? I don't think so.

In the meantime, I think IC should update their web site to make it clear that their software doesn't work on AMD chipsets. They should let their dealer network know that their cameras have this feature.

And I'm left with a camera that doesn't work unless I buy an Intel laptop to run it.

Cheers,
Steve.

PS: Your first response to my message contained the following:

"If you can not get the DFK 72AUC02, which was not intended for astronomy use, [working] then you should give it back to your astronomy dealer"

I'm pleased that you realised that my intended usage was not the issue. That's a step forward. The next step is to admit that there might be a bug in IC's software, and provide some real customer support, rather than blaming AMD.

S.

Stefan Geissler
May 14, 2012, 09:02:36
Hi S.

Your claim that it is AMD's fault that IC's software doesn't work on some computers is hard to believe.
There is no software involved in this situation.



And I'm left with a camera that doesn't work unless I buy an Intel laptop to run it.

I already suggested to give the camera back.

There is no problem in the driver, because there are no installation problems on Intel CPUs. Also, usually, there are no installation problems on AMD hardware. But installation does not mean running.

Due to image data transfer, none of our software is involved. Only the hardware and the USB board drivers are involved to receive the data blocks from the camera and store them in memory. After this has been done, the USB controller notifies the driver about the new image. Then our software is involved.

Please give the camera back.

SMRussell
May 16, 2012, 15:45:06
Hi Stefan

My last reply disappeared. I'll try again.



There is no problem in the driver, because there are no installation problems on Intel CPUs.


Sorry, no. I tried to install the driver on a new Toshiba i5 laptop, and the Driver Installation Wizard timed out. Exactly the same symptoms as my Acer laptop.

There is a bug in your driver installation software when working with DFK72 cameras. Don't blame it on AMD.

Cheers,
Steve.

Stefan Geissler
May 16, 2012, 15:56:51
As far as I know, you saw the camera running on your resellers computer.

I know begin to wonder, what happens on your side. There must be something extremely strange. Please do not forget, we sell tons of this camera. If there was a driver installation problem, then we do not sell one of them.

Also it is not driver installation, it is getting images, what is the problem on AMD.

I will write a private email to in the next minutes to suggest a Teamviewer session, so I can have a look on my own. I think the computer is connected to the internet.