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Another USB Problem


exmedia
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Here's the history:  I bought a 15' USB cable by Canon from Canon for the T3i.  It worked great during several sessions of several imaging hours each.  Then, a couple of nights ago, I began getting shut downs and error messages.  The camera would stay on for 5-10 minutes then shut down.  I tried mating the original Canon USB cable with an active USB extension, but it made no difference.

 

As per Guylain's suggestion, tonight I went with the shortest USB cable, the one that came with the camera which is a little over 4', plugged directly into the USB port on the computer.  Same problem.  Then, in a fit of desperation I even tried a powered hub .  Still no joy.

 

I'm out of ideas at this point.  There seems to be some deterioration going on with something but I don't know what.  I use an older laptop running XP, and I'm starting to wonder if I might need to upgrade the computer.

 

Any ideas would be much appreciated.  This is VERY frustrating!

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

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Here's the history:  I bought a 15' USB cable by Canon from Canon for the T3i.  It worked great during several sessions of several imaging hours each.  Then, a couple of nights ago, I began getting shut downs and error messages.  The camera would stay on for 5-10 minutes then shut down.  I tried mating the original Canon USB cable with an active USB extension, but it made no difference.

 

As per Guylain's suggestion, tonight I went with the shortest USB cable, the one that came with the camera which is a little over 4', plugged directly into the USB port on the computer.  Same problem.  Then, in a fit of desperation I even tried a powered hub .  Still no joy.

 

I'm out of ideas at this point.  There seems to be some deterioration going on with something but I don't know what.  I use an older laptop running XP, and I'm starting to wonder if I might need to upgrade the computer.

 

Any ideas would be much appreciated.  This is VERY frustrating!

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

 

Do you have another port on that computer you could try?

 

Guylain

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Yes, there are 2 USB ports on the laptop.  I have tried both of them.  Also, I use the Orion SSAG on either port with a straight 15' USB cable with no problems (so far).  I guess the great unknown is the laptop itself.  It's a 10-year old Dell which has performed flawlessly, but 10 years is an ice age for a computer.

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Yes, there are 2 USB ports on the laptop.  I have tried both of them.  Also, I use the Orion SSAG on either port with a straight 15' USB cable with no problems (so far).  I guess the great unknown is the laptop itself.  It's a 10-year old Dell which has performed flawlessly, but 10 years is an ice age for a computer.

 

Ummm... is the USB port a 1.1 or 2.0 port?

 

Guylain

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While I hesitate to bring up the obvious:  Probably it is the condition of the USB-Mini port on your DSLR - it could have become loose-fitting or slightly damaged from time spent with a "heavy" USB Cable hanging off of it.

 

If you can assert that the Laptop USB Ports work properly with your Orion SSAG, then it is unlikely the same Laptop Hardware that is failing the Camera.

 

If not Hardware, then you need to monitor what Software is running (especially background processes - AntiVirus, Backup, Update, Image Cataloger) during these BYE Imaging Sessions.  Startup the TaskManager, and watch both the Performance and Process Tabs (latter sorted by CPU Descending).  Identify if there are any High CPU Usage tasks running (other than BYE).  Such Tasks might disrupt the timing of communication between the Camera and the Canon Drivers just enough to cause the latter to declare a Time-out / Disconnect.

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I have a Canon 60D (unmodified). The USB cable I use is the one that came with the camera, and then I have a USB extension to get me to a 10-port USB hub for a total length of nearly two meters. That hub then connects to my laptop - another meter. Since I don't want to rely on a battery to power my 60D, I use a battery adapter. I set the 60D options to never shut down. I have never had a problem of the camera shutting down even after 6 hours of steady use.

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While I hesitate to bring up the obvious:  Probably it is the condition of the USB-Mini port on your DSLR - it could have become loose-fitting or slightly damaged from time spent with a "heavy" USB Cable hanging off of it.

 

I was thinking along the same lines myself. One of the things that's concerned me over the years is the effect plugging/unplugging the camera USB will have on the contacts. One possible solution to this would be to rig up a strain relief system similar to this:

 

http://www.shop.tethertools.com/JerkStopper-Camera-Support-JS020.htm

 

and have a short USB-A to micro USB-B cable semi-permanently attached to the camera which would then connect to a longer USB-A Male to Female cable (active if necessary) to the PC. In time the contacts of the USB-A ends may loosen and new cables be required, but replacing USB cables is likely to be much cheaper than replacing DSLR or having it repaired! :D

 

 

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I thought I'd follow up on this thread since I was the original poster.  It turned out the problem was my 10-year old Dell running XP just didn't have the capacity to handle the data flow while using both camera and guiding.  I ended up getting a new Dell Windows 7 64-bit machine with 4 times the speed and 4 times the memory.  Tonight I had a flawless run of lights and darks totaling more than 75 minutes.  All with cables at least 15' long.

 

Thanks so much for all the suggestions and explanations.  I'm sure all this information will be valuable at some time in the future.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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While I hesitate to bring up the obvious:  Probably it is the condition of the USB-Mini port on your DSLR - it could have become loose-fitting or slightly damaged from time spent with a "heavy" USB Cable hanging off of it.

 

I had this issue before also.  I now secure the USB able to the T-adaptor of the Scope/camera setup with a velcro strap.  This takes all of the load off of the mini-B port of the camera.  I do the same with the AC adaptor power supply to the camera.  Works great.  I've never had another "drop out" since.

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